The First Death Of Twilight Sparkle

by naturalbornderpy

Chapter 1: Funerals, Family, And Friends. Sandwiches, Too.

Princess Celestia stood at the podium and looked down at the small crowd of gathered mourners. She took a dainty sip from her water glass.

“Thank you, one and all for attending,” she started clearly, the faintest of smiles on her lips. “We are gathered here today to pay respects to the greatest student I ever had the privilege of teaching, as well as one of the warmest and most loving of friends one could ever ask for.” She sighed, her small smile disappearing. “I know I, for one, had always cautioned Twilight about the dangers of reading while flying, but… well, you try to pry one of Twilight’s books away from her.”

The three dozen or so attendees at the outdoor funeral chuckled good-naturedly, most wiping away tears as they did; all except for a mare in the back row wearing sunglasses and holding a box of popcorn in her lap.

Celestia continued on, “Truthfully, I doubt any of us saw Twilight’s sudden death coming. Well, except maybe for that brick wall that she crashed into. But let it be known that Twilight Sparkle loves you all very much and will continue to do so until she really dies. Thank you.”

As Celestia went back to her seat beside Luna, another one of Twilight’s many family members trotted up to the podium to speak.

Celestia took a moment to glance behind her.

Tears, snot, and balled up tissues as far as the eye could see.

She slid closer to Luna to speak with her. “You’d think not a single one of these ponies had ever been to an alicorn funeral before.”

Luna shrugged. “Twilight was close to nearly every citizen of Ponyville. It is only normal they would react in such a way. It is Twilight’s first death, after all.”

“True,” Celestia agreed. “Still strange that Twilight’s parents would even want to throw a funeral for her and not just wait the customary twenty-four hours before she returns. Maybe they only wanted to know what the experience would be like.”

“A little morbid, if that ends up being true,” Luna rebuked.

As she stared at Twilight’s heavily weeping parents, a cold shiver wormed its way up Celestia’s spine. She turned to her sister once more. “Twilight did tell her parents how alicorns work, right? I mean… I don’t see Shining Armor or Princess Cadence breaking down in tears.”

Luna furrowed her brows. “How would I know something like that?”

Another terrible thought sent shockwaves throughout Celestia. She closed her eyes and placed a gold-plated hoof against her temple. “Please, Luna, for the sake of everything cuddly and cute in the land, tell me you gave Twilight that book I told you to give her.”

“Book?” Luna had to ponder on that one. “You mean the one about alicorn guidelines and rules? I might have actually forgotten to. A quick trip to a malt shop might have been involved. Was that rather important?”

I gave you that book over two years ago!” Celestia hissed, making a few heads turn in their direction. She lowered her voice. “So that means that everyone here actually believes that Twilight Sparkle is dead and gone for good? How awful they must be feeling right now.”

“To be fair, Celestia, Twilight is technically dead right now,” Luna replied. “I mean, she did fly into a brick wall flying ninety miles an hour. Reading about the history of wallpaper, oddly enough.”

“How do we fix this?” Celestia asked, frantically scanning the scene with rising unease. “How do we let everyone know Twilight’s not actually dead?”

Luna motioned to the small casket set up on a table next to the podium at the front. “I am more than sure Twilight will think of something. It has been roughly twenty four hours since she passed.”

Celestia directed her attention toward the casket. A brief second later, a loud crack echoed across the lawn, as did a bright, piercing light. The smell of burnt toast soon filled the air.

Hello?” Twilight’s hushed voice from inside the casket. “Why is it so dark in here? And why does my face hurt so much? What happened to my book on wallpaper?

That got more than a few good shrieks from the crowd—loudest of all coming from Big Mac, who wouldn’t stop screaming “Nope!” on continuous loop. The mare with the shades only continued to pleasantly much on her popcorn with her head cocked to the side.

“Thank the heavens above no one had her cremated,” Celestia muttered, mentally steeling herself for whatever came next.

“Wait,” Twilight continued from inside the box. “This isn’t a casket, is it? Let’s see what we have around here. Pillow. Soft interior. Nice purple dress. Tiara. My Smarty Pants doll for some reason.” Twilight stopped for a second as it all must’ve finally clicked into place. “Holy crap on a cracker! I’m trapped in a casket!

That was when a purple beam of magic effortlessly sliced through the thick wooden box, dividing it into two equal pieces. Once the smoke cleared, Twilight Sparkle landed on the grass outside in a huff, unharmed and with no visible damage whatsoever.

“What in Equestria is going on around here?” Twilight asked the gob smacked crowd. “And why was I in a casket next to Smarty Pants?”

Her answer came mere seconds later, as she whirled around to find two blown-up pictures of her adorning the table she was just on. One was from when she was just an adorable, little toddler while the other was a photo taken maybe a year ago while she was dining at a Hayburger and had several messy condiments smeared around her face.

“This is my funeral?” she squeaked out, before even more pressing matters came to mind. “This is my funeral and you used that photo of me? Really? Come on guys.”

