The End of a Generation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

After receiving a letter stating she must depart, Twilight Sparkle spends her last day with her friends. However, it turns out that she is not the only pony leaving as her friends have made their own plans for the future.

After reading about the next generation being planned for September 2021, I thought I’d write a farewell love letter to the generation that helped me find my purpose.

It is late in the night. Equestria lays still and silent. The residents of Ponyville sleep peacefully in their warm, unlit cottages. The stars twinkle high above beyond the sky, and the full moon gently caresses the horizon. Twilight Sparkle is fast asleep in her castle, with Spike in his basket by her side.

Spike wakes up with a sensation of ache in his stomach. He belches a puff of smoke, and from this smoke produces a scroll wrapped and stamped with the royal seal. He jumps out of bed and pokes Twilight to wake up.

“Twilight.” Spike says. “Wake up. You have a letter from the princess.”

Twilight groans and moans about the early rise as she sits upright and rubs the sleep from her eyes. She takes the letter from Spike and unravels it. She reads the hoof-written letter from header to footer. It takes a moment for their meaning to sink in and when they do, she shoots awake. As she is reading, her breathing increases in speed and weight and her throat starts to dry. Her heart sinks to its lowest depths and her mind is blown into the sky. Her body becomes weak and her head becomes faint as she is struck with the powerful emotions of shock, fear, anger, and despair at the words written.

“No, no, no!” Twilight screams, throwing the letter across the room. “This isn’t fair! I won’t go through with this!”

“Twilight, calm down.” Spike says.

“I’m not doing it!” Twilight cries. “This isn’t fair!”

Spike comforts her, telling her everything will be all right. Twilight throws herself into his arms. She weeps heavily into his shoulder. Despite also being struck with a sense of anxiety, Spike stands strong by Twilight and soaks up her tears.

“I don’t want to do this, Spike.” Twilight sobs. “I’m not ready for this.”

The letter lies unfolded on the floor beside Twilight’s bed. What is written is a demand that is unrefusable and inescapable. They are instructions for Twilight to pursue from the morning following this day. The letter instructs her to prepare for a lengthy journey that will take her far from her castle, far from her village, and most upsettingly far from her friends – indefinitely.

The sun rises and morning arrives to illuminate the land of Equestria. Ponyville yawns itself awake and starts its daily routine of filling the streets with happy smiling faces. Twilight leaves Spike in the castle and heads into the village square to clear her mind, and finds Applejack waiting for her.

“Good morning, Princess.” Applejack greets as Twilight approaches. “Why the long face?” She adds upon noticing Twilight walking with a frown stitched into her face and her head hanging low.

“I-I have some bad news.” Twilight says, slowly and steadily with a sniffle.

“What’s wrong? Applejack asks.

“I got a letter this morning…” Twilight starts but Applejack interrupts her.

“That’s peculiar.” Applejack says. “Rainbow Dash got a letter, too.”

“She did?” Twilight asks. “Saying what?”

“I don’t know.” Applejack says. “Just told me to gather with the group and meet here. Said she got a big announcement. Do you think the two are connected?”

“Did you get a letter?” Twilight asks.

“No.” Applejack says. “Why?”

“Then…” Twilight starts but pauses, giving enough time for Rarity to approach them.

“Good morning, girls.” Rarity says within earshot.

“Good morning, Rarity.” Twilight and Applejack greet together.

“I’m afraid I have some unfortunate news to relay to you.” Rarity says with a glimmer of sadness in her eyes. “I’m going to be leaving Ponyville.”

Twilight shifts in agitation. The news creates a shrilling shiver that courses through her veins. Her head hangs on the verge of soaring, as if it is being filled with helium. Her stomach is filled with a sensation of fluttering butterflies, and her gut tightly tangles itself into a knot. “No!” She whispers.

“What?” Applejack says, gasping in shock. “Why?”

“I’ve received news from my branch in Manehattan.” Rarity says. “They’re struggling with keeping the business afloat and need an extra pair of supervisory hooves to help them out. They’re asking if I could drop in and lend my expertise to help get them back on track as soon as possible. I told them I’d stay until they’re stable.”

“How long will that take?” Applejack asks.

“I don’t know.” Rarity says with a shake of her head. “It could be days, it could be months. Which is why I’ve decided to stay in Manehattan until I get this sorted. I’m afraid to say I’ll be leaving first thing tomorrow morning.”

“But what about your boutique here in Ponyville?” Applejack asks.

“I think Sweetie Belle can look after it while I’m away.” Rarity says. “She’s grown up so much from being a filly. I have faith she’ll keep the business thriving after I’m gone.”

“Hey, guys!” Shouts Rainbow Dash from above. She crashes down beside the three with a huge grin on her face.

“Good morning, Rainbow Dash.” Applejack and Rarity greet together. Twilight remains silent as her head becomes lighter still.

“Guess what!” Rainbow Dash says full of excitement. She answers her own question before the others could get a chance to guess. “I’ve been accepted as a full time Wonderbolt! Woohoo!” She performs a backflip and lands back on the ground.

