Rest Stop

by JohnPerry

Chapter 1: Rest Stop

Rest Stop
by John Perry

Twilight Sparkle sat alone in the stark light of a single lantern, staring out at the desert surrounding her. It was just past sunset and the purple light of her namesake to the west was rapidly giving way to the dusk overhead. The brightest stars were already visible as the moon peeked from behind a mountain range to the east. A soft chill was settling on the dusty landscape but the flat boulder Twilight was sitting on was still warm to the touch from all the heat it had absorbed during the day. A couple of crickets chirped quietly nearby as the scrubby bushes rustled in the breeze.

Behind her the train was sitting on the tracks, the steam engine hissing softly every few moments. Sitting next to the tracks to Twilight’s right was a ramshackle wooden structure that was typical of those in the Appleloosa region. A water tower and a couple of small outbuildings stood behind the main structure. A large sign upon the front of the structure facing the train tracks read:

Home of the World-Famous Silver Apple Pie!
Restaurant • Saloon • Gifts
A Fred Horsey Company Establishment

From inside she could hear laughter from a group of travelers dining together in the restaurant, their silhouettes visible in the illuminated windows. This was a rest stop for the drivers who pulled the train, who had made a bee line for the saloon to get a drink and rest before they started pulling the train again, as well as a chance for the travelers to get off the train and stretch their legs a bit.

A few days prior Princess Celestia had requested Twilight to make this trip west to act as the overseer and Canterlot representative at the first ever Gathering of Buffalo Nations summit in Salt Lick City. Given the westward expansion of ponykind with new settlements sprouting up all over the place, it was decided that an agreement needed to be hammered out between the buffalo tribes and the settler ponies to prevent future incidents like the fight that had occurred in Appleloosa. The hope was that by the end of the three-day summit they could write up a treaty that set aside enough stampeding grounds for the buffalo tribes while also giving ample opportunity to the settler ponies to plant their crop and establish new settlements. Given Twilight’s knack for organization and her previous experience in Appleloosa, Princess Celestia decided that Twilight should oversee the process. She was currently riding to Appleloosa, where she would meet up with Chief Thunderhooves and Sheriff Silverstar before they all made the journey to Salt Lick City.

So now here she was, sitting alone in the middle of nowhere, waiting impatiently for the train to get moving again. She wanted to bring along some of her friends, but they were all preoccupied one way or the other. Applejack and Rarity had too much work to do for the next few days, Fluttershy needed to care for several sick bunnies and an injured bird, Pinkie was throwing a party for her sister in a couple of days, and Rainbow Dash, who seemed genuinely disappointed that she would have to miss this chance to meet up with Little Strongheart again, had to go to Cloudsdale to take part in a try-out for an upcoming flying competition. Even Spike couldn’t come, having managed to catch the flu not one day prior, so he needed to stay at home and rest. Fortunately, Fluttershy agreed to check in on Spike, but it still left Twilight with no one to talk to until she got to Appleloosa.

It was so boring here. Pretty, yes, but boring. Not ten minutes had passed and she wanted something to do. She wasn’t hungry so she hadn’t gone inside the restaurant, and anyway she felt awkward eating alone in restaurants. The gift shop was sure to be chock full of overpriced knick-knacks, so going in there would be pointless. She wished she had a book to read, but the conductor had made everypony get off the train and she hadn’t thought to grab one of the books she had brought in time.

Curse my social awkwardness, she thought to herself. I thought I was better than this now. She had asked the conductor if she could stay on the train, but the conductor had given her a stern glare and said “No exceptions, ma’am.” She wished she had shown quicker wits in the situation to do something more than hurriedly scamper off the train like a scared little filly. Rarity probably would have sweet-talked the conductor into letting her stay, but Twilight didn’t think she had the looks – or for that matter, the nerve – to pull that off. Rainbow Dash would have said something along the lines of “Hey! You’re talking to an Element of Harmony, you know!” but Twilight wasn’t one to get aggressive. Maybe she could have said that the conductor would have to answer to Princess Celestia for pulling her prized pupil away from her important studies. The thought brought a sly smirk to Twilight’s face for a moment before it quickly faded. No, she couldn’t bring herself to do that. She didn’t want special treatment, and at some level she did sympathize with the conductor. He needed a break too, and it was probably in his rule book that he couldn’t leave the train unattended. But none of this changed the fact that Twilight was now stuck at this rest stop with absolutely nothing to do. If only I could get back on the train! I mean, really. It’s not like the passengers are going to drive off with it… she wearily thought.

