There's A Kind Of Hush All Over Ponyville Tonight

by deadpansnarker

First published

Twilight wakes up one morning, and she can't say a word. Neither, for that matter, can anypony else. In fact, all the sound in Ponyville seems to have gone overnight. Is there a logical explanation for this? Probably not. An illogical one? Maybe...

Twilight wakes up one morning, and she can't say a word. Neither, for that matter, can anypony else. In fact, all the sound in Ponyville seems to have gone overnight. Is there a logical explanation for this? Probably not. An illogical one? Maybe...

Written as the last in a loosely connected connected trilogy, which also includes Twilight And Friends Can't Stop Rhyming and Twilight The Phraseologist .

All are standalone stories you can safely read independently of each other, so you don't have to read them to understand this.

The Sound Of Silence

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Once upon a time, there was a little pony that went by the name of Twilight Sparkle. She lived in a small provincial town called Ponyville in the wonderful world of Equestria, a place I believe most of you are familiar with.

Amongst her many duties as a royal retainer of the realm, she also happened to be headmare of the imaginably-titled School Of Friendship, which she founded herself.

Her best friends in the whole wide world Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Starlight Glimmer and last (but definitely not least) Spike the dragon also worked there, and the pupils were a diverse mixture of races that were a fair representation of the citizenry which made up this peaceful land.

The school had partly been set up to help many different creatures come together in the event of a crisis... and indeed, Twilight and company had embarked on more than their fair share of world-saving heroics over the years. Sometimes learning a lesson at the end of it, but always staying friends. Bless!

You might have witnessed some of these adventures yourselves, from the relative comfort of your fold-out couch. Betcha think you're about to see another one today, dontcha?

Well, you can forget all about epic quests and monumental journeys for now. For this is a tale on a much smaller scale, an amusing piece of whimsy to be told over a crackling campfire, before some grinning hippy gets an out-of-tune guitar out and gives everyone a migraine with dire dirgy folk ballads.

If you want to read something with a bit more 'oomph', I suggest you try elsewhere. Maybe, the stories in that little box on the upper-left hand side of your screen? They seem to be pretty popular!

Although, I'd stay away from the ones marked with a red 'M'... especially if you're young or of an impressionable mind. Let's just say, some doors... should never be opened. shiver

For those that have deigned to remain: are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin....

...But make some cocoa first. (And hey, pour me some!)


If there was one thing Twilight loved almost as much as her many friends, it was reading.

And what was essential to the enjoyment of the written word? Go on, have a guess. I'm here all month.

...Yes, books of course. And eyes, you got that right. Although, don't forget equine braille.

A basic understanding of the language its transcribed into? Duh, obviously. The ability to turn pages? Are you kidding...

Okay, I get it. Very funny, you guys. Either you're all just pulling my chain, or my question was a bit too broad.

Let's just save ourselves a lot of hassle, and drop a major hint: One of the major benefits to reading in a library, is there's lots of this. Give up yet...?

Cute librarians?! I'm talking about quiet, you dunce! Get your head out of the gutter, and try thinking outside your pants for once!

(Although, they do look kind of nice with their horn-rimmed spectacles and prim and proper attire and no-nonsense attitude. I'll give them something to 'stamp', hubba-hubba...)

E-Erm, let's move on shall we? As I was trying to say, it is a well known fact that it's almost impossible to properly absorb the contents of a concise periodical without some level of 'hush'.

This is why, when browsing through her huge collection of tomes, Twilight was prone to making sure all the doors were locked, all the curtains were drawn and Pinkie Pie was safely bound and gagged in the nearest closet.

(Just joking, but it's a nice thought, isn't it? Besides, she'd probably escape after a few seconds. As a wise mare once said: Pinkie is Pinkie. For better, or worse.)

Today though, would start in a vein that Twilight would've never expected. It all began when she jumped out from under her blanket, took a deep slurp of her water from the bedside table, gave off her classic Nerd Yawn...

...And immediately realised something was definitely off.

Hang on, something is definitely off See? Oh no, I haven't had another 'little accident' again, have I? I thought I'd broken that bad habit as a filly. I really must stop drinking so much before I go to bed...

But after checking under her quilt, and finding out there wasn't a urine-shaped map of Equestria lying underneath, the relieved alicorn's thoughts turned to other possible explanations.

