A Pony POV Series-inspired tale
Written by OracleMask
Of course, there was more in Ponyville than one unexpectedly flying pony to distract Tome Heart and Puzzlemint on the way to Kimono's house. There were ponies playing in the Ponyville square, ponies going in and out of Sugar Cookie and Sugar Cube's Cozy Corner Cafe – though everypony called it Sugar Cube Corner for short – ponies working on building and painting a set for an upcoming performance at the theater pavilion...and there were ponies everywhere else too! Everypony in Ponyville was happily whiling away the day doing something! But the fact that everypony was busy wasn't too strange: if ponies had nothing to do, it would be boring. And there was no such thing as a boring day! That would just be...well...too boring!
If Tome Heart ever ran out of books to read – which was an idea even scarier than the letter – he could easily find dozens and dozens of stories playing out right in front of him here, thanks to all the ponies in Ponyville. The only problem for Tome Heart was that ponies didn't hold still or repeat themselves perfectly like books did – if he missed something, he couldn't go back and re-watch it the way you could re-read a book.
Puzzlemint, meanwhile, looked over the ponies playing with a discerning eye. She had spent a super-long time learning what each and every pony's normal routines looked like, and to her this seemingly chaotic mass of happy ponies moved like the gears inside a well-polished machine.
Once they made it past all of the incredibly tempting distractions in the town square, it was smooth sailing to Kimono's house. Down the path they went, the bright sounds and colorful sights of Ponyville melted away seamlessly into a beautiful landscape stretching out around the meticulously-kept cobblestone path. You could see some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Ponyville from here...not that the rest of Ponyville was ugly, or anything. Before very long Kimono's gazebo next to the lily pond came into view.
Kimono's actual house wasn't much of a house: it was a cave in the side of the hill next to the gazebo. Most of the ponies in Ponyville were convinced that Kimono was a little bit crazy for wanting to live a cave...let alone outside of town. When Kimono had first moved into her cave, there'd been a few attempts to build her a real house next to the lily pond. Unfortunately, Kimono had very firmly sent everypony back home before the house could be built. If she'd wanted a house, Kimono had explained several times, she would have just stayed in her old house back in Ponyville.
Even silly Applejack and stubborn Sweet Apple found it hard to argue with Kimono when she got all serious. That was when Razzaroo showed that he could be just as clever as Kimono sometimes, because for Kimono's next birthday the colt arranged for the ponies to build Kimono her gazebo as her very special birthday surprise. Of course Kimono wasn't actually surprised by it – nopony had figured out how to sneak anything past her yet – but she was very touched by the gift.
To Tome Heart and Puzzlemint's great surprise, Kimono wasn't alone when they reached the gazebo. Standing near the purple mare was an orange colt with a red and yellow mane and tail, and a beige mare with lots of colors in her mane and tail – Fiesta Spice and Toola-Roola.
“My goodness, I'm very popular today,” Kimono remarked, “I'm surprised to see you finished that collection of Shakespony's sonnets already, Tome Heart. And Puzzlemint, I don't think I've seen you since...your last birthday, wasn't it?”
“Yes, that's right,” Puzzlemint said, “You and Razzaroo teamed up and turned all of Ponyville into a gigantic puzzle for me to solve! Jolly good fun.”
Toola-Roola let out a soft giggle.
“I remember that,” she said, sounding oddly quiet, “Razzaroo had me painting clues in hidden spots all over town.”
“And he hid tiny secret notes in all of my books!” Tome Heart added, “I kept finding new ones for days and days afterward – I think it was almost as bad as the glitter!”
All five ponies laughed at that, even Kimono – despite living safely outside of town, her gazebo had not been exempt from a certain somepony's birthday gift to herself. And while Razzaroo was amazing and clever sometimes, the other times he could be a very silly pony.
“So what brings you here today, my friends?” Kimono asked once everypony had gotten over their giggles.
“Oh! I almost forgot again,” Tome Heart exclaimed, “But the reason why I wanted to talk to you, Kimono, is that I found something really strange while I was sorting the new books at the library!”
“You found a strange book?” Kimono asked.
Tome Heart shook his head.
“No, that's not it. I found something inside a book. Err, not written in the book, but hidden under the cover! I've never found anything somepony left inside a book before, so it must've been really important to whoever it was that put it there!”
“By any chance...was it a letter?”
Tome Heart's jaw dropped.
“I – yes! Yes, exactly! How did you know, Kimono?!”
“It just seemed like a reasonable guess after that envelope fell out of your mane.”
Huh? Tome Heart looked down to where Kimono was pointing, and sure enough the envelope containing the mysterious letter was lying on the tiled floor of the gazebo. Puzzlemint, Fiesta Spice, and Toola-Roola all giggled behind their hooves, while Tome Heart blushed bright red. He wasn't very scatterbrained...Tome Heart just had a selective attention span. There was nothing wrong with that, was there? Of course not.
“Here, you should read it,” Tome Heart said, picking it up and handing it over, “It's really kind of...of scary, but somepony must've wanted it to be read. I just don't know if sharing this with the rest of Ponyville is such a good idea.”
“Ooh, what's it say?” Fiesta Spice asked as Kimono carefully unfolded the letter and began reading.
“It's a jolly confounding story,” Puzzlemint answered, “Apparently, there was this great big wishing spell, but then the ponies who were going to cast it all had a really scary dream!”
“A s-scary dream?”
