• Published 2nd Jan 2020
  • 675 Views, 47 Comments

Music Box Blues - PrincessColumbia

Principal Celestia gets help from a completely unexpected source when trying to find a gift for Sunset Shimmer

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Epilogue - Beside this window, I will wait, for inside this night I know it's not too late

She stared at the brown liquid in the glass. She knew well enough that she could escape into the effects of alcohol and, for a while at least, the ache in her heart would be numbed, just a little. After her sister left, Celeste finally let the tears fall that had been building behind her eyelids. As tempting as it was to drown her emotions in the sweet slumber of alcohol, she couldn’t bring herself to drink the brandy her sister poured for her. She had always been a bit of a lightweight drinker compared to Selene, for all she was taller and thus had more body mass. A part of her, some deep and hidden piece of her soul that she had grown used to listening to, said to not allow herself to be inebriated this night because she would be needed. Specifically that Sunset would need her.

She felt a fresh wave of the bitter tears pour down her cheeks as she thought of the girl. They had started getting so close. When she had finally recovered from the metaphorical gut-check the events of the Fall Formal had delivered to her worldview and perception of reality, she had started taking a direct and personal interest in Sunset Shimmer’s life. The five girls the visiting princess had tasked with taking care of her were strong, intelligent (usually), and wonderful young women, but they weren’t adults and they had their own lives that nobody could rightly demand they put on hold for a refuge. There was no precedent, no laws or structure or means of handing Sunset over to any sort of authority, especially in the current political climate in the United States surrounding illegal immigrants; Sunset would enter the system and disappear as she would be shuttled from agency to agency and possibly incarcerated with no homeland to send her to. Celeste couldn’t let that happen, so had severely bent (and broken) a few laws to become legal guardian to the girl on paper, even so far as owing her old college rival Chrystal a favor in exchange for listing Celeste as Sunset’s mother, using Celeste’s own deceased child’s Social Security number to establish Sunset’s legal documentation. Celeste then used the convenience of the requirement to discipline Sunset to have the girl to stay after school in the principal’s office under the guise of detention to start being a guide and mentor to her.

And she was making real progress! Sunset began to respond to Celeste’s attention like a hothouse flower that had been transplanted to the desert getting water for the first time in weeks. The passage of weeks flew by as the tentative bond of educator and student began to grow into something more, something as strong as (dare she even think it?) mother and daughter.

And then the Anonymous blog started up. The moniker, suspected of being associated with (or at least inspired by) the Anonymous group that had made headlines a few years back, was used to implicate Sunset of being some form of whistleblower or snitch or stool-pigeon, depending on who was being asked. No matter who was asked, though, the sentiment was universal; Sunset Shimmer, legitimate she-demon, banished alien, was up to her old tricks. That it couldn’t possibly be Sunset was transparent to Celeste (not to mention the rest of the staff once they caught wind of it) was lost on the student body, and no matter how hard she and the staff tried to quell the idea, it spread like a bad flu virus.

Even worse for Celeste was watching impotently as the girls that Sunset had grown close to began pulling away, one at a time, until they all chose to confront her. Sunset’s protests fell on deaf ears, and she was alone once again, this time because of an anonymous cyber-bully instead of by choice. Even more heartbreaking was Sunset truly believing that she deserved what was happening to her.

Naturally, Celeste had the school district’s lawyers on the job as soon as she found the blog. It was the bully’s greatest mistake to target Laura Hart rather than loop the girl in. Laura’s conspiracy theorist hobby would have made her the perfect co-conspirator, but they instead opted to ‘out’ the girl as a lesbian. If Laura’s girlfriend had been anyone else, the bullies might have gotten away with it, but then, Bonny and Laura’s relationship was a secret so deep that even the girls’ parents were completely in the dark about it. The only reason Celeste was aware of it was Bonny’s unofficial role as “student spy,” keeping her ear to the student gossip circles, investigating likely leads, then reporting directly to Celeste when she found evidence of something that violated school rules or the law. The pair had brought the saved screenshots and links to the live blog pages with Laura in tears that she had been outed without her consent. From there it was handled as swiftly as possible, but the damage had been done. The student body’s morale was in tatters and Sunset was growing more and more distant.

The last anyone had seen of Sunset was when Celeste and Selene had tried and failed to follow her to wherever she was going after school every day. They had managed to tail the girl as far as a Chinese restaurant near the warehouse district, but then lost the trail. There were simply too many possible ways the girl could have gone, too many twists and turns adding to the problem. If they’d had more manpower or more time…

Celeste unlocked her phone again, looking at the picture of the girl that had wormed her way into her heart. With a sigh, she leaned back in her chair and glanced around the study, willing to trade every last penny her parents left her in order to have Sunset with her, safe and sound. She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose briefly, then opened them again.

There was a woman sitting in the chair on the other side of her desk.

It was simply that quick; one moment she was alone in the room, the next she had a visitor.

The woman was like a bizarre clown funhouse mirror of herself. Skin so pale she might have been a goth or a vampire cosplayer and hair in a pastel rainbow of colors. Her suit was a more colorful version of Celeste’s, but where she wore her suit unornamented, the woman across from her had a pin that had a stylized sun.

Before Celeste could gather her thoughts enough to respond, the woman stood and reached out for her. “Celeste, my name is Celestia. Yes, I know it seems impossible, and I can explain on the way. We need to go get Sunset. I know where she is.”

Celeste gaped at the woman, glancing between her face and the outstretched hand, “...are you the princess?”

Celestia chuckled darkly, “No, thank goodness. I’m from another universe entirely. Now let’s go get your girl. You’ll need to drive because I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay in this universe after you’ve found her and she won’t be in any condition to walk here from the warehouse she’s in.”

Once again ecstatically glad she had listened to that little voice in the back of her head, she reached out to grasp the woman’s hand. “Show me the way.”

The End

Christmas 2019

Principal Celestia’s adventures continue in ‘My Empire of Dirt’

Author's Note:

Finally done!

Honestly, the last chapter felt like an epilogue after the Epic Chapter of Doom that came before it, but this was pretty much always where this story was going.

Fun fact: I had completed this epilogue before "The candles burning, you know I'm gonna wait, the clock keeps turning, but I know it's not too late" was a fully-fledged outline. I wrote it right on the heels of finishing Celeste's scene at the end of "If you'd just believe, Just believe with me."

If you've made it this far, you're probably eagerly awaiting Chapter 5 of My Empire of Dirt. I don't have it quite as ready to go as I did this last chapter and epilogue, but I have been working on it and I'm enjoying the writing of it, so it's just down to carving the time out of my schedule to do so.

I hope you enjoyed this (very) late Christmas gift to my fans as I enjoyed making it, even as much of a headache and nightmare it was to produce what was supposed to be a "quick little short story that I should be able to dash off in about a week or two."

See you in Empire!

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Comments ( 9 )

This epilogue was very necessary, and I thank you for its inclusion.

Both these two last chapters were so sweet! Can't wait to see Empire of Dirt continued :heart:

As always, 2 lovely and powerful chapters, can't wait for the continuation of Empires
Thank you

Good story and now to the continuation

Wanderer D

Once again ecstatically glad she had listened to that little voice in the back of her head, she reached out to grasp the woman’s hand. “Show me the way.”

Follow da principle she knows da wae.

...even as I wrote it...I knew...

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