• Member Since 12th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen Last Friday

Impossible Numbers

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying."


Celestia is the very image of beauty and perfection, and has been for over a thousand years. Inevitably, she receives a large number of letters every Hearts and Hooves Day. Luna is not amused, especially when they interfere with politics.

Now with audio reading! Generously provided by Quinch of the Golden Oaks Memorial Library.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 33 )

Nice little read. Good job.

I am going to have to read this a few more times, to allow all of it to sink in, for this is such a wonderful story.

She thought about this for a while. “Twilight Velvet, for instance, can tell a joke worth a dam.”

You may be called the Mother of Equestria, Celly, but that doesn't give you the right to make dad jokes.

And I made an oath. In the presence of a dozen noble ponies and the court jester.

And as Pinkie Pie's friends can attest, an oath made before the jester is especially binding.

In any case, there's a wonderful depth to this story. Even with each other, the royal sisters speak in enough layers for a baklava of meaning, and while both try to be sweet, we can see how each of them is more than a little nutty in her own way. Fascinating blend of sibling dynamics, the duties of the crown, and the weight of history. Thank you for it.


Thank you very much for the compliments. They're much appreciated. :twilightsmile:


You may be called the Mother of Equestria, Celly, but that doesn't give you the right to make dad jokes.

We could put a ban on bad puns, but in that case half of Equestria would have to be renamed.

And as Pinkie Pie's friends can attest, an oath made before the jester is especially binding.

You know what I'm gonna say, and I'm not even gonna say it. Ever. :derpytongue2:

I honestly feel a bit old-fashioned myself with this fic; it probably would have made more sense a few years ago in the show's canon than now. But it was an idea that struck me, and as much as I've written about these two lots of times, I realized I've virtually never written about them both together. That was a dynamic I couldn't resist any longer.

Thanks again for the comment! :scootangel: Always a pleasure.

Celestia frowned at the last letter remaining, one that had shrugged off her speed-reading spell like a waxed duck, and similarly resisted the spell that had wisked all the rest of the letters off to their storage location. It had been several centuries since she had last received an envelope shimmering with the magic of the Underdark, written in the coiling and writhing symbols of the Unspoken Tongue.

"Seriously, I thought he/she/it/them were over me," she muttered, gently applying a line of her magic to the eendges of the envelope and extracting out the folded piece of hide concealed inside. Rows of blackened words were restrained by tiny staples of Itchean Silver, stapled down to the page so they would not wriggle free and cause mischief in the World of the Real, which was nice, considering all the trouble Celestia had tracking down the aftereffects of the last love letter. "A sestina," she murmured, looking over the letter. "Impressive. Oh, come on!" The last words came out in a burst as she crammed the letter back into its envelope regardless of its struggles.

A few minutes later, Celestia rapped solidly on her sister's bedroom door. "Here!" she snapped when Luna blearily opened the door. "One of your love letters got misaddressed."


There's a story behind that story. I want you to write it. :moustache:

9640749 The Love That Dares Not Speak Its Name. No, seriously. Don't even try. It will drive you insane.

This is a great soty and I'm wondering if any of those leters are from Discord to practice writing such letters to Fluttershy. Luna is right that Celestia takes too much time with those letters.

i am pretty sure i did not understand this at all as it was meant . .
but it is still a wonderfully written story.

Before she hurried out, she wondered if “Carpe Noctiem” was really the correct form.

It's not (should be "Noctem"; not sure if the error is deliberate)
Really poetic ending, though. Well done, I think.


It is binding, even. The court jester was the one person allowed to deride the king openly. To keep the king humble, to mind his ideas. Like an especially rude and entertaining day planner. If she broke an oath she made before her jester, he could make sharp jokes and jabbing insults at her expense whenever, wherever, regarding it. Terrifying.

And let's face it, if they were a Pie ancestor they'd probably find a way to heckle her about it from beyond the grave.

Comment posted by Kwahn deleted May 25th, 2019

And luna never read the letter because she actually has received a total of zero, and expects no exception, and despite it paining her to be unloved by the greater world she has numbed to the pain and accepted her lot in life is only to serve others and suffer silently lest she be punished for her outspokenness, and so lives monotonously, muzzle to the grindstone, until she is made to retire by her sister, suddenly forced into a world of no longer being a royal, and having a new pain to try, amd ultimately fail, to overcome in the form of accepting she never was nor ever will be as loved or popular as her superior sister Celestia, and with her lesser skills and power now completely undermined by her retirement she will never even have a chance to try and become so, and is unwillingly relegated to a life of self-imposed yet undesired solitude in an attempt of self defense from the alien and to her, unpleasant, world of this weird "relaxation" thing, instead demanding herself to stay unhappy and miserable, finding endless things that bore and sadden her to occupy her time, using this self-imposed suffering to cope due to her unfamiliarity with joy and frivolity, until she finally dies alone and forgotten, her sister, the only one who ever showed her any inkling of love, albeit incredibly rare and often unnoticed and/or disingenuous, already peacefully passed and still mourned by all, not present to give any sort of less than successful attempt at comfort as she did every now and then in the past when the two were on the same Celestial body and alive. Doomed to suffer evermore in the afterlife either in Tartarus or exposed to forced endless vacation and freetime, unable to stick to her excruciating work and yet unable to adapt and enjoy what for all others is eternal bliss. Oh well, that's what she gets for being inferior and overall worthless. ¯\_😌_/¯


I'm genuinely sorry to hear that, but I understand where you're coming from. To be fair, I've often had problems getting my point across in stories before; it's still a weakness of mine. I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway, but it seems I've still got some work to do when it comes to writing clearer. A point I'll definitely bear in mind. Thank you for telling me! :scootangel:


Deary me. I recommend a daily dose of Pinkie Pie, good sir, possibly a double dose. Should clear that right up, sir. Prozac works too, I'm given to understand, but it's much less fun to watch. :trollestia:


Aye, it was deliberate. Luna is the studious one, after all, not Celly.