Night Light bolted from his chair and wrapped a leg around his daughter. “My little girl isn’t dead! She’s alive! And not a zombie! There must’ve been a mistake. That brick wall must’ve only partially caved in your entire head.” He wiped away a fresh tear. “Happy days!”

“Boo! Boo! I demand a refund! False advertising!” The mare with the sunglasses in the back row angrily threw her box of popcorn to the ground before stomping all over it. “You said that Twilight Sparkle was dead! What kind of shenanigans you trying to pull in this cracker box of a town?”

Seated along the front row, Princess Cadence handed Flurry Heart off to her husband before standing up and addressing the yelling mare. She took a calming breath before speaking. “Hello, Queen Chrysalis. How’s your latest infiltration going?”

The mare in the sunglasses stopped dead in her tracks. “What’s that you say, Princess? Queen Crumpet Munch? Sorry, never heard of that one. You must have me confused with someone else. I’m Helen. You know… Ponyville’s very own Helen! Enjoying the sights and sounds of Twilight Sparkle dead and buried and gone forever. Or so I thought before a depressing moment ago.”

The mare calling herself Ponyville’s Very Own Helen groaned aloud when Cadence procured another mare seated next to her; a mare that just so happened to look exactly identical to the disgruntled mare in sunglasses.

Instantly, the angry popcorn munching mare burst into flames and reappeared as Queen Chrysalis. Instead of laughing manically as she normally would, she merely frowned. Then she leveled a hoof at the mare she had stolen her disguise from.

“Damn it, Helen! After I copied you, I told you to stay inside! What was so difficult about that?”

The real Helen blushed and giggled at that. “I dunno. Maybe everything! As if I’d miss out attending a funeral. Especially an alicorn funeral!”

Queen Chrysalis hissed vehemently at her. “You’re going on my list, Helen! DOUBLE UNDERLINED!” Then she took to the skies and scrambled away from that hot mess of a scene as fast as her wings would carry her.

Helen appeared to accept her upcoming death sentence rather well, as she went on to shove an entire sandwich into her gapping maw. “And I just knew there’d be sandwiches here. And there were! Egg salad and cucumber! How awesome is that?”

Cadence roughly nudged the mare until she sat down again. “Easy there, Helen. This is still somewhat of a funeral.”

“Is it, though? Is it really?” Twilight Sparkle marched directly toward Princess Celestia, bumping her nose into hers. In order to do this, she had to hover a few feet off the ground. “You need to give me some answers here, Princess. Like right now.”

Anxiously, Celestia tapped her hooves together. “Well, the thing is Twilight… you died. Most spectacularly, I might add. But, yes, you died.”

“Then how am I here talking to you?” Twilight asked flatly. “Did you bring me back to life without my consent or something?”

Celestia shook her head. “Nothing of the sort, Twilight, I swear! It’s just… it’s just…”

“It is just that every alicorn that exists can die a total of nine times before being declared permanently deceased,” Luna thankfully finished for Celestia, gently shoving both her sister and Twilight apart from one another. “Each time an alicorn dies, they will remain deceased for exactly twenty four hours before magically ‘snapping’ back to life. Up to eight times, mind you.”

Twilight Velvet stood beside her husband. “Sort of like a cat?”

Luna chuckled. “Don’t be silly. Cats only have the one life to spend. Alicorns however…” She left her sentence incomplete as her eyes travelled down to Twilight’s round rump and held them there. Most funeral attendees did the same.

Twilight glanced backward. “What? Is something stuck to my butt? What’s everyone looking at?”

“We’re looking at the mark, Twilight,” Celestia explained delicately. “Every time an alicorn perishes and returns, a small checkmark appears beside their cutie mark, as a reminder of how many lives they have left to spend. You always did enjoy checkmarks, didn’t you?”

Celestia’s last remark did little to settle Twilight’s current mood. “So everyone knew about this but me?”

Shining Armor raised a hoof. “I knew, but only because Cadence told me right after we got married. Honestly, Twilight, I thought someone would have told you by now. And I sort of thought you’d would’ve told mom and dad, too.”

Twilight held a hoof out. “Well, obviously our parents didn’t have a clue! Why would they even bother having a funeral for me if they knew I’d just come back a day later?”

Shining scratched at his chin. “Free sandwiches? Chance to catch up with friends?”

Thankfully, Cadence rushed ahead to wrap a foreleg around Twilight’s heated shoulders.

Twilight, in return, simply stood there like a rock: a very immovable, angry rock complete with a perfectly sculpted frown.

“I know it might seem scary, Twilight,” Cadence told her softly, “but take it from me—the first death is always the toughest.”

Twilight’s perfectly sculpted frown cracked a bit. “Wait? You died? When? And how?”

Cadence sighed and looked away. “It's been many moons since I popped my death cherry. And since then, I’ve made myself a promise not to tell. It’s a little… embarrassing, truthfully.”

Shining snorted, then added, “You could just say that Cadence here had a bad trip down some stairs back in the Crystal Empire.”

“What part about ‘not telling’ her didn’t you understand?” Cadence snapped at him.

