• Published 2nd Jul 2017
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Stories in Stone, Last Dance - TDR

All stories must end, even those in stone. The final book of the Stories in Stone series.

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Last Dance

[ 70 years after the defeat of Tirek ]

Screams filled the air, the bellowing calls and cries that echoed in the immediate area and were likely heard for leagues outside of it.

A white mare stands before all the chaos, bathed in lights as she panted, clearly worn out and looking like she needed a rest. Her white fur held an off shade here and there, patches of silvery gray that marred her otherwise pristine white coat. Her lavender and pink mane and tail were the same, though she never bothered to color the gray in that, the added streaks only made the other colors stand out more though the hair was getting thin. She had opted to ignore her makeup this time, setting out to do this looking 'Ala natural' as her sister would have said.

The mare lifted her head, looking out over the screaming crowd as she caught her breath, then upward to the group of dragons, one of them blue and another one purple and green, sitting on the edge of the far wall, then to the Elk, sitting in the box seats over looking the stadium. With the Elk in the box seats were four empty chairs, vacant save for four photos that were facing the stage.

One of her parents, who had never missed one of her shows until they passed, she made sure they never missed one after either.

One of her sister and her husband, who had not survived long enough to ever see one of her shows.

One of a pair of her friends, dead for a few years now, but who always came to her shows or to see her when they could.

The fourth was of another friend and her husband, while she wasn't as close to her as she would have liked, it was past time for her to be able to get to know her more.

There was a fifth photo as well, of her own husband who had passed only two years ago. That photo was not with the others, but in the control booth. Button Mash would never allow any one else to run one of her shows with out him being there to watch over them, that was something he still did now.

Sweetiebelle Reighnolds Mash sighed softly, the sound carrying over the microphone she wore and was heard over the roaring crowd. The sound of her sigh sent a ripple through the audience, as every one of them went silent.

New Canterlot Colosseum. The largest sports and music stadium in Equss. Two hundred thousand seats, a standing sports and show field that was three times the size of Canterlot Castle, and thousands of clouds overhead filled with flying creatures.

Fully sold out nearly a year in advance the day the tickets became available. Barely an apple's length was available to move on the standing field before the stage

The fire martials were likely having mental break downs, there was an entire division of Guards patrolling this place that were geared and ready for war. Jer'rahd Kaisur himself had taken control of security for the event himself. Not even the Princesses could have gotten a seat if she hadn't saved them one.

She hadn't, but Princess Twilight and Princess Celestia were here any way. As were Princess Cadence and Queen Luna. While they were not in the cheap seats, they were not in the important ones either.

The box seats were for her teacher, Bleu, her friend Spike, and her sole remaining best friend Applebloom. The half Elk and Dragons barely looked any older, even after eighty six years.

She lifted her head higher, ears perking at the total and absolute silence filling the area. She couldn't even hear any one breathing.

Thirty five thousand Ponies and members of other races filled this arena to overflowing. There was even more than that listening outside the stadium, the exact count was far beyond anything any one ever expected. Every Hotel in New Canterlot, Ponyville, Cloudsdale and every other town around the Manterhorn was booked solid. There were crystal's recording her from every angle and the broad cast was live in countless theaters and private receivers across Equss. The turn out was unheard of, the event would likely never be duplicated.

She opened her mouth, eyes remaining closed as she felt the weariness beat down on her. She was in her eighties, far too old to still be doing this, but she couldn't help it, there was nothing else she would rather be doing, retirement always seemed to be something other Ponies did. It wasn't until Button died that she realized how much time had passed.

“I suppose you all know this....., but this is my final show.”Sweetiebelle admitted.

There were a chorus of cries and shouts of encouragement and denial, though they quickly quieted down again as she shook her head.

“When I first started looking for my cutiemark I never thought this would be the result. I never even thought this when I did gain my cutiemark and found my talent. I... my friends and I tried so many things to gain our cutiemarks, only to find that when we did what we loved, they came to us. Some later than others mind you.” she chuckled at the inside joke that only the half Elk in the booth over the stage really got at this point.

“But here I am. On stage. Before thousands of souls from all races and walks of life. All here just to hear me sing. It's the same now as it was in my first performance. The excitement, the fear, the pure disbelief that all of you are here for me..... Even after all this time my old fans, my new fans, families that have followed me for several generations. It's unbelievable, it really is. I love all of you for it. Even if you couldn't make it and are just listening to the broadcast. From the bottom of my heart thank you.”

The roar in response was enough to shake the foundation of New Canterlot itself. Thankfully the architects had learned their lessons multiple times and nothing collapsed.

She let out another sigh and opened her eyes. The green of them gleaming, showing the fire of the youth the old mare once had still lived inside her.

As the roar died off she spoke again with a bit more vigor.

“I know I'm no young mare any more and I knew I couldn't do this forever no matter how much I wanted to. Also, I hate to say that there is only one more song left before I'm done. A new song, one of the few from my final album, but it's the last one I have in me I'm afraid.”

