A story of lives twisted together by fate
Chapter 1: Introduction
The last thing in the world I expected was for it all to come crashing down around me in failure and humiliation. But that’s the funny thing about life, I’ve found out. You don’t expect it, and keep on keeping on. Sometimes what you don’t expect never happens. Sometimes, however, it happens with such frequency that you can’t help but wonder if some divine being is watching over your life, guiding it in their own scheme of things for some unknown goal. That’s certainly how I felt, especially after meeting a certain group of ponies that now call me one of their friends.
But before we delve into that particular story, I want to tell you a different one. One of a young filly just finding out her talent, and going on a quest to get the most out of it for her family. One of adventure, of self-discovery, of change, of defeat, of love and of friendship. All of this and much more has happened in my life. But not at first. No, at first, I lived a terrible life.
I had tried to live the simplest life I possibly could have as a filly before the first incident that changed the course of my life. I had one brother, a red pegasus with a red-and-orange mane. He was always showing me up, claiming that his wings were twenty times better than my horn, especially when I could never pull of anything in the slightest bit magical with it, while he could always fly and travel wherever he wanted. Mother had told him to stop picking on me so many times for my “trouble with magic,” as she called it, but each time he just increased the torment more and more.
I should probably mention something about life in our small village and the surrounding area, too. It was no larger than a square mile, with the general store and school in the center. Mother worked for the hospital in the big city near us, where she’d sometimes bring me books from their library. A loggery was situated in the forest the opposite direction of the city, run by a group of Earth ponies who shipped the wood everywhere for everything. It was the only reason anyone knew our town existed.
School was a simple little place. A single building, one teacher and an assistant or two from the older ponies who had just got their cutie marks. They would always be willing to help us learn and find our own special talents. Most of the time, it would accumulate into one big talent show, where everypony would try one act or another and hope that was their calling. Sometimes, the assistants would take some of us out on a trip around the surrounding area on field trips..
Brother, being as cocky, talented and self-assured as he was about his future and life as he was a good flier, was more often than not chosen by the teacher to help with the pegasus fillies and colts. He led them on flying adventures, taught them aerial manoeuvres, and was looked up to by everypony and their parents for being such a model pony. Everypony but me clamored for his attention. I knew better, or thought I did at the time.
One evening, just a day before the most important talent show that changed everything, Brother came into my room at our house. “So, Sis, what are you going to do for the show? Fall flat on your flank and see if that gets your cutie mark to appear?” His deep, grating laugh resonated through the house, and any second Mother would be here to tell him to stop picking on me. But before she got the chance, I had a rebuttal that I hoped would quiet him.
“I was going to try a magic show, for your information, Brother,” I told him matter-of-factly.
The sudden end to his laughter and confused look as my words processed through his brain was almost enough to make me smile. Almost, until he started to laugh harder than ever, rolling on the floor and crying. I wanted nothing more than to just kick him out of the room, and be done with ever talking to him. But he was too strong for me to ever hope of overpowering, so I sat through it, bearing the brunt of his mocking.
Within a few minutes, he wiped away a few tears with his right hoof and sneered at me. “You? A magic show? Puh-leaze! You can’t even get an apple to float to you! How would you do a magic show?” He tackled me then, intending on ruffling up my mane most likely, just as Mother, the white unicorn who raised us both, stepped in.
“Sunrise! What have I told you about attacking your sister!” Mother screamed at him. He quickly jumped off of me and, tail between his back hooves, slunk out of my room. Mother turned to me, and gently lifted me into bed with her magic. She patted my mane, straightening it out, and then checked for any broken bones from the tackle. “None, thank Celestia,” she said.
I winced. It certainly felt like something was broken, or at least bruised. Of course, it anything had been broken by Sunrise, it would not have been the first time. He always was trying to get his way, and if I ever made him especially mad, or caught him in a bad mood, well... it was a good thing that Mother was a nurse.
A thought crept into my head. “Mom?” I asked quietly, fearing of my brother catching the question. She turned from where she had been straightening out the outfit she had bought for my show, and waited patiently as I worked the question around in my head, trying to get it out my mouth. “Why... Why... Why does Sunrise hurt me? What did I ever do to him?”
Mother sighed, and looked out the window at the sinking sun. “Your brother... I don’t know how to say this lightly.” I wanted to know, and implored that she tell me why, no matter how dark it was or could get. “Your brother doesn’t mean to hurt you as much as he does, but... you’re the reason why Father left us to fend for ourselves, and he blames you for that, and loses control of himself sometimes. If only he knew the whole truth...”
This was indeed news to me. “What... What do you mean I’m why Father left?” I had never known my father, not even what he looked like, save for that he was a pegasus and was important in some business or another in the largest pegasus city in Equestria, Cloudsdale.
