DISCLAIMER
SAD!
PONIES DIE!

-

A bad pony

The music still banged in my head when I left the console, a crowd of ponies danced under the flashing lights in a claustrophobic atmosphere. The backstage was sound-proof but the beat in the hooves was still there, all the freaking building pulsed with it, somewhere in my heart I prayed that it never stopped.

"Hey P, great show"

This one was owner of the place, I didn't even want to imagine how bad this ballroom will be in the morning... If wasn't already day.

"I'm cool, I know... what time is it?"

"Almost dawn"

Woah, sunrise was a decent hour to go to bed, maybe... I gave a look out of a window, the Sun was rising with all the might o a thou- well, actually of just one sun but it hurt my eyes anyway. The music was fading too fast, the head didn't hurt enough to keep at bay my brain. Maybe I needed just another little help.

"I badly need something strong, fetch me anything you can find, mix it together and add some more alcohol"

The mare in front of me made a worried face, I would sympathize with her. after all, one thing is playing loud music and let the fillies go loose for one night, another is feeding me with all the alcohol of the town... well, not my problem...

"I... I'm not sure, you already-"

"Hay, just do it!"

The door of my changing room had a musical note on it, somepony put even a star under the note and wrote DJP0N-3. Wow, that was quite an effort for a one-night performance in such a small town. I should have been grateful but, the truth? I didn't care. The place wasn't loud enough to prevent my head from thinking and not thinking was the only thing I wanted... ever... that, and some strong drink. Better with ice, to keep it down as long as possible.

"U... Kay?... plea... ke up!"

Urgh... that taste felt horrible... was I standing up? No, lying down... maybe upside down? couldn't say... there was echo or it was me? Was actually my tail the one on my face?

"What... time is it?"

"Are you okay? Please say something!"

There was a small crowd of ponies around me, well at least four of them, they were concerned and they were talking all together... It hurt a lot, my head hurt, my hooves hurt, my everything hurt and they kept talking and talking and blah, blah...

"I'm cool... just... don't freak out, I'm in the middle of finding my brain..."

"You fainted in the changing room, we tried to awake you for, like, hours!"

There was a reason if there was a "private" tag on that door, why they had to come in and check on me? Townsfolk... in any decent city they left you die in the middle of a post office as long as you didn't slow the queue... I sighed while trying to get up, the taste of alcohol in the mouth made me wish I stayed down.

"I... think I'm gonna..."

"Somepony fetch a bucket! Fast!"

Alone again, the owner of the ballroom literally forced me to take some rest in her daughter's room. The closed windows let some sunlight pour inside the small bedroom, a bell told me it was 2 P.M. and I didn't get even a couple of hours of sleep. The room was quite, the whole place was quite.

"Damn, I need more noise..."

The bedroom was nicely painted in sky blue, there were posters all around and toys everywhere on the furniture. There was a record player just next to the bed, where the hay were those damn headphones when you needed them?

I put off my glasses and took a look around, the world seemed a little less purple but the light was still too much for my taste. My attention got caught by the posters that this filly kept here... I could recognize Sapphire Shores, Celestia for couple of times, the winner of this year's best young flyer competition and me... me everywhere. I felt sick again and stared at the ceiling, trying not to make a disaster in somepony's else bedroom.

Hay, why they liked so much my music? It hurt, it was meant just to make you go numb and stop thinking... it was meant for me, nonetheless they wanted it and I... well if it was me, I'd say to them to go home and stop the show, but I needed that music, it was my only painkiller...

"I'm a bad pony..."

Somepony clopped at the door "Vinyl, are you feeling better?" the owner of the room, obviously... her idol was sleeping in there and she simply had to pass by, couldn't blame her...

"Never felt this good..."

"Your performance last night, it was incredible!"

"You should have been in your bed by that time, y'know?"

"I was in my bed."

I sighed, the head was still hurting. This was good, this kept worse things away.

"Hay... they told me the building was soundproof."

"Are you hungry? Want something to eat?"

"No thanks, I don't want to ruin such a nice bedroom."

