"Princess, why are you here?" Twilight asked.
"I received a letter last night from Spike." Princess Celestia said. "Or I thought. It turned out to be a map, a map of the Mare Forest. I was afraid you had wandered into the Mare Witch's territory and came to make sure if you were alright. From what the markings on the map tell me, you had gotten very deep into the forest."
"Is the Legend of the Mare Witch true?" Twilight asked suddenly realizing what it meant.
"It's a name I haven't heard for quite a while." Princess Celestia reminisced. "Yes, she existed long ago."
Twilight had the sudden urge to wake Spike so she could do an interview with the Princess. However, it didn't seem like the appropriate time.
"Why in the world would you want to enter the Mare Forest?" Princess Celestia asked. "It appears you knew where it is and what it was."
"I was making a documentary about the Mare Witch with the camcorder you sent me." Twilight said.
"The Mare Witch is a very old legend." Princess Celestia said. "I doubt there ponies that still share the old pony tale. Where did you hear of it?"
Twilight searched around the grass and found her bag next to the camcorder which had finally stopped recording. There she pulled out the old book she had found the legend in. She passed it to Princess Celestia who knew exactly which pages to open and frowned at its contents.
"So it seems that these books are still around." Princess Celestia said.
"Is there something wrong?" Twilight asked.
"What are recorded in these books are far from truth." Princess Celestia answered. "They are accounts from ponies that knew nothing about the Mare Witch. They are ponies who feared and misunderstood her, and attacked her for what they thought she was."
"Then the book was wrong." Twilight said. "All this time I was documenting lies."
"If we documented anything at all…" Spike said rubbing his head climbing onto a pile of rocks near the two. "Good morning Princess."
"Good morning Spike." Princess Celestia replied. "Nice hat."
"Can you tell me the true tale?" Twilight asked.
"It's the least I could do for the Mare, to clear up an old misunderstanding." Princess Celestia said.
Twilight and Spike listened in to the Princess's story.
"Mareville was a very small village. It was there that a very young unicorn decided to settle in and further her studies. Would you like to know what she had come to study in Mareville?"
"Friendship." Princess Celestia said. "She was very learnt, talented, and powerful in magic. However, she knew deep inside she was missing something and realized that very important element was friendship. Her journey to learn the ways of friendship led her to Mareville. The people feared her more than they admired her for her magic. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before the fear the ponies had in their hearts began to take roots of hatred."
"One day her efforts to make friends with the young ponies through means of magic stirred uproar in the village. Her testimonies were ignored and she had no choice but to be exiled. She spent her days hiding from the village ponies in the forest during the cold winter. The shock of being punished for attempting friendship greatly reduced her magical ability. She lived inside that very cave but did not survive the winter and was laid to rest by the very trees of this forest. Her restless spirit retaliated, haunting the village of Mareville as retribution for their hatred until everypony was forced to leave. From then on, the newly named 'Mare Forest' became the home of the spirit of the renamed 'Mare Witch'."
"What was her real name?" Twilight asked.
"No one knew, no one remembered, not even the Mare Witch herself." Princess Celestia answered.
Twilight and Princess Celestia admired the scenery. The animals were watching them through the trees.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Princess Celestia asked. "Not just any pony is able to witness the true beauty of the Mare Forest. Ponies with impure intentions will only continue to see the dark and gloomy side of the Mare Forest. They must have a pure heart, and a deep dedication to friendship. There are only a handful of ponies that the Mare Witch found worthy to reach this wonderful place. I accidently ventured into this place myself a very long time ago, and now…"
"She found me worthy?" Twilight asked with mixed feelings of gratitude and guilt.
"I spoke with the Mare Witch." Princess Celestia said. "She wasn't too happy with your documentary at first."
"I almost ended up restarting a false ancient legend about her." Twilight said in depression. "I can't even begin to explain how sorry I am."
"That explains why everything was so dark and quiet last night." Spike said.
"She was very impressed at the way you and Spike rushed into the cave knowing what it meant for you to save your friends." Princess Celestia said. "As funny as she found watching the two of you knock yourselves out crashing into the wall at the end of the cave, it was very courageous on your part."
"Speaking of which…" Twilight said.
"Where's Pinkie Pie and Rarity?" Spike asked?
"They're safe in the cave." Princess Celestia said. "The Mare Witch made sure of that."
"So they were never in any danger?" Twilight asked.
"Their hearts were as pure as yours." Princess Celestia replied. "They were never in any danger. No need to worry."
"What a relief." Spike said.
"I'll need to write one heck of a friendship report after this." Twilight said modestly..
"Instead of a letter, how about finishing your documentary?" Princess Celestia said. "You can properly teach the ponies of Ponyville all about the Legend of Mare Witch. I'm sure she will appreciate it very much. Did you get everything Spike?"
