• 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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30 — Making Peace

Chapter 30:
Making Peace

Trixie leaned back in her chair, patting her stomach. After eating one serving of Anvil’s surprisingly delectable bean salad, she had still been hungry, but refused to ask for seconds. It was only when Aurora had been very insistent that she not be so modest, that Trixie agreed to have another helping… and then another and another. Three bowls later and she felt ready to burst. A feeling which she hadn’t felt in years. Living as a traveling magician hadn’t granted her much time to relax and enjoy a full meal. She hadn’t realized how much she missed it.

“Thank you for the dinner, Anvil,” she said. “It was delicious.”

Anvil eyed her thrice-empty plate. “Did ya now? I wouldn’t have guessed given how, er, little you ate.” He chuckled. “Been awhile since you ate this well, huh?”

Trixie avoided Anvil’s gaze, shifting her eyes to her plate instead. “Not that long,” she insisted. “It was just a particularly exhausting day is all. Normally I eat very well,” she lied. “Ponies often grace me with gifts of food after my shows. Plus, fancy restaurants love to have me perform for them, and I always get paid a little extra with some food.”

Anvil nodded. “Is that so?”

“Of course!” said Trixie quickly. “I’m quite famous in Manehattan and Fillydelphia, as well as many other large cities.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Ponies flock from miles around to see the Great and Powerful Trixie perform her awesome feats of magic.”

Anvil nodded again. “So, your show is going well, then?”

Trixie unconsciously shuffled her hooves under the table. “It couldn’t be going better,” she lied again.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that, Trix,” he said, calling her by her old nickname. “I always knew you’d be successful.” He smiled at her. She looked away. “Well,” said Anvil, standing up, “I think it’s about time we head to bed.”

Aurora frowned. “What about the dishes?”

Anvil waved his hoof dismissively. “Eh, leave ‘em in the sink to soak. We’ll have the kids do them tomorrow. What’s life without a little manual labor?”

Aurora giggled. “You just don’t want to do them, do you?”

He shrugged. “Still good for them to have some responsibility. Anyway, are you sure I can’t convince you to stay with us, Trix?” he asked, turning to Trixie who was still glaring at her plate.

“No, I’ll be all right,” said Trixie, also standing up. “In fact, I think I’ll go ahead and leave now.” She turned to walk away, pushing her plate towards Anvil.

“You’re welcome back anytime,” said Anvil, “you know that, right? If you need food or a place to stay, just come knockin’.”

Trixie, without looking back, said, “Thanks, I will.” She then left the dining room and walked to the front door.

As she was about leave, Anvil said, “It was good seeing you again, Trix. Real good. I missed you.”

Trixie bit her lip, and placed her hoof on the door. Anvil started to say something else, but she pushed it open and stepped out into the night. It was dark now, and the chill air made Trixie shiver, but she didn’t stop to think about it. Instead, she began walking towards, well, she didn’t know exactly towards what, but it didn’t really matter. Whichever direction she went, she still didn’t have enough money to afford to rent a room, even for just a night. She had had barely enough money just to make it to Emerald Falls, and then Hoofington in the first place. It wouldn’t be comfortable, but it also wouldn’t be expensive, and it also wouldn’t be the first time she had been broke and forced to rough it. It wasn’t that bad once you got used to it. Though, she was now lamenting the loss of her carriage more than ever.

Trixie wandered aimlessly through the streets of Hoofington, letting her hooves carry her wherever they pleased. Meanwhile, she took the time to look up at the moon and think about how cold it was up there, in space, amongst the stars.

“I wonder if it’s colder than the Onyx Mountains?” she mused aloud.

That thought brought her back to her meeting with the Dragon’s Eye, in that snowy dream. It felt like that had been forever ago, but it had only been a day. What a long day it had been, though. She had hoped to avoid Anvil while passing through Hoofington, but she realized now that that was a futile hope. It seemed the stars were not aligned properly.

She sighed. “I guess that must be part of my destiny too, huh?” she asked no one in particular. “Destiny sucks…” She laughed bitterly. Her laughter abruptly stopped when she looked up and realized where she was. A lonely tree stood in front of her. She was only a couple blocks from her house, and she knew exactly where her hooves had taken her.

Apparently her hooves had been playing a joke on her. This was the last place she wanted to be. Although, now that she was here, she couldn’t help but think about her childhood. She placed her hoof on the tree trunk and ran it along the surface, feeling the deep, gnarled initials carved into it. They felt old.

