My Little Pony Monthly Issue 54 (September 1, 2001)
My Little Pony Monthly
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Safe for All Ages
If you would like to be removed from the My Little Pony Monthly mailing list, simply send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Index of this issue–
1. Letters to the Editor
2. Welcome To Our Place! (by Baby Jedi)
3. Silver Swirl's Mew (by Silver Swirl)
4. Imperceptible Force (by Sugarberry)
5. The Dream Quest Part Three (by Moon Lightning)
6. The Adventures of Baby North Star and Baby Brother Bright Bouquet Chapter 7: The Cruise (by Baby Steamer)
7. Dark Forest Distress (by Sugarberry)
8. Dark Night Enchantment (by Clever Clover)
Letters to the Editor
From email@example.com-- Nice issue.
From Gigalove27@aol.com-- SO coooooooooooolllllll... how can you think this stuff up???
A message from Starre (OpalStarre@aol.com) to the readers–
Due to the fact I’m moving out of state, I’m afraid you won’t see Starre in the newsletter for a couple of months. I should be back on the internet by December. But until then: see you!
Welcome To Our Place!
by Baby Jedi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carol had forgotten about them. They were tossed into cardboard boxes and old drawers. There they sat, each day the same. They sat in the dark. In the stuffy, never-ending dark.
That one day began like any other. “I’m hot,” Baby Glory whined.
“I know, sweetheart,” her mother called from underneath Surprise.
“We’ll never get out of here! We’re going to melt from the heat and die!” cried Baby Heart Throb.
Baby Glory’s eyes widened. “We ARE?”
“No, I’m just hypothesizing,” said Baby Heart Throb. “But I bet it’ll happen.”
“I want out!” panicked Baby Glory, accidently jabbing Baby Ribbs with her horn.
“HEY!!” he yelped.
“SORRY!” snapped Baby Glory. Baby Heart Throb cried.
Baby Paws hit a hoof against the cardboard. “That’s IT! I’m getting out of here!”
“Me too!” agreed Baby Moondancer.
Levitating, Baby Moondancer pushed on the top of the box. Others helped. In seconds, they were free. “Get me outta this place!” Baby Glory yelled, jumping off the box.
Just then, Carol walked in. “Stupid things,” she muttered. Then she sighed. “It’s eBay time.” She grabbed up some ponies and walked to her computer. She lined them up, took a picture with her digital camera, and set to work.
“What’s she doin’, Gingerbread?” Baby Moondancer asked.
Gingerbread went a pale off-white. “She’s AUCTIONING us...” Gingerbread said in horror. “AUCTIONING us...”
* * *
A person in Baltimore, Maryland won the auction. Gingerbread, Baby Glory, Glory, Baby Moondancer, Dancing Butterflies, Mimic, and Cuddles went for $14.50, plus shipping and handling. “This is going to be a long trip...” Gingerbread murmured as, once again, they were trapped in cardboard. “Goodbye, everybody.”
“It’s HOT AND STUFFY again!!” Baby Moondancer shrieked. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE??!”
“Calm down!” Gingerbread ordered.
They were, as Glory had figured out, in the trunk of Carol’s car. She was taking them to the post office, since they were to be sent away. They were going to Baltimore, and there they would stay. The others traveling with the four had been taken out for some reason... the world was being unfair to these four ponies.
“Carol used to love us,” sobbed Baby Glory. “Didn’t she, Mama?”
Even in the dim light, Glory could see her daughter’s glossy eyes, wet from crying. Glory swallowed the lump rising in her throat. She had been Carol’s favorite pony. Carol had even taken her to school one day. Now Glory and her daughter, including Gingerbread and Baby Moondancer, were being shipped away. It was Carol’s way of saying a harsh goodbye. Or more like “goodbye and good riddance”.
The car stopped. The box went flying and hit part of the trunk. “OW!” shrieked Baby Moondancer. “CAROL!!!!!” Gingerbread instantly silenced the very mad baby pony.
They felt the box being picked up. “It’s Carol,” whispered Baby Glory. The box was opened. Carol peered in.
“Okay, guys, this is it,” she said. She looked to Glory. “You knew it’d end one day, Glory. You said so yourself– ‘Carol, all good things must come to an end.’ ” Carol took out some pieces of folded up notebook paper from her pocket. “With your personalities on them,” she said. She also put in ice cream from the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe and the couch from the Paradise Estate and even a lamp! “I know things’ll get tossed around, but you can fix ‘em, right, guys?” she winked.
Baby Glory bit back tears and tried to look as toy-like as possible. If Carol still likes us, than why doesn’t she keep us? the baby unicorn wondered.