Twilight gasps sharply. She struggles to breathe as her fears are gripped by what reality has provided her.

“Congratulations!” Applejack and Rarity say.

“Does that mean you won’t be staying in Ponyville anymore?” Rarity asks.

“That’s right.” Rainbow Dash says, but her eagerness quickly lessens when she realises the impact the quandary has on her friends. “B-but I’ll still be visiting, with the Wonderbolts. We’ll be travelling around Equestria, putting on shows all over the country. I’ll make sure we make a pitstop here so I can see my friends every once in a while, though it can’t be as often as I would like. They told me I need to be in Fillydelphia early morning tomorrow. I’m so excited!”

“That’s good to hear.” Applejack says, patting Rainbow Dash on the shoulder.

As Rarity catches Rainbow Dash up with her own situation, Twilight’s legs begin to lose their steadiness and start to feel unstable. She struggles to control their shakiness but stands firmly on them.

“Good morning.” Pinkie Pie gloomily greets, walking slowly up to them.

“Good morning, Pinkie Pie.” Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash greet.

“You don’t seem your usual, peppy self today.” Rarity says.

“What’s wrong?” Rainbow Dash asks.

“Well, I’ve been thinking recently.” Pinkie Pie says with a frown as she reveals to them her thoughts. “It’s about my family back at the farm. I realise I’ve been away from home for too long now. Maybe it’s time I return to the Pie family, live with my parents and sisters again.”

“But Pinkie.” Rarity says. “Ponyville is your home.”

“And what about your parties?” Applejack asks. “Who will arrange them when you’re gone?”

“Ponyville will always be my home away from home.” Pinkie Pie says with an uplifting smile. “And there are always ponies who will throw a party or two while I’m gone. I just have a feeling, like this is the right time to do this. Weird, isn’t it? I’ve already bought my train ticket and I plan to set out tomorrow morning.”

Rainbow Dash and Rarity catch Pinkie Pie up on their individual plans, which are not so different from Twilight’s in her eyes.

“Good morning, everyone.” Fluttershy says, approaching them with a half-smile and grief in her eyes.

“Good morning, Fluttershy.” Everyone but Twilight greets.

“Don’t tell me you’re thinking about leaving, too.” Applejack says, jokingly.

“What? How did you know?” Fluttershy asks. The group are surprised to find Applejack’s quip turns out to be true. “My brother’s fallen really ill.” She continues. “I need to return home, to Cloudsdale, and take care of him.”

“What happened?” Pinkie Pie asks.

“No one knows.” Fluttershy says. “The doctors have looked him over, but no one knows why he’s turned for the worse, and I want to be by his side until he gets better, which is why I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning.”

The group share their condolences before once again discussing their own plans for the nearest future this time to Fluttershy.

As they talk about how unique their separate lives will be, Twilight could not help but feel dreadful sensations clasping onto her mind and body. She could feel her heart pounding strongly in her chest as fear conquers her control over it. She could feel her legs shaking like a strong earthquake. She could feel her head flying high like a thin cloud. She could feel her throat tightening as if a large rock had been wedged in it. She could feel her eyes froth from a dense ocean of tears. She could sense she was losing her grip on reality and was going to collapse.

“It shouldn’t be ending this way.” Twilight’s thoughts scream. “Please, don’t let it end like this.”

“You’ve been awfully quiet this whole time, Twilight.” Applejack says after everyone was caught up. “What are your thoughts on all this?”

The group stare at Twilight and are only now realising she is having a mental breakdown. She stands with her head hanging low and tears fall from her cheeks. She closes her eyes tightly trying to subdue the agony she was suffering from. She sobs and jerks intensely as her mind is clouded with fearful thoughts of isolation. She wanted to run far, far away from this dark place of hers. She wanted to flee from this reality and dive into an ocean of memories where she could stay forever with her friends.

“Are you okay, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asks.

“Of course, she isn’t.” Rarity says. “Look at her! The poor thing’s in such a state of shock.”

“It’s okay, Twilight.” Pinkie Pie says throwing a much-needed, comforting arm around her. “It’s not like we’ll never see each other again. You can still visit me at the farm.”

“And me in Manehattan.” Rarity says.

“And I’ll visit you with the Wonderbolts.” Rainbow Dash says.

“And I’ll come visit whenever I can.” Fluttershy says.

“And you’ll still see me around Ponyville.” Applejack says. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Twilight slowly shakes her head. “That’s not it.” She says quietly between sobs.

“Then what is it?” Applejack asks.

Twilight looks up at all her friends through tear-swelled eyes. They stare at her without a suspicion of what plagues her mind. She could not bear to stare at them for long and lowers it again. Her body was shaking so violently that her teeth started to chatter uncontrollably. Her concern rises as she realises she must tell them what Celestia has planned for her, but with her emotions at their peak she is unable to bring herself to tell them.

