• Published 16th Jan 2021
  • 1,077 Views, 23 Comments

My Little Sister - Shaslan

Sparkler is a lonely foal. Her parents...well, they aren't exactly around. The only patch of brightness in her life is her half-sister, Dinky Doo. She loves Dinky more than anything. If only Dinky knew Sparkler existed, then surely she'd love her too

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Chapter 1: Watching through a window

Sparkler was used to being second-best. She had been the second-best sprinter in school. Always coming in right behind Roseluck, who had the earth pony endurance to put her a nose-length ahead by the end of the race.

She had been the second-best unicorn on the buckball team, always relegated to the bench.

She had always been the second-best gemstone miner in Ponyville. Even though gems were her special talent, the thing her cutie mark had promised she would always beat everypony at. She was the only one down there in the mines, all day, every day. Her gem-hunting spell was weak but trustworthy, leading her to reliable little clusters day after day — only to be blown out of the water by the obscene hoards that wretched white unicorn could generate in just one afternoon of hunting.

She had even been the second-best daughter; abandoned by her father when he got some pegasus mare pregnant. He had left Sparkler and her mother without even a thought, in favour of his shiny new family. She had spent the better part of two years of trying to win him back. Foalish, hopeful attempts to regain his affections, longing to have him hug her once more, or ruffle her mane and call her ‘kiddo’. All those hours wasted on trying to excel in school and on the sports field, only to leave the schoolhouse and see him swinging his new daughter in the air, pushing her pram, cuddling her ugly cross-eyed mother close. Choosing the baby, and not Sparkler.

And then he left his new family too, forsaking both of his daughters as well as the town they all called home. Sparkler’s focus had shifted to her little sister, the toddler with the lilac coat almost reminiscent of her father’s. No longer an object of envy — there was no longer anything to fight about — Sparkler’s feelings had tipped towards pity. Her sister had been abandoned just as she had. But Dinky was even younger than Sparkler had been, with nopony to rely on but her mother. And just one pony could not be enough family for anypony. Certainly Sparkler’s own oppressively small family, just her and Mum, crowded and claustrophobic in their studio flat, was not enough for her. She saw the siblings at school playing together, looking out for one another. Slowly, her distaste for her baby sister changed. When under enormous pressure, even a rock can change and shift into a diamond.

So Sparkler reached out the hoof of friendship and sisterhood. But to her dismay, she found that even now, she was still second-best. The second-best family. Where her father had been welcomed in, Sparkler was shoved away. It wasn’t fair. She was Dinky's blood just as much as her wall-eyed mother. But the grey pegasus had been let down once too often by a purple-coated unicorn with Sparkler's own magenta eyes, and wanted nothing more to do with his daughter.

So…just like before, Sparkler was still shut out. Left outside in the cold, as second-rate a pony as she had ever been. A shiver ran across her fur, and she shuffled her hooves in a futile attempt to warm herself. The autumn air was cold and bitter. Though the yellow harvest moon was beautiful, all Sparkler could feel was the chill of the promised snow. She moved a little closer to the window, leaves crunching as she walked, and pressed her muzzle against the icy window pane.

Inside the little house, all was busy and warm. Pumpkins crowded on every surface, each carved with a unique grimace and glowing with its own candlelight. Artful wreaths woven of orange and red leaves adorned the hearth and doorways. Woollen blankets sprawled across the sofa, and tucked underneath them, looking into the blazing fire, were the two ponies Sparkler had been watching.

Derpy Hooves, her off-kilter eyes gleaming with excitement, bent over her daughter. She held scissors ready in one wing, waiting to cut the thread. And there, festooned in blankets and alight with anticipation, was Sparkler's little sister. All that remained of her father. Her costume was cradled in both forehooves, and she bent close to the green fabric to push the needle in her teeth through once more.

Derpy Hooves and Sparkler both leaned with her, almost unconsciously, their eyes following her every move. Dinky pulled the needle free with a flourish and presented the thread to her mother to be cut. Derpy clapped her hooves with delight and snipped the thread. Dinky shook out the folds of green fabric and beamed at what she had made.

Sparkler tilted her head a little to better see. She knew exactly what the costume was; of course. She had watched her sister every night this week. The darkening evenings of autumn were always a good time for ponies who wished to be unseen.

All Sparkler had to do was wait until the sun set, and then she could finally escape the crushing silence of her own mother, who lay every evening without change in their single bed, a bottle of the Apples’ hardest cider close to hoof. Sparkler would wait for the first shadows to wrap Ponyville in their gentle embrace, and then she could slam that hated door behind her, and gallop into another world.

A world of loving family and soft embraces, board games and laughter. The world her sister lived in. A world Sparkler herself was forever barred from.

Dinky Doo jumped up from the settee, and slipped both forelegs into the green tunic she had made. Derpy rummaged in the blankets and produced a brown leather belt to cinch the folds of fabric at Dinky’s waist. The finishing touch was a forest-green hat and a small bow.

The bow was a real one; Sparkler had followed her sister to the archery field often enough, and seen countless arrows thud into the butts. But the only arrows in Dinky’s quiver tonight were blunted and harmless.

A very passable rendition of Robbin’ Hooves, bandit king of the Everfree Forest. Sparkler wasn’t surprised in the least. Dinky was so talented at archery was so easy to see that Sparkler had been expecting for months to see an archery cutie mark appear.

All the costume was missing was that one final ingredient. A red phoenix feather for Robbin’s hat, to commemorate when he had saved one of the majestic birds from a manticore. Sparkler’s hoof drifted to her saddlebag, where a crow-feather rested, lovingly painted red and adorned with golden sparkles.

She still had a chance.

All she had to do was find a way past the mother lion to get to the cub.