• Published 27th Apr 2012
  • 1,150 Views, 25 Comments

Tales - geopol

In an alternate "FiM" universe, the retired royal librarian of Equestria looks back on her life.

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George Pollock, Jr.

VI. The Back Stretch: His Late Majesty the King of Equestria

I met the old king once. Really. Celestia's father. Just before he died.

She summoned me to the throne room out of nowhere one day and told me the king wanted to see me. Remember that she was his regent. Ponies would forget that. That's because the king became so old and weak, he didn't appear in public anymore. Some ponies even whispered he had died and Celestia was covering it up.

They were wrong. I met the old king. It was sad.

We left the throne room with her guards – Rex was off duty, so he wasn't there – and we went to the private chambers in the palace. I'd never been there, and I kept wondering what the king could possibly want with me. I was just a librarian.

We finally got to these two huge, magnificent doors with gilded crowns on them and guards on each side. The guards went to attention when Celestia approached. She nodded, and the guards opened the doors.

I've never seen such a vast, opulent bedroom. Everything was plush and luxurious and gilded and bejeweled. And regal. Celestia told her guards to stay outside, and we went in. I heard the doors boom shut behind us, but I was too fascinated by the room to look back.

It was really sunny because the room had these giant windows with purple curtains tied back with gold cords. And there were these tapestries that seemed to cover an acre of wall each. And there was a massive carved fireplace on the far wall. It was so big, it looked like you could fully curl up in it and go to sleep. If there wasn't a fire in it, I mean.

But there was a strong fire in it when we came in. And near the fireplace was this enormous canopy over a great purple cushion with gold-cord trim and tassels. It was so large, a pony could sleep on it. Because a white male unicorn pegasus pony was sleeping on it. He looked like he was sleeping, anyway.

He was lying on his side. He looked weak, and you could see his ribs, he was so frail. I saw his chest rise and fall regularly as he breathed, so I figured he was sleeping.

Celestia went over and nuzzled his face, and she was very gentle. The pony on the cushion woke up with a start. Actually said, "Uhnnn …?" Just like that.

So Celestia said, "Father, it's me," and he blinked at her like he didn't recognize her. Then he said, "Oh … Celestia … It's you …" His voice was really raspy, and when he spoke, I saw he had the longest teeth I'd ever seen on a pony, so only The Steed knows how old he was then.

She said, "The librarian is here, as you asked, Father."

He turned slowly and looked at me, and I did my best curtsey. Then he said, "Oh … Come here … child …"

I went over, and he looked me up and down. His eyes were half-shut. Then he said, "You're the librarian … are you …?

And I said, "Yes, Your Majesty."

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, which seemed to take a lot out of him. Then he looked at me again and said, "I want you … to … save my memories …"

And Celestia whispered to me, "He means his royal and personal records."

I nodded and said of course I would. Then his eyes grew dim, and tears started to form along the bottom edges. And he said – very weakly – "Promise me …" His eyes closed again, and his tears started falling.

And he moaned in a whisper, "I don't want to be forgotten …"

Celestia nuzzled him again and said quietly, "You won't be, Father. I promise."

Now, I don't know what came over me at that point, but he just seemed so sad, I raised my left front leg and touched his cheek with my hoof. Looking back, it was probably a huge breach of protocol, but I felt so sad for him. Celestia didn't say anything when I did it.

And then a tear touched my hoof.

Which shocked me. I pulled my hoof back quickly and didn't know what to do next. Finally, I promised I'd save his "memories," like he asked. I felt really clumsy when I said it because his tear threw me off.

He was really quiet for a moment after that. I was honestly afraid he had died right there. But then you could see his breathing again, so he was all right.

Celestia nuzzled him one more time and said, "I'll see you later, Father." He seemed to have already gone back to sleep, so he didn't answer.

We went back to the throne room, but Celestia didn't say a thing on the way. Then she stopped when we got to the doors and turned to me. And she said very seriously, "My father will die soon. All he wants is to be remembered. He made Equestria what it is. I want everypony to always know that. Don't disappoint him."

Then she leaned her face close to mine, narrowed her eyes and said – really, really seriously – "And don't disappoint me, librarian …"

After that, she turned around and went into the throne room. The guards closed the doors behind her.

The king died soon after that. I'm still organizing and preserving his records. Even though I'm officially retired now, I still go to the archives every day and work on them.

Because I made a promise once to a sad old king.

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