The smell of pine from the tree in the living room, hot cocoa from the kitchen, the sound of jingles from outside, other fillies and colts singing the holiday in. These were all parts of Hearth's Warming for Trixie.
“How could you forget it? It was your only job today, you useless stallion!” An orange mare with a light yellow mane screamed. She had a white line running through her mane that gave it a lighter shine. The Stallion she was screaming at was light blue in colour, the same while line running through his mane, which was so light blue one could mistake it for being all white.
“You were in the kitchen all day too, how could you not spare two seconds to look in the oven you dumb whorse!?” He screamed back. They were inches from each other, their faces bright red. From just the screaming or the anger, Trixie did not know.
Trixie, that's right. On the couch, in said living room, past the table, adorned with cloths in all of Hearth's Warmings colours, and scented candles, past the pine tree that her parents had struggled to pull into their home just a few days past, on a well used yellow couch that had seen better days, sat Trixie Lulamoon.
A bright little filly, that shared her fathers colours, though she had a bit more blue in her mane than he did. She was sipping on a hot cup of cocoa, spiced with a little extra cinnamon, her favorite treat from the season. She watched her parents in silence, as they continued to scream at each other.
“They are quite loud,” commented a voice from her side.
Trixie jumped, she had almost forgotten about her friend, invited to spend Hearth's Warming with her.
“They always are, so it's nothing new,” commented the little blue filly. What was her friend's name again? She had forgotten, but it did not seem that important for some reason. Her coat was blacker than anything she had seen, and her mane shimmered with a blue glow.
“They are like this every Hearth's Warming?” Her friend asked. A picture was thrown and it shattered against the wall, but Trixie barely seemed to notice.
“Yeah. Oh, I haven't gotten you a cup,” she quickly gets up before her friend can protest. “MOM! Can i take another cup of cocoa for my friend!?” She yells at her parents to try to get through, but her mother's silence also seems acceptable and Trixie nods and trots into the kitchen a moment later.
After some rummaging around, she quickly came back out, carrying a cup in her mouth, her magic was not strong enough for carrying a full mug yet.
“Here you go, friend.” She handed the cocoa to her friend, who reluctantly accepted it.
“”You are quite the strange one.” Her friend commented. “For most ponies, this kind of Hearth's Warming, filled with strife and conflict would be a nightmare.” She took a small sip of her beverage before looking over to Trixie who sat at her side. “Yet, you act as if nothing is wrong. Even joyful despite the circumstances.”
Trixie did not answer right away, but looked over to where her parents were still yelling and screaming. Her father's face was wet with spit, and her mother was crying.
“It could be worse,” she answered somberly. “ It always goes like this, there is a lot of screaming, threats, crying, sometimes they break things. But they always make up, and spend time with me!” Trixie cheered with a huge smile. “They are never around much, especially daddy, that's why I love Hearth's Warming. Everyones together, at least for a few days. Thats whats its is about, is it not? Family. Oh, and I got you here! I've never had a friend over for Hearth's Warming before. We are going to have so much fun, Nighty!”
“Yeah, figured it was a good nickname because of how you look.” Trixie waved her hoof at Nighty, gesturing to all of her.
“It shall suffice.”
“Heh, you talk funny.”
“Quite,” though, that only served to make Trixie giggle more.
“Hey, do you want to go outside?” Trixie suggested. “We could play in the snow.
A nod was all the confirmation she got, but it was all she needed and she practically flew out the door, with Nighty slowly trotting after, giving the grownups a look as they passed. The situation had deteriorated, the mare slapped the stallion as Nighty neared the door, and just as she closed she heard a smack and shriek as the stallion hit back.
Outside the snow was gently falling, filling the sky with unique snowflakes, to every filly and every colts joy. It was never a proper Hearth's Warming without snow after all. The two of them got started on a small snowpony. Or, Trixie did, Nighty preferred to just stand and watch.
“So, what's Hearth's Warming usually like for you?” Trixie asked as the continued to roll an increasingly bigger ball of snow. “I mean, you asked all about why I was happy inside, so what does Hearth's Warming mean to you?” Nighty seemed to think on the question for a bit. She sat down in the freezing snow and looked up at the night sky.
“That is a curious question Trixie. This is your Hearth's Warming, is it not? Why would my answer matter.”
“You are my friend, of course your answer matters to me. That's what Hearth's Warming is all about, friends and family!”
“Quite.” Nighty tore her gaze away from the sky and looked upon Trixie who was shaving away parts of the snowball now, trying to make out some legs. “It does not mean much to me, to be honest. Never saw the point of it,” Trixie had finished making the legs and was looking around for some pebbles or sticks for the face, “here.” With a light show of magic, Nighty levitated some over to her.