"Do you like it? For real?" Her voice went up of at least two tones, my head blamed me for this.

"T's cool... but please, don't scream..." With me looking at myself from every damn corner of the room it wasn't easy to give some comment that didn't sound like a boast, but good old Sapphire came in my help "I like Sapphire Shores, too" Honest, I really liked her music, she was so different from me...

"Forget Sapphire, that's an old poster! I like you the most! Your music makes me feel like... it's like you understand me better than I do!"

I sighed, here we go again, always the same story everywhere... I had an answer for this, I could even say it while sleeping.

"When I was your age I had my load of troubles... not every pony is happy with her destiny, I guess... or solitude, or parents or whatever it is. So I had this feeling inside me, the urge to rebel against everything... but trust me, time will heal those wounds. I give you a couple of years and you'll move to some better music..."

"W-w-what? But YOU make the best music, you can play all the anger and the pain I feel, you give me the energy to go on despite of how bad I feel!"

"You shouldn't feel bad, Celestia is watching over you, you are loved, trust me… everypony is loved"

I could barely remember the meaning of that word... love... damn, who was I kidding?

"When I'm older I want to be like you!"

"Trust me, you don't... I'm a bad pony..."

A road, a demon, a pact

The night was fresh and silent, a whole blanket of stars just hung on me and the fields all around the hills, a large white moon shone like a benevolent eye watching over all the ponies like me that were not sleeping at that time.

That was a great atmosphere for lovers, or poets or maybe some weird night pony, but for me all this stillness was just driving me nuts. Without any distraction I was just prisoner of myself, why in Equestria I decided to trot my way home, why? Now the silence of the night in the middle of the desert road couldn't keep away the past… damn… while I was walking the lullaby came by itself, as it always did…

"Crickets sing in candle light, sewing dreams is done by night"

"Silken suede will suit you well, from-"

What the hay was I just doing? Not that song! I shook my head, feeling a growing sensation of panic that made my heartbeat go wild and my teeth clatter. Stop it, stop it! "No, no, NO!" I dashed in a gallop trough the night, desperately trying to outrun my toughs, fleeing from that still silence that was driving me crazy. I just ran until I could and paused only when I felt my lungs burning and my liver cracking with pain… Every breath was like drinking a whole glass of burning flames, my hooves were almost going to crack if i had taken just another step, my heart galloped like a crazy begging for a truce, everything I could feel was pain, yes, this was helping, at last… catching my breath I couldn't help but grinning, it was the story of my life made short. Run until you bleed, then collapse, wake up and start running again… forever…

"I'm a bad pony…"

When I stood up again I noticed something familiar in the air, a strange blue mist was coming from the trees and gathering in front of me, it was a trick I didn't see since… well, really a long time but still not so long that I could miss it… who Was I kidding, I hoped to never see that mist again...

From the shadows emerged a pony, she was higher than me, had both a horn and a pair of wings and her color was the same of the night… only… she was quite different from the last time. She seemed younger and in her eyes something was missing, it was hard to forget that shadow of hatred and pain, but now it was gone, replaced by something else, maybe sadness, maybe concern… This didn't prevent me from feeling the same anger of the last time.

"Nightmare Moon… you are the last goddess I wanted to meet tonight…"

"Nightmare Moon is gone, call me Luna please…"

"I call you whatever I want, are you here to finish the job? It was about time, monster!"

The goddess stepped back at my anger, on her face I could clearly see how much pain my answer caused and somehow this made me feel better… yes, I truly was a bad pony… I wanted more of that feeling… then that damn song came up again by itself, and I felt awful again… spreading sorrow wasn't a cure for my own pain, why I was doing this? Luna must have seen the doubt in my face and hurried to deliver her message.

"Please, at least listen to me. I need your help, it's going to happen again."

I was still struggling between rage and regret when Luna's last sentence made me freeze on the spot. The blue alicorn kept speaking.

"A contract is coming to its end and no rule was broken. The deadline is in a couple of days, if nothing changes I'll have to grant that wish… again…"

Luna was worried like hay, I could tell it from her face, but what was I supposed to do? This was her problem not mine. I already had my load of pain, I couldn't stand even somepony's else sufferings. I looked away and tried to be firm.

