• Published 6th Mar 2019
  • 8,228 Views, 144 Comments

All Our Times Have Come - RarityEQM

Twilight dies in a terrible lab accident. You'd be surprised who is most upset by this.

  • ...

Here But Now They're Gone

Author's Note:

This started as a notion I came up with and couldn't get it out of my head.
Then I jotted down some lines of text.
Then a paragraph.
Then a page.
Whelp, here's a short vignette.
Enjoy some three am trash.:duck:
And Applejack helped a bit.

Twilight gave a quiet, irritated huff and reached her hooves up to rub at her eyes. She was still seeing spots from looking directly into the beaker, but her goggles protected her from most of the blast. Safety first, after all. Still, that shouldn't have happened. She hadn't accidentally caused an explosion since her days at the university. She knew what she did wrong, though. She'd forgotten to carry the one. Again. She groaned.

"Twilight? Everything okay? I heard an explosion and the whole castle shook!" a voice called from the stairwell. Twilight sighed and twisted around on her stool, gazing up at the crystal stairs that lead to the castle's upper floors.

"Everything is fine, Starlight, just made a teeny tiny error mixing these potions," Twilight hollered back. She glanced at the book again, trying to find the spot she'd last left off. It was smudged with soot, gunk and the remains of the beaker that had been destroyed.

"Twilight?" Starlight called again, a note of urgency in her voice. Twilight frowned, her concentration shattered like the equipment before her.

"Yes, what is it?" she called back, perking her ears at the sound of the door opening, and hooves clomping down the stairs.

"Twilight, are you alright?! Answer me!" Starlight called again. Now Twilight was starting to feel irritated. No. She could push it off. It was unbecoming of a princess to snap. She was fine. Still, was Starlight not listening? If it wasn't an exploding beaker from an experiment gone awry it was ponies not giving her enough time to collect her thoughts and try again. She rubbed a hoof across the bridge of her nose. Maybe it was time for a break. She was getting frustrated.

"TWILIGHT!!" Starlight screamed. Twilight squeezed her eyes shut, a growl building in her throat.

"What?! I'm right here, you don't need to shout!" she chided, watching Starlight scramble down the stairs.

"SPIKE! Spike go get nurse Redheart! NOW! It's an emergency! Twilight is badly hurt!" she shrieked. Twilight rolled her eyes. Sure the explosion was loud and her fur was scorched just a little after she'd accidentally mixed the wrong chemicals, but there was no need to be such a drama queen about it. She expected it from Rarity, but not Starlight. Well, not usually anyway.

"No, everything is fine, Starlight. It was just-" Twilight explained, but her words died in her throat when Starlight raced past her to the purple alicorn lying crumpled in the corner. Twilight balked. Slowly, ever so slowly, she tilted her head to the side, absolutely perplexed by what she was looking at. But only momentarily. Yup. That was her body lying unmoving and mangled from the blast. Lovely. She sighed. She was planning to go to Bargain Books this afternoon. They were having a sale, but now it looked like she'd be a tad delayed. She hated delays. She meandered across the lab to Starlight, looking the unicorn over who sobbed and tried to shake Twilight back to life, clutching the princess in her forelegs and blubbering a soggy mess all over her coat.

"It'll be okay. We're gonna be okay, Twilight. Just hang in there! Spike is going to get help right now and he'll be back really soon, so, just, oh, god, stay with me!" Starlight begged, placing her hooves on Twilight's chest and starting compressions. Twilight rubbed her chest where Starlight was pushing furiously. She was fairly sure it wouldn't work and Starlight didn't even check for vital signs, a concerning fact Twilight planned to address the moment she got back. Well, maybe after book shopping.

She drew in a quiet breath, pausing at the idea of breathing when you were dead. Something to notate. How curious. Did the dead have to breathe? Of course not, unless it was a leftover habit from the living. What would happen if she stopped breathing? Discomfort? Would she even feel it? It wasn't like she had lungs in her chest as a ghost. Wait, was she a ghost? A spirit? Some sort of specter? She was jarred from her speculation when the room began to grow dark. Darker and darker still. Twilight sighed.

