• 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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5 — Soup and Cider

Chapter 5:
Soup and Cider

“How long you plan on staying here?” asked the bartender gruffly. “I ain’t got all night to stay here feedin’ you drink. I got the missus at home waitin’ for me, and you’re here keepin’ me from her.” He placed the empty glass he was cleaning on the counter top roughly. “Are you at least gonna buy something, make it worth my while to waste away the night hours with you?”

Trixie’s only response was to halfheartedly wave her hoof dismissively at him. She didn’t even look up at him.

“Damn mares. You’re more trouble than you’re worth.” He heaved a sigh and returned to cleaning the last few empty pint glasses.

Silence pervaded the room, perforated by occasional clinking sounds of glass on glass. Alone, more or less, with her thoughts, Trixie re-played the events in her head. She cringed as she recalled the Ursa Major—Minor, it was a Minor, she reminded herself—crushing her wagon with one of his great celestial paws. Years of saving every bit she earned reduced to a pile of rubble and a couple of colorful flags.

At least I was able to save my hat and cape, she thought. She had snuck back into town shortly after making her dramatic exit and retrieved them. The cape was torn, and the hat flattened, but at least her brooch was safe. She unconsciously ran a hoof across its surface as it entered her thoughts.

If it weren’t for those two foolish colts, this never would’ve happened. I’d still be performing in Ponyville, showing those simple ponies what true magic is.

Her hoof ground into the floor her thoughts turned to Twilight. Twilight’s the one I should be blaming. If she had just accepted my challenge and lost then those two colts wouldn’t have brought that Ursa Minor into town for me to vanquish. Don’t those foals understand that I can’t simply vanquish a beast like an Ursa Major without any preparation? She sighed. On the whole, the entire day had been a disaster and it cost her more money than she had. What with losing her wagon and all her magic equipment.

Fortunately, there’s always someone willing to pay to see magic. She just needed to draw a crowd. Though, that was easier said than done in this backwater little town at two in the morning.

She kicked at the bar stool next to her, rocking it unsatisfyingly. I hate you, Twilight. I hate you for ruining my life.

“Not a big fan of this ‘Twilight’ are ya?” asked a pegasus stallion as he walked into the bar.

Trixie looked up, bewildered. “How could you know that?”

He chuckled. “You just said, ‘I hate you, Twilight Sparkle’. I could hear it from outside.”

“What? But I—”

As he stepped into the bar, the glow from the fire light him up and the bartender cried, “Thunderclap! I haven’t seen you since... since, well, I can’t remember the last time I saw you actually.”

Thunderclap laughed. “It’s been awhile, Lager. How ya been?”

The bartender glanced at Trixie. “I’ve been better. Got this mare here, she won’t leave no matter what I tell her. She ain’t even bought anything. She’s been sittin’ there for the past three hours, just mutterin’ under her breath about this ‘Twilight’ character.” He shrugged. “I have no idea what she’s on about.”

Thunderclap approached Trixie. Now that he was close she could see that his eyes were a deep green, matching perfectly his coat. He gave Trixie a toothy grin.

“This ‘Twilight’ got you down in the dumps is it?” He sat down next to her. “Do you wanna talk about it?”

“Talk about it?” she huffed. “With you ignorant foals? Hmph, I’d rather sleep out in the cold than have to sit here and talk to you worthless ponies.”

“She’s got a bit of bite, eh Lager?”

He nodded. “She’s been given me lip ever since she got in. If she wasn’t mutterin’ to herself, then she was mouthin’ off to me like I ain’t got nothing better to do than listen to her call me an ignorant foal for the hundredth time.”

“As far as I’ve seen,” Trixie butt in, “I was the only pony in this bar until,” she gave a distasteful look to Thunderclap, “he showed up.”

Thunderclap studied Trixie with a careful eye. Her mane was frizzled and it stuck out at odd angles in several places. Her eyes were bloodshot, and there were dark circles below her eye socket. She eyed him warily, following his eyes as they searched all across her body.

“What are you staring at? The Great and Powerful Trixie does not like being studied like an animal.”

“Oh,” said Lager, “so you’re speaking in third-person now? At least it’s something different I suppose.”

Thunderclap clapped his hooves together, startling Trixie and Lager briefly. “Well, at least we know why she won’t leave now.” The two gave him puzzled expressions. “You’re homeless, aren’t you?”

