• Published 20th Sep 2012
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Curses - Kim Kimera Kimes



The ponies of the mountain town of Rocky Slopes suddenly find themselves victims of a curse.

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Day 4 - Curses

On a sunny day with clear blue skies, the warmth of the spring sun shined down on Equestria. Animals enjoyed the sun, bathing in its rays ‘til their hearts content. The light invigorated plant life and strengthened them tot their pre-winter strength. The earth was green and all was good. Or it should be, thought Princess Luna

Her head was heavy, occupied by numerous thoughts. Her sister told her of disturbing events that happened across Equestria up until yesterday, when the perpetrator was caught in a town called Rocky Slopes. That pony cursed numerous ponies with something called a Cursemark, a cutiemark with negative attributes. She shudders as the thought of her own cutiemark cursed crossed her mind.

She brought her wings down, propelling her forward. It felt odd, having no guards with her while she normally always had two at her side. However she also felt they limited her at times, their presence keeping everything strictly formal. Also they couldn’t fly as fast as her, as she brought her wings down once more, as if to reinforce her point.

*

While the town of Rocky Slopes enjoyed the sun, a beige pegasus mare laid on a bench in the shadow of her inn. Her eyes were fixed on the ground, but they were gazing at nothing. Her thoughts had drawn her attention, washing over her, carrying her across the expanse of her mind as she kept thinking. A small sigh escaped her lips. “Lapis.”

This remained for awhile, the mare sitting in the shade while there was nothing around her happening. Ponies walked by, birds sang, a small breeze blew across her mane and a small dot in the sky kept getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Until a dark blue hoof touched down on the ground. SilkShine looked up from her brooding and with widened eyes stared upon who stood before her. Quickly her mind clicked, she checked her coat for blemishes; none to be found. She patted her curls praying that her mane looked decent.

Princess Luna spotted SilkShine sitting in the shade, who became quite nervous from the presence of the approaching royalty. What could she want from me? Is she going to ask me questions about Lapis? Arrest me for housing him in my inn? Make me into a statue for the Canterlot Gardens?! The princess stopped in front of her. Please make it quick.

“Pardon me madam—SilkShine’s ear twitched—We… uhm, I am looking for those who are unfortunate enough to have been cursed these last couple of days.”

SilkShine’s ears drooped.

“Does thy per chance know where they might reside?” Luna asked to her.

“Yes, I know some of them personally,” she responded meekly.

Luna smiled in return. “Excellent, could thy accompany me to them?”

SilkShine wasn’t quite in the mood to do anything. But she did say she knew where some of the victims of… Lapis were. With some reluctance SilkShine left her comfortable spot on the bench. “A friend of mine and her colt have been cursed. They live nearby,” She said as she started walking. Luna took this as her cue to come along.

Luna wondered what exactly is going on. She was used to her subjects revering, fearing or being strictly formal with her. One time a stallion even tried to flirt with her, but that was swiftly handled. However this mare seemed disinterested in her, quite like Celestia when she has something on her mind. That reminded her…

“Oh dear, my apologies,” the princess said as she noticed of her mistake.

SilkShine turned her head around. “Is something wrong, princess?”

“Yes, we… I have never asked thine name,” she said.

“My name is SilkShine, Your Majesty.”

The princess frowned. “Please don’t do that.”

SilkShine halted, unsure what she had done wrong. “Do what, princess?”

“Calling us titles, it makes everything feel so distant,” she explained, “Please, call me Luna.”

“Oh. My apologies, princess Luna.”

The dark mare let out a sigh ” Just lets continue on.”

After a minute or two walking in silence, the duo arrived at Silent Song’s home. SilkShine walked up to the door and knocked a few times in rapid succession. A moment later the door opened with Silent Song standing behind it. Going by her wide eyed look, she was amazed to see SilkShine together with Princess Luna.

“Hello Silent, are you doing better today?” she asked her friend. Silent Song lifted her hoof and shook it lightly, implying she did okay.

Luna stepped forward, drawing the attention towards her. “Miss Silent Song, if we may come in, I would like to have a word with you and your foal.” Silent Song looked curiously to Luna before she nodded and turned back into her house, with Luna and SilkShine following.

Silent Song, her husband and colt didn’t live large, but rather cosy. There were two couches in the small living room and several chairs stacked unto each other in a corner. Probably for big social visits. Luna and SilkShine took place on one of the couches. Silent Song took place on the other, a pang of pain ran across her face when she planted her bandaged hindleg on the couch.

“Does your leg still hurt much?” SilkShine asked her friend, who in response shook her hoof lightly again.

“Why does thee not speak, Silent Song?” Luna asked.

Silent Song sighed. “BECAUSE IT COMES OUT LIKE THIS,” she yelled with a sad look.

Luna didn’t expect the sudden rise in volume. “No need to shout!”

