• Published 6th Aug 2012
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A Family In Shambles - Coffee dot exe



Before his imprisonment, Discord fell for a princess of an island nation off the coast of Equestria.

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Where'd You Go?

Light shone through the eastern window of the lavish palace bedroom window, blinding the alicorn princess just as she opened eyes from a short night’s sleep. Her ghost white mane was knotty and messy from a long night of sleep. She was struggling to keep her red eyes open as the morning sun glared straight into them. This combined with her sleepiness only made the situation more unpleasant. She sighed and muttered under her breath, “I could have sworn I closed those last night...” The curtains drew to a close with a spell. She lay her head back down and began to drift back to sleep.

“You’re no fun, Mommy!”

The shout startled Cyclis. She raised her head to find the origin of the squeaky voice. The world was a blur after only having a very short nap, but slowly, she got her thoughts together. When her vision refocused, she finally noticed the young pegasus foal with the messy brown coat at the foot of her bed. His mane was black with random streaks of grey. It looked as if it was in a permanent state of bedhead. His tiny wings fluttered happily, levitating him from the mattress every few seconds. Cheeky, dandelion yellow eyes shone in the morning light. The princess smiled and greeted her child, “Good morning, Shambles. Sleep well?”

“Good morning, Mommy! You said we could have hay pancakes this morning, right?” He sat his butt on the bed, an eager smile across his face.

“You’re right, sweetie. Just let me throw on my robe and we’ll have those pancakes ready in no time.” Cyclis began to make her way out of bed. She could tell he was over excited, but the first day of school should be an important event for a mother and son. As her little foal bounced out of her room, towards the kitchen, she smiled, happy to see him this excited to learn and meet other young ponies. She pointed her horn at the door and it swung forward to reveal her robe hanging on a hook on the other side. Using magic, she slid the robe around her body and made her way out of her bedroom towards the kitchen.

With each pillar the princess passed, she recalled how the ceilings throughout the palace used to seem like they were endless. That they just continued up and up until they faded into infinite darkness. She also recalled the way the wind howled through the halls naturally, which gave most ponies the illusion of being outside. At night, if it was breezy, you could look up and imagine flying through the night sky. She wondered to herself if Shambles felt this way too. She laughed softly as she pictured her baby run through the halls, wings spread wide, pretending to soar through the sky.

Upon entering the impressive palace kitchen, the princess witnessed Shambles struggle to fly across the counter with a bag of flour in his mouth. She pointed her horn to the bag and lifted it with magic. Shambles felt the bag lift and closed his wings and fell, allowing himself to hang from the bag by his teeth. Cyclis giggled and lowered the bag so he could drop safely.

Shambles plopped to the floor. He got back on his legs, rushed over to his mother, and cheered, “I got the ingredients mommy!”

The sleepy alicorn bent down and kissed her young pegasus. “Good job, sweetie, I’ll have those delicious pancakes ready in no time at all,” she said as she made her way to the stove to ready some hot tea.

“Why aren’t the cooks up yet?” Shambles asked, looking around the empty kitchen.

After putting the teapot on the stove to boil the water, the princess rustled her foal’s mane. “I told them to sleep in.”

“Well, why would you go and do that, Mommy?” The young pegasus asked.

His mother smiled down at him and said, “Because I wanted to make breakfast for my angel on his first day of school.” Shambles groaned at the sentiment. “Shambles, would you be okay making your own lunch?” Cyclis asked.

“Sure, mommy!” Shambles replied, making his way to another counter.

She smiled and added, “I asked the cooks to leave food out for us to pack today, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting your lunch. Let me know if you need any help, alright?”

Shambles rolled his eyes and nodded. “I’ll be fine, Mommy!”

The princess turned to start making the hay pancakes. Shambles watched in awe as his mother used her magic with ease to acquire just the right amount of every ingredient without measuring cups. She broke the eggs perfectly and mixed the ingredients together into a fluffy, off white batter. She lit the stove and placed a pan on top to heat. Cyclis turned to face Shambles and saw he was slack jawed, amazed by her multi-tasking magic abilities. “Are you going to pack your lunch or not?” she said, smirking.

“Oops,” replied her young foal, and he returned to readying his lunch.

“Don’t pack any sweets now. I don’t want you getting sick,” she scolded, after seeing the foal try to sneak a few cookies into his bag.

Shambles pouted and put the cookies back. He grabbed an apple and a few slices of bread and slid them into the bag instead.

After the hay pancakes were done, and the princess had her morning tea, the two of them sat down in the dining hall to eat. For most of the meal, Shambles went on and on about how much fun he would have at school. When he had finally calmed down, he looked at his mother and asked, “Will you tell me about daddy again?”

