• Published 4th Sep 2012
  • 5,135 Views, 78 Comments

Nightmares Alive - Horsegirl123



Luna has been having dreams of Nightmare moon lately. And now she must decide, friend or foe?

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The Beginning

She awoke on a an isolated patch of grass, untainted by any of Earth's elements that might dare to soil such a perfect spot. No mud licked at her coat, nor did any bugs try to gnaw on her sensitive underbelly as she inhaled the fresh aroma of the soft meadow. How she ached to be a filly once again; her body screamed at her to give into temptation and indulge in one relaxing roll so that the muscles of her back could unwind and the scent of the field might linger for a few moments longer in her coat. But for now, she rested. The sun would rise soon and spread its warmth across the land. Vibrant colors of orange and red would flame across the skies, signaling the ponies of her kingdom to awake for the new warm day so that they may carry out their routines.

The cool night breeze shifted the heavily leafed branches to and fro, shaking in a wind that only swept more warm air around the Princess' body. Her mane refused to oblige to the current winds that softly whispered around in the night, but instead danced to its own invisible rhythm. The sky stayed its natural color of deep blue, untouched by the pink aurora of city lights that too frequently streaked across the heavens.

She was alone, as she liked to be. Checking the time by the position of her moon, she concluded that Celestia would still be asleep. Although Luna had constantly begged her sister to stay up for at least one of her nights, Celestia just couldn’t. She was adapted to sleeping during the time when Luna's masterpiece was visible, and therefore could not experience it as Luna could. However, Celestia learned to turn the argument back around on Luna.

"Why don't you stay up during the day and rule beside me, little sister? Raise the moon and go to sleep. We were meant to rule together, not apart," she would argue.

It had been hard to decline. Sleeping during the night would mean more time with her beloved sister. But it would also mean missing what she created. How could she simply paint and refuse to ever acknowledge her work again? To create and not admire was a sin to anypony capable of beauty in art, and she was not about to create, ignore, and then demolish every night for the rest of her life.

But as for now, her creation looked a little dull. The stars weren’t shining as bright as usual, and some weren’t even visible, despite the cloudless sky. The constellations looked sloppy, with many of the stars having strayed from their lines.

She decided that as her night started to conclude, she would end it with a bang. Maybe somepony will be awake to see this, she thought. The Mistress of the Night closed her eyes and breathed in deep. She held her breath and puffed out her cheeks, feeling a great pressure boiling below her crest and dock. Holding in the magic she was summoning felt like holding in a forest fire that was begging to escape, but she dared not release until exactly the right moment or the experiment would fail. Her mane and tail swayed rapidly and thrashed about in their invisible wind from the strain, but the princess was not done yet. With one last burst of her magic, her mane and tail exploded upwards in a fury of relief. They licked the sky and tickled the stars in their fire of cosmos and darkness, stroking their canvas. No longer were they her previously luminescent mane and tail, but rather glowing beams of matter that stayed up in the dark heavens, painting the sky with a new wave of energy that brightened her stars and cosmos.

“Ahh,” sighed Luna as she crossed her forelegs and laid her head to rest on them. Her energy-filled mane and tail continued to dance in the sky high above her, but she was now at peace. The sun would rise soon; she would need to lower her night.

“I don’t want to go!” moaned Luna as she flopped onto her back. A few strands of her magical mane got caught in her mouth; she spit out the clump, but watched as instead of falling to the ground, it floated upward. A few seconds after it was gone from sight, a subtle new star twinkled right above her head. Luna cocked her head to the side and rolled back onto her stomach, gazing at the addition and trying to make sense of her new discovery.

"Interesting," she said, rubbing her muzzle with a hoof. Intrigued, she tore off another clump of mane and let it fly, and another star appeared when the clump reached the sky. She knew the astronomers would march into court with their tails in a twist about the spontaneous addition, but she didn’t care. The princess giggled to herself.

“Oh well,” she whispered to herself, “They’ll get over it.”

An internal alarm went off in the princess’ head, informing her that the moon's time to shine was now coming to an end, and that it must greet the horizon and whatever world lay below it. She stepped up and held her head high, summoning her alicorn magic into her horn and lighting it with her trademark blue aura. Gaining momentum and strength, the aura shot out from her horn, spreading across the moon in front of her. It raced across the surface, covering every inch in a blue tint that only Luna's trained eye could notice. Seeing that the moon was well in her grasp, she proceeded to tug it down below the horizon to make way for Celestia’s sun. The moon fought her, wanting to shine longer, but eventually it and the stars faded away into the light of the new day.

