• Published 18th Aug 2011
  • 19,008 Views, 609 Comments

Binky Pie - Miyajima

  • ...

Pink is the Colour of Death

The sun was shining down on Ponyville for another beautiful spring morning. Foals ran through the streets, enjoying their mid-season holiday, while ponies finished setting up their market stalls in Ponyville’s town centre.

Pinkie watched the town’s busy life unfold from the window of her room atop Sugarcube Corner. Below her, she could hear the sounds of Mrs. Cake in the kitchen, making the stock for the afternoon’s sales, while Mr. Cake served hungry customers at the front of the shop.

Part of her would rather have been out in the sun, enjoying the weather, or downstairs helping in the kitchens, but there was one task she felt compelled to complete before her shift began.

She drew back the curtain, shrouding the room in darkness. Filtered pink light barely illuminated her way as she plodded back across to the centre of her room. The table had been pushed aside, and in its place sat a small pile of sticks, a pot of jam, and a large, black book. The gold letters of the title glistened in the low light: Necroponicon. … Or was it Neighcronomicon? They shifted whenever Pinkie tried to look at it. She didn’t like the feel of the book, but it was a necessity for what she planned to do.

She flipped open the book with her muzzle, stopping on a seemingly random page and tracing down it with her hoof. She nodded to herself, satisfied, and began to lay out the sticks in a pattern corresponding to a diagram in the book.

Flicking the lid off the jam jar, she dropped a spoonful of it in the centre of the sticks, nodding once again.

“That should do it... Now then...” she muttered, going back to the book and skim-reading. “Ah-ha! There we go.”

She stood in front of the book and stick-diagram, and spared a glance at the curtained window. She had no idea if this would work or not. After all, she was an Earth Pony, not a unicorn, and this was magic she was dealing with. At the same time, hadn’t Twilight told her that pegasi, and even Earth Ponies had a little magic in them, deep inside? Maybe they couldn’t focus it without a horn, but it was still there.

It was worth a go.

She read the words of the book. They were in a strange and ancient tongue that, surprisingly, she found she had little difficulty actually pronouncing. Each word seemed to hang in the air, like a physical echo one could feel and see as well as hear.

The room began to blur. Pinkie could hear a dull rumbling noise in her ears. In the centre of the sticks, a dark form began to coalesce into the rough shape of a pony - featureless, nebulous, like a cloud.

Pinkie’s head span and thumped like it was being put through a taffy puller. She felt herself slipping, not on the floor, but rather through it. The room dissolved into nothingness as she felt a sharp tug pulling her away...

In that same instant, the sticks were scattered as a skeletal pony materialized and solidified. It stood still for a moment, taking stock of its surroundings, pale blue pinpricks of light scanning every facet and surface.

Its gaze fell on the black book, the sticks, and the small puddle of jam smeared over its hooves.

… Oh bugger.

A similar room. A different place. People shuffled about in the dim light, handing out plates and cutlery. From the centre of the room, a cracked voice spoke up.

“Guest Jenson, did you bring the punch?”

“Yes, Grand Hostess. It’s the ‘Spring Has Sprung’ recipe. I made sure to remove the springs this time.” Jenson shuffled forward and deposited the sloshing bowl onto the table.

“Well done, Jenson. And Guest Bonhomie, you were in charge of the cake.”

“Triple-layer-vanilla-cream-jam-sponge, Grand Hostess. With butterscotch icing.” Bonhomie placed the cake in the centre of the table, striking a match and lighting the five black candles arranged in a circle on top of it.

“Excellent! Let us all join together in the chant.”

The congregation, dressed in their solemn pink robes and conical paper mitres, gathered around the cake. Grand Hostess Aminata Odham (she decided High Priestess was a little cliché) drew a knife from the sleeve of her robe. It glinted in the light of the black candles as she checked its edge.

She stepped forward, and raised the knife in the air. With one accord, the congregation drew a breath, and shouted:


The knife whistled as it plunged into the heart of the cake. The ceremony complete, Aminata proceeded to calmly slice and serve the sponge onto waiting plates, and they all sat and quietly chewed while discussing local news.

As they debated the rising price of onions and why it was affecting the stock cube market, Aminata checked over her order of service, making sure nothing had been left out. Since its inception, the Church of the Pink Pony of Death had risen from height to height. It was now well-known throughout Ankh-Morpork for the friendly atmosphere, free baked goods, and promise of a better, pinker life waiting for them on The Other Side. The congregation (referred to as ‘Guests’) had swelled, and donations had been so generous that Aminata had been able to afford to move into proper quarters.

They now had an entire Community Hall to themselves, which amounted to the entire ground floor of what used to be a pub. This was the Second Temple of the Pink Pony of Death. The First was kept maintained for religious reasons, and had recently started being honoured as the site of Aminata’s glorious revelation.

Of course, this wasn’t the case, but she wasn’t going to spoil their fun by pointing it out. Besides, Hostess Beauregard, keeper of the First Temple, made excellent cupcakes. There had been some brief altercations with the leaders of the major religions of the Disc, and Aminata had been forced to invite Hughnon Ridcully, High Priest of Blind Io, over for a cuppa and a slice of cake to explain matters.