“I’m…” Twilight begins but loses her train of thought. She gulps heavily, trying to swallow the mountain that was lodged in her parched throat. She whispers to herself. “We’ve all grown up so much since we met. It’s been such a wonderful experience. I never wanted it to end.”

“What was that dear?” Rarity asks.

“And now that we’re parting ways.” Twilight continues. “I can’t bring myself to say goodbye.”

Twilight winces, scrunching her eyes tightly, trying to forcefully pull herself back together. She throws her head back and forces with all her might a wide smile.

“I’m so proud of you all for making such difficult decisions.” Twilight says.

“Twilight?” Applejack says.

“We should celebrate.” Twilight says. “Let’s throw a party, spend the evening together, for old time’s sake.”

“Yeah!” The group cheer all together.

“I’ll renovate the location.” Rarity says and heads off.

“I’ll get the party supplies.” Pinkie Pie says and bounces away.

“I’ll clear the skies for us.” Rainbow Dash says and flies into the sky.

“I’ll see what games I have.” Fluttershy says and glides through the street.

Applejack hangs back with Twilight and they watch the four depart to complete their self-assigned tasks.

“I’ll arrange the snacks.” Applejack says. She looks at Twilight, who is biting down hard on her lip. “What’s wrong, sugar cube? You seem distressed.”

“I’m fine.” Twilight says after a sudden sniff.

“You don’t look fine.” Applejack says. “Does it have anything to do with that letter of yours, the one with the bad news?”

“Oh, that…” Twilight says but slowly shakes her head. “It’s nothing, really.” She faces away from Applejack before more tears roll down her face. “We should prepare for the party. It could be our last.”

Twilight slowly but jaggedly walks away from Applejack. Applejack watches her stumble away and out of sight before heading thoughtfully to Sugarcube Corner to purchase the snacks for the upcoming farewell party.

Twilight stands outside the Castle of Friendship and stares up at its shimmering beauty. She envisions the look of the old structure, the large Golden Oak Library, and how she stayed there for the first few years after arriving in Ponyville. She reminisces the memories that came with the library; the first party ever thrown for her by Pinkie Pie, the first nights when adopting Owlowiscious, the teachings of young students, and most prominently the destruction caused by Tirek which at the time broke her delicate heart. She sighs upsettingly at the memories of the time before and walks away.

Twilight wanders around Ponyville, recollecting the memories she once shared with it. She visits the places where she had been countless times before, where her experiences were profound and unforgettable.

Twilight enters the village hall in the village square. She looks around and thinks back to the many events held here. From the frightening arrival of Nightmare Moon to a retelling of the uniting of Equestria through playwright, every moment created a special memory for her.

While admiring the integral architecture one last time, Twilight spots Rarity at the forefront of the hall. She is asking the mayor of Ponyville for a temporary permit to renovate a slot of land for their party. Twilight listens to Rarity’s persuasions despite the mayor gladly granting her the permit. Rarity returns to the entrance where Twilight stands with a pleased grin on her face.

“You’ve always had a way with words when it comes to getting what you want.” Twilight says with a small smile.

“It’s what I do best, darling.” Rarity says with a flick of her mane.

Pinkie Pie jumps through the main doors and into the hall. She hums a delightful-sounding melody as she hops down the walkway towards the stage and disappears behind the drawn curtains.

“I’m really going to miss it here, you know.” Rarity says. She exits the village hall with Twilight before continuing. “Ponyville’s been my home for so long, I kind of feel guilty about leaving.”

“You shouldn’t feel guilty.” Twilight says. “You’re leaving for a greater cause. Your business needs you. You can’t simply ignore their cries for help and abandon them. If you don’t help, your partners in Manehattan will struggle with keeping the business up and running. You must do this for them. If you won’t do it for them, then at least do it for us, do it for your friends. Show the ponies in Manehattan how truly generous you can be, just like you have with Ponyville.”

Rarity smiles as she feels that her leaving guilt has been replaced with that of staying guilt thanks to Twilight’s urgences. Now she knows she has no choice but to go. She wraps her arms around Twilight and embraces her tightly.

“And you say I have a way with words.” Rarity says with a little giggle. She releases Twilight from her hug.

Twilight and Rarity walk together, deep in conversation about their friendship, over to Rarity’s Carousel Boutique where Rarity first fixed Twilight’s mane after her and Rainbow Dash’s initial introduction.

“I’ll see you later tonight for the party.” Rarity says and dismisses herself by heading into her boutique.

Twilight glances inside and cringes as she remembers being forced to try on different dresses for Rarity’s amusement. She looks up and spots Rainbow Dash flying through the sky, kicking clouds to clear the skies. Rainbow Dash’s keen eyes notice her and lands beside her for a quick chat.

“Hey, listen, I’m sorry about earlier.” Rainbow Dash says, rubbing a leg. “I didn’t know you were so upset about the whole me leaving thing.”