"You bet, it's been rolling since I got here." Spike boasted pressing the stop button on the camcorder Twilight hadn't noticed.
"Oh Spike!" Twilight hugged her assistant.
"I better leave." Princess Celestia said. "I cancelled all my overnight appointments. I better not miss the morning ones too."
With a great flutter of her wings the Princess took off into the clear sky.
"Good-bye Princess." Twilight and Spike waved.
As she flew out view over the trees sounds of hoofsteps came from within the cave. Spike immediately pushed off Twilight who still holding him and adjusted his hat. Pinkie Pie and Rarity emerged from the cave. Rarity's sofa followed her out.
"Good morning, you two!" Pinkie Pie greeted.
"I can't believe it! I, Rarity, slept in a cave!" Rarity said. "But it wasn't bad as I thought. It was very clean for a cave."
"I'm so glad you guys are safe!" Twilight said. "We were so worried. What happened after we got separated?"
"I met another pony who knew where she was going." Pinkie Pie said. "We hung out in the forest for a while and spent the night together in the cave. Rarity came along too."
"We heard you screaming last night." Spike said a little bit of his concern had returned from that time.
"That was because Pinkie Pie and her friend startled me while I was trying to find my way home." Rarity replied.
Twilight and Spike looked at each other in confusion. There were completely running in opposite directions but somehow they heard Rarity's scream from ahead.
"That other pony told us that the forest shifts often so it's very easy to lose your sense of direction." Pinkie Pie explained.
"That explains it, so the compass wasn't broken." Twilight said.
"Thank you Spike for picking up my hat." Rarity said receiving the hat from Spike. "I dropped it when Pinkie Pie pounced me and dragged me away to that cave. Now did you film what you wanted for your movie? Because as lovely as it would be to spend another night here I would love to get back home."
Rarity got her wish as the four followed a path between trees that stood in neat files as if they were guiding the ponies out of the forest. It was the complete opposite experience of what they went through the night before. The birds were chirping and the sunlight shining through the trees made the forest all the warmer. They were back in front of Fluttershy's cottage in less than half an hour.
"By the way." Twilight said as they were walking. "What did the pony look like?"
"She was a unicorn like us." Rarity said.
"And she kind of looked like you!" Pinkie Pie added. "Except her coat was white and her mane was black!"
"I see." Twilight smiled in deep thought as they returned to Ponyville.
For the next few days Twilight and Spike returned to the Mare Forest to shoot additional scenes for their documentary which was no longer about how the Mare Witch unleashed terrifying dark magic on Mareville and lived in the cursed Mare Forest. It was the sorrowful tale of how she was misunderstood and was denied friendship. However it wasn't all about the depressing events of the true story. Testimonies from Pinkie Pie and Fashion Designer Actress Rarity were featured in the documentary about their night with the Mare Witch, much to Rarity's surprise when she realized she had met a ghost pony and spent a night in her cave. The highlight of it all was the true telling of the legend told by Princess Celestia herself.
Twilight sent the camcorder back to the Princess for a stage in the making called 'editing'. She and Spike didn't really know what it was, and decided to let the Canterlot movie ponies take care of it. Instead of having Spike sneeze on the Camcorder, they decided it would be better to send it by parcel.
At the end of the week Twilight was sure that the Mare Witch would be able to rest happily in peace knowing that her story will be properly well known and her reputation will be as it rightfully should be. Perhaps through the documentary the Mare Forest will become a common visiting place for ponies. The Mare Witch would be pleased being able to spend time with understanding pony guests and experience a friendship and presence she was never allowed during her time. Twilight had no doubt in mind that the forest would be even more beautiful when the happy folk of Ponyville come and visit. All thanks to her, cameradragon Spike, and Fashion Designer Actress Rarity who demanded to have her name in the credits. Who could forget Pinkie Pie, and Princess Celestia? Most importantly, the Mare Witch herself.
The documentary was screened in a large tent in place of a theater. By the end of the documentary the tent was full of applause from the ponies of Ponyville who came to see Twilight's documentary. Twilight modestly sat in the back of her own movie, feeling accomplished, at the same embarrassed at that the fact that so many ponies were watching her first movie. She stood at the entrance thanking everypony for watching.
"You should be happy Twilight." Applejack told. "That was your movie! How in the world did you get the Princess to show up?"
"It's a long story." Twilight replied feeling a little better after Applejack's complement.
"How about you do one about my apple orchid?" Applejack asked. "It'd be great for business."
Twilight did know what to say. Geez another documentary?
"Just kidding." Applejack laughed as she joined the crowd leaving the tent. "See ya later."