Twilight glanced at the restaurant. Hmph. I bet the owners of this rest stop give kickbacks to the railroad company, and in exchange the railroad makes everypony get off so they’ll buy stuff here. Yeah, I bet that’s it…

Twilight wasn’t sure she liked travel all that much. Granted, she loved seeing new places, recording her observations and telling others about what she had seen, and she definitely loved the idea of travel, but it was the actual traveling part that she wasn’t so sure about. There was an awful lot of free time when you were traveling, and when she wasn’t occupied Twilight’s mind tended to wander, and she often found herself dwelling on unpleasant matters. There was an awful lot of time to reflect, and if there was one thing she hated it was time to reflect.

Okay, come on Twilight, focus on the task ahead, she thought to herself. The Gathering of Buffalo Nations, all…how many of them were there again? She scratched her head in thought. Fifteen, right? Yeah, fifteen! What was that mnemonic device I had for that number? Let’s see…the six Elements of Harmony who will bring harmony to the west, plus the six cutie marks of the ponies who bear said elements, plus the three ponies who search for their own cutie marks. At the thought of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, an image flashed across her mind of the time she had forced her Smarty Pants doll on them in order to get them to fight amongst themselves.

“I’d hate to cause a rift between such good friends!”

She physically flinched from the memory, her left ear twitching as it always did when she recalled something particularly painful. For one brief second the memory was so vivid it was as if she was reliving the whole thing, only now with the added hindsight of how horrible and embarrassing this whole affair was.

She scrunched up her face and buried it in her hooves, trying to will away the memory. “Darn it brain, why can’t you remember something nice for me?!” she yelled, then quickly slapped her hooves over her mouth and looked around hurriedly to see if anypony had seen her yelling to herself. However, there wasn’t a living creature within earshot.

Twilight sighed. “Great. Now I’m back to talking to myself again.”

It was an old habit she had developed back when she lived in Canterlot, when she spent so much time on her own. And while she hadn’t managed to totally break the habit since moving to Ponyville, she had curbed it somewhat now that she had more ponies to regularly talk to. It was just embarrassing whenever she was caught doing it, like that one time she had started hoping around Ponyville shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” when she was telling the story of how she got her cutie mark. She remembered the confused looks on the faces of the crowd of ponies who watched her.

“Are…you okay?”

Once again she flinched in embarrassment from the memory, feeling just as awkward as she had when it actually happened. Twilight groaned, idly scratching the rough surface of the boulder with one of her front hooves. This wasn’t working. She needed to find something to draw her thoughts away from these unpleasant memories.

She went back to staring at the fading twilight to the west as the light of the sun was slowly replaced by the twinkle of stars. A few whispy clouds were fading from pink to dark purple. It reminded her of days spent on the Canterlot green near the waterfall, lying on the grass with a book as she watched the sunset. On breezy days the spray from the waterfall would lift into the air and the local pegasus weather team would gift the city with a gorgeous rainbow. It was a sight she saw often on cool spring evenings, when she would go to the green to study, but even before she attended Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns her parents would take her to the green to play.

“My parents…” she muttered to herself. At once her mind shifted from the images of Canterlot to the present time and the dusty sunset in front of her, as if to visually accentuate her current loneliness. Twilight wasn’t one to get nostalgic – she was far too pragmatic for that – but at times she did miss her parents. Even while attending Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns she made time to see them on the weekends, though her visits had gradually grown shorter and less frequent as the years went on and she was accepting more and more tasks and work on behalf of Princess Celestia. With a twinge of guilt, Twilight remembered that she hadn’t written her parents in a couple of weeks now. She’d have to remember to send them a souvenir from Salt Lick City.

Twilight looked up at the stars overhead. Only the brightest were visible so far, but she was able to trace a few of the basic constellations her mother had shown her as a filly. Memories of her mother came to Twilight now. There were the times when she was a filly and her mother would read her the little picture book about Winter Wrap-Up in the villages of Equestria where they didn’t have unicorns to help them change the seasons with magic. Even today she could vividly recall the colorful drawings in the book and the little cursive writing of the lyrics of the traditional Winter Wrap-Up song. Sometimes Twilight would ask her mother to sing the lyrics and she would agree – she could remember her mother flipping to the last page, softly singing the words “Cause tomorrow spring is here!” before kissing Twilight on the cheek and tucking her in for the night. That book was why she had been so eager to participate in a Winter Wrap-Up as a grown mare, and why her struggle to fit in had been so emotional for her – it wasn’t just that she felt she was letting the townspeople down, but that she was letting herself down. The little purple filly who would look at the picture book with wide eyes and sing the chorus lines along with her mother.

