• Published 17th Aug 2020
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Home is Where the Hearth Is - TheCrimsonDM

Having come back to the rock farm, things were going well until Trixie's past begins to haunt her in her nightmares. With her days feeling more empty than full and regret poisoning her heart, can things ever go back to the way they were before?

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Chapter One: Negligent Nightmares

Home is Where the Hearth Is

Chapter One: Negligent Nightmares

Written by TheCrimsonDM

I don’t know when it started, but at some point I began finding myself appearing in Ponyville. The weather was nice and warm, the smell of fresh grass, morning dew and flowers all tickled my nose. The town was quiet but I could see them all. The entire town had gathered to watch me on stage.

With a sweep of my leg I threw my cape to the side and grinned. The crowd stared on in anticipation. With a flicker of magic I created a field of flowers around myself, and allowed a nonexistent wind to blow the flowers off the stage and into the ground. Ponies would reach up and touch them, and the flowers would glow as they went through ponies hooves.

The sounds of the crowd proved their interest in my magic. My wonderful talent with illusions did there one defined purpose. They brought smiles to ponies faces. Maybe if I tried hard enough I too could make the world a happier place, just like Pinkie Pie did.

Of course this was about the time where it always went downhill. A flurry of voices rang out from behind me. It was hard for me to make out who was saying them but I understood the words as they struck my heart like wooden stakes.

“She’s a sham.”

“She’s scamming you.”

“She doesn’t have any talent.”

“You’re wasting your time watching this crap.”

I looked around me. I couldn’t see who had said these things but I watched as the crowd, one by one, vanished into a cloud of smoke which grew into ever increasing mist. Every single pony in the crowd vanished except for four ponies. The three up front I recognized. Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash, their eyes had become empty sockets, their mouths twisted into horrible grimaces. They opened there mouths and whispers flew from them and twisted into my ears.

“She’s pathetic.”

“She’s horrible.”

“She should just kill herself.”

“It would be better that way.”

I grabbed at my ears and tried to block out the voices. I tried to shout but my voice came out as a desperate squeak. A forth pony, the one behind them was a unicorn, or at least I thought until it spread its wings wide to reveal the alicorn. Two white eyes glowed through the ever growing mist and I heard her voice, the one voice I had grown to hate, to fear, to be terrorized by.

I heard Twilight Sparkle. “You’re a worthless burden on the Pie family. On the whole world. Just jump off a cliff and end our suffering already.”

I rolled over and felt the ground vanish beneath me. I blinked and was suddenly looking at a wooden rooftop that was falling away from me. A moment later I hit the hard wooden floor with a gasp. Looking around I was in our room. Marble and Limestone were still asleep, and Maud was still living in Ponyville so she was gone now.

I was safe. I was home. I could just lay there for awhile without having to worry about bothering anypony. The hollow feeling in my heart was still there, gnawing at me but I could ignore it for now. If I was lucky I could ignore it forever. Eventually I pulled myself up and climbed onto Maud’s bed, I didn’t feel I had the strength to crawl up to Pinkie’s old bed, to my bed. So I just snuggled into the bed, wrapped around by the old earthy scent of Maud Pie and pretended that she was there to keep me safe from my worst enemy; myself.

For the next few hours I faded in and out of a dream like state, not quite asleep, not quite awake. My thoughts ran the mill from my favorite kind of sandwich to what it would be like to actually fall off a cliff. Even though I felt safer wrapped up in Maud’s scent it still didn’t prevent my mind from torturing me until the sun began creeping through the windows again.

Limestone as always was the first to wake up. Her rough voice cut out like a drill through stone. “Marble, wake up.”

Marble’s morning sounds were as sensitive and soft as the mare was. I opened my eyes to see Limestone staring at me again. Silence filled the room for a long moment as she met my eyes but eventually she shook her head. “I told you to tell me if you had those nightmares again.”

I pushed myself up. My body ached, less from the fall and more from general sleep loss. I shook my head. “Who says I had a nightmare? Maybe I just have a crush on Maud and miss her?”

Limestone rolled her eyes. “One: we both know you only sleep in her bed if you have nightmares. Two: just because you’re crushing on Maud doesn’t mean you can just sleep in her bed when you miss her.”

My eyes widened. “I wasn’t serious about tha-“

Limestone cut her off. “Of course you’re not serious, you wouldn’t have chickened out about asking her to date you otherwise. Seriously you’re as bad as Marble here, except you’re not actually related to your crush.”

Marble closed her eyes tight, punched her bed and squeaked as loud as possible in protest. Limestone smiled. “Now that you’re both fully awake, let’s get some food and get to work.”

Limestone left the room first and shut the door behind them. I knew as well as Marble that if we went back to sleep Limestone’s taunts would get a lot worse. It was just another early morning on the farm after all. Before getting all the way out of bed I glanced at Marble. “You have a crush on your sister?”

Marble’s eyes widened and she cursed a series of squeaking noises that likely translated to several swear words that I did not feel like repeating. I smiled and walked to the door. I stopped long enough to look back and say, “Hey, don’t worry, I do too. But not Maud, she’s nice but a bit too hard to read.”

