They say it is the safest place during the storm. To take cover and be protected as everywhere else is ravaged; but not when it stands alone.

Though it still stands taller than most, the effects are staggering in the wasteland that crunches beneath my hooves with every step. She believed she could be as strong as it once was, even while fighting solo. As wise as she might have been, her mind had slipped, leaving her to fight against herself more than against her foe. At a time it made me chuckle. The pain made me cackle and roar with a delight that filled my barrel with a hearty laugh. But overtime we grow, not just physically, but mentally. We overcome our foalish behavior and learn to face our wrongs. We forget our original troubles, what we would cry and scream for, and must live with the consequences of our actions.

They say that with time comes knowledge. In my case, it comes with regret. To see them fall to the ground at my hooves, and to force them to fall when they wouldn't was what I wanted, and what I strived for. The fear fed me for the longest time, until it ran out. Until everything ran out.

The ash billows around my horseshoes as they fall in pace, surveying the land as I am so often forced to do, searching for a glimmer of hope that not everything is lost. The light is bright, as always expected, but nothing scurries as it used to. Squirrels are not fleeing into their nooks, and foals are not scampering into their mother's forelegs. It is deathly silent, my ears pivoting back and forth, side to side, searching desperately for life.

Desperate isn't the right word. No, not at all. Distracted. That's better. Distracted with the thought that life may still be present. I have lost hope and all shreds of desperation. My brain is exhausted, not able to sleep in the blinding light forced upon my eyes at all hours that I roam. My functions have failed, and I can't keep myself from meandering aimlessly through the ruins, my legs refusing to stop pacing. I don't know why, and I have no sources of being able to find out an explanation. They just continue to move, unable to cease their acing through the wasteland that I used to call my kingdom, and even for a short time, my home.

Around me the world is black and grey, unable to hold color more than my own coat anymore. Its hue has faded into oblivion, and even I cannot recognize myself when faced with a puddle that has not yet met its end through my anger.

It hurts. The light beating relentlessly down on my tired eyelids, my horn withered and chipped on the edges. Stains not reachable have dried and ground themselves into my fur, though it hardly makes an appearance through the dust that coats it at every moment.

The streams flow freely still, rushing away the sandy banks and bringing them down to some unknown bay where the grains would continue there life in their new home. Branches hang loosely off of dried husks of trees, wilted in the light that never ceases, casting shadows that eerily stretched towards me. The branches were limp and dry, scratching at the ground that they knelt towards, broken off there past life source in the slightest of breezes. I continued to pace on, although not sure of what I was looking for, through the town once called Ponyville. Such a cute, quaint little place in it's prime, home to the Elements of Harmony that had been such a momentous help in the past years.

I can't see a thing, yet the light blinds me so that I am forced to constantly cast protection spells to keep myself from frying. I never meant it to turn out like this, for everything I knew to burn beneath me. I knew I had the potential, and when doubted, one is forced to prove their worth to those who put them down.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

She used to tell me that everyday in the old times, when things were well and ponies a plenty, that I could do anything, and that the stress would be worth it in the end. She was so kind, and so…

No, I cannot let myself think in that way. She is gone, and I am happy that it is that way; no consequences for anypony but themselves, those foolish enough to turn against me. A tyrant they would say. A monster, even. It's too bad they didn't see me in… a different kind of light.

The tree stood tall and mighty, an oak made of ancient unicorn magic to withstand inner heat and the weathering effects of the outside for millenniums if it was required to do so. The balconies stood intact, still beaming with the glorious architectural skill of whatever pony had crafted it from a few planks of wood, a seedling, and some magic. Spirals and loops danced along the bark, twisting and contorting as they graced upward towards a personal balcony under what used to be the lush, cool oasis under the canopy of evergreen leaves. A certain pony, dare say maybe my favorite pony, used to study for hours on end, looking for a way to solve what I had done. She amused me as I watched her frantically search for the answer that did not exist. I warned her that she was wasting her time, and that if she just tried to work together with me, everything would be glorious. But her pride, her ever so huge pride and enlarged head about the situation, it drove her to solitary study, forcing words and spells down her throat that withered away her zest for life, and her mind.