“I CAN’T HELP IT.” The mare responded.

“How so?” Luna wondered out loud.

“I AM CURSED WITH SHOUTING! She screamed.

Luna was taken aback by the shouting rivalling her own Royal Canterlot voice. “Oh, our apologies.”

SilkShine’s ears were still ringing as she massaged the aching feeling away. Looking at the pitiful look in the eyes of her friend prompted her to doubt their presence here. “Maybe we have talked enough, princess Luna.”

“Not quite SilkShine, but it is true this line of conversation cannot go on,” said Luna stern. Walking around the coffee table that separated the couches, Luna halted right in front of Silent Song. She charged her horn with magical energy and closed her eyes. Silent Song slowly shuffled away, fearing whatever trouble may brew from the princess’ horn.

A bright light emanated from Luna’s horn, nearly blinding SilkShine, who barely saw her friend being engulfed by the light. Then it stopped. Rubbing the bright spots from her eyes, she heard nopony talking, only the ragged breath from Silent Song. After a few moments, she could see clearly again.

Princess Luna now stood on the other side of the couch, wearing a quizzical look on her face as she was staring at Silent Song. “Hmmm, how odd,” muttered the princess.

With her eyes still half-¬blinded Silent Song looked puzzling at the princess. “What did you do?” she asked with a hint of fear. Then she realized she had stopped screaming.

“My intention was to relieve you from the Cursemark, but it seems that instead, it has changed in a different Cursemark, one in the form of kiss,” Luna responded, glazingly staring at the mark, wondering where her spell had gone wrong. “At least the shouting has halted.”

“Oh, but that is my cutiemark!” Silent Song yelled happily.

“It is?” Luna asked perplexed.

“That is her cutiemark, princess. She got it because she is a great talker,” SilkShine answered Luna’s look.

“Omygosh omygosh omygosh!” The green mare happily spun pirouettes until she stopped mid-spin. “No time to celebrate yet! My son needs to be cured as well!” Slowly, a plume of dust fell down from the ceiling. “Uh oh,” she whispered, looking at the cracked ceiling.

“What is wrong, Silent?” SilkShine asked.

“My son’s curse has become active aga-.”

Suddenly the ceiling broke open, a green coloured colt falling from the hole. He never hit the floor however as a blue aura surrounded him.

“So you are the other one in this household that has been cursed, correct?” The princess manoeuvred the colt in front of her with her magic.

“Yes, ma’am.” The colt answered as he looked up to the dark-blue alicorn.

“Good, close you eyes for a moment, little one.”

The colt looked questioning to his mother. She smiled in return. “It is alright Green Grove, the princess will help you remove the curse, just as she did with mine.” Silent Song turned, showing her restored cutiemark.

“The cursed cutiemark is gone!” Green Grove exclaimed. He looked up to the princess again, his eyes glittering with joy.

“Close your eyes,” she repeated. The colt anxiously obeyed, forcing his eyes shut. Luna lit her horn again, flaring with light. Silent Song and SilkShine turned their eyes away from the bright light. When they looked at the young colt again they saw Green Grove brimming with fading light, his Cursemark gone, rendering his flank blank again.

Green Grove happily hopped across the room, not afraid of randomly breaking furniture anymore. Luna lit her horn once more, levitating the debris from the ceiling upwards, inserting them in the hole and undoing the damage. “There,” Luna said, “now we should be able to talk proper.”

After a small conversation concerning the Cursemark, Luna and SilkShine left the house, having said their goodbyes to Silent Song and Green Grove, their next destination being the hospital.

“I didn’t know there was a way to remove Cursemarks, I thought they were permanent. A silly thought now I think about it.” SilkShine said, being reminded of Lapis Lazuli’s actions once more.

Luna stared at SilkShine, having witnessed her excitement drop to sadness in one sentence.
“SilkShine, may I inquire what is at hoof? You seem very distraught.”

SilkShine looked up to Luna, hesitating for a moment what to say. “It is… nothing.”

“That is the most cliché answer anypony can give, SilkShine. Seeing as it has left you without joy barring the celebratory moments.”

“There is nothing wrong, princess,” SilkShine replied defensively. Luna stared at her, questioning her statement. “It is nothing, really!” Luna continued to stare at her, slightly frowning. “It is noth…” The princess’ frown slightly creased.

“It is about a stallion, right?” Luna said suddenly.

SilkShine’s eyes grew large. “H-how did you know?”

Princess Luna smiled, raised her hoof into the air and yelled: “Huzzah!” Several ponies turned around looking at the source of the outcry. The princess blushed from the sudden attention and quickly put her hoof back on the ground. “My apologies for that, it is not often that I can help ponies with their personal problems.”

