The Mare Witch Project
"Is it working spike?" Twilight asked her assistant as he fumbled around with a camcorder.
"I think so." Spike replied. "There we go. It only took me two weeks to learn how to use this thing. Couldn't you just have me write down what we see instead of having to use it?"
Twilight couldn't help but to detect the small hint of exasperation in his voice.
"Bear with it for just a little while Spike." Twilight said. "This is going to be the first movie ever shot in Ponyville! You should be happy! Princess Celestia didn't send us one to keep in the closet."
Thank goodness the Princess decided to deliver it by parcel. Spike thought of how horrible it would feel to burp out something half the size of his own head.
He said nothing else as he pointed the camcorder in Twilight's direction. He hadn't noticed that it was recording since Twilight asked him if it was rolling, he still has lots to learn apparently.
"I think you can start now." Spike signaled by raising his hand and swinging it down in a chopping motion.
Twilight started by smiling for a second into the camera before saying her lines. Spike wouldn't know, but any other pony with directing experience would feel that her face is a tad bit close to the lens.
"Long ago." Twilight said into the camera dramatically. "Before Ponyville ever existed. Legends tell of a very small village called Mareville that existed somewhere very close to where Ponyville is now! However the ponies suddenly began to leave Mareville and the village eventually disappeared without a trace!"
Twilight walked off shot as Spike clumsily turned to catch up to her. Spike also captured the piles of books on floor around the room which were made when Twilight excitedly went through her library for something to shoot a movie about.
Twilight had gone over to her desk and picked up a very old book that was readily resting on top of it. She came back over and set the book down in front of him.
"Why had the people of Mareville deserted their village?" Twilight asked keeping up her overly theatric voice and bright expression. "The Mare Witch of course!"
She them flipped through the pages and stopped at an illustration of an edge of a forest. Within the trees there was a vague silhouette of a unicorn.
"There was once a unicorn that lived Mareville." Twilight continued as Spike filmed the illustrations in the book. "One day, the villagers caught her using dark magic on the young ponies!"
Twilight turned the page to another illustration of Mareville ponies with torches and pitch forks.
"As punishment the villagers drove the Mare Witch away, into the forest where she would have to live alone with no food during the harsh winter. The villagers were at peace and believed that the Mare Witch had fallen victim to the cold weather. However by the end of the winter, the Mare Witch returned haunting and terrorizing the village with her dark magic. Everypony in Mareville believed that the forest and the Mare Witch were cursed. They feared her because it probably wasn't long off before one of their own began falls victim to her magic. Before Spring ended all the ponies had all moved away."
Twilight closed the book and Spike lifted the camcorder back up to her face.
"Brave ponies that have heard of the Mare Witch ventured into the forest but none have ever gotten to the cave that was rumored to be her dwelling. The ponies were lost for days on end or were scared away by the curse of the forest. So today, I Twilight Sparkle and my assistant Spike will venture into the Mare Forest to further investigate this legend! Perhaps we'll find the lair or even the Mare Witch herself!"
"W-why do we have to go into the forest?" Spike asked a little disturbed by Twilight's story. "Can't we keep filming the book?"
"Since the Mare Forest isn't that far off from here, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to explore this legend." Twilight explained.
Spike still had an expression of discomfort.
"Are you scared Spike?" Twilight giggled. "It's the legend of Mare Witch. All those stories and disappearances were probably just made up. This is a very old book after all. Ponies back then were, well, not as smart as I am."
Satisfied with her joke, Twilight packed the old book into a bag, slung it around her back, and headed outside. Spike followed her outside with reluctant footsteps as the camcorder filmed the first scenes of Ponyville. He had forgotten to stop recording or he never knew how to begin with.
It hadn't been long since Twilight and Spike were walking down the streets of Ponyville when Rainbow Dash swooped down from above, landing right in front of them.
"Hey there Twilight!" Rainbow Dash greeted energetically. "What's that thing you've got there Spike?"
"We're making a movie." Twilight answered as Spike nodded and pointed the camcorder in Rainbow Dash's direction.
"What kind of movie?" Rainbow Dash asked in interest.
"A documentary." Twilight replied cheerfully.
"Of course! I should have known." Rainbow Dash laughed smugly. "That's just like you. What is it about? Do you need me to do any flying demonstrations?"
"No, we're doing a story on The Mare Witch." Twilight replied. "Have you heard of her?"