Applejack didn't even need her own documentary to earn a profit. Before the screening she had set up a stall outside the tent selling her apple treats. The tent floor was littered with the leftover wrappers and paper.
"So that was what you were talking about last night." Fluttershy said to Twilight as she passed.
"We'll not exactly." Twilight laughed nervously.
"I could have sworn it was something about… well it was scary." Fluttershy said. "I can't remember what it was."
"Forget about what I said." Twilight replied shaking her head. "I was telling you exactly what I meant in the documentary. It just came out wrong. It's not scary at all."
"The forest was very beautiful." Fluttershy said. "My critter friends tell me what a wonderful place it is, but I've never had the courage to try and visit."
"Don't worry, I'm sure a pony as nice as you are will be welcome in the Mare Forest." Twilight said. "We can go together."
"That would be nice." Fluttershy smiled.
"Good job Twilight!" Pinkie jumped in putting a forearm around Fluttershy. "Let's do one again some time!"
"Anyways, great work Twilight." Fluttershy said.
"Remember to come to the premiere after party!" Pinkie Pie said as the two left the tent, the flaps of cloth keeping the tent entrance open fell after they exited, making the inside of the tent dark once again.
The credits were rolling very slowly and the last of the names had finished their slow ascent to the top. The screen went black and the tent was now very dark. Twilight fumbled her way around the darkness to the front of the tent to switch off the projector. That was until the screen began to show scenes from the Mare Forest. More Specifically, the beautiful scene in front of the Mare Witch's cave with Princess Celestia in one side of the shot and Twilight on the other from Spike's point of view.
"Did you get everything Spike?" Princess Celestia asked Spike, her voice echoed through the tent. Twilight stopped in her tracks to watch the scene. This was just before Princess Celestia took off.
"You bet, it's been rolling since I got here." Spike's voice said. There was a clicking noise, at the time they thought Spike had hit the stop button on the camcorder. Apparently it was impossible for this dragon to work a camcorder.
"Oh Spike." Twilight heard her own voice say. The camera was still rolling. Instead of the stop button, Spike had pressed the zoom button. The camera zoomed in to the fullest into the background of the shot, watching it suddenly zoom disoriented Twilight slightly. When she recovered she noticed a pony in the background within the trees. It was a light grey unicorn with black mane that looked sort of like a different colored, more mature version of herself. Twilight was fixated on apparition, completely missing the talking in the background.
"I better leave. I cancelled all my overnight appointments. I better not miss the morning ones too."
Twilight walked up to the screen squinting at the unicorn in the back ground was the sounds of the Princess's wings faded away.
The unicorn stared straight into Twilight's eyes as her mouth moved silently. Her lips formed an unmistakable 'thank you'. The Mare Witch smiled warmly before turning and disappearing into the forest. The screen went black once more and the film ended.
"You're welcome!" Twilight said smiling at the black screen.
"W-what?" A voice suddenly cried from behind her within the seats. Twilight also jumped and yelled in surprise.
"R-Rainbow Dash?" Twilight guessed who the voice had belonged to.
"Twilight is that you?" Rainbow Dash asked as she rose from under the chairs.
"What were you doing there?" Twilight asked.
"It looks like I fell asleep during your movie." She replied rubbing her eyes.
"I don't mind." Twilight laughed. "
A smiling Twilight guided the sleepy Rainbow Dash out of the tent.
Meanwhile, back at Twilight's home, Spike was struggling to spit up the camcorder that the Princess had sent back to him. He had spent the last ten minutes trying to get it past his throat.
"Argh… why send this thing back?" Spike weakly asked the camcorder when he finally dislodged it from his esophagus.
There a small piece of plastic attached to a roll of parchment tied to the camcorder. Spike unrolled the parchment, examining the plastic chip that had come with it. It was a list of directions explaining what to do with the chip. The list began with 'insert into slot' and ended with 'take it out when you are finished and keep it safe' in Princess Celestia's writing.
He followed the instructions and eventually he was replaying a video that had been stored on the chip. Soon he was staring at the screen on the camcorder. At first he could only think about how wide the camcorder screen was and what was going through the Princess's mind when she decided to sent it. However a wide smile spread on his face. The Princess had sent Spike movie the incomprehensible, disconnected romance story starring Rarity and Pinkie Pie, but mostly Rarity.
"Alright Princess!" Spike laughed forgetting his previous struggle carrying the camcorder into some secluded area in the home.
To Our Beloved Reader: This was my first attempt at an MLP Fiction. As simple as the series looks, it's really hard to come up with a story. I'm not sure if I'm the only one that feels this way. However, this fiction was really fun for me to write, and hopefully fun for our readers to read. As I build up experience, I'll learn what readers want from a MLP fiction and create a better work in the future. So until then-
Thanks For Reading: LordPlagus777