• Published 31st Jul 2020
  • 673 Views, 24 Comments

Atlas Song - themoontonite

Can't you hear? The stars are singing.

  • ...


They sing to me.

It’s quiet, like the crystalline hum of a lamp from a room over. It’s quiet like the hushed roar of the waves crashing against a beach as you lose altitude, coming to rest on a rock weathered by the endless motion of water against it. It’s quiet like hoofsteps coming up worn oak stairs, ever so gently. Sometimes...

Sometimes they’re loud.

They were almost deafening when I first met the sun and its warmth, when its oppressive heat and scorching light first moved through me. Their voices split me open and for a moment I could understand them as they spoke about an infinite web of star-light and the vacuum that separated them. Their voices were boiling pinpricks of light in the aching void of my mind and I tried to scream but their cacophony rose over me.

They told me a lot about the nature of myself. About the life and death of a single star, about the way they burned themselves into cold husks until the last of them would go silent. They told me I would be there for each death, endless until I wasn’t and the last of the heat of the universe escaped with my breath and all would be cold and empty. They told me what this meant for a pony, how something so small and fragile could hold all of this and not explode into starstuff.

I promptly tried to forget it all.

They have been quiet every morning since except this one. Their voices ruffle the edges of my mourning veil, and I think maybe they’re trying to part it, to grace my tired and puffy eyes with their light and love. I turn my head away from them as the sun crests the horizon but their voices only grow more and more insistent, and it’s only now that I realize they’re singing a funeral dirge.

It was the same one my sister and I led as we lowered our mother into the ground, it’s the same one I sang alone as I buried her crown in the scorched earth just outside what remained of our castle. I think they are trying to comfort me. I do not want comfort, and indeed I do not need comfort, for in this moment comfort does nothing but make the pain longer. I need a sharp knife, I need the heat pooling in my chest and just behind my eyes to come pouring out to boil this world alive so that I might not have to live another day without you in it.

I’m crying, and I can hear them crying with me. The sky cries as best it can, a cascade of meteors, a desperate simulacra of this saline catharsis that streaks my cheeks. Those doomed satellites that criss-crossed the sky like hatch marked razor scars were trying their hardest as the light of the sun slowly burned their contrails from view.

I wonder if she could hear them too? Can she hear me sing in turn, late at night? I hope so.

This morning I heard her voice. My mother's voice, so many centuries behind me that I forgot she ever even had a voice at all. She was singing as they always did but it was just her, just the soft angelsong of her voice straining to make it over the horizon. I could hear her and I responded, my own voice faltering as it did when I was young.

Our voices fell into place and we harmonized, and I think maybe she understood me, understood what had happened between now and then. I heard her apologize and I forgave her as I did a thousand times in my dreams. I told her it wasn’t her fault, that there was no way either of us could’ve escaped this. I apologized and she forgave me, and I felt her touch me for just a moment, a brief connection for two souls trapped in between one place and the next.

I do not let death haunt me. I have seen them, the little ponies who scurry below me as the sun rises steady in the sky, live and die and live and die and live and die a thousand times over. I do not let their deaths haunt me anymore. To do so, to be there for each of their lonely little deaths, is pointless. I can’t change it.

All I can do is listen as I do now, to her voice and to theirs in kind. She sings to me and I sing along like I do for my little ponies. Our voices are beautiful when they rise in unison, aren’t they? Together we can create so much joy my body can hardly bear it. Her voice went quiet and the stars returned, sombre and polite so as to give me the space I needed. I never heard her again after that.

For the first time in a thousand years I could hear my younger sister, beloved of the moon and closest to my heart, her voice carrying out loud and clear over the sprawling city that lay sleeping before me. It took all my effort not to throw myself from the balcony and launch into the air, to go chasing after her in the quickly-brightening sky. I know had I taken even another step closer she would’ve wavered and faltered or burned out entirely, and her voice would’ve gone silent.

So it was all I could do then to stand transfixed, rooted in place as she sang to me a song I had never heard in a language I could never speak. Still, though, despite our distance I could understand her tongue plain as day. She loved me. She had always loved me in the way that only the night could love the day and I burned for her, near-immolated myself just to be nearer to my darling moon.

She would not be with me if I was aflame, so again I remained. She was less singing now and more speaking, plain and open and so far from me that I could hardly hear her. I spoke back and we carried on a conversation as the world slowed to a crawl around me. I did not know and did not care how long we spent talking for my only concern was her. She tells me she will return soon, very soon, but she will not be the same upon her arrival. I tell her I know this and I am not unprepared, for the voices in the stars have told me of a young pony who might bear a similar fire to us.

She will burn like you and I, dear sister, and she will hear them sing too.

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Comments ( 24 )

Meant everything I said in that review, Dawn: this story, front to back, was amazing and blew everything else right out of the water. I'm going to carry this one in my heart for a long time to come. Absolutely stunning work!


Co-signed, mate - you might have won FIMFIc for the rest of the year. Take a bow, Moony.

What do I even have to say here? Your prose is incredible, and it's crazy to think that you're still improving. The imagery and metaphors here are so incredible and vivid. I love your characterization of Celestia as usual, and these vignettes all carry such weight to them. Insanely impressive stuff.

This story is legitimately one of the best things I have ever read, and the fact that the original version of this was written in an hour (and there haven't been that many changes or additions to this version!) is mind boggling.

I love this story so much. Thank you for posting it.

The emotions feel so spot on, it felt like you were reading my mind.

This is incredibly beautiful and I'd kill a man to be able to write prose half as good as you. You're amazing, this is amazing, I'm tearing up ♡

This story has some fantastic imagery, with the part about the meteor showers sticking out. Good job!

