• Published 22nd Mar 2021
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The Fatherly Life of Night Light - Anonymous Potato



The life and times of a living dad-joke.

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It's a Punderful Life

In his eulogy, he was referred to as “not a very smart pony.” He preferred to be called Night Light when he was alive.

He was a peculiar sort of a pony, that Night Light. His most peculiar feature being his ability to leave anypony he meets wanting to leave a mark on him. He could be infuriating like that at times.

During his long life, Night Light had the opportunity to experience almost everything there was between the sky and the ground (and several things that weren’t— most of it thanks to his wife). From a colt to a stallion he grew, from a sissy to a soldier, and finally, from a bachelor to a husband. And on the day of his wedding, he realized that that last one had also been the most frightening.

And because that’s the interesting bit, let us start there.

His first love had also been his last. Thankfully. He wouldn’t have survived a second.

“Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry!”

Most ponies are unaware that rolling pins are capable of overpowering a pony’s cranium—one of the many aspects how Night Light was not like most ponies.

He never quite knew what had happened. He’d been walking on the streets of Canterlot, minding his own business, when next thing he knew, he had a hot date with pain. Somewhere around a corner behind him, where they had fled, the gaggle of some colts and fillies could be heard giggling, their mouths stuffed with muffins.

Night Light had teetered back and forth and from side to side. One half of his gaze, which itself didn’t rightly know whether it was the right one or the left, had looked in a random direction and, miraculously, found something. There, surrounded in a halo of his concussion, had stood an apron-wearing young mare. A mare whose rolling pin’s remnants and her ire for thieving younglings were rapidly falling.

He’d been rightly stunned. Like a cultured stallion, the very physical manifestation of poise, Night Light had then opened his mouth to grant the beautiful mare before him a greeting worthy of her magnificence.

“Yer very purty.”

He’d co-operated likewise mindlessly when the young mare had then grabbed him by the hoof. “You poor thing!” she’d cooed and guided him indoors. “Let me patch you up!”

It was love at first sight.

Science has gone a long way in our wonderful nation. For instance, we know now for a fact that one thing does lead to another, permitted that the required conditions are met: A will lead to B, B to C, and a particle will continue on its course on a constant velocity, so long as no outside forces are applied.

And our dear Dr. Hoofenberg, sitting there in the back, can go buck himself right off.

As I was saying, one thing leads to another—in our case, it was her leading him—so it wasn’t much later that Night Light found himself living under her roof. Around that time he also found out that roofs are actually quite expensive, especially so in Canterlot, where a square-foot of room can cost an arm and a leg. Lucky him, in Canterlot, there is also an occupation that is perpetually hiring.

The Royal Guard had, and still has a rather substandard salary, meager qualifications for intelligence, and decent enough grub. Plus, Night Light’d gotten hit in the head before—he figured he’d fit right in.

He figured wrong.

Private Night Light!” the sergeant bellowed over the hushed snickers and crude imitations of whip-cracks. It’s worth noting that the majority of the stallions in the Guard have always been, without discrimination, as one-track-minded as hormone-ridden adolescents with keys to the fillies dormitory. “What would you do if you heard ravenous commotion coming from the mares’ room?

Night Light’s reply had come calmly and evenly. “I would go and buy roses.”

A vein had bulged on the sergeant’s neck. “Roses?! What would a puny pansy like you buy roses for?!”

“To calm down my wife.”

They'd laughed. They'd laughed all until, the next day, the mare herself had come to have a talk with the sergeant.

He was discharged honorably later that day. With extra pension. The sequestered, secret military base he’d been assigned to was then moved to a location that, to this day, remains undisclosed for the sake of national security. They couldn’t afford her to know.

Night Light, on the other hoof, went and found himself a cushy job at the observatory.

As I mentioned previously, science has proven that A leads to B, B to C, and thus, a stupid pony in the wrong place inevitably leads to a disaster. Eleven months later, Night Light found out just exactly how.

“Push!”

“I’m trying!“

If you asked him, the midwife’s hoof had come down upon his head unnecessarily roughly. “Not you!”

The seconds had then turned to minutes, the minutes to hours, the ticking of the clock on the wall agonizingly slow. Eventually, however, the howls subsided.

