• Published 7th Aug 2016
  • 6,146 Views, 302 Comments

Sunset Past the Horizon - Ponealone



Things happen when Anon-a-miss doesn't fess up. Good things and bad things, but mostly bad things.

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Chapter 3: Calm

The patchy grey sky dusted the scenery with snow until the silver clouds parted and revealed a glimpse of bright sunlight. Sunset had the best night's rest she had in a while. She hopped out of bed and watched the snowy scene visible from her window. A dove landed on her windowsill and took off again. Sunset smiled as the sunlight on her face left her feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. However, she was unsure how exactly she should take on the day. With nothing school related to complete, no errands or chores in imminent need of attention, and no friends to spend the holidays with, she found herself feeling at a loss for what to do with her free time. With a pensive look she paced her room trying to decide on something to do. Her eyes drifted to the commemorative Wondercolts calendar tacked on the back of her bedroom door. This Saturday was circled in red with the words Sleepover @ Applejack’s. Her pace slowed as sudden feelings of emptiness crept into her gut and she felt the urge to cry.

“No! I was having a good day! Why can't I stop thinking about them?” She yelled in frustration, tore the calendar down, and violently hurled it in the small office trash bin next to her door.

She brought both hands to her face. “I really need to do something to get my mind off of this.”

Sunset rubbed her eyes, no tears. “Okay, I decided. I'm going out for breakfast.”

She quickly finished her morning routine and was out the door.

* * *

Sunset stood before a colorful establishment reading The Sweet Shoppe. This pastry shop was the favorite hang out spot of her former friends and Pinkie's place of employment. Sunset figured she might as well eat here for the last time, since after winter break officially begins for the rest of CHS the girls will be practically living here. A bell rings as she enters.

“Welcome to The Sweet Shoppe what can I get you,” a monotonous voice greeted.

“Maud? You work here?”

“Yes.” A long uncomfortable silence followed.

“Er well, anyways I'll have a croissant, a bear claw, an apple fr- I mean cupca- I mean scone and a small coffee,” she stammered. Being in the building was already making her nostalgic, no need to overdo it.

Maud prepared Sunset's order. “That will be seven dollars.”

Sunset paid in exact change.

“Thank you. Have a nice day. I left you something extra,” Maud deadpanned.

“Thanks Maud.” Sunset left the shop.

Holding her bag of pastries and her black coffee Sunset looked both ways down the sidewalk before picking a direction to go. After walking for a bit she ended up at a small park. She sat down on a bench and balanced her coffee precariously on the narrow armrest. Absentmindedly, she opened the bag of pastries and grabbed something cold and hard.

Huh, must have gotten something stale. Oh well, I paid for it might as well eat it. Sunset rose the fist sized igneous rock to her mouth.

“Sunset? Why are you eating a rock?” a deep voice asked from her immediate right.

“A what?” Sunset realized she was holding a rock to her mouth. “Oh, I thought that croissant was kinda heavy.” She sat the rock down on the bench.

“You feeling alright?”

“Yeah I'm fine.” Sunset looked at the ground. “What are you doing at the park Flash?”

“Just getting some fresh air.” Flash took a drag on his cigarette. “Mind if I sit with you?”

Sunset tossed the rock off of the bench startling some birds. “Sure.” Flash flicked his cigarette out in a public ashtray and took a seat.

“So how did things go with Principal Celestia yesterday?” Sunset asked.

Flash frowned. “She kept quiet when I gave her my story, then she got scary when she lectured me about the fight. She said that we should have gone to her instead of me taking matters into my own hands. I think she was right.”

“Flash... you handled the situation just fine. Don't worry so much.”

“No you don't get it.” Flash paused. “Gilda, she's in a coma.” Flash starred at the ground and sighed.

Sunset held her hands to her mouth in shock and gasped.

“Yeah, I actually found out about it last night when I went to go delete mystable. Word got around that she's in a coma with a broken nose, fractured skull, and a severe concussion. I feel really bad about it. I keep replaying it in my head. When she punched me I should have just grabbed you and ran. I don't know what came over me, I've never done anything like that before. Now, because of me there's a girl in the hospital and if she never wakes up then that makes me a murderer.” Flash clutched his head and rested his elbows on his knees.

Sunset put a hand on his shoulder. “No Flash. You didn't do anything wrong, she did. You were only trying to protect me. If you hadn't intervened when you did, I could be the one in a coma right now.”