"You are clopping at the wrong door, try the sun…"

"No! She musn't know of this! It's… huge, it involves ponies that are very close to her… you are my only hope"

I shivered for a moment, maybe I could- No! Not. My. Problem. I was a bad pony, after all, I was expected to be bad… Even if I felt it was wrong…

"Then you are on your own, sweetie…"

"My hooves are tied as long as the pact stands, I'm already distorting the rules speaking of this to you!"

I felt a sting in my heart, this pony was not the same that made me suffer, she was different… she was begging and not even for herself, how could I… My eyes lowered as my resolve vanished, Luna persisted.

"Please, don't let it happen again…"

"There will be suffering anyway, the pact is-"

"You know what's in front of that poor pony… please, Silky Tail?"

I felt the rage growing in my chest hearing that name, how could she dare? She perfectly knew what I had been trough.

"Don't use that nickname with me… never again…"

Luna didn't reply, she just stared at me with her best sad face… hay, she was good at that… I sighed

"what do you want me to do?"

She told me, I accepted.

Ponyville was more than a day of walk from where I was, at least I had time to think of something.

Here I was again, dragged in something way bigger than me because of an old acquaintance. For now I could think just one thing.

"I'm a bad pony…"

The sweet, the scoot and the apple

"Hey you are Vinyl Scratch! I can't believe it! Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!"

Great Celestia, I had been less than a couple of minutes in town and somepony already recognized me… Hay, in this damn place I performed only once and it was just to make a favor to Hoity Toity. I really needed to be less recognizable, they were the glasses, I was depicted with those purple things on my nose on every album and poster. Every town had some adolescent pony that wanted to rebel against something and obviously being me the only "rebel" icon of the jet set, guess how good I was at covert operations? Oh well, change of plans.

"Cool, sweetie, can I ask you wher-"

"SHE KNOWS MY NAME!"

The filly looked at me with an ecstatic expression, then began to jump all around yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!". She was a white unicorn with a pink and purple mane, it wasn't hard to guess that her name was Sweet, or Sweetie... note for me, try some different nickname.

Beside the jumping unicorn there were other two foals looking at me with admiration, an orange pegasus and a yellow earth pony with a big bow in her mane, they seemed both quite excited. The earth pony asked to me

"Woah, are you for real? D' you know mah name, too?"

"I'm sorry I don't think to know you…" I smiled, from her point of view that probably was a legitimate question, after all I knew her friends name, didn't I? "so… um… the unicorn's name is Sweetie?"

The couple nodded, still staring at me as if I was some delicious cake, I returned my best smile and tried to find something to say.

"Wow, that was quite random… is there a way to make her stop?"

"Ah don't think so, sorry…"

Oh well, at least that Sweetie was having fun, but I still had a work to do.

"I'd stay and talk forever, but I'm looking for a place, maybe you can help me?"

The reaction of the trio was quite unexpected. The unicorn stopped jumping all around almost immediately and they began to whisper to each other, staring at me with a thoughtful expression here and there. After a brief consultation all three faced me smiling widely and then screamed in one voice

"Cutie Mark Crusaders tour operators! Yaaaaaaay!"

Way before even noticing what was going on I was dragged all around the town. In just a couple of minutes I visited a n apple farm, a bakery, a secret quarter, a schoolhouse and almost drowned in a pond. They didn't even gave me the time to ask or asking or explaining anything, but it didn't feel bad. The commotion and the constant chatting of the trio of foals kept me distant from my toughs without head banging music nor hard drinks.

I felt better, relieved. It had been a long, long time since I had such a strange but fun experience, for a moment I wished I could forget everything else and stay like this forever. The voice of Sweetie Belle (this was her entire name) broke that spell.

"You know, Vinyl? Can I call you Vinyl?"

"Call me whatever you want, Sweetie"

"I have a lot of your records, they belonged to my sister but she doesn't listen to them anymore, so I took them! Your beat makes me feel like you have known me forever! I'm so excited that you're in Ponyville, are you going to perform here?"

