• Published 24th Dec 2011
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Killing Mary Sue - Paleo Prints

Twilight can't stand the perfect newcomer in town; that's nothing a sledgehammer won't fix!

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Killing Mary Sue

Killing Mary Sue
by Paleo Prints

Act 1: The Meeting

As soon as she saw the dress Twilight should have known the only way it could end was a sledgehammer. It would be a lie to say it was the logical progression of cause and effect, but in hindsight it was the only possible conclusion.

The studious filly saw the dress as she brought home a new stack of books. She was distracted with thoughts of card catalogs and shelving; when she saw the dress everything else flew out the mental window.

As she passed by the Carousel Boutique, Twilight beheld a dark abomination draped over her friend Rarity. If a ballerina sewed funerary dresses with an unhealthy obsession with lace and spider webs, she would have produced such a multicolored monstrosity. The ‘dress’ would have been too much as a Nightmare Night costume.

Twilight placed the books to the side of the dressmaker’s shop; she cantered over to investigate. “Rarity? What is that…new dress you have?” She grinned with the force of an insincere compliment to a forgotten lover.

The white unicorn toyed with the poorly-folded black paper roses in her mane. “Do you like it? I just got it made for me by Pinnacle; such a generous mare! I’m going to have to spend the next week stitching to fill all the orders I received for this.”

Celestia’s student turned to a weapon long forgotten in Ponyville: logic. “You’re going to sell those? Come on, Rarity. Let’s assume someone would throw bits at that thing. You’d never sell someone else’s design in your shop. ”

The dressmaker batted her eyelashes coquettishly. “Darling, when one is in the presence of genius one adapts. Come this way; you must be introduced.”

Twilight felt a steady telekinetic pressure on her rump push her into the shop. She allowed Rarity to guide her; the books stayed in a forgotten pile outside. Walking into the shop she failed to suppress a giggle; Rainbow Dash was once again on the modeling stand. The silent pegasus was done up in an even more ridiculous outfit involving constellations and bats. The unicorn mare stopped laughing as she took in two bizarre sights.

The first was the most gaudily patterned unicorn she had even seen. A shimmering gold coat gave way to a clashing three-tone hair color scheme of silver, white, and purple. It looked like a blank pony drawing had been painted by Sweetie Belle. The strangely colored unicorn’s ample flank showed an overly-busy cutie mark involving spider webs, roses, and a spiral galaxy. Okay, there’s no way that convoluted mess has an actual talent associated with it.

The second was that Dash actually seemed to be enjoying the makeover. Twilight found this more disturbing than funny.

The metallic mare cantered over to Twilight. ‘Twilight Sparkle! I’m so happy to see you. The Princesses mentioned so many good things about you.”

Twilight gave an incredulous look. Seriously, is this Lyra in costume? Is the gang trying to pull one over on me? Ponies like this can’t really exist. “Pardon me; did you say the Princesses?”

The clashing-colored spectacle nodded. “Yes; I’m their new student.”

The librarian’s jaw dropped. She quickly recovered with the powers of sarcasm and skepticism. “Did ya know that I’m Celestia’s prize pupil? I kinda think I would have heard of you a lot sooner if you were telling the truth.” She glanced at Rainbow Dash. “Could you believe the horse apples coming out of this filly’s mouth?”

The preening pegasus gave a chuckle. “Aw, Pinnacle’s alright! I only agreed to model because she beat me in that flying contest, but I gotta admit I’m enjoying it a lot more than when Rarity does it.”

Twilight’s face showed her confusion. “Her name is Pinnacle? Really?” The purple mare suddenly did a double take. "How does a unicorn win a flying contest?"

The multi-colored newcomer smiled. "A mastery of telekinesis. I could train you, if you want."

The tittering voice of the local fashionista joined in. “Yes, and I as well appear to have much to learn from our new friend.”

Twilight stared blankly. “Doesn’t that seem absurd to anyone else? How can anyone be as practiced as Dash as a flyer and still have time to develop more design skills than Rarity? She's not even a natural flyer! Come on; Pinkie’s going to jump out of that metallic make-up any second now, right? The horn has to be fake.”

