• Published 6th May 2021
  • 598 Views, 33 Comments

Twilight Opens a Door - Golden Tassel

Twilight Sparkle has a completely normal day in Ponyville.

  • ...

Chapter 2

Princess Twilight Sparkle woke up on a completely normal day in her crystal tree castle home in Ponyville. She yawned as she rubbed the lingering grogginess from her eyes and stretched her wings to relieve the crick in her back. There simply was no good position to sleep in with those extra appendages. Years of nightly experiments had conclusively proven so.

Sitting up on the edge of her bed, Twilight stared out blankly, certain that she'd been in the middle of a weird dream. She rubbed her temple and squinted as she tried to remember what had made it so strange, or even anything at all about it, but nothing remained aside from that unsettling certainty that it had happened and that it had been weird.

She glanced at the book on her nightstand. "Ugh. That's the last time I read philosophy before bed," Twilight muttered to herself as she lifted the book with her magic, and floated it alongside her as she approached her bedroom door.

Twilight Sparkle opened the door and stopped dead in her tracks. Racks of dresses, ranging from light and casual, to ornate and formal gowns, and everything else Rarity had dreamed up for her over the years, lined the walls of a small windowless deadend room. This was not the hallway.

A vigorous shake of her head and a few blinks of her eyes later, she turned around and closed what was apparently the door to her closet, though she was sure the closet had been on the other side of her room yesterday. "I must have gotten a worse night's sleep than I thought," she mumbled through a drawn-out yawn. "I'll feel better after I have some breakfast."

Twilight crossed her room and stood in front of the door. Something nagged at the back of her mind as she reached for the handle, as if she'd forgotten to do something of great importance. She glanced back over her shoulder at her bed— No. That was her desk. Is my whole room backwards? She brushed the thought aside and turned her head over her other shoulder. "Ah-hah. I forgot to make my bed," she concluded, stifling another yawn while she wrapped the pillows and sheets in her magical aura, straightening everything out with practiced ease.

Finally out of her room, Twilight walked the corridors until she found herself at a deadend. She turned around and looked along the rows of doors lining that section of the hallway. This was not the way to the kitchen. Somehow, she must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. That was the only logical explanation. "It's going to be one of those days, isn't it?" she groaned, and began retracing her steps back toward the last intersection.

As Twilight rounded the corner, she bumped into Starlight Glimmer.

"Oh, Twilight. I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. Are you alright?"

"No, no. It's my fault, Starlight. I'm fine, but I think I got turned around somewhere and now I think I'm a little lost."

Starlight laughed. "I don't blame you. You wouldn't believe how many times I've wandered into a broom closet on my way to the throne room."

Twilight laughed with her.

"It happens every time," Starlight deadpanned.

Twilight ran a quick mental tally of all the times she'd invited her pupil to meet her in the throne room and grimaced. "Oh. I'm sorry about that. Maybe I should see about getting some signs put up around the castle to make things easier for everypony."

"That sounds like a great idea." Starlight noticed the book Twilight was carrying with her. "What's that you've got?" she asked.

"Oh, just some poorly-chosen bedtime reading. I'll have to return it to—" Twilight's stomach growled, and that nagging feeling from earlier came back, though this time it came with the faintest spark of a memory.

"Twilight?" Glimmer waved her hoof in front of her mentor's face.

"What?" Twilight's eyes snapped back into focus. "Oh. I'm sorry, I just remembered something about missing breakfast because I got caught up trying to find something a long time ago."

"I hope you found it. Breakfast was hours ago," Starlight began chuckling, but cut it short when she saw the look on Twilight's face.

Twilight wordlessly moved her mouth for a moment before she could speak again. "How is that possible? I just woke up, and I know I didn't oversleep."

Starlight put her hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "Are you sure you're alright? You haven't been messing around with time spells again, have you? This isn't like that time you went into the past to steal your favorite quill from yourself before you lost it again, is it?"

Hiding her face behind her book, Twilight groaned. "No. I swear. And how do you even know about that?"

Starlight laughed sheepishly. "Spike told me. But only because I kept pestering him about the legendary 'Lost Quill Incident.'" She leaned in close and lowered her voice. "The whole town? All of it? Literally upside down?" The twitching glare of Twilight's eye told her everything she'd heard was true. "Sorry."