"Twilight?! TWILIGHT!! PLEASE!! YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP! D-DON'T DO THIS! TWILIGHT!" Starlight screamed. Twilight rubbed her ears. Did she have to scream directly into her face so loudly? Was it really necessary when Twilight was obviously unconscious? It didn't take long for the screaming to fade away, along with everything else in the room, leaving Twilight in a thin veil of darkness. More theatrics and drama. She definitely needed a good book after all of this. A voice suddenly boomed through the air.

"YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF YOUR TIME ON THIS MORTAL COIL, PONY! I AM THE FINAL DESTINATION TO ALL THINGS LIVING!" the voice announced from everywhere and nowhere at once. A grand voice of unimaginable power that seemed to ripple through reality itself. Twilight mentally went through her shopping list.

Beside her an ebon, ghostly mist began to manifest, bubbling with darkness and gloom. It formed what could only be described as a robe, pulled across a wiry skeletal structure that loomed towering over her, all accumulating into what appeared to be a pale white horse skull with glowing blue eyes.

"YOU HAVE MET YOUR DOOM, FOR I AM THE GRIM REA- OH GOD, IT'S YOU AGAIN!" the spirit screeched. Twilight gazed up at the menacing apparition and then back to her basement lab and flashed a sheepish grin.

"Yes, it's me. Sorry. Sorry. I didn't mean to bother you, I just accidentally blew myself up. Again," she explained, gesturing towards her book in the darkness. "The pages were a little smudged with ink, and I had to improvise with some of the ingredients and it only required a few teaspoons of-" she babbled, but the spectral horse held up a hoof and groaned.


"I believe you have to offer me a choice of a game to challenge you in?" she asked sweetly. The Reaper sat down and began to cry. Not these horse apples again.

"No! No, no, no, no. The last time it was chess. Do you know how much I loved chess? I HATE chess now and it was one of my favorite games. I didn't think it was even possible for anypony to beat me in two moves," he sobbed. Well, Twilight had assumed the Grim Reaper was a 'he' really, she couldn't exactly check under the robes and ghost skeletons weren't known to have genders. Something more for her to speculate on. Next time this happened, she'd need to bring her notebook with her. If she died near a notebook, at least. Wait, didn't she have one in the lab? She glanced back up at the Reaper curiously, then down at the robes it was wearing. Hmmm. She blushed when it caught her staring and instantly flashed another smile.

"So I get to go back then?" she asked. The Grim Reaper drew in a deep breath, composed itself, looked over at Twilight, started to cry again, and finally shook its head and stood upright with a grim sigh.

"No. The challenge must take place. Just, not chess, okay? Can we not do chess? I will play anything but chess," it pleaded. Twilight nodded her head.

"Oh, that's fine, that's fine. We can play chess some other time. Anything, huh? How about something easy? What about Tic-Tac-Toe? Do you like Tic-Tac-Toe? Let's play that instead," the brainy alicorn cooed. The Reaper glared at her quietly before slumping his (her?) shoulders in defeat. Tic-Tac-Toe. It knew what she was playing at and it did not like it one bit. Slowly, the Reaper shook its head and pointed at her body.

"NO! NOPE! ABSOLUTELY NOT! NOT GONNA HAPPEN! NO. ALRIGHT, NO! JUST GO! JUST. GO," It snarled. Twilight's cheeks twisted into a wide, wide grin. So wide it hurt her face.

"Thank yo-"

"OUT!" the Reaper shrieked furiously. Ponies were the bane of its existence. This purple pony in particular. With a quick nod of her head, Twilight shuffled herself across the laboratory, past Starlight's sobbing frame, and settled down into her body.

"Twilight, please?! I-I know you can hear me! We're gonna get through this, HANG ON!! JUST HANG ON!!" Starlight screamed.

"Hey," Twilight said, sitting up with a yawn and a stretch. Starlight stared as if she'd seen a ghost. Which was silly. Starlight obviously had not seen her.

