• Published 20th Jun 2017
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Mad, With Power - Aragon



Sisters being peaceable with horrors unspeakable. (A collection of creepy and surreal little comedies about the Princesses.)

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Time Flies When You're Having Fun

“There is wisdom that is madness, if you just skip the woe.”

—Equestrian proverb.




It’s all your fault!” the widow cried, and her voice was like broken glass. “You took him from me!”

Her screams echoed; the rain poured harder. The mare’s mane was wet, ugly, it stuck against her face and made her look older—but she did not care.

There was hate in her eyes when she pointed. “You,” she said, now a whisper. “You monster.”

Thunder roared.

Celestia looked around, frowned. "Um. Luna." She whispered as she elbowed her sister. "Luna. Luna, I think she’s talking to you.”

“No, no,” Luna whispered back, not looking at Celestia. “I think she’s talking to the undertaker.”

Pause.

Celestia’s voice was full of patience. “Luna,” she said. “The undertaker left half an hour ago.”

“Yes. Well. I might have dozed off for a minute or two. Can you blame me?”

And Celestia had to sigh, and speak the truth. “I cannot.”

He was the only thing I had left!

“Right. Yes.” Luna cleared her throat with a cough and smiled at the widow. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I was not paying attention. What were we talking about?”

“You killed my husband!”

“Ah.” Luna nodded. “Of course. I suppose that was bound to be the topic.”

The scene had happened before; it would happen again. The cemetery, right behind Canterlot Palace. Rain. A crying widow.

And the Princesses, always there, to bid adieu and show respect.

“If it is of any consolation,” Luna said, as she looked into the widow’s eyes. “I did not kill him. I did not want him to die.”

“The war was your fault! You did this!

And Celestia looked to the side. “She got you there,” she muttered.

Luna made a huff. Then, seeing how the widow was still looking at her, and still heartbroken, she softened her face. “By the way,” she said. “I do not see why you refuse to use an umbrella. I understand the dramatic overtones of the rain, but it’s really cold out here.” Her horn glowed slightly. “Do you want mine? I can share one with my sister.”

The widow cried again. “You monster!”

“...Is that a no?”

I hate you!

Luna rolled her eyes so hard she gave herself a headache.

Celestia saw this, and offered her sister an apologetic smile. “The life of a monarch, Luna,” she said, patting her shoulder. “Sometimes, you cannot win.”

“Ugh.” Luna took a deep breath, and looked at the widow. “It’s just—this again.” She shook her head. “I am sorry for your loss. I really am.” She meant it. “But there is no reason to yell.”

“You took him from me!”

“I know,” Luna said. “And I’m sorry. But it wasn’t my fault. And there is no reason to be this emotional.” It was at this point that Celestia’s eyes went wide, understanding dawned on her, and she started signaling to Luna—but her sister just went on talking. “He’ll come back eventually.”

Thunder roared.

The widow’s eyes went wide. “What?”

“Luna.” Celestia elbowed her sister, harder this time. “Luna, no. He’s dead. He’s actually dead.”

“So?” Luna frowned. “Like that’s going to stop him.”

The dead don’t come back, Luna.

“He will never come back!” said the widow.

“Oh, please. I’ve seen this a thousand times already. And I’ll see it a thousand times again.” Luna looked at the widow, and in her eyes there was love, but there was also ice. “You cry now,” she said. “And you miss him, and you hate me. But in time, he will come back. And you will forget. And the pain will go away, if you just wait enough.”

“No!”

“Yes.” Luna didn’t smile. “Take my word. In no time, you will be laughing. And you won’t remember this conversation. But I will.” And she closed her eyes. “Such is the burden of an immortal. Such is the weight we carry.”

Behind her, Celestia massaged the space between her eyes.

Thunder roared in the distance.

The widow kept crying.


The widow was laughing.

Running around the city, chased by her lover—Luna could see them from the castle, as she shared a table with her sister. And this time, she did smile, as she looked at her sister.

She talked. “I told you.”

Celestia blinked. “What?”

“She’d forget, I said.” Luna pointed. “And he’d come back. They just needed to wait, to stay. See? the pain went away.”

Celestia didn’t understand, at first. But then she looked through the window, and that sparked her memory. “Oh. Oh, Luna. No. No that’s not what—”

“Yes.” Luna pointed. “Look at them. They’re happy. They’re laughing. The dead always come back to life. But they never remember.”

And Celestia groaned. “Luna, they don’t. We’ve been over this.”

“What?”

Celestia pointed, now, too. At the widow, laughing, and her chasing lover. “That pony?” she said. “She’s not the widow you remember. She’s her descendant.

Pause.

“What?”

A sip of tea, to hide a sigh. “Luna,” Celestia said. “That happened thousands of years ago. He never came back, she just died. That pony over there is merely a relative of hers.”

Luna looked. “…What?”

“Goodness gracious. You always do this.” Celestia massaged the space between her eyes, just like she’d done thousands of years ago. “Resurrection doesn’t happen, Luna. I keep telling you—the dead don’t come back. That’s the point.

Luna’s eyes were wide, now. She kept going from the sight of the widow to her sister. “But,” she said. “But… they look alike?”

“Yes, Luna. That’s how families work.”

Confusion. Luna squinted. “So. You’re telling me. That he never came back?”

“…No. No, they never—you keep forgetting this! How do you keep forgetting this?” Celestia had to drink a sip of tea to stop herself from getting frustrating. “One would think that over six thousand years of practice would be enough to learn how mortals work, but I guess this is just—”

“Well, I refuse to take blame in this issue,” Luna said, making a huff. “They look exactly alike. Anypony would get confused.”

“Luna. Dead ponies stay dead. They always stay dead. This is not a hard concept to grasp.

“I see.” Luna squinted and looked at her sister. “But then… What happened?”

“What?”

“With the widow.” Luna nodded towards the pony running around their gardens. “If that is not her, if he never came back… What happened?”

“Well,” Celestia said, thinking about it. “Time passed. I suppose she died.”

“Yes?”

“Yes. Alone and miserable, too.”

Luna nodded. “How do you know that?”

“Your war killed her husband. It’s a safe bet.”

Luna nodded again, more slowly this time. Her eyes were shining. “…So!” she exclaimed, triumphant. She didn’t say it. She exclaimed it. “The pain did go away, Sister!”

Pause. Celestia blinked. Then, a squint. “…I suppose, yes. Because she died. But—”

“So I was right!”

“What?” Horror in Celestia’s eyes. “Oh, dear. No, no, no—Luna, you weren’t right, that’s the entire point of this—”

“She is laughing. But I remember!”

“Luna, that is completely wrong, you can’t—”

“Such is the burden of an immortal!”

Luna no. No.

Such is the weight we carry!

Luna, for the love of—




“There is madness that is wisdom, if you don’t pay any attention.”

—Another Equestrian proverb

Author's Note:

The first draft of this story was originally posted as a writeoff entry, under the title of "It's All Your Fault! The Widow Cried."

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