It feels like... something's definitely missing. she pondered in earnest, her anxiety increasing in urgency with every passing second. I don't know what it is yet, but I don't like it at all. I better let my Number One Assistant in on this case, he'll know what to do. I pay him enough, anyway. Only in cuddles, but still...

It was as she tried to summon her best friend (and occasional scapegoat) however, that the mysterious problem finally came to light. For as soon as Twilight opened her mouth to utter those immortal words "Spike, get your scaly butt up here this instant!!"...

...Not one word came out. This, and the subsequent expression of horror on the princess's face, made it seem she was doing some kind of amateur mime act.

And seeing as everyone hates mimes, this couldn't exactly go on, could it?

Oh no, I appear to have lost my voice! was Twilight's first nervous diagnosis and I have a full itinerary for today, as well! There's the school, my weekly report to Celestia... how am I supposed to do all that with laryngitis? Although, it's strange my throat doesn't feel too sore...

Nevertheless, steps would have to be taken to counter this unfortunate situation. Her good friends could cover for her schedule temporarily, while she recuperated at home with a nice lemon herbal tea and a hot water bottle. It might even afford her the opportunity to finish marking those test papers belonging to some of her 'less gifted' students.

She hated to be the villain when dishing out D's and F's, but somepony had to do it. She could tolerate a few dirty looks from her pupils, if it meant bucking up their ideas in improving their general work to an acceptable standard... right? Right?!

So once again Twilight tried to call for Spike, for an entirely different reason, using entirely different methodology.

Picking up a nearby bell she'd kept from her days spent checking out books for others in Canterlot (it'd been used to summon her to the desk if her attention was elsewhere) she tolled it with all her might, hoping that Spike would have the nous to take his nose out of his comic book and rush down there to see what the clanging racket might be...

But once again, nothing. Zip. Nil. Nadda. Silenter than a whisper in the wind.

This was beginning to get extremely irritating, very confusing... and highly inconvenient.

Let's just check inside the bell... just as I thought, the clapper is still intact. It should have made quite the peal by now... the alicorn mused, trying the instrument again to equally little success. So what's going on? At least I know I'm not sick, but obviously some powerful enchantment is in place for all sound to be eliminated from the castle. I do hope Starlight hasn't been experimenting again, with those highly dangerous spell books I've warned her to stay away from. I keep them on the top shelf for a reason...

As if to answer her query, both Spike and Starlight took this cue to come bursting through Twilight's bedroom door together... although, they made so little noise in doing so, you'd have thought they were on tiphoof/claw. Instantly the pair started gesticulating wildly whilst apparently trying to yell at the top of their lungs.

They may predictably have failed at making themselves heard, but at least it was highly amusing to watch. And if there was one thing the alicorn needed in this time of uncertainty, it was an entertaining intermission.

Once Twilight had finished smirking at Ponyville's newest comedy double act, it was time to get serious again. Ever the resourceful mare, she wasted no time at all in grabbing a nearby notebook complete with quill... and ripping out a few pages for her friends to use as well. Though, they'd have to share a quill. A big ask, indeed.

'Sorry, can't lip read!' she scribbled down, indicating she expected the others to do the same. 'We'll have to do this for now if we want to communicate. What is going on around here? Any theories?'

'I don't know, but this is all very disconcerting!' Starlight took the quill to write down her own thoughts. 'I sneezed earlier, and couldn't hear a thing! No 'atch', no 'choo', and not even a sniffle afterwards'!

'Yeah, and my favourite breakfast wouldn't even go Snap, Crackle and Pop this morning!' Spike's chicken scratchings weren't the best, but were just about legible for the other mares present. 'I was gonna burp a letter of complaint to the cereal company, Until Starlight came galloping in to tell me about her non-sneeze. You better not give that cold to me, by the way. Last time I had one, I almost set my entire bedroom on fire...!'

'Starlight! Spike! You're missing the bigger picture here!!' A frustrated Twilight snatched the quill from her favourite dragon to chastise them both in text form. 'Starlight... how do you properly expect to empathise with those who seek your help at school, if you can't even talk to them pony-to-pony? And Spike... won't you miss hearing the rush of the wind in your new wings, as you fly through the sky carefree? And that's not even getting into my own problems... what'll happen if Ponyville was attacked suddenly, and I'm too late realising it due to my aural handicap? Think, you two, think! This could have worldwide implications, so we have to find a solution fast!'