“Okay, troops! Let’s move on out!” Carol picked up Baby Moondancer and gave her a look. “You DID say once that you loved to explore, right? I hope you still do!” She smiled. “Oh, and this person may have Moondancer– your mom, that is.” She set them all down with their personality papers and closed up the box. All was dark, until Glory switched on the light.
Baby Moondancer was jumping up and down. “An adventure, a REAL one!” she exclaimed excitedly.
“You told her that once, Glory, that all good things must come to an end?” Gingerbread asked, coming over to Glory, who was sitting on the sofa (as best as she could).
Glory smiled thinly. “Yes. I did.”
Gingerbread smiled. “With all endings come new beginnings,” she said.
“Gingerbread, I’m writing a book of your quotes as soon as we get to our destination,” laughed Glory.
“Destination?” Baby Moondancer said, climbing onto a sofa arm. “MY destination is adventure!”
* * *
It didn’t take long until they heard the bustle of the mall. “Wow!” Baby Moondancer cried, peering through a crack. “This is so cool! Mmmm, I smell food!”
Baby Glory read her personality paper while eating an ice cream sundae. She still didn’t understand why Carol was giving them away when she still cared about them. She couldn’t get over it. She soon joined Baby Moondancer. Glory and Gingerbread napped.
“We’re in the post office!” squealed Baby Moondancer.
“Mommy, we’re here. The post office!” cried Baby Glory, actually jumping enthusiastically.
“Oh! We are?” Glory cried, jumping up from her nap. Their box was set down on the counter as preparations were made.
Baby Moondancer grinned a bit. “It’s weird. We’re only here because it was Carol’s choice to sell us and the only reason we’re going to Baltimore at all is because the winning bidder is from there.” Baby Moondancer shook her head. “Man, how weird is THAT?”
Baby Glory gave her a look. “VERY weird?” she guessed.
“Correcto!” Baby Moondancer said, then stopped herself. “I think.” They all laughed as they were taken off the counter.
Carol walked away, but turned at the door. She saw the box behind the desk. Tears coming, she said quickly, “Goodbye, guys... goodbye, Glory.”
Then she quickly ran out through the mall to her car.
The box sat around for a while, but then the ponies felt the sensation of being picked up. “We’re moving! We’re going!” Baby Moondancer exclaimed happily. She peered out her crack in the cardboard box.
Baby Moondancer sipped an ice cream soda and watched. “Where ARE we...?” she murmured, when suddenly the crack closed up. “HEY!” she yelled. “Close up my porthole, will ya? I oughta teach you a lesson!” She stuck her hoof through the closed off crack to see what had sealed it. “Tape.”
Now only the lamp’s dim light lit the box’s inside. It was stuffed into a corner and was held up by the sofa. “Remind me, why are we here?” Baby Glory muttered.
Baby Moondancer rolled her eyes. “You KNOW why, so cut it out all ready!” she snapped.
“But WHY?!?” Baby Glory yelled, her eyes welling up. “WHY, if Carol STILL CARES?!”
“Do I look like I know?!” Baby Moondancer yelled back.
“GIRLS!” came Gingerbread’s voice, crisp, clear, and obviously mad. “Stop it.” Gingerbread sat back down in her corner while Glory dozed in another. Baby Glory snuggled up to her mom while Baby Moondancer sat in the darkest corner. Suddenly, there was a jolt, and the box fell. The ponies screamed as ice cream– empty or half-empty– dishes went flying, and the sofa came crashing down. The lamp fell, its light bulb breaking.
“Is everyone okay?” called Glory.
“Something’s burning!” Baby Moondancer called. Then she shrieked. “There’s a fire in here! Because of the lamp!” The box filled with smoke as it caught on fire.
“Hey, Tom, this box caught on fire!” came a frantic voice.
“Put it out! OUT!!!!” Baby Glory screamed, then coughed. Suddenly, there was a spraying sound and the fire was out. There was a hole in the box now.
“Thank God for fire extinguishers,” came a voice. “The box got burnt, though. But why?” They saw a shoe appear.
“Spontaneous box combustion?” someone else suggested. The two burst into laughter.
“We’ll just repair the box,” said one of them, laughing.
In seconds, all was dark again. “Maybe I should write ‘fragile’ on it. How ‘bout it, Jim?”
“Why not?” was Jim’s answer.
The ponies heard the scribbling and scratching of a marker. “There,” said the voice. “ ‘Fragile.’ ” The box was carefully set down.
After the two men’s footsteps faded away, the ponies set about fixing up the box. Glory used her magic to replace the light bulb, and Gingerbread took care of the sofa and spills. “Carol tried to kill us!” insisted Baby Moondancer. “That’s why she put the lamp in here.”
“The personalty papers aren’t burnt,” said Glory. “That’s good.”
“Why?” Baby Glory asked.
