• Published 17th Feb 2018
  • 2,214 Views, 63 Comments

Compatī - Corejo

Sunset Shimmer lived a perfect life. Nightmare Moon destroyed it. When Luna seeks reconciliation years later, past demons resurface to threaten all that Sunset holds dear. Though she is willing, the question remains: is there a limit to forgiveness?

  • ...

XI - The Tantabus

It was cold in my dream.

I knew I was dreaming. I had felt the sensation of sleep slip over me like a silken nightgown over my naked skin. It was a calming feeling, back when I practiced lucid dreaming in order to get extra study time in at school. But not since...

I snapped open my eyes. Around me stood four walls of crystal and glass, fractals of purple and blue and pink. The downy bedding beneath me pooled around my body and held in what little warmth there was to feel.

Everything was dark, but I could still make out the nightstand and vanity. It seemed like I had decided to dream of Twilight's castle. Which was weird, since I had never been in any of the bedrooms before.

It took a while to realize in that slipping, slipping neutral state that I wasn't alone. I jolted toward the back wall at the sight of this… thing.

It was a pony, a wolf, a something—made purely of stardust and dreamstuff. It sat motionless on its haunches, between me and the door.

Instinct told me to stand up, to scream as loud as I could, to leap at it and claw and kick and bite like my life depended on it. Instinct assumed it to be the Nightmare, that rotted, mindless beast left over after Nocturne left me. But instinct didn't see the placid, indifferent stare on its eyeless face, almost like a cat’s.

I sat up and crossed my legs. It was an awkward attempt at movement that wouldn't follow, 'cause I then realized I was a pony in this dream. I hadn't expected that. Haunches it was.

“Hello?” I said.

It didn't move. Starlight twinkled in its, well, its everything. Galaxies and nebulae spiralled and converged and collapsed in slow motion as the silence wore on.

“What do you want?” I frowned at the thing and waggled my hoof at it. Nothing seemed to phase it. It just stared. Without eyes, the silence hit harder than it probably should have.

“Go away,” I said, waving it off. “Go on. Shoo.”

It kept staring. Talk about a stubborn dream.

That presence, though. It was the one I felt enter me when Luna… I blushed. Why did I blush? I had no reason to blush. She kissed me and gave me this thing staring back at me, traded it for the Nightmare.

“You're the Tantabus, aren't you?”

It flicked a nebula of an ear and cocked it's head. It shifted its weight from one hoof-paw to the other.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. She saved me. The Nightmare isn't here anymore. Celestia knows I haven't had a regular night's sleep in years.” I looked up into the darkness above my head and counted on my not-fingers. “Seven… wow.”

I looked around. It was strangely quiet. Calm. I could almost say peaceful, but that would imply I was at peace. Instead, the silence smothered any semblance of that.

The Tantabus still hadn't blinked. I wasn't sure if it could without eyes. Was that weird to think about?

“Don't you have somewhere else to be? Go sit in somebody else's dream.”

It must not have been that simple, or the thing was that stupid. At least it did me the courtesy of looking around like it actually could have hopped into someone else's dream. But all the same, that stare came back around, that quiet insistence that kept my heart from settling down like I wanted to into the fluffy bedsheets.

It felt… different. As if it wasn't just the Tantabus staring at me. Like… No. That was just me being paranoid. God, I'd been taken over by the Nightmare for so long that I didn't even know how to dream properly anymore.

“She had it coming, you know,” I said. “She should have never gotten into my dreams. Then or now.”

Still no reaction. Two galaxies collided in its breast and shattered as their masses passed through each other.

“Don't you say anything? Can you speak?” I pointed my ears forward. “At least bark or something for crying out loud.”


“Whatever,” I said. “Maybe it's better you don't.” I laid down and rested my head on my forehooves. I closed my eyes for sleep, but then remembered I was already there. How does one sleep in a dream?

I clenched my eyes shut tighter all the same. This was my dream now, not my nightmare. I was going to enjoy it for all it was worth.

A deep breath, in then out. Then silence.

And more silence.

And more.

Sleeping in a dream was boring. I sighed. That wasn't really it, though. My eyelids fell open, and the Tantabus still sat on the area rug between me and the door. It hadn't so much as budged.

“What, do you want me to feel bad for her?” I flopped my forehooves over the side of the bed. “You know… you know what she did…”

What amounted to a blink in the stardust of its not-eyes told me all I needed to know. This stupid thing really had no clue what I was saying.

“You're still sitting there like you want me to do something about it. Well I'm not. I don't feel bad and you know it.” Even if it didn't understand me, I felt better saying it. I laid back down and rested my head on my hooves.

This time, I closed my eyes and didn't open them again. I refused to open them. That thing wouldn't get to me. If Luna wanted to repent for what she did, then good fucking riddance.

I was happy she hurt now. I was glad she suffered the Nightmare like I had. I was ecstatic she knew what it was like to relive that pain.

I was happy.


Author's Note:

Sorry for the short chapter. The next few will be full sized.