Here we went again, another foal that was going trough that age, that felt different and couldn't accept herself… put all these things together and bang! My music was the only remedy for her to find a place in her soul where to scream her frustration and find a way trough her darker days… oh well, it was just the age, wasn't it? Maybe this unicorn was a bit odd compared to my average fandom, but I had seen worse.

"Trust me, sunbeam, in a couple of years you'll be listening to a totally different music… do you like Sapphire Shores? I think she's very good…"

"nah, you are good! Sapphire is just moochie moochie and… well, gack! Hey, we're arrived! That's the Carousel Boutique! Come in Rarity won't believe her eyes!"

I freezed, a chill ran down my spine. Rarity, like Rarity the pony tailor that made the pact with mightmare moon? My heart sunk in a cold grip, I hoped for a second that this Rarity was just a friend with Sweetie, or one of her friends. Struggling to maintain a carefree expression I asked.

"Is… Rarity your mom, Swetie?"

She giggled, even Applebloom and Scootaloo found that question quite funny, I relaxed "No, she's my sister! Come in come in!"

As soon as the meaning of sweetie's answer became clear to me I felt my heart skip a couple of beats. I just stood in the middle of the road staring at the young unicorn while she entered the shop… I felt ugly, in bad need of something really strong to drink AND some really mind numbing music… A long, long time ago I was just like her, and tonight that sweet, smiling, life loving little filly was going to… no, I couldn't stand that, I needed time to think, a place to hide…

"um, Vinyl, is something wrong?"

"I'm sorry girls, it's really late, I have to go now!"

Trying not to panic i concentrated and in a puff of magic I teleported away as far as possible, without even thinking of a destination. When I opened my eyes I found myself in somepony's living room… it seemed a cottage full of perches and small animal houses. I noticed that something was poking at my foreleg and lowered my eyes: a white rabbit was givin me a menacing look, as if he expected some explanation. I just sighed and replied.

"I'm a bad pony…"

Family

After a couple of miles I finally had the guts to slow down and glare at my back. That rabid rabbit at last stopped chasing me. I didn't even know that rabbits could be that nasty, I felt sorry for the dwellers of that house that lived with such a fearsome beast… but the rodent from hell was not even on the list of my problems, I had to decide what to do with that Rarity, how to approach her.

"By now Sweetie Belle should have told everything about me being in town…"

I sighed, the spell was going out in just one night and I had no idea of what to do. I had to speak with this Rarity and hope to make her change her mind… but… Sweetie Belle? Damn, I was right, somepony was going to suffer anyway. This damn story couldn't have any happy ending… I paused to look ad my reflected image in the clear water of a pond, I felt awful.

"I'm a bad, bad pony…"

Taking off my glasses I tried to look at myself in the eyes "No, I can't let it happen again… there must be something I can do, or else Nightmare Moon wouldn't ask me". Nightmare Moon, Luna… maybe she was simply fleeing from her responsibilities, after all? After the events of the longest night she left her old herself behind, maybe she didn't want to tend at the seeds that her evil self planted… a bad apple was just a bad apple, wasn't it?

"Why missy cries?"

"I'm not crying, these are my eyes…"

"Missy hurt?"

"You can't imagine how mu- who are you!"

a very young unicorn foal was sitting just on my left, speaking to my reflex in the water. She had a pale purple coat, a blonde mane and the two most innocent eyes I've ever seen.

"Dinky!"

"well, hi, Dinky… the sun is going down, where is your mom?"

"Mommy flies! See? See?"

I raised an eyebrow, a bit dubious, then looked in the sky where the filly pointed enthusiastically with a hoof… There was actually a gray pegasus flying in circles not very far above us, I put my glasses on and waved in that direction.

"Good evening, miss pegasus!"

"Mommy is best flier ever! She can fly! When I'm old I fly like mommy too!"

I couldn't hide a smile while I looked at the young unicorn "well, why not, with some levitation you could fly"

"I will be bestest fly pony ever! But not like mommy! Mommy is bestest of the bester! You do magic?"