But day did not come. No light spread across the horizon. Luna squinted her eyes, for something was wrong.

The moon peeked up back over the horizon, seeming to scope out the situation, before arrogantly climbing back into the sky.

"That's not possible!" exclaimed Luna, taking a few steps back from her defiant creation. She summoned her powerful magic again, wrapping the moon in her lasso before trying to shove it back down once more. It was fighting her.

Luna grunted with the strain she was experiencing, but the moon would not go down. A back-and-forth struggle played out between the mistress of the night and the unknown force that was toying with her beloved moon.

“What is this?” she said. This force was familiar, one she hadn’t felt in a long time, but she couldn’t put a hoof on it. Suddenly, with a power far greater than her own, the moon shot back high into the sky. Accompanied by a soft tremble of the earth, a strong white light burst outwards from the celestial object propelling Luna backwards into the soft grass. A continuous energy pulsated from the risen moon as it grinned from its place in the sky. But there were no screams, no ponies crying out for their sun. The world was dead silent. As if to add to the eeriness, the wind ceased, turning the air to a suffocating stillness. Luna clenched her teeth and placed her hooves firmly on the ground as she glared daggers at her moon.

"Enough." She flared the magic around her horn, summoning the incredible powers that her alicorn abilities allowed to her. With eyes aflame, she attempted once more to hurl her night down. It responded with the most powerful magical backlash Luna had ever experienced, shoving her off her hooves and sending her flying through the field until she hit the ground, ripping up yards of fresh grass. She choked back tears in desperation.

"Celestia!" she screamed into the dead night.

"Tia, help me!" she whinnied. A wicked laugh echoed through the darkness. Luna’s ears perked up, and a bead of sweat formed on the side of her cheek.

“How foalish, dear Luna. I thought you had grown in a thousand years,” it teased. Luna felt her heart skip a beat. She spun her head around, desperately searching for the source, yet at the same time, she was scared of what she might find. However, knowing she was an immortal princess and was above empty threats of anonymous ponies, she knew she had to maintain composure.

“Show yourself!” she commanded into the darkness with her Royal Canterlot Voice. Unfolding her wings to look larger, Luna searched the blackness. Nothing moved, scurried, or chirped.

Finally, the voice responded. “As you wish.” The wind picked up yet again---not the soft wind that had previously warmed Luna, but a vicious hurricane that threatened to tear the skin right off her flank. It blew with so much ferocity that Luna was forced to duck her head so as to avoid being blown off her hooves. But through the storm she was able to make out a faint sound nearby. The sound of shattering glass.

The sound perplexed Luna. She could not be entirely sure what she was hearing. But something wasn't right that sent a chill through her spine, for she was sure she heard something. Grass did not shatter when stepped on. Not even trees swayed with the sound of breaking glass. Without warning, a crack sounded out directly in front of her, sending her jumping back in surprise.

Before her lay a hole in the ground from which the sound had emitted, and from within the hole, a white light flickered. Curious, Luna took a few cautious steps towards it, bracing against the winds that were slowly calming down. Peering into the hole, she gasped. A beautiful little star was burning bright.

"A star? B-but how?” It flickered and burned out, leaving nothing but a dirty crater that tainted the perfect grass. She could hear more shattering around her, and as Luna scanned the scene she could make out individual stars rocketing down from her night sky.

“Tia!” she screamed again, hoping this was a joke. The lights swirled as they fell, and a dozens of stars were picked up in the wind before they hit the ground, carried upward by the current. They zipped past her face, leaving tiny burn marks in her fur. Soaring past her in a blaze of light, they settled in an area twenty feet from Luna’s hooves; still close enough that she could feel their heat. They hovered in the air a few inches from the ground, refusing to move. Abruptly, they whirled again, creating a dark purple tornado of magical energy that swirled rapidly towards Luna. The energy storm spun at powerful speeds as a second wicked laugh rang out through the dead night. Luna looked all over for the source, only to be caught off guard and thrown back by the intense wind that had unexpectedly started up again to fight her back.