SilkShine, still a bit bewildered, noticed a slight change in Luna’s voice. It sounded more girlish, instead of the formal, mature voice she always carried. It reminded her of Silent Song, who was easily excited by these topics. Not too mention SilkShine began to notice as they were coming closer to the hospital, Luna was slowly inching towards her. Was she trying to get her to talk?

“So thine heart has been set aflame with passion, dear SilkShine?” Luna asked with glee. The beige mare wanted to give an answer, but hesitated long enough for Luna to take the initiative. “Once, I had a crush on a stallion who was employed in my Night Guard. What was his name again?”

SilkShine had a sneaky suspicion where the topic would be leading too.

“Ah, I remember! Brute Bone was my love’s name.”

SilkShine was right.

“He was a great pegasus, big and burly, both his height and his wingspan rivalled my own. He had a gruff beard that erupted from his square chin, his majestic body looked like it was chiselled from granite…”

SilkShine could not believe she was hearing this. The princess gushing over her crush like a schoolfilly, it made the whole situation just more awkward.

“…and his smile was like freshly polished steel,” Luna sung in a honeysweet voice.

And things weren’t improving on that either.

“He was kind, always asking if he could help me in some way. Even if he was about to fall over from exhaustion, he would stand ready for me.”

Normally SilkShine would love a good romance story. Every week or two she would have a new romance novel to snuggle in bed with. But this time, it is about her. She sighed, she was not going to like this.

“Princess Luna…” she started.

Luna stopped talking and turned to SilkShine. “Yes, SilkShine?”

“The stallion who has my heart…” she swallowed, her anxiety running thick. “His name is Lapis Lazuli, he rented a room in my inn and-“

“He was the one who cursed everypony,” Luna interrupted bluntly, her formal voice returning.

SilkShine was looking up to her, her eyes moist and her lip quivering.

“Hmmm, so you were the innkeeper of these town,” she said distantly. “I was meaning to come by to inquire about him, but I wanted to go to the cursed ponies first.” She stopped walking as she finished the sentence. There was moment of silence before she spoke again.

“But first, let’s talk about you,” she said with a soft voice, “It is a precious thing that you love somepony and normally I would say to mare up and go for it, however not in thine case.”

SilkShine’s ears drooped, she knew what would be coming.

“The pony you love is a felon who has ruined the lives of many ponies for a long time. The punishment he will receive will not be light and may cause him to be in prison till the end of his life if that is what the court deems fit for him. They may also banish him or sentence him to death.
But what also needs to be taken in account is for how long you know him. It is at most three days and two nights, hardly any time to get to know a pony.”

Luna’s eyes firmly looked into SilkShine’s. “So are you willing to forgive him for his wrongdoings and to bear with whatever sentence falls upon him, or does thy forget about him?”

SilkShine stopped in her tracks. She liked Lapis a lot, but he had done so many ponies wrong, including her friends. She really wanted this to be all a bad dream, that Lapis was just a mining official as she originally thought him to be, but he was not. Luna was right, whatever the outcome of his punishment would be, they would always be separated and couldn’t be happy together. If he even could be happy with her, could he love her or was he only being nice?

It reminded her of a novel she read, about a mare called Celebration, who went through similar hardships for her love. Although it was romantic, it ended in tragedy. The poor dear was all alone at the end as her love had succumbed to his trials. And it could end up being her if she would choose for it.

As the thoughts piled up, she started crying, the decision was difficult. Not because it was difficult to choose, but it was difficult to let go of her heart, that she had nourished on romance since she was a little filly. Tears rolled down her face, dropping down to the ground.

But it would be the right choice.

Luna sat down next to her, extending her wing in comfort of her subject. Softly she began to sing:

“Cry my little pony,
Thy sorrows are fair.
Cry my little pony,
Have no tears to spare.

Shake this world,
With your wail.
Shake the world,
Let it fail.

Cry my little pony,
But wipe that tear.
Cry my little pony,
The day is near.”

Her voice slowly faded marking the end of the lullaby. SilkShine let herself be embraced by Luna’s wing, recalling an old feeling of being held by her mother. She ran out of tears to shed as the warmth of the embrace heated her heart. There they sat for a couple of minutes until Luna broke the silence.

“Time to get moving again SilkShine, we still have ponies to visit.”

The beige mare stood up, turning her head to the princess. “My apologies, I am such a mess today.”

“It is okay, everypony needs a good crying every once in awhile. Now for our next pony, is she in the hospital?”

“Hé, Luna. Honey Rock is hospitalised due to his curse.”

*

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Honey Rock had the rhythm going, his legs moving at a trotting pace. It had taken him a good part of his morning to stand up and walk around a bit. One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Yesterday he was already happy if he could properly crawl to his destination, but now he was trotting, not walking but trotting! His curse had scrambled his control over his legs, rerouting movement of one leg to another. Even worse, he had noticed the last two days that around the afternoon his legs are scrambled again, making the process of relearning to use them properly again much harder. One, two, three, four, one, two, thre- Honey‘s foreleg hit the other one, knocking away his support, sending him crashing on the treadmill. To add insult to injury, the treadmill was still moving, throwing Honey Rock off the belt into the wall.