"A little… I do music, do you like music?"

"YES! I lovelovelovelove music! Mommy sings wonderful lullabies! Uh! Mommy go! Sorry missy time to go home!"

Again, I was alone looking at my pain, this time in the form of a mother and a filly that still had each other…

"Luna, damn you, how can you ask me to do this job?" I paused, sighing "because I'm the only one that can try something, anything… and I don't even have a plan…"

No, I didn't have a plan, but I took a decision

A song that brings pain

The Carousel was already closed, it made sense. After all Rarity wanted to stay with Sweetie as much as possible this day, who could have ever blamed her? Peeking inside the shop I sighed sadly, hesitation again grabbed my heart but time was running low. I promised Luna to stop the pact, even if I had to play the evil executioner and throw away anything that was left of my self esteem.

"I'm sorry miss Rarity, your request can't be fulfilled…"

With a big effort I focused on my magic, being mostly a musician I never had to rely on my unicorn powers very much but I had a lot of time for practicing with basic tricks and teleporting was one of my favorites. The real deal with the teleport was not the distance, but the precision. This time I could clearly see my destination just past the window of the shop, it was a foal's play and I instantly found myself indoor.

"very well, let's see how do I get upstairs, now… "

Finding the stair was easy enough and the door was not locked, when I began to walk up the voices of the two ponies became clear to me and I could hear their conversation.

"Rarity, I want to go with the others! You know how much this is important to me!"

"Sweetie, tonight you are not going anywhere, you have to stay with me!"

"But sis!"

"Don't But sis me, young filly! Tonight is a very special night, we should stay together and talk and have the best time ever!"

The voice of the elder pony was firm, but somehow very, very sad… Sweetie Belle was putting on a good fight but I could already see who was going to win this argument

"Aw sis! You never let me do what I want! I hate you!"

There was a gasp and that was lucky, because it covered my gasp… was this going to be so… trivial? Obviously not. Sweetie didn't mean those words and the pact wasn't about spoken words but true feelings.

"Sweetie! What I told you an awful lot of times?"

"To… to…" the voice of the filly became so low that I couldn't hear her… for sure this Rarity didn't lack authority… after all she was one of the elements, she was meant to have a strong personality.

"Louder…"

"Never say that I hate somepony, everypony is a good pony, if I don't like her it could be my fault, not hers…"

"good, remember always this rule, you need as much friends as you can have, friendship is magic… sincere friendship"

"I'm sorry…"

"Now, now… I'm not mad, now go to play in your room while I cook something special"

Sweetie Belle left the room, now I needed to get Rarity downstairs, just to be completely sure that the foal didn't hear our conversation. I went back to the door of the shop, unlocked it, then opened and closed it again, the doorbell did its work and from upstairs I heard the answer.

"I'm coming I'm coming!" The unicorn arrived in front of me and I recognized her immediately. Damn, that one, the most stubborn fashionist of all Equestria… I knew I heard that name not just for the elements of harmony .This was what you got when you had to do things too fast, not enough reckoning… "hey, darling Scratch, are you listening?"

"I'm sorry I… um… was a bit distracted by the dresses, could you repeat?"

"I said that we are closed, I'm sorry"

The unicorn smiled, but I could see the expression on her face, her resignation, her sadness an deeper in those eyes, her resolve… inside her heart there was already no way back. If I succeeded in make her snap, it was Sweetie that was lost, if I didn't she was the goner… I felt a sting trough my heart, why these two sisters deserved this fate? Why couldn't them just be happy ever after? No, no, NO! Don't hesitate, Vinyl! Stick to the plan, Luna is counting on you!

"oh, I can come tomorrow, no problem"

Rarity shivered, her smile was getting more and more nervous, I hit a soft spot, maybe? Lucky me.

"I'm afraid that tomorrow we will be closed… actually, we are going to be closed like… a lot of time…"

She was crying, damn, why I had to feel this guilty? I had to look away from her to keep talking with a normal voice

"A-hem… Rarity, right?"