“Congratulations, Mrs. Velvet. You have a healthy colt.”

His wife had been happy, overjoyed even. He’d heard it in her snore.

The nurse had shortly thereafter made her exit, followed by a sigh, a slump, and the legs on the couch outside the door giving in. Thus, the snores had been doubled.

Night Light had looked down at the bundle in his lap, measuring half the length of his forehoof. As the foal had cracked his eyes open for the first time, Night Light’d tickled him. “You will be Shining Armor, and you will stand by your mother’s side when I am no longer able to.”

Normalcy of everyday life returned shortly thereafter, albeit for Night Light that entailed spending more time out of his house in order to support the roof for three, which, unsurprisingly, cost more than a roof for two.

And because A can lead to B several times, it got even more expensive not much later. The nurse had been most pleased.

“Oh, Celestia, not you again?!”

She’d gotten hazard pay and an extra vacation out of the night.

Once the whole “miracle of life” was over again, Night Light’d tugged the nurse’s sleeve. “May I hold him?”

“Her,” the nurse corrected.

“Not her.” He waved at her wife, napping happily on the bed. “The foal.”

The couch on the other side of the wall had barely withstood the nurse’s weight after she’d stormed off.

Night Light had lifted the foal up to his eyes, an amused twinkle in them. “You shall be Twilight, and you’ll be the Sparkle in your mother’s eye when she first sees you.”

The days got longer. An overtime here, another hour there, an extra shift over the weekend... Night Light may have had even less time for his family, but it never bothered him. Such a stallion was he that at the end of the day, when he would inevitably find himself in their company, he’d pray for the next workday to come sooner.

Of course, he had to find a way to keep the little ones entertained while he was away.

The boxes towered over her. Little Twilight Sparkle, barely four years of age, had stared up into the skies where the lid of the first box laid unlatched and gaping when the voice of Night Light spoke from behind her.

“You may take anything you want from the first two boxes. The first one—” A gigantic forehoof pointed for her. “Is filled with toys, the second one with books. But the third one—” His head had dropped down low, staring her right in the eye. “Is only for adults, and you shan’t open it ‘till you are old enough.”

Much like her namesake, a tiny sparkle had been ignited. The little filly’s eyes had glimmered with delight, for she’d heard the magic word: anything.

Twilight climbed atop the mountain of a container, and stood on the plateau before which a sea of limitless imagination lay spread. With nothing but a child’s inner desire for the curious, she’d sunk her hoof into the abyss of paraphernalia and fished out a gangly doll with buttons for eyes.

But a child burns through their interests quickly. Twilight had only a short while thereafter progressed from the first box to the second one, the contents of which seemed to change around the time of her birthday, Hearth’s Warming, any major holiday, really.

Yet, as fickle a thing curiosity may be, it is also nigh unkillable. Her father’s words still echoing in her ears, Twilight one day turned her gaze to the third box, down now only to her snout.

Her brother—dad’s co-conspirator, no doubt—had not once spoken a word of its contents. He had to have known, she was sure of it: he’d hurriedly look away, hiding away the red tint of his cheeks whenever she’d bring it up. “I am almost in school already!” Twilight had piped up to herself. “I am old enough! I wanna know what’s inside!” And with those words, she’d laid her hooves on the latch.

Much to her surprise, she found the box unlocked. The lid came open, and her expectations would remain stunted forevermore.

Frowning back at her from within was a dish cloth, right next to a dustpan. The mop looked friendly, but it didn’t bring back her smile.

“You’ve opened the forbidden box,” the voice of Night Light boomed from behind her.

Twilight had jumped and, in a moment of desperation, slammed the lid back shut. With awkward stammering, she’d tried to justify her rule-breaking, all of which went on deaf ears. “You broke the rule.”

The box snapped back open. When she’d found the courage to look him in the eye, his facade of cold had melted, a humorous grin having taken its place. Surrounded in a thaumic aura, the instruments of sanitation had floated and pushed themselves into her grip.

“Which means you’re old enough to clean up after yourself.”

Twilight had moaned and groaned throughout the entire ordeal. She’d been so peeved she completely missed that on a premeditated, strategically favorable position from where he could see whilst remaining unseen, BBBFF had watched with long-awaited schadenfreude.