"Umm…" Rainbow Dash rubbed her chin with her hoof thinking deeply. "No I don't think so."
"Well that was the shortest interview I've ever done." Spike said.
"Hopefully the shortest…" Twilight added.
"Well hey, if you're thinking about shooting an action movie, you've got your lead right here!" Rainbow Dash offered spreading her wings wide as Spike backed off to fit her wingspan into the shot. They spent a few moments doing different poses.
"Alright spike that's enough." Twilight said. "We've got to go or else we won't be able to finish before sundown. It's was nice interviewing you Rainbow Dash, I'll invite you to the screening when we finish."
"Sure thing!" Rainbow Dash said. She blasted off into the sky as Spike recorded her until the Rainbow Trails faded past the clouds.
As the two continued through the town Spike spent his efforts trying to find other ponies to interview. He wanted to put off going into the forest for as long as possible. Pretty soon, they we crossing through the market area.
"Spike!" Twilight called out to her assistant who had stopped in his tracks, distracted by whatever he was pointing the camcorder at. Twilight went up to him to get a closer look.
"What is it?" She asked. "Are you getting something useful for our documentary?"
"I sure am." Spike giggled.
"Good afternoon Twilight Sparkle!" Rarity said gracefully approaching them. "And what is that you are holding Spike?"
Rarity looked straight into the lens of the camcorder. Spike continued filming with a grin as if Rarity's beautiful stare shot straight through the camcorder, out the other side into his eye, then carried by his optical nerves into his brain, imprinting the image permanently into his memory. She would have blasted lasers from her pupils and Spike wouldn't have let it escape through the back of his head.
"Why it's a Rarity, camcorder." Spike answered in a trance .
"Spike, pay attention." Twilight said sternly.
"Of course." Spike said coming back to his senses but still keeping the camcorder on the curious Rarity.
"We're shooting a documentary." Twilight explained.
"Would you like to be in our movie?" Spike asked.
"A movie you say?" Rarity considered. "I'm flattered you would come ask me to act in your movie."
"It's not really acting, it's just a documentary." Twilight continued.
"I see it now!" Rarity said completely ignoring Twilight, framing the air in front of her with her hooves imagining her fantasy. "Fashion Designer Actress Rarity! It's perfect! This is the start I tell you! I might even have to move to Canterlot!"
Twilight could only try to bring Rarity back down to earth.
"I'm telling you, it's not that kind of-"
"Hold on just a minute!" Rarity interrupted. "I need to put something on! I'll be right back."
She ran home leaving Twilight frowning. Spike wasn't so disappointed.
"Maybe this trip to the woods wasn't such a bad idea." Spike smiled.
"Just try and keep your camcorder away from Rarity." Twilight sighed. "It wouldn't be good for her if you're the only one buying tickets to her movie."
"Who said I had to?" Spike said under his breath with a smirk.
"We didn't even get to an interview this time." Twilight said. "Maybe we can do one with someone around close by. Spike?"
There was no reply.
"Spike?" Twilight looked around to find Spike flattened under a peculiar pink pony.
"What's that thing Spike?" Pinkie Pie asked.
Gave the lens of the camcorder a nice lick.
"It's not a taster." Pinkie Pie said smacking her lips.
"Oh good!" Twilight said. "Pinkie Pie, can you spare some time?"
"Of course!" Pinkie Pie said getting off Spike who hastily polished the lens with his tail before Rarity returned.
"What's it you need me for?" She asked hopping in place.
"We're doing a documentary about the Mare Witch." Twilight quickly explained. "Can you tell me anything you might have heard about her? Any stories, occurrences, disappearances?"
"Nope!" Pinkie Pie replied.
"We have a new record for shortest interview." Spike said. "I didn't even get that on tape."
Twilight impulsively face hoofed.
Spike asked making sure to record Pinkie Pie. "Can you say that one more time?"
"That one more time!" She replied.
"Great!" Spike said hurriedly running past Pinkie Pie to film Rarity who was returning. "Moving on!"
"Spike!" Twilight shouted impatiently.
The journey to the Mare Forest took longer than Twilight had ever expected. Pinkie Pie stuck with the group for the heck of it and the Rarity who came back with more make-up and a stylish, oversized hat continued to do audition lines for the camcorder… or for Spike who only had complements for Rarity's overdramatic acting. Pinkie Pie did just about every song about cup cakes and what not. All the while Twilight grabbed everypony she met on the street just hoping for that one pony who knew anything about the Mare Witch, or even the name.
