• Published 10th Aug 2015
  • 2,779 Views, 147 Comments

Lost in the Mirror of Worlds - Meadow_Dawn

Four legs and magic. What kind of mess have I gotten myself into? I only wanted a full length mirror for home, and now I'm in a strange world with no friends or family. Who's this dark horse in my reflections and why is it blocking my trip home?

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The Shadow in the Mirror

Author's Note:

This story is intentionally written from a first person perspective, to practice writing from a perspective I'm not normally used to writing, usually that would be 3rd person limited I believe. So, please keep that in mind as you experience the story from her own perspective. May you enjoy the tale as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

I woke up in a daze, my vision hazy. Cold hard stone was pressed against my body as I struggled to understand what was going on.

A sharp pain in my head made me wince as I pushed myself up, attempting to figure out what had happened by looking around. Gleaming or glittering walls met my gaze, with various ornate patterns on them and even on some of the objects I saw. Confusion started to set in as it resembled nothing like my apartment.

A nearby mirror, twice my height and taller than it was wide caught my attention. I shook my head to clear my vision and recognized the patterns! It was the mirror I had bought at that garage sale just last week. Memories of all the time spent cleaning it and getting the dirt out of the cracks and crevices just because I could came to the front of my mind as I tried to remember what happened in-between.

I attempted to stand up and nearly fell over at the unfamiliar movement. A second try, at a slower pace still had the world shaking around me and I quickly fell down to all fours and stared at the ground, trying to will myself into functioning properly once more.

I think back to when the mirror was clean, and a hazy memory of reaching a hand up to clean the mirror’s surface with the Windex and paper towel came to mind. I remember my fingers going through the mirror, a cold tingling sensation spreading across them as I looked at the mirror in surprise. I tried to put the palm of my hand on the surface that had otherwise been solid, only to watch as my entire hand sunk through.

I jerked my head upward as I remembered something grabbing me by the wrist and pulled me forcibly through the mirror! I reached up to the back of my head as I winced, remembering hitting it on the side of the mirror in the tug through. I couldn’t feel any bump, but the side of my head still felt tender.

I looked toward the mirror again, realizing it must have been a portal of some kind like in the occasional story. I inwardly smirked as I remembered a certain wardrobe and started to ‘walk’ to the mirror on all fours, when something in the mirror caught my attention.

Instead of seeing a reflection, I saw my apartment walls in the background and even some of the clothes that didn’t make their way to the laundry basket. Standing in front of that were two horses, with strange colors for their bodies. There was a lime green horse that stood, looking almost as dazed as I felt, and when I looked to its mane, I blinked and rubbed at my eyes before realizing it had a horn.

I wondered for a moment why I would be seeing a unicorn, in a color that was not white, and with a mane of the same lime green with yellow accents. It was a peculiar sight and it seemed as perplexed as I was! Next to it was a darker, and even slightly transparent, small little lights shining on its coat occasionally. It had a larger chest and a more assertive stance to where I had to assume it was male and the other one was female.

I swallowed nervously as I walked toward the mirror, but paused after the second step. The apartment background was disappearing and giving way to this room’s reflection, yet the two ponies remained. The dark one stood still and was as visible as ever, and the green one took the same two steps that I had.

“No, it couldn’t be…” I mumbled quietly, not daring to believe my eyes.

The dark one started to look like he was laughing, or perhaps snickering at me. I ignored him and looked down, hoping to not see what I was starting to suspect.

Sure enough, the mirror was showing a reflection of sorts. Below me were two lime green legs, with no hand on the end to speak of, and looking down between my legs, I saw another rear pair of lime green legs.

I pulled my head upward again, feeling the blood rush away from my mind as the room spun a little before I took a deep breath with my eyes closed. Once I had calmed, I opened my eyes and started to walk toward the mirror slowly, trying to make a note of how my body chose to move.

The reflection of the lime green mare faded away and the darker male started to walk confidently toward the mirror’s surface to take her place. He looked unreasonably aggressive, but I shook my head and reminded myself that if I could go through the mirror once, I could go back. I was curious about where I was to be sure, but I was due to go to work and exploring would have to come later if at all.

The mirror met my head with a resoundingly cold ‘thud’, and a dull pain spread across the front of my face as I tumbled back in surprise.

“What the-” I started to grumble before rubbing my face and standing up again, glaring toward the mirror.