"T-Twilight?!" she sputtered. Twilight smiled and climbed to her hooves and trotted back to her books and shattered lab equipment. Explosions always left such a mess and since Spike was out fetching nurse Redheart, it would be a little while before he got back. Which meant she'd have to clean up herself. Irritating. She got to work, though, fetching the dustpan from the corner and the large trash bin she kept for just such an occasion. Starlight rubbed her eyes, stared, and then rubbed her eyes again. What the...

"Twilight y-you're okay? You were just dead!" Starlight exclaimed. Twilight turned towards her and frowned.

"No, you didn't check for vital signs, I was only mostly dead," she explained. Starlight stared. Her head was beginning to hurt from the lack of oxygen supplied by her heart, which had stopped when Twilight miraculously sprung back to life.

"You see, there's a big difference between entirely dead and mostly...you know what? Nevermind. No, you're right. I was dead. Let's just go with dead," Twilight corrected, shaking her head. Was she dead? Was that death? Sure she was talking to the Reaper but that didn't require her to be entirely dead, did it? Where was that notebook?

"You-you-you-you came back to life!" Starlight sputtered. Another question popped into Twilight's mind, and it was an important one: was she a zombie now? Well, she wasn't a zombie the last time this happened and she did not crave the brains of other ponies....did she? She let her gaze fall curiously to Starlight. Hmmm.

"How...how...how..." the broken record known as Starlight skipped.

Twilight glanced over at the stuttering pony thoughtfully. Of course, Starlight had never seen her perform this 'trick' before. Naturally, she'd be a little concerned.

"Oh. I died and when the Reaper came to claim my soul I challenged him to a game," she explained. Starlight's muzzle dropped open in surprise. Twilight had challenged the Reaper and she won? Impossible. That was impossible! She knew Twilight was smart, but to fool a mythical being eons old? How could she defeat somepony so powerful?! Wait, wait, no, Twilight had managed to beat her when she had all the cards and the power of time travel, so, yeah, no, it checked out.

"D-did you challenge him to chess?" Starlight stammered in disbelief. Twilight giggled and shook her head.

"Oh, no, no. Little known fact: the Reaper actually hates chess. I have ruined that game for him. Forever. No, I challenged her to Tic-Tac-Toe," she chuckled, pride riddling her voice. Slowly, Starlight tilted her head. Tic. Tac. Toe. Twilight beat the Reaper in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe? Wait. What?

"I don't, I don't understand how that's possible?" Starlight squeaked. Twilight shrugged.

"Well, they said they had a schedule to keep, so I challenged him to a game of it and everypony knows the only way to win Tic-Tac-Toe is not to play, or you'd just draw over and over again. In order to win and claim my soul, he had to refuse my challenge, -which she did- and by refusing my challenge, I won by default. Will you please pass me another trash bag?" Twilight asked brightly.

Starlight swallowed, took a step back and nervously floated a trash bag over to Twilight, who happily began to clean shards of glass scattered around the desk. There was smart. And then there was smart. And then there was whatever level of intelligence Twilight slung around so very casually. The scary type of smart that drew Starlight to the horrifying conclusion that if Twilight wanted to, she could take over the planet. Probably before lunch. What time was it? Starlight glanced at the clock in the lab. 10:36. She shuddered.

"STARLIGHT! Starlight I'm back! I've got nurse Redheart! Starlig-" Spike hollered, pausing when Starlight slowly climbed the staircase from the basement, a look of bewilderment wrapped around her features.

"...Everything is fine. Everything is fine now. We are...we're good." Starlight squeaked. She smiled the sort of smile a pony might have who just had their mind blown. With several, several pounds of dynamite.

Nurse Redheart blinked and stole a glance at Spike who shrugged in confusion. "Good?? I was under the impression Twilight was gravely hurt?" she stammered. Starlight shook her head.

"Oh no. Not hurt. Dead. She was dead. Mostly. But she got better. Please excuse me. I need to go now." she said with a wide, unnerved smile. Then she slipped into her bedroom and hung up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign, on the basis of being disturbed enough already today.

Spike stared after her, then went to the staircase and called down nervously. "... T... Twilight?"

Moments later, the princess trotted up the steps, smiling cheerfully with a tied trash bag in her magic grip. She dropped it into Spike's claws.