Her mother was always so intrigued by the concept of the changing seasons – one of her most prized possessions was a painting of the Running of the Leaves, with several ponies running through the woods, the quick brush strokes of their movements in contrast to the still wonder of the gold, reds and oranges of the leaves overhead. In fact, her mother was fascinated by any changing natural phenomenon, be it the seasons, the dissipating clouds after a storm, or that magical time between day and night that had served as the inspiration for the name she bestowed upon her daughter. “You know,” Twilight could remember her mother’s voice. “Your father proposed to me just after sunset, and I could see the rising moon reflected in his eyes when I said yes. Come to think of it, I also got my cutie mark during the twilight.” At this point she would lean in and gently whisper in Twilight’s ear. “That moment, when one thing changes to the next, is the most magical time of all, which is why I named you after it. You’re going to do amazing things, Twilight Sparkle. You already do.

Twilight’s heart felt heavy and she tightly closed her eyes, which were starting to water from her emotion. After a moment she recovered and turned her gaze back upwards to the stars. “Maybe Mom’s looking up at them right now too,” she wondered aloud. “At least we can both see this. It’s not fair…my parents have done so much for me and they’re stuck in Canterlot while I get to see all this amazing stuff.” One day she would have to bring her parents to Ponyville. Once they could get a nice long break from their jobs in Canterlot and Twilight could take a break from her studies, she would show them everything she’d seen and introduce them to all the ponies she’d met.

“Maybe I could ask Princess Celestia for a break? She probably wouldn’t mind…then again, I don’t want her to think I’m not taking my studies seriously,” she said to herself. “The Princess has always done so much for me…she took me in when I was a filly, and I’ve gotten to see and do things most ponies only dream of.” Indeed, after all these years the Princess had become like a second mother to Twilight, who had been the eager recipient of the Princess’ wisdom and kindness. “I’ve gotten so much from her…” she mumbled quietly. “I’m the least entitled pony in the world. How could I ask for anything more?”

It’s why she had been so panicked when she didn’t have her weekly letter on friendship ready to send. The cold glare on Princess Celestia’s face and her stern tone after the chaotic events with the Smarty Pants doll still sent shivers down Twilight’s spine. It was her worst fear realized – that she had disappointed her mentor. And she had done it with a toy her mother had given her, so it was as if she had let her down as well.

Something wet hit Twilight’s front hoof and she looked down in surprise to see that she had failed to hold back her tears this time. She hurriedly wiped her eyes with her hooves, trying to shrug her emotion off. “No, come on Twilight, buck up. You’re better than this!” she muttered to herself. “You just got to keep it together, Twilight. Keep it together. What would Princess Celestia think if she saw you like this?” She cleared the tears away, but her heart still felt heavy.

Twilight glanced at the restaurant once again to make sure no one was watching her before letting out a heavy sigh. “Why do I do this to myself? I work myself to the bone even when I know it’s not necessary, but why?”

“No, no, NO! How many times do I gotta say it? I don't need no help from nopony!”

The voice of Applejack came to Twilight as she remembered the events of the previous applebuck season. Applejack was the hardest working pony she had ever met, always willing to lend a hoof to a friend or a family member – and there was an awful lot of her family to help. That stubborn pony had worked herself silly and it was only in a moment of desperation that she finally accepted the help of her friends. “Maybe I should follow my own advice,” Twilight considered. “But what drives Applejack to such extremes?”

Twilight mulled this over, thinking about what she knew of Applejack. She was a farmer, and from what Twilight could tell that profession required a strong level of dedication and a lot of physical labor, but she didn’t see other farmers work themselves to the point Applejack did. She certainly had a stubborn personality, but what brought out that stubbornness? “It’s like she’s trying to prove something, but what?” Twilight muttered aloud. “That she’s a hard worker? That she can handle apples? But everypony already knows that – for crying out loud, her cutie mark is ap-“

Her cutie mark. Twilight remembered the story of how Applejack got her cutie mark, when she returned from Manehattan to Sweet Apple Acres having found what made her happy – her family and her life on the farm. “Maybe that’s the answer,” Twilight whispered. “Maybe Applejack overcompensates to prove her love for her family…for her home.”