“Ah!” yelped Luna as the tornado approached her, slowly decelerating with every inch it crept closer. As it approached, the beautiful green grass beneath her hooves started to wilt and die, turning to an ugly yellow crisp with every inch the tornado progressed. Everything the magical storm passed died beneath it, and its deadly energy leaked out ahead of it, crawling demon-like through the ground and scorching any living plant with its unholy power. The trees and reeds started to wilt, and the lush green leaves turned to brown brittle bits that blew into Luna’s face. Debris from the dead trees and bushes around her blew into her mane, snagging and pulling.

The wind whipped her face as the swirling vortex of mystery and horror blew right towards her, slowly dying down as it stood in front of her. The tornado opened up with a deathly laugh and —

***********************************************************************************

Luna shot up in her bed, panting heavily as sweat dripped from her forelock.

“Tia! Tia!” Luna screamed out into her bedroom chambers. The light of day leaked through her heavy curtains. Judging by the shadows, she could tell it was about two in the afternoon. She thrashed about under her covers, trying to free herself from their constrictions on her body.

“Tia!” she sobbed out into the emptiness of her room, pleading for her voice to be heard by any pony who happened to wander by. Luckily enough, a pair of unicorn guards busted into her darkly painted room, magical daggers at the ready.

“Princess Luna, are you harmed?” asked one of the white-coated unicorn guards.

“Tia!” she screamed, ignoring the guard's question. She covered her eyes with her hooves from below the covers, hiding her tear-stained face from her subjects. The guards stood dumbfounded. As one approached to check the Princess' condition, Luna’s head popped out from beneath the covers, scanning the room.

“Get away from me!” screamed Luna in a voice that sounded demonic. The guards stumbled backwards in confusion at their Princess’ new tone.

“Uh, I-I shall fetch Princess Celestia,” stammered one of the guards as he started to back out of the room with his head bowed. When he reached the door, a magical white light flashed at the corner of the room, sending out sparks of lightning. Luna had dove under her covers and shook. The guard stared in awe, quickly casting the spell to create a magical dagger. The other guard looked at his comrade and copied the spell, his blade casting a faint glow. They waited for the threat to emerge from the light, standing their ground for the Princess they were assigned to. The light faded, and none other than the regal Princess Celestia stood in its place.

Her wings unfurled in royal tradition and the guards bowed flawlessly for the co-ruler, their eyes glued to the floor. Celestia paid no attention to the guards before her eyes locked onto the sobbing mess of her sister. Climbing into bed beside her, she draped a wing around the crying pony.

“Guards, you are dismissed for the moment,” she said in a calm yet tense voice.

“Yes, Your Highness,” they said in trained unison, and the pair trotted away, their magical daggers having evaporated with Princess Celestia’s appearance. The massive wooden doors clamped shut and glowed with the lock spell palace guards used to keep intruders out.

Alone with her sister, Celestia used her motherly ways to soothe her. “There there, Luna. What’s wrong?”

Through the covers, Luna attempted to choke something out through her tears. She sobbed into her elder sister’s crystal white wing.

“Luna, what happened? Did somepony try to hurt you?”

Luna's soft blue eyes, red from tears, peeped out from the blankets. She raised her neck, shaking off the remainder of the sheets that still trapped her body; from there she scooted under Celestia's wing.


"Did you hurt yourself?” Once again Luna shook her head no. Celestia breathed out heavily and rolled her eyes.

“Was it a nightmare?” she asked. Looking up from her comfort spot, Luna “Mhm'ed" and Celestia put on a caring smile.

“There, there Luna darling. Its okay. It was only a bad dream. I’m here.” Celestia stroked Luna’s back with her hoof until the crying subsided and her breathing returned to normal.

“I am embarrassed for you to see me like this, dear sister,” admitted Luna sheepishly. She sniffed and wiped her nose with a hoof before repositioning her head beneath Celestia’s wing. Mumbling through the feathers, she continued. “I dreamed of… her...” Luna’s voice faltered and died, and an eerie hush fell over the room. Nothing moved. The only sound was that of the two alicorns breathing. Celestia softly nuzzled her sister’s neck, hoping to soothe her.

