• Published 20th Jun 2017
  • 9,243 Views, 268 Comments

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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Eight Legs and None of the Love

“The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out.”

—Puff Pastry, Songs to Soothe your Children

Spiders!” Luna yelled, bursting into Celestia’s chambers, with eyes as wide as plates. “Sister!

Celestia jumped from bed, completely awake. “Luna?” she asked.




All over Canterlot.

A billion little legs skittering around at the same time—the sound was still audible, even on top of the screams of seemingly every pony in Canterlot.

The spiders covered the streets, the houses, the citizens. Canterlot had woken up under a blanket of death and horror, and it walked on eight legs. They ran way too fast for something so big, and they were way too big for something so fast. Each spider was roughly the size of a pony’s face.

And they just kept coming.

“This is,” Celestia said, overlooking atop the highest tower in the Castle, “not good.”

“It is not,” Luna agreed, overlooking even harder. Both of them were covered in spiders, too, but that didn’t bother them. “You should call Twilight Sparkle. She can help.”

“Do you think?” Celestia wondered, rubbing her chin. Well. Trying to. She rubbed a spider instead, but it was the thought that count. “I suppose she could be of assistance. Perhaps she knows a—um.” She squinted, and overlooked slightly to the left. “Did… Did that spider just… Jump and grab a…?”

“Hmm?” Luna looked. “Ah. Yes. It, indeed, grabbed a pegasus mid-flight.” She sucked air through her teeth. “A pegasus, I might add, who shouldn’t have been flying with her mouth wide open. I doubt spiders taste good.”

“Okay,” Celestia said. “I need to call Twilight Sparkle, indeed. Magical beasts are attacking Canterlot. I do not know who or what summoned them, but we need the Elements of Harmony to—”

“Ah.” Luna raised a hoof and waved it, to indicate a negation. She would have shook her head, but it was too cluttered with spiders. “They are not magical. Or summons.”

Pause. Celestia blinked. “Wait. What?”

“They are perfectly natural.”

“They are?” Celestia’s horn shone, and one of the many spiders biting her legs floated all the way up to eye level. “They look too big to be real.”

“No, no. Big spiders exist in nature, Sister. I have met many in my journeys.”

“Oh.” The spider stopped floating, and it immediately went back to biting Celestia’s legs. “Then what about the way they caught that pegasus?”

“They are huntsman spiders,” Luna said. “They jump.”

“All the way to the clouds?”

“They jump really high.”

“Oh. Well.” Celestia’s horn flashed again, and a quill and scroll appeared in front of her. She started writing the letter for Twilight Sparkle. “Are they lethal?”

“Not in small doses. I think.” Luna shook one of her legs till most of the spiders went away. It was covered in bites. “This many, though… I do not know.”

“Well, that is unfortunate.”

Right in front of the Castle, one of the Guards was running away in a frenzy. He tripped—probably on a spider—and fell.

The moment he touched the ground, all the spiders around fell on him, until he was completely out of sight. His screams went muffled as soon as they entered his mouth, and then there was silence.

“Luna?” Celestia said, once she finished the letter and sent it with a final burst of magic.


“Why do you know so much about spiders?”

Awkward pause.

“Luna, did you summon these spiders?”

“Uh. No.” Luna avoided Celestia’s gaze.

Celestia kept on gazing.

“Yes. Technically?”


“It is complicated!”


“It was not my intention to bring these spiders to Canterlot, Sister.” Luna locked eyes with Celestia, and for once, she did not look apologetic. “And if I had to, I would do it again. It was for your sake.”


“For my sake.”

“For your sake.”

Celestia looked at Canterlot once again. In the distance, she saw a stallion break down and start to cry. The sound attracted the spiders, and they looked ready to lay eggs anywhere dark and damp.

“Then, and as much as I appreciate your willingness to destroy an entire city just for me, I cannot help but feel your efforts are somewhat misguided, Luna.”

Luna clicked her tongue. “It was not my intention to summon the spiders, I said, and that is not a lie. I simply brought out the nightmares. The fear in every pony, the horror in their dreams.” She closed her eyes. “I stole it all, but I could not contain it.”

And Celestia’s mouth became a perfect circle. “Oh,” she said.

“Did you honestly think you could fool me, Sister?” Luna looked at her, with love and bitterness both. “Me? The Princess of the Night? The Damsel of Dreams?”

“I…” Celestia looked down. “I am sorry. I knew you would notice it some day. I just thought you would… That you would forgive me.”

Luna nodded, slapped a spider away, and caressed her sister’s cheek. “You don’t dream. You don’t have dreams. Because you do not sleep.”

And Celestia just kept looking down. “I am sorry.”

“How long?”

“I…” Celestia stopped, shook her head, continued. “Since your banishment, I suppose. I started having nightmares. They were… not pleasant.”

The bitterness went away from Luna’s gaze, leaving only love. “Sister,” she said.

“I did not—I could not. Face that.” Celestia looked up, at Luna, and there were tears there. “Banishing you every night, it was… I am sorry, Luna.”

In the distance, the spiders kept jumping around, bringing horror wherever they went.

“So you just stopped sleeping, then?” Luna asked. “You still own a bed.”

“I lay in it every night,” Celestia said, nodding. “And I close my eyes. But I do not sleep. The tea helps. So does the coffee. Eventually you… get used to it. Feeling tired is better than the alternative.”

Luna frowned. “You lay with your eyes closed for twelve hours without sleeping?”


“What do you even do all that time?”

Celestia smiled a little smile. “Oh, one of our Royal Guards gave me the perfect advice when I talked to him about insomnia. I count sheep, see?”

“You count sheep.”


Luna nodded. “To keep you awake.”

“It is a wonderful pastime.”

“I was under the impression that ponies did that to fall asleep, though?”

And Celestia just frowned. “Why would I fall asleep there? I like sheep. They are fluffy, and pleasant. I would never be so rude.”

Luna was going to reply to this, but she stopped herself when she was forced to admitted her sister had a really good point. So she just shook her head and went on. “I noticed you were not sleeping,” she said. “And I thought… Well, I thought you were avoiding me. Hiding something from me.” A strange sparkle in her eyes. “Like anger.”

Celestia pressed a hoof against her chest. Against the spiders covering her chest. “Luna, I would never—”

“I know. Now I know.” Luna sighed. “But I thought that taking away the nightmares would help. It would destroy anything bad you wanted to keep me from seeing. It would let you sleep again.”


“So I stole it all, but I miscalculated.” Luna shrugged. “And now the spiders roam free. For that, I am sorry. But now you will be able to sleep again, once Twilight Sparkle comes, and banishes the spiders with the Elements.”

Celestia’s horn flashed, and all the spiders scattered away. In a sweeping gesture, she embraced her sister in a hug. “Yes, of course. But that is not what really matters.”

“No, I suppose not.”

So they hugged, atop the highest tower of the castle, as the spiders devoured Canterlot. And in that moment, they were happy.

“…Say, Luna?”


“Why did the nightmares become spiders when they escaped? Are spiders the most common nightmare, or…?”

“Oh? Oh, no, no. The fear dissipated once it went out; it cannot live without a body.” Luna pointed at the spiders. “And I told you, these are perfectly natural.”

“Then why did they come to Canterlot when you let the nightmare out?”

“Huntsmen spiders feed on fear.”

“Ah. Of course. Logical.”

In the distance, a unicorn with her two children got surrounded by the spiders. They never got to scream.

“Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again.”

—Puff Pastry, Songs to Terrify your Children.