The dark one smirked and shook his head, as if to tell me I could not pass. My glare refocused on him and his gaze hardened as he shook his head again. Determined, I walked up to the mirror and tried to put a hand or hoof or whatever I had up against the mirror and put it wherever he wasn’t.

He put his own hoof up, impossibly mirroring my movements, even when I tried to stand on two legs and moved both of my hand-things to find some purchase, but to no avail. His gaze started to become more and more intense and angry as we progressed to the point where I started to feel threatened by his gaze. Embarrassed, I dropped down to all fours and decided to take the time and look around the room. If I wasn’t allowed to go back because of some jerk, I’ll need to find another solution.

There was a single pair of doors to the room, and two slim windows higher up in the room. I strode toward the door, seeing lever style handles and reached up to give them a push downward.

The door-lever only twisted a little before stopping, confirming that they were locked. I looked at the handle a bit more closely, trying to see if there was a way to unlock the door. A small click could be heard from the door and I looked at the crack in surprise as the door’s lever moved of its own accord. Someone must be opening it from the other side!

I had no idea if the people or things in this world knew what the mirror did or what to expect, and quickly hid behind the slowly opening door, looking around for a hiding spot. Despite my panic, the door did not open more than the crack and my heartbeat slowly calmed as I realized nothing was about to happen, nor any noise came from the outside.

Chuckling quietly at my scare, I walked over to the doorway and slowly opened it so I could peek my head through. A grand hallway spanned to the left and right, but not a sign of anyone else. After waiting a minute, I stepped out into the hall, walking toward the right path.

With halls as tall as they were, and comfortably wide, it elicited wonder at who would design it this way, or why. My thoughts were interrupted by footsteps and small chinking of metal reminiscent of armor in movies. I felt my body freeze by instinct as I wondered what to do. There was nowhere nearby to hide, and I couldn’t reach the door I came from in time, I was pretty certain of that, and then saw the outline of the individual.

Steeling myself, I prepared the ‘take it casually’ approach. I knew back home that people assumed what they wanted to see, and if I looked guilty, I would be questioned for sure. If I acted normally, provided I wasn’t seen as the intruder I was, I could possibly go unnoticed.

An armored guard comes into view, equine like the reflections I saw in the mirror, with a white coat and blue mane. I looked quickly to his head only to not spot a horn on his head. Intrigued, but not daring to push my luck, I continued to walk along, giving him a courteous nod.

He nodded in kind and continued on as if nothing were out of place. The color of gold glinting off of the armor made me pause, wondering who would have gold as an armor metal, when I spotted that this guard had wings! I wanted to look again just to be sure, but he had already passed, and I rounded the corner he came from.

I was risking being lost in this place, but I still had not spotted anything to indicate how I could return home or what to do. After a quick pause in the hall, I decided it was best to keep moving, and try going where the guard was coming from. Perhaps I could find a place where I could ask questions and figure out what was going on and how to get back that way.

A few more guards came by, and as each one passed, my confidence grew. It was clear that there were some similarities, though I almost looked at one guard confused when I heard a friendly, “Afternoon ma’am,” from one of them.

Eventually, I reached a grander hallway than before, stained glass windows were displayed along the sides and shining brightly. Whoever placed them there knew what they were doing I assumed, based on how well lit they all were. They were interesting murals, depicting something, though I didn’t recognize half of what I saw. Many of them included depictions of equines, some with wings, some with horns, even a couple without.

I spotted a larger clear window and walked quickly over to it, intent to take a look at the place outside of this building, not sure what to expect.

Spread out below was a view of a city or a town, many buildings of varying sizes visible, the streets separating them similarly to home. I looked twice as I spotted the bustling residents all being four legged, and based on what I saw earlier with the guards, were likely equine as well. Beyond the city, lush green fields sprawled over a couple gentle hills, with a forest beyond it, and various clouds in the sky. The colors almost seemed too vivid to be real.

“Enjoying the view?” a gentle feminine voice asked from nearby.

I stood up, feeling my heart jump to my throat as I realized I was noticed. I very nearly tripped over my legs, trying to hide how surprised I felt. The voice chuckled as I stood, trying to keep my sight toward the window and acting like nothing had happened.

“I find this view to be my favorite as well, when I have the time at least.” It continued.

“It is impressive for sure.” I managed to say, using her speaking to me as my cue to look in her direction. I nearly gasped at what I saw, noticing a white form, twice as tall and twice as slender as the other equines I had seen. At her sides were wings, and on her head was a long thin horn. She was clearly different from the others I’d seen thusfar.