Twilight nasally exhales and shakes her head with a smile. “That’s okay, Rainbow Dash.” She says. “I was just overjoyed with happiness that you’ve finally been accepted as a Wonderbolt.”

Pinkie Pie interrupts their conversation by bouncing between them, whistling a pleasant tune, and heading into the boutique.

“If it hurts you that much, maybe I should reconsider their offer.” Rainbow Dash says.

“Don’t be silly.” Twilight says. “This is what you’ve dreamed about your whole life. You can’t quit, not now you’ve been recognised. That’s not the Rainbow Dash I know. You need to look at the bigger picture: you’ll be the front face of the Wonderbolts. You’ll be the talk of Equestria. You’ll make a lot of fillies and colts very happy to see your performances. You’ll be admired by everybody. You’ll inspire a whole new generation of pegusi and unicorns alike, including myself. You must show them just how loyal you really are, just like you’ve shown us many times before.”

Rainbow Dash stares at Twilight. Twilight stares back with wandering eyes studying Rainbow Dash’s pride, the same pride that has always been part of her but is only now realising how potent it really is.

“So, you’re really okay with me leaving?” Rainbow Dash asks.

Twilight nods. “Of course.” She says. “You’re my friend, and I will support you every step of the way.”

Rainbow Dash flies into an embrace, taking Twilight by surprise. “Thank you for understanding, Twilight.” Rainbow Dash says. “You really are a great friend.” She releases Twilight after a satisfying amount of time. “I’m heading over to the school to clear the clouds in that area. Don’t want any nimbi raining on our parade. You want to fly for a bit?”

Twilight accepts Rainbow Dash’s offer and they fly in unison to the school, where the Cutie Mark Crusaders first met each other. Rainbow Dash gives a farewell before finishing clearing the skies. Twilight lands in the courtyard and studies the building. She is reminded of herself when she was just a filly. She would be asked on occasion to tutor the fillies and colts of the class when she became princess, where she would share the lessons she was taught while with her friends. She spots Fluttershy exiting the school, giving a wave to Cheerilee, with her satchels bursting with boards and boxes.

“Oh, hello, Twilight.” Fluttershy says. “I’m collecting some games for our party. I don’t know if they’ll be fun or not, but I thought I’d bring them along anyway.”

“It won’t matter whether they are fun or not.” Twilight says. “As long as we’re all having fun together.”

“Cheerilee!” Pinkie Pie calls, bouncing up to the school’s entrance. “Do you still have those streamers you borrowed?” She asks before entering the school.

“Yeah, that’s right.” Fluttershy says. “It’s a shame we won’t be able to do this more often, but I need to take care of my brother.”

“There is no shame in it.” Twilight says. “I’m sorry to hear about your brother. It must have been hard for you when you heard the news.”

“It was a little.” Fluttershy says. “But it’s going to be okay as long as I’m by his side, right?”

“Of course, it is.” Twilight answers. “The best thing you can do is be there for him. If he knows you’re there for him in rain or shine, through thick and thin, for the best and the worst, that’s all he really needs. I know you’ll make him feel better.” She walks closer to Fluttershy and whispers into her ear. “Show him more kindness than you’ve shown your friends.”

“I will, Twilight.” Fluttershy says. She gently wraps herself around Twilight. “Thank you.”

Fluttershy release Twilight and explains that she needs to take a trip to the hospital to buy some medicine for her brother. Twilight offers to walk with her, and she gladly accepts the company. They walk to the hospital together and part ways before the steps.

Twilight stares up at the hospital. She is reminded of the many situations where she and her friends found themselves visiting, from the birth of the Cake twins Pound and Pumpkin to the many injuries Rainbow Dash sustained. She remembers even herself ending up there a few times and grimaces at the thoughts. Before Fluttershy could enter the hospital, the main doors suddenly burst open and out bounces Pinkie Pie.

“Pinkie?” Twilight says, surprised to see her emerging from the hospital. “What are you doing here?”

“Hi, Twilight.” Pinkie Pie says. “I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want to upset you. Promise you won’t get upset.”

“I promise.” Twilight says.

“Pinkie Promise?” Pinkie Pie says.

“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” Twilight recites.

Pinkie Pie nods acceptingly. “Well, the real reason I’m leaving to live with my family is because…” She pauses, checking her surroundings to make sure they were not being listened in on. “My family have been feeling down in the dumps lately. They’ve been feeling sad for a while, what with looking at nothing but dull, grey rocks for forever. So, I decided I’m going to spend all my energy to make them happy again. Which is my whole reason for leaving to live with them. They asked me to pick up some medication for them, so I’ve bought some mild medicine.” She pauses. “Is that a selfish thing to do?”

“What?” Twilight says in surprise.

“Leave my friends to go and cheer my family up?” Pinkie Pie says.

“No!” Twilight says, sternly. “No, it is not a selfish thing to do. Don’t even think like that. Your family needs you to cheer them up.”

“But what if you need cheering up?” Pinkie Pie says. “Who will cheer you up?”