"Yes I am…."

"Listen to me, you don't have to do this…"

"Doing what? Look, miss, I'd stay to chat the whole night long but not tonight… I have… a really really awfully important work to finish"

I sighed, as long as she was played dumb and the conversation was going nowhere. I needed a less sophisticated approach, something more like… my music… well, just something like music… I just started singing in a low voice

"Crickets sing in candle light, weaving dreams is done by night"

Rarity kept on her poker face, maybe she didn't realize, I just went on… for sure the song was hurting me.

"Silken suede will suit you well, from real coat you couldn't tell"

She stepped backward, still a solid expression of dullness on her face, either she was stupid for real, or she had an incredible self control… I feared it was the latter

"Smiling face that never cries, stufed heart that never dies"

"Gorgeous mane soft and fluffy, and nice songs ang games and muffins"

"STOP! Please I beg you stop!" she cracked, her voice was broken and her breath was heavy "what do you want from me? I sticked to the rules!"

I finally heard again the beating of my heart, if this one didn't worked I was out of options…

"I know that you did… Luna knows that you did your part, but… you will die…"

"Yes, a life for a life, that was the pact I'm not stupid"

"No, but you are stubborn… you can't die, you are one of the elements!" actually this was the point for Luna, she did a pact with a pony that, guess what? Five years later turned out to be one of her saviors… well, not she Luna, but she Nightmare Moon, nonetheless the pony was really strong in her heart and obviously succeeded where in the whole story in Equestria all the others but her and another failed… after all, she was the element of generosity, wasn't she?

"This comes first, I made the pact long before, five years ago! I want what I asked for! Give. Her. Life! A real life!"

This time was my time for being surprised… a real… what? Oh colts…

"I… I think that you misunderstood… she… is going nowhere from where she is now… she is already alive in the best way a stuffed doll can be… the point here is not her life… it is yours."

Rarity snapped, her horn was surrounded by magic and in her eyes I could see both fear and anger "Who in Equestria are you, how do you know all these things? Who told you about Sweetie?"

I stepped back, the light from her horn meant that she was up to something. I should have watched my back but I wanted to play the fair game and be honest, so I kept traveling on my trail.

"I am-" She didn't let me finish.

"How you dare to come here, after five years and tell me what I have to do and what not! Who do you think you are? You have no idea of what I have been trough!"

She was raging, I had to make her listen to me. I took off my purple glasses "I could have no idea of what you suffered, but trust me, I am well aware of what Sweetie Belle will be going trough."

The white unicorn stared at me in horror, her words died as she kept watching at my eyes. There was a reason if I always had glasses wherever I went, actually many reasons. Infinite sleepless nights, desperation, regret, the pain of an empty life, robbed of the most important thing in the moment I needed it the most… my eyes were the mirror of my soul and I was a bad pony indeed.

"The pact has three rules. First one, you can't tell to a single soul about it… Second one, you have to love the doll, as soon as your love flickers, the pact is broken… rule three, the doll has to love you, same as before…"

Rarity was shaking, horrified by those lifeless red eyes filled with blood and weariness … yes, if I wanted I could look like a demon, no big deal… the unicorn muttered weakly "I… did not break the rules! I swear!"

"I know… Luna knows… and this is why she's concerned" I took a deep breath "Rarity, Sweetie loves you the most, she lives for you, you are her sun and her moon… my mother was mine, I know what I'm saying. If you are gone, this is what will happen to her…" She closed her eyes trying to flee from the weight of my words but I went on. I couldn't have mercy now, it was all or nothing, if I had to make her snap and break the contract this was my last option. "Do you want to know what will she get when you will be gone? Desperation for being alone… regret for being the reason of your death… isolation… denial… pain… every day of her damned eternal life, pain! I have two hundred years, Rarity! And after two hundred years I still ask myself why my mother loved me so much to die for me, but not enough to live for me!"

