• Published 30th May 2017
  • 1,411 Views, 44 Comments

๐Ÿ’ฏWords Or Less - PropMaster

Starlight Glimmer wakes up to a town filled with nonsense. She has to get to the bottom of everypony's sudden bizarre, colorful aphasia.

  • ...


Author's Note:

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Starlight awoke to the sound of clattering hooves and muffled shouting. She groaned, blinking blearily and stretching before rolling out of bed. Her hooves hit the floor with a muffled thump, and she shook her head. She could tell that today was going to be an interesting one, judging by the sounds coming from below her in Twilight's castle, and she sighed. Coffee sounded incredible to Starlight, and she intended to go downstairs and make some. Then, and only then, would she face whatever this newest crisis undoubtedly was.

Spike burst into Starlight's room unannounced, his eyes wide, and Starlight jumped, startled by the intrusion. "Spike! Whโ€”"

"๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ! ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฅ!๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘„๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ!" Spike said, rushing to grab her by the hoof and looking up at her anxiously.

Starlight blinked. "... No. Too early. Need coffee."

Spike blinked, staring at her, and then blurted, "โ˜•๏ธ!? ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ, ๐Ÿ˜ค ๐Ÿ‘Žโฐโ˜•๏ธ!!!"

Starlight ignored the nonsense Spike was blurting, trying not to think too hard about how she could literally see shapes as he spoke, and she shook him off her hoof and trotted out her door and downstairs. All around her was pandemonium, with royal guards rushing to and fro, and ponies like Mayor Mare and her staff clattering through the halls. Whatever going on was obviously a crisis of some magnitude for the mayor of Ponyville to be here, but Starlight's focus was on the coffee she was about to make. Everything else could wait. She could hear, and oddly see, frantic shouted nonsense as ponies ran past one-another. A royal guard bumped into her in his haste to go somewhere, and he stopped, wincing. "๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฆ, ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ."

"Yeah, no problem," Starlight grumbled, getting the gist of his apology from his expression and tone. He blinked, looking surprised, but Starlight ignored him, heading past him and into the kitchen. She froze when she arrived in the kitchen, blinking. Trixie was there already, and she smirked at Starlight as she sipped at a mug of coffee.

"Trixie!" Starlight said, smiling, "Boy, am I glad to see you!"

Trixie, upon hearing Starlight, leapt up, and she waved her hooves in Starlight's face, stopping her from speaking. "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ! ๐Ÿ–!"

Starlight halted, blinking. "I can'tโ€”"

Trixie actually clapped her hooves over Starlight's mouth, making her stop speaking. "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ, ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‘„&๐Ÿ‘‚! ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿฆ„๐ŸŒ™โ˜€๏ธโœจ ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿ‘ˆ ๐Ÿ—ฃ ๐Ÿƒ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ฉ!"

Starlight stared at the symbols spewing out of Trixie's mouth, trying to understand. She shook her head slowly. Trixie sighed, and spoke again, going more slowly. "๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿฆ„๐ŸŒ™โ˜€๏ธโœจ. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ‘ˆ. ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ."

Starlight focused this time. "Twilightโ€”"

Trixie waved her hooves frantically again. "๐Ÿ’ข๐Ÿ˜ ! ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‘„!!!"

Starlight frowned, and she nodded. Twilight would know what to do, obviously. Trixie had made herself clear...ish. Something was obviously wrong, and Twilight had answers, and there was something about her speaking that was a problem. She realized she'd have to be careful. She smiled at Trixie, and pointed to the coffee. Trixie blinked, glancing over her shoulder to the mug of coffee. "โ˜•๏ธ? ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ โ˜•๏ธ โฐ ๐Ÿ˜•?"

Starlight nodded, and Trixie rolled her eyes. "๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก. โ˜•๏ธ." She grabbed a clean mug and poured Starlight a fresh cup of coffee from the carafe.

Starlight sighed happily as she took the mug and drank a long, slow sip of the delicious brew. She immediately felt better. "Thanks."

Trixie gasped, staring at her angrily. "๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ’ข๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘„!"

Starlight winced and finished her coffee, and gave Trixie an awkward grin. Trixie sighed and motioned for her to leave. "๐Ÿ––, ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก."

Starlight waved and trotted for the door. As she left, she glanced back, and tried to express her worry without any words, hoping her expression conveyed her feeling. Trixie glanced up from where she was sitting, staring into her coffee mug, and she smiled wistfully when she saw Starlight's expression. "๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ•บ&๐Ÿ”… ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐ŸŽ† ๐Ÿ‘Œ. ๐Ÿ‘ˆ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿฆ„๐ŸŒ™โ˜€๏ธโœจ."

Starlight felt a little better, even if she didn't really understand her friends' words, but her gentle tone and soft expression spoke volumes. She trotted through the palace, heading for the Map Room. Twilight would undoubtedly be there.

The Map Room was utter pandemonium. Twilight Sparkle was there, along with Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash. That wasn't entirely unexpected. What was unexpected was that Princess Celestia and Luna were there as well. Starlight slid to a stop as she entered the room, her eyes wide. Twilight was the first to spot her, and she gasped, and then waved her hooves. "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ!" she blurted.

Starlight held up a hoof, waving uncertainly, and she put both of her front hooves over her mouth. She knew better than to answer, by this point. Princess Celestia glanced at Twilight and then turned her attention to Starlight. "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ, ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘„?"

Starlight focused on the symbols that came out of Celestia's regal mouth, and she nodded, hoping she understood. Twilight grinned, clapping her hooves together excitedly. "๐Ÿ‘? ๐Ÿค” ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘„. ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ?"