Marble glared at me. I walked out the door and made my way downstairs. The first thing I did was grab a piece of toast, some eggs, and most important of all coffee. They almost universally drank black coffee in the house but luckily I had managed to order some powdered cream for my coffee. Since I was the only one who enjoyed a more gentle flavor of my caffeine, it only made sense that I’d need something that would last long enough for the venders to restock.

After breakfast it was out to the fields where we spent most of the day moving rocks. Mining ones that looked like they had potential and finding a few gems here and there. The farm didn’t have a lot of money, since the mines had to close it likely never would again, but there were so many gems on the surface of this plot of land we could sell them for a living profit.

The work was hard, brutal in this summer heat, but it was fulfilling. I had some small change to buy necessities, had been able to avoid buying any unnecessary but very much wanted things like makeup or dresses, and was actually slowly saving up money for a future project. What the project was, I had no idea. I just knew that despite how much I loved it here, this farm wasn’t my final destiny, I was a unicorn with a cutie mark for magic. I might never get to be a magician again but surely there was something I could do. So long as I avoided any other cursed books I would be fine, at least I assumed so.

The longer we worked the less my mind was able to think. Probably the only thing that kept my inner darkness at bay. It always seemed that during every break we had my mind would retreat back to that dark place where my thoughts would think of where I was, how I hadn’t deserved to be here, and what I would never again have.

After a long day of work we retired to the house and had dinner. After dinner it was time to bathe. One of the few really good things about this farm, and as far as I was concerned it was a secret kept only to the pie family, was the underground hot springs there basement was connected too. It was a large cavernous area with a few wooden walls to separate where the girls would bathe and where the boys would. Although usually all this meant was that the children, me included would bathe on one side and the parents on the other.

This place had to be at least a hundred square feet. Several species of tropical plants had managed to grow in the water, crystals filled with magic lit up the place in a splendid yellow orange light. Heck there were a few species of fish that lived in the water too. This place was like a magical wonderland that nopony knew existed.

One that could have brought some massive profit in for the family if they ever decided to change profession, but until the gems actually ran out it was unlikely that Igneous would even consider the idea of turning this into a paid hot spring. Which was fine by the rest of us because it meant the only ponies in this entire world that got to enjoy it was the family.

I found myself leaning on the far end with my body almost entirely submerged beside my head. A few fish came to play through my tail as it splayed out in the water. It was nice but I couldn’t help but to stare at the rock wall and thinking about those nightmares.

Every time I was on stage, running a magic show for the first time in who knows how long? Every time I was having the time of my life before things would end horribly, every time I was in Ponyville, and every time I was haunted by the four ponies who had ruined my career… I wasn’t even mad with one of them. Me and AJ were on decent terms now, yet she still haunted my dreams.

I let out a sigh. “I wish Pinkie was here.”

Limestone’s voice appeared next to my head. “Welcome to the family.”

I jerked to the side and stared at her. “Um… hi.”

She glanced at me. Her eyes had softened a bit. “You know that I forbid you from being sad.”

Trixie looked down at the water. “I’m not sad.”

“Then why do you look like it.”

“I’m…” Trixie wasn’t quite sure how to describe this feeling that overcame her so often in her quiet moments but she’d try her best, “Empty, hollow… it’s like a heavy weight is on my chest and it’s holding my heart down until it’s drowning in the empty feeling.”

Limestone’s eyes closed. “You’ve been feeling like that ever since you came back here, haven’t you?”

“I’ve been feeling that way for years. It’s a lot better here. I don’t think about it so much, it only hits me when things get quiet.” I smirked. “Makes me glad you’re always so loud.”

Limestone growled. “Well you’re welcome. I guess. Anyway, shouldn’t you be happier here, I thought you liked it here.”

“I do.” I could feel my ears pressing against my head as they folded back. “I don’t understand what’s wrong myself. I know that I’ll eventually want to go somewhere, do something, I’m a unicorn, my cutie mark was granted to me so I could have a magical destiny, but I’m not sure why I feel so empty inside. This place is amazing.”

Limestone let out a sigh. “You know, Pinkie felt the same way. It’s why we sent her to live with our cousins in Ponyville when she was so young. It was better than her being so sad all the time.”

“I thought you only found out about the Apples being your relatives a few years ago.”

“Other cousins, less distant but more recognized. The Cakes.”

I nodded. “Ah, okay. Big family I take it.”

“Oh Celestia, you have no idea.”

“Do you think Pinkie would come back for a visit?”

Limestone smiled. “If we tell her you’re being a lonely weirdo again, yeah she’ll come home. Heck she might drag Maud too, so you can ogle my sister while you start to feel better.”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh wow, thank you.”

Limestone’s smile faded a bit. “Honestly though, those nightmares are scary. I never even thought about the idea of somepony taking their own life until you told me that’s what the nightmare ponies are telling you to do. I kinda want to kick AJ’s flank for it even though she didn’t do it.”

I laughed. “I think she’d feel absolutely awful if she heard about that nightmare… please don’t tell her.”

“I wasn’t planning on it.” Limestone opened her eyes and looked up. “Actually… I think I know just the way to get Pinkie to come home and to make you feel better. You’re basically our sister now, and she hasn’t done that yet.”

“Done what?”

Limestone grinned. “Oh, you’re going to love it. Pie Sisters’ Surprise Swap Day.”