“I’ll be fine.” Twilight says, showing a smile. “I can take care of myself. But blood is thicker than water, and your family needs you now more than ever. If you stay here, your family will stay sad forever. You need to go and show them laughter, just like you’ve shown us laughter all this time.”

“Twilight!” Pinkie Pie bounces into an embrace teary eyed. “I’m so glad I got to tell someone. It’s such a weight off my shoulders.”

“It’s okay, Pinkie Pie.” Twilight says, hanging on to her own emotions. “I’m glad I’m here for you.” She holds on for another moment before pushing Pinkie Pie off, she would be holding her all day otherwise. “Come on, let’s finish getting the party ready.”

Pinkie Pie wipes her eyes clean. “Okay!” She says with a smiling nod. “Off to Sugarcube Corner!”

Pinkie Pie bounces up to Sugarcube Corner whereas Twilight enjoys walking by her side. They enter the bakery, where Pinkie Pie works for and stays with Mr. and Mrs. Cake. Twilight holds back the urge to buy a bun or cupcake from the shelves and saves her sweet tooth for the party tonight. Pinkie Pie bounces past the counter and heads through the doorway at the back leading upstairs. Standing at the counter is Applejack, who is talking to and being served by Mrs. Cake.

“Hello, princess.” Mrs. Cake greets upon noticing her standing in the doorway. Applejack turns around and smiles. “What can I do for you?”

Twilight shakes her head. “Nothing, ma’am.” She answers. “I’m just browsing.”

“That’s fine, dear.” Mrs. Cake says. “If you need anything, just let me know.” Twilight nods.

A loud bang was heard from upstairs followed by clashing, as if an entire display cabinet had fallen over and crashed on the floor. Mrs. Cake rolls her eyes and excuses herself before heading through the doorway that Pinkie Pie headed through, leaving Twilight and Applejack alone together.

“Applejack?” Twilight says after a moment of silence.

“Hm?” Applejack responds, glancing over her shoulder.

“I’ve been wondering…” Twilight says.

“About what?” Applejack asks.

“Are you going to miss them?” Twilight asks. “Our friends, I mean.”

“Of course, I am.” Applejack says. “I never thought they’d be leaving all at once like this.”

“How will you cope without them?” Twilight asks.

Applejack shrugs. “I’m not sure I will. It’ll be tough not being able to see them. It’s going to tear a large hole in my heart. Maybe even tear it apart, but I think of it like this: those heart pieces torn will go with them wherever they decide to end up. They’ll never be alone. They will always have a part of me with them, and I’m happy just knowing that. Will it ever recover?” She slowly shakes her head. “Maybe, maybe not, but that doesn’t mean I should stop thinking about them because of it, or stop working because they’re not here. When they do return though I’ll be right here waiting for them with open arms and lots of stories to tell. We’ll catch up on each other’s lives, trade secrets, share experiences. It will be like nothing ever changed. That is the thought that will keep me going – that is the thought that will bring us back some day.”

“Applejack.” Twilight says. She did not realise just how much she was going to miss them and how strong her passion is towards them. Yet, she was stronger than she knew as she knows she would be seeing them again someday despite not knowing exactly when.

“It’s sappy, I know.” Applejack says, shaking her head slightly.

“I think it’s very sweet.” Twilight says. She walks up to Applejack and wraps her in a hug and squeezes tightly. “Thank you for your honestly, Applejack.” She says. “That’s just what I needed to hear.”

Twilight leaves the bakery after her talk with Applejack and heads to the Ponyville Café. She sits outside at the same table where she ordered her first daffodil and daisy sandwich, that she did not have a chance to eat. She grunts softly as she is reminded of the struggle between choosing which of her friends to take to the Grand Galloping Gala.

“I thought I’d find you here.” Says Spike, landing in the seat opposite her. “When was the last time we ate here together?”

“Too long.” Twilight answers before catching Spike up on her friends’ ordeals.

“Ouch.” Spike says. “That’s rough. Maybe this is the best time to leave. You have told them we are leaving, right?” Twilight sadly shakes her. “You need to tell them at some point, Twilight. You can’t keep this a secret forever.” Twilight does not respond.

The waiter arrives to take their order and Twilight requests the same daffodil and daisy sandwich and a glass of water to go along with it. Spike asks if they have any rubies and, from the deadpan look of the waiter, orders a plate of extra crispy hay fries instead.

While they wait for their meals to be prepared and served, Twilight and Spike reminisce together and recall all their favourite memories made while living in Ponyville. They laugh and joke with each other as they recall the funniest moments, the awkward scenes, the scariest events, and the happiest episodes. As they describe these occasions in great detail, Twilight realises that all these memories have been saved and stored inside a special place within her heart, her mind, and her soul, where she could effortlessly reach them and recall them whenever she needed.

With the butterflies still fluttering in her stomach, Twilight was unable to finish her sandwich and passed it to Spike. After their meal, Twilight and Spike head back to the castle and stay there for the remainder of the afternoon, sadly packing their belongings for tomorrow’s long trip.