“So what brings you to my castle today then little one?” She asked, almost sounding like how someone would talk to a young child. It wasn’t demeaning, and carried tones of something akin to a caring parent, and while I still felt uneasy, it was comforting nonetheless.

“I’m not entirely sure. I got a bit lost on my way here. Where am I exactly?” I asked slowly, trying to continue my casual approach from earlier.

“You're in my castle's throne room, in a charming city called Canterlot.” She replied, giving a smirk that suggested to me it was clear she knew something was different, and yet she wasn’t alarmed by it. My heart raced as I wondered just how much she actually knew.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t remember arriving at a castle, nor do I recognize that city’s name. What state is it in, or where could I spot it on a map?” I asked, making one last attempt to glean information without giving away my circumstances. It would be bad news for certain if they realized I was trespassing in a castle… though I couldn’t help but wonder who she was if she was the owner of it.

“State?” she paused, thinking while that smirk stayed on her face, “I think I know how we can get you back home. Come with me.”

We walked at a slow pace back the path I came. I walked with her readily, curious to know more about her by her actions, and admittedly return home. If I returned soon, I could avoid being considered missing, but it was very tempting to call in to work anyway and explore a little longer. It was clear I had the hang of things enough to find out a bit more about this place. As we rounded another corner, she spoke to me again.

“Please, tell me how you came to be here. What is your name?” she asked, still sounding as gentle as before.

I hesitated, not sure what answer to give. She clearly wasn’t acting clueless, and almost seemed to enjoy this verbal dance we had. It was nice to have someone to speak to that was able to understand me so readily, or seemed to at least, but I wasn’t sure of their naming conventions or how well it’d be received.

Another glance up at her face told me that it would be safe to tell her. She didn’t appear to have any malice intended, and seemed genuinely interested. Guilt started to seep in as I realized if I lied, I likely was just digging a deeper hole than I already might have.

I explained as much as I could, going back in my memory to the garage sale and my desire for a full length mirror, how I cleaned it and was pulled into the mirror. She remained quiet and attentive through my story, though I wondered why we did not encounter any guards like I had before. Her pace slowed a bit more when I spoke of the mirror and how I cleaned it, but once I reached the part of the story where I was in the room, we had arrived.

“I believe we're here.” She said, walking toward the door. It opened of its own accord to accommodate her and I stared agape as I noticed a light golden huge around the door and her horn.

“How did you…” I hesitated, trying to figure out how to express my confusion.

“I'll explain in a moment, for now, please show me what you mean and step through that mirror for me.” She said, walking toward the mirror and sitting near it, gesturing with her forelimb in its direction.

I hesitated after stepping into the room, hearing the door close behind me. I looked at the mirror and remembered the dark horse’s glare and anger as I attempted to return home before. Yet now that I looked, the mirror did not have his reflection, nor of the light green one that I think I had become.

I walked slowly toward the mirror, still feeling hesitant as I waited for him to appear, but he never did. I let out a sigh of relief within a few paces of the mirror and started to step more confidently toward the mirror, feeling glad that I would be able to return home. The thought of asking if I could come back and talk more crossed my mind, when suddenly the dark horse appeared in front of me, standing on two legs and raising his forelimbs up suddenly.

I opened my eyes wide and panicked, trying to pull backward but only managing to fall over, feeling my hip hit the hard stone floor as the rest of my back followed suit and I rolled away from the mirror. My breathing grew ragged as I looked up and back at the mirror in surprise.

The dark horse was back on all four legs now, his face making me think he was laughing at me, yet I couldn’t spot any sign of malice like I would have expected for that kind of stunt. I squinted my eyes at him to keep looking for a reason why he would do that when he spotted the white creature I was with.

He rigidly moved himself to attention, almost like a salute, but with a smile that showed no remorse for what he had done. I looked on, determined, as I realized he might listen to her if she told him to stand aside. I stood up, and attempted to walk toward the mirror, standing in front of him and trying to look intimidating myself.

He looked back toward me, and shook his head no. I tried to reach toward the mirror, expecting him to move, and while he didn’t move, my hand-hoof-thing felt firm unyielding glass, no matter where I felt. I asked him to move or let me through, and he shook his head. I told him and ordered him to move, and he shook his head.

Despite my attempts, I could not return, and I sat down in front of the mirror, confused as to why it would not work or why he would bother to block my way.