Seeing stars around his head, he grabbed for his aching head. Or at least he tries when he noticed his hindleg moves instead of the intended foreleg. He let out a sigh and let his body slump. A few moments later as the pain was drawing away, he heard somepony call for him.

“Mr. Rock, are you alright?”

He looked up seeing nurse Goodwill worriedly checking up on him. “Yes, I am fine, sweety. I tripped over my own legs, nothing more.” Clumsily he lifted himself up and stood on his own four hooves again. “But I believe that is enough rehabilitation for today, ain’t it?” he said with a big grin on his face. Hiding his crushed pride from the nurse, he inhaled deeply and put his legs forth one by one. One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Keeping his pace in mind, he turned to nurse Goodwill. “Say, what do you think about a dinner, just you and me?”

“I have to say no to that, Mr. Rock. I already have a coltfriend and I want to marry him one day.” She says with a slight smile adoring her face.

“Ah, I see,” Honey responded. A lie or not, the nurse probably wouldn’t want a crippled stallion like him as her coltfriend. He could walk and run if he kept thinking about the correct order his legs should move in, but it became so much more work then when he wasn’t cursed. Mental fatigue set in rather easy while doing that, rendering him tired at something he could normally do for a full day. And then he needed to keep concentrated as well. One slip-up and a close-up of the ground is what he will get. One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

Walking back to his room, with the nurse keeping tabs on him most of the way, he climbed back into bed upon finding the divine comfort. After a few minutes he got restless, wanting to do something to keep himself busy. His eyes fell on a book that lay on his nightstand called Daring Doo & the sapphire stone. He pondered to take the book for a read but declined after some thinking; “I am not an egghead.”

“What are you talking about, Honey?”

Honey looked to the source of the question, spotting SilkShine. “Oh hey SilkShine, I was talking a bit to myself,” he replied.

“Okay, so, how are you doing, Honey?” SilkShine asked.

“I am doing pretty well all things considering.” He paused for a bit. “However, that is just for now. In truth, I fear for my future.”

“What do you mean Mr. Rock?” asked nurse Goodwill, who just entered his room.

He sighed. “It is already troublesome enough for me to be able to walk without ending up with my face on the ground. But to do daily tasks would be an undertaking, to work in the mine would be almost impossible! ”

SilkShine smiled, being almost excited. “Luckily for you Honey, I brought over somepony who can help you. I just witnessed her getting rid of Silent Song’s and Green Grove’s Cursemarks! She is just busy talking to the doctor currently.”

“That’s great!” Honey cried. “So how beautiful is my ladyknight? If she is gorgeous I’ll ask her to marry me, if she is not, I’ll take her out for a drink!” he said with a beaming face.

The nurse put her hoof to her face. “By Celestia, are you going to flirt with every mare in sight?”

“Yes.”

SilkShine eyes shone with a glimmer of venom. “Then why haven’t you ever flirted with me?”

“Well…, when I first came to the town and stayed at your inn, I wasn’t quite that comfortable with this town yet. Besides…” he trailed off.

“Besides what, Honey?” she asked.

“Well… you remind me of my mother.” He replied softly, avoiding eye contact.

SilkShine’s eye twitched. That was… an insult? A complement? About her age?

An audible squeak shifted the attention of the three ponies to the door. A dark foreleg was holding it open while the mare attached to it finished her conversation behind it.

“Is that the mare who will remove my Cursemark?” Honey Rock asks while staring at the door opening. He couldn’t wait to see who would rescue his future. Possibly in more ways then one.

“Thanks for the information doctor,” the mare says before entering the room.

Honey’s world stopped for a moment. The mare that would rescue him from his curse and the one he secretly daydreamed about, was none other then Princess Luna!?

The princess walked to the middle of the room, looking at the stallion who was staring at her.

“P-P-Princess Luna?!” he exclaimed.

“Greetings Honey Rock, how are you doing today?”

The yellow stallion’s mind drew a blank. Far from it would he have guessed one of the princesses to be here, healing ponies. “I-I am doing excellent, your highness!” he yelled while attempting to salute. It ended with him choosing the wrong leg to salute and falling down on the floor.

Nurse Goodwill stepped forward and helped Honey back upright. “You need to be more careful in your condition.”

Struggling to place his limbs correctly, the stallion climbs back into bed. “Yes, you are right, Goodwill.”

“I have heard that you have been cursed with the Cursemark. Could you tell me about it?”