Pinnacle gestured to a random barrel in the corner of the room. Sure enough, a poofy pink mane popped out barely a second later. “Nope! I’m right here looking for mole ponies! Ooh, Twilight; you have to come to Pinnacle’s party later!”

The many-hued mare walked up to Twilight. “I can understand how this is a shock to you. It’s only natural; my talent is finding new talents! Let me explain my cutie mark to you…”

Twilight’s eyes glazed over; she was vaguely aware of a long and contrived stream of purple prose, but had no attention for it. Gradually, she snapped out of her reverie. Shaking her head from side to side to clear her thoughts, she failed to notice several strands come loose from her haircut.

The pony of perfection gestured widely. “So, you see that the image of the galaxy plays off the bats by…”

She was interrupted as Twilight pushed her away with a rump bump. “Whatever. Pinkie, I’ll show up for the party later. Maybe then you’ll let me in on the joke.”

As she stood in the doorway her curiosity overtook her. “One question, Pinnacle. How did you know Pinkie was in the barrel?”

The golden filly smiled. “My left hoof was tingling.” She flinched as Twilight slammed the door of the boutique.

Rarity raise a hoof to her lip. “I wonder what’s wrong with her?” The seamstress laughed; she was mercifully unaware of just how harsh her end would be just mere hours into the future.

Twilight wandered down the road, shaking her head. She could tell that she was forgetting something but the memory was just out of reach. Having wandered in her thoughts for longer than she intended, she found herself along the road to Sweet Apple Acres.

As she made to turn back she noticed a familiar cart crest a nearby hill. Finally, the sanest pony I know. “Hey, Applejack! Have you seen the gag that Pinkie has cooking? I can’t find an angle yet.”

Applejack shook her head as she pulled the cart of apple pies to town. “Ah haven’t had the time, Sugar Cube. Ah’ve been too busy making pies for Pinnacle’s party.”

A good fourth of Twilight’s hair sprung free of her bangs at that moment. “Oh, Hay no. Applejack, you’re honestly saying that Pinnacle’s not a joke?”

The determined farmer filly nodded. “Ah sure hope so. Big Mac’s been writing poetry for her all day. He’s got a lot of competition to show up.”

Twilight stomped her hooves on the ground. She screamed at the retreated form of her friend as AJ disappeared into the distance. “There’s already a line for her hoof? How is that even possible? She’s been here for like four hours!” The mare grinned as she smacked her fore hooves together. “Okay Twilight, it’s time to take control. When the going gets tough, the tough start researching.”

Act 2: The Planning
Twilight threw open the door to the Ponyville library. She smiled as she saw Spike carrying book stacks to and fro. “Hello, Number One Assistant! Who’s willing to help me with a particularly prickly problem of phony perfection?"

The little dragon put down his stack and raised a questioning eyebrow. “Um, weren’t you supposed to bring that stack of spell books home today?”

The unicorn shrugged. “I’ve got my hooves full with a…” No answer trailed out of the perplexed filly’s mouth. Her assistant’s perpetual Rarity t-shirt had been replaced. She struggled to form words. “Why…shirt…Pinnacle?”

Spike shrugged. “She’s just…so awesome.”

Twilight stared. She then smashed her head into the nearest shelf thrice. When she stopped her smile had reappeared. “That’s fine. That’s just perfect. Perfect really is the right word. I just can’t describe how perfect this is. I’m just going to my bedroom for privacy.”

Spike shrugged. “Okay. Ask me for help if you need it. I got to get Pinnacle’s spell book order sorted.”

Twilight kicked a stack of books out of her way. “Of course she casts spells! Why, I bet she’s even better than I am.” The unicorn retreated out of sight. “Spike, send a letter to Princess Celestia asking about her ‘new student’!” Spike saluted; he assumed she’d find a solution to whatever was bothering her. If he could only foresee what it would be he would have hugged her until his arms fell off.