“Home is where yer family is.” Applejack’s voice came as clearly to Twilight now as it did when she said those words at the party where they swapped their cutie mark stories. Twilight sadly looked down at the boulder, scratching it with her front hoof again. She was a long way from her family, and she had been for some time.

“Oh, silly filly! Home isn’t just where you’re family is, it’s where your friends are!” Pinkie Pie had responded to Applejack before pulling Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy in a tight hug. Pinkie Pie…now there was a pony who knew a thing or two about sorrow, and each day she lived seemed to be an attempt to make up for the fun she missed out on as a filly. But like Twilight she was a long way from her family too, or her biological family anyway – she seemed to have fully embraced her friends in Ponyville as her new family. “Maybe I have too,” Twilight said quietly.

At that moment Twilight was pulled out of her thoughts by the loud squeak of a door opening as a pony stepped out of the back of the restaurant. Her head was bowed and she walked slowly out of the building, as if in exhaustion. She quietly trotted over to the boulder where Twilight was sitting. She stepped out into the fading twilight, her silvery mane catching the light as she lifted her head, and that was when Twilight bolted upright and the pony approaching her froze in place.

Trixie?!?” Twilight gasped.

You!” Trixie yelped, pointing a hoof at Twilight. “What are you doing here?!” she demanded.

Twilight was taken aback by Trixie’s forcefulness. “I…I’m just passing through,” she said, indicating the train sitting behind them. “Um…are you headed to Appleloosa too?”

Trixie huffed and placed a hoof on her chest. “The Great and Powerful Trixie is…employed at this establishment,” she sighed, apparently disappointed with her mundane description of her occupation.

“Oh,” Twilight replied in surprise. “Well…is the pay good?” she asked, making an attempt at polite conversation.

Trixie glared in response. “The Great and Powerful Trixie does not feel the need to share such details with you,” she muttered. “Now if you will kindly relinquish that boulder to me; it has been a long day.”

“Relinquish the…now wait a minute!” Twilight cried. “I was sitting here first, why should I have to give up my spot?”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie is on break and wants to sit down,” she growled.

“And that’s another thing, would you stop referring to yourself in the third person? It’s a little annoying,” Twilight said.

“The Great-oh…yes…” Trixie stopped short. “Err, sometimes I get caught up in my stage personality and forget to switch back. As any amazing performer such as myself is wont to do at times,” she added with a slight emphasis in her voice.

“That’s fine,” Twilight responded. “Now this boulder is plenty big enough for both of us, so if you want to sit down here you’ll have to join me,” she said, shifting to one side and indicating a large patch of boulder big enough for Trixie to occupy.

“I’d rather stand,” Trixie growled.

“Gah…Fine!” Twilight yelled, throwing her head back in frustration. She and Trixie glared at each other for a moment.

But after a few seconds, Twilight sighed. “What am I doing, this is silly…” she muttered, bowing her head in embarrassment. “I’m going to be sitting on that train for several hours after this, I can afford to stand for a few minutes. Here, you should have the rock,” she said, hopping off the boulder. “You’re on break – you probably need to sit down.”

Trixie looked taken aback. “I…yes, of course…” she stammered, taking her place on the boulder. “I…thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Twilight said, relieved that the tension of the situation seemed to be fading. Trixie sat down and there was an awkward moment of silence between them as they avoided each other’s gaze.

“So…” Twilight started slowly. “What have you been doing all this time?” she flinched after she said it; she didn’t mean to sound so assertive. “I mean…you know…what have you been up to?” She internally groaned; that just sounded silly given the situation.

“Well, after the…err, incident in Ponyville,” Trixie replied, grimacing at the memory of the Ursa Minor. “I was left without my possessions, seeing as they were all destroyed. I had to make some money, so I…” she sighed heavily. “…Began to work for money.”

“Well that sounds fine,” Twilight said. “There’s no shame in hard work!”

Trixie grunted. “That may be all well and good for a mare like you, but I can’t stand this mundane work! I was a star! I had everything I wanted and could travel as freely as I pleased! And as soon as I raise enough bits I’m taking the first train out of this dump and getting my old life back.”

Twilight gave Trixie a level stare. “Am I to take it this means you’re going to go back to lying just to make yourself sound good?” she said coldly. Trixie’s attitude was wearing on Twilight fast in light of the fact that the magician seemed to have barely changed since the last time they met.