"There we are. Just a little mess is all. Take that outside, please?" She turned towards the nurse and nodded her head in acknowledgment. The nurse pony raised an eyebrow.

"Um? False alarm I guess?" Spike asked.

Nurse Redheart gave a well-rehearsed sigh. The sort of sigh that announced she was not in the mood for shenanigans and headed for the door. These ponies would be the death of her, she was sure.

"Sorry for the fuss!" Twilight called after her.

"FUSS!?" Spike yelled. "Twilight, I thought you were DEAD with the way Starlight was screaming! I was so scared!" The dragon hollered. Twilight shook her head.

"Nonsense, Spike. There's a reason they say "don't fear the Reaper" and I'll tell you why, but first: would you like to learn how to play Tic-Tac-Toe? Correctly?"

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Comments ( 144 )

Twilight Sparkle is dead.
Twilight Sparkle is also only slightly inconvenienced.


I only have one question. How did you manage to have both a comedy tag and a tragedy tag on your story?

I will admit, I kind of wondered about that too. :rainbowhuh:

Yeah, I could have sworn they were mutually exclusive.

Oh that's just evil :rainbowlaugh:

Now I am amusingly wondering if Luna, Celestia and Cadance also have the Grim Reaper as traumatized when it comes to dealing with them if in different ways.

That's Twilight...even Death can't really keep her from doing anything. such a smart pony! Only she could challenge Death and make him (her) cry.

This was far from trash, Lady Rarity. This was magnificent!!

Tragedy can have humor, at times, as well.

I know but I remember there was a time when FIMFiction wouldn't allow you to have both tags on a story.

Why is there a tragedy tag?

Oh, I wasn't aware of that. I suppose it may have been through one of the updates. Good idea to change it, though.

"The only winning move is not to play."

I wonder if Global Thermonuclear War is next on the list.

Here but now they're gone.

You don't consider the Death of Twilight Sparkle a tragedy?

9492013 9492008
Fimfiction is using the technical, rather than the conversational, definition of tragedy:

The literary term “Tragedy” shouldn’t be confused with how the expression of something being “tragic” is used. A sad story is not necessarily a tragedy when in writing. Tragedy involves the downfall or failure of the main character. This, again, does not mean that they die—the tragedy can lie in the failure to achieve something they have worked for through the whole story. The build-up to such a thing and the eventual failure is what the tragedy is.

It’s possible for a literary tragedy to be humorous, as demonstrated by Shakespeare (not to be confused with Shakespearicles) and others. I don’t recall not being able to use both tags together, but I’ve been here only a year or two, and I’ve never used the “Tragedy” tag.

. . . You know, this is a humorous tragedy—for the Grim Reaper.

Why you think this is trash I will never know. Sure, it could use some editing, but it's friggin' hilarious. :rainbowlaugh:

Also, bonus points to you, darling for being the first to catch the title. :raritywink:


A-aaand, at that point . . . ::grins::

I seriously needed a good laugh today, and this? This was it!


Was that a Sims reference I spotted?:derpytongue2:

I enjoyed this

I know the name is a reference to Don't Fear The Reaper, but it also reminds me of another song, "We Will All Go Together When We Go" by Tom Lehrer. Which is a lecture on the upsides of mutually assured nuclear annihilation.

The real question: How did Death, who has no doubt played countless games of Chess (given Death playing chess for souls is known enough to become a thing), manage to lose in two moves? I mean, I know of a set of moves that would do it, but it's really the sort of thing that only happens if you're TRYING to do so on both sides.

... if Twilight teaches all her friends how to play tic-tac-toe... she might break Death.

The mechanic or the person?


Ah, I needed this laugh. Thank you. :twilightsmile:

Luna probably forces death to play hours of video games...

"No, everything is fine, Starlight. It was just-" Twilight explained, but her words died in her throat when Starlight raced passed her to the purple alicorn lying crumpled in the corner. Twilight balked. Slowly, ever so slowly, she tilted her head to the side, absolutely perplexed by what she was looking at. But only momentarily. Yup. That was her body lying unmoving and mangled from the blast. She sighed. She was planning to go Bargain Books this afternoon. They were having a sale, but now it looked like she'd be a tad delayed. She hated delays. She meandered over to Starlight, looking the unicorn over while she sobbed and tried to shake Twilight back to life, clutching her in her forelegs and blubbering a soggy mess all over her coat.