“Thank you,” Trixie gave a quick thanks as she kept going.
“It did mean a lot to an old friend of mine. But that does not matter anymore.” Inside they could hear some more glass being broken, and a set of hoofsteps rapidly running up the stairs. “Seems like they are done for now.”
“Mmh, we should stay out for a little while longer though. Mommy likes to drink after they fight, and she can be mean when she drinks. She doesn't mean it, she tells me so the morning after.”
“You don't find anything strange about this? If she loves you, why would she be mean?” Nighty asked, though her tone betrayed no hints of empathy.
“Should I? It's that strange drinks that grownups drink that causes it.” She balanced on her back legs for some extra height to put the pebbles onto the head of the snowpony, giving it a smile. “I'm not sure why they drink it, maybe they have to.”
“You should learn to question things a bit more, instead of just accepting them as they are.” Nighty said. “Things could be worse, as you said, but they could certainly be better too.”
“What about you though?” Trixie shot back. “You said you don't care for Hearth's Warming, but maybe you just need a good friend. When you are alone, having fun can be hard. So, i'm glad you are here this time around. Things are not perfect, but having you here is sure to make it better.” The snowpony was finished, at least, that's how it seemed to Nighty. Trixie, however, lowered her head and pointed her horn towards it, struggling as she gathered her magic.
“What about when I leave though?” The counter came. Trixie had shown her nothing but welcome and warmth, yet she continued to question her. “How will you fight this when you are alone once again? Once your crutch is gone, where will your strength go?” It seemed incredibly harsh, but Trixie only smiled under the strain of her magic.
“Nowhere!” Trixie grunted, her spell was nearing completion. She tossed her head up and whipped her head forward, sending a myriad of coloured streams out from her horn. They twirled in the air sending little sparkles dancing down towards the ground. When they reached the snowfilly, they enveloped her, like a magical cocoon. “You may be gone, but I'll look forward to your next visit, or when I can visit you. Just because you are not here, does not mean that I forget you or our friendship.” As she finished speaking, the cocoon burst, sending a myriad of rainbow lights scattering outwards, briefly blinding the two fillies. Once the light settled, they could see the now changed snowfilly.
A light blue glow emanated from its body, creating the look of a makeshift coat. Its mane spiraled out behind her, in green, red and white, like her mane was blowing in the wind. And its eyes shined in a bright yellow light. It was a spectacle to witness.
“You are quite the curious filly indeed little Trixie,” Nighty commented as she looked upon the magic. Trixie had forgotten the tail, and if one looked closely enough, it was obvious that it was not a real filly but snow underneath. “I believe ill come and visit you again, it is not long till my return, and I shall find you.”
“What are you talking about?” Trixie turned to her. “It's still Hearth's Warming, and we have so much more we need to do!” The spell had taken quite a lot out of her, sweat could be seen on her face and her legs were trembling slightly, yet, despite all this, she sported the biggest grin a little filly could.
“Quite,” Nighty smiled, gazing upon the spectacle that her friend had made. “That is some impressive illusions for one of your age. You must have worked quite hard for it.” Trixie just grinned and nodded. “What do you plan to do with such talent?”
“I'm going to become famous!” Trixie proudly stated. “If I become famous, I can earn a lot of bits, then papa and mama don't need to work anymore, so they can stay at home together instead of traveling all the time. Then they don't need to be angry anymore, or drink that grownup drink, we can all be happy together.” Her bright smile betrayed so many conflicting feelings, of the past and the future. Things a little filly should never have to worry about.
“You do that little Trixie,” Nighty spoke up. “You go out there, become great and powerful!” Her voice boomed loudly. “And you can do anything you set your mind to!” It grew down to a normal level again. “I came here looking for a nightmare, but found quite the curious filly instead.”
“Hey, Nighty!” Trixie yelled back at her, having gone towards her house. “Come on, we are missing supper!” She ran with a spring in her step, forgetting all about her exhaustion from the spell.
“Coming, and stop with the nickname, you can call me, Nightmare moo-
Inside a cramped stage wagon, the very same Trixie shifted a bit in her sleep. Her eyes fluttered open and her head rose. She looked around with sleepy eyes, it was dark, but the moon provided some light to her little wagon. Her eyes fell upon a light blue frame, the only picture within her mobile home. A blue little filly, in front of her two parents. She looked so happy, at the top of the world. At a closer look, you could see that it was not one picture at all, but rather three stitched together. Each of them picked out so she would get one picture with all of them smiling together, one where they looked like a proper family.
Trixie sighed and laid her head back down, staring out of her little window for a moment before her sleepiness would take hold over her once again. She looked out to the moon, and, if only for a brief spell, the mare in it, seemed to look down upon her as well.