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One-way Ticket · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 1000–25000
Show rules for this event
“How in Celestia`s name did the night fall so soon?”

I slumped down on the couch, lazily looking through my window at the bright moon. It was like it got bigger and bigger for each passing day, filling the sky with more and more bright, unnatural light. And then one day it would swallow me, the fool, who had been lured in by its luminescence.

I shook my head and attempted to sit up in an upright position.


It failed. My head came crashing down on the cushion I was lying on. Sleep had found me, and was intent on giving me a one-way ticket to the dream-express. But not now, I had work to do. I ignored my heavy hooves, and tried to just roll down of the couch. I landed safely, and when I stood up, something cracked in my neck.

“Oh, shut up you old bones…” I mumbled to myself.

The way I was trotting over to my fridge, looked like that of an injured race-horse. Why I didn’t know. I remembered getting up in the morning, then I had coffee, then I trotted over to Ponyville to see if there was anything happening.

The job that I held over at The Equestrian Times was kind of special. It didn´t just consist of sitting in the same office all day, compiling the already old news that had happened yesterday. The majority of the writing staff was based in Manehattan, and never had to leave their building, because if you waited a minute some celebration of Celestia, or a holiday would appear. Those ponies could do what they wanted, and write about it however they wanted. There never were any thing that needed debate or discussion, we have one leader and everybody agrees with her. I love Celestia, but it was a waste of space when the only thing within every issue´s politics section, was a transcript of her every word that day.

Needless to say, I steered away from these positions. I wanted to avoid the agonizing internship, the education, everything. I never was the greatest technical writer, but I knew how to describe what I saw in bright, colorful language. I had almost given up when they had rejected my first application, but then something happened. The day that Nightmare Moon returned to Ponyville, every news-source had panicked. They reported the basic details of the incident, but no solution was suggested, instead giving space to so-called “experts” on what to do when night would fall. It would lead to headlines like:

Nightmare Moon returns to bring the eternal night, expert says: Get a fireplace. Stat.

This weeks forecast:



Wednesday: Cloudy

Thursday: Cloudy with a chance of DARKNESS and OBLIVION

I, however, wanted to know what was happening now. There had been rumors that someone in Ponyville had taken it upon themselves to fight NM. So I wrote Celestia (as everybody and their mom does) asking for a confirmation of this. I made it clear, in my professional earth pony “mouth writing” that I just wanted to inform the citizens of the latest events, nothing more. To my surprise, she complied, and a slick correspondence grew out of it.

I fondly remember trotting up to the lobby-pony at the office, dropping a stack of letters on the desk. The old mare looked disapprovingly at my clothing (a worn out grey suit jacket, red dusty scarf) and my messy yellow mane. But that seized, when her eyes fell upon the letter on top of the stack, which had Celestia´s signature at the bottom.

“And you are the one submitting these letters?”

I smirked, proudly.

“Yes it is.”

“Name please?” she demanded.

“Dirt Miner.”

The stack of letters (and those that followed in the next few days) was published in the new issues as a special report section. It was praised beyond belief, primarily because it was so hard to get a comment from princess Celestia at the time. Because of that, The Equestrian Times received a lot of approval from fellow newspapers, who saw it as a brave move to publish an amateur. TET immediately recruited me afterwards.

I was NOT popular in my short time working at the office. A lot of writers were jealous at me for coming up with such a simple, yet effective idea, when they had spent days in that building trying to come up with filler for the paper. I couldn´t blame them for that, they had worked hard in a time of crisis. I still fondly remember the smell of sweat that filled the building the day after the mane 6 got their medals.

But it did not matter. Most of the colts and mares who worked there, did not want to do anything with their writing. For the most part, these ponies wanted nothing more than their paychecks so that they could hold on to their apartments uptown. And I could barely keep living in my old attic. That, and my disdain towards reporting local news, caused Head Lines (my editor) to give me a column called “Digging in the Dirt”. In light of the NM incident and the strange things that happened in Ponyville afterwards, I decided to use my newfound income to move there, in case anything else happened worth reporting.

I stared into the fridge. Mostly empty. I grabbed some leftover hay fries from yesterday, and those coffee sweets Mr. and Ms. Cake had started selling. Don’t know why that was in the fridge.

