A Twinkle in the Sky

by PinkiePiePlease

First published

Applejack's thoughts after the Apple Family Reunion

After three years of silence Applejack finally talks about the elephant in the room.

A Starry Night

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“Goodbye Ms. Morrow!” Granny Smith lifted a hoof as high as her creaking body would allow and waved until her backside was bouncing left and right. “This one was brilliantly done. I’m sure the youngins will love it!”

The stout brunette turned and smiled at the decrepit, elderly mare and smiled. “I sure hope so.” Her eyes fell to the script in her hand and her smile brightened. “I think it’s some of my best work.”

Granny Smith nodded, “It truly is dearie. You’ve got a real talent for this.”

Ms. Morrow blushed and the self satisfied smile diminished from her face as she said, “I just hope I did your family justice. Great work only comes out of truly great stories and circumstances.”

The matriarchal mare countered, “But it takes true creativity to bring the story to the kids. The story is nice, but you executed its retelling beautifully.” She closed her eyes and sighed, “And the adults will love it even more than the kids I reckon. A message this touching could bring a stallion to tears.”

The writer hugged the script to her chest and begged, “You really think so?”

Granny Smith nodded knowingly and said with the conviction of her years, “I know it.”

Ms. Morrow turned away and sniffled. She silently rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand and whispered, “Goodnight, Granny.”

“Goodnight, dearie,” Granny Smith whispered after her as she watched her and the rest of the film crew pack up and leave. They were quick to disappear into the dark of the night and Granny Smith was soon left alone in the moonlight. She brought a hoof back and rubbed her aching back. It had been a long day full of excitement and fun. The Apple Family Reunion was always fun, but this one was especially special. This one would be on televisions all over the world as her family would again help to spread the importance of family.

Granny Smith turned away from the dark of the night and looked towards the brightly lit home where she had lived for over seventy years. With the reunion in her mind, she couldn’t help but reminisce over how little the place had changed since the Apples had planted their roots. They had gone through several barns. The house had been rebuilt a decade after they moved in to accompany their growing family. Not much had changed since then though. Not their work, their land, or their name. The only things that really seemed to change with time were the ponies living there.

She started into a shuffling pace towards the house. The old mare was long overdue for bed and could already feel herself unwinding into grogginess. Before she reached the house however, something caught her eye. Granny Smith looked towards the full moon as it danced on the horizon and could make out a dark figure breaking its light on the hill. She altered her course and strolled over.

Though the night was dark save for the moonlight and her vision was poor, she quickly recognized the dark figure to be Applejack. The orange mare sat with her golden hair flapping in the warm breeze of the night. Her Stetson, tucked firmly on her head, haloed her form in its round shadow. She was almost completely still except for a gentle bobbing of her shoulders. As Granny Smith closed in on her, she heard the trembling to be accompanied by shivering sniffles.

Choosing not to disturb her quite yet, Granny Smith walked as softly as she could and sat beside the orange mare. Applejack’s face was buried into her hooves and her tears glowed in the soft moonlight, reflecting the twinkling of the stars to Granny Smith as she frowned at the distress of her granddaughter.

In the moonlight they sat for several minutes with only Applejack’s soft bleating to accompany the gentle breeze. When Granny Smith felt her presence established, she whispered, “The moon is beautiful tonight.”

Applejacks tear stained hooves fell from her face in surprise and she tried to compose herself. After a few more stray sniffles, she finally managed to hiccup, “Ye-Yes it is.”

The grandmother slid over and lifted her hoof to Applejack. In one soft motion, she hugged the younger mare’s face to her chest. Applejack’s hat squished against her and fell off her head to the green grass below. As salt water smeared across her fur, Granny Smith asked, “Why are you so sad little dearie?”

In a harsh tone that caught the older mare by surprise, Applejack responded, “I’m not sad. I’m angry.”

“Really now?” she exclaimed. “What on Earth are you angry about? I thought you would be happy after today. Our Apple Family Reunion was a big success and everypony will love to watch it.”

Applejack pulled her head out of her grannie’s grasp and looked away saying, “Well, I’m not happy with it.”

Granny Smith frowned in confusion and asked, “You don’t like how the episode turned out?”

Applejack did not turn to regard her. She instead glowered at the moon, tears still in her eyes, and answered, “Nope.”

“But why not dearie?” she persisted. “Ms. Morrow wrote a fabulous script for us and Mr. Wootton and Mr. Thiessen directed it marvelously. The story was excellent, we got to introduce even more of our family, and you got to sing your beautiful song. What more were you hoping for?”

Applejack’s gaze fell from the moon, and she lifted her hoof to stamp against the ground angrily. Her furious face turned to her granny and she screamed, “I was hoping that finally, after three years of dancing around it, they would talk about the elephant in the room! I thought for sure that they would have to talk about it now for sure. But NO! We just danced right around it and never addressed it. Not once!”

