Life is a Lemon

by Blueshift

Chapter 7: Chapter 6 - Life is a Lemon (Reprise)

Previous Chapter

“I remember everything.” All Lemon Dreams could see was the mud and rain pooling about her, but there was a sudden lightness in her head, as finally the fog lifted and she saw her life in a single moment of crystal clarity. She shivered, whether through the cold arcing through her or the realisation of self-consciousness, she did not know.

“Have you… have you come for me?” Her voice was raw from crying, but she forced the words out, large quavering eyes taking in every detail of the tiny spectre that stood over her. It positively loomed in her vision as she cowered before it, the perfect picture of a little filly, but shimmering as if underwater or some summer’s day mirage. There was still no response, and Lemon Dreams shrank further into the mud. “I wouldn’t blame you, if you wanted, you know…” she trailed off and her eyes glazed over. “Revenge.”

“I came back for you. For you.” The voice cut through the air like a knife. It did not sound like any pony’s voice, but instead like the whisper of leaves in the wind, the memory of an echo. Lemon Dreams found her eyes drawn irresistibly towards the spectre – her sister – as she spoke. “I want you to be okay. You have to be okay.”

Lemon Dreams pulled herself upright for a moment, before slumping against the rough bark of a nearby tree. Water poured down the trunk and over her back as she rested her head against the wood and stared at the small ghost, gasping for breath. “Sunshine,” she croaked, and the words felt like knives slicing through her chest. “Sunshine, it was all my fault. All of it. I let you die. I wasn’t good enough.”

Sunshine lowered her eyes, the rain pattering through her transparent body like a grainy film recording. “Maybe,” she finally replied. “Maybe in one day in a thousand, Lemmy, you could have saved me. But it just wasn’t that day.” Lemon Dreams opened her mouth to respond, but Sunshine moved closer, sitting her non-existent body against the tree trunk next to her. “It was a good life, you know. Short. But I had you. My big sister.”

“I could have – I mean…” Lemon Dreams wiped her hoof across her face, sending a shower of teary rainwater splashing across the ground. “It was my job to look after you, and I failed. They said it wasn’t my fault, but it was, you know.” She swallowed hard, looking at the spectral face of her sister as it shimmered beside her. “I’m not your perfect big sister. I never was. I’m a failure.”

“Oh, Lemmy.” Sunshine’s face crumpled into a crestfallen frown. “I never wanted you to be perfect; I just wanted you to be my sister. I wanted to tell you it was okay, but I couldn’t come back. I wanted to! I could just sit and play in the Fields of Elysium, and sometimes, if I tried hard enough, I could see what was going on, and I wanted to be there so much. Mum and dad need you, they need you so badly; you need you, you just don’t realise it.”

Lemon Dreams didn’t respond. Sunshine gave a little smile. “They said I could come back, you know. Because I didn’t get a long enough shot at life first time round. Not like I am now though, it would have to be reincarnation.” Sunshine pondered this for a moment, as the rain fell about the two. They sat in silence, both gazing up at the black sky, the cold night wind pirouetting and dancing around them. “I always thought a butterfly would be nice. But I couldn’t do it; I kept saying no, I couldn’t go until I knew you were okay.”

Lemon Dreams rested her head back against the bark. A rumble of thunder played across the slate-grey sky as the rain cascaded through the branches of the tree. “I’m not. I don’t think I’m very well,” she said finally. “I’ve not been well for a long time. I wanted to be happy, but… it wasn’t real, was it? None of it was. I think…” She rolled her head against the tree until she stared at her sister. “I think I went a bit mad.”

“I know, Lemmy, I know.” Sunshine slowly climbed to her hooves, shaking off imaginary rain as it pooled about her. “You can’t let this define who you are, and you can’t cut it out, it’s been killing you all these years and you never realised it. I don’t know why I got to come back now after all this time, and I don’t have long here with you – just until the rain ends – but you’ve got to know this. It is so, so important.” She turned to face Lemon Dreams, staring deep into her eyes. “You have to stop saying sorry, because you don’t need to be. You never needed to be! I’m your sister and I love you.”

Lemon Dreams looked back at her little sister, forcing down a gulp as she started to tremble again. “I…”

“Lemmy.” Sunshine cut across her, softly. “You’re falling. Let me catch you.”

The two ponies embraced as the rain continued to pour.


Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there lived a pony called Lemon Dreams. Everyone from miles around marvelled at her beautiful lemon orchard, and the residents of Ponyville would spend many happy hours there, eating the delicious lemons and admiring the array of carefully tended wild flowers which attracted flocks of butterflies from all over the land. Everyone agreed that she was the happiest, friendliest pony they knew.

Sometimes, one day in a thousand, when the skies were grey and the leaves of the trees rustled in a melancholy whisper, Lemon Dreams would sit alone in her orchard and sing a lone, sorrowful song up into the heavens. She would then stop and listen as if waiting for something. There would never be any response, just the swaying of the trees and the gentle flutter of a butterfly’s wing.

And then she would smile and go home.

Sometimes, life is a lemon.

Make lemonade.

Return to Story Description


Login with