To Befriend a Shadow

by little big pony

Chapter 1: Silence

A sigh of contentment and sadness escaped my lips as I stood leaning on my doorway, watching the rear lights of my kin’s cars fade away in the cold, snowy night. Fresh memories of laughter and merriment rang through my ears as I closed my eyes and breathed in the cool night air, enjoying the slight burning sensation that that cold, live-giving mixture of gases provided.

Though seeing them was always enjoyable and I will count the days until they come back to liven up my little home, I will not miss the mess that they always seem to make much like a whirlwind would, my little knick knacks either missing or under the covers and what have you.

With another sigh I closed my door softly, turning back toward my empty, silent house. My family would always wish to know why I never bothered with modern appliances which as a television or a computer. It would be something to relieve my boredom I was told many more times than I wish to admit.

Truth be told I have never seen the usefulness in such things. Those noisy, rather irritating products of commercialism could never paint the picture that a good book or an old radio could; especially if the person reading or listening has learned to see with more than their eyes.


Golden silence greeted me as she always did after my small war with dirty dishes, muddy floors, and a dirty bathroom was won, as did my other constant companion, loneliness, greet me with open my arms as my eyes ran over the many tombs in my small library, looking for another master to teach me their hidden wisdom.

Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Hemmingway, to be or not to be, thou mayest thou shalt, these men quietly spoke to me, these long dead masters wished to pass down their knowledge to me, If I was worthy to find it that is.

After a civil but furious battle between these and many more giants, East of Eden strong-armed its way into my nightly reading. With that battle over my gaze shifted toward my window, which let me drink in the snow-covered Evergreens that surrounded my home, the sight almost taking my breathe away as it did every time I witnessed such a view.

As my eyes drank in this sight I felt something shift in my house, as one who knows the mood of his house, especially one that is usually empty, could ascertain. It was the slightest of creaks, but to me it may as well been someone announcing their presence with a microphone.

My head cocked to the side curiously, silently wondering if one of my family members had decided to return to try for my silverware again, the thought bringing a grin to my face as I poked my head out of my workroom to see a rather odd sight.

Standing on what looked to be four hooves at the end of the hall, was an equine of some sort. I would use equine in the loosest of terms though for many reasons.

Even though I was rather short-lived in life’s retrospect I had seen many things, but never before had a seen a black, Great Dane-sized pony with an almost translucent, bellowing blue mane.

My hair stood on end for a moment, my heart leaping to my throat as its teal, reptilian eyes locked with mine, those large windows of the soul widening into something that rather confused me.


I flinched when the inescapable sound of a whimper escaped the creature’s throat, the feminine quality of it distinguishing it as a female. The sound was almost enough to break my heart, and I was about to comfort this strange being that had invaded my home when what appeared to be her horn lit up in a black glow, the creature disappearing with a snapping sound and a flash.

I blinked owlishly, debating on whether or not to investigate this occurrence or to make my way to the nearest exit as my mind processed everything that had occurred.

For a moment I debated if this creature was of evil origin and quickly dismissed it, along with the debate if it was an animal or not. What was in her eyes was not the fear of being eaten by something bigger than her, it was the fear of the unknown, or the fear of a loss that had just been realized.

A creature of evil does not feel fear, because it is usually fear itself, it does not concern itself with anything other than the corruption or slaughter of innocents, if what my readings had said held any weight.

If not some hell spawn, what was she? My mind struggled with the answer.

Had I lost my mind?

Was this creature some form of spirit, send to watch or punish me?

What was she?

Why was she here?

These thoughts fought for dominance in my mind as I cautiously took a step into my hallway, making my way over to where the creature had stood.

Though she had vanished from sight, the feeling that I was not the only one in my home still lingered as I knelt down and examined where she had been, my voice cutting through the silence, calling out to this creature, this equine, asking her to show herself.

When my pleas fell onto deaf ears I spend the next hour or so looking for this creature, and finding no trace of her, leading me to believe that my mind had been playing tricks on me, when I hear the unmistakable sound of a quiet sob cut through the houses silence.

I called out again, the gentle crying of this creature stirring something in me.

Please come out. What are you? Why are you crying? I promise I wouldn’t hurt out.

I ran a hand through longish hair when these volley of questions were also ignored, the crying increasing as my heart, for some reason, ached.

When I was about to succumb to the endless questions and sadness raging in my mind memories of my childhood flashed in my mind’s eye, of pews and the scents of candles, of holy men in holy robes, with their words and teachings.

Love thy mother and father, feed the hungry, the sick, the poor, help the lost. My very being stopped at the last thought. While I did not even know what she was and my mind was telling me elsewise, I did the only thing that I felt was right in this admittedly surreal situation.