I yawned. Now I remembered. Today had been another day of nothing. Just like the previous days, and weeks before that. It was Friday, and my time for the column was running short. I attempted to comfort myself, by emptying the entire box of fries down in my mouth. I was so naïve. When I had moved here, I was overwhelmed with how many things were happening on a daily basis. I had barely settled down in my large cottage by the river outside Everfree, when an Ursa Major appeared. That column was my big break; it surprised everybody in Equestria to see an old pony-tale come alive.

I looked across the room towards my dashboard. It had all my best articles pinned up on it, with titles like: Twitching Pony Predicts The Future, I Saw A Bear Made From Stars, Poisonous Jokes, The Return

Of The Mare In The Moon, and of course Here Comes The Sun(A mail correspondence with Princess Celestia)

All of these happenings had been fascinating, confusing, terrifying, but they were always resolved by the six ponies known as the elements of harmony. Whenever they were around, something was bound to happen, something strange and unexplainable. They had been a great source of material in the first months, and if one week was particularly uneventful, I would just report on whatever was left, be it talent shows, fashion shows, festivals or celebrations. And then it was back with something sensational the next week. I shoved the coffee sweets in my mouth, ignoring the sweet taste, I only needed the caffeine.

“Have to come up with something.” I thought to myself.

The weeks had passed where nothing happened. Head Lines was getting worried about me, as were the rest of the staff. They thought my writing was getting stale, and it also showed my lack of experience as a writer. I sometimes forgot that journalism is more than just describing and reporting. Sometimes, you have to work around what to report, and keep your style consistent. Instead, my column had become the local news of Ponyville, which was only interesting to its own citizens. I needed something supernatural, extraordinary, unexplainable, and I needed it right now.

I sat down before my typewriter. The golden letters looked so grand and royal just sitting there. It was like they wanted to jump off their buttons and go find the greatest occurrence in the world. Only then would I be worthy of putting my hoof on them. But I began anyway:

The citizens of Ponyville are planning to launch a new holiday. On the day of harmony, it will have been a whole year since Discords imprisonment, which will be celebrated by…

I pulled my tape recorder from my jacket pocket and pressed play. I had attempted to interview some local citizens about what happened that day.

“So what do you remember happening that day?”

My voice sounded horrible on tape. So tired and…squeaky. Then again, it was early in the morning.

“Well, I remember hovering in the air, being blown up all the time, and then I was a washing machine!”

I stopped the tape. Why, oh why did I waste time on that!? The pony folk I had interviewed, had no memory of that day, beside all that weird chaos stuff Discord did to them. And the elements were out of town today, so I could not get an actual retelling of the day as it happened. This was hopeless, it had nothing of interest.

I put my hooves on my head. This was not good. The column was due tomorrow, and I had nothing…I closed my eyes.

When I opened them again, I was lying on the floor. I had fallen asleep, it seemed. The caffeine sweets I was chewing before, was now halfway out of my open mouth covered in slobber. I stood up, wiping the spit from my chin. That’s when I heard it.

A strange loud sound was filling the room. It sounded like a thunderstorm, if you were inside one. Like the sound of a giant straw sucking everything in from above. It was so unpleasant to me; I had to hold my head so I didn’t collapse again.

“What…Is that” I said out loud.

I dragged my tired body over to the window and opened it. I stuck my head out, and looked down the river outside. I live several miles away from Ponyville, which was visible in the distance. I looked at my watch, and it said midnight. All the lights were out in the small town. The only things that were making my sorroundings visible was the lamps inside my study, and the moon. The river that passed through everfree was right below me, flowing down towards more forest. Right there. Right there, a few feet away from my window was a glow. It looked like the glow of a unicorn horn, weak as it was. In the distance, I could see several shapes moving around, discussing something.

I ducked back inside. I knew a mysterious occurrence when I saw it. It was probably some unicorns practicing some enchantress curse. I quickly slipped on my large red scarf, and closed my three-piece jacket. I picked up my recorder and pressed a button that erased what was currently on the tape. I tucked it in my pocket, along with a pen and a notebook, in case that monstrous noise would disturb the recorder. I switched off my lamps, and almost smashed the door open with my hoof.

