The Stars of Nightmare Moon

by Mysterious Stranger

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: The spider

Load Full Story Next Chapter

The Stars of Nightmare Moon

by Mysterious Stranger

Deep within the Everfree forest in the dead of the night, far from any path or road, a lone pony drifted through the trees. He moved slowly, partially to avoid tripping over the numerous roots and rocks hidden by the undergrowth, and partially to delay reaching his destination. If any normal observer were to watch the foolish traveler, they would be able to make out very few details in the dim and uncertain light. A pair of golden eyes and a silver mane caught what little moonlight there was, nothing more. However, to one particular observer who was well accustomed to the blinding darkness, it could see that the pony in question was an earth pony, a young stallion with a coat as black as the shadows around him.

The earth pony stopped abruptly from the growing sense of unease one gets from being watched. The observer, waiting to see if its prey would choose fight or flight, paused as well.

"Oh, you really don't know how ironic your timing is," the stallion said aloud. "Here I am at the crossroads of destiny, trying in vain to make a decision, and now you're going to eat me and make it all moot anyway."

The hunter was confused about its intended meal choosing neither fight or flight, but it silently moved in for the kill all the same.

"A giant spider," the pony observed dryly as the hunter revealed itself. "The bane of every mare and exterminator in Equestria. I wonder, would I feel your fangs devouring me, or would your poison take care of that?"

Being nothing more than a creature driven by the desires to hunt and feast, and as a result incapable of replying, the spider lurched forward and pinched the equestrian between two hairy legs and lifted him up off the ground. Once airborne, the stallion's act of being composed and aloof was shattered, leaving a terrified pony in its wake. The earth pony hollered and kicked as the spider began to skitter off to some sinister destination. After a minute or so of traveling deeper into the dense trees in this fashion, his demeanor shifted from horror to frustration.

"I'm such an idiot!" he yelled at no one in particular. "What was I thinking coming here in the middle of night?! Oh wait, that's right, I came here because everything would go straight to Tartarus if I didn't!"

The black stallion let loose an anguished snarl as he uselessly kicked one of the legs pinching his sides in a last feeble bid for freedom.

"I swear, it feels like it would suck no matter what I decided anyway! Heck, even doing nothing would have ended badly! Ever since the whole thing started it's been a bucking death spiral!"

The spider ignored the pony's rant as it maneuvered around the trees. It held no curiosity for what the stallion was talking about, and even if it could understand words, it probably wouldn't have cared anyway. The pony, in turn, stopped mid rant and became gravely silent as he spotted a giant web between two tree trunks coming closer. He wasn't trying to be brave, he had simply given up. There wasn't any point in struggling any more. In truth, it had been his own actions that led this fate. Why resist? He deserved it.

As the spider began wrapping him in it's sticky strands, he bitterly wondered what he could have done differently. If he was perfectly honest with himself, the best choice would have been to end it back when it had first started ten years ago...

As a black colt departed from the doors of the simple wooden structure known as school, he made note of what the other ponies were doing. It had only been a few days ago that he had moved to Ponyville from Trottingham, and he had yet to make any friends. Today however, he was determined that would change. No one had yet reached out to him, so he would have to make the first move. Start up a conversation perhaps, or join a game. He convinced himself that he would think of something. The sooner he blended in the better. No one likes being the new colt on the block, after all.

The black earth pony, waiting to follow the other ponies lead, observed that most of the ponies were already leaving in groups. However, many of the colts were starting to form a crowd for something. Now was his chance! As he moved in to join the group, he saw that two colts stood apart from the rest and were taking turns picking other colts out of the group. One of them had a brown ball with white stitches and two tapered ends beneath his hoof.

One by one the colts joined the ones picking until only the black pony was left. He disliked standing out by being the last one picked, but that was to be expected, since none of them had really noticed him until now.

"You're new," stated the colt with the ball under his hoof as he studied the newcomer. "What's your name?"

"I’m Night Mist," the black colt said formally, trying his best not to pay any attention to all the eyes on him.

"You any good at hoofball, Night Mist?"

"I wouldn't know, I've never played before," Night Mist admitted.