Honey Rock audible gulped, leaving a space of silence thereafter. “Well… it all started two days ago while I was doing groceries. I overheard a couple of ponies talking and joined in the conversation. The topic was ironically the curse, since Sky Blue’s and Silent Song’s foals were cursed.” He said with a slight blush.

“Cerulean Gale and Azure Bliss were cursed as well?” SilkShine interjected.

“Yeah, as Sky Blue had said to me, it seemed that Cerulean was cursed to be constantly angry and hateful, driving her parents to despair. While I don’t know what exactly was wrong with Azure it seemed she was quit the opposite, being very timid and scared.”

“You are correct, Honey Rock,” an aged voice said.

Arty Fact entered the room as it was getting a little crowded with all the ponies. “Good day ladies,” he said to nurse Goodwill and SilkShine, “Greetings, Your Highness.” He made a small bow in front of the princess, “and hello,” he ends his greetings towards Honey Rock. “Those poor foals certainly made the impression that their curses are altering their personalities. But first and foremost, how are you doing?”

“I am doing fine as far as this curse lets me. However about that thingy that you would search for…” he said with energy, fading away as his sentence went on.

“Ah yes, the Ring of the Maiden, better known as Sircel Van Onsguld. I am hoping to remove the curse with it, if I can find it,” he explained to the other ponies present.

Princess Luna raised an eyebrow at the explanation. “Doesn’t that name hail from the old Wet Lands? Their civilization there had been wiped out by a flood long ago. What did remain there to warrant the existence of such an object?”

“Recently I acquired a couple of items from that area,” Arty Fact started to explain, continuing on a lecture-like tone, “A fellow researcher wishes for me to do my own separate investigation of the items, including the translation of a text on a clay tablet. That tablet makes mention of the Sircel Van Onsguld, it being used to dispel a curse and the demon who casted it.”

“I do not remember the Wet Lands having such abilities, however it has been a long time since I visited and I do remember a slow decline. But they did belong to Equestria since its foundation until they became their own country, so it may be a remnant from that time.” Luna remembered, memories of days gone by running through her head.

“Interesting notion, Your Highness.”

This conversation went back and forth between the two, growing deeper and more complex with every sentence spoken. Honey grew tired of it as the two had started to sidetrack on to other stuff that belonged to ancient history.

“Ahem,” he said as loud but subtle as possible. The two conversationalists stopped talking and turned to Honey Rock. “Arty Fact, Princess Luna. I don’t want to be rude but we were talking about the curse. And Arty Fact, the Princess is said to be able to remove the curse, so we wouldn’t need that thingy.”

The grey-maned stallion looked disappointed, though he tried to let nopony notice. “Oh well, as long as everypony gets healthy again, all is well, I suppose."

Honey stared at him for a moment, until he thought he was right to ask: “You wanted to be the hero, did you Arty Fact?”

Arty Fact took hastily a step back at that statement. “Me? The hero? I…” the old stallion took notice of all the eyes staring at him. SilkShine had raised an eyebrow, the princess showed a sly smile, Goodwill was chuckling softly, and Honey’s smile grew slowly. “That…that,” he sputtered. After a moment more of the tormenting stares he gave in.“…is true.” A fierce blush appeared on his face.

SilkShine chuckled. “Oh Arty, don’t be embarrassed.”

“SilkShine is right, Arty Fact,” said princess Luna, “You don’t need to experience shame for desiring a bit of glory. If you had found it, glory would surely be yours.”

Arty smiled at the comments of his friends and Luna. “Thanks everypony, I was indeed toying with the idea that I would receive praise from the town for finding the cure. But it is better this way, finding that ring would have taken months anyway.”

“Very well, but before we remove thine Cursemark Honey Rock, I would ask thee an demonstration of it.” She said on her formal tone.

Honey gulped. The princess wanted him to show his curse, it would take his utmost concentration to do it perfectly, but he could do it! …Wait wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of showing the curse? After a bit of hesitation, Honey climbed out of bed struggling to keep standing.

“You see my Curse switches the control of my legs.” He lifted up his left foreleg. “Although, it looks as I am lifting my left foreleg, I am actually lifting my right.” Honey flexed his legs, seemingly testing them. “Today, my right foreleg is actually my right hindleg, that leg is controlled by my left and my left hindleg is normal.”

“Wait,” SilkShine said, “What do you mean with ‘today’?”

Nurse Goodwill stepped forward. “Somewhere in the afternoon, everyday the control of his legs suddenly switches up again.”

“Yup, which would have meant for me to relearn how to do the most basic things, even walking from scratch beginning somewhere in the afternoon.” Honey stated grimly.

“I suppose that the time is linked to the time you got your Cursemark?” Arty Fact pondered.

Honey lifted his foreleg to place it differently, but the confusing control of his body parts messed up, causing him to knock away his other foreleg and end up with his face on the ground and flank up in the air.