“Just because, honey,” Glory smiled.
“This is going to be a looooong trip,” moaned Baby Moondancer. “And a painful one at that.”
“Now, now, no whining,” Gingerbread said with a shake of her hoof. “Nobody wants to hear it.”
Baby Moondancer plopped back down in her corner. “I wish none of this ever happened.” She curled up. “I wish none of this had ever happened,” she repeated over and over, until she fell asleep. She woke up much later. MUCH later.
She heard noise. Maybe they were at Baltimore already! Excited, she poked a hole in the tape. Where... a post office? Another one, or the same? Another one! “Wake up! We’re almost there!!!” she yelled.
* * *
It took three hours until someone once again picked up the box. The ponies in their box were placed carefully down, then they felt something like a car moving beneath them. “We’re almost there, I bet!” Baby Moondancer laughed, excited. “Yes!”
The car stopped. After a while, it moved again. This went on for quite some time. The ponies’ hopes began to die. But then they felt the box being picked up and carried for a distance. They were set down. They heard a door open. “Yes, it’s here!” came the voice of a young girl.
The ponies were picked up again in a fast motion. The girl carrying them ran inside. In seconds, part of a scissors pierced the tape. The ponies anxiously waited to be taken out. The face of a twelve-year-old girl peered in, and light and fresh air flooded the box.
“Gingerbread, Glory, Baby Glory, Baby Moondancer!” the girl said, grinning happily. “My whole herd is outside waiting for you!! May I help you with your luggage?” The girl carefully lifted out the lamp and sofa. Glancing at her herd to her right, the girl laughed. “No, guys, this stuff’s theirs. Oh, Glory?” the girl said. “Scoops wants to know if you can let her have the ice cream stuff to add to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.” Scoops peered over the side of the box.
“Sure,” Glory smiled.
“Thanks,” Scoops said. She grabbed the stuff.
“Now...” the girl grinned. “Come meet your new friends!” She lifted the four out of their cardboard prison. Finally, they were free again.
Sixty-four ponies of all sorts were lined up, waving banners and flags that said such things as “HI” and “WELCOME”. A sea pony wore a Barbie t-shirt that had “WAZZAP!” on it. It was Seawinkle. She leaned against Parasol just so she’d stay up. She was the only sea pony there.
Four flutter ponies, including Rosedust, smiled shyly. Some teeny tiny ponies looked on with their large eyes. One wore an oversized shirt that said “HI THERE” on it.
“Where’s... aha!” the girl said. She held up Moondancer. Baby Moondancer gaped.
“It’s your mom, isn’t it?” Baby Glory whispered, nudging the other baby unicorn. Baby Moondancer nodded.
In the end, the four got mobbed. All the teeny tiny ponies wanted was for Gingerbread to bake them some cookies. Family ties were found, and long-lost friends, too. “I’m glad this happened, aren’t you?” asked Baby Moondancer, who was trying to escape from UK Confetti.
“Yeah!” laughed Baby Glory as UK Confetti broke through the crowd. “Ah, my little crumpet–”
“NOO!” screamed Baby Moondancer, tearing off.
Baby Crumpet walked up. “Did someone call me?” she asked. “I... suppose not,” she said, staring at UK Confetti chasing Baby Moondancer.
“You were right, Gingerbread.” Glory laughed. “ ‘With all endings come new beginnings.’ ”
THE END!!!!!!!! THANX 4 READING!!! HOPE U LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Silver Swirl’s Mew
by Silver Swirl (Hobbit1850@aol.com)
It was a picturesque scene: Silver Swirl, the unicorn princess of Friendship Gardens, was perched on a swing. Melisande the Mew clung to the unicorn’s horn, and Jade the dragon sat on the branch from which the swing hung. Princesses Twinkle Star and Morning Glory were sprawled on the soft moss nearby.
“I’ve been so bored lately,” complained Morning Glory.
“Yes, ever since Silver Swirl’s pen pal left there haven’t been any stallions for you to flirt with,” Twinkle Star snickered. Silver Swirl grinned, recalling her own clever plots to make Morning Glory leave Sandstone (the aforementioned stallion) alone.
“I don’t flirt,” protested Morning Glory. Everyone else started laughing.
“And a fish would never dream of swimming,” was Jade’s remark.
“Okay, so I sort of follow stallions around. But it isn’t flirting; it’s just looking for the right one. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince,” she finished serenely.
“Sorry to break it to you, Morn, but there are precious few princes around here, literal or figurative,” stated Silver Swirl wisely as she swung by.
“That’s what everyone says, but I still believe!” Morning Glory proclaimed. “Someday I’ll find someone perfect for me, and everything will just be... perfect.”
“Redundancy alert,” muttered Jade.