For some reason that only made Shining laugh even more. “Sorry, Cadence, but I guess having known you were good for another eight deaths made it somewhat humorous at the time. And all those cute, little squeak noises you made each time you hit a step!”

That was when Cadence asked if she could hold Flurry Heart again so she could slug Shining squarely in the face without endangering the baby.

While Shining lay on the lawn holding his pained snout, Twilight addressed the nearby Princesses again. “So how many checkmarks do each of you have? Living for countless millennia and all…”

“Why not take a gander and see for yourself?” Luna cooed, before she raised her butt up for basically everyone to see. It was clear she enjoyed her brief moment of spotlight, as her cheeks soon blushed.

Twilight raised a brow. “Only one checkmark? After all these years?”

Luna nodded. “Afraid so, Twilight Sparkle. Some of that may be due my one thousand years spent on the moon; some of it may be due to my expertise in battle. Either way, I still have a lot left to give to this world before I am through with it.”

“And the one time you died? If you don’t mind me asking… some great battle I may have never heard about?”

“No,” Luna clarified tiredly. “My only death came when I first realized I was highly allergic to peanut butter.”

Twilight turned to the other Princess. “And Celestia? How many have… eight times!?

A moment too late. Celestia attempted to shield her plot from sight, alongside its long row of tiny, highly organized checkmarks.

“You’ve died eight times, Princess?” Twilight asked with a gasp. “And you never told me about any of them? So that means the next time you die… will be your last?”

Celestia merely waved a hoof as if the matter didn’t interest her. “Don’t bother reminding me. Ever wonder why I rarely leave the castle anymore? Or why I gave up on solid foods? Or why I ordered the creation of that bubblewrap dress for myself?”

“Sister!” Luna cut in bluntly. “You were at seven checkmarks only days ago! What happened? And why was I never informed?”

Begrudgingly, Celestia admitted to her, “Well, you see, I was taking my morning stroll through the castle gardens like I always do—”

“And you stepped on a rake and got struck in the head?” Luna finished. “Again?

“Lay your worries to rest, Luna,” Celestia spoke. “Since my latest death, I have outlawed all gardening rakes in the kingdom and have had them all gathered, broken, and incinerated. Now I only need to keep an eye out for all those darn sneaky sprinkler heads.”

A yellow object fell to Celestia’s side. It was a banana peel.

What followed was another six dozen or so more of them, all perfectly encircling the Princess currently on death’s edge.

That was when Discord snapped himself onto the scene, already with a smile so wide it was close to dividing his face.

He asked Celestia, “What’s that now, Celly-belly? Only one more death until we’re finally done with you for good? Better watch your step from here on—”

A blinding white light engulfed Discord’s entire head and quickly faded from sight. Once it was gone, not even a hint of bone or tissue remained where his head used to be. Discord’s body collapsed to the ground soon after.

Celestia softly blew on the tip of her smoking horn. “What are we up to now, dear sister?”

Luna walked up to Discord’s corpse to properly investigate his butt. She muttered to herself as she counted all the checkmarks there. “Somewhere in the three hundreds, I would guess.”

Celestia nodded. “Sounds about right.”

Twilight glanced between Discord’s still smoldering corpse and back to Celestia. “So Discord’s a type of alicorn, too?”

“Not really,” Celestia replied dryly. “He’s basically just an immortal dick that refuses to stay dead. He’ll be back in a half-hour max.” Her eyes popped open as another thought came to her. “Wait! Luna never gave you that book on alicorns! Tell me, Twilight, when was the last time you got your wings changed?”

“My wings changed?” That made Twilight shudder on the spot. “Why would I need to do something like that?”

“You got your horn sharpened, at least? Please, tell me you at least did that!”

“How was I supposed to know to do that?”

Celestia wasted no time and casted a magical bubble around Twilight to lift into the air. “Then there’s no time to lose! We need to get you to an Alicorn Repair Shop right this instant!”

Luna clapped her hooves together happily after hearing the news. “Huzzah! It has been far too long since Princess Luna has had new glitter added to her mane! Or had her eyes freshly shimmered! Let us leave posthaste!”

And so the three of them took to the skies without looking back, leaving more than a few ponies overall startled and confused. But perhaps Princess Cadence the most confused of them all.

She starred at the gurgling Flurry Heart held in her hooves. “Shining? I have a rather important question to ask you. I was just changing Flurry Heart’s diaper a moment ago when I noticed a small checkmark on her flank. I know for a fact that mark wasn’t there the last time I changed her, so… did something happen to Flurry Heart while I was away last weekend?”

Shining Armor could only gulp dryly, as he somehow became even paler than his regular fur allowed. “Let’s just say she takes after mommy in the stairs department.”

Author's Notes:

Does this story deserve a DARK tag? I wanna say no, but... "Martyrs" is one of my favorite comedies.

Only kidding. :twilightsheepish: It's actually "120 Days of Sodom". What wacky shenanigans will they think of next?

I wrote 3k worth of a serious Discord story before writing these last two shorts. If you don't see that Discord story soon, then I officially suck more than usual. You'll know which one it is. Because it's fucking weird!

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