The look of sadness in Mother’s eyes when she turned back to me to answer that question still makes my heart lurch to this day. “He only wanted one kid... a large, great and powerful son who could help him with his work in the factory and follow in his footsteps as a great businessman. He got that in your brother, Sunrise. He was so happy, and Sunrise was so happy with him... they did everything together. Until...” She paused and blew into a tissue that she had grabbed from my personal box of them. I didn’t want deny her that small comfort, nor to ask her to continue. I could already feel where her story was going, and didn’t want to hear it. It was not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to hear it, no matter how dark.
After that brief moment, she tossed the tissue into my wastebasket and continued, hooking me and reeling me in with every word. “One day, a year and a half after Sunrise was born, shocking news came to us. I was going to have another foal. He tried to put on the best face for it, hoping for another son like Sunrise so they could do three times the work, until I broke the news to him. I was going to have a filly, and not just that, but a unicorn.” Her eyes grew wide, and her voice was strained and broken. “He... He threw s-such a fit. H-he said that I had to have b-b-been unfaithful to him to be having a-a unicorn daughter. He destroyed most of the house... h-he almost killed Sunrise.” Tears streamed freely down her eyes, and she was sobbing so much what she said was nearly incomprehensible. “Of course, he filed for divorce and custody of Sunrise... but I won the court case when I showed pictures of the damage he did to the house and our son... he was so mad then... he hit me, in front of all those ponies... he wouldn’t stop hitting me... please, Dewdrop... please stop it... Stop! Please! What would Sunrise think if he saw this? Please! Not when I’ll be having your daughter! It could affect her! It might weaken her magic! Oh please, Dewdrop, stop! Stop!” Mother was in complete hysterics, reliving what must have been the most traumatic thing she had even gone through in her life. She dropped to the floor and held a fetal position, trying to protect herself from the blows that happened so long ago.
I tried to comfort her as best I could from my so very, very far away position on my bed. “Please, Mother. It’s alright... He’s not here anymore. He’s not hurting you. Nopony’s hurting you. It’s alright Mother.” I kept repeating myself, trying to will magic into my words so my mother would hear them and be calmed. She kept sobbing and pleading for the pain to stop. How I wish I could have helped sooth her pain, but my magic was pitiful, as Sunrise had pointed out to me.
After what seemed like an eternity, something must have finally clicked in her mind, or my words finally reached her. Slowly, oh so slowly, Mother stopped crying, and turned her head back to me. Hey eyes were so red, and her nose was puffed up. She looked... confused and ashamed. “It’s fine, Mother... if you don’t want to say any more, you... you can go lie down now. Nopony will hurt you ever again.” I shouldn’t have been giving orders to my mother and treating her like a newborn, but she just looked so... so fragile, it was the only thing I could think to do.
Sunrise walked in from his listening post outside my room, and walked over to Mother. “Come on, Mom. Let me help you get to bed...” She feebly grabbed onto one of his outstretched wings, and he half-led, half-dragged her out. The look he cast back at me as the two left was not any I had seen from him before. It wasn’t mocking, or anger, or anything of that sort. It was of sorrow, and of tender love. He mouthed “Thank you,” to me. And then my door closed, and I was left in the darkness of both the night and my own thoughts. It was then that I let my own silent tears fall, and tried to cry myself to sleep.
Tried being the key. I know not how long it took me to fall asleep, or even if I actually did, but it took me a long while to stop crying, and my thoughts were plagued with nightmares of such an unholy sort. Mother being beaten to an inch of her life by an unknown assailant. Sunrise, lying half-dead in a hospital bed. Myself in his place.
I awoke in the morning, feeling worse than I had ever felt before. The night before was still vivid in my memories, and I shivered at recalling just how broken Mother had looked on my floor. She was the only good thing in my life at that time, and to see her so hopeless gave my own hopelessness a chance to grab hold.
The door creaked open. I saw Sunrise peeking in. Sitting up, I waited for him to do something stupid. Instead, however, he nudged the door open more, and, balancing a plate on his head, sat it on my bed. “Breakfast for your big day today,” was all he offered before taking a sudden interest in something outside.
I ate slowly and methodically, trying to pick the biggest pieces to get as much energy out of the assorted nuts and berries as I could. When I finished eating, Sunrise turned to me. We stared at each other in silence for a few minutes, until he broke the ice. “I... I’m sorry, Sis... I’ve... I’ve... I never knew...” Tears flowed swiftly down his face as he embraced me in a big bear hug. “Forgive me.”
I had two options at that point. I could tell him no, mock him for thinking that I would ever forgive him for everything he put me through, and leave. Or... I could be the better pony. “It’s... fine, Sunrise. I forgive you. For everything. You didn’t know the full story.” As a deliberate afterthought, I amended my statement. “Everything except for this breakfast. You know I dislike walnuts.” I tossed one lightly at his face. He laughed, his tears being ones of laughter now, and I laughed with him. It was the first time we had ever acted like brother and sister before. It felt... good, in a strange, unfamiliar way. Like something had finally clicked into place, and made my life a little bit brighter. Enough that I felt I could be happy about today despite last night.