This was beautiful!

I would love to read a sequel where Twilight begins To feel the burning and hear the singing.

This was yet another poetic story, Dawn. You accomplish a lot with no dialogue and just imagery. I look forward to doing a reading on this. Nice job.

Seer #10 · July 31st · · ·

Absolutely incredible work Dawn
Your prose remains superlative, and this is one of the best written things you've ever done which is saying quite a great deal.
There are passages in this which have my jaw dropping, the sheer poetic and musical quality of your writing can be overwhelming in the best way
You should be sincerely very proud of this one

A nice rhyme.

And it would be neat to see my favorite Twilight as well.

They say that a picture's worth a thousand words. That in an image you can conjure up emotions and thoughts equalling that of a thousand things said. But in your thousand words, you've succeeded effortlessly in making a majestic picture. Your writing, as Seer has said before, is very much dreamlike in quality, and it's only getting more beautiful. Truly, I mean it when I saw your writing is like staring into a painting, and with this piece, it not only provides the image but the song to accompany.
Atlas Song, meaning the world's song, is the one that Celestia hears. When she first hears the world, it's overwhelming and near-lethal. As I'd imagine anyone that had to hear all of the world, and indeed the starts beyond at every world, would be so overexerted even trying to comprehend the music, let alone understand it or interpret it beyond that. Celestia's mother, and her sister, had aided her in understanding it and did so after centuries of her tuning the Atlas Song out or it keeping its distance.

What the song is I'm not 100% on, but I think that's the point. It's everything in Celestia's world, but in every world and somehow still beyond these. It's everything I can be capable of knowing, and more because what they know is exceeding my mind's capabilities. But Celestia is not like you or I. Nor was her mother, her sister, or the one coming after all of them. They can understand it the way only a god could. Hear what only a god can. Then this makes me think that Luna and Celestia weren't born into being Alicorns, so them being able to hear the song initially would be incomprehensible, and would take centuries to know, as it had. But the one coming unto the world would be godly from the start. It feels more, from what I gather, that Celestia is going to pass down the sun, and the song by extension, to the one unborn.

I know personally that you and I are both avid fans of Bloodborne, and I may be wrong, but I sense its influence here. And I want you to know, if this was intended or not, was masterful. If this is where you're currently at, then the heights you'll reach will not be a painting with its accompanying track. It will be a dream put to paper, in all its fantastical qualities and fluid imagination. This was beyond excellent, and I will not be shocked if it finds the limit of its success in the very stars described in the piece.

My god, to say this was deep and compelling is an understatement! This really does grab attention exceptionally well, and the emotions being felt can really tug well! Dang, this is amazing stuff! Hope ya didn't mind, but I made a lil' reading on this scrumptious fic!

Audio Linky!: https://youtu.be/UQfbjrfE_DA

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment in any way!)

Aight, this definitely reminded me of something different than what others have said. I don't know if you're familiar with Your Lie In April where the musician asks if 'it will reach her' or whoever their intended audience is, but this had those vibes. Granted, this wasn't as sad as Your Lie In April imo, but this still has a sad undertone beneath each line.

With that out of the way, I just wanted to leave a comment saying this was a very strong piece and I enjoyed it. You had a few minor word choice errors that made me raise a brow (starstuff instead of stardust [or even just saying 'dust' would've worked too]) along with some jagged sentences, but overall they didn't impact the story as much as the one thing that stood out to me in this entire story:

"Who is Celestia here?"

This might sound like the dumbest question on the planet, but to be honest, I still felt like I didn't understand your Celestia here. I got a great visual representation on how she feels about everything, but not enough to really get to know her. This was like several glimpses put together to make a whole, when we're missing a lot more umph here. Not to mention that at one point Celestia nearly sounded like Rarity. My darling moon? Is this actually Celestia here or am I reading this wrong? These points of vagueness that are overlooked kinda make it hard to really understand this version of Celestia. Trust me, I'd like to get to know this Celestia.

Despite my issues with this, your stylistic is very eloquent. It's very flow-y and free-form. Hell, if you took this and made it an original piece with different characters and a tad bit more detail to build a separate universe for this to take place in, I could see this being in a literary magazine. And that's not even a joke. I'd urge you to do so if you're on the fence about it. Nicely done. :)

Did more in 1,000 words then many could hope to do in a 100,000. Absolutely stunning work.

Our voices fell into place and we harmonized, and I think maybe she understood me, understood what had happened between now and then. I heard her apologize and I forgave her as I did a thousand times in my dreams. I told her it wasn’t her fault, that there was no way either of us could’ve escaped this. I apologized and she forgave me, and I felt her touch me for just a moment, a brief connection for two souls trapped in between one place and the next.

This is the good shit right there.

this is really good. Subtly horrifying, very sad, beautiful

AAAAAAAAA thank you so much!! i just got done with the reading and its so good T.T im rlly glad you liked it enough to do one


What a fantastically moving and evocative little piece of Cellyfiction you’ve delivered unto us. Thank you.

This was phenomenal. I love stories that have an almost ethereal way with words, and this is one of the benchmarks. Well done!



You’re welcome

I know I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to commend you for your brilliant work on this piece. You're an exceptional writer, and your use of imagery and depiction of Celestia's thoughts and emotions exemplifies this. This story tells the tale of Celestia's suffering in a short, but remarkable way. The singing and stars were sorrowfully beautiful to imagine. You have talent, my friend. Well done. :twilightsmile:

This definitely deserves a part two. I imagine the magic speaking to Twilight as the stars speak to Celestia.

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