“Well that is interesting. It seems I have a new guest then.” The white horse said, turning her attention to me with an almost apologetic smile.

“I’m sorry?” I asked, wondering why she would be saying she has a new guest. No part of this situation suggested that I was staying, and it almost seemed like she wanted me here!

“Don't be sorry.” She replied, seeming to misunderstand what I meant, “You can't go back home if you wanted to right now it seems, so seeing as you're my guest, I'll make sure you're taken care of. Though I suppose we should start by having you learn how to use that horn of yours.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, still feeling lost as to what she was implying. Everything was starting to move onward too quickly, and without any feedback from me at that. Suddenly I realized what she last said and asked in disbelief, “Use my horn?”

“Of course! You don't think it's just for decoration do you?” She asked with a hint of mischief.

I stayed quiet, looking at her with doubt. I remembered seeing a horn on the lime horse’s head at one point, but just because a horn was there doesn’t mean it had a purpose. Even so, because of her asking the question the way she had, she clearly implied that it was used for something. I waited for her to elaborate further, and her small smiled widened slightly.

“How do you think you left this room?”

“Well,” I started to say, thinking back to earlier. “I went to the door, I tried to open it, and it seemed like it was locked. I was looking around for some sort of keyhole or something and I heard the door start to open and hid. I thought someone was trying to open it from the other side. Maybe in the end it just wasn’t closed all the way?”

I watched as her smile shifted, suggesting a bit of the mischief I had seen before. Her gaze turned to the door and her horn glowed the light golden hue. The door made a creaking sound and as I turned to look, the door closed and made a resounding ‘click.’

“Perhaps you could try again?”

I stared at her confused. That shouldn’t have been possible. I saw no wires, no electronics or magnets that would operate the door, not even one of those door-slowers they put near the top to keep them from slamming.

“How did you close that door, or was that even you who closed it?” I asked suspiciously.

“Magic, of course.” She said, nodding slightly.

I tried very hard not to snort in reply. Magic is not a known force of any kind, and those who perform it are more properly illusionists. Starting to feel my mood turn sour from the scare and the inability to turn home, I thought I should try a simple presentation first, one that left a resounding impression on me in college.

“Philosophy 101, how can that which is physical interact with that which is not?”

I no sooner had said that phrase, and her horn glowed once more. I watched her intently when a vase crossed in front of me, then a plate, then a chair. I looked at them, mouth agape, and watched them float around me, then around her, then back to their places in the room. This started to seem and feel more like a dream than anything real any longer, and my mind hurt as it tried to understand just what was going on.

“Come, you have much that you'll need to learn if you're going to adjust to your new home. What is your name?” She asked as she started to stand, a click echoing in the room as the door creaked open.

“Well,” I paused, feeling a bit shaken but standing along with her, “if I were to stay here, should I even use my name?”

“Very well then, let's come up with a good name for this fledgling filly we've got now. Let's see that flank of yours a little closer then.” She said, walking toward my back side.

My eyes opened wide, my voice absent as she proceeded to walk past my head to look, and I backed up a few steps in surprise, sitting down as well to protect my sense of modesty.

“Don't worry, I'm just looking at your cutie mark.” She said in a reassuring voice.

“Wait, my what?” I asked in outright disbelief and surprise at the statement.

“Your cutie mark,” she repeated, continuing her approach and looking at my back sides intently, “I guess you could say it’s something that’s helped a lot of fillies and foals know what they're going to do with their lives.”

“Wait, like a destiny mark thing?” I ask, confused at how in the world something like what she was describing was even possible. Unthinking, I continued, “So where is this-”

“Aha!” she exclaimed, interrupting my train of thought, “There it is.”

I tried to look where she was looking only to spot a mirror floating along to help me see. Angled so I could see my left side just above my rear leg, was a mark of a deep green grassy hill, with a sun starting to peek out above it, with yellow rays spreading off of it. It was an oddly comforting sight, despite it’s strange position, and I stared much as she had at it.

“So,” I finally ask, “what does it mean?”

“Well,” she replied coyly, “tell me what you see.”

“I see grass, a hill, and a sunrise.” I said, pausing to see if she would accept that answer. She only nodded and seemed to want me to continue, so I added, “maybe a sunrise over a meadow?”

“That’s what it looks like to me!” She smiled approvingly, “So if you don’t want to give yourself a name, how about calling you ‘Meadow Dawn’?”

