• Published 25th Mar 2017
  • 404 Views, 2 Comments

But It's Her Birthday... - jkbrony



Pinkie knows that some days can be dark and lonely, but she also knows that the day will never come in which a young filly's birthday goes uncelebrated. That is, until it does...

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The Day the Parties Died...

Pinkie Pie’s unconscious body sprang to life as the dawn cast light upon her eyes. She hastily whisked herself out of bed, purged her body of drowsiness through a few quick stretches, and within only a matter of seconds, she recalled what she had on her agenda for the day. On this day, like so many before it, another expectant young filly would be the recipient of a birthday party hosted by none other than the most famous party planner in Ponyville.

The party profile had been seared into Pinkie’s mind from the moment the party had been scheduled: Violet Wisp. Pegasus. Will be eleven years old. Prefers pie over cake, specifically fresh-baked lemon meringue pie. Also desires vanilla cupcakes with pink-and-white frosting. Drink of choice is chocolate milk. Does not care much for streamers, but loves confetti, so party favors should definitely include confetti poppers. Wants balloon animals for the guests and desires to wear a large crown of balloons for the duration of the party. The party’s location will be the Wisp residence and will begin at noon with a guest expectancy of around thirty.

Pinkie delved straight into work, enlisting Gummy’s aid as she fired up the ovens of Sugarcube Corner and began baking the lemon meringue pie and the cupcakes. From a storage closet, she pulled out two small crates, within which totaled thirty bottles of chocolate milk. She loaded her party cannon with a newly-opened package of confetti, two packages of thin, twistable balloons, and a numerous supply of party hats and party favors. Once her baking had finished, she loaded the pie and the cupcakes onto a food cart along with the two crates of chocolate milk, then she grabbed her party cannon and headed for the party with half an hour to spare.

Pinkie’s hooves skipped excitedly down the roads of Ponyville, greatly anticipating the delighted look on Violet Wisp’s face when she realized that all of her party requests had been met. It was the look that Pinkie had come to expect with each and every birthday party she hosted—the look that gave her the satisfaction of knowing that she had done her absolute best to make a young filly or colt’s party better than they could have possibly hoped for; the look that let Pinkie know she had exceeded expectations as the premier party planner of Ponyville.

As she strode up to the Wisp residence and knocked on the door, Pinkie expected to see a number of eager faces peering through the front window, or hear the muffled shouts of joy from excited fillies and colts on the other side of the door at the arrival of Ponyville’s famous party pony. But no faces came to the window, nor was there anything but silence coming from the other side of the door. Continued knocks did not call forth any life from inside, and as Pinkie looked through the front window, she noticed that the house was entirely dark.

Pinkie scratched beneath her chin, eyebrow cocked. Something was surely amiss here. She was certain she had arrived at the correct house—it was the same house Violet Wisp’s party had been held the previous year. She was just as certain that today was the date of Violet Wisp’s birthday—again, it was the same date on which she had arrived at this doorstep last year. So how was it that nopony was home?

“Hi, Pinkie!” a friendly voice sounded off from behind her.

Pinkie spun around to see Berry Punch standing in the yard of the house across from the Wisp residence, watering the flowers in her front garden.

“Afternoon, Berry Punch!” Pinkie greeted back, trotting over. “Say, you wouldn’t happen to know where the Wisp family is, would you? Violet Wisp was supposed to be having her birthday party today, but it doesn’t look like they’re here.”

Berry’s friendly smile suddenly vanished, and she now looked as though she regret calling out to Pinkie.

“Oh, was she?” she said apprehensively, then exhaled a sigh. “Well, since her parents didn’t tell you, I guess it falls on me. A little over two weeks ago, Violet Wisp was in a really bad flight accident. She’s alive, but...she’s fallen into a coma.”

Pinkie instinctively lurched backward in disbelief, but she stared at Berry Punch with a degree of skepticism as though under the impression that this were some particularly unfunny joke.

“No!” she cried, shaking her head. “That can’t be!”