Twilight moved books around her cluttered bedroom. An endless parade levitated in front of her, only to have its table of contents rejected as it was cast aside. Okay, there’s nothing in Fooleye’s Illusions for Professionals. Maybe Mind Magic for the Masses. She wandered back and forth, flinging grimoires everywhere. She screamed in irritation. “Spike, has the Princess responded yet?”

An audible sigh echoed from outside. “Nope, not this one either. Should I send an eighteenth letter?”

Twilight nodded to no one in particular. “This time add three more ‘urgents’ to the outside. Maybe underline the ‘please answer immediately’ part.”

As Twilight turned her head to scan a shelf she stopped. The first thing that gave her pause was the realization that she wasn’t alone. The second was feeling of the tongue moving inside her mouth.

The purple unicorn backpedaled, spinning her arms wildly. She hit the floor hard. Rubbing her head, she looked incredulously at the intruder. The out-of-sorts mare tried to formulate a sentence with little success. “Trixie? What on the how are the who here the what tongue tongue?”

The frosty-haired entertainer flipped a lock of mane into the air. “The Great and Powerful Trixie has been hiding in your bed; Pinnacle suggested it as a great way to break the ice.”

The purple mare was nearly still. The only movement for several minutes was the wet sound of Twilight’s tongue curiously exploring the inside of her mouth. “Alright. Alrighty then. “

Trixie looked concerned; her expression showed a curiosity about what Twilight was thinking. If she could know, she would most likely run to find a reporter. Someone would need to give the inevitable statement that “Twilight was always such a quiet mare.”

Said quiet mare seethed with an internal struggle. Trixie raised an eyebrow. Twilight grinned. “It’s hard for me to believe you’d ever come back here, let alone seek me out, or assault me in my bedroom. In fact, it’s downright unbelievable.”

Trixie beamed. “Aren’t you glad that life is full of surprises?”

Twilight shook her head. “No.” She telekinetically pitched the surprised blue mare through her window. She stood up, not even listening for the sound of pained groans outside. “Spike, I have to go! I need to make a stop or two before I head to the party.”

Twilight walked down the streets of Ponyville with purpose. The empty town seemed ominous. Twilight wished there was someone she could talk to. She was a tense mass of emotional springs on the verge of release. Am I really right about this?

Joy sparked within her as a yellow pegasus came into view. Twilight’s smile spread. She licked her hoof and started trying to press her tangled mass of hair back in place. “Hey there, Fluttershy! Where are you headed?”

Fluttershy gave a content and simple smile. A cart filled with animals came into view. “I’m taking Angel Bunny to Pinnacle’s party. He’s so excited to give her the present he made. “

Twilight’s eyes went wide. A cracking grin appeared on her face. “Really? Your cart is filled with the fruits of Angel’s generosity?” Maybe Pinnacle is on the level. Maybe I am letting jealousy get to me.

Flutter shy nodded. “Well, that and some litter I picked up.” Angel appeared from the wagon, waving a dirty scroll. Twilight noticed several dozen matching scrolls still in the cart. “We’ve just going to…”

“Shut up, Fluttershy.” The purple mare turned around and started walking away. The surprised pegasus just stared at the mad mare with the messy mane.


Twilight barely spared a look over her shoulder. “Just….go do whatever. I don’t care. You don’t matter anymore. She’s better than you, isn’t she? I don’t care how, just answer if she is. Is Pinnacle better than you?”

Fluttershy nodded. The purple mare grinned in victory. The gentle pegasus continued to shake as Angel Bunny looked at the slowly retreating unicorn with hate. Twilight suddenly thought better and turned around. The conflicted librarian looked the emotionally stumbling pony in the eye.

“If I’ve done the wrong thing, I’ll apologize. I don’t really want to do this.”

Fluttershy was still frozen like a deer in headlights. Angel Bunny nodded, expecting an apology. He was totally unprepared for seeing Twilight try to plant a clumsy, wet, and inexperienced kiss in Fluttershy’s mouth. The purple mare barely got her tongue into Fluttershy’s mouth when she suddenly stopped. Nodding to herself, she turned back to town without saying a word.

