• ...


On a moonlit plain- what most ponies would have deemed the middle of nowhere- a wooden caravan was stopped, home to a traveling showmare. The unicorn in question sat upright in her bed, nursing a glass of fine red wine with a mournful look. Having fled from Ponyville after what was surely her least-successful show, she had traveled to Manehattan, where a carpenter had offered to build a replacement for her crushed transportation and stage- for a price. Trixie took a sip of the bitter liquid and let it slosh around in her mouth.

And Manehattan rose up around her.

Trixie eyed the sign almost reproachfully. Just as she was about to call it a night, this establishment offered itself- "DUSTY WOOD, CARPENTER"- fair enough. There didn't seem to be any other carpenters open at this hour, and the sooner she had it fixed, the sooner she could get back to her shows-
So you can forget Ponyville and the Ursa and Twilight Sparkle.
and move on. Mistakes happened.

Trixie swallowed heavily and sighed.

She opened the door sheepishly and entered. A bell shyly twinkled as the door closed, and noted the darkness in which the place was covered. The owner didn't seem to be a strong believer in the wonder of halogen. He did, however, notice her quite easily. "Hey there. I'll be with you in a sec, I'm just finishing up inventory here."
Trixie observed the woodworker. He was a unicorn, with a dark tan coat and a ruffled brown mane. He seemed to be just as weathered as his surroundings, but overall there wasn't anything too odd about him-
And yet you of all ponies should know appearances can be misleading.
and hopefully he'd be able to build her a new stage.

"How can I help you, Miss?"

Trixie gasped. "Oh! I was looking to have a caravan built."

"You make it sound easy. From scratch?"

"I've got a few sketches."

"Those'd be helpful."

She removed her hat and pulled out a few folded pieces of paper. The carpenter unfurled them. "I'd say these are more than sketches. Who drew these?"

"The stallion who made the original- a craftsman like yourself."

"Ah. Well, these'll make my job easier for sure. Just what do ya need somethin' like this for?"

"I'm a travelling showmare."

"I see. Got yerself some fancy name too, I bet."

"The Great and Powerful Trixie."

"Say, I've heard of you! A friend a' mines went to one of yer shows."


"Said you were a right bitch."

She looked down. "Some would say that."

And they'd be right.

"Anyway, how much will it cost me?"

How much, Trixie? How much has this cost you?

"About a thousand bits to start. What I don't need I return."

"Fair enough." She produced a small leather wallet from her hat.

"If you don't mind me asking..."


"What else is there in your hat?"

The showmare blushed. "Usually nothing. I came here because my caravan was... destroyed."

"So you don't have nowheres to stay?"

Trixie shook her head.

For once you weren't lying.

"Tell you what- you seem like a nice mare, alright? I'll charge ya seven-fifty."

"Th- thank you!" She resumed to look in her wallet, then swallowed hard. But of course- those flyers she had commissioned and that fireworks merchant in Hoofington who really knew what he was talking about. "I've only got five hundred here, I'm afraid."

He frowned. "Listen, I really wish I could-"

"What If I put on a little show for you?"

"A show... Well." He grinned. "I suppose a 'show' would do."

Trixie sighed. That had been quite a show indeed. But she had gotten what she wanted, hadn't she? A showmare is nothing without her stage, and the show must go on.
Even if the actress is all too eager to give up?
Even if. For Mother, if anything. Oh, Mother...

Words came back to her. Words said by a mare who had decided she would never let her daughter fall prey to the same misfortunes life had thrown at her. A mare long gone but whom she still remembered so well-

"Ponies will hate along the way, Trixie," she had told her solemnly, "But they'll hate you because you show them how much better you are than them."

Mother hadn't seen Twilight Sparkle coming. In the end she should have known those Ursa boasts would come back to haunt her, but hadn't She encouraged it?
It's all for Her. You can't let yourself have dreams, can you?
Trixie gulped down more of the brew.
That's right, swallow your bitter sorrow, just like She said. How long until you overflow, Great and Powerful? How long until more than just your caravan crashes down on itself?
She snorted and hurled the glass at the wall before her, where it shattered and bled.
Remind you of anything?

The Great and Powerful Trixie crashed into her pillow and let loose a howling sob, until she at last tired of it.