Arty Fact walked over to Honey, helping him stand on his four legs again. “I think it is time to stop talking and relinquish this poor fellow out of the Cursemark’s grasp, isn’t it, Your Highness?”

“Yes, my apologies with the delay, but today is the first time I have observed a Cursemark. Let’s make it one of the last.” Luna lit her horn once again. Arty Fact distanced himself from Honey, as SilkShine shielded her eyes, while the others did the same or tried to look into the light for as long as possible. The light extended from Luna’s horn, wrapping around Honey Rock until he was a ball of light.

A moment later the it dimmed, revealing a glowing Honey Rock, both in fading radiance and mannerism. Honey started tapping his hooves against the ground one by one, until he formed a rhythmic pattern. “You are b-e-a-utiful, Princess!” he exclaimed as he danced.

*

It was a great day to be out and about, a soft wind was blowing and Celestia’s sun was beaming down and warming him up. The air was streaming under his wings and there weren’t many packages today, so his load was light. He inhaled some of that mountain air, relishing the moment… and sneezed. Spring had come and so did the pollen.

Lofty Dreams came near his target and set in for the landing, with little effort he landed his hooves on the ground having no trouble with the added weight and balance issues of the saddlebags. He opened the flap of one of the bags and pulled out a small rectangular package labelled ‘Hospital’. As he trotted inside, package in mouth, he thought of the new Daring Do book he was reading. He was looking forward to the next chapter with glee, where it seemed like Daring would face off against Ahuizotl.

He made his way to the apothecary, where he always delivered the packages for the hospital. It was usually something like a medicine and otherwise, it will end up in the right place anyway. He drew the attention of the pony working the apothecary, and left the parcel on the counter with him trotting back on his way to the remainder of his deliveries.

“Hello Lofty,” said a familiar voice.

He turned around to face SilkShine and a dark alicorn, walking towards him. “Hello SilkShine, how is it going?”

“I am fine, but we need your help.” The dark alicorn looked at SilkShine when she said that.

“With what, Silk?” he asked curiously. There couldn’t be much that SilkShine and an alicorn need help with. All three had wings, so it couldn’t be an flying problem. And with the magic capability of an alicorn, what couldn’t be done?

“Princess Luna and I need to go to the Blue family house, to cure the twins from their Cursemark.”

“You can fix that?” Lofty replied with one eyebrow raised.

Princess Luna stepped forward. “I have already undone the curses laid onto Silent Song, her foal and Honey Rock, only the twins remain in this town as the ones left cursed.”

“However, I do not know where they live. But you do, right?” SilkShine continued.

“Ah yes, I know where they live.” He said confidently. He walked out the doors and called back: “Come on, Princess, SilkShine, lets go!”

The two ladies followed him at a leisurely pace, which irritated Lofty somewhat until he got an idea. Although he managed to put it out of his head for a good part of the day, the diary he found yesterday had kept his mind occupied. At least the time he wasn’t knocked out yesterday.

He took a deep breath and gathered a bit of courage. “Princess, if I may ask, I read some of Lapis Lazuli’s diary and came across a few things. According to what I read the Cursemark is supposed to change fate or something?”

“That is not entirely what it does. But how does thou know the contents of that diary?” Luna asked him strict.

“I was the pony who found and exposed Lapis for what he did.” Lofty answered adamant.

“I see. Well, the truth is, I am not quite sure how the Cursemark works. It could neutralise a pony’s cutiemark and interject another, or the Cursemark could act as a parasite that latches on a cutiemark. But it is confirmed that the Cursemark does intervene in its victim’s fate, and that makes it very dangerous.”

Lofty frowned, pondering an issue with that statement. “So, if Lapis had the power to change fate, why do we have him behind lock and key?”

“He didn’t,” said Luna straight.

Lofty tilts his head upon that answer. “Then how did he devise a way to change a ponies fate, but not his own?”

“Tell me Lofty Dreams, during your reading of the diary, did you encounter the name Dim Desire by any chance?”

“I think I remember seeing that name, is he important?”

“He is the original creator of the Cursemark.”

“That sounds like an important fellow to remember.”

“Indeed. My sister was very happy to hear it was not him that caused the Cursemarks this time.” Luna sighs as she finishes the sentence.

Lofty jumps up in the air, using his legs to strengthen his words. “How so that? What does it mean if it was him or Lapis, they both throw Cursemarks around!”

“Lapis Lazuli’s Cursemarks are imperfect. He does not posses any fate related abilities and that is the key to undoing the Cursemarks. I unravel them at the seams until they fall apart, so to speak. The problem with Dim Desire’s Cursemarks is that I can’t do that.”

“What, do you mean that there was not counter spell developed for it?”

Luna didn’t answer, she just looked at lofty with cold eyes.