Twilight floated the book away from her face and for the first time noticed the title: The Myth of Sisyphus by A. Camel. Suddenly, that spark of memory came into focus and her eyes widened. "Spike!" she called out as she galloped off down the hallway, leaving Starlight in equal measures of concern and bewilderment.

The door behind Starlight opened a crack and a hushed voice came through. "Is she gone?"

"I guess so."

Trixie, the Great and Powerful, emerged from the broom closet wearing a pith helmet and a khaki cargo vest. "That was close. Come on, let's go."

Starlight hesitated. "I'm not sure this is a good idea anymore."

"But you promised to take me on a time safari!" Trixie pouted.

"Alright fine," Starlight said, sighing and rolling her eyes. "But you have to promise not to touch anything in the past!"

"Let me see if I have this right," Spike said. "You had a dream about trying to put away that book?" he asked, trying his best to parse out what he could understand from the hurried and rambling story Twilight had dumped on him while he was just on his way to meet for his afternoon game of Ogres and Oubliettes.

"No. Forget about the dream. It's not important. Don't you recognize this book?" Twilight said, levitating The Myth of Sisyphus in front of Spike.

He tilted his head and rubbed his chin while he studied the cover. Gradually, his face contorted into an uncertain frown as if trying to understand a postmodern art piece. "I don't think so."

"Think, Spike," Twilight urged. "It was years ago, back when we first moved to Ponyville. I stressed out while trying to find space for it in the bookcase in the old library."

Spike shook his head and shrugged. "You stress out over a lot of things. Especially back then. I only really remember the doozies. Like that time—"

"Don't! I assure you, whichever time you're thinking of, I remember it in painfully vivid detail." Twilight floated the book back to herself and stared at the cover as she began pacing. "Whatever. Just . . . I need your help. There's something strange about this book; it belongs somewhere and I have to put it back or . . ."

"Or what?"

"I don't know. Please, Spike. Something isn't right."

"Okay. I believe you."

"Thank you, Spike," Twilight said, breathing a sigh of relief.

"What can I do to help?"

Twilight's ears flopped back and she blushed as she quickly glanced around to make sure no one else was around to hear her. "I don't know where the library is. I'm not even sure how I found my way here to the entrance hall."

"Whoa. Um. Alright. What about teleporting there?"

Twilight took half a step back and shook her head vehemently. "Nothing is where I think it should be today. If I tried to teleport I could end up anywhere. Or nowhere. Or—"

"No teleporting. Got it. Then follow me, I guess."

As Spike guided her through the castle, Twilight was certain she had been down these hallways already, and when they reached the library she was even more certain that she had checked behind this door already and found nothing but an empty closet. But as soon as she set foot inside and took her first breath of that delightfully familiar book smell she shivered, feeling the tension in her muscles instantly evaporate.

The two of them walked down the center aisle and Twilight nodded to herself as she looked over the signs along each row of bookcases. Everything was exactly where she knew it should be.

"Spike, where are you going?" she asked as she noticed him turn down the wrong aisle.

"Mythology is this way, isn't it?"

"It's not a mythology book, it's philosophy."

"Are you sure? 'Myth' is right there in the title."

"I'm positive," she asserted. "The myth is just an analogy for . . . for something." Twilight frowned and looked at the book again. Once again, she had that feeling of having had a dream but remembering nothing of its contents. "You know what, why don't you go check there anyway. I'll keep going this way."

"Call if you need me," Spike said as he spread his wings and flew off down the rows of books.

He didn't always have wings, did he? Twilight shook her head to kick the thought loose. One thing at a time, she reminded herself as she set off on her own. Winding her way through the library, she eventually came to the philosophy section against the back wall. She passed along bookcase after bookcase, her eyes carefully scanning across the spine of each book. Each one definitely belonged there. Then, she came to a stop.

In the middle of the row was an empty bookcase. Above it hung a wooden sign with elegantly carved letters that read "The Myth of Sisyphus."

Twilight blinked, and quickly glanced back and forth between the book she carried with her and the empty shelves. "All this for one book?" That couldn't possibly be right. What librarian in her right mind would do that? She stepped back, and looked across the row of bookcases. This one didn't match the others at all; it was made from mahogany wood, while everything else had been grown from the same crystal material as the rest of the castle structure. And, on the floor in front of it, were scuff marks.

Twilight grabbed the bookcase in her magic, and ripped it away from the wall to reveal a familiar-looking door. One which belonged in the old library. A chill ran down her spine, even as she reached for the handle.

Twilight opened the door.