Once it was made perfectly clear that this religion was in no way infringing on the rights, intellectual property or commandments of the other gods, they were accepted with open arms into the wider ecclesiastical community. It didn’t hurt that being undead gave one certain... advantages when it came to making the proper connections. Meetings usually went along the lines of “Oh gods please don’t eat me take anything everything arrgh faint”.

The Grand Hostess put aside the little booklet and adjusted her mitre, decorated in the finest colours the Alchemist’s Guild could supply. She slipped through a curtain into the back room while the congregation finished off the sacrificial cake.

Through here it was, if possible, even darker. Not only were the curtains drawn, the shutters were closed for good measure. In the centre of this room was another table, on which sat the effigy of a horse, almost fluorescently pink in the darkness. A second figure stepped out of the shadows, pink robes obscuring a second robe underneath, and a paper hat fitted neatly over a wide-brimmed, conical piece of headwear.

“Guest of Honour Terrak Keksy. I trust you’ve acquired the items I requested?” Aminata said, smiling at the young wizard. Given that her jaw was beginning to slough off the bone, this was more than a little unnerving.

“I took advantage of the fact that today is the Semi-Annual-Once-Centennial Hunt for the Megapode and made myself suitably scarce. They won’t miss me until Pre-Dinner.” Terrak Keksy replied as he retrieved a bag of reagents from somewhere within his robes. He tipped the contents of the bag over the table, revealing some assorted candles, incense sticks, a skull (fine condition, only one previous owner), some bits of wood, and 4cc of mouse blood.

Aminata’s eyes glistened in the dark. She watched intently as Keksy arranged the magical paraphernalia around the pony statue, quickly making a sigil-like shape from the wood. He lit the candles and incense with a mumbled word and complex gesture, bathing a small area around the table in light. He nodded at the Grand Hostess, preparations complete.

“It’s all ready, Grand Hostess. Just say the word.”

“Summon her, Keksy.”

The wizard smiled, pulling a roll of parchment from his sleeve and unfurling it. He squinted at the words on the scroll.

“... I don’t suppose you could...” he said, sheepishly, nodding at the windows. Aminata sighed deeply as she drew back the curtain and opened the shutters, letting the light into the room. Keksy blinked as his eyes adjusted.

“Ah, much better. Now then...”

He began to read, the ancient words of the Rite of Ashk’Ente filling the air as it took on a distinctly oily texture. A dark and formless shape began to appear in the centre of the sigil. It held for a few seconds before unexpectedly vanishing, putting out the candles as it did so. Keksy frowned in confusion.

“... Is that meant to happen?” Aminata asked, equally as confused.

“Well... … No, I don’t think so. Should I try again?”

“May as well.”

Keksy relit the candles and once more assumed the dramatic pose as he reread the spell. There was a short delay as nothing happened, but slowly a pink, fluffy mist began to form within the circle. It grew, coalescing as it did so, into a vaguely horse-like shape. With an audible snap, like an elastic band giving up the fight, the mist took on the form of Pinkie Pie, who fell onto the table, and subsequently onto the floor, with a loud thump.

Holy Moley, I wasn't expecting that!

Three grey figures floated in the nothingness of oblivion.

One said, There has been a change.
One said, He has been meddling again.
One said, He has gone. She has taken His place.
One said, She has even more of a personality than He did.

The three paused their conversation.

Three said, This will not be tolerated.

Death was... Confused.

He wasn’t often confused, but this was one of the few times he felt it was justified.

He was standing amid the remains of what had clearly been an attempt to summon him with the Rite of Ashk’Ente, but no one was present. The room was very pink. The curtains were drawn. Through the window, Death could hear the sound of voices and laughter. Below him he could hear voices talking amiably.

Oh yes, and he had hooves. This was unusual.

Clearly, someone had attempted to summon him, but whoever they were, they had since vanished. Secondly, he was clearly no longer on Discworld, judging by the sudden morphic change. He trotted, unsteadily, over to the window, and pulled back the curtain.

… Oh bugger. he repeated.

He stepped back and took stock of the situation.

Clearly he was back in Equestria. The realm was somewhat unmistakable. The view from the window of the streets below had been enough to confirm that the building in which he stood was Sugarcube Corner, where he knew Pinkie Pie lived. It was, therefore, a logical assumption that this was her room, and she had summoned him here.

That... was a problem.

Not many people knew how to perform the Rite of Ashk’Ente. Fewer knew exactly why Death was summoned by the rite (a slightly embarrassing secret he preferred to keep to himself*). Fewer still knew exactly how the spell worked.

The rite would summon and ‘bind’ Death. Most of its practitioners assumed that Death was bound to the circle he was summoned to, but this wasn’t the case. Death was free to move wheresoever he willed, but was bound to the plane of his summoning, until released by the summoner.

Pinkie Pie wasn’t here. And until he found her, he was stuck in Equestria.

* It involved a marmoset, a grinning monk, and an ill-advised wager.