There was a general murmurer of disapproval from the crowd though she lifts a hoof waving it off.

“Don't be upset. Just don't. There will be other musicians. Ones even better than me that will come out in the future. Some of them might even be sitting here now listening to me yammer on like an old gossip mare. Some may never have musical talent and that's okay as well. The important thing is. That you do what you love. Give it everything you have, even if others don't care or don't like it so long as you like it, so long as you love what you do, no matter what it is...... no one elses opinion matters. Though I am obligated to say if what you love is illegal, then seek help.”

There was some assorted laughter at the joke as Sweetiebelle Mash lifted her head skyward looking past the cloud seats to the stars far beyond them. A beat of drums and piano begins behind her as her horn softly glows and the crowd again goes silent.


Mmmmbbbmmm baa daaa daaa. Mmmmbbbmmm baa daaa daaa , mmmmbmmm bmmm baaa daaa daa.”

A light clicked on showing the band behind her and a trio of Changeling singers. It had taken her a long time to convince everyone to come back for this. Most of the band was not the ones she started with. Though the last few members remaining of the band, The Rarities, were there. Changelings live a long time, but even so most of them were old when they met her for the first time any way. Technically three of the starting five were dead, Carol, Ditty, and Melody. But Carol had died only a few days before the show, yet before that, somehow she and Sweetiebelle had convinced Queen Luna to allow her to sing this last time piggybacked in another willing Changeling before she passed on for good. Granted that was how Luna got her ticket to the show. This was important as Carol wasn't a back up singer with this song, she was part of a duet with Sweetiebelle. The pair had been through a lot personally and there had been a good bit of drama between herself, Carol, and Button because of it, though it all worked out in the end.


Pressing down on me,

Pressing down on you,
no one ask for.”

Photos of the fallen members of the band were placed in their spots on stage and kept lit even as their replacements were hidden in the shadows. Aria had her Guitar and Shanty was on the drums. Carol, due to her currently inhabiting a much younger Changeling who had volunteered to let her use his form for the concert was her secondary vocals as well as the bass player.

Under pressure

that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts ponies on streets.”

Sweetiebelle turned her head a little to breath in. As the Changelings continue the humming tempo. She was getting to old for this.

It's the terror of knowing What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "Let me out!"
But tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on ponies – ponies on streets”

The chorus continued again as Sweetiebelle glanced back behind her swearing she was hearing double in the chorus. Her eyes widened as she saw ghostly images of Melody and Ditty floating over their photos. Images that where adding their talent and voices for the last time.

Chippin' around, kick my brains 'round the floor
These are the days - it never rains but it pours”

“Ponies on streets -

ponies on streets”

The images seem to get brighter, but no one else but Carol seemed to notice them. The stubborn, some what undead changeling looked from the ghosts to Sweetiebelle and back, before smiling softly and nodding continuing her part of the song with barely a pause. Weird things were not uncommon for any of them.

It's the terror of knowing What this world is about
Watching some good friends Screaming, "Let me out!"
Tomorrow gets me higher, higher, higher...
Pressure on ponies - ponies on streets”

That wasn't quite true. She could see from her friends expression in the booth that Applebloom saw them too. Sweetiebelle's eyes widened a bit. Her parents, Lion Heart, Scootaloo, Pip, Babs, and Silver were in the booth with the startled half Elk, along with a black furred alicorn mare who she didn't recognize. Applebloom's eyes widen in panic as she looks down at Sweetiebelle on stage before she rushed forward to press against the glass of the booth looking down at the unicorn mare with a pained expression on her face and tears in her eyes. Sweetiebelle simply smiled up at her.

Turned away from it all like a blind mare
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love but it's so slashed and torn”

Why, whyyyyyy, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?”

Sweetiebelle's eyes fixate on the sound booth far above everything else and the ghost of a stallion standing there at the window looking down to her with a smile. He then turned yelling something at one of the sound crew, who clearly didn't hear him.

Love, love ,love, love, love........”

[ TDR Presents..... ]

Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?..”

[ …..the Conclusion of..... ]

Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The ponies on the

edge of the night”

[…....Stories in Stone.......]

And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves ”

“This is our.......

…....Last Dance

This is ourselves..........”

A tall white unicorn with a purple mane strode forward across the stage towards Sweetie Belle, rising out of the captivated crowd like a specter full of grace and poise. Sweetiebelle's eyes widen, tearing up as she sees her sister, unseen by any one else, move up to wrap her hooves around her younger her as Sweetiebelle closed her eyes, a wide smile forming on her face. That was everything she had left. The crowd gasped and started screaming as the elderly mare collapsed on the stage as the chorus trails off into nothing.

Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure ….......

And it was at the end of her last song, that Sweetiebelle Reignolds Mash, passed from Equss.

Author's Note:

Thus begins the end.

The Last Dance

Song Was Under Pressure by Queen featuring David Bowie.