The weather was quit, but cold. I could feel a slight breeze dashing against my beige fur every now and then. The only way to know where I was going was to follow that tiny spec of light a few feet away from me. Getting closer and closer, I saw four ponies that were all looking at something in the river, with concerned and fearful expressions. None of them had noticed me yet. They all seemed too engrossed in what ever was down there. The glowing horn belonged to a mare, who was pointing it t the thing in the river. As I got closer, I could see where the noise was coming from. In the middle of the otherwise normal river, there was a huge black…hole?

“Who are you?”

A yellow colt was the first notice my presence. He had stepped right in front of me, as I was about to get a better look at the thing in the water. He stared at me for a while, with unfocused eyes.

“And what is your business here?”

He tried to make a threatening face at me, but ended up looking more confused.

“Ummmm…ANSWER ME!”

“Dirt Miner´s my name. I´m a reporter and column writer for The Equestrian Times.”

The colt looked even more confused now.


I produced my recorder from my pocket, pressed record, and almost swung it at him, stopping right at his mouth.

“Now, what is YOUR business here? Are you some kind of enchanter cult?”

He just stared at the recorder, clueless. I pointed it to some other colt unicorn standing beside him.

“Are you some kind of water wizard?”

I was so excited to be back in the field, doing what I was good at, so much that I smirked while asking the question. The unicorn, who had a red coat with dark brown mane, just looked at me skeptically.

“No. Are you some kind of maniac who wants to screw up this very delicate operation?”

Operation? Now I got it!

“You are all spies! “

The unicorn pushed the tape recorder away from him.

“All right, I don’t know who you are, but you are interrupting a very important mission that Celestia herself has sent us on here. So why don’t you go…how did you even find this place?”

“I live by the river, right over there.”

I pointed my foreleg towards my house.

“Oh” the unicorn exclaimed unimpressed.

“Maybe that means…”

He turned around and whistled towards the third pony, a Pegasus.

“ASAP! Do you recognize this fancy colt?”

The green Pegasus hovered over to us. He observed me, with his tired, almost shut eyes.

“Yeeeeeaaah, I know him. I deliver mail to him every morning. When I´m on my runs, I always see him running around eating sweets, talking to every pony he finds.”

Well, that was…not correct at all. I raised my voice.

“Hey, I may have a sweet tooth, but when you see me out there, I’m actually TALKING to ponies, as part of the job.”

The Pegasus stopped hovering, landing on the ground.

“Are you really?”

“Yes I am, and it´s great. You should try it sometime along with some sleep”

He walked closer, until he was staring me in the eye. It was then it occurred to me how tall he was. I was surprised those wings could still carry him. I stared back as hard as I could, my eyes widening and all. He opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a voice from afar.

“Why are you arguing?”

I knew that voice. It sounded young and spiteful. Before I could ponder further, the mare who had been pointing her horn at the river the whole time turned around and walked over. Turns out it was Twilight Sparkle. She looked frustrated, as she stepped into the little circle the colts had formed around me.

“Who is that anyway?”

She visibly recognized me, and looked relieved, and by that I mean relieved that it wasn’t some random maniac, instead it was a maniac she knew.

“Oh, it´s you. He´s the local reporter, he´s okay.”

All three of the colts jaws dropped. Then in a second they were back up again. For a while nopony said anything. I was just relieved that Twilight was okay with me being here, but I had no idea why the colts were just standing around. Nothing could be heard but the sound of that…hole in the river, swallowing all the water. These ponies had respect for the purple unicorn, but it seemed like something out of the ordinary “local hero” kind of respect. What were these ponies doing down here at this hour?

“Can we please get back to work?”

The colts nodded. The green Pegasus looked at me like he was sorry.

“Sorry about that. I get kind of crazy when I have been working all day.”

He reached out his left hoof.

“The name is Mail Bag, but people around here call me ASAP.”

I shook his hoof, with a passion.

“I am the chief mail pony in Ponyville. That includes packages out of town, and letters to Celestia.”

He smiled at me. Suddenly I felt like I needed some people skills. The red pony reached out his hoof as well.

“I apologize for the unkind introduction. I´m Hodge Podge. Professional wizard and the man behind the Portal Squad.”

I shook his hoof. Wait what did he just say?

“The portal what now? I muttered

“Oh yeah” Hodge Podge figured. He then looked at the yellow colt.