Such had been their upbringing that years later, when they’d grown old enough to be left alone with a sitter, Night Light’s offspring had acted paragons of virtue, knowing full well the price of misbehaving. Cadence had been quite stunned to say the least.

She’d been even more stunned after she, too, had made the mistake of opening the third container.

One beautiful morning Velvet and Night Light both found themselves escorting Twilight, no-longer a foal but a wide-eyed filly, on a road both marvelously marbled and precariously blinding. The group stopped just shy of one exquisitely ornate building.

It had been quite a challenge to avoid looking at it. In a city where everymare's houses could overshadow palaces in their extravagance, it wasn’t out of the ordinary that just the facade of a structure could make a stallion drop down on his knees and cry. Night Light had worn sunglasses and let his fillies do the gawking.

He'd approached a disheveled-looking stallion sitting next to a trash bin. The stallion’d seemed to be finishing the butt end of a cigarette. “Excuse me,” Night Light asked, “is this the entrance to the Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns?”

The stallion had looked back at him like he had escaped from a mental ward. “No, this is the loading platform. You’re out back,” he’d rasped and pointed over his shoulder. “This is where we dump the garbage.”

“Ah, so this is just the place,” Night Light had replied. He’d then pushed tiny Twilight forward, right to the feet of the garbage-pony. “Here you go.”

Twilight Velvet had nearly hissed his ears off.

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"

Another morning, Night Light had looked up from his newspaper at the sound of a tiny peep of a voice. On the floor, he’d found his little foal Shining playing with blocks, a dumb smile on his face.

Night Light had risen from his seat and trotted up to the adolescent colt with a muzzle more acne than face. “Son, we need to talk,” he began. The armored guard had raised his forehoof to his head in salute. “Your mother and I are gonna miss you.”

Decked in a satin suit, the stallion had bowed his head, the mare in a bridal gown leaning on his shoulder. Night Light wiped the corner of his eyes and lowered his voice to hide the trembles.

“I’m proud of you.”

From around his embrace of Flurry Heart, the grown stallion replied. “Hi Proud-of-you, I’m son!”

They grow up so fast.

But alas, A leads to B, yet B can never go back to A again.

Night Light’d lifted his head from his paper. Much to his own surprise, he noticed the apartment had become far more silent than he preferred. Empty. He still remembered how he’d once gotten the kids three containers of toys with which they had played and made merry until they’d grown bored, only to go back again, to relive the memories they’d once made.

In secret, he and his wife had had a fourth one made. One that he then felt should be opened. His hooves had wobbled when he fished out what was inside.

The memories were all there, immortalized in polaroid: Shining taking his first steps, Twilight’s first spell, Twilight’s entrance exam to Celestia’s school, and saving the world for the umpteenth time—not every stallion could boast with such a daughter. But no matter how he tried, he could never unsee her through the eyes of the potted plant she’d once turned him into. His baby girl.

A brief rustle by his side had been all that’d awoken him from his reverie. On his behalf, Twilight Velvet had then pushed the photo album closed. They’d exchanged nuzzles before lying back down on the bed, side by side.

“Good night, dear,” she’d said, and with another “good night, dear” he’d replied, before both their eyes had fluttered shut. He smiled because in the end, Night Light knew he’d led a good life and was ready for their final trip to greener pastures.

But we must never forget that he was not a smart pony.

With his dying breath, Night Light could not help himself asking:

“How ‘bout a quick one for the road?”

He was the first one to make it there. She made sure of it.

Author's Note:

I take all credit for this.

I most certainly did not steal this fic off of Discord’s nightstand. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

You can’t prove a damn thing.

Comments ( 8 )

Thank you for reading ^^

Here lies Night Light
Loving husband and father
And glorified Smartass

Funnier than it has any right to be, like any good dad joke. Thank you for it.

10733954, 10734317

No, thank you both for commenting ^^ really put a smile on my face

Read this after coming off a Discworld audiobook, so read this in the voice of Nigel Planer. Gilding for an excellent lily!

10734749

Man, I should start reading Pratchett again. Such awesome books. If only my reading list wasn't long as the Nile river :raritydespair:

Thank you so much for reading and commenting ^^

10733954 P.S. If he gets up, tell Twilight Velvet so she can smack him again, because he deserves it.

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