“Dear sister, you are not to blame for the horrors that haunt your dreams. She may plague your sleep, but you must remember one thing: she is no longer real, nor will she ever be. And in your dreams, you can contort her into any pony you like. Then you won't be afraid of her.”

Luna raised her head with an arched eyebrow. “Sister, I may be able to control dreams, but I can’t do it to myself unless I recognize that I am asleep. But it is hard to do so. Even I am not able to lucid dream often."

Celestia rolled her eyes and scowled. “Says the controller of the dream realm. Believing is not only seeing, young one. Faith must be present, and you shall succeed." Celestia began to rise from her sister's side, only to be pulled back down by Luna. Celestia’s eyes dilated in surprise, but returned to their soft nature when seeing the her sister blush.

“Do you think you could stay here until I fall asleep? Just to be safe?” asked Luna, nestling against Celestia’s warm body.

“Of course,” sighed Celestia. Her horn glowed, and a magical message went to her assistant, Raven, informing her that court would have to be postponed for the time being. Celestia draped her neck over Luna’s body as their breathing slowed until they plunged into a deep sleep.

********************************************************************

She awoke on a an isolated patch of grass, untainted by any of Earth's elements that dare to soil such a perfect spot. No mud licked at her coat, nor did any bugs try to gnaw on her sensitive underbelly as she inhaled the fresh aroma of the soft meadow. How she ached to be a filly once again; her body screamed at her to give into temptation and indulge in one relaxing roll so that the muscles of her back could unwind and the scent of the field might linger for a few moments longer in her coat. But for now, she rested. The sun would rise soon and spread its warmth across the land. Vibrant colors of orange and red would flame across the skies, signaling the ponies of her kingdom to awake for the new warm day so that they could carry out their routines.

She decided to paint the sky a little more, so, mustering up her strength, she enchanted her mane and tail so that they flooded from her body into the heavens above, painting her personal canvas. An alarm in her head reminded her of her duty, so she got up to end her night. Not like anypony cares. She shook the thought away, not wanting to think thoughts that could result in a relapse to her jealous behavior.

“This is… familiar,” said Luna, noticing that the wind had ceased and that no more animals scurried beneath the brush. The world was deathly silent, sending a chill up her spine. Turning her attention to her moon, she wrapped it in her mystical alicorn magic, guiding it down through the night sky toward the horizon where it would reside until the next night. But as she lead it down, it started to resist far more than it ever had in her experience. She began to panic, pouring more of her strength into her task so that nopony would think she was trying to bring eternal night again. Then, with great strength, the moon shot right back into its midnight position.

“Impossible. What kind of sorcery is this…” ranted Luna as she racked her brain for answers. Without warning, the wind picked up at ferocious speeds that threatened to tear the fur from her coat. The grass started to die in front of her, charring and curling into brown husks.

Luna hurriedly crawled backwards to prevent the unknown evil from reaching her. Desperate and terrified, she looked to the stars for aid and power, but then something odd happened. The stars swirled back down towards the ground, twisting into a tornado. From inside the tornado came a wicked laugh that sent Luna falling on her haunches.

“No,” she whispered, remembering where the déjà vu feeling had originated from.

“Yes,” it whispered back. The tornado halted, and the stars fell to the ground, shattering like glass one by one. The smoke and dust cleared from the tornado’s center, revealing a tall, regal pony. The jet black coat shone through the night, and her horn seemed able to pierce the moon if it pleased. She stood taller than Luna, perhaps taller than Celestia herself. Her mane flowed freely as Luna’s did, but her eyes were enchanted to be like those of dragons’, and they pulsated with a sense of loathing and evil that made it difficult to keep eye contact for long. Sheets of armor caressed her rounded head all the way to her muzzle, and boots of the same silver clawed up to her knees. A peytral wound its way around her breast and neck, bearing the moon as its symbol. Luna couldn’t tear her eyes away from the mare that stood before her.

“Y-You’re n-not real,” said Luna, remembering Celestia’s advice. A tear spilled down her cheek. The black mare lowered her head and laughed a maniacal, wicked cackle that Luna had not heard in centuries.

“Oh, but I am all too real!”. She laughed and flashing her razor sharp teeth, galloped towards Luna.

*************************

“Tia!” screamed Luna as she snapped awake from the nightmare yet again. Luna panted in a nervous sweat, “Tia!”