“Nopony really knows what it is, right Traffic Cone?”

Traffic Cone looked like he was called back to reality. While I was arguing with Mail Bag, he had just stood there, fearing for his life. But now the much younger colt was back, which caused him to smile broadly.

“No” Traffic said in a low voice. “I guess nopony does. But that´s because we´re secret right?”

“We´re not secret, we are a brand new society, it´s just that nopony has the problems we deal with.”

Hodge Podge put his hoof on his chest, as if he was about to declare something.

“Wherever” he said “Somepony is struggling with a magic portal, the portal squad shall be there to close the gap!”

I think he was expecting applause for that. I remained silent, while just stood there eyes closed. Then Traffic reached his hoof out for a quick shake.

“Sorry, Traffic Cone, assistant to the great Hodge Podge”

Traffic stood on his hind legs, so that he could poke Hodge, who was still in the same pose, on the head.

“Hodge? I think we need a new name, just saying.”

Hodge looked down at Traffic, disapprovingly.

“Is that so? Can you maybe come up with a name that strikes such admiration in the hearts of…portals?

Traffic looked like he was about to fire off a million of suggestions from his childish mind, but was interrupted by the now familiar roar of Twilight.


“Right” Hodge said. “We…”


Hodge quickly trotted over to Twilight, while ASAP started filling me in.

“So,” he said “we…”

“Wait!” I had almost forgotten to turn my recorder on. I pushed the button in, and put it to ASAPs snout.

“I was out on my last round today, right next to your area actually, when I saw that thing ravaging the river.”

He pointed at the black, iris-like circle in the river. All this conversation was nice, but one question was beating my head furiously right now.

“What is that? Is it a portal?” I finally asked. ASAP scratched his neck.

“I…guess? I don’t know. I just saw it swallowing all that water, and that didn´t seem right. So I immediately flew to Canterlot to report it. It seemed like Celestia already knew about it, said something about “feeling a disturbance in the balance of Equestria”. Maybe it´s because of that Discord fellas tricks. Not too good for the planet right? “

ASAP sniffed a bit. I suspected he might have gotten a cold from staying out in this weather all day.

“So she contacted her two magic experts, while I told them where I had seen the…hole. Yeah, let’s call it that. Hodge is popular in Canterlot for his magic skills, but the reason he is here with Traffic, is because the two of them are the only portal-closers in the land. Apparently, a lot of scholars in magic experiment with portals, and whenever something goes wrong with that the squad shows up and closes it. I have been waiting here all day to make sure they would close that thing for good. It creeps me out.”

ASAP turned to the others.

“You wannna see some magic? Two of the greatest magicians in Equestria together, is something I would not miss by a long shot.”

“Wait” I said “We need your name on the recording so my editor knows it´s you. “

He turned to me again, pulling the recorder along with my foreleg closer, almost lifting me in the air.

“The name” he said in a confident voice “is Mailbag, otherwise known as the post-office nightmare, but in the night, the mares of Ponyville whisper one name only: ASAP.”

He let go of the recorder, and I stumbled around, sleepy as I was. By Luna’s mane, was he strong.

“You sure are some writer if you can get all that printed” ASAP laughed.

“Okay” I said “let´s go to the magic show.”

It had been a loooooong time since my last sensation. My head felt so heavy from all this information that I almost hesitated investigating this further. It may seem unprofessional, but I briefly considered hiding my head in my scarf, that I could just dive down into an endless, red cotton sea. But why turn back now? Even if I was reaching an information overload, this would be the greatest article ever written. The fact that Equestria was in danger of being torn apart by some unknown force was enough to bring my whole readership back. This was my one-way ticket to inspiration, and salvation.

We all stood by the edge, looking down into the hole. It really did look like a portal, with its circle-form and constant spinning. Twilight and Hodge had both closed their eyes, preparing their spells or whatever it was. I had no time to waste. I needed more comments, so I switched on the recorder and put it to my chin.

“Test, test, 1,2,1,2. Okay, I am out at midnight, it’s Tuesday and I have discovered a strange black portal, in the river next to Everfree. Here with me, I have expert magician Hodge Podge of the portal squad, so tell me HP, how will you remove this thing?”

I put the recorder to his mouth. He was concentrating very intensely on keeping his eyes closed, but opened them after five seconds.