Early that evening, the group arrive at the castle entrance to escort Twilight and Spike to the party located on the outskirts of Ponyville. They arrive at a small portion of grassy flatland prepared for a small celebration. Spread across the lush green is a large cushiony blanket. In the centre lay a picnic basket filled with treats, beside it sits a boombox with a stack of specially selected mixtapes, and a small beauty box stands still with its lid shut. Scattered about the blanket are opened boxes of board games. Streamers hang from and between wooden poles and blow gently in the warm breeze. Being held by weights are few colourful balloons that lightly bump each other in the wind. Twilight gasps at the sight of the festive decorations and lowers her eyes filling with tears.

“Sorry it’s not as big as usual.” Pinkie Pie says.

“We couldn’t get all that much in such a short amount of time.” Fluttershy says.

“I hope it doesn’t throw you off.” Rarity says.

Twilight shakes her head. “It’s perfect.” She says, lifting her eyes back up. “It’s just what we all needed. Nothing too elaborate or over the top, just enough to share the last day with each other.”

For the first time all day, Twilight’s stomach unravels, the butterflies are turned loose, and her sadness disappears. She charges headfirst into the party, encouraging her friends to join her. The rest follow in her eagerness and the party begins.

The music is played loudly throughout the celebration as the group of six best friends partied into the early hours of the night. They played the games Fluttershy had brought for them, climbing up ladders and sliding down slides, pinning tails on tailless ponies, tossing horseshoes at wooden stakes, and chasing each other in high-tense games of tag. They danced to the music supplied by Pinkie Pie, produced by the Canterlot Symphony Orchestra Band. They ate sweets, cakes and buns brought by Applejack provided by the Sugarcube Corner bakery. They covered themselves in makeup provided by Rarity, painting each other’s faces, brushing each other’s manes and tails, and pampering themselves. They laid on the blanket and stargazed at the radiant night sky, full of bright, twinkling stars, with not a single cloud in the sky thanks to Rainbow Dash. By the time the party ended the group was tired, but Twilight did not want it to end quite yet.

“Come on, girls.” Twilight says, still moving to the rhythm of the music. “We’ve still got the whole night ahead of us.”

Rarity turns off the music and Twilight stops dancing. “Sorry, Twilight.” She says. “But we really should be going to bed.”

“Come on.” Twilight says, her heartbeat starting to increase. “We’re just getting started.”

“I’m with Rarity.” Rainbow Dash says. “We’ve got an early rise tomorrow.”

“But, what about…” Twilight says, her head starting to spin.

“I wish I could party all night.” Pinkie Pie says. “But Rainbow Dash and Rarity are right. We’ve all got places to be tomorrow.”

“But…” Twilight says, her stomach starting to ache.

“Sorry, Twilight.” Fluttershy yawns.

Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy walk away from the party while Twilight and Applejack stay behind.

“No.” Twilight whispers despite her thoughts screaming in terror. “Please, don’t go. Don’t leave me alone.”

“Twilight?” Applejack says. The sound of her voice makes Twilight jump. “What’s going on?”

“Tell her, Twilight.” Spike says with encouragement.

“Tell me what?” Applejack asks, staring at her with a wondering eye.

Twilight gulps before turning to face Applejack head on. She takes a deep breath before revealing to her what she has been keeping secret all day.

“I’m sorry to tell you this.” Twilight says, snivelling. “But…” She tries fighting back tears but is unable to stop a few from leaking down her cheek. “I’m leaving tomorrow as well.”

“What?” Applejack says, stunned at her reveal. “Bu-”

Twilight continues. “I’ve been ordered by Celestia to live outside of Equestria, in a land far across the eastern ocean.”

Applejack struggles to speak. “H-how long for?” Twilight shakes her head. “What for?”

“The citizens there have been fighting for months without any likelihood of stopping.” Twilight answers. “Celestia needs me to go there and teach them the meaning of friendship.”

“Are you, I mean…” Applejack says but is interrupted by Twilight.

“But I don’t want to go!” Twilight shouts. “I don’t want to leave my friends behind. I’m afraid to face the unknown alone.” She falls to her knees and weeps into her hooves. Spike comforts her by wrapping an arm around her. “I don’t want to go.” She whimpers. “It’s not fair. I don’t want it to end this way.”

Applejack stares at her with a face stupefied with daze, speechless as provided by the news given to her. She too is surprised to find that Twilight will not only be leaving but may never be returning. It has shocked her to the core, and she is unsure if anything could be said to cheer Twilight up.

“Twilight?” Applejack says. She walks up to Twilight and lifts her head up off the ground. She stares into her tear-filled eyes. Her soaked eyes are wrought with distraught and delirious with dysphoria. “Let’s get you home.”

Applejack stands Twilight up and throws her arm over her shoulder in an effort to return her home. From the clearing, Applejack carries Twilight through the empty village streets and back to the castle. Spike opens the doors and insists on taking Twilight inside himself. Applejack agrees and tells them goodnight. The doors close, leaving Applejack alone with her thoughts. She returns to her own home at Sweet Apple Acres, but not before making a few stops along the way.