"Do you at least know the rules?" asked the colt with the ball.

"Not really," Night Mist cringed, sensing that things were going badly. The colt with the ball didn't seem too pleased.

"Well, we've already got even teams, so it wouldn't be fair to have you play too," the colt said bluntly.

Night Mist felt the tension of the moment. The others were all watching to see how we would react to being locked out of the game. Rather than saying something he might regret later, Night Mist simply nodded to show his comprehension and started to turn away, wanting to escape from the embarrassing situation as soon as possible.

"I'll teach you how to play," a voice offered out of the blue.

Night Mist glanced back to see who had spoken. A dark red unicorn with a burnt black mane had departed from his team and was approaching him, his bright orange eyes not glancing back even once. As grateful as he was, Night Mist couldn't help but notice that one of the other colts, a brown maned light gray pegasus, suddenly looked conflicted.

"You know what?" the pegasus suddenly announced. "I'm going to help teach the new pony too. Somepony has to make sure Fraz teaches him the right way right?"

The question was left unanswered as he emerged from his former team and trotted over to join Night Mist.

"I'm Sharp Wing, by the way," the blue eyed pegasus informed Night Mist, "And this is Frazzle Spark, but everypony calls him Fraz."

"Nice to meet you both," Night Mist greeted them in turn.

An awkward silence came over the three of them as they paused to watch all the other colts race off to play.

"You know," Sharp Wing said finally, "This might be easier if we had a ball."

"Oh! One sec, I have a ball!" Frazzle Spark announced brightly right before rushing off.

Night Mist tried to think of something to say to Sharp Wing in order to break the ice, but couldn't. Luckily, Frazzle Spark returned shortly, levitating a ball in the faint orange glow of magic.

"You're a Mustangs fan?" Sharp Wing asked with a faint trace of disgust when he saw the logo on Frazzle Spark's ball.

"Yep, are you?" beamed Frazzle Spark with pride.

"The Broncos are way better," Sharp Wing scoffed.

"Meh, the Broncos are okay," Frazzle Spark said with a dismissive shrug.

"So how do I play?" Night Mist asked, sensing the conversation degrading quickly into a fight.

"I think a demonstration would be a good place to start," said Sharp Wing, forgetting about the imminent squabble. "Fraz, throw me the ball."

Frazzle Spark cocked his foreleg back and sent the ball spiraling through the air with ease. After a few passes Sharp Wing handed the ball to Night Mist to try. However, when Night Mist clumsily attempted to toss it back to Frazzle Spark, the ball suddenly jerked to the right and landed in the grass.

"Sorry!" Night Mist winced, half-expecting to be mocked for his failure.

“Don't worry about it. It was probably just the wind,” said Frazzle Spark as he ran to get the ball.

"Wind? What wind?" questioned Sharp Wing. "There wasn't any wind scheduled for today. Nothing but sunny skies all day long."

Abruptly the sky rumbled, and a chilly wind washed over the three colts. Night Mist glanced up and saw that the sky was full of gray clouds and had darkened considerably.

"Sunny skies all day long huh?" he said.

"This wasn't scheduled for today. Somepony is trying to mess with our game," Sharp Wing growled. "I bet its Rainbow Dash."

"Who's Rainbow Dash?" inquired Night Mist.

"She's like the school prankster," Frazzle Spark explained. "Always pulling something."

"Is she a pegasus? It would take a lot more than one to make a storm this big," Night Mist frowned.

Neither of the other two ponies said anything for moment as Night Mist's words sank in. The winds, meanwhile, started to howl and grow stronger.

"Maybe we should go indoors," Frazzle Spark said nervously.

"Screw that. I'm going to go up there and find out who's messing with us," Sharp Wing said with resolve as he unfolded his little gray wings and kicked up off the ground.

Night Mist and Frazzle Spark watched him attempt to fly up into the storm clouds, but the winds were too much for the colt’s little wings. They whipped him to and fro for about a minute before he gave up and glided haphazardly back to the ground. The sound of thunder echoed across the sky, as if mocking the pegasus for even trying.

"We have to get inside. This doesn't look safe. We’ll play some other game like monahpony or something," Frazzle Spark suggested.