“A plus T,” she muttered. It all seemed so cliche now, but back then it was everything she had. But that was when they were kids. Now Anvil was older, and he had a wife and kids, and his own house and business running the forge. And what did Trixie have? The clothes on her back? Hopes? Dreams? Her destiny? Maybe the Eye was right. Maybe it was her destiny to become the most powerful unicorn in history. Then she’d be respected and loved.

She placed her forehead against the knotted trunk and let the memories replay in her head.

Chairs and desks screeched as the students simultaneously exited the classroom excitedly, having heard that school was over seconds beforehand. A dull hum of chatter filled the room. Slowly dying down as more and more ponies left. Trixie was oblivious to all this however, as she was eagerly packing her things into her bag with childlike fervor.

She could already see him standing outside the window. His thick shoulders looked almost too big for his little colt body, and his heavy jaw made him look much older than he was. Anvil was, in every sense of the word, handsome. In reality, he was only two years older than Trixie, but because of his sire, he was nearly twice her size, and bigger than all the other kids in his year.

Trixie gave him a quick smile, then hurriedly stuffed the last book into her seemingly bottomless bag. Gripping the strap with her mouth, she flung it over her back and trotted out the door, waving a goodbye to Ms. Dandelion as an afterthought.

Before she would make it two steps outside the schoolhouse, Anvil appeared in front of her. He smiled widely, his eyes alight with excitement.

“C’mon!” he said quickly. “I want to show you something!”

Trixie barely had enough time to nod and say, “Okay,” before Anvil had grabbed her by the hoof and began leading her away from the school. Trixie was completely bewildered, but nonetheless jubilant. Her mane bounced up and down as she practically skipped along, following Anvil. Her eyes were bright and her smile wide as she asked, “So, where’re we going?”

Anvil’s wide jaw split into a silly grin. “And ruin the surprise? You’ll just have to wait and see when we get there.”

“How am I supposed to know where ‘there’ is?” Trixie asked, pouting.

Anvil’s grin turned to a smirk as he answered, “Oh, you’ll know.”

For a few minutes, Anvil and Trixie happily trotted through town, passing by several other ponies from school, and even Anvil’s dad when they passed their family’s forge. As they came to Trixie’s house, Trixie looked up to see her older sister leaning out of the window, watering plants in the windowsill.

“Hi, Midnight!” Trixie said, happily waving her hoof and giggling.

Midnight looked up and saw Trixie. She smiled at first, then she saw Anvil and her smile grew into a sly grin. She set her watering can down and cupped her hooves over her mouth. “Dinner’s in a few hours, Trix. Don’t be late or Mom’ll get mad!”

They were already starting to round the corner when Trixie called over her shoulder, “I won’t be!”

“Trix, huh?” said Anvil.

“Yeah, Midnight calls me that sometimes.”

“I kinda like it,” he said thoughtfully. “Maybe I’ll start calling you Trix from now on?”

Trixie frowned. “Only my sister is allowed to call me that,” she said indignantly.

Anvil grinned. “Oh really? Then I won’t call you Trix, Trix.”

“Anvil!” Trixie cried angrily. “You jerk!”

“What’s the matter, Trix?” he asked, mock concern on his face.

“You just—”

“Oh look, we’re here!” Anvil said, cutting off Trixie before she could even be properly mad at him. He pointed his hoof directly in front of himself.

Startled, Trixie closed her mouth and followed Anvil’s hoof. He seemed to be pointing at a tree, but that didn’t seem right. Trixie leaned to the side and tried to look around the tree, but nothing stood out to her. “Is it behind the tree?” she asked.

Anvil laughed his boyish laugh. “No, no, it’s not behind the tree,” he said. “It is the tree.”

Trixie pursed her lips. “I don’t get it,” she complained. “The surprise is a tree? There’s tons of trees around here. That’s not so special.”

“Oh, but this one is very special, Trix.”

“How come?”

Anvil nudged Trixie towards the tree. “See it yet?” he asked.

Trixie shook her head. “I don’t see anything.”

He pushed her a little closer. “It’s there, trust me.”

Trixie took a few more steps closer, but still saw nothing. “I don’t get what I’m supposed to—” She stopped as something caught her eye. She had been looking in the wrong spot. Further up the tree, nearer to its leafy branches, she saw fresh scars marring its surface. Her eyes glided up the tree until she could make out a pair of initials that had been crudely carved into the tree. “A plus T?” she said.

Anvil chuckled. “I’m sure you can guess who the ‘A’ and the ‘T’ are, can’t you?”

Trixie suddenly felt a wave of heat wash over her face. “Me and you…” she said quietly.