The shaking pegasus tearfully squeaked almost inaudibly. Twenty minutes later she was still in fits when Angel Bunny wheeled her into Sugar Cube Corner. Pinkie Pie was busy clearing off the food table; the bouncing earth pony immediately went to comfort her friend. She gave a single thought of worry to how she would find the time to straighten for tonight’s party. Her concerns were tragic, in the long run. By tonight the table would be far beyond her ability to clean, and when the time came she’d be too busy screaming to do anything about it.

Act 3: The Inevitable
Mr. Hardware the earth pony cheerfully handed over the sledgehammer as he collected Twilight’s bits. He was always happy to have a unicorn in his tool store; they carried gear out easier than anyone else. “Are you sure this is what you want, little lady? I got a few in smaller sizes.”

Twilight Sparkle shook her messy head happily. “Nopes nopes nopes! This is exactly the size and mass I need for the job. Thankies!”

He scratched his head. “Um, okay then. Come back soon!”

Twilight’s look became heartrendingly serious. “I don’t think I nor anyone else will come to this store again, Mr. Hardware.” She walked out with determination in her step.

He shrugged as she left, resolved to enjoy the feeling of having found the right piece of hardware for the right customer. He could never have foreseen the final ends the tool would be put to in his wildest dreams. All of his wildest dreams involved accidental tragedies; the forthcoming horror was deliberate.

Twilight passed Spike on the street; he was checking a long list of party preparations. “Hey, Twilight! Say, do you think the Princess could help me find some of this party stuff?”

Twilight shook her head as she passed him, not meeting the baby dragon’s gaze. “I don’t think Celestia can help me at all right now. Besides, I’ve got two stops to make on the way to the party.” She walked on, levitating a heavy-looking wrapped present.

An hour later Twilight entered the party. She had the wild gleam of a pony possessed. Her hair was scattered completely out of place; a few ponies turned to her as they heard the uncomfortable sound of the unicorn’s grinding teeth. Everyone in town was quietly surrounding Pinnacle. As mares looked on with jealousy and stallions with adoration, the metallic mare read from a levitating personal journal.

“Okay, this story begins similarly. Ahem. ‘It was a pleasant day in Ponyville…’

She never got further. At least she can’t write. Twilight stole the attention of the crowd by dropping the heavy wrapped ‘present’ onto the groaning floorboards.

Fluttershy broke into tears; a scowling Rainbow Dash step in front of her pegasus friend. “Twilight, you got a lot of explaining to do.”

Twilight dragged the heavy package along the ground as she approach Pinnacle. “Just answer me this, Dash. You said she’s faster because she beat you at one race. You mean to tell me you don’t have any competitive urge to have a go at her again?”

The surprised prospective Wonderbolt shook her head in confusion.

“Good,” the purple unicorn merrily chirped. She was now within a limb’s reach of Pinnacle. Twilight still met Dash’s gaze. “You aren’t my friend anymore, Rainbow.” Party goers looked away rather than meet the grim determination in her eyes. “None of you are my friends anymore.”

The golden mare with the impossible cutie mark placed a tentative hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “Listen, I know this is a big change for you. I’m sure there’s a lesson in friendship I could teach you about this.”

Twilight quickly levitated the sledgehammer free of the gift-wrapped box she had concealed it in. “Don’t you bucking touch me.” The crowd gasped as the first strike slammed Pinnacle’s head hard against the punchbowl table. Terrified onlookers were too petrified with shock to act as the assault continued. One lone mailmare had the presence of mind to cover her young filly’s eyes.

Eventually unnatural cracking sounds gave way to a loud splintering of wood as the table itself split in half. The punch bowl fell, spreading a red pool in every direction from the pile of shattered timber and Pinnacle’s limp hooves.
The room was filled with screaming and horrified ponies hurrying to escape. The purple mare paid them no heed whatsoever.

Twilight swayed back and forth; the repeated swings of the hammer had left her with little energy. She steadied a hoof on the wall while addressing the retreating crowd. “You’d all better clean her up; she’s pretty flammable.”