He nudged me, and pointed to the timepiece on my wall. “You had better get to school, then. Mom and I will be by for the talent show once she wakes up.” He smiled at me, and I smiled back. I grabbed my costume and rushed out the door, running and running and only stopping once I reached the stage outside the school. Everypony’s families were already getting seated and ready to watch their fillies and colts.
I ran backstage, told the teacher the new name of my act, and put on my costume. It was a bit large on me, but I felt it was perfect. I eagerly awaited my turn, waiting and watching as all sorts of crazy and fun ponies went up and did stunts, told jokes, and just plain went crazy. Only two before my turn yielded cutie marks though.
Finally, it was time to shine. The teacher helped me push everything out on stage after the curtain dropped on an act that had gone horribly wrong for the poor pony before me. I stood, front and center, but with my eyes closed, awaiting the voice cue to open them.
Finally, it came. “Fillies and Gentlecolts! Please put your hooves together for our final act of the show!” Everypony started to clap all at once, adults and kids. It took all my strength to not pass out in fear of preforming in front of everyone. My heart pulsed faster and faster, until every second it felt like it would bust out of my chest. “Please welcome the Great and Powerful Trixie’s magic show!” The curtains raised, as did my eyelids, and I saw the large crowd in front of me. It was time to show them what I could do. It was time to prove myself.
A story of lives twisted together by fate
Chapter 2: The Great and Powerful Trixie
Everypony’s eyes were on me. I stood there, breathing heavily. I took a glance behind my head. The teacher was waving for me to get a move on with the show. I swallowed, and started the small speech I had ready for this event.
“Welcome everypony to the Great and Powerful Trixie’s first magic show! I’ve got many magical tricks to show you tonight!” There was a lot of polite clapping, followed by a few oohs and ahhs as I pushed a button hidden by my robes with my back hooves to cause some small fireworks to fly up and explode above me. “Today you will see many thing that even unicorn magic won’t be able to explain! To start, I shall summon a rabbit out of my hat without a teleportation spell!” They all watched attentively as I pulled my large, pointed hat off my head with my hooves. I placed it on the ground, and flattened it to show that there was nothing inside. Then, with a few quick words and gestures, I poked the hat with my horn. Out came a young rabbit holding a stalk of celery. It hopped around the stage, looking this way and that, before hopping off into the crowd.
The crowd cheered for me and that small trick. It had been hard to pull off, sneaking the rabbit into the hat after showing it was empty, but I was able to do it without magic. I could be a master of simple things like this, but I had other plans than those types of parlor tricks. I raised my hooves for silence, and was surprised when it came immediately. Wheels were turning in my head as I announced my next trick. “I will now cause a pony to disappear! Again, without any teleportation spells!” Soft murmurs reached my ears from the audience members who doubted I could pull it off, but I did not hear what they actually said. I was focused on having this trick go off without a hitch.
The teacher walked onto the stage, pushing a large box on wheels. Placing it on the ground, she stepped to the side and turned to face out. She opened the front and back to show that it was indeed just an empty box, and then climbed inside it. I closed it up, and tapped it three times with my horn in quick succession. I waited a moment before opening the box again, back and front, to show that she had really disappeared from inside. Some of the older ponies gasped, and most of the students cheered. I allowed myself a smile, knowing that she was simple under the stage waiting for me to give her the signal to come back out. Quickly, I closed the box again. I stomped my hoof once, waited a few seconds, and then touched the box twice more with my horn. Out came the teacher, her hair a bit ruffled but otherwise unharmed.
This got the crowd wild. I had one more trick, but it was the hardest yet. I raised my hooves again, and again the crowed went silent. I could get used to this kind of control, I thought. “For my final trick, I shall summon a rainbow so amazing that it will be the talk of forever!” My ambitions and the audience’s set very high, I prepared myself for the trick. I stomped all of my hooves out, loosening them. I closed my eyes, and tilted my head back. This one would require a some magic to get the waterdroplets to reflect the right light, but it was something I felt I could pull off. I closed my eyes, and focused on the spell I had read in one of the books Mother had brought me.
A sudden shock wave sounded, splitting the air with its noise. My eyes were forced open by it, and what I saw has never left my mind since. Above my head, far in the sky, a giant semi-circle of a rainbow was flying at supersonic speeds. It passed over the entire town, and almost blew over some buildings and trees. I stared west long after it had vanished, looking to see if it would come back around, even as everypony cheered my name and wanted to know how I did my masterful trick.
I honestly could not believe my eyes. Did I cause that? Was that the awakening of my magical talent? Was I finally... somepony? I moved my cape and looked at my flank. A purple wand, some pixie dust, and a golden star shone on it. It really had been me, then. I had caused that rainbow, and with it got my cutie mark.