Making my way to my living room I reached for paper and a pencil, writing down a simple collection of sentences:


I hope you can read this. I will not hurt you, you have my word. What’s mine is yours if you need a place to stay.


Leaving it up to higher powers my eyes locked onto the clock hanging on the wall, which told me how late it had become. Though I still had my misgivings about everything I placed a pillow and blanket on my couch and made my way to my room and to my bed, a sudden weariness overtaking me when my head hit pillow…

I woke up an hour or two later to the sound of someone opening my door, which was followed by hoofsteps that were distinguishable even with my carpet muffling the sound. Realizing that it must have been my odd guest, I kept my eyes closed, not wanting to scare her off.

I heard a quiet sniffle escape her as I felt her staring down at me, her warm breathe caressing my face as what felt to be a hoof gently touched my face. Realizing that I was probably being examined, I let my muscles go limp as I was gently poked and prodded.

After the creature had had her fill I heard another sniffled, followed by something that felt soft rub against my face.

“Thank you, creature,” a feminine voice whispered, gratefulness and sadness laced in her tone, making me want to get up and give this creature a hug. I felt that gentle rubbing against my face again before I heard her leave the room was quietly as she could.

When she closed the door behind her I opened my eyes, staring up at the ceiling as emotions battled within me, along with more questions than I could possibly hope to answer, which led to a rather poor night of sleep.

When the sun rose over the horizon I rose grumbling, popping my joints and getting out of my bed, quickly dressing and making my way to my living room, where what I saw made me smile.


We apologize for entering your house uninvited and we thank you for giving us a place to stay.

We are called….

Well, we were called something that we never wished to be called, but that is now the past. A series of unfortunate events and some...things have led us to be banished here, wherever here is.

As for a name, you may call us Moony. Also, thee appear to be almost out of chocolate milk.

Thee should get on rectifying that.

So began my odd companionship with the odd pony, as she called herself, an alicorn to be more specific, Moony.

We would never speak to each other directly, she was sly and I’ve always been considered a quiet man, always using letters to speak to each other, and even then those were short and to the point, the letters usually just recommendations of things that the mare needed.

In fact, the only reason I knew that she was around were my books being rearranged and my food being eaten, though I didn’t mind, she was a good houseguest, though I wished that she would sit down and speak to me.

I was patient though, whatever weighed the pony down might have been keeping her quiet, and because of that I hoped she would open up and let go of whatever demons she was battling.

Though it sounds like I didn’t get to know the mare you’d be wrong, because I learned about her in the purest form imaginable, in her mannerisms.

I could tell you that she enjoyed strawberries almost to the point of fanaticism, usually eating all the ones I bought within the hour I brought them home. I could also tell you that she was an avid reader, going through every book I had within a month of her staying here, these things telling more about her character than words ever could.

Moony was also a very sad creature for what I am sure were good reasons, her gentle crying reaching my ears almost every day.

There was one such secession of this where I finally decided to act, my heart breaking for the poor girl.

I was making my way toward my bathroom, one of my favorite cupcakes, spice cake with whipped icing, in my hand when I heard crying from the other side of the door.

I frowned, gently unwrapping the delicacy in my hands and bringing it to my mouth when a thought entered my head, making me stare at the moist deliciousness in my grasp almost sadly. Though the greed-filled part of my mind warned against it I quickly but quietly rushed to my kitchen with thoughts of bringing a smile to Moony’s face.

Quickly looking through my cabinets I finally found what I had been looking for, a small box of yellow food coloring and a container of icing. After a few minutes of fiddling with everything, trying to get the icing the color I wanted without it overpowering the icing, I finally succeeded in my task.

Looking down at my creation with an odd sense of pride and placing it on a paper plate I made my way back to the doorway of my bathroom and placed the cupcake, which now had a smiley face on it, on the floor where Moony would see it when she opened the door.

With the odd feeling of gratification, I spun around and made my way toward my literary battlefield, ready for Poe and Chaucer to battle for my attention.

That night, thought I was used to it my now, I heard my door being opened, followed by hoof steps, signifying that Moony was standing over me again.

Like usually I heard sniffling, but what I wasn’t prepared for my blanket being gently pulled off of me, Moony then slowly and gently crawling her way into my bed, wrapping her hooves around my waist and placing her muzzle into the nape of my neck.

She let out a happy sigh as I tried not to stiffen, feeling her soft coat caress my chest, arms, and neck. I fought the urge to run my hand through her mane as her breathing slowed, which gave me the courage to crack open an eye at the sleeping creature before me.