Silver Swirl shook her head. “Things like that just don’t happen to real ponies in the real world,” she insisted.
“Since when were you such a cynic?” questioned Twinkle Star, amused. “Anyway, I’ve heard plenty of stories of real-life ponies living happily ever after.”
“Just because they live in the real world doesn’t mean they’re real ponies,” countered Silver Swirl mysteriously.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Morning Glory raised one eyebrow, an ability that Silver Swirl always envied.
“Well,” explained the unicorn, “I have a theory that some ponies live in the real world, but they aren’t real ponies. They come from stories or something, and they live their lives the way they would in those stories. So when you see some ponies whose lives seem extraordinarily like a fairy tale, you can tell that they’re not real ponies at all. And that way you don’t have to be jealous of them,” she smiled.
“But how do I know that I’m a real pony then?” Morning Glory protested, looking more confused than ever. “Any of us could be one of your... unreal ponies, and never know it!”
Silver Swirl shrugged. The swing, by now, had slowed down so that it was barely swaying. “There’s always that chance, but it’s probably not a good thing to pin one’s hopes on.”
“And that’s Silver Swirl’s Theory of the Day,” intoned Twinkle Star in an “announcer” voice. Melisande sighed, letting her head droop.
“Something wrong?” Silver Swirl inquired, ruffling the Mew’s ears (no mean feat since Melisande was on Silver Swirl’s head).
“This talking of love, it makes me sad,” the little Pokémon acknowledged. Her long tail swung back and forth to an unheard rhythm.
“Sorry,” apologized Morning Glory, but she was too curious to drop the topic. “Did you have... someone?”
“Perhaps,” replied Melisande with a smile that was too cheerful to be real. Silver Swirl decided to change the subject.
“Did you hear that Dazzle Glow got permission to do a fireworks display in one of the big meadows in Dream Valley tonight? The Bushwoolies have volunteered to make sure everything stays safe.”
“Sounds like fun,” observed Twinkle Star. “I have a drum lesson in Dream Valley today, so I can stay for the fireworks afterwards.”
“Do you two want to go?” Silver Swirl asked Jade and Melisande.
“Sure,” agreed Jade. “It will probably be ridiculous and annoying, but I’ll go anyway– it’ll be fun to make snide remarks about it.”
Melisande grinned and shook her head. “You are only happy when you can say that others are being stupid,” she observed.
“You are only happy when you can criticize me,” retorted Jade.
Melisande gave an angelic smile. “That makes me bad?”
“Settle down, you two,” Silver Swirl sighed. “Listening to you argue can be fun for a while, but it gets tedious after a few hours.”
“Since when were you the center of the universe?” snapped Jade.
Silver Swirl looked at the dragon, maintaining admirable composure. Normally Jade would never speak so angrily in a casual conversation; if she did, she was surely quite upset. “Sorry, I was only trying to help keep the peace. I know I’m egocentric sometimes, and I’m working on it.” Now it was Jade and Melisande’s turn to be surprised; Silver Swirl was not known for her patience or humility.
“Okay, we’ll stop arguing if it’s that important,” responded Jade grudgingly. “But Melisande started it!”
Twinkle Star laughed. “I wish you’d help teach my Pokémon to speak English, Melisande; I’d love for other ponies to hear the great things that they say.”
“I am happy to help them learn if any are interested,” replied Melisande. “Do any of them say that they want to learn?”
“Hmm,” Twinkle Star considered. “I think Raichu once mentioned that it would be fun, and Dewgong’s very smart– he could probably pick it up easily. Sandshrew is very talkative, so she would probably like to learn it.”
“You and Silver Swirl sound like you have a lot of fun with your Pokémon,” acknowledged Morning Glory.
“It’s more like they have fun with us,” Silver Swirl laughed. “Is that your way of saying that you’re considering getting some of your own?”
“Yes, actually,” Morning Glory admitted. “I rather like those Kadabra and Paras.”
“No reason to look ashamed of it– I think it would be great for you to get a Pokémon companion,” enthused Twinkle Star. “Paras and Kadabra aren’t too hard to find, either.”
Morning Glory smiled and reached out to stroke Melisande, who had floated down from Silver Swirl’s head. “I’ll think about it– I’d have to do some research first to see if it would work out.” Silver Swirl grinned to herself. In a relatively short time, Pokémon had come to share the hearts and homes of many citizens of Ponyland.
Twinkle Star began to absent-mindedly pound on the forest floor as if it were a drum. Once the pink pegasus had established a beat, Silver Swirl began to sing softly.
“I asked the moon,
Can you show me the wisdom found in a midnight sky?
For I think I will need it on one of these dark, cold nights.
I asked the moon,
And I looked for an answer
But the moon said nothing,
So I turned away.