“Of course!” said Anvil, hugging Trixie. “This isn’t just any tree, Trix. It’s our tree. As long as this tree is still here, it’ll be a symbol of our friendship. No matter what happens to us, we’ll always be friends.” He looked down at Trixie expectantly. She simply stared at the tree silently. “Trixie?” he said.

Trixie closed her eyes, shutting out the tears that threatened to break loose. Doing her best to hold those same tears back, Trixie opened her eyes again and turned back to Anvil. “Right,” she said. “Friends.” Just as she could feel the heat of more tears welling up in her eyes, Trixie quickly pushed Anvil aside and started to gallop away from the tree. “I—I have to go eat dinner now,” she said through choked tears. “I’m… I’m sorry.”

Anvil simply stood there, scratching his head, watching as Trixie scampered away, her head down.

Trixie took her forehead off the tree and stepped back a bit. She could feel a warm wetness on her cheeks as she brought up her hoof to her eyes. She did her best to wipe away the handful of tears that had managed to squeeze themselves out, but as soon as she wiped away one, several more took its place.

Just then, she heard the rustling of leaves behind her. She turned around to face the intruder, her horn aglow with magic.

“Who’s there?” she said loudly. “Show yourself!”

A stallion stepped out of the shadows, his face illuminated by the light from Trixie’s horn. She recognized him immediately and let her horn’s light fade a bit.

“Thought I might find you out here, Trix,” said Anvil. “Whether it was by luck or not, I’m glad I did.”

Trixie frowned,trying to hid her fresh tears. “What are you doing out here? Shouldn’t you be asleep by now?”

“I could ask the same of you.” Anvil’s face softened, and he stepped a little closer to Trixie. “You said you were going to rent a room, right? From the pub if I recall correctly.”

“That’s correct,” said Trixie. “I was just taking a bit of a stroll first.”

Anvil’s lips pursed. “All the way out here?”

“Sometimes a walk helps me sleep better.”

Anvil sighed. “Dammit, Trixie,” he said softly. “Why do you have to keep lying to me? Can’t you just tell me the truth?”

Trixie recoiled a bit, eyeing Anvil suspiciously. “I don’t know what you’re—”

“Just stop!” he yelled. “Just for one second stop with the faux ignorance and tell me the truth. You think your little escapade in Ponyville didn’t make it to the newspapers here? You think I don’t know you’re dead broke? You think I don’t know you’re back in Hoofington because you don’t have anywhere else to go?”

Trixie’s eyes were wide as she stared silently at Anvil. He shook his head incredulously.

“You don’t have anything to say? No, ‘I’m sorry I lied to you’, or ,’Please forgive me’? Nothing?”

Trixie finally opened her mouth to speak. “How come Aurora didn’t recognize me?”


“If I was in the newspapers, then shouldn’t she have recognized who I was?”

Anvil shook his head. “You weren’t named in the article, but I knew it was you, or at least I had my suspicions. Suspicions which were confirmed when you showed up on our doorstep.”

“Not even worthy of bothering with my name, huh?” she muttered under her breath. “So you think that’s why I’m here?” she asked, eyeing Anvil. “Because I was beaten by some no-name unicorn?” Trixie chuckled unhappily. “I suppose in a way it is the reason I’m here, but it’s not the real reason. I told you before, I’m just passing through.”

Anvil’s frown deepened. “Just passing through? Why can’t you admit you need help?”

“Because I don’t!”

He sighed. “Yes, Trix. Yes you do.” He pointed to the tree Trixie was standing in front of. “Remember that? I imagine you do. That’s why you’re here now, right?”

Trixie nodded slowly. “Remember? How could I forget?”

“So you remember what I told you then?”

Again, Trixie nodded.

“No matter what happens to us, we’ll always be friends.” Anvil took a step closer to Trixie, and then another when she didn’t back away. “I’ve always loved you Trix. You’re like family to me. I can’t stand to see you hurting like this.”

Trixie’s eyes darted between the tree and Anvil. She took a deep breath, then said, “Do you know why I left that day?”

“I know exactly why you left,” Anvil responded.

Trixie frowned. “You do?”

“It’s not like it was difficult to figure out,” he said. Anvil stepped one step closer until he was right next to Trixie. Putting his hoof around her shoulder, he said, “I always knew you liked me, Trixie. From the first day we met… I knew.”

“But, then why?”

Anvil pulled Trixie closer, and looked into her eyes. “Because I loved you like a sister, Trix. I didn’t want to hurt you, so I did the only thing I could think of. I made something that would prove to you that we would never be separated. I knew you probably wouldn’t understand at first, but I hoped that in time you would.”