I thought for a moment, staring at the symbol in the mirror. The name seemed unconventional to me, yet the more I thought about it, the more a smile came to my lips. I couldn’t find a reason to dislike that name, and if that’s how they named people here, then perhaps it would be best to accept it.

“Ok, Meadow Dawn it is, perhaps Dawn for short though.”

A couple of taps sounded from the direction of the mirror, causing both of us to look over to it, only to spot the dark horse standing there expectantly, showing his side as well.

“Oh, now this is interesting. Your otherself also has a mark.” She said, walking over to the mirror to inspect it. I stared in confusion at the term she just used, but she looked at him thoughtfully, “I think he wants you to come up with a name for him too.”

“My… otherself?” I echoed, the term not sounding at all familiar.

“In due time,” She replied, suggesting she knew it was unfamiliar, “Let’s give him a name first.”

“Ok…” I hesitated, walking toward the mirror cautiously.

The dark horse stood proudly, the mark on his flank looking like it was darker than the rest of his body when I realized it didn’t have any of the small glimmers he had elsewhere. He started to seem less transparent the more I looked, until I spotted four bright stars in a diamond formation twinkle into view and then stayed in place, unlike the rest of his small lights. I looked up to his eyes, noting the violet blue hues and thought out loud, “What if he were named Starlight Dusk?”

He nodded, looking very pleased with himself. His head shook, tossing about his mane like he had an itch that was finally being scratched, and to my amazement started walking out of the mirror. He walked past me with an appreciative smile before walking toward the hallway door, gradually fading to nothing in the sunlight.

“Well, that was freaky.” I managed to say, feeling overwhelmed. I reached out to the mirror now that he was no longer in it, yet its surface was just as unyielding as before.

“I am sorry, but you still cannot go.” The white one apologized, “It would seem part of yourself was here from the beginning, and you could not return without leaving him here, behind. Now that you've named him, you both are together now, until you both wish to leave.”

My balance started shifting as the room started to spin. The news of not being able to go home was hitting me harder than I realized, yet this couldn’t be real anymore. I watched dazed as she walked toward the still open door, calling back to me.

“Now come, let’s get you some food and one of my guards will show you to your room.”

“Wait!” I called back to her, starting to move forward with her like she had asked. Her gaze turned toward me expectantly, and I struggled to find my voice, “Uhm, what is your name then?”

“I,” She paused with a smile, “am Princess Celestia.” She then stepped through the door, forcing me to follow suit.

“Wait,” I spoke again, confused about what I just heard. “princess? Not queen?”

“We don't use that title here. I am a princess, but I take care of all the ponies in my domain.” She said before noticing a guard ahead and turned in his direction.

“Yes milady?” He saluted as we approached.

“Go and have quarters prepared for Meadow Dawn, I'd like her to have a place here for a while.”

“At once,” he replied, giving a bow and moving backward for a few steps before turning around and heading on his way.

I tried to watch the curious sight of a bowing pony moving backward, but Celestia turned around and started heading back.

“We’ll be having dinner soon,” Celestia said as we approached a tower and started climbing the stairwell. “I would appreciate it if you could join us.”

“It would be appreciated.” I replied, taking more care in walking up the steps. Adjusting to the walking had been easier, but the steps nearly caught the tip of my legs once already. A smile crossed my lips as my stomach rumbled, “I didn’t realize how hungry I was until you offered.”

“You're quite welcome of course, I'm sure my sister would like to speak to you as well. Besides, I would not be a proper host without allowing you a chance to eat, especially after some magical travel.”

We climbed so many stairs, my legs started to feel a burn develop, and yet with as high as we climbed, I wondered why I didn’t hurt more. My pace was slower than this Princess’ was, and I started to trail behind until I spotted her at a doorway with two more guardsmen. She paused at the door as they saluted, waiting for my arrival before entering ahead of me.

I looked around at the room before me, spotting the round table and a rug beneath. Several cushions were laid around it. I started to wonder where the chairs were, when I realized how difficult that would be to sit in here.

I looked up only to spot Celestia sitting near the table across from the door, and looking in my direction. A sense of formality started to sink in as I approached the table, turning left and sitting on one of the cushions. Celestia’s chuckle tickled my ear, and I felt it flick back against my head instinctively and shook my head before turning to look at her. She smiled, seemingly at some joke that I couldn’t see, before laying down along the table.

“Are you ready for dinner Princess Celestia?” A deep voice called from just behind me.