Something hit me hard, darkness surrounded me and I heard the sound of a lock, then of a whole lot of furniture amassing above my prison, at last I heard Rarity's distant voice

"She's different! She's not alone, she has friends! You are just… just… an angry mare that can play only angry music, you never looked for a remedy, you just went on killing the pain! Sweetie Belle is better than you, way better!"

Damn… that hurt… that was true… I couldn't help but curl under that pile of furniture, into my prison, and cry.

A story you didn't ask for

Was there a reason to keep fighting? Was my fight a righteous one? This was what Rarity wanted, who was I to interfere with her wish? I heard Sweetie's voice in the distance, she was rejoicing

"This is the best night ever, sis! I love you so much!"

Damn… It was the wrong question… was this what Sweetie wanted? But in the end that filly was lively, maybe she really was better than me... may be she deserved a life, a real one... but she deserved Rarity by her side, too.

"Damn you, Nightmare Moon, you are the cruelest creature on Equestria!"

"No, just the most desperate…" a voice answered my curse and it wasn't Luna's voice. I could tell from half a mile, it was Nightmare Moon! Was I having hallucinations? A new rage grew inside of me, this was her fault, all of this!

"Then why, why you accepted such a cruel pact?"

"Because she begged me, like your mother did…"

That was not the answer I asked for.

"Why, damn you, WHY!"

"Because she prayed to the Moon for the only thing the Moon couldn't refuse"

There was a pause, but I didn't need to make the question, I already knew the answer "Love…"

"Yes, Silky Tail, love… and I belong to lovers, I can't deny myself to them…"

"But why in such a cruel way?"

"It was as the pact was made the first time, the tailor in the night, don't you know the story?"

I didn't reply, so she went on.

"Once upon a time a lonely mare came to me, bringing a doll. I'm alone, nopony will love me for what I am, I'm alone in a crowded world… please, please, please bright Moon… give me a companion, ever for one night, make me feel loved, make me prove love, just a single night, at dawn my life will be yours…"

The voice lulled me with the story, I could feel the sting of pain burrowing deep in my heart, she didn't stop.

"No, great moon, not even the time of a night, just the time that takes a candle to burn, then you can take my life, but I don't want to die alone… quite tragic, isn't it? A life for a life… I'm the Moon, I can't create a life out of nothing, I need something to begin with. So I took her life, she died happily. Rarity asked for the same thing" Nightmare Moon paused for a moment. "Aaaw, who am I kidding? Thousands of lonely ponies asked the same thing! In a world with three females for every male you can't imagine how many mares die alone and neglected… but I couldn't fill the world with… living dolls…" She spitted the word as if it was infected, strangely I didn't feel offended. "So I made the pact. You know the story, till now just two of you made it trough the five years. I wish I could say that I'm sorry, but that's Luna's punch line, isn't it?"

The voice vanished with a laughter… damn… damn damn damn! That sadist of a wicked ghost!

"No… Sweetie deserves a mother, a sister or whatever it is!"

I concentrated trying to overcome the fatigue, I still had the resolve to fight for my ideals, especially now that I wasn't doing it anymore for Luna, but for those two sisters.

"Rarity…" the light from my horn burned bright

"Is…" With a quite dramatic explosion of smoke I was out of my prison

"Going…" with my telekinesis I picked up a solid wooden ruler, Celestia bless the artisan's tools

"Nowhere" I headed for the stairs

High stakes

I arrived on top of the stairs with caution, my nerves were on the edge. A couple of voices came from a door on my left

"I'm sleepy, sis… maybe i should go to bed…"

"Why yes, Sweetie, how about a lullaby?"

"A… lullaby? Okay…"

I paused, a chill ran down my spine when Rarity started singing… I had to hurry

"Crickets sing in candle light, weaving dreams is done by n-OOOF!"

Simple, practical, hit a pony with something heavy and this will give you time for… for… okay, I had to invent, so I did the most simple thing.

I grabbed the foal and teleported away while Rarity was still shocked.

"Let me go! Help! HELP!"

"pipe down, Sweetie, I'm trying to help you!" I looked around, it was far enough from the town and the moon was just in front of me "Luna! Luna come here! Move that lazy cutiemark of yours!"