“How dare you!” Trixie cried. “The Great and Powerful Trixie did not get where she was without learning from her mistakes! I have dropped the Ursa Major story. It would not be…prudent to my reputation at this point.”

“Well…good,” Twilight said, finding herself without anything to say to this.

The two unicorns remained in awkward silence for a moment, looking out at the horizon as the last remnants of twilight quietly faded to the west and dusk took hold. The tinkle of silverware touching plates mingled with the sound of laughter and loud conversation from the patrons of the restaurant. The steam engine behind them hissed as a soft breeze rustled the bushes nearby and rolled a tumbleweed into the side of the building, where it joined several others like it in a small pile at the base of the wall.

“So what is your job here, anyway?” Twilight asked, breaking the silence.

“I’ve taken various odd jobs since we last met,” Trixie explained. “Here my main task is to bus tables. Every time a train rolls in I have to prepare the tables for when the travelers arrive, I get a short break while they’re all eating, and then I have to clear all the dishes once they start boarding the train again.”

“Oh…” Twilight replied. “So you aren’t doing any shows?”

“Once in a while I’ll dazzle the travelers with my amazing feats of magic while they are eating,” Trixie said, placing a hoof on her chest again and closing her eyes to complete her smug expression. “But the cut of the proceeds the Fred Horsey Company demands from my shows is utterly ridiculous! So I only do it to practice my craft.”

“I see…” Twilight said quietly.

Trixie sighed and turned her head to face the train tracks stretching out into the horizon, a single straight line in a sea of sand and dusty hills adored by the occasional bit of scrub framed by the line of dark blue scraggly mountains on the horizon. “As soon as I have enough bits I will be out of here. Another week should do it – I should have raised enough by then.”

“Don’t you have any friends to help you out?” Twilight asked. “Someone who could lend a helping hoof?”

“I’ve never had many friends,” Trixie said shortly. “I’ve found relationships to be too much of a distraction. My future success does not rest on me making friends!”

Twilight opened her mouth to object, but stopped short. This was starting to sound awfully familiar to her.

“Ever since I was a filly,” Trixie continued. “I’ve always made my own way. I studied the magic, I practiced the art, I perfected the performance and I raised the money to build the life of a magician that I had always dreamed of!” she said forcefully, stamping a hoof on the boulder with each ‘I’. “Hoofdini the Great could free himself from any bind, and so the Great and Powerful Trixie can pull herself through this situation!”

“But what’s the good of showing off your magic if you don’t have anyone to share it with?” Twilight asked.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie does not desire friendship,” Trixie shot back. “Only adoration.”

Trixie sighed. “It’s always been this way. I could never speak to a pony as…as an equal. But to get before a crowd, to see the awe on their faces…” she trailed off as she stared off into space and Twilight could almost see a gleam in her eyes as the magician remembered fond memories of performances past. “Now that I could always do.”

“Sounds awfully lonely, though,” Twilight commented.

“It is,” Trixie replied. “But that is the way I prefer it. To go without companionship is a small price to pay to be free of distractions, free of interruptions…to be independent. To travel where I please, when I please.”

“But having friends doesn’t mean you have to give everything up,” Twilight offered. “I mean…I’m not going to lie, you do have to sacrifice a little, but in the end it’s worth fighting for.”

Trixie grunted, apparently either not able or not willing to give a counterargument. “I will admit, the solitude has not always been easy, but it never presented any major difficulties. However, in light of recent events I’ve…had some time to reflect. And if there’s one thing the Great and Powerful Trixie despises,” she growled, narrowing her eyes. “It’s having time to reflect.”

Twilight’s eyebrows shot up into her mane. This didn’t just seem familiar anymore, this was downright eerie. Trixie was reminding Twilight more and more of herself from before she moved to Ponyville. Her boisterous attitude and showmareship aside, there was that same self-assurance, that same over-commitment to her work, and that same disregard for making friends she once held.

“I admit, I feared this day would come,” Trixie said, pulling Twilight out of her thoughts. “How you stopped the Ursa Minor when I could not… Now let me be clear, you still will never have the show-stopping abilities of the Great and Powerful Trixie,” she reminded Twilight, grinning slyly. “But your magic is certainly…impressive. Sometimes I imagined myself challenging you in the hopes of besting you the second time and winning back my glory, while other times I envisioned you blaming me for the incident and I having to plead my case before a royal court with potentially dire consequences. However, I never imagined we would simply…converse.”