“I asked the sun,
Can you show me the gladness found in a noonday sky?
For I think I will need it on one of these long, hot days.
I asked the sun,
And I looked for an answer
But the sun said nothing,
So I turned away.”
“Nice song,” commented Twinkle Star.
“Nice drumming,” Silver Swirl replied with a grin.
“I asked the moon...” Melisande warbled, trying to beat the tree trunk with her tail as she sang.
“I don’t think the composer would appreciate you rewriting the melody,” Jade told the Mew. “The song goes, ‘I asked the moon...’ “
”No, you’re wrong! It goes the way I sang it!” insisted Melisande.
Morning Glory shook her head contemplatively. “I think Melisande’s right.”
“No,” Silver Swirl corrected, “Jade was right.” The little dragon smiled smugly and was abruptly thrown into the air by an unseen psychic attack. “Melisande!” Silver Swirl’s voice was sharp. “You know the rule– attacks are not to be used on friends!” She looked at the Mew, whose head was hung in shame. “But I don’t think I’ll have the strength of character to stop you next time Jade gloats like that.”
“There won’t be a next time,” Jade announced. “Taunting you isn’t worth getting blasted. Really, though, you need to develop a thicker skin. If a little smirk makes you that angry, think what a snide remark could do.”
“I will work on it,” Melisande agreed. Silver Swirl shook her head. Thank goodness Jade didn’t hold grudges.
“Hey, Silver Swirl, why didn’t you find out you were a princess until you were twelve?” queried Twinkle Star.
“That’s a random question,” Morning Glory interjected, but she listened just as attentively for the reply.
“Eh,” Silver Swirl shrugged. “My family lives on the outskirts of Friendship Gardens, and they haven’t been there for that long, so I suppose they didn’t know about the tinsel-hair rule.”
“How did Queen Sun Sparkle find out then?” Morning Glory asked.
Silver Swirl giggled. “She saw my class picture,” the unicorn explained. “And you know the rest; Lady Moonshine knocked at the door, asking to see Silver Swirl Filigree.”
“Your last name is Filigree?” Melisande repeated.
“No, it’s Smith,” Jade replied sarcastically. “You don’t talk much about your past, do you Swirly?”
Silver Swirl shuddered. “Never call me Swirly. I can deal with Silv, but not Swirly. You’re right, I don’t talk much about it. I wouldn’t want to give you nightmares,” she quipped. “No, seriously, there’s not much to tell. My past was quite boring.”
“Hmm...” Jade closed her eyes, and then shook her head. “I can’t picture you having a boring life. If it wasn’t interesting, you’d do something to change that.”
“Oh yes, I certainly did some exciting things.” Silver Swirl tilted her head back with a pensive smile. “Like the time I refused to let the teacher confiscate my toy dog. But all in all, my life was very average. I was quite happy to move to the castle, especially because there were some nasty ponies in my class at school. They had a tendency to call me Iron Swirl.”
“Iron Swirl... that’s a good one,” Jade considered.
“Don’t even think about it,” warned Silver Swirl. Twinkle Star glanced at her watch.
“Oh gosh, it’s almost time for my drum lesson. I’ll see you at the fireworks!” The winged princess glided upwards and was soon out of sight. Silver Swirl gazed at the sky for a moment, and then looked back at her surroundings.
Morning Glory stretched and yawned. “Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I weren’t a princess,” the earth pony confided.
“Me too,” Silver Swirl agreed. “I would have had to go to college, and get a job, and a home of my own... I don’t think I would’ve liked it.”
Morning Glory laughed. “We do have rather a convenient life, don’t we?”
“A little too convenient, I think,” commented Melisande. “Even the royal Mew have to... never mind.” The Mew blushed.
“Royal Mew?” the two princesses queried simultaneously.
Jade snorted. “You two sound like parrots– you should go visit Mimic.” The dragon blew a strand of hair out of her face, evidently very pleased with herself.
“I don’t think Jade sleeps at night,” Silver Swirl addressed Morning Glory and Melisande. “She just lies there thinking of sarcastic remarks for every occasion.”
“However did you guess?” Jade questioned facetiously.
“I have my sources,” Silver Swirl uttered with an air of mystery.
“Royal spies,” added Melisande.
“ ‘Lo, she is one of this conspiracy!’ ” quoted Jade.
“Hmm... I never knew Shakespeare induced paranoia in dragons...” Silver Swirl mused. Jade flicked her tail at the unicorn. “It would appear to quicken the temper as well... not that it was needed.”
“I’d better be going– Sugar Belle and I are going to look for antiques,” explained Morning Glory. “I might come see those fireworks later.” Silver Swirl waved at the other princess who trotted off toward the main area of Friendship Gardens.