Rarity slapped Twilight across the face. The disheveled unicorn looked away as the dressmaker screamed. “Twilight Sparkle! What could have come over you? What you just did was awful! It’s absolutely…”

Twilight adjusted the angle of her levitating weapon. “Shut up you smooth-talking, deceptive…marshmallow!” The blunt instrument flew into Rarity’s face. The finely-crafted tool didn’t feel an iota of resistance as it buried itself deeply.

The sledgehammer stayed stuck in Rarity’s smashed in face. Her perfect features were now a dripping uniform mess of sticky white goo. The swing had embedded the tool more than halfway into the target’s head; weird moaning sounds burbled from deep in the pale sticky mess as the faceless thing kept trying to lecture Twilight.

Twilight picked up a small glob that had fallen off ‘Rarity’ and popped it in her mouth. “Marshmallow. Heh. I’m so glad to be right.” She turned her attention to Pinkie Pie; the screaming earth pony was trying to pull herself away on unsteady hooves; she was shrieking up a storm in the process. “Could you please quiet down,” the unicorn snarled.

As the pink pony ran toward the kitchen a telekinetic burst from Twilight sent a pile of heavy equipment crashing down on her. The crippled pony ignored her pinned flank; she started pulling herself forward as her midsection stretched over a dozen feet from her crushed lower torso until she snapped in the center. The bisected upper body left Twilight’s view as the two trapped legs, still connected pinned under machinery, kicked helplessly.

Pinnacle reared up from the destroyed table. Her cracked face revealed a mass of straw and hay that now poured out onto the floor. Joints that now bent irregularly made creaking noises as she tried to escape. The furious librarian furrowed her brow. As her horn glowed she heard a loud sucking sound; eventually the hammer was pulled out of the still-squirming Rarity-thing.

Twilight filled the hall of the Cake’s bakery with the sounds of impact until she was the only moving thing left in the room. The purple mare’s shoulders slumped with effort. She was dripping with sweat, punch, and a variety of multicolored splatter. Through the disgusting cover she was smiling in rage-filled triumph. She scanned the room, making sure no other pony was around. Realizing she had found peace at last she let the hammer drop to the ground.

“Okay, bored now,” she said with exhaustion. “Show yourself.”

A phantasmal peal of laughter sounded throughout the room. “My dear Twilight, have you no more frustrations to work out on your friends? Care to use little Miss Yellow and Kind as a piñata? I guarantee you’ll find her ingredients more surprising than sugar and spice!”

Twilight shook her head with effort. “I’m done. I obtained enough data to know that I’m right.”

The gleeful form of a pony-headed dragon bearing mismatched limbs appeared. His asymmetric arms rested on his knees as the draconequus belly-laughed in Twilight’s face. He briefly calmed down to wipe away a tear. “How in Equestria did you even suspect?”

A grim stare met Discord’s gaze. “It started with Trixie. Aside from the complete implausibility of her attitude change, she tasted like blueberries. It was meeting Fluttershy that cinched it.”

As she talked she approached the draconequus, dragging the glowing sledgehammer along the ground with all her will. “It all made sense when I saw her ‘litter pile.’ When I realized all the letters to Celestia were ending up on in the woods I knew I couldn’t be in Ponyville anymore. Also, she had the taste and consistency of lemon meringue.”

Twilight spit on the ground uncomfortably.

The spirit of chaos cavorted through the air, cackling loudly. “I thought Rarity’s composition was a nice touch. It’s too bad you’ll never know what Rainbow Dash was made from; that was my best choice. ”

Twilight levitated the hammer off the ground; veins pulsed on her head from physical and emotional exhaustion. “Where am I, Discord? Where are my friends?”

The trickster shrugged. “They’re right here, aren’t they? After all, all of these candy copies have their own thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately they also have a week-long shelf life!” He chortled while covering his eyes.

“Discord,” the angry mare snarled. “I want to know where we are.”

The Lord of Laughter started to file his nails. “So boring. You always want a logical explanation. Well, since you’ve played through the game…” He gestured and the roof flew off. Instead of a night sky, Twilight saw a wooden ceiling. A gigantic Discord now hovered over the town, manipulating the previous one on strings.