Toola-Roola's voice was a shrill squeak, her eyes open wide but their centers tiny. Fiesta Spice pressed his side up against hers, and after a moment she calmed back down...but Tome Heart and Puzzlemint were both shocked.
“Toola-Roola? What's wrong?!”
As the pair crowded in closer to offer comfort and ask questions, the artistic mare ducked her head, blew her forelock out of her eyes, and fidgeted nervously. Seeing how uncomfortable she was, Fiesta Spice answered instead.
“Toola-Roola, well, she had a really scary dream last night. She was so frightened by it that she could barely hold her paintbrush today! I came to help her talk to Kimono about it.”
“But don't they need you at the theater today, Fiesta?” Puzzlemint asked.
“Oh, it's fine. Everypony is still practicing, the celebration isn't for a while yet. Starsong really wanted to come keep Toola-Roola company, but Star Spin's dancers need all the help they can get – that colt spends so much time with Sweet Apple that he should change his name to Star Apple already, you know? So...I came instead! It's really no problem.”
Puzzlemint nodded, but then she frowned.
“Two scary dreams popping up one after another? I don't like it,” Puzzlemint said next, “Not to mention the bits in the letter that don't add up.”
“Not adding up?” Tome Heart asked, confused.
“Exactly! For example...Tome, you remember that part where that chap Borealis said they'd fixed the wishing spell?”
“Yes!” Tome exclaimed, “He said they made it so...what was it again...so there would be no mean wishes granted, and that ponies couldn't change each other without permission, and that if two ponies wished for the opposite thing to happen, neither would happen!”
“Close,” Puzzlemint said, “It said that all the opposite wishes wouldn't happen. For example, if a whole town of ponies wished it snowed all the time, and another town of ponies wished it would never snow again, neither of those things would happen.”
“Never snow again?!” Fiesta Spice gasped, “But our Christmas carols would sound terrible!”
“I said it was just an example.”
“...Oh, right. Sorry.”
“But...that's good, right?” Toola-Roola offered, “Even a super-magic thing like a wishing spell shouldn't make things like that happen. It would get confusing to have no snow and always have snow at the same time.”
“It is good...if the ponies are all wishing at the same time,” Puzzlemint pointed out, “But what happens if they're wishing one after the other? It gets sticky there: the first ponies aren't wishing the snow away, so their wish is still happening while the other ponies get to have no snow at all. Does that mean it snows in one place and never snows someplace else? Except the ponies aren't wishing that some places get snow while others don't, so it's not that. Do the first ponies not get to have their wish after all? But they'd already had their wish!”
“Uh...maybe the first ponies would decide not to make the wish, so the second ponies get their wish...but wishing for those ponies to decide not to make a wish would mean the second ponies wished for something to happen to other ponies without getting permission...unless maybe they wished that the first ponies would give permission to being wished to not to wish for snow, but if they can wish ponies to change their minds then the first wish wouldn't happen...and if the first wish didn't happen then there's reason for the second ponies to wish that the first ponies would change their minds, so then they wouldn't, but then...um...uhh...”
Tome Heart trailed off, his eyes screwing shut as they threatened to start pointing in two directions. Oh gosh, all this complicated twisty thinking was making his brain hurt! Was this how Puzzlemint lived her life? How could she stand to have such a twisty brain?!
“Like I said,” Puzzlemint said, putting a comforting hoof on Tome Heart's shoulder, “It's a sticky wicket all over. Isn't that right, Kimono?”
The four ponies looked over to see that Kimono was watching their discussion. The letter, which she had finished a while ago, was folded up neatly and back in its envelope. Kimono's expression was much more serious than normal.
“You're quite right, Puzzlemint,” Kimono said, “Both your letter and Toola-Roola's nightmare are signs that something troubling is going on. ...If you'll excuse me for a moment, I believe I have something that might be able to help us figure things out.”
Kimono trotted off to her cave, but thankfully before Tome Heart risked twisting his poor brain into a knot by thinking about what they'd been discussing, the purple mare was pulling a large flat object out onto the gazebo. There was a pretty silk cloth covering it, and Kimono waited until she had the flat thing situated just right on the gazebo before taking the cloth off.
Tome Heart, Puzzlemint, Toola-Roola, and Fiesta Spice all gasped. It was a large, round mirror! A shiny silver surface reflected the gazebo pillars and the flowers floating in the lily pond perfectly, while the polished wooden frame looked like it was alive and ready to sprout flowers any minute. They were all a little taken aback by Kimono bringing out a mirror at all that it took them a little bit longer to notice something was very strange about it.
“...Kimono, how come we can't see ourselves in the mirror?” Tome Heart asked.
For sure enough, while their surroundings were reflected in the mirror, nothing else was – not even Kimono, who was standing in front of it now.
“That's because this is a magic mirror,” Kimono explained, her serious expression never changing, “It fell out of the sky not long after I moved to my cave...when I wished there was some method for me to talk to somepony about things that would just upset everypony else.”
She demonstrated the mirror's magic by pressing her hoof to the glass. It rippled like water, and slowly Kimono's reflection appeared. Then it got really strange – the Kimono-in-the-mirror smiled brightly and waved at them!
“Hi! Are you Kimono's friends? It's so nice to meet you!” Mirror-Kimono exclaimed.
Her voice was high-pitched, cheerful, and just the slightest bit dreamy. Mirror-Kimono's voice really didn't sound much like Kimono at all.
“This is Erised, the spirit of the mirror,” Kimono said.