Trixie’s eyes flashed. “Trixie does not need sympathy from the likes of you. She can take care of herself.”

“Whoa there, just calm down, little lady,” said Thunderclap. He reached out to her slowly, she recoiled. “I just want to help you, and the same goes for Lager.”

“Speak for yourself.”

Thunderclap rolled his eyes. “At least I just want to help you.”

“I don’t need your help,” Trixie shot back. “I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“Okay, okay.” He thought for a moment. “Well, would you at least let me buy you something to eat? Maybe something to drink?”

Trixie’s stomach growled and she thought about how she hadn’t eaten a proper meal in several days. “Fine, but just one thing.”

“Fetch this mare some soup, Lager, and bring her something to drink as well. It’s on me.”

Lager disappeared through a doorway and soon the sounds of metal pots banging together were audible. A few minutes later, he was back and with a bowl of soup for each of them, and a steaming mug of cider for Trixie.

Thunderclap looked at her expectantly. She didn’t acknowledge him. “You know, this is usually where you thank the pony, or ponies, who helped you.” Still, she said nothing.

“I didn’t even want this. I won’t be saying thank you for something I didn’t want.”

Thunderclap shook his head. “Fine, we’ll play it your way.”

For a while, they ate in silence, until finally Lager spoke up. “So tell us about this ‘Twilight’.” Trixie began to protest, but he cut her off. “You at least owe us that, if nothin’ else. We fed you and I’m lettin’ you stay here the night. The least you could do is tell us about this mare you seem to hate so much.”

Trixie sighed. “I suppose that’s a fair trade. But,” she added quickly, “don’t expect much. I don’t want to talk about everything that happened.”

Thunderclap and Lager nodded in unison. “Deal.”


“...and after that she told me that it was just a baby.”

Lager’s eyes widened. “That thing was just a baby? But you said it was at least twenty feet tall, maybe more, and it crushed your wagon without even trying.”

Thunderclap nodded sagely. “I’ve seen an Ursa Major before, just once. What she described sounds like it’s definitely a baby.”

“How big is the full-grown one?” asked Lager.

“You don’t want to know. Anyway, what happened next, Trixie?”

She paused for a moment. “That’s pretty much the end. After the Ursa Minor incident I knew I had to leave town, but in doing so I also left behind all my belongings.”

“That’s terrible,” said Thunderclap. “Is there any way we can help?”

Shaking her head, Trixie answered, “No, I’m sure everything is destroyed by now, and it’s all that,” she paused, grimacing, “Twilight’s fault.”

“Y’know,” Lager said slowly. “I once heard that if you were mad at somepony, then you should write them a letter explaining your feelings. You could try doing that for Twilight. Maybe she’ll be more understanding than you think.”

His lips pursed, Thunderclap leaned back in his stool. “I think that’s probably a good idea, too. Writing a letter to Twilight might help you get over your anger.”

Trixie’s eyebrow knitted as she lost herself in thought. After a few seconds she was back. “All I need to do is write a letter, huh? I can do that, I can write a letter.”

“It’s real simple,” said Lager. “Just tell Twilight exactly how you feel. If you’re honest, then I’m sure she’ll have no choice but to explain herself to you.”

Thunderclap nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure you’ll find out that Twilight is actually really nice. Maybe you girls can even be friends one day.”

Trixie chuckled silently. Yes, that’ll be the day. “Well,” she said, looking out the window into the black night, “it’s getting late. I think it’s time for me to get some sleep. I need to think about this letter too. I want it to be perfect.”

After bidding the two goodnight, Trixie retired to a cozy corner of the room where blankets and a pillow had been set out for her.

“I hope she finds what she’s looking for with that letter,” said Lager. “And I hope that Twilight turns out to be a nice young mare, just like we said she would be.”

“Wait,” Thunderclap said, “do you think she’s actually going to send that letter?”

“I don’t know, but I hope so.”

“I thought that when you wrote a letter to pony you were angry at, it was only supposed to be so you could get your frustrations out. I didn’t think you were actually supposed to send it.”

“Should we tell her that?”

“Let’s just let it go. Maybe everything will work out better that way,” suggested Thunderclap.

“Or, maybe it’ll turn out way worse.”

“You’re such a pessimist, Lager,” Thunderclap laughed.

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