• Published 22nd Sep 2014
  • 2,599 Views, 691 Comments

Dueling Keyboards - FanOfMostEverything

FoME's submissions to the Writeoff Contests, along with other bits and bobs.

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Last Slice

Author's Note:

Entered into the October 2014 competition, tied with Chinchillax's Hospice for 13th out of 49. Prompt: Just Over the Horizon.

"Big Macintosh?"

Big Mac looked up from the plow he'd been mending. "Yes, Granny?"

She smiled and patted his withers. "You're a good stallion, but you're allowed to do something outside of the farm." She winked. "Besides, the next crop of Apples has to come from somewhere."

The stallion shuddered. "I suppose. What brought this on?"

Granny Smith looked out of the open shed door, out at a perfect view of Sweet Apple Acres in all its glory. "There's a chill in my bones that ain't going away. Celestia's sun's a bit dimmer and the shadows are a little heavier. I ain't long for this world."

Mac stood and enveloped her in an embrace. "Don't say that, Granny."

She shook her head. "It's true. I had a good run, much better than what anypony might have thought, me included. And it weren't my pancreas, so that'll show that know-it-all at Ponyville General!"

"Granny." Mac scowled even as he blinked back tears. He took a deep breath. "How much longer do you think you have?"

"Oh, I'd say a few hours."

"Well, we…" Mac bolted to his hooves. "WHAT!?"

"Well I'd've given you better notice if I had it!" Granny grinned. "Don't you worry, old Granny's had a plan for this for a while. Already said my peace with your sisters. AJ's been running the place for years anyway, save for you doing the books. Apple Bloom…" The old mare wilted a little. "Well, I ain't happy to tell her goodbye, but at least I ain't near her whole world no more. She'll get by. Do a lot more than get by, if she can do what I think she can."

Macintosh bit his lower lip as he thought. "We could—"

"No time, Macky, no time! I need every minute I got!" She raced off as quickly as her hip allowed.

Mac caught up in a few steps. "I could at least get you there faster."

Granny glanced away for a moment, but Apple pragmatism won out over Apple pride. "Oh, alright."

With a little help from her grandson, Granny Smith touched up her will, wrote down a few secret recipes and bits of zap apple lore, and composed an obituary. She knew that last one would be flowered up to Tartarus and back, but at least she got a say in the matter.

All that done, she settled into bed, removed her false teeth, and shut her eyes.

"Hello, Granny."

She peeked open one eye. "With all respect, I ain't your granny."

The alicorn gave a soft smile. Her coat was a dark gray, and only seemed that way because nothing could seem as black as her mane. No stars twinkled there, though its edges were a soft white. Her cutie mark was a white marble tombstone, which struck Granny Smith as somehow tasteless. "No," she said, "you aren't, but it's how you've thought of yourself for a long time."

Granny shrugged. "Fair enough, I suppose. I have to say, you ain't quite how I pictured you."

This got a grin. "You were expecting somepony thinner? Dressed differently? I don't suppose there's a scythe laying around that I could borrow?"

The old mare rolled her eyes, though she did feel her cheeks twitch a bit. She began to limp out of bed, paused, and got to the floor far more smoothly. She looked back and saw her own face. "So, that's it then."

The alicorn waved her head from side to side. "In one sense, yes. In many others—"

"Any of them others have me back in that body?" Granny pointed a hoof at the one in question.

"Well…" The other mare hissed air through her teeth. "No."

"Well, that's the important one." Granny shrugged. "Couldn't hurt to check, though. So, what happens now?"

The alicorn smiled again. "That's the fun part. I never know until we get there. Follow me, Mrs. Smith."

And so they trotted to an undiscovered country.