• Published 5th Jun 2012
  • 8,437 Views, 224 Comments

Twidark - Isseus

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The Dreams In The Witch House

"Mie ni maingiliano chebuka
Mwangu makao nakukumbuka

Hisia wa utungu yangu mwa kifua
Zangu kumbukizi ni thubutu tulifufua

Tabasamu za changu mzazi
Kivuli za changu mnazi"

From somewhere around her drifted the words of a somber singer. The words were unfamiliar to her, but the tone suggested longing and deep sorrow. There was something prickly pushing up against her stomach, and her nose picked up a multitude of unfamiliar scents.

What the hay?

"Hay to you too."

Who am I?

"Still the same old Twilight Sparkle it seems."

Where am I?

"Must be Zecora´s."

How did we get here?

"You tell me. I was asleep."

Should I open my eyes?

"Maybe."

Will I regret it?

"Most definitely."

With a small groan, she forced her eyes open. She was laying on her stomach. Under her was a coarse mattress, weaved from some strong reed, dyed dark gray. Around her was only the dim darkness of a room with no windows. She could barely make out the shapes of some ornate masks and other such instruments on the walls.

Yup. Definitely Zecora´s hut. Last thing I remember was outside in the forest and ... what? What actually happened? I remember sitting under a tree, and then having a long look at myself from someone else´s eyes. I didn´t like what I saw either. So does that mean that I´m alone again?

"Nope. Sorry to dissapoint you. I´m still here with you. Oh and by the way. Get some food. Now."

She could hardly argue with the empty pit in her stomach. The only problem was that getting up would require using more energy. Energy which she found she was lacking.

Should I call for her?

"Do what you must. Just get us some food. "

Wouldn´t I be indebted to her for asking food? By your logic wouldn´t that make me weaker?

"You´d just be using her for your own advantage."

That´s ... kind of a horrible thought.

"Well horrible or not, do you have a choice?"

"H-Hello? Zecora?"

The singing stopped as she raised her voice. She couldn´t help noticing that the sound she made was raspy and dry. Soon the curtain in front of her was pulled away, flooding the room with restful yellow light. At the door stood the familiar zebra. Her eyes were filled with worry, and she soon leaned towards the mare on her floor.

"Well good morning to you dear!
you not waking up was I starting to fear.

"Umm yes. Thanks. Umm—"

"Speak up you poor thing
Is there anything I can bring?"

"Well ... could I get some water maybe? And a bite to eat?"

"All you had to do was ask.
I will gladly complete that task."

She returned a moment later, setting a wide earthen bowl filled with water in front of Twilight. Without waiting, the thristy unicorn started lapping the water up greedily. The water was slightly brown, and had a slight taste of dirt and metal, but for her it tasted like a piece of heaven. After finishing it she could only lie on her stomach and pant.

The water felt like it was burning in her stomach, trying to melt its way out through her skin. Her legs started convulsing as if someone had given her a shock.

POISON! She poisoned you!

She curled up like a ball, not even in control of her own body. The agony got worse and worse, until finally she felt bile rising through her throat. It was an old mare´s tale that ponies could not vomit, which she disproved all over the floor. She was shocked to see the water she had just drunk had turned a reddish colour in her digestion. The red colour of blood.

"Oh my this will simply not do.
Please tell me what has happened to you?

It is clear that you are badly hurt
Your condition we must quickly revert

Why is it that you bring forth blood
And in it almost my whole hut flood?"

"I´m ... sor ... ry." Was all she could say. her teeth were rattling together and she almost bit her own tongue. "Help ... me ..."

"Be not sorry, for you are ill
Help you out of course I will.

Let me think, there must be a reason
Is it something that comes with this dry season?

Have you eaten your fill of healthy food?
Maybe in drinking have you eschewed?"

"Only ... cof ... fee."

"You´ve drunk only coffee, is that so?
If you cannot answer, just nod your head low"

Twilight nodded a few times, every movement causing her vision to spin.

"Then we are lucky, I have just the cure
to a stomach-wound it works. that I assure"

She left Twilight on the floor. The unicorn had never felt this sick. Even as a foal the worst she´d suffered were a few ill stomachs and the occasional flu. What was Zecora talking about? A wound in her stomach? How could coffee cause this?

While she was still wondering, the zebra returned. The unicorn felt something get stuffed inside her mouth.

"For this trouble we need not a brew.
Only a few leaves must you now chew"

Twilight bravely chewed on the leaves. It felt like she was eating soap. After a few bites she was frothing at the mouth, but kept on chewing. Every now and again she swallowed the foam, and after a few mouthful the leaves didn´t produce any more. Somehow the bubbly mess she had gotten down was soothing her stomach, and she finally felt her legs relax.

"That ... was amazing. The pain is almost completely gone. What did I just eat?"

"A leaf of a plant from far to the South.
Espinheira Santa did you have in our mouth.

"I´ve never even heard of this plant. It cured me in just a minute?"

"It treated the pain that is for sure
But it is too early to call it a cure"

You must continue with your treatment
one leaf daily for a week for this ailment."

"Thank you. But that was not the reason I came here. I´m ... actually in a lot of trouble and I need your help."

"Even worse than a coffee wound, do I rightly understand?
Can It wait for a moment, and I´ll clean this mess at hand?"

"Oh yeah. I´m sorry ... of course."

"If you wish it so, go outside.
nearby does a small spring hide.

"To wash myself up. Got it."

Without further ado she left to wash herself of her indignation and indigestion.