After exchanging guilty looks of 'oh yeah', and 'I never thought of that'..., Spike and Starlight nodded their mutual agreement, before beginning an almighty impromptu cramming session of every available magical volume in Twilight's humungous collection to find a solution to this bizarre dilemma...

Well, Twilight and Starlight did, anyway. Spike just brought the refreshments.

A bang-up job he did of it, too! No-one else can balance a tower of trays full of edibles quite like that talented dragon. Didn't spill a drop!

And in the meagre amount of time allocated to them before classes started, do you think the two most powerful magic users in town were able to put their horns together to once again save the day at ridiculously short notice?

Could we roll the ending credits now, complete with cheesy theme tune you say you hate, but secretly sing along to in the shower?

Nope. Apologies everyone, looks like I've got you to myself for a bit longer.

Hope you're having fun!


It's not an easy proposition to conduct lessons when you can't speak, and the only way every student can get your attention is by frantically waving written notes in the air.

But seeing as the only way Twilight would ever willingly cancel a schoolday is if Equestria was on the brink of armageddon (which actually happens more than you might think), this was the only viable option to keep things ticking along.

Also, on the positive side, all this trotting around would be great exercise for her! Now she could cancel that evening's stroll, to fit in even more studying! It might also aid in helping her cursive hoofwriting, and by the time this was all over, maybe she'd have developed a newfound respect for the very real issues deaf or hard of hearing ponies have to go through every single day...

Yeah, not helping. At all. Nothing could stop this entire situation sucking like Granny Smith without her dentures.

'Headmare Twilight, I need your help with this Friendship Equation!' Sandbar frantically tried getting her attention with his note.

'Hey, I asked her first!' Smoulder insisted on his piece of paper, though with little means of proving it.

'Typical immature kids...' Gallus scribbled down an impression of his status within the classroom.

'Can everyone please stop arguing and just get on!!' Silverstream begged on her note, complete with lots of coloured-in hearts and frowny faces.

'Yona not like this. When can things return to normal at school?' Apparently, Yona's verbal tic extended to her written prompts also.

'I've tried turning into the loudest animals I know... nothing works!' Ocellus had tried devising a novel solution as only she could, although obviously to no avail.

In the meantime, Twilight had her own note to write. It wasn't long, it wasn't pretty, but it summed up her own feelings about this rapidly-getting-out-of-control problem perfectly.

'HELP!' She scribbled down in great big block capital letters, before slapping her ears continually as if to say work, darn you, work!

Alas they, like Spike on garbage duty, remained incapable of picking up anything, and so the madness continued anew.


Things weren't much better around the rest of the town, with reports coming in of Wonderbolt training being cancelled (the cadets, unable to warn each other of their presence, kept colliding in the air) and even Sugarcube Corner temporarily shutting down (if it was hard enough running a classroom, imagine how impossible it is reading a hundred different simultaneous orders from hungry ponies squashed into a restaurant together).

Needless to say, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were not best pleased, and naturally they quickly tracked down Twilight to complain in writing most vociferously. Poor Fluttershy (who couldn't cope without hearing the tweeting of the birdies every morning) and Applejack (how was she supposed to buck apples enthusiastically without hearing the satisfying thud of them hitting the dirt below) soon joined them, and eventually even the alicorn's private moments were dominated by demanding ponies wanting to know when this bothersome predicament would be over.

The only one who didn't seem too perturbed by everything going on was Rarity, who was used to sewing her masterpieces in complete silence. Also, with generally only one deep-pocketed client at a time, overcrowding never seemed to be an issue. Let the quietness reign, she'd thought with glee, I've finished more garments today than in the last few days combined! Plus, I've finally found a foolproof way of keeping Sweetie and her friends from interrupting my work. Hurray!

Still, for the most part it'd been a huge annoyance to everypony involved, and the final straw came when Twilight met up with Celestia for her weekly report later. To cut a long story short, it's a bit humiliating trying to explain to your 'boss' what's been going on around Ponyville lately utilising the high-tech format of picture cards.

