• Published 27th Apr 2015
  • 950 Views, 52 Comments

Family - Talon and Thorn



A series of short stories and extended scenes featuring various characters from the Lunaverse all on the general theme of families.

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Picnic

Whistling to herself, Trixie put down her quill and carefully folded the letter she had just finished, taking care not to smudge the ink as she placed it into an envelope and sealed it. One piece of personal correspondence to be delivered to the post office when she had a free moment, or when she next bumped into Ditzy, whichever came first.

She sighed; it was a shame she hadn’t had a chance to visit her family recently, or for them to visit her, but at least she could still keep in touch with them via letter. Since she had moved to Canterlot half her lifetime ago she hadn’t gotten to see them as often as she’d like to. Luna had let her visit for holidays so she’d kept up to date, but it did feel like they were growing distant. Several of her cousin’s hadn’t even been born when she’d first become Luna’s student. As for Little Harpo, the youngest, she’d only seen him once and he’d hardly been a month old then, when had that been? Six months ago now? Trixie tutted, she really should plan something soon, maybe bring the girls with her? She was sure they’d like a tour of Le Grand Facile, maybe they could go for the Summer Sun festival? Standing up from her desk and stretching Trixie glanced over at her calendar meaning to check when she was free, but instead a note on today’s date caught her eye: -

Picnic with the Girls - Don’t forget!

Whoops! She rushed to the window and looked up at the town clock tower, she had less than an hour to get ready! And she’d promised to prepare the food this time! Her heart rate slowed a little as she remembered that she’d gotten most of the shopping done yesterday. Still, she needed to prepare and pack it, but she should have time. She trotted into the residence’s smallish kitchen and took out a large wicker basket. She searched through the various cupboards and drawers for the food stuffs she’d need.

She and her family had used to go on picnics a lot, just head out of the city, find a more or less dry patch of bayou and set up there, plenty of food and good company. Once they had eaten their fill her grandfather, Quartermoon, would put on a private magic show for them, making sure he involved all the family. Once he had passed they had kept up the tradition, each of the family members would put on their own act. Aunt Moonsinger, as her name suggested, usually sang, normally something operatic that they could all join in with. Her husband Sky Shaper, although not a professional, was a decent comic. Trixie’s oldest cousin Limelight wasn’t a bad dancer, but she felt that her next oldest cousin Sharp Minded let the family down a bit. She normally carried out some memory trick, telling you what day of the week a date in ten year’s time would be, something like that; it wasn’t like it was a real skill, still the Great and Powerful Trixie had enough talent to make up for that.

The tradition had become even more important to her after Trixie had become Luna’s student. When she managed to visit they’d go picnicking again and as the family grew the new arrivals proved to have their own talents. Night Echo turned out to be a talented ventriloquist; of the twins, Tumult was quite the aerial acrobat, not quite up to Dash’s level, but still impressive for a foal, while his sister Serenity was a decent poet. Even the babies showed talent, Bunny was just as acrobatic as her brother even if she was earthbound, and Little Harpo, despite being less than a month old, seemed to have an interest in anything stringed that could make noise. Trixie smiled at the memory, perhaps Lyra could give him lessons.

That was an idea, maybe she could talk her friends into putting on a show this afternoon, carry on the family tradition with her friends. Was there really a difference between friends and family anyway? she pondered. If you really loved someone, did it matter if you shared blood or not?

Just in case her friends did agree to the show Trixie decided to pack her cape, it was filled with a few tricks she could carry out. If they did put on a show then Lyra could play her instrument, Cheerilee was sure to be able to show off some interesting talent or other and Carrot Top, Raindrops and Ditzy could probably think of something to do. She’d have to suggest it when they met up.

Shaking herself from her thoughts she turned back to the hamper and considered what to put in it. She was always surprised how unadventurous most of her friends were when it came to food. She kept trying to introduce them to new things but they kept returning to their old favourites. It wasn’t like her cooking was bad, she’d learnt at the hooves of one of the best cooks in all Neigh Orleans. The whole family agreed that Moonsinger’s meals were magnifique.

Trixie looked down at the options before her, should she try to get her friends to try shrimp again? She’d had a small pack imported for her own consumption; they weren’t as good as they were fresh, but they were still edible, particularly if dipped in marmalade. Maybe Cheerilee would try some, the teacher was the most adventurous of her friends and Trixie would be surprised if she hadn’t tried seafood at least once during her travels. Maybe she’d even gone fishing at some point. Trixie’s uncle had once tried to teach her to fish, the pegasus preferred to lie out on a cloud over a pool in the bayou and snooze until he got a bite, or didn’t, he seemed equally happy either way. He’d had to adapt his technique a little to teach his land bound niece. They’d set up their rods on the shore and waited, and waited, and waited. As a filly Trixie had been a touch hyperactive, it seemed to run in the family, from the little she’d seen of her Bunny was a little dynamo as well, and the time had gnawed at her until she’d decided to take matters into her own hooves. Her uncle had been awoken by the splash as little Trixie pounced on a passing fish, he’d had to drag her from the water but she had managed to keep her grip in the slippery creature, it had been almost as big as she was, the whole family had eaten well from her efforts.

She smiled at the recollection, her uncle had taught her a surprising number of things over the years, fishing, haggling, sewing, Trixie was even surprised by the amount weather control knowledge she’d picked up. In a way, she supposed Sky Shaper was a bit like Cheerilee, they both loved teaching foals. Maybe Raindrops was a bit like him as well, they both worked weather control and loved it.

Maybe that was part of why she loved her friends so much, they reminded her of her family? She could maybe see a little of Limelight in Ditzy, her eldest cousin had often had to be a surrogate parent to her and Sharpie when her aunt and uncle were busy. He was talented in other ways too, he’d been involved in some of the largest shows in Neigh Orleans; it was a shame his skills were behind the scenes. Trixie didn’t think she could stand to see others getting all the applause for things she had done, although he seemed happy with the situation.