“You’re my toy now, Twilight. You’re just a little toy pony in my big dollhouse-sized Ponyville. Now that you’ve figured it out, I can give up the pretense of cause and effect. Let’s get random!”

Twilight shook her head. “It’s too bad for you I finally remembered the books I left by Rarity’s house. You know one of them actually has the spells you based this on? I could tell that Pinnacle was one of Star Swirl’s Simulacrums. It’s obscene to twist a guardian creation spell into this.”

The looming prankster crossed his arms and pouted. “Everyone needs to get their ideas from somewhere. Believe me, getting out of that statue used almost all of my creative and mystical juices. It’s a little bit of borrowed fun while the old battery recharges.” He grinned. “Now, whatever shall we play next?”

The miniscule mare’s horn glowed brightly. “Nothing! I know how to reverse this spell! You had to leave a magical backdoor to keep all the simulacrums running without being present. If I channel my magic through that spell path I can take control here.”

Discord sighed. “My dear Twilight Sparkle, you may have the Element of Magic but you’ll never lay a hand on my ley line. It’s hidden beyond your meager intelligence to locate.”

Twilight grinned merrily as she cocked her head to one side. “You mean like a new building in town? Maybe the always-closed one whose sign says ‘Dr. Ocsid’s Dentristy: Extra Nitrous Oxide’?”


A bright flash of light blinded the trickster god. When his vision cleared he found himself in a crowded party. A repaired Pinnacle gave him an approving look. “Greetings! You’re just in time to hear the new romance I wrote about Trixie and Rainbow Dash.”

Discord’s eyes went wide. “No. No, no, no.”

He hopped into the air and found his wings were too pitifully small to get him airborne physically. His snapping fingers produced no magical effect. “I’ve put too much of my power in this darn-fool thing; I can’t get out!”

Pinnacle started her recital. “It was a wonderful day in Ponyville...”

Discord howled in frustration.

Twilight looked down through the illusionary sky at the tiny draconequus suffering in the miniature Ponyville. She placed a crate over the model as a temporary measure. Time to send a letter that will get through. Suddenly a door opened at the top of a staircase; Pinkie stared down in surprise.

Huh. I really was in Sugar Cube Corner after all. “Hi, Pinkie.”

“Twilight!” The pink pony ran down and through her arms around her unicorn friend. “Nobody’s seen you for days! You’ve been hiding in my basement? That makes sooooo much sense! What were you doing down here?”

How long was I out for? I wonder when reality ended and the model started. “Pinkie, I…I can’t talk about it. One day I will. Not right now.”

Pinkie stayed in the hug until Twilight went limp, and then eased her off. “Twi, lemme go get you the pie I’ve been making! We’ll have a ‘Twilight Came Back From the Place She Won’t Talk About’ party!

The exhausted mare nodded. “That would be wonderful. Make sure everyone’s there.” Pinkie nodded as she ascended the steps. Twilight raised a hoof, and called out.

“Wait…Pinkie, what kind of pie is it?”

The party planning queen gave an infectious smile. “Blueberry, silly.”

Twilight bit her lower lip. “Pinkie, I have to clean up down here. I’ll be up in ten minutes at most and I need to not be disturbed. Is that okay?”

Pinkie sat on the steps and seem to contemplate this. Obvious worry flashed across her face; it was soon replaced with a nodding grin. “Okey dokey lokey! I’ll make sure no one comes in while you go all cleany-weeny.”

Twilight nodded thankfully. She waved with visible effort as Pinkie disappeared behind the door. As she heard the mechanism click into place she sank onto the floor and broke down crying.

Author’s Note: The idea for this fic came to me while reading the new ‘Editor’s Omnibus’ at EQD. Their steady litany of horrible tropes made me curious; what would a character do if they became aware of these things? I also owe a good deal to an old issue of Fantastic Four for the idea behind Discord’s plan.

If you enjoyed it (or not) send me a note! I’d like advice; I’m conflicted about whether I should add the Discord tag. I feel that it ruins the surprise to the reader about what’s really going on.