• Published 26th Nov 2012
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Letters From a Friend at the End of the World - alexmagnet



Twilight receives a letter from Trixie one day, but it raises more questions than it answers.

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2 — Polaris

Chapter 2:
Polaris

“Your... friend... Trixie... Lula... moon. There, done!” With a relieved sigh, Trixie leaned back in her chair. The candle on her desk had burned down to a tiny mound of wax and few balled-up pieces of parchment lay on the ground around her. She placed the quill back into its nearly-empty inkwell and looked over her letter once more. Her lips pursed as she reached the end where she had signed her name. “Hmm...”



“I... need... to... do...” she paused for a moment before placing her quill back on the parchment. “See... you... in... a.. few... weeks.” As she placed the final dot on the exclamation mark a tiny smile crept across her face. She carefully folded the letter into thirds and then reached into her saddlebag and pulled out an envelope. Delicate blue light washed over the letter as she slipped it into the envelope. As she went to seal it, she caught herself. Pulling the letter back out, she placed it on the desk and grabbed her other quill.

With a practiced motion she spelled out the mare’s name in elegant cursive. Placing the quill down, she held up the letter to the light. The violet letters seemed to shimmer in the dancing flame’s light. Satisfied, she slid the folded letter into the envelope and sealed it with a wax stamp.

Grabbing the first quill one more time, she spelled out 'Twilight Sparkle of Ponyville' on the front of the letter. After she had finished addressing it, the letter lifted itself from her hooves and made its way to her bag where it slipped into an open pouch.

Sighing softly, she looked out the window. It was dark, much too dark to leave. That was just as well; it was much too cold to leave too. Her horn lit up as she drew the curtains closed over the small window.

She pulled her fur coat tighter, allowing its warmth to surround her. As the candlelight dimmed, she moved to the rough bed that had been laid out for her earlier in the evening. The straw poked through the thin blanket covering the bed and jabbed into her sides and back, but it wasn’t entirely uncomfortable. At least she had her coat.

As she closed her eyes, the last thing she saw was the saddlebag, and one corner of the envelope sticking out of the pouch. A small smile found its way onto her face as she fell asleep, her mind drifting to warmer days.

***

Knock, knock, knock.

Three short raps came in quick succession, waking Trixie unceremoniously. She sleepily opened her eyes and searched for the source of the disturbance. She shielded her eyes as the wooden door cracked open and light flooded the room. A tall, but thin-looking earth pony stood in the doorway. He looked over and saw that Trixie was still in bed and quickly averted his eyes.

“Miss Lulamoon—” he paused “—are you... decent?”

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Trixie responded groggily, “Yes, Polaris, I’m decent.”

He turned his head back in time to see Trixie slowly rising from her slumber. He couldn’t help but notice how slim she looked, and how the light played with her silver mane as she tossed it about. It may have been a little unkempt, and more than a little dirty, but it still seemed to glow with an inner light. As she stretched, letting out a tiny yawn, a chill breeze blew through the open door and caused her to yelp in surprise. She quickly gathered up her coat and pulled it close.

Polaris let out a light chuckle. “Still getting used to the cold, eh?”

“I hope I’m never used to it. If I am, then that’ll mean I’ve been here far too long,” she said with an exasperated sigh.

“Heheh, bet a mare like you probably never had this kinda cold before, eh? But, you’d think that after two months you’d have learned to deal with the cold a little better. ” He chuckled again as he saw her struggle to gather up the pieces of parchment that had been blown away because of the breeze.

“Would you shut that door, please? This cold is bothering me enough without the wind to make things worse.”

Shifting his back leg, Polaris lightly kicked the door shut. “Apologies, miss. Didn’t mean to cause you any trouble.” He stepped closer to her as she was gathering up the last few pieces of paper. “Been writing to that ‘Twilight Sparkle of Ponyville’ some more, eh?”

Trixie stuffed the parchment she was holding into her saddlebag before responding. “Yes, as a matter of fact I have, Polaris. I just finished writing another letter last night.”