"Do you know about the Mare Witch?"
"Sorry, don't have a clue."
She asked again.
"Can you tell me anything about the about the Mare Witch?"
"The Mare what?"
"Sir does the name Mare Witch ring a bell?"
"Applejack! You should know something about the Mare Witch!"
"The Mare what now?"
"Granny Smith, you're old! Tell me something about the Mare Witch!"
"The Ware Mitch? Well sure young'n!"
"Might you know about the legend of the Ware Mitch?"
"Er, I mean the… Nevermind…"
"Have you heard of the legend of the Ware (ctrl + z), Mare Witch?
"You asked me about it just five minutes ago!"
"Please know something about the Mare Witch!"
"Is there not one pony who has ever heard of the Mare Witch?" Twilight shouted into the sunset.
"Are you finished Twilight?" Spike asked enjoying rock candy he bought at a store while Twilight was busy grabbing everypony she saw. Rarity and Pinkie Pie were enjoying some apple treats courtesy of Applejack who they met at her stall. They were all enjoying their time. If Twilight were to go through the video footage now, she would have seen what fun they were having while she was working her flank off for a decent interview. The footage would have also included a whole other movie about some incomprehensible, disconnected romance story starring Rarity and Pinkie Pie. Spike still didn't know where the stop button was, and the camcorder seemed to run on Twilight's misery rather than batteries that would have been out of juice a long ago.
The group passed Fluttershy's cottage.
Fluttershy answered the door but before she even had a chance to say good evening. Twilight recited, very, very, quickly.
"Fluttershy! Do you know about the Mare Witch? She's a pony from old legends who lived in a village called Mareville. You see, she got banished into the Mare Forest for attempting to use dark magic on the ponies of her village. People thought she was gone for good but she haunted the village with her sorcery and scared away all the villagers! We're actually on our way to the Mare Forest right now! It's rumored that the Mare Witch still lives there and haunts whoever enters the forest she was banished to! Now I want you to repeat everything you just heard to Spike so we have something to use for our documentary!"
The last remaining pony in Ponyville, who was clearly disturbed by Twilight's story, her face frozen since the moment her evening greeting was interrupted, slowly shut the door, locked it and closed all the curtains including the ones on the upper floor. The dejected Twilight returned to her merry gang.
After a few more minutes of walking they were close to the forest.
"Did you at least get what I told Fluttershy during the interview?" Twilight asked.
"Shortest out of all three you did today, I'm surprised to say that it broke Pinkie's record." Spike replied. "Congratulations!"
"I did more than three, Spike…" Twilight said as her legs gave way and she lay on the path on her tummy. They were in front of the Mare Forest.
"Nobody knows who the Mare Witch is." Pinkie Pie butted in.
"Let's drop this and start filming my debut movie!" Rarity suggested, hoof on her chest.
Twilight lay silent.
"No…" She muttered. "I'm definitely not going to stop…"
She regained the strength in her two front legs as she raised herself into a sitting position.
"The ponies of Ponyville are undereducated about the wrath of the Mare Witch!" Twilight yelled. "What's the point of a documentary disproving a legend nobody in Equestria has never heard of? I hope she exists cause if she does, I'm going to ask her personally to give a Ponyville a little scare so people will at least know what in the hay a Mare Witch is!"
"Great!" Spike said. "Let's head back and start again in the morning.
Twilight's mane burst into flame.
"STAR SWIRL HELP ME, WE ARE GOING TO FINISH THIS DOCUMENTARY!" Twilight screamed.
"Quick! Get the marshmallows!" Pinkie Pie yelled her eyes reflecting the fire from Twilight's tail and mane.
"Well, don't look at me." Rarity frowned at Pinkie Pie.
Twilight's voice echoed throughout the forest. The three ponies and young dragon didn't notice the deep foliage shifting behind them.
"B-but its night!" Spike stuttered remembering how much the Mare Witch scared him.
"I knew this was going to happen!" Twilight smiled showing her teeth, no longer on fire. "That's why I knew it would be necessary for me to know about this little feature on the camcorder!"
Twilight played around with the settings and handed it back to Spike. He was fascinated that he could record in the dark as she did a close up on Rarity's cutie mark.
"Night vision!" Twilight said cheerily as she marched into the dense forest as the other three followed her in.