“I’m afraid it’s true,” replied Berry with a grim nod. “If her parents aren’t here, I suppose you’ll find them at Ponyville General.”

“Oh,” Pinkie said silently after a brief pause, during which she realized that the grim tone of Berry Punch's voice did not suggest that she was joking. “Thank you.”

Pinkie was so thoroughly stunned that she barely noticed her hooves beginning to carry her in the direction of the hospital while she continued to tow her party cannon, absentmindedly leaving the cart of baked goods at the doorstep of the Wisp residence. This was an unprecedented event, to be sure. Never before had Pinkie shown up at the location of a party, only to find no party. Never before had she received news that the recipient of one of her parties had been hospitalized before the party could take place. But of course Berry Punch had to be mistaken. No child could possibly be stuck in the hospital on their own birthday. There was not a single force in the entire universe, knowable or unknowable, which could permit that to happen.

After a fifteen-minute slow and silent walk, Pinkie eventually pushed her party cannon through the hospital doors and approached the reception desk.

“Do you know if Violet Wisp is here?” she asked, her normally-enthusiastic voice sounding entirely mellow.

The bespectacled receptionist glanced up at Pinkie, raised an eyebrow at her party cannon, then searched briefly through a list on her desk.

“Violet Wisp....uhhh….room 117,” she answered. “However, I don’t think that...er...cannon of yours will be necessary. In fact, I’m pretty sure we don’t even allow—”

But Pinkie had started walking again as soon as she had heard the room number, still towing the cannon along as though she expected to find an entourage of fillies and colts in Violet Wisp’s hospital room just waiting for the party to arrive. The receptionist watched her disappear down the hallway, appearing thoroughly concerned as to what Pinkie intended to do with the cannon and wondering whether or not she should notify security.

Pinkie found room 117 in minutes, and after knocking soundlessly upon the door, she stepped inside without waiting for a reply. The faces of two distraught parents, Beaming Wisp and Willow Wisp, looked up at once, both of whom were seated near the hospital bed, upon which an unconscious Violet Wisp lay motionlessly. Upon a table beneath window stood over two dozen get-well-soon cards, positioned in a horizontal row, no doubt sent by the very fillies and colts who were to attend her party.

“Oh, umm, hello Pinkie Pie,” said Willow Wisp, wiping away loose tears from her eyes.

Pinkie did not return the greeting. Her throat went numb at the sight of the now eleven-year-old Violet Wisp lying unresponsive in the bed, connected to several machines which provided her comatose body nourishment and water whilst also keeping track of her slowed heart rate. The drained colors of her light blue coat and violet mane were enough to indicate that she had been in this state for quite some time. Pinkie had never been more unsure whether or not she could believe her own eyes. For the first time in her life, as impossible as it was to believe, she was staring at a young filly who was hospitalized on her own birthday.

“We certainly didn’t expect to see you here,” Willow Wisp continued. “Why have you….oh, that’s right. We completely forgot to tell you that the party’s been cancelled.”

“Well, that may be because she had us schedule it the day after Violet's birthday party last year,” noted Beaming Wisp.

“C-cancelled?” Pinkie squeaked in a voice that was as incredulous as it was mournful.

“Well, yes, of course,” said Willow Wisp, wiping away another tear.

“But….but...today’s her birthday,” Pinkie said, her eyes going wide as though she believed that the two of them had forgotten this fact.

“We know that, Pinkie, but does it look like she’s in any condition to celebrate?” asked Beaming Wisp.

Pinkie stared again at the comatose Violet Wisp, who was surely unaware that today was her birthday, surely unaware that she was now a year older than she was the last time she was awake, and showing not even the slightest indication that she would be opening her eyes again anytime soon.

“She...she’s going to wake up, isn’t she?” Pinkie asked, her body trembling.

Willow and Beaming Wisp both fell silent, and the question conjured a fresh stream of tears to run down Willow Wisp’s face.

“She certainly won’t be w—waking up to—today, Pinkie,” she answered shakily.