She paused her packing for a moment, was that how Carrot Top felt? The farmer seemed to have so many skills, not only in growing her crops, but also selling them, alchemy, herbalism, she even managed to keep her irrigation system going almost single hoofed. She’d always thought the meek earth pony should have advertised herself more, step forwards and take her own bows, but was she just happy the way things were? Like Lime was? Trixie couldn’t quite get her head around the concept.

At least Carrot Top was proud of her mane. That was an idea, maybe she could ask Carrot Top to sell her a bottle or two of her shampoo to send home to her family for Hearth’s Warming. Serenity was very vain about her coat after all, it was common for the filly to use all the hot water in the house to make herself look her best.

Trixie looked down into the basket now part full with goodies, she should hurry up, what next? Oh yes, she’d bought a dozen mixed muffins; from Sugar Cube Corner last night, that should be enough for all the girls and a few extra for any guests. Lyra had mentioned Bon Bon would be coming if the shop was quiet, and Ditzy would of course bring Dinky, Raindrops had said Snails would like to come as well, it would give Dinky some company. Having her two top fans around would increase the chance she would be asked to perform, maybe she could pack a few smoke bombs alongside the muffins, as long as they didn’t get mixed up things should go fine.

She knew Dinky had been practising the few tricks Trixie had shown her; maybe she’d start making her own shows soon, she might even be teaching Trixie a few things in a year or two. When she’d last picnicked with her family she’d been surprised how good Night Echo’s ventriloquism act has been, the teen pegasus had certainly learnt a lot while Trixie had been in Canterlot. The show had even given her a few ideas on how to improve her invisibility spells to make it even harder for anypony to locate her. That reminded her, her cousin’s theatre school variety troupe was due to perform at the royal concert hall in Canterlot in a few months, she should make sure she and the girls got tickets. Maybe she could talk the producer into letting her warm up the crowd before the show; she was sure it would be a big hit by itself, but a smattering of Great and Powerfulness wouldn’t hurt to crank up the reviews.

Smiling at the idea Trixie looked down at the basket again, sandwich time! But what fillings to use? She glanced around her kitchen at all the possibilities, plain cheese? Jam? Daffodil? She thought she had some crocuses left over as well. She sniffed at some potato salad she found at the back of the pantry and recoiled from the stench, maybe not. She threw a whole sliced loaf in the air catching each slice in her aura, buttering them and adding a mix of fillings before letting them drift down to the table in a neat pile. She bowed to an imaginary audience for a moment, there was never a real one around when you wanted one, before packing the sandwiches away.

The basket was almost full now, just room for a last few things. Raindrops had mentioned she’d liked the cream filled donuts that Sugar Cube Corner had started to sell recently. Trixie scrambled around for the box she had gotten yesterday only to find it empty. Yes, they were rather nice, and expensive. Trixie weighed out her coin pouch for a moment. No, she probably shouldn’t get any more this month.

Trixie shrugged, she’d never been that great at holding on to money, she was more of a live for today type. Her cousin Sharp Minded had been better at budgeting. As a filly, much to Trixie’s annoyance, her cousin always seemed to have enough for sweets when she wanted them, whereas Trixie used all her allowance up in a day or two. Really, the two of them could not have been more different despite being more or less the same age, and having to share a room. Trixie’s half of the room had been covered in posters of their grandfather, whereas Sharpie’s was almost bare, well apart from her power ponies collection. She had all the dolls, sorry, action figures, carefully sealed away in a glass case and all the comics in individual bags; she wasn’t even sure if her cousin ever read them, she was such a dork. That was probably why she became an accountant, mused Trixie. Still, it wasn’t all bad. Sharpie had been able to give her some very useful advice once she moved to Ponyville and accidentally blew a good chunk of her working budget when she submitted the wrong paperwork, although she was sure Sharpie would hold it over her head the next time they met in person.

Maybe she didn’t get on perfectly with all of her family, there was always going to be a little friction with someone as innately annoying as Sharpie, but that didn’t mean she didn’t love the mare. Still she had a good relationship with most of them. Trixie considered for a moment, would her feeling for her cousins any different if they were her siblings? No, in fact she’d never really understood the difference. Why should she love them any less because they were her aunt’s children rather than her mother’s? She’d grown up with them, how did that make them different from being brothers and sisters? Moonsinger was one of the best parents she knew, despite not being her biological mother, and Sky Shaper was far more of a father to her than the salaud she happened to be descended from.

Did it even matter if you were related or not? If Trixie had been adopted by a stranger rather than her aunt after the death of her mother, would the ponies she was raised with be less her family? Was there even a difference between friends and family? She loved her friends as if they were her own sisters, and she would make sure that someday, someday soon, her friends and her family would meet, all those closest to her in the same place.

Looking down she noticed her hooves had finished packing the whole bag, she lifted it with her aura and balanced it on her back. Her legs sagged a little, maybe she’d packed a little too much? No, she was sure her friends would manage to eat it all. She turned back to the clock, just about the right time as well, she’d be able to get out to the woods and meet them there. Maybe once they finished their meal they’d like to see her latest tricks, or at least be too loaded down with food to be able to get away once she started.

With a grin Trixie swung open her door and stepped out into the sunshine beyond with a song in her heart.

Author's Note:

This story, well I don't think it quite works, maybe it's a bit to crowded showing both Trixie's rather large gaggle of cousins and the mane-6 as well but I just can't seem to get it to click properly, but well I wanted to put it up anyway.

Thanks to Rainbow Double Dash and Grass and Clouds 2 for their suggestions on this story. Thanks to docontra for his corrections.

Comments are always welcome.