The question caught her off guard. It’s not that she hadn’t been asked it before, but it always bugged her to answer it. She especially didn’t want to answer it on a day where she had planned to spend quality time with her foal, but the look of anticipation on the foal’s face reminded her how important this story was to him. She finally let out a sigh and asked, “You mean ‘The brave knight of Zephyra’?”

Shambles nodded his head, eager to hear his favorite story. “Yeah, Mommy!” He propped his elbows on the table, leaning in to hear the legend.

His mother couldn’t help but smile at that look of wonder he had on. She readied her thoughts, preparing the lie she’d been telling the young pegasus for years. She took a deep breath and began her story. “This is the tale of a courageous knight born in Zephyra. He was a strong stallion who had a knack for fighting. He spent years training to be the kingdom’s best warrior, holding brawling contests, and eventually joining the royal guard. After years of service, he and the princess fell in love and decided to marry. One day a fierce dragon found its way to the island and threatened to destroy their kingdom. The knight- turned prince had no choice but to don his armor again and confront the beast. After days of battle, the dragon was slain. But it came with a price, the prince had perished while delivering the final blow. The princess lived alone from that day forth, until she was gifted with a single foal. A foal that would grow to become a new prince, and that prince... is you!” The princess tickled her little prince with her horn and he let out a squeaky laugh.

“Now now, it’s almost time for you to get to school, young one!” called a voice from the entrance to the dining hall. The mother and foal turned to see the kingdom’s aged advisor, Good Word, sporting a bright sea foam green jacket and thick glasses.

Shambles hopped down from his chair and trotted over to Good Word.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Called his mother’s voice.

The foal spun around and saw his sack lunch at Cyclis’s feet. He hurried over and picked it up in his mouth. “Thankth, Mummy!” he called through a full mouth.

“Ah, ah, ah, forgetting something else?” she asked again.

The tiny prince groaned and stuck his head out for a goodbye kiss. He felt his mother’s kiss against his mane and hurried to the door again.

“I love you, sweetie! Be careful alright?” He heard her call from the table.

“I luf oo too, Mummy!” Shambles exclaimed, following Good Word out of the dining hall.

As he rounded the corner and out of sight, Cyclis sighed heavily. Her stomach lurched from filling up on pancakes. The princess knew she had to lie down, so she made her way back to the main hall. As she seated herself at the throne, memories flooded her mind. She remembered the day she had to create that lie. The day she forced an entire nation to rewrite history. All for the sake of a single foal. Her mind began slipping into unwanted memories.

“Are you alright, Princess?” said a familiar voice.

“Good Word?” Cyclis’s mind cleared suddenly, bringing her back to reality. She saw the advisor standing before her, a look of slight confusion on his face. “Why are you home so early? Where is Shambles?” She asked, almost frantic.

Good Word frowned and answered, “Miss Cyclis, It’s been half an hour since I left. I took him to school and I just now returned.”

“Oh, of course,” the princess replied, trying to collect her thoughts. The rush of memories had given her a piercing headache.

“Are you alright?” he asked, repeating the question.

She looked down, speaking softly, “Yes, yes. I just need some rest is all.” She closed her eyes tight and opened them again, trying to alleviate some of the pain. She climbed down from her throne and slowly trotted off to bed.

Good Word watched her as she practically slumped to her bedroom. A look of concern crossed his face. He hadn’t seen her like this since he was a young pony. He shuddered at the thoughts that crossed his mind and decided it was best to just go about his day. He could see the princess was under enough stress as it was. She didn’t need him making things worse.

Cyclis finally reached her bedroom. She dropped her body onto her bed. As the sudden release of pressure on her hooves sent a rush of relief through her nerves, she rolled onto her side and looked out towards the window, seeing the never ending plains of blue.

As the hours passed, it became increasingly difficult for the princess to sleep. Her guilt hung over her like a heavy mist. She thought about how many times she lied to her little foal. She saw how happy those lies made him, but she couldn’t bear to tell him the truth about her past.

Tears started to form in the corners of her eyes. She couldn’t stop remembering. Images of the days she spent with Discord burned themselves into her brain. She felt like she was reliving every moment with him. She could hear his smooth voice. His words formed in her mind. The words slowly grew into quotes. A feeling of familiarity filled the princess as she tried to associate these quotes with a specific memory. Then it came to her. Her heart sank as she realized which night she was recalling. The tears began to pour from her eyes as she remembered more and more of that night. She sobbed quietly, her heart weighing heavily inside her.

Minutes passed, and after she had cried until she could cry no more, Cyclis felt her body begin to weaken, and she knew sleep was upon her. Her eyes began to shut and she lay her head down. The tears on her face dampened the pillow beneath her. As she fell into a deep slumber, she felt her dream form around that amazing, terrible night.