Hers was a slender figure, almost cat-like as she gave me a sleepy nuzzle, my eyes trailing downward, glossing over her wings and those odd markings that she called cutiemarks. What I really found stunning was the sight of her mane, which was gently bellowing in some nonexistent wind.

Now, seeing it closely, I could see the many shining stars that she told me made up her mane. Looking down to see if she was really asleep I cautiously reached out and touched it, shivering at the odd sensation, which made it feel like I was running my hand through water.

Moony let out a quiet coo, her hooves tightening themselves around me, and I couldn’t help but let out a quiet chuckle, closing my eyes and finally drifting off to sleep…

In the days that followed the house seemed calmer, happier as I went through my daily toil at a job that I didn’t enjoy with people I didn’t particularly like when, one day, I finally made a break though with the alicorn, when one day I read something that Moony wrote down, in her neat, spidery handwriting.

Sir Peter, are you our friend?

Such a simple question, one that was made more complicated the more one thought of it.

What was a friend really?

Was a friend a person that you could relax with and speak to without having to fear ridicule from that person?

Or maybe a friend like a family member almost, one that you could almost call as such except by blood?

Or was a friend, the term as confusing as it was simplistic, whatever you wanted it to be?

This question, this confusing, horrible, draining, truth-seeking, life-wrecking question had me sit down as I thought it over.

Moony was my houseguest, a rather good one for how odd she was, but was she my friend? Did I want her to be as such?

Questions and more questions from something so simple; are you my friend.


Then I remembered all of the crying and the heartache that Moony seemed to be holding inside her, or how I couldn’t help but think that she didn’t want to speak to me because if she did I would think of her as a monster, or how much I wanted to ask what was wrong and to give her a hug whenever I felt those sad eyes on me or hear that crying.

“Friend…” I muttered to myself, looking down at the paper before me.

Yes Moony, you are my friend.

I wrote down after a moment, nodding my head slowly and making my way back to my living room, ready to finish the other day’s victor, White Fang.

I was half-way through the book when hoof steps alerted me that Moony was making her way toward me.

“Sir Peter?” I looked up to see Moony’s teal eyes staring into mine.

I cocked my head at her, gently placing the dog-eared book down and clearing my throat. “Yes, Moony?”

She flinched at my words, her eyes filled with uncertainty until they filled with steel, her back straightening. “Did thou mean what thee wrote?” She blurted out, her face lighting up a moment later in a blush.

I fought back the urge to grin at the adorable display, shaking my head. “Yes, Moony, I meant what I said.”

I saw tears starting to form in her large eyes as she made her way closer to me. She fought back a sob before saying, “B-But h-how can t-thee c-care for a m-monster like u-us?”

I was about to ask what she meant when the floodgates opened, the midnight black mare sobbing as she hit my chest, careful as to where she had her horn as she told her tale.

The loneliness, the jealously, the anger, the eternal night, and her banishment to the moon, that she told me and more between her crying as I did what any friend should have, gently rubbing her back and listening to what she had to say.

“W-we are nothing but a shadow of L-Luna,” Moony whimpered, her head on my shoulder. “Now we have n-nopony at all, j-just the l-loneliness and bad memories…”

She tried to escape from my grasp. “And now you we have told you of our monstrosities, y-you w-will want us t-to leave also.”

Honestly, her story seemed like it was something out of a storybook and I had more than a little trouble believing it, but I grip tightened around her all the same, Moony letting out a surprised squeak as I collected my thoughts.

“Moony,” I began, refusing to call her Nightmare, “From what you’ve told me you’ve done some pretty bad things, things that no matter how hard you try you might not be able to rectify,” she tried to look down but I stopped her with a hand, gently bringing her face to mine.

“But you can still try,” I gave her a little pat on the cheek and a smile. “But you won’t be alone anymore, I promise you that, heck, I’ll even help you out with this ‘Princess Celestia’ if you can figure out how to get home.”

I will not lie to you that I rather enjoyed her look of disbelief. “You are lying,” she accused, trying to look away from me.

“Scouts honor,” I promised, getting another look of disbelief.

“But thee were not in the scout of the boys.”

I frowned at that, earning me a sheepish grin. “We may have looked through your things…”

“But how do you know…”

“We do things when you do not see us!” She defended.

I let out a chuckle, playing with Moony’s mane again. “The road that you want to go down will not be an easy one, Moony,” I said, more to myself than to her. “But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that journey will go quicker with a friend…”

The End

Author's Notes:

And so I try to hurt your head with some more serious writing. Well...

I hope you learned something...

Or not, eh.

Oh, and if some of the material seems off there's a reason for it. That's the whole thought provoking bit of this story :)

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