After a few minutes they were seated inside Zecora´s kitchen. Twilight had gotten down a small bowl of porridge without any complications.

"So let me get this straight, make sure I understand
Your horn is broken and your headache you can´t stand?"

"And I´m already late for a very important job that I have to complete today, or else Ponyville might get flushed away. Or it might actually have, I don´t know. All I know is that I´m the only one strong enough to do what´s needed, and I promised everyone to help out."

"You do realise you are in no condition
to take on yourself such a mission?"

"Of course I do! But If I DON´T, the repercussion will be catastrophic!"

Zecora only sat in silence for a while. She kept looking into Twilight´s eyes intently, as if looking inside her head. The unicorn didn´t like the stare one bit, but was determined to return it and not show any signs of weakness. This went on for a long while, until finally Zecora was first to look away.

"Help you I can, but on a strict condition
after the work is done I place on you an inhibition

For one week must you not use any magic
Or the results will be truly tragic."

"A week with no magic? After I fix the dam? What if there is an emergency? What If I´m the only one who can help?"

She heard a voice at the back of her head. It was trying to say something to her, but she blocked it out.

"These are my terms that you must follow.
negotiating about them is a task most hollow"

After a moment Twilight had to give up. She was desperate, and needed herself at full power, even if it meant a week of no magic.

I can even think of it as a learning experience! Living the earth pony way 101!

... Who am I kidding? It´ll be awful. Still, how is she going to fix my horn? I´ve never heard of any treatments that could repair a broken unicorn horn, except a long rest without using magic. Sometimes for ... months. And this is for the greater good...

Somewhere in her skull ricocheted the empty laughter of some being she didn´t care to listen to right now.

"WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT THE BUCK UP!"

She got a very concerned stare from a startled zebra, who´d dropped a few bottles from a shelf.

"Did ... I just say that out loud?"

Zecora gave her a slow nod. Her stare was burning holes into Twilight´s skull.

"It´s just that ... erm ... the ... birds outside are quite loud and ... my headache? Owwww. See? it hurts?" She rubbed her head and tried to give Zecora a convincing smile.

Her only answer was another nod, this one even slower than the last one.

"Nice save there. Didn´t know you were such a smooth liar."

Twilight tried to use her most reassuring smile. She didn´t pull it quite as well as she thought ... mostly because her ear had started twitching once again.

I´m NOT going to mess this thing up just because I´m not 100% behind this idea, you hear me?

"Are we a democracy now? How many votes do I get?"

None.

"Sheesh. Cheapskate."

I think you should shut up now.

"I think you should eat some cake."

I hate you!

"That´s called self-loathing."

"I´m sorry Zecora. The birds were distracting me a bit. Could you say that again?"

The zebra looked at her, seemingly deep in thought. Twilight felt herself starting to sweat.

"Is this where we run? Might be best. You never know with these foreigners—"

She´s my friend! How dare you ... I ... think of her as a foreigner?

"Well ... because she is?"

But that´s not how I think!

"You USUALLY don´t. But now that Miss Superego is not here with her high horse, you get to hear the second opinion."

I´d NEVER discriminate someone based on where they´re from.

"Horseapples. Tell that to the changelings."

She´s not a monster! I trust her!

"Don´t! She´ll just betray you, just like your other so-called ´friends` did."

Not this again!

"Never gonna let you up—"

During this whole internal monologue, the zebra pharmacist had just looked at her friend. The nervous twitches and shifty eyes on the mare were quite unnerving. Shaking her head she decided to go against her better judgement and trust her.

"First off is your headache, the reason is clear
your neck is the source of the pain, i fear.

I give you for it a relaxing herb
take it in the evening, you´ll sleep superb

For a librarian there is a nasty hook
don´t strain your neck, or read a book."

"No books and no magic for a week? That´s ... that´s ..."

What other options do you have?

"And it´s not like you can´t pick up something light to read, as long as you don´t strain yourself, right?"

You support reading?

"You like doing it, so I like doing it too."

"... doable. I guess."

"For your shattered horn I have a secret pill.
Only once can you use it, lest all go downhill

For one day can you put your magic to work
And only for that day, or you go berserk."

I´ll go mad if I use more than one? What is she going to feed me?

"She´s not feeding us anything! We´re NOT taking something like that! Zebra poisons!"

But if we don´t, the town—

"Buck the town! You can´t save anyone as a vegetable!"

Well I won´t take it immediately. It´s better to have more options, right?

"Well ... that´s true I guess."

She could only nod. Zecora started preparing several pouches of herbs for her.

First there were the leaves for her stomach.

The next bag was filled with some brown roots and leaves, which she recognized as chamomile and hops.

Those are probably for my neck.

"Or making you sleep so deep that she can steal all your books while you sleep?"

Isn´t that a little bit too paranoid, even for you?

"Paranoia is my middle name."

How can it be your middle name if your whole name is ID?

"I Paranoia D. There. You happy now?"

Last the zebra walked to a shelf and took a small brown glass jar from there. Inside were only a few large pills, all uniquely wrapped. She took one and put it inside the last pouch.

"Thank you Zecora. With these I´ll be able to go on for just one more day. I hope that´ll be enough."

As she turned to leave she felt the zebra seize her by the shoulder.

"Day is all you get, enough or not
Try any more and your brain will rot

In you I´m not sure I should trust
But in this situation I guess I must.

If you´ve told me a lie, I do not joke
I will feed to you some poison oak!"

Those ominous words kept turning in Twilight´s head as she started her trek back to town.