Fluttershy perked up, staring at Twilight. "N-now?"

Twilight nodded to her, gesturing to Starlight Glimmer. Starlight smiled as she realized that whatever was effecting the others hadn't apparently spread to Fluttershy. "Fluttershy, whatโ€”"

"No! Don't speak!" Fluttershy nearly shouted, interrupting Starlight. She gasped, clapping her hooves over her mouth. "I'm sorry!"

"๐Ÿ˜ค, ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ." Rainbow Dash said, rolling her eyes.

Pinkie Pie just looked amused, giggling to herself and beaming around as she observed the symbols spewing out of ponies' mouths. "๐Ÿ‘Œ,๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ! ๐Ÿ™Š,๐Ÿ™‰! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚!"

Twilight sighed and patted Fluttershy on the shoulder reassuringly. "๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ, ๐Ÿ‘Œ. ๐Ÿ‘„ ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ, ๐Ÿ‘?"

Fluttershy nodded, shakily exhaling, and she straightened up, looking at Starlight and gesturing for her to come closer. Starlight stepped forward, knowing that whatever Fluttershy had to say was important. Fluttershy cleared her throat nervously, and she spoke. "Starlight, somepony cursed Equestria. We think Discord is responsible, but he says he wasn't." Fluttershy swallowed, "Magic spells don't work, because the words don't work. Only ponies who have words left can use magic that needs words."

Starlight gasped, glancing at Celestia, Luna, and Twilight. All three of the nodded, but Celestia held up a hoof. "๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ‘‘๐ŸŒ™, ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜€๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐ŸŒ™โ˜€๏ธ. ๐Ÿ‘?"

Celestia gestured towards the nearest window, and her horn glowed with magic. The sun shivered in the sky and moved. Starlight let out a sigh of relief. "Intrinsic magic works, then?"

Fluttershy stomped a hoof angrily. "Starlight! You're the only one left who is strong enough to find a spell that might stop it, but you only have limited words!"

Starlight's eyes widened, as she understood the magnitude of the issue. How many words had she said that day? Had she been talking in her sleep? How many words did she have left? How many words might the spell need? Starlight swallowed, and opened her mouth to ask the most important question, but Fluttershy held up a hoof, stopping her. "I already know what you're going to ask. The answer is..." Fluttershy coughed. Starlight's eyes widened. Was that it? Had Fluttershy run out of words, too?

Fluttershy blushed. "S-sorry. The answer is ๐Ÿ’ฏ."

Starlight blinked. "What?"

Fluttershy slapped her hooves over her mouth, her eyes wide. Everypony sighed, and Twilight spoke again, trying to be clear. "๐Ÿ’ฏ."

"One hundred?" Starlight asked. It was important she knew. Clarity was paramount.

Twilight nodded frantically, and Starlight nodded, understanding. She looked around at everypony, and they stared at her evenly, expressions grave. Only Pinkie Pie seemed unconcerned, bouncing in her seat. "๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚! ๐Ÿ’ฏ!"

Fluttershy's lower lip trembled slightly. "๐Ÿ˜ญ, ๐Ÿด."

Rarity smiled, trotting over to her friend and gently pulling her into a hug. "๐Ÿ‘Œ,๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ."

Fluttershy buried her muzzle in Rarity's chest. "๐Ÿ˜“. ๐Ÿค, ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ’Ž."

Rainbow Dash smirked at Fluttershy, flying over and patting her on the shoulder. "๐Ÿค™! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿฅ‡, ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜ณ!"

Fluttershy smiled gratefully up at Rainbow Dash, nodding. "๐Ÿค, ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿด๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿƒ."

Applejack chimed in with a wink, "๐Ÿค ๐ŸŽ!"

Fluttershy giggled, and Applejack frowned, blinking down at her muzzle like she was insulted. "๐ŸŽ? ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ!" She scowled, "๐Ÿค ๐ŸŽ, ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ, ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿค ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ?!"

Pinkie Pie cracked up, her hoof pounding on the table as she rolled with laughter in her seat. "๐Ÿ˜†! ๐Ÿด๐ŸŽ ๐ŸŽ! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค "

Twilight stood up, trotting over to Starlight, and she asked, "๐Ÿค” ๐Ÿ—ฃ ๐Ÿ“†. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ’ฏ, ๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก?"

Starlight thought back through her day, trying to remember. She sighed, shaking her head. If she had to guess, she'd probably spoken about twenty-five words so far. One quarter of the words she had left were already gone, and she didn't know how many she would need to use to speak a powerful spell. All of the strongest spells in Equestria required spoken words, unless you were an alicorn or a magical prodigy, but even then there were some types of spells that required a verbal component no matter how powerful you were. Starlight guessed that Twilight, Celestia, and Luna had already attempted to break the spell, but to no avail. She blinked, realizing she should try something, and with a bit of concentration and a flash of her magic, she summoned a quill and scroll. She wrote on the scroll I think I've only said twenty five words, and she held it up to Twilight, only then catching Twilight's horrified expression and reaching hoof. Twilight shouted, "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก! ๐Ÿ–โœ๏ธ! โœ๏ธ&๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ’ฏ!"

Starlight blinked and looked down at the scroll, suddenly understanding her error. She grit her teeth. "Shit."

Twilight's wings snapped open and she glared at Starlight. "๐Ÿฆ„โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒŸ!!!!"

Starlight shrugged. That one had been worth it.