• Published 24th Jul 2012
  • 2,977 Views, 107 Comments

The Witch - DavidReinold

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

  • ...

Cantamen Primum - Bibliotheca Hieme (IV Pars - Nivea Gramina)

Photons ambush my eyes and I awake with a start. The first thing I notice is a chill beneath my hands, feet, and posterior. The second thing is a light tickle upon my skin. I look around and find snow sinking lazily through the air, covering the ground around me and giving my arms and legs a frigid coating. And there's something else, too. Is that...a wrought-iron bar digging into my back? I stand up swiftly and gaze across a white-spackled field of green and tan to see the library. Twilight's library.

I sink back to the ground and bury my head in my hands. Had I walked here last night? I didn't remember adding it to the itinerary for the previous night's excursion. Much the opposite, in fact. And I had certainly not fallen asleep here. I always knew where I fell asleep, mostly because it was always the same place - my own bed, in my own house. It was very unlike me to not go home after taking a walk around the neighbourhood.

I pull my windbreaker even tighter around myself. This morning is a tad nippier than the previous night. My hands are once again trembling, but this time there are no nerves. At least not yet.

Of course, on a morning like this, it would be just like me to speak too soon. And as it would turn out, I just had. In the distance I catch a glimpse of one Twilight Sparkle, keenly flipping through a ring of keys as she approaches. What in the blazes is she doing here?! It takes me a moment to remember that I am sitting in front of her library.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that her arrival is about to create a serious problem for me. Part of me wants to make a mad dash for my house so as not to be caught in such an incriminating position. Waiting outside her library the morning after I chased her around inside her library? There is no argument - this won't not look good. But part of me also wants to stay and ask her what exactly had happened the previous night. This is the perfect opportunity to ask, and I can't just walk away from it.

I find myself suddenly on my feet again. I glance between Twilight Sparkle and the path that leads back to my house. Do I leave and lose this opportunity? Or do I stay and face the potential implications? I hardly have time to decide before I hear a voice in the distance.

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" she calls out, "I'll open everything up for you!"

She doesn't recognise me yet, then? If she had, there is no doubt in my mind that her greeting would have been much different. I can't be sure though. Do I dare stick around to find out?

In a mad dash to keep my cool, I pull my hood over my head and my hands to my face in a mock-warming gesture. Hopefully I can keep my identity a secret for long enough to get inside the library. Finally, she reaches me.

"Cold out today, huh?" she speaks calmly as she fiddles with the padlock to open the gate, "Sorry you've had to wait out here. If I'd known you'd be back so early I'd have hurried up. I take it you didn't find what you were looking for last night?"

The lock falls slack in sync with my jaw.

She recognises me, I think to myself. She recognises me and isn't reacting at all.

The gate creaks open. Twilight marches purposefully across the cobblestone path and up to the large oak door to unlock that one as well. I follow slowly. What do I do now? Do I just come out and ask? Or do I follow her inside?

With all the courage I can muster, I call out across the quiet lawn, my voice piercing the silence.

"I'm sorry about last night!" I shout, a bit louder than I intend. She turns back to me.

"Oh no, it's alright, I'm used to late night library-goers."

"No, I mean...what happened just after that."

She glances at me, with a look of puzzlement on her face.

"I have no idea what you're talking about. Are you coming?"

She holds the oak door wide for me, and with a moment's hesitation, I zip inside.

She follows me in, pulling the door closed and latched. I hang my jacket on a hook just past the library door while she takes a left towards the arch leading into the main hall. There is a stout table in the centre, and she stands just to the right of it. Nonchalantly, almost inconspicuously, she retrieves a volume from the folds of her garments and sets it upon the table. With one hand still resting on the book, she turns back to me. My full attention is on her as she speaks.

"Don't forget...if you don't finish your work when the library closes, you can always take a book or two home with you."

She smiles gently at me, before walking away. My brain is struggling to process what is going on, but her intention is clear. I cross the small antechamber and approach the table with the book. The leather cover is worn and tattered, but the gold-embellished corners remain untarnished. Through years of fading I can barely make out the cover design. This one, just like the rest of her collection, is authorless. But five words show clearly through the years of wear and tear.

The Mare in the Moon.

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