“I guess we should head for the field if we want good seats for the fireworks,” Silver Swirl suggested. Her two small companions nodded assent.
* * *
“Help me spread the blanket?” Silver Swirl requested. Jade and Melisande each took hold of a corner, leaving the unicorn with the remaining two. Together, they arranged the big picnic blanket over the grass and settled themselves on it.
“Fireworks!” cheered Melisande.
“What? They started?” Jade quickly looked around.
“No. Just excited,” replied Melisande.
Jade rolled her eyes. “No more false alarms, okay? I’m going to take a nap.” Suiting her actions to her words, the little dragon curled up and closed her eyes. Quietly, so as not to disturb Jade’s rest, Silver Swirl presented Melisande with an apple.
“Hi, Silver Swirl!” Fizzy greeted.
“Shh,” warned Silver Swirl, gesturing at the sleeping Jade.
“Oh, sorry.” Fizzy looked abashed, and lowered her voice. “Aren’t these fireworks going to be great? I haven’t seen fireworks in a while; I hope I won’t be as scared of the noise as I was last time. It’s just so loud, and unexpected, that I always get spooked.” Although the Twinkle-Eyed unicorn had started out speaking softly, her voice had crescendoed back to its original volume by the end of her monologue.
“Want an apple?” Silver Swirl offered.
Fizzy took the fruit, which mercifully quieted her. “Oh, there’s Posey– got to go! Bye!” She dashed away.
“That just goes to show how important we are,” quipped Silver Swirl. Melisande laughed, a little mewing sound. “Oh, look, here comes Twinkle Star. Twinkle Star, over here!” Silver Swirl waved at the pegasus, who gracefully landed next to the blanket. “How was your drum lesson?”
“Great. Pretty Beat’s a really good teacher.” The sky had begun to darken, and there was a sense of excitement in the air. “I can’t wait to see the fireworks!”
“Ditto,” Silver Swirl concurred.
“Where?” Twinkle Star looked around.
“Not the Pokémon!” laughed Silver Swirl.
“I know, I was just joking.”
“Sure you were,” Melisande agreed sardonically.
“Do you suppose Jade is contagious?” Twinkle Star asked Silver Swirl.
The unicorn shrugged. “You never know.” Suddenly, a burst of colored light exploded into the air– the first firework. Melisande awakened Jade as two more sparklers rose into the heavens. Purple, green, red, blue, and golden white, the fireworks lit up the velvety sky, accompanying themselves with loud bangs that spooked several baby ponies and Fizzy. The ponies gazed, enchanted, at the colorful spectacle.
At that time, a small pale something began to fall near Silver Swirl. Thinking at first that it was a spark, the unicorn shied away as it landed. It was not, however, an ember. Melisande was the first to recognize it, and she glided swiftly towards what they could now see was a Mew. Clearly exhausted, the other Mew looked up at Melisande, who tried to support the stranger’s head. The mysterious Pokémon looked like it was about to speak, but then its eyes closed. Silver Swirl checked its pulse.
“It’s okay, just sleeping,” she reported. Twinkle Star and Jade moved over to examine the creature. Silver Swirl turned to Melisande, who was holding the other Mew’s limp paw. “Do you know this Mew?”
Melisande gazed at the stranger, a mixture of emotions playing across her little face. “His name is Edward,” she whispered.
* * *
“Are you sure he’s all right?” Melisande questioned anxiously.
“He’s fine,” Silver Swirl sighed. Ever since she, Jade, and Melisande had returned to Friendship Castle, Melisande had been hovering (literally) over Edward, who was reposing in comfort on Silver Swirl’s pillow. Silver Swirl understood her friend’s concern, but it was beginning to get annoying. Jade apparently felt the same way.
“Melisande, cut it out. Silver Swirl was nice enough to forgo the fireworks for this Edward of yours, who we don’t even know anything about, so the least you could do is stop being annoying.”
“Sorry.” Melisande went back to staring at the sleeping Edward.
“Who is he, anyway? Do you know how and why he got here?”
“Edward is my... friend.” Melisande’s face went crimson. An evil smile spread over Jade’s face. The dragon opened her mouth, but Silver Swirl sent her a warning glare. It was all very well for Jade to tease Melisande, but right now the Mew didn’t seem to be able to put up with it.
Silver Swirl idly picked at the remains of the dinner she’d transported to her tower. Waiting for a sleeping Mew to awaken was rather boring, although it was clear that this Edward was important to Melisande. Sighing, Silver Swirl wondered how long Edward would sleep. What if he continued to slumber for days? Would Melisande refuse to leave his side? Fortunately for Silver Swirl, Edward chose this moment to open his eyes. He looked around, puzzled, until he spotted Melisande.
