• Published 22nd Sep 2014
  • 2,600 Views, 691 Comments

Dueling Keyboards - FanOfMostEverything

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

  • ...


Before me is a tragedy. They stand arrayed, the aged, the decrepit, the forgotten. A less charitable mare might call them failures, but that would be doing them a grave disservice. That they stand here when their comrades do not is no fault of theirs. Only the vagaries of fortune kept them from what they were meant to do.

I remember when they were young. To me, it is scarcely any time at all, but to them, it was their life. They stood, rank after rank, full of promise, dreaming of all they might do, all they were born to do. And many of them did, fulfilling their purpose.

Alas, even in Equestria, not every destiny comes to fruition.

I know them all, each by name. I can do no less for them, though they deserve far more. Still, even I, with all my power, could not force circumstance to favor them. I could not give them their moment in the sun, for if I had, what meaning would it have had?

Forgive me, Cherry Danish. Your proud crimson eyes have grown rheumy, and your lustrous coat has grown thin with age. Forgive me, Oatmeal Raisin. It broke my heart to see your firm strength give way to flab and your soft heart harden like a stone. Forgive me, all of you, for you deserved to serve a mistress greater than I, one who would not have squandered your potential.

Would that the hordes of the world, savage and slavering, charge across the land and storm our gates, that such brave souls such as these might prove themselves as they were meant to. Alas, this is a time of peace. Many rejoice at such calm. Some even thank me for it. None think of those who lived for greater things, for the gnashing of teeth and red-stained hooves.

The new generation lies on the cusp. Soon, it shall claim its birthright. This cycle has repeated itself countless times, with those who were denied their chance supplanted by those who may yet prove equally unfortunate. And I must stand and watch it play out, so mighty in so many ways, and yet utterly powerless here.

I hate it. Ponies would be shocked to hear those words. They think my love all-encompassing, my ire rare and reserved for the truly abominable. But I hate this. I hate seeing lives thrown away, not in what some see as senseless waste, but in the work of those lifetimes wasted, their dreams denied.

How many times have I wished I could change these fates? How many times have those even greater than I told me that this is the way it must be? And surely their wisdom is greater than mine. I am but a dabbler in these mysteries of creation. They were born to them.

And yet…

And yet, there is hope. This silver legion of mine still has enough life for one final crusade, one last noble mission. I look in their ancient eyes, and I still see the same glimmers of hope that danced there so long ago. They do not think I have failed them, and perhaps they are correct. Their loyalty is still firm. Their skills are still honed. Their cause is still righteous.

Part of me insists that this is folly. To deny the wisdom of those who came before me would be the ultimate act of hubris. Would I finally shed those last scraps of humility and declare myself a goddess, mistress of life and death? Where would it end? What costs would I have to pay? But I quiet my doubt with a final question.

Who am I to deny them this last chance at glory?

“Pinkie, did you eat all of the day-old pastries?”

“I had to, Mr. Cake. It was my duty.”

Author's Note:

An idea I had for the current prompt, "Closing Time." Sadly, this one would suffer for being extended to the 2,000 word minimum this round. Still, that's no reason not to share it.