Next I knew, I was crying, tears of joy falling onto the stage below. Behind me I heard hoofsteps. I turned, and saw Sunrise and Mother coming over. They both nuzzled me, and I wished for all the world for that moment to never end. I was finally going to be somepony. I finally unlocked my magical potential. I was finally... alive.
The three of us walked off stage and into the crowd below, and it was everything Mother and Sunrise could do to keep us moving through the throng of ponies that were trying to jump on me. They all wanted to talk to me. To know who I was, what I felt, and how I could do what I did. I just numbly waved at them as my escort got me out and on the path home.
For almost the entire walk, Sunrise was in disbelief. “How did you do that? No, wait, better question. HOW DID YOU DO THAT!?”
I shook my head. I honestly had no clue. “It just kind of... happened. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do something like it again.”
Sunrise was not content with this answer. “But... that was amazing! I’ve never, ever seen anything like that at all!” He did a backflip in midair, and continued. “I mean, did you see that? How could you have been holding back all sorts of power like that? Why did you never use it before?”
Against the wishes of my mind, I blushed. It was as close to a compliment as I had ever been given by anypony that wasn’t Mother. “Really... I don’t know, Sunrise. It could have been...” I let the thought trail off, and looked back at Mother, who was falling behind the two of us. He saw me glance back at her, and must have recalled one of the things she had said last night while reliving her past traumas. ‘It might weaken her magic!’ That made him shut up, although I could tell he still wanted to know the “real” reason, not believing that I didn’t even have it.
At the outskirts of town, we reached our house and went inside. Sunrise took off to his room, leaving Mother and I to make dinner. I grabbed some oats using my magic, reveling in finally being able to lift something with it, and threw them into a bowl with berries. Mother just watched me as I did this twice more, creating a simple meal for the three of us. I set the bowls out on the floor, and was about to call for Sunrise to come back out before Mother spoke.
“Do you want to go study magic in Canterlot?” The sudden break of silence, and the question itself, threw me for a spin. I turned to her, my mouth agape. “Princess Celestia runs a special school for exceptional unicorns. I could pay for you to go there, if you wanted.”
Princess Celestia. Now there was a pony who was truly somepony. She was the sole ruler of Equestira, and had been for many, many, many years. I had known that she had a school, but I had never given it a serious consideration with my limitations. But preforming that rainbow trick had opened so many possibilities for me that were once closed.
I opened my mouth to say yes, but then a pained thought hit me. I would be leaving Mother. And Sunrise, I amended. Since that story last night, he was the finally the brother to me that he was to everypony else. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them both forever when we had just become a true family. But if I could make a living on a show like I did today...
“Actually, Mother,” I hear myself saying before my thought process was done. “I wanted to know if Sunrise and I could go on a tour of Equestria for my new magic show and raise some bits for you.”
Mother’s smile was both sad and happy at the same time. “Just as you finally grow up, you want to set off on your own adventure. Such is youth, these days.” She sat down at the table, and called for Sunrise to come out and eat, not quite answering my question at all.
“I actually levitated those oats into your bowl,” I told him as he sat down. He glanced at the bowl, then at me, and then again at the bowl. Mother was already eating, a faraway look in her eyes. I dug into my own bowl, and this finally convinced him to eat as well.
Dinner was not a silent affair like usual. As soon as Mother took her first break, nibbling on a piece of apple, she turned to Sunrise, that faraway look still in her eyes. “So. Do you want to be your sister’s stagehand for a magic show tour of Equestira?”
The question caught him as much off guard as Mother’s question about studying magic caught me. Maybe more so, in fact. He glared my way, but then took the thought into serious consideration. Just yesterday at this time, he would have flat-out refused. But now he was actually thinking it over. “I...” he began, and looked my way. I had my best pleading face on, the one even he gave in to most of the time, and I knew there was no way he could deny me. “I’d love to,” he said, “so long as we could get a nice portable stage and place to stay. Maybe a housecart that becomes a stage too? Think somepony at the loggery could do that?”
Mother nodded slowly. “I’ll put in an order at the log yard. The two of you can stop by there tomorrow to pick up the cart.” We both said thank you, and she smiled. “My two kids... I’m so glad you’re finally siblings.”
I finished my bowl first, and excused myself from the table. I was so giddy at the prospect of going out and showing the world my name. Sunrise stayed to help my order the cart, and I ran into my room and jumped up to bed. I was so eager to get to sleep and, in the morning, start on my world tour. All that energy, however, prevented me from falling asleep until I had been in bed for close to an hour, and night had fully descended upon us. That night, my dreams were pleasant thoughts, of the entire world knowing my name, and of Sunrise being my assistant in it all. We would rock, and take everpony by storm.