“You know, you’ve been writin’ that mare as long as I’ve known you, but I’ve never seen you get any letters back. So why is that?”

It was a fair question, and one that Trixie had heard several times before. Luckily, she had an answer prepared for whenever this question came up.

“That is a personal matter between me and Twilight Sparkle, and I’d rather not discuss it if it’s all the same to you.”

Polaris laughed loudly, his chest bouncing up and down. “I’d wager this isn’t the first time you’ve told somepony that. Got yourself a nice little ready-made excuse, eh? Well, that’s fine with me. It’s not my place to go meddlin’ in other’s affairs. If you don’t want to talk about, then that’s your business. I know when to leave well enough alone.”

“I appreciate your understanding,” Trixie said kindly. “I hate to be so blunt about it, especially when I owe you so much, but it’s not something I want to talk about.”

He raised a hoof. “Understood, miss. I’m just here to shepherd you along anyhow. I know where my place is.”

A smile tugged at Trixie's lips. “Thank you, Polaris. You’re too kind.”

“Don’t mention it. Now come on, miss. Breakfast is gettin’ cooked up right now. If you hurry, you might even get it while it’s still hot.” With a nod of his head, and a wave of his hoof, he motioned towards the door.

Saddlebag packed, and coat firmly secured about her chest, Trixie grabbed her hat and cape from the corner of the room and headed out the door. As she opened the door, cold washed over her in icy waves. First, the sheer temperature drop from being outside, then the wind, and finally snow began to blow about her face in frigid wisps. She shivered, her teeth clattering together.

As she clambered down the small wooden steps of her caravan she was filled with a sudden longing to be back in her bed. It may not have been as warm as Ponyville, but at least it was warmer than outside. She heard the door shut as Polaris cut off her only escape. Oh well, nowhere else to go but forward.

As Trixie made her way through the camp she passed dozens of stern-looking ponies, barely any of them even spared her a passing glance. Of all the ponies she’d met north of Vanhoover, Polaris seemed to be the only one who wasn’t as cold as the weather. She was lucky she had met him, too. Not many mares happen upon professional guides while wandering aimlessly through small towns.

“Come along now, miss,” said Polaris from behind Trixie. “Let’s get to the kitchen for some breakfast before we head out again. Don’t wanna lose your strength in the middle of the road, eh? Gotta get them skinny bones of yours fattened up. ‘Specially if you’re gonna be heading up that way,” he said, pointing due north. “If you think it’s cold here, just you wait, missy.”

“It gets even colder than this?” She shuddered at the thought of a place colder than this Celestia-forsaken camp.

Laughter was his only response.

Making his way past Trixie he led the way through the camp. As he walked in front of her, Trixie noticed his cutie mark. It was a white, five-pointed star, and it stood out handsomely against his cobalt blue fur. The northern star, she thought, how very appropriate. If I manage to finish this, and make it back in one piece, I’ll have to remember to thank him properly. He deserves that, if nothing else.

Eventually they reached the kitchen. Really though, it was more like a public fire-pit with some communal cookware. Polaris just liked to call it a kitchen because he thought it sounded better than “public fire-pit”. Either way, it wasn’t the most well-stocked kitchen, but it was better than nothing. Fortunately, Polaris’ wife, Astrid, had already begun cooking them some breakfast, and was nearly done when they arrived. She was a lovely little thing. Full white body, with light-gray mane that was done up in a small bun and held together with an emerald brooch—her wedding gift, she had explained.

After a short meal and some light conversation, Trixie thanked Astrid for the breakfast and turned to Polaris.

“So, when do we head out?”

“Soon as the missus is ready, I s’pose.”

“Excellent, I hope we can make it to Frostvale today. That would put us a little ahead of schedule. Who knows, maybe with a little luck we’ll be done sooner than expected!”

Polaris shook his head. “I wouldn’t count on it, miss.”

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