Twilight struggles to sleep that night as her thoughts bound and rebound throughout her head. She tosses and turns over and over again until she eventually gives in and leaves her bed. She glances at Spike, who sleeps peacefully in his basket, before sitting at her writing desk. She turns on the table lamp and sits for a while with her head placed firmly in her shivering hooves. With her mind spinning constantly, she decides to write a letter describing her thoughts to help put her mind at ease.

“Twilight?” Spike groggily says. “What are you doing?”

“Sorry for waking you, Spike.” Twilight says after finishing the letter. She turns off the lamp. “Go back to sleep.”

Spike turns over and quickly returns to his dream, and Twilight returns to her bed. She smiles, satisfied now that her thoughts have been jotted down. She closes her eyes and falls fast asleep.

The following morning finds Twilight waking up fully energised, until she remembers what the day lay ahead for her. She wakes Spike up and they gather their belongings and head to the exit of the castle.

“Are you sure you’re okay about leaving without saying goodbye, Twilight?” Spike asks as they walk through the main hall of the castle.

“No.” Twilight says glumly. “But the others will have already left by now. It’s about time we get rolling too.”

Twilight opens the main doors of the castle and is taken instantly by surprise. Greeting them both is an immediate chorus of thunderous applauds, noisy stomping, and energised cheering from a tremendously large group of ponies. Every pony in Ponyville has arrived to see off Princess Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon. They line up in front of the castle and leave an open stretch leading to the train station. Twilight is hesitant at the sight of the crowd before her as her ears are deafened with their farewells.

“We love you, Twilight!” They shout their goodbyes as Twilight walks through the crowd of ponies. “We’re going to miss you! Take care on your travels! You’ll never be forgotten!” Twilight smiles admirably, waving to her fans as she passes them to reach the train station.

Waiting for her on the station’s platform stands Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy huddled together, watching over the crowd for Twilight’s arrival. At their side are stacked cases of luggage waiting for their owners to take them to their destinations. Twilight walks over to her friends and stands before them.

“Good morning, princess.” Applejack says. Her eyelids hang half-awake and dark circles have formed under her eyes. “Surprised?”

“Very surprised.” Twilight says. “Why did you do this?”

“You were a wreck last night.” Applejack says. “I wanted to cheer you up before you left so I told everyone in Ponyville to see you off, show you that you’ll never be alone.”

“Applejack…” Twilight says.

“Why didn’t you tell us you were leaving?” Pinkie Pie asks.

“We could have talked about your trip.” Fluttershy says.

“Just like you talked to us about ours.” Rarity says.

“I didn’t know what to say or how to say it.” Twilight says.

“You could have said ‘by the way, I’m leaving tomorrow as well’.” Rainbow Dash says. Rarity forcefully nudges her.

“When I heard about you all leaving.” Twilight continues. “I was scared. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell you. I’m sorry.”

The loud echoing of the train whistle breaks through Twilight’s solemn apology as it steadily approaches the platform. Her heart drops at the terrifying sound as she realises her time with her friends is up. Her five friends stand in line at either side of her and wait for the train to pull in.

“I guess this is it.” Rarity says.

“Our last time as a group.” Rainbow Dash says.

“I’m going to miss you all.” Pinkie Pie says.

“I can’t believe it’s ending already.” Fluttershy says.

“It’s been fun getting to know all of you.” Applejack says.

“So, this is how it ends.” Twilight says. “The end of a generation…” She pauses and inhales deeply. “Guys?” The five look at her. “These past ten years, this decade of knowing you all, they’ve been the happiest days of my life. I have no regrets but if I could change one thing in my life, I would make our last day together last just a little bit longer. I’m not frightened anymore. I know now that, no matter where I go, no matter where I end up, no matter what happens to me, you’ll always be by my side giving me the courage to move forward, and for that I am forever grateful.”

The group approach Twilight and embrace her one last time as a group together. Her smile grows wider as her weak body warms from the hearts of her friends. Her head clears, her stomach is ache-free, and her unpleasant emotions are put at ease. Her eyes fill with tears as she returns her friends’ embrace.

The train pulls in and Pinkie Pie and Rarity place their luggage inside the coach. They find an empty booth and sit together. As the train pulls away, they hang out of the window and shout their goodbyes with waves and are given shouting goodbyes in return until they are out of sight.

The train arrives first at Pinkie Pie’s stop. She bids Rarity farewell and hops onto the platform to find her sister, Marble, waiting for her. Marble expresses her gratitude as she helps her sister with the luggage. Pinkie Pie is lead back home where the rest of the Pie family are waiting for her with open arms.

Rarity rides the train for the rest of the journey until it pulls into the Manehattan station. She alights and heads straight for her branch, Rarity for You, and enters through the main entrance. She is greeted by Coco Pommel who thanks her for coming as soon as she could. Rarity’s bags are removed and taken into the staff’s private area and she gets to work immediately.