The brown husks of a certain farm's corn rustled along in the wind, scraping the hard ground with their brittle edges as they raced along side each other, headed for a place hopefully better than here. They scratch along like a cat claws on tile, assaulting my ears with their slight noise.

I open the door with a paw of my hoof in the center. The hinges are horribly rusted, sending the door open in an awful array of screeches and whines until it dislodges from one hinge and hangs loosely from the other. Spooked, the dust flew around the room in a tornado that could only suggest that the abode had not been visited in an obscene amount of time. How long? I cannot remember for the immortal life of me anymore.

Books scatter the floor, tossed about without a care by what used to be the most organized pony in Equestria. Their pages were ripped and ruffled, stained with leaking water and bran mash, some even deteriorated to piles of ash at the touch.

I recoiled my hoof at the destruction it had caused, putting my muzzle to my effect to examine it. Deciding that the book need to be put out of its misery, I flipped it closed, hearing the sand rush out as the pages disintegrated at contact with each other. Wait… what is the title?

Defeating the Supernatural.

I shook my head with a nostalgic chuckle. Oh, how ignorant she was. I know she was just trying to help, but there was nothing she could have done. My ethereal mane danced in front of me, picking the book up to examine the cover more carefully. The mare in the moon. How original for a cover.

I blew a raspberry and scanned the remains of the room. Papers and vials littered the wooden floor that was now only home to dirt and small rodent remains. One particular vial contained a stagnant green goop that looked as if when it had connected with the floor had burned right through. I decided against sniffing that one, not wanting to burn out my nostrils.

I do not know what possessed me to enter this damned residence; perhaps it was the incessant need for my legs to keep moving, or that I hadn't yet brought myself to examine it. Either way, I was here now, and I was hoping to find some answers. Well, answers aren't exactly my quest either. I am cursed to always hold the memories crystal clear in my mind of my wrong doings, to constantly hear the ringing of my subjects' screams echo through my ears for all of eternity. The growls of my stomach do nothing to silence them, though it is a curse in itself. I'm so hungry, so emancipated. Death will not come to me.

A pedestal stood alone at the corner of the room, adjacent to the stairs that I can only assume lead up to a personal dormitory. Paper crumpled in stress fueled fits litter the floor around it, but atop its smooth, polished top laid an untouched parchment, unraveled with a silky red tie placed neatly next to it. Lying on its side next to it remained a dried bowl of ink, along with an owl's feather, the tip of the quill snapped and loosely hanging by a few threads of bone.

I approached it with quizzical eyes. Why would something in such a decimated environment stand untouched? Perhaps, though, it was the tiara of the Element of Magic sitting in a nearby trashcan that drew my attention, but to be honest, I feel my own mind is slipping. I do things that I would usually scoff at, such as reading commoners letters. But if it meant something to do, I was for it. I know that is no way for a princess to behave, and I have reprimanded myself countless times for trying to conjure up a playmate, but when one has nothing, something is everything.

My eyes rested heavily on the Equestria language, trying to make out the words from memory, not having practiced my reading in years.

'Princess Celestia,' it began. I shut my eyes, drawing a large breath, preparing myself for the plea I would never be able to answer, for the criticism I would be forced to hear once again.

'I hope you receive this. Nopony knows where you've disappeared to and we really need you Princess! It wasn't your fault, you just made a mistake, a moment of weakness. We all fell for it, but we need you to help us make everything better again. The Elements aren't working. They've been disconnected somehow. If you just send me your power, I'm sure I could defeat her. Equestria needs you, I need you, Luna needs you! How could you vanish on us like that!? I have stayed awake for days, trying to find you, trying to find a solution through every form of magic I know. My resurrection of Star Swirled was a bust, and Spike hasn't eaten in days. Nopony has! The crops are ash! Seventeen ponies have died in this week alone. I can feel starvation creeping up on myself as well. Faust dammit where are you Celestia!?

That was all it read. I sighed, refusing to let a tear slip for this crazy pony. I know I shouldn't have done this to them, and I know its my fault. But it isn't in a way. I looked up to the moon.

The shadow of my sister stared back at me. I chuckled and shook my head. "Oh Celestia, you shouldn't have doubted me, none of them should have."

If her sun could burn bright, my moon would burn brighter.