Trixie was silent. Her mouth felt hot and dry, and her eyes watered with fresh tears. “Anvil, I… I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m sorry for running away after Midnight died, and I’m sorry I never came back.”

He smiled sadly. “I know. I know you are.” Anvil gave Trixie a tight hug and said, “C’mon, let’s get you back inside. It’s a bit chilly out, isn’t it?”

Trixie fumbled for for words. “Inside, but I, you…”

Anvil gave a knowing look. “Oh please, like after all that I’m just going to let you walk away into the cold dark night to go sleep under some tree or something.” He have her cheek a quick kiss. “You’re family now, remember? You’re coming back with me, and I’m setting you up with your own room. You can stay as long as ya like. Plus,” he added, scratching the back of his neck, “I promised Aurora I wouldn’t come back without you in tow.”

“So she knows about me, then?” Trixie asked.

“Well, sure, it’s not like I could stop myself from telling her. After you left, she grilled me for information on you. It felt like being interrogated by the police. She wanted to know everything about you.” Anvil laughed heartily. “I’ve never seen her so interested in anything before. Of course, after I had finished telling her about you and I, she told me that I had to go after you and that I couldn’t come back until I had convinced you to stay with us.”

Trixie smiled softly. “Aurora’s too kind for her own good.”

“Heheh, tell me about it.” Anvil took Trixie’s hoof and began to lead her away from the tree. “Let’s get outta here. We’ll take the old way back. You know, the one we took when I first showed you this place.”

“Can we make a stop on the way?” she asked.

Anvil raised an eyebrow. “Hmm?”

“I want to… I want to stop by my place on the way back.”

“No problem. If we leave now, we’ll be there in a few minutes.”

With that, the two, hooves joined together, left the tree behind and headed back into Hoofington. They walked in silence for most of the trip, only breaking the silence when they had reached Trixie’s old house, or what was left of it. Anvil released Trixie’s hoof and stepped back, letting her make her way towards the center of the empty plot.

Trixie walked carefully through the vacant lot, taking care to step over any rocks she could make out in the dim moonlight. When she had reached the center, she stopped, and looked around. In her mind’s eye, she could see everything just as she remembered it. To her left was the kitchen, and her mother was in there cooking whatever it was they were going to have for dinner that night. To her right, was Midnight’s room. Midnight smiled and waved at her, asking how school went before going to back to her desk to write some more of that novel she had been working on. Trixie turned around. She saw Anvil standing there, and in her head, her father was next to him. He had his hoof around Anvil’s shoulders and was playfully tugging on him. Trixie turned back to Midnight’s room, and she saw a filly version of herself walk out and into the room next to hers. She followed herself into her room. The walls were decorated with the same star-studded pattern she remembered and the dresser next to her bed still had that picture from the talent show with an even younger Trixie holding up a silver trophy with massive smile on her face.

Trixie watched herself reach into a drawer and remove a small blue diary and scribble something down quickly. Then, just as quickly, she slipped it back into its original place and let her head fall against her pillows.

“I had forgotten about the diary,” Trixie mumbled. “Feels like another life.”

Having finished reminiscing, at least for the moment, Trixie closed her eyes and made the visions disappear, replacing them with blackness. She breathed in slowly and deeply, then let it all out in one big exhale. Keeping her eyes closed, she started speak. “Mom, Dad, Midnight… it’s me… Trixie. I don’t really know how to say this, but… I’m sorry, you know, for leaving you guys. If I hadn’t left, maybe…” she trailed off. “Anyway, I’m sorry. I know there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, but if it helps, I wish I could. I miss you guys so much.” She felt her knees begin to tremble, then she dropped to the ground. “I miss you,” she whispered.

Seeing Trixie fall to her knees, Anvil quickly rushed over. “Are you okay?” he asked. He bent down and saw that she was crying, so he quickly stood back up. After a moment, he placed a hoof on her back and patted it softly. Finally, after a few minutes of standing over her, Trixie stood up. Her face was wet with tears, but she had a smile on her face.

“Okay,” she said. “I think I’m ready to go.”

Anvil grabbed her about the neck and pulled her into a loving embrace. “I’m sorry about what happened to them,” he said softly. “It wasn’t your fault.”

Trixie didn’t respond.

“Besides, we’re your family now,” he said, smiling. “You’ll always have us.”

“Thanks,” said Trixie. She rested her head against his and sighed. “I needed to hear that.”

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