Back in Ponyville, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy give their farewells and fly into the deep blue sky, dragging their luggage with them.

Rainbow Dash travels with speed beyond the clouds across Equestria until she reaches the metropolitan city of Fillydelphia. She lands before the entrance of the Wonderbolts headquarters and enters. She is saluted by Spitfire and introduced once more to the rest of the Wonderbolts, who give her a warm welcome. She is then presented the uniform worn by official Wonderbolt members and is overjoyed by the reality of it. She is then shown to her personal living quarters where she will be housed until she is called to fly with her band of pegusi.

Fluttershy flies gently through the sky and lands on the clouds of Cloudsdale. She arrives outside her brother’s house and enters to find her mother and father cuddled together on the couch. She is told her brother is upstairs and she heads up to see him. Zephyr Breeze lays bedridden in his room, unconscious, and Fluttershy sits on the seat by his bed. She whispers into his ear, telling him everything will be okay. She gently kisses his cheek, and he flinches ever so slightly.

Outside the Ponyville station, a royal golden carriage pulled by two pegusi rolls up to the entrance. One of the pegusi calls to Twilight, explaining that they will be her escort and that she must leave with them whenever she is ready. Twilight stands there hesitantly with Applejack by her side and gulps.

“What are you going to do now?” Twilight asks.

“Go back home, have a cold glass of Sweet Apple Cider in our friends’ names, and help out around the farm.” Applejack answers.

“Are you going to be all right on your own?” Twilight asks.

“It’s not me you should worry about.” Applejack says. “I have Apple Bloom, Big Mac, and Granny Smith to keep me company, not to mention the rest of Ponyville. It’s you I’m more worried about. Are you going to be all right without us?”

Twilight shakes her head. “Probably not.” She says. “But everything will be okay, now I know my friends will be okay.” She starts her descent towards the carriage. “Give my farewell to your family for me.”

Applejack nods. “Take care, Twilight.” She says with a reassuring smile.

Twilight boards the carriage with Spike and their baggage. She turns to Applejack and they wave each other farewell as they are escorted away. The crowd shout their goodbyes at them as them leave Ponyville forever. Twilight takes one last look over the village as she ascends above the clouds. She breathes deeply and sheds a parting tear.

“Isn’t this exciting?” Spike says in excitement as they fly over the beaches and across the ocean. “New places to visit, new people to meet, new gems to taste. I can’t wait.” Twilight remains silent as she watches the last of Equestria slowly disappear into the distance. “You okay, Twilight?” Spike asks. “You seem distracted.”

“Yeah.” Twilight says, wiping her face dry of tears. “I’m fine.”

“So, what were you writing last night?” Spike asks.

“A letter.” Twilight says. “One that says thank you to everyone and everything I knew up to this point.”

“What did you write?” Spike asks.

Back at the Castle of Friendship, in its vast expanse of hardback books and tomes of undefined knowledge, a large book protrudes ever so slightly. Within this book titled the Magic of Friendship is the tear-stained letter Twilight wrote the night before:

“Dear Equestria,

I am writing this letter addressed specifically to you because I want to say ‘thank you’ in more ways than I can possibly express.

I want to say thank you to the princess Celestia for accepting me in my time of need. When I thought my life was nothing beyond my studies to becoming a better student, you were there to give me a guiding hoof towards a brighter, more hopeful future.

I want to say thank you to Ponyville for all the memories you’ve made, that I will keep with me for a lifetime and beyond. I will look back on these wonderful moments in fondness, and I will cry at their beauty, laugh at their fright, smile at their embarrassment, and treasure their happiness.

I want to say thank you to the very best of friends I have made for showing me their support. Without their friendship, I would have never learned about honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, and loyalty. Without them, I would have never understood the true meaning of friendship among all things.

And lastly, I want to thank You for being there for me. From the very beginning up to the inevitable end, I could not have done this without You. Without You by my side, I would not have turned into the mare I am today. Without You constantly over my shoulder, I would not have made the memories I hold dearest to me. Without You watching from afar, I would never have made the friends I cherish with all my heart. Without You supporting me each step of the way, I would not have been created with purpose in my life.

These last ten years have given me a lot to think about. I wish I were not leaving this land, I wish I need not write this letter, but I have no regrets about leaving. This decade has been a very bumpy ride, but I would not have changed my ticket for any other.

This is far from goodbye, and closer to see you soon but until that times comes around, I wish each and every one of you my heartfelt best.

With more love than you know,

Princess Twilight Sparkle.

PS.

I wish you were here with me…


Submitted: February 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Arioch Starr. All rights reserved.

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Arioch Starr

I’m sorry about the absence of an image, I am unable to conjure a decent cover that accurately represents the story. However, I will happily accept offered art with full credit directed at the creator (within a certain degree of appeal).

Wed, February 24th, 2021 1:22am

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