“Melisande?” he croaked in Mew-speech.
“Edward! How did you get here?” Melisande replied in the same language.
Edward took several deep breaths, tried to raise his head from the pillow, and failed. “Came here... to ask you... to come home. We’re not... angry... we miss you.” Edward, still fatigued, closed his eyes again. “Please come home.” Jade and Silver Swirl looked at Melisande.
“Home? What’s he talking about?” Jade inquired.
Melisande sighed. “Well, most Mew live in a network of caves in a mountain deep below the sea.”
“I didn’t know there were mountains deep below the sea,” Jade remarked.
“There are; the tops of them are known as islands,” informed Silver Swirl.
“Anyway,” Melisande was plainly aggravated at having her story interrupted, “that’s where most Mew live. We have a very beautiful civilization, rich in culture and history, and we are ruled by the Emperor and Empress of the Mew.”
“Sounds nice,” Silver Swirl commented.
“It is,” Melisande replied. “In fact, it’s so nice that very few Mew choose to leave it. It’s a long trip all the way through the ocean, and scary. There are giant squid, you know.” Jade shuddered; she was afraid of giant sea creatures although she would never admit it.
“However,” the Mew continued, “the Mew Empire does have a way of seeing what’s going on in the outside world. It’s our greatest treasure, an orb made of paper-thin moonstone. When we look into this orb, we can see miniature scenes of life above the ocean.”
“And you lived in this empire?” Jade wanted to know.
Melisande nodded. “I lived there for most of my life, happy and innocent. Then came my fall from grace.” Silver Swirl raised her eyebrows; she hadn’t known that Melisande could be so dramatic. “I was wandering around the caverns when I saw it, the resting place of the Pearl of Pearls– that’s what we call the moonstone sphere.” The pragmatic explanation lessened the suspense of her tale. “I’d never gotten to see it up close before, and it was incredibly exquisite. It looked so cool and smooth, sitting there on its blue velvet cushion. Impulsively, I drifted over to it and picked it up.”
Silver Swirl, Jade, and Edward stared, riveted by the story.
“To this day I can remember exactly what it felt like. I just floated there for a moment, holding the gem, until I heard a noise behind me. It was only another Mew who had come to check on the Pearl of Pearls, but it startled me. I dropped the most precious treasure in the Mew Empire, dropped it onto the stone floor where it shattered into a million tiny shards.”
Silver Swirl and Jade winced. “So what happened then?” Silver Swirl urged.
Melisande sighed. “Well, there were consequences– nobody was pleased to have their greatest treasure broken. Normally, the punishment would be banishment for life.” The eyes of her audience widened, except for Edward’s, which had closed. “I got lucky, though, or so everyone claimed. There’s a way to grow a new Pearl of Pearls, although it takes a long time, so I hadn’t broken anything irreplaceable. Also,” Melisande looked down at the floor, “the Empress is my second cousin once removed, and she sort of intervened on my behalf.”
“So what was your punishment?” questioned Jade.
“Exile for six months,” Melisande replied shortly. “Everyone said it was a very merciful sentence, but I disagreed. I just didn’t believe that I should be punished for an accident. I was rather angry...” Melisande blushed “...and I said that I would never come back to the Empire, no matter how much time had gone by.” She closed her eyes as well, though she didn’t seem nearly as tired as Edward. “I’ve kept my word.”
“How long ago was this?” Silver Swirl enquired.
“A month or so before Dazzle Glow gave me to you,” answered the Mew.
“And you,” the unicorn gestured to Edward, “want her to come back?” It was a rhetorical question, but it helped Silver Swirl to feel more like she was in control of the situation.
Edward nodded. “Please, Melisande. Your parents and the Empress have been worrying. I think they’ll apologize, if that’s what you want.”
Melisande frowned. “Serves them right for banishing me for an accident.”
“Haven’t you proved your point? You’ve been gone for more than a year; everyone misses you.” Edward swallowed and his pale face went slightly pinker. “I missed you.”
Melisande looked away hastily, but Silver Swirl could tell that the little Mew’s face had turned almost red. “I’ve missed you too, Edward. A lot.” Jade sniggered and both Mew glared at her. “This isn’t funny, Jade,” said Melisande through clenched teeth. Silver Swirl had never heard her friend sound so venomous.
“So will you come home?” Edward beseeched. Melisande shifted uncomfortably. Silver Swirl, Jade, and Edward all had their eyes fixed on their Mew friend.
“I don’t know,” she responded slowly. Edward looked like he was about to say something, but Melisande silenced him by holding up her paw. “You don’t understand, Edward. This is my home now.”
“You’re happy here?” Edward asked incredulously.