“Sunset...” Flash sat back up. His eyes looked watery.

“You hungry? Want a pastry?” She held out the bag of baked goods.

“Maybe a little. Rip me off part of that frosted thing.”

Sunset tore off half of the pastry and handed it over. “That's a bear claw. I think it's called that because of the shape.” She took a bite of the other half still in her hand. “Mmm.”

“Thanks, and that's a weird name for a baked thing. 'Frosted raisin breakfast thing' is what I would have named it.” Flash bit in to the strangely shaped pastry.

Sunset giggled at his name suggestion. “You're such a dork.”

They ate in silence. Sunset watched some doves peck at the rock she threw earlier and broke them off some crumbs to apologize. They flocked to peck at the flakey bits at Sunset's feet. She washed down the last bit of her pastry with her black coffee. “Ugh bitter.” She wished that she remembered to get some cream and sugar on the way out of the Sweet Shoppe.

Clearing her throat Sunset resumed the conversation. “So, what else did Principal Celestia say? Did you switch schools?”

Flash hastily chewed and swallowed. “Yeah. Celestia was going to suspend me. I asked her about switching schools, but she didn't like that idea. She said I was a good student and she didn't want to lose me, but after I showed her my mystable messages she changed her mind. She said she's gonna talk me up to Principal Cinch.”

“Well I'm glad you got in.” Sunset smiled.

“Thanks.”

“You know, It's not totally guaranteed that I'm getting in right?” Sunset said.

“What do you mean?” Flash looked concerned.

“My grades haven't been the best.”

“What? Seriously? But you're like crazy smart.”

“Yeah, so smart that I didn't bother wasting time on grades when I could have been plotting world domination.” She sighed. “I got an A on everything ever since the fall formal, but I still have mostly C's.”

“Don't worry Sunset. I don't think Principal Celestia would let you down.”

“Yeah you're right. She wouldn't.”

The flock of doves at Sunset's feet flew off.

“This all just feels really weird doesn't it? Like this is all a really big change y'know?” Flash said.

“Yeah. A big change...” Sunset trailed off looking at the sky and sipping her coffee.

A gentle gust of wind rolled through Sunset's gilded crimson hair jostling it to the side. Clouds passed in front of the sun casting some comfortable shade over the park. Sunset took a moment to appreciate the serenity of the weekday morning in the park.

“Sunset?” Flash broke the silence.

“Yeah?”

“I've been wondering. Like, you're from another dimension right?”

“Yeah.”

“How come you didn't go back? I mean weren't your friends the reason you stayed here?”

“I was wondering the same thing actually.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I last left Equestria I stole a powerful magical artifact that belonged to royalty and tried to use it to take over the world. If I go back home I'll be punished for it. I mean, someday I'll go back and answer for my crimes, but I don't feel like I'm prepared for it yet. On the other hand there really isn't much here for me in this world. I guess I could try to live here for a while longer, but what's the point? All my friends are gone. Sorry, I'm rambling, it's just been on my mind a lot.”

“Not ALL of your friends are gone, I'm still here.” Flash smiled.

“Thanks Flash.” She playfully leaned against him.

“Hey, y'know I really like this new you way better than the old you.” Flash grinned.

“You better.” She nudged him with her shoulder.

“Hey, Sunset.”

“Hey, Flash.”

“What were you gonna ask me yesterday before Gilda interrupted us?”

Sunset's face turned red. “I-I was just going to ask you if... if you maybe wanted to do something sometime?”

“Something sometime? Like a da—”

Sunset suddenly sat up straight. “Oh which reminds me. I need your number again. Do you have something to write with?”

“Uh... yeah actually.” He pulled a miniature permanent marker out from his coat pocket.

Sunset tore off a piece of the pastry bag. “Here write it on this.” Flash wrote down his phone number from memory.

“Cool, now all I need is a phone. So, um what do ya say?” Sunset stood up and put the scrap in the back pocket of her jeans.

Flash also stood up. “I'd love doing 'something sometime' with you. Is right now a good time?”

“Right now is perfect.” Sunset beamed.

“Got anything in mind?”

“How about the mall? I need a new phone.”

“Sounds good. You totally could have asked me to mow your lawn or do your taxes and I'd still say yes. Just sayin'. I'm totally desperate for things to do this break.”

“Careful, I might take you up on that offer.”

Author's Note:

Don't eat rocks.

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