“But she can’t miss her birthday!” Pinkie cried, advancing towards the bedside and closing her hooves around Violet Wisp’s face. “She’s just got to wake up today!”

“Pinkie, please!” cried Beaming Wisp, immediately pulling her away from the bed. “We don’t want her to miss her birthday any more than you do, but there’s simply nothing we can do about it!”

“Pinkie, I—I think you should go,” Willow Wisp said, now fully in sobs, which had been refreshed at the harsh reminder that her daughter would be missing the only eleventh birthday she would ever have.

“But—”

“I think you should go, too,” said Beaming Wisp sternly, narrowing his eyes. “We appreciate your concern, but we just want to be left alone right now.”

Pinkie looked from Beaming Wisp to Willow Wisp, still lacking any idea what to think or even how to respond to the situation. Without speaking another word, she hung her head, returned to her still-unused party cannon, and exited the room with it.

Once again, Pinkie could barely feel her hooves moving as they carried her past the apprehensive receptionist and back out of the hospital. She was certain that she would never have believed that Violet Wisp was in a coma if she had not seen it herself, but now that she had, life itself no longer seemed to make any sense to her. Surely, fillies as young as Violet were not supposed to miss their own birthdays? Surely, a party was not supposed to be cancelled after it had already been planned? What twisted universe had she woken up into in which both of these things could happen? How could there be nothing anypony could do to wake her up for her special day? As though it had happened as seamlessly as batter rising to become a cake, the entire world now felt as though it had become what Griffonstone used to be—a tragic and unfriendly place with no parties, no singing, and no happiness anywhere in existence.

Pinkie’s mind scrambled for any solution, any possible method that could potentially return Violet Wisp to consciousness again so that she could enjoy her birthday as a filly her age was intended to. Fortunately, it was not long before a brilliant idea flashed brightly through her jumbled thoughts and a wide grin spread across her face as her hope was reignited. Violet Wisp would indeed have her birthday party today, perhaps as soon as the next half hour, and as she sped off at a run, Pinkie was overcome with determination to ensure that it happened. Perhaps the forces of the universe could allow this injustice to stand, but she certainly could not...

****

Pinkie burst through the doors of the Castle of Friendship and sped across the reflective marble floors in a whizzing blur of pink, briefly stopping in each room in search of the princess she had come to see.

“Twilight, Twilight, TWILIGHT!!!!!”

She eventually found the library and came to a sudden stop just inches from a startled Twilight’s face, which had just previously been buried in an old, dusty book of restricted potions.

“Pinkie, as far as your wacky entrances go, it would have been much less terrifying if you had just shown up folded in my book, or tucked into one of my shelves,” Twilight said as she slowly retracted herself, reclaiming her personal space from Pinkie.

“There’s no time for that right now!” Pinkie exclaimed frantically. “I need your help!”

“Okay, just slow down. What’s the matter?” Twilight asked, levitating the old book onto a nearby table.

Pinkie inhaled deeply, and Twilight knew at once that “slowing down” was the opposite of what she was going to do. Her answer going to come out as rapidly as though her tongue were on fire.

“Violet Wisp was supposed to have her birthday party at noon today. I planned the party myself, I made sure to write down everything she wanted, and it was on my schedule, see?”

From out of thin air, Pinkie pulled a small planner notebook and shoved it up to Twilight’s face, pointing directly at the spot where Violet Wisp’s party was mentioned. Twilight could only just barely read the written name before Pinkie tossed the planner aside and continued her rapid speech without so much as a second’s rest.

“I went over to her house, knocked on the door, but nopony was there! Then I heard from Berry Punch that Violet Wisp was in the hospital! The hospital, Twilight!!! On her birthday!!! How, how, how is that even possible?! I didn’t want to believe it, I just couldn’t believe it!!! But I went to the hospital, and there she was! She’s just lying there sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and she won’t wake up, and there’s nothing anypony can do to wake her up! I didn’t know what to do, because she can’t just miss her birthday like that!!! So I just thought maybe if you came see her and cast one of your nifty-wifty spells on her, you might able to wake her up! So, will you, Twilight?! WILL YOU?!?!?!?!”