“Dim’s victims had to live with it?!” Lofty asked rhetorically, disturbed at the thought of being eternally cursed.

“That is awful,” SilkShine responded sadly.

“It was bad enough that several ponies took their own lives. If they weren’t killed beforehoof due to their curses.” Luna turned her head solemn to the other two ponies. “…some had to be killed in self-defence because their Cursemark drove them to murder.”

SilkShine hung her head, Lofty gulped loudly. He had no idea that the curses could have been this bad.

“I may think myself as lucky as I was… ‘away’ during that time, so my sister had to deal with that horrible situation. Nevertheless, I am now here to experience Cursemarks for myself now.”

Lofty’s thoughts roam around his mind, pondering the topic. His glazy stare caught something that woke him. He confirmed his suspicion as he looked behind him.

“Uhm, ladies?” he said as he halted.

“What is wrong, Lofty? asked SilkShine, her head slightly tilted.

“We, uhm, walked past the Blues’ house,” he said as he turned his head away in embarrassment.

A short walk back brought the group to the front of heir intended destination. Like many other houses in Rocky Slopes it was separated from the others. It had a small front garden made out of mostly grass and decorative rock. The standard garden for a mountain town like Rocky Slopes.

SilkShine walked down the path, Luna and Lofty Dreams following closely behind her. She shuddered a bit, shaking away the cold feeling of anxiety and the remnants of the conversation earlier. She heard some murmur behind the door, but nothing seemed to prove that the ponies in the house knew the group was there. With some reservation, SilkShine raised her hoof and knocked audible on the wooden door.

A moment later, the door opened with a blue pegasus mare behind it, Sky Blue. She had bags under her eyes, and her light-blue mane was frazzled. She looked rather confused at finding SilkShine at her door. But then her eyes wandered at the ponies behind her and her eyes widened in amazement. “P-princess Luna?!” she squeaked.

Lofty jumped in the air, hovering above SilkShine. “Hello Sky, we have come to lift the Cursemarks from the twins,” he nonchalantly says.

Sky Blue looked confused at Lofty, then Luna and at last, SilkShine.

“Yes, Sky Blue, that is what we have come for,” SilkShine confirmed.

Sky Blue stared for a moment until tears well up in her eyes. She lunged forward embracing SilkShine as she started crying. “T-Thank you!”

SilkShine accompanied the mare inside as Luna and Lofty followed. Upon entry, they saw the place was a total mess. For Lofty, this level of messiness would usually mean he would start contemplating to clean up. For SilkShine, if a guest left his room in this state, she would often silently curse him.

Seating the sobbing mare on the couch, the three others sat down as well or stayed standing. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Luna started to speak. “Normally I would ask questions to you about the curses, but from what I heard we can leave that behind us,” Luna said softly to Sky Blue. “Thus, could we get the children to come here, so I can explain and remove their Cursemarks?”

Sky nodded, and walked to the back. Suddenly a dark-blue filly dropped down on the spot where her mother sat, startling SilkShine in letting out a small scream. Following that, another higher pitched scream followed, and the group saw a light-blue filly fly away from behind the furniture and up the stairs.

“Oh no, Azure is going hide herself again! I will be back in a moment.” Sky Blue said as she walked up the stairs.

“I am going help her,” SilkShine said as she followed Sky.

Aside from some rummaging on the upper floor, the room itself was silent. In front of Lofty and Luna, was a filly, staring at them, sporting an angry scowl. “Hello little one, what is your name?” asked princess Luna.

“It is rude to ask for a name without giving your own first!” said the little filly loudly in an angry tone.

“That is true. My name is princess Luna, may I know yours?”

“My name is Cerulean gale, you piece of shit!” she yelled.

Lofty Dreams and Luna were utterly baffled as Cerulean Gale shouted one profanity after the other.

“You should go and [REDACTED], you [REDACTED]. All you are necessary for is to [REDACTED]! Celestia is a [REDACTED] too, but at least when she [REDACTED], she can [REDACTED]! But your little [REDACTED] can’t [REDACTED] does it!?”

“Enough!” Before Cerulean could say another sentence a bright light filled the room and enveloped the little filly. The sudden light blinded Lofty before he could shield his eyes from it.

“I am so sorry,” squeaked a small voice. “I am so, so very sorry!”

As his vision returned, he saw Cerulean lying on the couch with her forelegs covering her face. “It is okay,” Luna says, although irritation still lingered in her voice.

“Is everything okay, down there?”

Sky Blue and SilkShine came flying down the stairs, with a resisting little filly in their hooves. Azure Bliss was struggling up a storm, trying to get free and to hide again. Her mother was speaking kind words to her in an attempt to calm her down, not that it worked. When the mares landed on the ground, Luna used the spell once more.

