• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ

Collection of stories too short to publish individually. There is ostensibly no consistent underlying theme.

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The Mare Who Made Glass [Slice of Life]

The mare ducked into the shade of the palm tree to inspect her sand. She lifted a small cloud of grains before her eyes and she squinted at them. The lake and forest on the other side blurred. For fully a minute she stood fixed, squinting at her material. Most of the collection had to be dropped.

Finally satisfied, she tucked the precious few remaining into a smooth pouch on her back. She nodded without a thought and struck out again onto the beach. Soon she had another cloud floating alongside, and again she returned to the shade to sort.

The sun just began to descend from its zenith when she at last deigned to sit. From her bag she unrolled a thick, smooth fabric and set her sand grains upon it, glistening like stars. A small contraption with crystal lenses was unfolded and stood in the light. The mare fiddled with its arms before nodding in agreement.

On a small plate, she set a small number of grains, pushed them into a cone, and turned a lens.

A needle of light struck the sand, flashing white-hot and fusing to glass. Working quickly, she funneled more of her chosen grains into the growing puddle. The mass spread, the edges away from the impossibly-bright pinprick transitioning to yellow and red.

Her magic nudged the umber edges gently back inward, rolling the glass into a small sphere. In short order, the entire mass was nearly an even yellow. The air withered from the intense heat.

Then, without warning, she flipped the lens away and stood. Her magic ripped at the marble, pulling it into unruly shapes. Her eyes fixed on the figure, small nudges adjusting things here and there, finalizing the shape as it dulled to red to umber to clear.

Her coat damp with sweat, she sat again. The tiny glass figure was set with care on the dark fabric. The mare took a long draught from her canteen, scrutinized her creation, and nodded again.

She looked up, nodded to the sun, and gathered her things. The lensed armature was folded and replaced in her bags; the cloth was rolled and tied; the figurine, a lanky prancing unicorn, was nestled in a box and secured. Another nod was made as the flap was shut, and the mare trotted off.

Raindrops' steps caught. She stood transfixed by the shimmering figurine on the table. Snails, she thought.

Raindrops hadn't wanted to go to Mareami. Hadn't wanted to leave her brother behind. Hadn't wanted a lot of things, but choice hadn't been an option. So here she was. She hadn't many bits with her, but…

"Miss?" Raindrops said.

The unicorn mare turned her attention. "Yes?"

Raindrops chewed her lip. "How, um. How much?" She pointed. "That one."

The unicorn smiled, unreadable. Her magic gripped the prancing figurine and tucked it into a small box.

Raindrops' wings flared as her eyes narrowed. "Hey! I wanted—"

The box was held out towards her. "Shhh."

Raindrops stared at it for a moment, shaking. At length she restrained herself—the pounding in her ears lessened.

"Take it, if you please."

Raindrops gave a furtive glance around. "But… How much?"

The unicorn canted her head as if not understanding.

Raindrops' ears flattened again. "I said, how much for it?"

The unicorn nodded, the box shifting closer. "Take it. If you please."

Raindrops stared. "You can't be serious. It has to be worth everything in my bags and then some."

"I wouldn't know." The mare smiled enigmatically again. "It's all sand and light to me."

Author's Note:

Originally written for the Thirty Minute Ponies prompt "I Love My Job".

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