Pinkie was nose-to-nose with Twilight by the time her speech came to an end.

“Well, Pinkie, it sounds to me like she’s in a coma,” Twilight said, pulling away from Pinkie’s face.

“She is!” Pinkie confirmed with a nod. “You’ve just gotta have a spell that can wake her up again!”

But Twilight sighed solemnly and shook her head, breaking eye contact as she did so.

“I don’t think so, Pinkie.”

“What do you mean you don’t think so?!” Pinkie asked incredulously. “You’ve always had spells for everything!”

“Pinkie, there are many risks associated with using magic for medical purposes,” Twilight explained. “If I looked, I could probably find a spell that would wake her up, but if I were to cast it on her, she wouldn’t be the same anymore. Probably not ever again.”

“What do you mean?” Pinkie asked as her ears folded, realizing that the best possible hope she had for Violet Wisp’s return to consciousness was quickly dissipating.

Twilight hesitated for a moment, then shook her head again.

“Just take my word for it, it’s not a good idea. Worst case scenario, waking her up could even end her life.”

“But….but there has to be something you can do!” Pinkie cried, her tone laced with the sincerest desperation.

“There isn’t, Pinkie,” Twilight said heavily. “Please don’t ask me to try it. I’m not going to tamper with her fragile mind.”

The hopeful enthusiasm that had carried Pinkie to Twilight’s castle had now been siphoned out of her, and her entire body quivered with hopelessness. Suddenly, the task of waking Violet Wisp up for her birthday seemed an impossibility that not even Pinkie herself had the power to overcome.

“Then what am I supposed to do? I can’t just let her miss her birthday, Twilight!” Pinkie exclaimed.

“The best thing you can do is wish her a speedy recovery,” Twilight said sorrowfully. “You just have to accept that she’ll wake up when her mind is ready to wake up. It’s a shame she has to miss her birthday, but maybe you could make up for it by throwing her an even bigger party next year?”

“So...you’re saying she’ll be awake again by her birthday next year?” asked Pinkie.

Twilight bit her lip slightly. “We can only wait and see.”

Pinkie found these words so crushing that her eyes welled up and the cheerful and carefree spirit which kept her mane in an unmanageable poof nearly gave way and deflated it again. Did Twilight truly mean to imply that Violet Wisp could potentially miss more than one birthday?

“Okay,” she said silently, slowly turning to leave the library. “Thanks anyway.”

Twilight watched sorrowfully as Pinkie disappeared from the room. Though she felt that she had done her best to convince her, years of knowing Pinkie Pie told her that she was certainly kidding herself if she thought that Pinkie was going to give up that easily...

****

The third hour past noon ticked by in silence as Pinkie paced around Ponyville, her busy mind once again scrambling for an elusive solution to a dilemma which certainly would not be fixed as easily as she had thought. Her visit with Twilight had only filled her with a greater determination to succeed; it was tragic enough that Violet Wisp was at risk of remaining unconscious throughout her eleventh birthday, but the notion that she could possibly sleep through even more was beyond all reasonable comprehension.

Pinkie found that the more she questioned the situation, the more confused she felt. How could the sanctity of a birthday have been so disrespected on such an unimaginable level? How could the yet uncelebrated date of Violet Wisp’s birth have not been enough to lure her back to consciousness? Surely, there just had to be some way to wake her up safely again….

Pinkie delved deeper into thought as her pacing became more frantic. If Violet Wisp’s mind would be at risk by a spell waking her up, then perhaps the solution was for somepony to transport themselves inside her mind to ready it for waking? And when it came to entering the minds of sleeping fillies, Pinkie knew exactly whom next to turn to….