Pinkie Pie blinked, looking up to find two people dressed in bright pink robes and wearing paper hats, bowing at her.

Hey! What're you doing? Did you drop something? I’ll help you look for it! she said as she jumped to her hooves, quickly dropping her head and staring intently at the floor. Her brain slowly made the connections, and she shot back up again.

Hey! My voice sounds funny!

“O Bringer of Joy and Laughter, we are honoured by your presence!” Aminata began, smiling broadly. Pinkie looked at her and squinted for a few moments, before recognition dawned.

I remember you! You slipped and fell back into your body! I never got to give you your present! she said, bounding in place. But you're new! Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie! she continued, turning to a stunned Keksy. He had heard the older wizards talk of Death as a hooded skeleton with eyes that bore into your soul and knew exactly how much time was left until it expired. The decription was nothing like the creature that stood before him. Instead of feeling terror and a sense of impending doom, he felt happiness, and the desire to go out and seize every minute of life while he still could.

“... I’m Terrak Keksy. Wizard,” he said, after a few moments of silence.

Ooh! Like my friend Twilight? She's a unicorn! She's super good at magic, but sometimes she spends too much time in her books and not enough time having fun with her friends! But we love her anyway!

Aminata cut in before Pinkie had time to go into more elaborate detail.

“Honoured Hostess, I seek your great wisdom on a matter of grave importance,” she began, bowing again.

Oh yeah! I was meant to be helping you look for something! Pinkie fell to her knees and stuck her head under the table, searching for anything.

“No, no! A different matter! It’s... Said that when the Rite of Ashk’Ente has been performed, you can ask Death anything. That you know everything?”

I’m not Death, silly! I’m Pinkie Pie! And I don't know about knowing everything, but then if I did know about knowing everything then I guess I would know everything wouldn't I?

“Your pardon, Great One, if calling you such offended you,” Aminata said. “I wish to ask... What awaits us when we’re gone?”

I don't know! But I bet it's great! After all... There was a twinkle in her eye. Everyone's dying to get in!

Keksy choked back a laugh, taken off-guard by the pun. Pinkie giggled and snorted, an odd sound with her current tone of voice. Aminata stayed smiling, the sort of smile that showed quiet acceptance of what was being said, rather than any mirth or joviality.

Oh, hey! I have something to ask you, actually! Pinkie said, leaning forward towards Aminata.

“I will endeavour to answer to your satisfaction, Great One.”

Where am I?

“Why, you’re in the temple, of course,” Aminata answered, gesturing towards the effigy of Pinkie Pie that had toppled to the floor with Pinkie’s arrival. Pinkie’s eyes widened.

You mean you threw a party for me? Aww! Thank you! She threw her forehooves around Aminata, embracing her in a tight hug. By this point Keksy had given up all pretence of seriousness and was laughing loudly. Aminata shot him a glare over Pinkie’s shoulder, a look that reminded him he was in the presence of a greater power, and should show more respect. He coughed and tried to look solemn.

I’d love to stay, but I have to help the Cakes in the bakery today, so maybe another time? Pinkie said, letting go of Aminata and looking genuinely sad at having to leave. The Grand Hostess nodded, still smiling.

“Of course, Great One. Do not let us keep you. You are more than welcome in these hallowed halls.”

Okie dokie lokie! Pinkie beamed, and with a hop, skip and jump, she was gone. The room, though filled with the light of the midday sun, seemed darker and more drab in her absence. Keksy and Aminata stood in reverent silence for a few moments, before the younger wizard turned to the undead priestess.

“... Bakery?”

“We are not privy to the thoughts and manners of the great powers, Keksy.”

“Of course, of course...”

Pinkie landed her jump outside a whitewashed stone stable, looking out over a neat garden and connected to an imposing black house. The scent of lilies filled the air.

Huh. That's funny. Pinkie said to herself. I was supposed to go back to Sugarcube Corner. Why am I here? She turned and faced the wall, jumping into the air and vanishing.

She reappeared no less than a second later in the exact same spot. She frowned.

Maybe my hooves are broken. Can you get that? I remember Applejack got a stone in her hoof once... Hrm. Oh, wait! I know! I’ll ask Death! He's bound to know what's going on!

She bounced through the lawn, coming up to the great door that lead into Death’s abode. She knocked three times with her hoof, for politeness’ sake, then pushed it open with her muzzle. Death didn’t keep the door locked. After all, whatever for?

Hello? Death? It's me, Pinkie Pie! I was wondering- Oh, hey! Albert! Hey! she cried, spotting Albert peeking his head around the kitchen door. He cringed.

“You’re not meant to be back ‘til next week! What’re you doing here?” he yelled down the hall.

I dunno! I was trying to get back to Sugarcube Corner and ended up here!

“You di- … Wait. Your voice, it sounds...”

Yeah, sounds funny, doesn't it? It's been like this since I tried casting that spell I learnt from one of the wizards!

The implications of ‘That spell I learnt from one of the wizards’ sank in to Albert’s brain, stopping briefly at the centres for panic and worry.

“... Oh bugger.”