“I would never blame you for what happened in Ponyville,” Twilight said. “Although you still shouldn’t have lied,” now it was Twilight’s turn to grin slyly. “You certainly never intended to have an Ursa Minor actually show up.”

“Hey, Miss Almighty Trixie!” an annoyed voice hollered from the direction of the restaurant. A colt was poking his head out the back door looking at the two unicorns. “Break’s almost up! We need you to start clearing tables!”

“In a minute!” Trixie hollered back. “In case you didn’t notice, I’m speaking to this pony here!” she yelled, indicating Twilight.

“Oh, sorry…” the colt replied. “I didn’t see your friend there. Alright, but make it quick!”

“She’s not a…friend…” Trixie’s voice trailed off as the colt withdrew back into the restaurant before she could finish her sentence. She glanced at Twilight. “You’re…really more of an acquaintance, obviously…”

“Obviously,” Twilight nodded. "Look, I know what it means to be alone. But I learned that making friends isn’t as hard as I always thought and that it’s the friendships I’ve made that are what’s most important in my life.”

“That’s all very well and good,” Trixie replied. “But the Great and Powerful Trixie has yet to be convinced of that.”

“Give it time,” Twilight offered. “You just have to work at it is all!”

“Hmph,” Trixie grunted. She frowned slightly and looked down at the ground for a moment before glancing up at the train. “Uh…your train is boarding again.”

Twilight jumped and looked over at the train. She had been so engrossed in the conversation she had completely failed to notice the passengers exiting the restaurant and reboarding the train.

“Oh, right!” Twilight cried, taking a few paces toward the train before stopping. “Yes, I should get back. And I guess I’m keeping you from your job…” she added guiltily.

“I must say, I preferred the distraction to that tedium,” Trixie grumbled. She stood up and trotted off the boulder before looking Twilight in the eyes. “Likely I shall be considering your words in the near future. Celestia knows I haven’t had enough to think over lately…” she grumbled.

Twilight smiled. “Please do. Having friends doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. My friends are like my family. In fact, now that I think about it… I don’t think I asked you about your family.”

“You didn’t,” Trixie said shortly before quickly turning to the restaurant and striding away. Twilight was taken aback.

“I’m…sorry,” Twilight said, confusion evident in her voice. “Did I say something wrong?”

Trixie stopped. “No. It’s just…” she was still facing away from Twilight, her head bowed and her eyes closed for a moment before glancing over her shoulder at Twilight. She was frowning slightly, giving Twilight a level stare.

“It’s as I said. If there’s one thing the Great and Powerful Trixie despises, it’s having time to reflect.”
With that she turned back to the restaurant and trotted through the back door. Twilight watched her go, at a loss for words.

Alllllllll aboard!” the voice of the conductor broke Twilight’s focus and she galloped back to her car, quickly trotting up the steps into the train. The conductor closed the door behind her as he trotted along the side of the train doing the same with the other doors while Twilight settled back into her sleeping bunk. She leaned against the window to see if she could catch a glimpse of Trixie working in the restaurant, but somepony had drawn the curtains closed over all the windows, so it was impossible.

With a slight lurch the train began moving again. Twilight continued to stare at the rest stop as it slowly passed by and leaned over to her right to watch it recede behind the train. A few seconds later it passed out of her line of sight as the train picked up speed and Twilight turned to look at the passing desert scenery. She glanced down at the small stack of books she had brought with her but found didn’t feel much like reading them now.

Twilight turned back to the window, looking out at the stars. The voice of her mother drifted into Twilight’s mind once again.

“Most ponies don’t seem to notice those places they pass through on their way somewhere else, but they are the strangest and most incredible places of all, because they lie between the realms we’re familiar with, and you only get to experience them when you change realms. That moment, when one thing changes to the next, is the most magical time of all…which is why I named you after it, Twilight Sparkle.”


Author’s note: Thanks for reading my story, I hope you enjoyed it! And if you got to this point and are wondering why I didn’t list Trixie as one of the characters for this story, it’s because I wanted her appearance to be as much of a surprise to the readers as it was for Twilight. I really didn’t want readers going through this just waiting for Trixie to show up. Also this story may undergo some revising, so if you have any editorial suggestions you want to offer, please post them down in the comments!

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