"L-Luna? P-Princess Luna? Is she still evil?"

"She's not evil, she's just lazy…"

"well, that wasn't nice… I had the suspect that you were going to make things a bit messy, Silky Tail, but foalnapping… that's really a sucker hoof…" Luna appeared from behind a tree, and did not seem pleased but if she had her plans, I had mine

"There is no time, the candle is burning short, I have a pact for you!"

"You? A pact?"

"Yes, for love… of family…"

"well this is quite out of my…"

"Luna don't play around, look at me and take you decision. Do you want to hear my plea?"

The alicorn hesitated, then nodded "If you ask properly, you insolent doll… maybe I, the Moon, should lend you hear"

I smiled, she got formal, this was a good thing. I lowered my head in humbleness

"Oh Moon, bright Moon, my heart is in pain, drowning in loneliness, but the pony I loved is long gone. I bring the same pain that you suffer, being forever distant from all you loved, just watching at those who are happy and hoping for them to have a better fate than mine … please, great Moon, hear my voice"

Luna's eyes blinked in surprise, she now knew what I was going to ask, but this was a formal request and she couldn't stop me from asking, if I did properly she couldn't refuse. Sweetie was immobile in my hooves, at first I was convinced that she stopped because of Luna's arrival, but now I realized that she was weakening very, very fast…

"The love of two sisters is a special bond, they need each other because they are the same, taking Sweetie or Rarity won't change, you'll kill both of them… I look at them and feel pain, I feel envy, I feel the urge to be with them… but I can't. I love their relationship, but that's not meant for me… please Mercyfull moon don't break their love, don't take two lives… I offer mine"

Luna lowered her eyes, in sadness "Is that so? You think this is real love? You think that your heart has the strenght to seal the pact?"

"Yes I do"

She sighed "Very well, you are insolent and overconfident… but a pact is a pact, here's mine, I'm being generous"

I nodded and waited, a black halo appeared around Luna's mane and wings, her voice boomed like both Luna and Nightmare Moon were speaking as one

"sing the rhyme, with no hesitation, with strong heart and pure intention. Sing it all up to the last verse, if you can do this our pact will be done"

I took a deep breath, but she interrupted me

"But beware! You will pay for your insolence, if you sing the song unproperly I'm taking both Rarity and Sweetie … you are singing for both the foal and her sister… I hear you, doll… now sing"

And I was ready

One last song

"Crickets sing in candle light, sewing dreams is done by night

silken suede will suit you well, from real coat you couldn't tell

smiling face that never cries, stuffed heart that never dies

gorgeous mane soft and fluffy, and nice songs and games and muffins

no I'll never let you down, in my hooves you'll never frown

in the morning first sun's kiss, me and you will find our bliss

me and you are now together, we can be best friend forever

now it's time to go to bed, the play ends and I'm so sad

not forever nor one night, just a dream in candle light"

While singing I began to have visions, memories, distant voices were talking as if they were judging me

"Yes, she was sincere, indeed… she followed her ideals and even in hard times she sticked to them"

"She didn't turn her back to Luna, she could do it, she owed nothing to her, but when Luna called she was there… yes, she was loyal"

"Laughter? Oh please! She's a crybaby! We can't…" Another voice started talking "She played with foals, she smiled even when the scars hurt her the most, if she doesn't have the laughter then I must have been at the wrong vision all the time!"

"She always tried to keep others away from her road, maybe she wasn't kind to herself, but she was kind to others"

"Oh don't kid me! She's giving away her life! Do we have to speak about generosity?"

The voices paused while I was finishing my song

"Then, we can add magic…"

At that point I felt like I… I…

Rarity arrived running wildly out of the town, where the light was sighted, Sweetie Belle was peacefully sleeping on the grass. There was no trace of the foalnapper, a pair of purple glasses were on the ground near Sweetie and she was hugging a doll, while sleeping.

Not a gorgeous doll, a hoof made one, with mane and tail made of blue straw and a white pelt that seemed very, very old, under the left rear hoof somepony wrote a name: Silky Tail.