Her hope reigniting once more, Pinkie sped off in the direction of Ponyville train station, and over the course of an hour, she boarded a train, arrived in Canterlot, and charged her way to the castle. The exterior guards were left without any time to react as Pinkie rushed through the doors and into the throne room where only Princess Celestia sat, placing her signature on various documents but otherwise paying no mind to the pink blur whizzing through her castle as though it was such a commonplace occurrence that it did not warrant even the slightest breach in her attention. Pinkie scoured the castle room-to-room just as she had in Twilight’s castle, only coming to a stop when she finally managed to find the princess she had come to see, who was seated in a deep meditation within a silent room on the castle’s second floor.

“Princess Luna!” Pinkie cried, and Luna’s closed eyes sprang open and she rose to her hooves.

“Pinkie Pie?” Luna said, her face bearing an expression of irritation at being interrupted. “What are you doing here?”

“Please, I need your help, and there’s no time to waste!”

Before Luna could respond, a host of guards suddenly arrived in the doorway, having followed the trail of the mysterious pink blur which they had apparently perceived as a potential threat. But upon seeing Pinkie standing in the room, they all left to return to their posts without a word, some of them groaning or shaking their heads in annoyance.

“Help with what?” Luna asked once the guards were gone.

Like before, Pinkie explained the situation with the same fiery speed by which she had zipped through the castle, this time including the fact that she had gone to Twilight, who had been unable to help her.

“If she’s sleeping, then she must be dreaming, too, right?” Pinkie asked at the end of her speech. “So maybe you could go into her dream and get her to wake up, couldn’t you?”

Luna stared at Pinkie silently for a few seconds, bearing a stiff and serious expression on her face which immediately left Pinkie’s hopes dampened.

“I’m afraid I must decline,” Luna said grimly.

“But why?!” Pinkie cried, her heart sinking as these words drained her restored hope.

“To be as clear as I can, a mind that is sleeping is not the same as a mind that is locked in a suspended state of unconsciousness,” answered Luna.

“Well, what’s different about it?!”

“That is not an easy question to answer, Pinkie, and the answer is not pleasant, either,” said Princess Luna.

But Pinkie’s desperation was heightened, and she sincerely desired to know why yet another surefire solution she had thought up was instead being extinguished. She stared at Luna coldy, indicating that she had no intention of leaving without an answer, regardless of how unpleasant it may be.

“It’d be more effective to show than to tell,” Luna said hesitantly. “Come with me.”

Pinkie kept pace with Luna’s slow strides as she led her up to the third floor of the castle. They strolled down a narrow hallway, and midway through, Luna opened a door on her left and stepped into a small guest bedroom.

“Lie down,” she commanded, indicating towards the bed.

“What are you going to do?” asked Pinkie as she walked into the room, thoroughly clueless as to what this would accomplish.

“I am going to transport you into the dream of Violet Wisp,” replied Luna. “It will be possible to awaken her from her comatose state while you are there, and I leave that choice up to you. But I do ask that you take in everything you see around you before you make your choice.”

Desperate as she was to return Violet Wisp to consciousness, Pinkie felt no sense of satisfaction at Luna’s words. She silently tucked herself into the bed, then watched as Luna closed her eyes while her horn simultaneously went alight. Within only seconds, an encompassing drowsiness fell so deeply over Pinkie that she found it thoroughly impossible to keep her eyes open. She felt herself floating into complete peace and bliss, and momentarily drifted into the fastest sleep that had ever taken hold of her.

When her eyes opened again, she found her surroundings dominated by a cloudy fog so thick that she could barely see as far as four feet in front of her. Everything had gone silent, and the dense air seemed to cup over Pinkie’s ears, giving her the impression that sound itself did not exist in this mysterious place.

“Hello?!” Pinkie called out, partly for the sake of proving whether or not it was possible to hear herself. But she was almost surprised to find that her voice indeed sounded off normally—echoless and properly pitched.

No response followed her call, and Pinkie was quickly overcome with an unpleasant loneliness comparable to the belief that she was the only pony in the world. She took a few steps forward, but only then did she realize that the foundation beneath her hooves did not seem to be any solid surface. The ground was light and empty, almost as though she were walking on air.

