• Published 24th Jul 2012
  • 2,990 Views, 107 Comments

The Witch - DavidReinold



A young man attempts to unravel the mystery that is Twilight Sparkle.

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Cantamen Primum - Bibliotheca Hieme (X Pars - Constitutum)

Nothingness.

It is impossible to describe to one who has never witnessed it, but I will do my best; it is as if, for a moment, you come to a halt. You stop thinking, stop feeling, stop knowing. And all you have is your imagination. Nothing you know is relevant, and nothing can be seen. And so the cogs and pistons of your mind manifest themselves. It it is the most wonderful and most terrible sensation a person will ever feel.

Before long, my feet feel solid ground and the world around us begins to materialize. We are no longer on the hill in the park, but rather, in a small and somewhat dank concrete chamber. The walls are plastered with a cheap and unappealing floral wallpaper. The room itself is in the shape of an oblong rectangle, and in the middle of the wall that lies opposite us is a solid metal door with a single circular glass pane riveted into the center of the upper half. I notice the pane is frosted over, and only now do I realize how frigid the room is. Except for my hand, which seems actually rather warm. I look down and notice a second hand in it.

"Heath," comes the voice of the hand's owner, "you can let go now."

The situation dawns on me, and I quickly drop her hand. My face flushes, but Twilight doesn't notice; she is busy digging in her jacket pocket. A second later, she pulls out a small dram of liquid and hands it to me.

"Drink this," she says, "it will calm the Winking Jitters."

"Winking jitters?"

"It's what the ancients called that feeling of sickness you get when you teleport. Technically, the recognized modern medical term is teleport-induced retriobile - literally, a defunct in teleportation that sends stomach fluids the wrong direction down your digestive system - but I prefer Winking Jitters. It's a bit more fun to say, and has less unpleasant imagery."

I can only stare at her in awe as I absent-mindedly tip the orange liquid into my mouth.

"So where are we now?" I ask, glancing around the bleak chamber, perhaps expecting someone to march through the door and greet us. Or arrest us for breaking and entering. Teleporting and entering maybe? The situation is already well beyond my grasp, so I continue to roll with it. I breathe in. I breathe out. Steam rises from my mouth.

"Well, if I did my job right - and I sincerely hope I did..." she pauses for a breath, "...We'll be in the antechamber to the Lunar Complex."

"I'm not familiar with it. What part of Europe are we in?"

"We're not in Europe anymore."

I pause. "Okay, so what part of the world are we in?"

"Heath," she turns to me, and grabs my shoulder dramatically, "we're on the moon."

The thought rattles around in my brain for several moments. The moon.

"Okay," I say to her, smiling and nodding, "I can deal with this."

"Really? Good, because we have work to do." She takes out a sketchpad and pen and starts doodling out what I assume to be some sort of a plan.

"Actually," I murmur, "that was complete lie. But for your sake, I'm pretending I can."

She continued on as though she couldn't hear me; and for all I know, she might not have. Her pen races ever faster across the page as she scribbles note after vital note. Finally, she clicks the pen closed, rips the paper from the booklet and hands it to me with a flourish.

I look down at it, but it is completely blank.

"Are you sure you gave me the right paper?"

"It's telepathic," she says to me, "when the time is right, and only when the time is right, it will show a certain part of what I wrote, and only you will be able to see it. If anyone but you or I looks at the paper, it will appear blank to them. Pretty clever, huh?"

"It's... it's amazing..."

"Well, no time to worry about that. Now that you're set, we have an appointment."

"Here?"

"Yes, here, what did you think?"

"There are people here?" I repeat, astounded, "On the moon?"

"Well, not people, per se. You'll see soon enough."

She steps with a stern and professional elegance over to the door across from us and flings it open. Fluorescent lights blare in at us for a moment, obscuring thousands of figures dashing about in the corridor before us. A split second later we are greeted by a rush of somewhat warmer air, though still not completely to my liking. When my eyes adjust, I am able to bring the moving figures into focus. They are... ponies. Miniature horses, all running about in a tizzy. Only their faces seem somewhat human; their coats, a tad garish. They certainly aren't ordinary ponies at all.

Keeping close to Twilight, we make our way over to what appears to be a reception desk. Behind the desk is an older, bespectacled pony. I glance at Twilight for a moment before a very un-Twilight voice punctuates the white noise of the complex.

"Yes, how can I help you?"

The voice seems to be coming from the pony, and if I let my imagination wander, it seems to match her as well. Older and creakier, with the faintest hint of tobacco rasp.

"Hello, yes," Twilight approaches calmly, "my name is Twilight Sparkle, and this is my associate, Heath Kenbroth. We have an appointment with the Director of Lunar Affairs."

The fluent (and also apparently literate) pony behind the desk flips a page in the ledger before her and scans the list with her gaze. She stops at our names.

"Alright, then," she says to us, "the Director is currently busy, but she will be available in just a few moments. Please take a seat. There's coffee and tea just around the corner if you'd care for some while you wait."

Twilight thanks her and led me back across the room, allowing at least ten of the busy ponies to pass us in the process. It suddenly occurred to me that most of them were carrying large amounts of papers in the bags at their sides. Was this an office, then? I leaned in towards Twilight and whispered as quietly as I could,

"I do wish you would tell me what's going on."

"You'll understand in a minute. The paper will tell you everything you need to know."

"But what if I still don't get it?"

"You will," she says, smiling, "trust me, you will."

We both take our seats in what is now clearly the waiting room. The rather dated and obnoxiously cheap furnishings remind me all too well of human offices; they are the sort of place I rather try to avoid whenever possible. Add to that the rather uncomfortable upholstery on our chairs and the unfamiliarity of the creatures surrounding us - save for one, who (let's be honest) I had only just spoken to a few days ago - and you find me very awkward and unsettled. Moments tick by with all the speed of molasses. I stretch my legs. I cross them. I uncross them. I cross my arms. I scratch my head.

When the receptionist finally calls our names, my head is resting in the palm of my hand and I am almost asleep. Twilight jolts me awake and motions towards a rather important looking door ahead of us. We exchange a glance, and Twilight ushers me through.

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