"Ugh fine," Sharp Wing relented."I'll go get the ball."

Just as Sharp Wing raced to the ball to try and grab it before it could be blown away, the ball suddenly took off and started circling around the three ponies so fast it was dizzying.

"Um, that's not normal!" Frazzle Spark shouted in panic over the now deafening winds.

Night Mist was about to ask if freak storms were a common occurrence in Ponyville when Sharp Wing reached out to stop the ball, causing it to ricochet off of his hoof and impale itself on Frazzle Spark's horn.

"Oh come on!" Frazzle Spark complained. "That ball cost me seven bi-aaaaaaah!"

The unicorn's protest was cut off as he was sucked into the wind band and started flying around the other two ponies just as the ball had. He screamed for several laps before falling unconscious. Night Mist and Sharp Wing unconsciously pressed together as they watched in horror. Out of the corner of his vision, Night Mist saw Sharp Wing's wings start to quiver.

"Don't unfold your wings!" he warned.

"I'm not trying to! The wind's catching them!" Sharp Wing replied frantically.

Night Mist immediately pressed a hoof against one of Sharp Wing's wings, but the pegasus was betrayed by the other as it snapped out like a switchblade and yanked him into the band of wind for a repeat of Frazzle Spark's performance. Like the unicorn, Sharp Wing went around yelling several times before he too passed out.

Night Mist's mind went white as the storm raged around him. Powerless to do anything else, he squeezed his eyes shut and braced himself for the worst. But instead of being seized by the winds, a sensation that felt like electricity passed through his body, and suddenly all of the wind and noise was gone. Not trusting that it was truly over, Night Mist kept his eyes closed for another minute.

When he opened his eyes again he regretted the action. He was now inside of what appeared to be a giant cavern illuminated by wooden torches attached to the walls. An outcropping of rock jutted out from the rock wall high above Night Mist’s head, not far from the ceiling of the cavern. Although Night Mist was very confused as to how he had arrived in the cavern, he was not so much concerned about his new surroundings as he was the fact he was not alone. Gathered around him was a large crowd of ponies whispering in excited voices, ranging from young to old. As Night Mist stood petrified, a dark blue unicorn stepped forward. He possessed a black mane, green eyes, appeared to be middle aged, and wore a strange medallion around his neck, a black five pointed star constructed out of lines inside of a circle.

"No reason to be afraid, little one, you're among friends. My name is Nightmare Umbra, and on behalf of all of the Stars, I welcome you to our home," the unicorn greeted.

Night Mist glanced around, looking for a familiar face. Sharp Wing and Frazzle Spark were nowhere to be found, nor was anyone else he knew.

"What is this?" Night Mist asked quietly.

"A welcome home party of sorts," Umbra answered. "You've been gone a very long time."

"This isn't my home, I live with my parents in Trotti- er, Ponyville," Night Mist replied, shaken by the events unfolding.

"I'm sorry to have to say this, but the ponies who have been raising you are not your real parents," Umbra said bluntly. "You were born here, but managed to wander away when you were barely old enough to walk."

Night Mist took several moments to process what he was hearing.

"I don't believe you. I think you're lying," he accused when he was finished.

Umbra didn't seem fazed by the insult. Instead, he glanced backwards and nodded. Two ponies stepped forward, a stallion and a mare.

"Sun Binder, my son," the stallion whispered.

"He looks just like you when you were his age," the mare said, her eyes watering.

Night Mist took a cautious step back. The two adult ponies were staring at him as if he was a dream come true, and it was freaking him out. They seemed hesitant to come closer, as if afraid he would disappear.

"I want to go home. To Trottingha- I mean Ponyville," he insisted.

"This is your home," Umbra said gently.

Night Mist felt as if he was about to lose his mind. He was being told things that completely contradicted what he believed about his world, and he wasn't sure what to make of it. So he did the only thing he could think of. He spun around and took off, weaving around and between the legs of many surprised ponies. Cries of alarm filled the air as he galloped down a random tunnel as if all of Tartarus was after him. And as far as Night Mist was concerned, it was.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: The shrine Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 9 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with