As Luna had advised, Pinkie took in everything around her as she advanced, but the fog never dissipated, nor did it produce any solid forms or signs of life. There was simply nothing to see except the fog itself. If this were indeed a dream, it was certainly not a very exciting one. There was not even so much as a single mound of frosting in sight…

Pinkie continued to trot through the emptiness, calling out every thirty seconds in the hope she would receive a response, but nothing emerged from the fog. After a while, she stopped and spun slowly in place, attempting to gain any sort of bearing she could as to where she was or how far she had already walked. But there was simply no way of knowing, and it seemed as though this room was just as likely to be looping around endlessly as it was to be as wide and as vast as the sky itself.

No amount of walking managed to yield anything from the opaque fog, but just before Pinkie gave up hope that she would find anything, she finally noticed a tiny mass just ahead of her, so small that she needed to squint her eyes to ensure that it was really there. She charged towards it without a moment’s hesitation, her eyes intensely focused as though she believed that the mass would vanish if she allowed it to slip from her sight. As she drew nearer, she realized that its outline appeared to match that of a seated filly. It was not until she was only feet away that the filly’s face surfaced into view, and Pinkie came to sudden halt as she stared into the empty eyes of an entirely gray and darkened Violet Wisp.

The young filly appeared entirely emotionless, and her coat, mane, tail, and eyes lacked any presence of color. She exhibited no reaction to Pinkie’s sudden arrival; her eyes, though fully opened, seemed completely sightless as they stared emptily at the fog in front of her without moving or even blinking. Pinkie slowly waved a hoof in front of her face, but even this did not inspire a reaction from her.

“Violet Wisp?” she said silently, but to no reaction. Evidently, Violet's perked ears did not alert her to any sounds either.

Pinkie tilted her head in curiosity. She appeared to be as good as invisible to Violet Wisp, and if that were the case, then surely the only way she could be woken up was by physical contact. Pinkie slowly raised a hoof to touch her, but set it down again just seconds later. The prospect of waking Violet up no longer seemed like a sound decision. Instead, it seemed like one of the most foolish mistakes Pinkie could possibly make. As though she had just been struck in the face with a hot cream pie, the despondent appearance of Violet Wisp finally allowed Pinkie to understand exactly what all of this meant. The cloudy, foggy emptiness of this place was merely a representation of the diminished activity of Violet’s mind. The unfortunate filly was left sitting here because it was the only option available to her—to await clarity, await color, and await life….

Pinkie bit her lip dolefully, knowing that she could not bring herself to wake Violet up while her mind was suspended in this bleak state of inactiveness. At long last, she would have to admit that there was indeed nothing that could be done, that Violet Wisp would be missing her eleventh birthday, that she had failed her...

Pinkie closed her eyes and turned away, her ears sinking low, her jovially puffed-up hair deflating. Bitter tears had only begun to trickle down her cheeks by the time she felt herself being pulled back to reality, and when her eyes opened again, she was lying back in the bed from which her brief excursion had commenced, staring up into the stern face of Princess Luna.

“You did the right thing, Pinkie Pie,” Luna said silently. “Waking her up would have left her in that state for the rest of her life. Emotionless. Living, but not truly alive.”

Pinkie’s dry eyes welled up just as they had in the dream, and she removed herself from the bed.

“Is….is she going to be like that forever?” she asked, almost unwilling to hear the answer.

Luna paused a moment before answering. “Time will tell, but recovery is not impossible, nor would I say it is even unlikely. Either way, this birthday shall pass her by. There’s nothing that can be done about it.”

Pinkie nodded somberly in acceptance, then removed herself from the bed.

“Thanks, Princess Luna,” she said silently, and Luna simply nodded once in response.

Pinkie exited the room in a slow stride, her head hung, ears lowered, the image of the colorless Violet Wisp scorning her thoughts, and harboring feelings of failure unlike which she had ever felt before.