I took a sharp breath as I failed to notice the pony approach and come into view between Celestia and myself.

“I am!” She replied cheerfully, “I’ll have my usual.”

The pony turned to me expectantly, staying quiet. I hesitated and sat up more as I tried to think quickly. It started to sink in I didn’t know just what things they ate.

“Well,” I hesitate, deciding to play it safe, “if she enjoys it, I’d like to try it as well please.”

“All right! Two salad sandwiches with an apple on the side, with strawberry juice to drink coming right up!” He said eagerly, trotting out of the room faster than my mind comprehended it.

I started to relax in my seat and took another breath, half expecting the entire scenario to shift like my dreams, or to find myself back at home, but no sooner than I started picturing my apartment and the comments my coworkers would make, a gentle voice spoke from my left.


“Yeah.” I admitted, realizing I was still in the presence of royalty. I sat back up properly and gave her my attention again as I started to wonder how I was supposed to eat or drink.

“Don’t worry,” she replied as my gaze drifted toward the table, “as long as you don’t think about it you’ll be fine, at least if your getting out of the room earlier is any clue.”

She made a cup that was now on the table float over to in front of my place, its light gold hue starting to become more easily visible now that I spotted it before it faded out of sight.

“Here, practice on this cup until my sister- Ah, here she is now!” she hesitated, rising from her place at the table, heading to the door excitedly. “Good evening Luna, we have a guest joining us.”

I watched as she embraced a darker pony almost as tall as she was, before they walked into the room together.

“Oh? And who might this be?” The dark sibling asked.

“Hi, I’m-” I started to speak, noticing her mane shift in a manner very similar to Starlight’s. I almost started to say my name, when I remembered that Celestia had given me a name earlier and I struggled to remember. “Dawn, Meadow Dawn.”

“Good evening to you then Meadow Dawn.” She replied, walking with her sister to sit at the table. Very shortly I had one princess on the left and one on the right. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”

“Well I-” I hesitated once again, confidence leaving me as it started to feel like I was entering a job interview room, but without the excitement, “I don’t quite know really.”

“I see, well,” Luna started to say before pausing. Her gaze was intent on my direction, and I wanted to excuse myself from the table from the intensity of her stare before the waiter’s voice rang through the room.

“Your food, madams!” he said, pushing a trolley up to the table.

I stared openly in amazement, wondering how he managed to bring a trolley up the stairs without making any noise. He showed surprising dexterity and flexibility as I watched him take the dishes off the tray and place them in front of us before leaving the room with the trolley in tow.

“Come, let us eat before it gets cold.” Celestia offered from my left, her sandwich levitating to her hoof and receiving a sizable bite before it was placed on her hoof again.

Luna’s attention was focused on her bowl of hot oatmeal, the cinnamon scent faintly drifting across the room as she levitated a spoon to the bowl and her mouth in a manner like I would, minus the hand and arm.

I looked down to my food and wondered once again how I would eat. Celestia’s advice before Luna’s entrance crossed my mind, and I stared intently at the sandwich like before. I took a deep breath and to my surprise, it started to lift itself up as I pictured it moving upward to meet my face. I looked at the sandwich amazed, wondering how it was doing that, when I saw Celestia looking in my direction with a small smile.

I took a bite of the sandwich, concerned about if it would stop levitating at any point. The crunch of the lettuce and apple slices audible to my ears as I started to put the sandwich down, the surprise of it moving on its own fading from my mind as Luna started to speak.

“What else has happened today then?”

“Another typical day, most of the visits I had today have been advice. Dawn's appearance in my hall was quite eventful. You seemed to fancy the view didn't you?” she replied, smiling in my direction with slightly narrowed eyes.

“Well,” I paused, thinking of something positive to say while not remarking about the difference in citizens, “I hadn’t seen anything like it before.”

“Yes, but it's nothing like being down there yourself.” Luna replied, gaining an air of authority.

I looked at her confused, head tilting slightly as I tried to understand why she would reply in that particular way.

“Aren’t you going to introduce us to your friend?” Luna asked

I looked at her even more confused, blinking and looking around the room quickly, not spotting anyone else. I started to open my mouth, to tell her I didn’t have anyone with me, when a slight motion out of the corner of my eye turned my head.

Approaching from the nearby bookcase, was the dark horse I saw in the mirror. He didn’t appear nearly as solid as he had before. It almost seemed like a puff of wind could blow him away, his outline shifting as he walked. He walked toward the table and stood at my right side, appearing proud of being noticed. I looked at his face and his attention was directed toward Luna, a smile present but barely visible. A glance toward Luna showed her looking at me, and I realized the question she asked.