Jade scowled at him. “Does this place look like a dungeon to you? Do Silver Swirl and I seem like evil monsters?” Edward mumbled an apology more out of fear than true regret.
“It’s nice here in Friendship Gardens,” Melisande explained. “There are all kinds of interesting things to do, and the castle is quite comfortable. There are lots of other Pokémon here, you know, even some other Mew. You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen and done and learned.”
“But your home, your family...” protested Edward.
“I’ve lived here for more than a year; it feels as much like home as the caves did. Silver Swirl and Jade are the best friends I could ever ask for– except for you, of course– they’re like sisters to me.” Edward looked skeptical at the thought of such a family. “I really think that I like life better here.” Despite the gravity of the situation, Silver Swirl had trouble stifling a laugh at the look on Edward’s face.
“I thought, though, that...” Edward lowered his voice until it was barely audible. “I thought that we were planning to, well, someday...”
Melisande’s feline countenance remained carefully blank, but her voice lost its usual warmth. “Did you, really? You certainly weren’t in a hurry then– you were perfectly willing to manage without me for six months.” She waved her tail in a gesture of silence before the other Mew could speak. “Besides, life here is so much more full and exciting. I don’t know if I’d be satisfied with the Empire if I went back.”
“So you won’t come home?” asked Edward quietly.
“Oh, I don’t know!” Melisande threw her paws into the air in a gesture of helplessness. “I don’t know what to do. Will you let me sleep on it?”
“Of course. It’s your choice.” The bitter edge in his voice was barely detectable.
Silver Swirl watched the two Mew’s dialogue, feeling as if she and Jade had been forgotten. “Um.” The six eyes of the other creatures in the room turned to look at the unicorn. “It’s getting late,” Silver Swirl elaborated. “If any of us plan to sleep tonight, we’d better, uh, go to bed...”
“Of all the awkward statements you’ve made,” Jade remarked conversationally, “that is the most awkward I’ve heard yet.”
“Jade, I have an assignment for you– go to the nearest dictionary and look up “tact”. If you’ve ever heard of the word, it’s obviously been forgotten.” Jade’s eyes widened at the uncharacteristically sharp retort. Silver Swirl immediately regretted her words, although she doubted that they hurt thick-skinned Jade. “Edward, you’re welcome to stay here for the night.”
“Thank you; I appreciate your generosity,” Edward voiced.
“No problem. I have an extra cushion that should be your size.” Having something to do helped Silver Swirl to keep her mind off of the situation at hand. “Here.” Edward gratefully nestled into the spare pillow, while Jade and Melisande snuggled into their respective cushions.
Silver Swirl performed their nighttime ritual, dimming the lights and opening the curtains so that the moonlight could shine through the window. After scrambling into her own bed and tucking the covers snugly around herself, she whispered “Good night.”
“Good night,” echoed Jade.
“Good night,” repeated Melisande (“For the last time?” wondered Silver Swirl). Edward said nothing; he was already asleep.
* * *
Silver Swirl didn’t really expect to be able to get to sleep, and her intuition proved correct. After tossing and turning for a while, she decided to use a technique that always helped her– listing her thoughts.
“Fact one: Ever since that big fight with my parents, I’ve made this tower and Jade and Melisande my whole world to try to keep from getting hurt.”
“Fact two: I believed that, within this little world, I was sheltered from losing anyone else.”
“Fact three: There’s a good chance that Melisande will leave, and the structure of my world will be altered.”
“Fact four: I’m really not in the mood for facts; I just wish that Edward had stayed in his precious Empire!” Silver Swirl shot a scowl across the room at the sleeping Edward, knowing that she was being unreasonable. Of course Melisande had the right to go back home; of course Edward had the right to seek out his old friend/sweetheart. It seemed, though, that Silver Swirl was getting the short end of the deal.
Melisande was a relatively new addition to Silver Swirl’s life, but she was such a good friend that the unicorn could not imagine life without her. What Melisande had said was true: the Mew, the dragon and the unicorn were like sisters. The idea of Melisande leaving was very close to Silver Swirl’s deepest fear: that Silver Swirl herself would someday have to leave her tower and her surrogate family and start a life on her own.
Silver Swirl shivered, a few tears leaking from her eyes. She had seldom felt so very alone.
* * *
“Good morning,” Jade chirped in her usual eager-to-torment-sleepy-Silver Swirl voice.
“Ugh.” Silver Swirl, who had finally got to sleep at five o’clock in the morning, tried to pull the covers back over her head. “Lemme sleep... go away...”
Jade’s voice grew sterner. “It’s important; Melisande wants to talk to you.”
Silver Swirl groaned, trying not to seem anxious. Careful to move slowly, the unicorn sat up to face Melisande, who was sitting on her pillow looking nervous. “Good morning, Melisande.”