At least Celestia (and by extension Luna) seemed equally in the dark as Twilight concerning what was happening around the world. There was not one incantation, not a single spell, nor any kind of hocus-pocus that could apparently fix this.

Mainly because, you couldn't even cast any of them anyway. Because, you know... no sound?


Usually, when Twilight returned to her bed exhausted at the end of the day, it was a telltale indicator that rowdy students, challenging adventures or Spike goofing off again had really taken a toll on her state of mind.

Usually, she couldn't wait to immerse herself in an oasis of calm after such a strenuous day, her eyes closing gently to the rhythm of sleep as she gradually allowed herself to unwind from all the countless rigours she'd experienced.

Today was not a usual day.

Make a noise, darn you! Wake up the entire queendom, if needs be! The angry alicorn was upturning furniture, ripping up stray pieces of paper and generally reducing her bedroom to a pigsty, in an attempt to break the 'curse' of silence.

I'll never denigrate noise in the same way ever again... she muttered to herself after her latest unsuccessful attempt to restore order, who'd have thought a perpetual lull would be so... irritating? There's a place for everything I suppose, and after today, I finally can see that sound has an essential function in our society. Point taken! Lesson learned! Now could somepony please return everything to the way it was?!

Seeing as petulantly shouting in her head wasn't doing any good, and having already finished her night routine down to the minutest detail, Twilight saw no further reason to stay awake. Hopefully things will have changed by tomorrow... or I guess we'll all have to become monks, won't we? Goodnight, Ponyville...

It was with a heavy sigh and a heavier heart that Twilight hit the mattress then, which might explain why the bedsprings creaked even more than usual as she reclined... huh?!

She tried it again. And again. And again, until the poor springs seemed in danger of wearing out that evening alone.

Now for something else. A tongue-twister. "Sunset Shimmer shyly sells seashells on the seashore". Poetry. "In winter it's cold, in summer it's hot, but all year round, Principal Cinch is a clot..."

"Eureka! At last!!" It was safe to say, Twilight was mildly pleased about the fact that she could hear herself speak again. "I'm jumping around like a maniac, screaming the roof off, and I couldn't be happier!! Hey Spike, you son-of-a-dragon, you! Starlight, my reformed megalomaniacal friend! Come dance with me, and make merry!"

Within a few seconds, Starlight (in some very fetching jim-jams) and Spike (naked as always) came bursting jubilantly in, and together the partied long into the morning telling jokes, swapping stories and generally making the most of what'd been deprived of them for an entire day...

...Until they woke up the following morning, when they discovered with so much raucous revelry, they'd lost their voices again.

For realsies this time... Oops.


Meanwhile, an entirely different conversation was taking place in an entirely different universe.

"Hey, glad to see the strike worked!" Tara Strong told her valued colleagues in solidarity with them. "Honestly, fancy trying to cut our salaries by 50% just because it's the final season! It's scandalous, that's what it is."

"Well, we were never gonna let them get away with that, were we?" Nicolette Sheridan huffed in agreement. "It's nice that the rest of the voice cast and sound effects guys joined us, too. There's no 'I' in team, as they say."

"Woo, and we even managed to negotiate a bonus deal for any future movies or video games!" Tabitha St. Germain fawned, sounding a lot like her fashionista animated counterpart. "I can't believe how good we were in that boardroom, right in front of all the big corporate suits!"

"Who did they think they were, saying 'we'd let down the fans' if they were 'forced' to replace us! Talk about manipulation!" Ashleigh Ball seethed at the dishonest tactics of the Hasbro bosses. "Yeah, of course we love the show... but that's not going to feed our families, is it?"

"Or... pay for the massive booze cruise we're about to go on!" Andrea Libman seemed as jolly as a certain party pony. "Come on ladies, first rounds on me! We won't stop, 'til we drop!

"I guess I'm the designated driver again..." Cathy Westeluck rolled her eyes at once again being the 'responsible' one. "When am I going to have any fun?! It's not fair, it's just not fair..."

And as our much-deserving posse of actresses go off to get themselves soused to the gills, I leave you with this salient thought:

See, told ya it was catchy. Now, try getting that out of your head tonight! Runs off cackling into the distance...