****

Evening had long sunk in by the time Pinkie was pulling a second lemon meringue pie out of the oven and setting it alongside three new freshly-baked cupcakes, replacing the baked goods which were had been left to stale as they waited all day at the doorstep of the Wisp residence for the party that never occurred. She had spent the return train ride to Ponyville in utter silence, staring out the window while tears muddled her eyesight, and decided that if she could not wake Violet Wisp up again, the least she could do was fulfill as many of her party requests as was possible. A pointless gesture perhaps, but one that would serve to alleviate Pinkie’s failure if only tiny bit—one that would that would at least let her know that she had managed to fulfill her duty as Ponyville’s premier party planner, even under these wildly unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances.

For the second time, she loaded the requested party items onto her food cart, then set out for the hospital, this time without her party cannon. She did not bother stopping at the reception desk as she entered, at which sat a different receptionist than the one she had spoken to earlier, but one who still eyed her with skepticism as she walked past.

Pinkie arrived quickly at Room 117, but unlike last time, she awaited an answer to her knock before stepping inside.

“Pinkie Pie?” Willow Wisp said after opening the door, instantly throwing her a look of sincerest unwelcome. “Please, we don’t want you to be here right now.”

“I’m not going to try to wake her up,” Pinkie replied. “Please, I just want to see her for a quick minute, and then I’ll go.”

Willow Wisp hesitated, glanced down curiously at the cart, then reluctantly stepped out of the way to grant Pinkie entry against what she felt was her better judgement. Beaming Wisp also shot Pinkie an unwelcome glare as she walked into the room, which was enough to let her know that he would not tolerate her doing anything rash. Pinkie declined to tell them about her brief trip into Violet’s mind, both to spare them the pain of knowing just how bleak their daughter's condition seemed, and also to spare herself their anger at having made another attempt to awaken her without their consent.

Pinkie gradually approached the bed and took a long look at Violet Wisp, fully in-color with her eyes firmly shut, unlike her subconscious counterpart. She then picked up the slim balloons on her cart, blew them up, hastily twisted them into a crown-like shape, and gently placed the crown upon Violet’s head. She then removed the three chocolate cupcakes with pink-and-white frosting and placed them on a small table next to the bed, following it up with a single bottle of chocolate milk. Finally, she removed the lemon meringue pie and set it neatly upon the table as well, then took a hoofful of confetti and lightly sprinkled it over the bed.

“There, that’s all I can give you,” Pinkie said, smiling as a tear rolled down her face. “Happy birthday.”

Stunned silent, Willow Wisp and Beaming Wisp only watched as Pinkie took the now-empty cart and turned to leave the room, wiping at her leaking eyes as she walked.

Perhaps next year, Violet Wisp would be fully conscious and full of energy once more, greatly anticipating her twelfth birthday. Or perhaps next year, she would still be lying unconscious in bed, her mind still awaiting activity as the fleeting years of her youth slowly passed her by. Either way, Pinkie was certain that she had done everything she could for her, even if she remained disappointed that she could not do more.

As she set a course for home, Pinkie suddenly recalled that she had yet another party planned for the next day. Flour Patch. Earth pony. Will be nine years old. Wants a triple-layered sponge cake with strawberry frosting and whipped cream. Party favors should include exploding confetti poppers and streamer blasters. Will be held at the park at one in the afternoon, with a guest expectancy of twenty-five to thirty.

Eager as she was at the prospect of another birthday party, Pinkie found it difficult to fight the urge to drop by the Patch residence just to ensure that she would not wake up tomorrow to find a similar scenario—that she would once again have an opportunity to bring joy and happiness to another young colt, that the nightmare of today would not become her new normal. But she resisted, deciding that as her head hit the pillow that night, the thoughts luring her into sleep would not be a party occurring tomorrow. It would be a party occurring in the future: a large, town-wide bash, one of the largest she had ever thrown, for a young filly who missed out on having the memorable day she deserved.

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[GOD THE *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* *YAY* FEELS!!

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