Delighted to hear you enjoyed the ending. It's good to know what I'm doing right (as well as what I'm doing wrong: constructive feedback, and all). Thank you so much. :twilightsmile:


Who can say what Discord would or would not do? Stranger things have happened in his presence. As for the oath: honour before reason, and all that.

Nice to see you again, and thank you for the comment, as always! :pinkiesmile: It's been a pleasant surprise to make it into the Featured Box this time, but comments like these are always the gold standard for me.


Whoops! Sorry, I missed your comment earlier. My mistake. :facehoof:

Although I haven't got much to add except, "Well spoken." It's easy to forget these days that jesters used to be more than just funny men in costumes. I remember the character of the Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear, who played the role you described, as the only person who could safely criticize the king's flaws in-between his wordplay and jesting.

I dread to think what a Pie version of one would be like. They'd break the King's Law and the Laws of Physics at the same time...


This is driving me crazy. Is "m'm" supposed to be "ma'am"?


Yes. It's sort of an alternative way of saying it.


Sorry about that, I just assume most people understand a jester to be silver-tongued. Have to be charismatic to toe the line, quick-witted to do the job. Clear and concise to make the point without losing interest or becoming obvious.

Very, very demanding. Why kill such a skilled employee, after all? It's the ones who went too far with their king's patience and temper, or were too dull, that tended to wind up dead.

A nice line between poignancy and comedy.




Precisely what I was hoping for. Thank you for the lovely comment. :pinkiesmile:

A lovely snippet of life, and a very interesting story to read through. I love the little peek into these persons who have grown so unusual with their exceptionally long lives.

I'm slightly sad to see what I consider a bit of a sad, distant life for Celestia. I feel like as much as she cares for everypony, she does so at a notable distance. Different personalities though; it's just my reaction.

I am a bit put out by the story though. It's a very "thinky" kind of thing, rife with metaphor, allusion, and obscured meanings. I can't help but feel like I'm coming away having missed something behind the princesses' enigmatic smiles. I don't know if I actually have though.


Oh gosh, I left my reply late for this one. Sorry about that! It kinda just slipped under my radar. :twilightsheepish:

Hm, I think I'll have to reconsider how I write these things. You see, I was going for a story where there's a lot of stuff there, but you don't have to catch all of it to appreciate it. It was intended more as a bonus than as something everyone has to get. Judging from your response, I didn't quite pull it off. I've had problems using implication and so on before, so maybe it's just I haven't found that sweet spot between putting too much up-front and hiding too much backstage? Food for thought, at least, so thanks for letting me know.

Oh, that's what I intended for Celestia's "life", so to speak. It is sad, but I think over time she finds ways to work with it or around it. That's why her last message at the end was meant to give a bit of hope: it's effectively her saying "I put myself in this mess, but you Luna, you don't have to."

Still, I'm glad you enjoyed the snippet, and thanks again for telling me what you thought. It's well-appreciated. :pinkiesmile:


It's alright. I'm always late! :twilightsheepish:

...it's effectively her saying "I put myself in this mess, but you Luna, you don't have to."

Well, the hopeful-ist in me would like to think that if Luna doesn't put herself in the same situation, that she'll eventually figure that she can get Celestia out of hers. :pinkiehappy:

“Oh surely, you must have picked up a smattering of street slang yourself?”

"No, and don't call me Shirley."

Author Interviewer

I think this one's above my reading level. @_@

I feel like I need to read and re-read it to really get it all. And that's a good kind of story.


Thanks for saying that, and I'm mighty pleased you think so. People have often said to me they didn't quite "get" it, but I thought they meant it was being too muddled or unclear (and, to be fair, I'm open to the idea they do have a point; this wouldn't be the first time I'd written something that didn't get things across clearly). Still, I'm grateful for your reassuring feedback here. :twilightsmile:

I can imagine a lot of ponies would be in love or pretending to be in love with Celestia.


Certainly, in love either with her or with her rank, or with an ideal of her that isn't necessarily the reality. Given a population of (I presume) millions, not all of them are going to be sincere, or possibly even sane. :rainbowderp:

Even the best ones would have a problem-they would age.


I think I'm going to add another to my 'Favorite Authors' list again...

This was unique, as in how an author is supposed to writes the short story; carefully placing the words here and there, tucking them away into the folds, so after someone reads the story, later, they suddenly sit up in bed that night as the impact hits them.

"Oh...THAT'S what they meant with that...!!"

Well Done, Son!!!

“After all, Twilight Sparkle is derived from Twilight Velvet, but I wouldn’t dream of claiming they’re the same pony.” She thought about this for a while. “Twilight Velvet, for instance, can tell a joke worth a dam.”

This only reinforces my belief that Celestia is personally responsible for all of the horse puns in the kingdom.

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