“Luna I’m here. I’ve been here.” Her sister’s voice echoed from the walls. Luna felt her sister’s warm breath on her back, and looked up to see Celestia was in the same spot as before Luna fell asleep. But she did not look as she had when Luna had last seen her. The usually regal-looking mare looked sick and tired, her mane frizzed and her coat ruffled and dry. The heavy bags that now hung lazily from her eyes upstaged the sheen and softness that they once possessed, and the peaceful look of her face was nowhere to be found.

“Sister, why art thou — I mean you — so fatigued? Tis your day. You are not missing any rest periods?” asked Luna as her eldest sister stifled a yawn.

“Was it the dream again?” asked Celestia.

“That does not pertain to my question, but yes it was. Answer me, Celestia,” prodded Luna.

“Horse apples…” muttered Celestia under her breath. Luna’s ears perked up at the whispered tone, and she arched an eyebrow.

“Tia, what is wrong?”

Celestia huffed in defeat and rested her head on her forelegs. “I was trying to purge your dreams of her. It was surprisingly difficult and strenuous. I believe it did not work, either. Whatever is bothering your subconscious, dear Luna, is very deep.”

What is deep? What does she mean? Can I be fixed? Why am I cursed with these nightmares? Luna’s thoughts raced as she tried to think of anything that could have triggered the dreams. But then she looked up with a look of maturity that had not been present for the past hours.

“You need not help me Celestia. I am a grown mare. I can take care of myself.” Luna gazed up at her sister with a look befitting a ruler and a friend. “Don’t tire yourself on my behalf.”

“I will always do whatever it takes to help you, little sister.” Celestia smiled. Luna smiled back. Celestia’s eyes drifted behind Luna’s face for a second, but then shot open in alarm.

Thump! Luna’s head crashed down onto the bed where Celestia had previously lain. Looking up in confusion, she watched Celestia race over towards the balcony.

"Oh, dear Luna! I’m going to miss lowering the sun! Maybe I can still make it.” Celestia muttered the last part. She galloped to Luna’s balcony and spread her wings, preparing for take off. Luna leaped off the bed and ran to her sister, trying to fit in a few more words before she was left alone to begin the night.

“Wait Tia! Will you stay with me tomorrow, too?” pleaded Luna, terrified of what the next day’s dreams may bring.

“I will try my best, but I cannot guarantee. I must go now. I’m sorry, but I love you. Have a wonderful night.” And with that, Celestia spread her white wings and soared off of Luna’s balcony. She dropped at a steady pace at first, but the wind caught her wings like a parachute, and she rose on the current. Every so often, she pumped her wings to gain altitude as she flew toward one of the palace’s highest towers. Luna watched until Celestia rounded the corner of a tower and disappeared from view.

“Hmmm,” sighed Luna with a snort. She was rested for the most part and had a few minutes to spare before she had to bring out the night. Maybe tonight she would add that constellation she was drawing out. Trying to shove the recent events as far back in her mind as she possibly could, Luna trotted to her desk and levitated a quill. Sifting through the piles of budgets that she had been putting off, she found what she was searching for.

On a plain sheet of paper were the etched-out beginnings of her new constellation. If she worked efficiently, she could have it in the sky by tomorrow night. The constellation was a very personal one for her. Though many ponies would not know nor care enough to look into the details of the constellation’s picture, it brought peace to Princess Luna. The pattern of stars depicted her fighting Nightmare Moon, their two horns clashing in intense battle. But while Luna wore an expression of triumph, Nightmare Moon for once wore one of fear. Although the event never took place, it was a little homecoming gift to herself. She would tell the astronomers it was something about Equestria so they wouldn’t think she was vain to put a constellation of herself in the nighttime sky. Maybe two unicorns creating a spell. Yes, that would work.

The last of Celestia’s light faded from the horizon, and Luna once again brought out her moon. Flying up with it, she pushed the constellations out of her horn and into the heavens with each beat of her wings. Pony warriors and spirits now graced the skies through stars.

Luna looked over her work once again, as she routinely did. The North Star was a bit crooked. With a huff of breath, Luna blew it straight.

Satisfied, she continued drawing out her latest addition.

Author's Note:

So I am going to be revising the story and splitting it into chapters. Thank you to my new editor D G D Davidson, you're awesome. Enjoy!

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