Granny Smith sat speechless for several seconds before responding, “You know why they can’t just talk about it dearie. This is a children’s show. They don’t want to upset the children. They’re too young for this business.”

Applejack’s face reddened and she screamed again with tears flowing freely from her emerald eyes, “Well I wasn’t too young, now was I? No! I wasn’t too young. Big Macintosh wasn’t too young.” She choked and her face fell to the grass as she whispered, “Apple Bloom wasn’t too young.”

Granny Smith lifted a hoof to console her granddaughter but Applejack pulled away at the touch and demanded, “How can they do this? Three years they’ve looked at us, looked at our family, and shown how we’re so close and caring. And in three years time they have not once mentioned the big question. Not once have they really told their story.” Applejack dug her hoof deep into the ground, dragging up a large tuft of grass and dirt. “Now, three years later, they film an episode talking about our past, our history. They look at our entire Apple Family from Manehattan to Fillydelphia, from our founding days to the present. What do we hear of them?”

Granny Smith felt tears form in her eyes as well. She lifted her voice in consolation, “Applejack. . .”

“Nothing!” she answered before her grandmother could say anything more. “All we get is a couple shooting stars some animator slipped in as the subtlest hint that they even existed. Who’s going to realize that? The kids? The adults? If anypony does notice them, they will probably just right them off as two shooting stars and not think twice about them.”

Applejack’s rant was interrupted as she found herself engulfed in the warm embrace of her grandmother. She felt her anger spent and was reduced to sobbing into the shoulder that cradled her. She continued in a much softer tone, “They were worth so much more than that. I loved them Granny. I think about them all the time, what they looked like, what they sounded like. All I can do is think though. I can never speak a word sadly. I can never voice a memory fondly. I can’t do anything but what those awful writers tell me to do. All they let me do is dance around it and ignore it like it’s not there.” She hiccuped again, “I hate it so much.”

Finally, Granny Smith found the right words to say. She whispered into Applejack’s ear, “I know dearie. I know.” She pushed Applejack an arm length away and continued with seriousness, “I know exactly what you mean.”

Applejack sniffled and rubbed her snout with the back of her hoof. “You do?”

Granny Smith nodded and answered, “Yes. You are coming to a cruel understanding of our fate, Applejack. We, all of us, are only as great and memorable as the stories that are written about us. A pony can live past his or her life so long as they are remembered. They are alive in us because we remember them, but once we are gone, they’ll be gone too won’t they? That’s what you’re scared of isn’t it?”

Applejack blinked her eyes in wonder and said, “Well, yeah. I guess you could say that. How did you know?”

“Well,”Granny explained, “it’s a fickle business, storytelling. They want you to be independent. They want the story to be about you, not them. If they weren’t writing a story about us, would any of us be remembered?”

“Well, no.”

“And unfortunately,” she went on, “they can’t tell everypony's story can they?”

Applejack sighed, “I guess not.” She stamped her hoof again and pressed, “But they shouldn’t be ignoring them. How can they just make them not exist? What gives them the right?”

Granny Smith returned a dejected frown and explained, “The pen does. Our stories are only as good as the words they write to describe them. I can give you some consolation though.”

A brief hint of hope flashed on Applejack’s face in the pale moonlight. A breeze blew her stetson against her leg and she grabbed it up to stick back on her head. She begged, “What’s that?”

The old mare raised her hoof and softly caressed Applejack’s cheek as she whispered, “Even if they are never mentioned directly and the writers just continue to have us dancing around them, their story has already been told more clearly than anypony could hope to have theirs told.”

Applejack furrowed her brow in confusion and asked, “How is that?”

Granny Smith’s feelings of distress melted away into a warm smile as she explained, “All the writers gave them visually were a twinkle in the sky, but they exist in so much beyond that. They are the twinkle in your eye Applejack. You are their story. You are everything good and beautiful that they wanted you to be. You are a living testament to the good that they were and the success of their lives. You are a better explanation of their story than anything else they have ever done.”

Applejack sniffed and hiccupped again and asked, “You really think so Granny?”

The experienced and wizened mare answered her, “I know so.” A tear streamed down her happy smile as she went on, “You are a better explanation of my story than I ever could have been. Everything good that you’ve taken from me is a story written in my honor, and I love every minute of my life written beside yours. This moment right here is a point in time penned by somepony who wanted to tell our story. Even though it’s just us here, the story encompasses so much more than us, so many more ponies.”

Applejack locked her granny in a hug and whispered, “I love every minute with you too, Granny.”

Granny Smith nuzzled her granddaughter and whispered, “It’s about time that we get inside. This portion of our story is over I’m afraid.”

Applejack smiled, “Well, thanks for the talk Granny.”

“Any time, dearie. Any time.”