“Well,” I paused looking back at him, “I don’t really know him that well, but he seemed to like the name Starlight Dusk when I asked earlier.

“Very few ponies have more than one self.” She started to lecture, having finished her food while Starlight seated himself at my side. “Fewer still have the ability to make them appear in physical form. It is no wonder you were invited to dinner.”

“She only just arrived to Equestria this afternoon.” Celestia chimed in, “She is adapting quite well I think, but we will need to find a way of helping her adjust. It appears she can’t go back home for a while, perhaps indefinitely.”

I barely took another bite of my sandwich, half eaten now before setting it down slowly as my food sat I my mouth. I started to chew again out of habit as I dwelled on the word ‘indefinitely.’ The severity of the situation started to sink in. If this is not a dream, then that means I’d lose my job, my apartment I had worked so hard to regain after all the hardship I endured. Even my games and books I never touched suddenly came to mind and I wouldn’t be able to play or read them again.

“Fear not little pony,” Celestia said in a comforting voice, “you likely won’t find your stay here nearly so sad. There is much here that you can gain and learn from, if you wish it.”

“Quite,” Luna nodded, “if you can't return home, you may miss the things you had, but you can still choose whether to enjoy what is around you while you can. And if it's any consolation,” she added in a quieter voice, “I know what it's like to not return home, but always hold out hope that you will be able. Until that day comes, live each day.”

I nodded quietly, my ability to think muted. Motion to my right showed Starlight giving a broad wink before getting up from the table and walking away from it, gradually fading from view.

“It’s about time sister.” Luna said to Celestia.

“Yes it is. Would you like to come watch Meadow Dawn? We are about to move the sun and moon together, as we had for a long time.”

“But, the sun where we see it is where it was eight and a half minutes ago!” I said surprised, “How-”

“Come.” Celestia replied as she had before, the two of them chuckling at my comments.

I got up and walked down the stairs, grabbing the remainder of my food and floated it along with me, munching as we walked. I barely managed to finish the sandwich before we turned left into a broad archway that lead to a wide stone balcony.

“Wow…” I quietly spoke as I saw the landscape. Green fields extended a great deal out along rolling hills, trees visible in the distance, and when I looked down, an extensive hedge maze that appeared well maintained could be seen.

Their chuckles could be heard once again, and a gust of air whipped past my ears as they opened their wings, walking past me. Their horns started to glow their respective colors, Luna’s being a dark navy blue as the sun started to glow with Celestia’s golden hue. Before my eyes, the sun started to set far more quickly than my logic or science could explain. Simultaneously, the moon rose at the same place, and eventually took the place of the sun in the sky, shining more brightly than I would have expected in the night, with stars dotting the sky around it radiantly.

Celestia and luna folded their wings and turned to face me, Celestia needing to raise a hoof to her mouth as she yawned. She walked over to her sister and gave her a hug before walking to my right side, looking back at me.

“Well? Was that eight and a half minutes ago little filly?” She chuckled. “Come now, it’s time for you to get a good night’s rest and a fresh start tomorrow.”

“Indeed. You and I will have much to discuss, when you are ready.” Luna nodded, walking past and leaving me alone on the balcony until Celestia came back with a guard.

The white stallion bowed in my direction, his blue mane with purple highlights draped across his neck before he stood up again and walked toward the hallway. Not wanting to be left behind, I quickly went to his side and followed him down the series of halls until he stopped in front of one of the many doors.

“Here you are madam Dawn, rest well until morning.” He said, letting me enter into the room before quietly closing the door behind me with his hoof.

I looked around the room, seeing the nightstand next to an impossibly large bed, three times as long as I would have needed. Looking at it elicited a long yawn and I shook my head, ready to climb in and sleep regardless.

The bed's height being almost chest high doesn't seem to matter as I climbed upward into the bed, collapsing against the stack of pillows. I almost let myself fall asleep when a shiver crawled up my spine. Searching for the corner of the sheets, I clumsily felt them slide out of my way and tried to lay under them, only to slide some of the blankets away in the process. Frustrated and too tired to think clearly, I simply grab the edge of the sheets with my mouth and pulled them over me. Warmth started to reach my limbs as my head sunk into the pillows, and before I could take another deep breath to relax, the room went dark.

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