As the bright light faded both fillies had made their way to their mothers embrace, all three crying out their grievances.

Lofty hovered over to the princess as he watched the scene. “It may have not gone as you meant princess, but still everything has come to a good ending it seems.”

“Indeed. We have no place here for now.” She turned around and walked to the front door. “May you and your foals fare well, Sky Blue,” she said before she left the house.

“Bye bye,” Lofty said as he left with Luna.

SilkShine followed but stopped at the door. “Are you going be alright for now, Sky Blue?”

“Yes, I will be alright—she rubbed her eyes—I think I will a good nap will do, right girls?” she asked her foals.

The two fillies nodded in agreement with their mother, already fishing out a blanket from beneath the clutter.

Smiling tired at her children, she turned back to SilkShine. “Very well then, I see you some time again.”

“Goodbye Sky Blue,” SilkShine said as she closed the door behind her. She spotted Luna and Lofty waiting for her. With the last two being freed from their curse, she wondered what there was left to do for her and the princess. “So Luna, what are you going to do now?”

“To the sheriff, I have one thing left to do here. Lofty Dreams, lead the way if you will.”

The small bit of time it took for the group to get to the sheriff’s office was marked by an almost eerie silence. Lofty had no more questions left to ask, SilkShine had laid her troubled heart bare and gotten over it. Now that Luna had cured everypony, there just didn’t seem much left.

“This is the place, princess.” Lofty said almost prideful.

In front of the trio, stood a rough stone building mostly build out of rocks from the mountain, concrete and thick wood. A sturdy but cold structure as can be confirmed by anypony who had to confined there for a night.

“From this point on, I do not have a need for your assistance, Lofty Dreams. Thanks for guiding us.”

“It was a pleasure,” he said as he made a bow.

Luna smiles at the little gesture and turns to SilkShine. “Dear SilkShine, my apologies for troubling you.”

“It is alright, Luna. I have gotten better out of it myself.”

Lofty tilts his head in question of SilkShine’s statement.

“I need to let go of the past and look to the future. And enjoy the present, I suppose.”

The princess giggled. “This reminds me of the letters my sister receives from her student, Twilight Sparkle.”

“In what way do they remind you, princess?”

“Twilight Sparkle has been sent on an assignment to study friendship. Every time she learns a lesson about friendship, she sends a report to my sister detailing her lesson and what brought her to learn about it. It is similar to what you have learned and told me so.”

SilkShine smiled amusingly. “Would you like a letter for that?”

The princess snickered at the notion. “That would nice, SilkShine. I only get formal letters, so something from a friend would be a nice change.”

“Alright, expect a letter soon.” She said with a smile. But now she realized, everything was said and everything was done. Except for one thing and she didn’t like doing it. Whenever there is a meeting, there is a parting. Taking a deep breath, she prepared to say the last thing. “Well then Luna, goodbye.”

“Goodbye SilkShine, Lofty Dreams.” Luna replied.

SilkShine turned around and flew off in the direction of her inn.

“Bye bye, princess.” Lofty said as he flew after SilkShine. As the distance between the sheriff’s office and the pair increased, Lofty decided to ask a question he had been waiting to ask. “Say SilkShine, what were you and the princess doing besides un-cursing ponies?”

“We had some girl to girl talk, nothing more,” she said, giving the hint she would not expand on the subject.

The red pegasus sighed, he had hoped on something juicy. It had been interesting being around the princess, but the saddlebags on his back reminded him he had work left undone. “Fine, I need to get back to work. See ya around, Silk.”

As he turns, SilkShine suddenly called him out. “Lofty, wait!”

He braked in midair, hovering in place. “What is it?” he asked.

SilkShine flew towards him. “Well, I was wondering if you have any good books to read. I am tired of romance novels.”

“Well, I do not have much, but I have some Daring Do novels you can read.”

The End

*

[author]
Well folks, this was Curses. My first fanfic completed. It gives a sense of liberation, yet also of distance since you cannot write and improve it as the story goes on. I learned a lot during this fic, the first one was formatting my story to distinguish who says what, if you can believe it. I have other story ideas so I will be writing some more, some day. Rocky Slopes will make a return, I have grown attached to it, and my little ponies who live inside it. They are precious to me.

My thanks go out to the Everfree chat members who helped me out on several occasions and who got me into writing in the first place. Also thanks to everypony who read this fic, whether they liked it or not. And another thank you to those who faved this fic. It means a lot to me.

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear what you guys think about this fanfiction.

Comments ( 2 )

A very nice way to end it all Kim, and your style and writing has definitely improved since the first chapter. I look forward to seeing your future works when you get around to doing some more writing. Again, great job! :twilightsmile:

Bravo Kim! Great job on completing your first fic! You have really improved your writing! I can't wait for more fics from you! I loved the ending, and I loved the characters you developed.

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