Well, she's calm for somepony who just saw her own dead body. She's been through this before, hasn't she?

Also, Starlight's so getting traumatized.

"I believe you have to offer me a choice of a game to challenge you in?" Twilight asked sweetly. The Reaper sat down and began to cry. Not these horse apples again.

"No! No, no, no, no. The last time it was chess. Do you know how much I hate chess now? I HATEchess, and it was one of my favorite games. I didn't even know it was possible to win in two moves," he sobbed.

Seems I was right!

Also, if being an Alicorn didn't make Twilight immortal already this "challenge" ensures that she'll never die. She's too smart to lose. Huh.

Maybe I need to learn something.

"Oh no. Not hurt. Dead. She was dead. But she got better. Please excuse me. I need to go now." she said with a wide, cheerful smile. Then she slipped into her bedroom and hung up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign, on the basis of being disturbed enough already.


Poor Starlight.

*tries to hide snorts of laughter*

Ah yes, the key to immortality.

Tic Tac Toe.

Spike's a dragon anyways you can fire him out a cannon into a castle and he'd be fine.

Starlight could do with some more trauma. Builds character.

And nasty coping habbits.

Me: I would!

Spike: No, I wouldn't.

Hm. Perhaps that is the key to my own immortality insured. Apologies, well-written story.

Starlight raced passed her to


She was planning to go Bargain Books this afternoon

Given the capitalization i guess it should be "to go to"

robes and skeletons weren't known to have genders.

Well... there are differences in the skeleton due to gender... they may be more or less evident depending on species...

You! I can't believe I didn't notice you 5 hours ago...

That's what happens when one rushes, me thinks.

I love that song. One of my favorites.

No, You didn't check for vital signs, I was only mostly dead

Mostly dead, you can come back to life. All dead means that all you can do is rummage for loose change.


Right on both accounts darling!

And only two corrections! I am getting better at this editing thing! :raritystarry:
Edit: I am not getting better at this editing thing.

9493156 *Alondro pushes on Twilight's chest. Twilight mutters something.* True love! She said 'true love'!

Rainbow erms, "Actually, she said 'to blathe'. I was kinda cheating when we were playing cards and figured out I was hiding aces in my wings before she choked on an apple."

AJ eye-shifts, "Ah didn't have nuthin' ta do with it."


I was really really hoping somepony would comment on that reference! I love you darling! :raritystarry:

Good story, although by the time the Grim Reaper showed up I was expecting more Bill & Ted references.

I was just believing that it was OBVIOUS where it was coming from...
I'm getting old...

Darling, you've no idea how badly I'd have liked to write in"STATION" at some point.

Any comedy from the perspective of the antagonist is a tragedy. After all, fate decreed they would lose no matter what they did.

And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling kids!


Twilight, don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, you can be like they are

Cadance probably has him play lots of Romance Sims

Alondro #45 · Mar 7th, 2019 · · 12 ·

I won against Death in Tic-Tac-Toe. Twice.

I simply use my P50-level psychic powers to force him to choose an outer corner.

(Alondro has ascended to Lawnmower Man...)


*scratches head in confusion*

So, Celestia and Luna finally shared the secret of immortality with Twilight, I see.

Wat ?
All you have to do is be the one to start in the middle and the other player to place NOT at a corner.
And you've won.

9494482 Fool, my powers allow me to win when my opponent starts in the corner. Then I make them choose another corner. And then another. I innocently place my marks in horizontal non-corners and win. They're all like, "Ha ha! I control 3 corners! I have two ways to win now!" And I'm like, "Oh look, I can put this O right over... there! I win!" And they're like, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Curse this cunning fiend! I didn't expect him to win right out in the open like that! I'll get him next time! Best 2 out of 3!" And then the next time I win vertically. And they're like, "ARG!! He's... he's too much for me! I can't win against such ruthless and cunning strategy!"

Little do they know it was mind-control all along!


No proper wizard lets a little thing like death slow them down

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