“Well, back at my classes at the magic academy whenever a portal spell went haywire, it started to cause all sorts of chaos, ponies morphing in shape, suddenly the tables would talk and all those things. Then when I showed up, I simply concentrated on pushing the portal shut, no special spells needed, it just takes a lot of magic muscle, if you understand.”

I nodded. I had seen Twilight in action a lot, and while she didn’t always know what spells to use, most of the time she just concentrated on something.

“All the portals I have closed before were easy and it only took a few minutes. This one, however, is spinning. It was not made for transport like most portals are, instead, it sucks everything down to Celestia knows where. So, the only thing we can do is to keep on trying to close it.”

He closed his eyes again.

“I´m sorry but we have to get to work now. I have never seen anything like this, and it could seriously screw Equestria up.”

That wasn’t quite enough. I needed a celebrity claim before I was done. I put the recorder to twilight sparkle.

“Twilight, what do you-“

She opened her eyes, and looked at me in an apologetic way.

“Miner, can´t you just ask these questions after we have solved this problem. You really are slowing us down.”

Augh. Not a single quote? But I needed more! I needed some more doomsday mood. If I could just…

“Miner?” ASAP interjected. “I almost forgot. When I reported the hole, I forgot to finish my route today. Here´s a letter for you.”

He reached in the mailbag hanging on his side, and gave me a white envelope. I stuck it in my pocket, I was at work now.

How would I get that final doomsday mood into my writing? Maybe…record the sound of the hole?

“As you can hear in the background, the strange hole is sucking everything in.”

The two unicorns horns had started to glow, and it genuinely looked like the hole was getting smaller. Lightning shot out from it, and started to spin intensely. Maybe if I was quick enough, I could get a small sound bite of the actual hole. I held out my foreleg, my hoof clutching the recorder.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU IDIOT!?” some voice faintly said.

I reached out to the hole. I had grossly underestimated the pull this thing had. Suddenly, it just yanked my arm in, along with the rest of me. My own scream was the last thing I heard, before it all got black.

I only faintly remember my time in the hole. I could not see anything, but constantly moving colors. All possible shapes in the universe were mashed together with my tiny feeble being. I did not feel anything physically, nor did I really notice a change during this (apparently) long period. All that I knew was, i was moving forward, no turning back now.

Suddenly, it was all over. I was lying on my back at the riverside, opening my eyes to a disgustingly pink sky. I quickly surveyed my body, nothing seemed to be missing.

“Hooves, head, eyes, mane, recorder and notes. Everything seems to be okay.” I confirmed to myself.

Why was I still complete? I just fell into a portal that nopony knew anything about. Ah, well. Now I had enough material for two articles. I stood up, scouting over the landscape. The river looked pretty much…

“OH LUNA, RIP MY MANE OUT!” I yelled aloud.

The black hole right behind me was huge. It had grown so large it took up a third of Everfree, as far as I could see, swallowing tree after tree. Every now and then, beams of lightning shot out of it, transforming whatever it hit. One hit a tree, melting it, another hit a terrified rabbit, turning it into a robot creature.

I was terrified as well, when another beam shot out in my direction. I did not have time to react as it hit me in the chest. Strangely, I felt no pain but a slight buzzing in my pocket. It was the envelope. I took the letter out, and opened it. It contained a very bright red slip of foil paper. The writing on it was golden, and glistened as I read it.

Congratulations! You just won a one way ticket to Oblivion! Come for the chaos, stay for the madness. Courtesy of Black Hole Universal inc. THIS TICKET BELONGS TO: Dirt Digger

What in the hay was this? How did this thing know my actual name? And was I really destined to go to Oblivion for all eternity? Despite the message on the “ticket” I could not take my eyes away from the beautiful paper. It seemed so royal and out of place in this crazy place.

“This thing is as bright as a phoenix.” I thought to myself.

Suddenly, the ticket started to change shape. It grew the head of a bird, wings and a large feathered body. I now had a large phoenix sitting on my hand. My jaw dropped, as I just looked at the magnificent beast. Before I could even react rationally, the bird started flapping it wings, and carried me up in the air. The bird carried my whole weight like it was nothing.


It took flight and flew towards Ponyville. Underneath me, giant type-writers were scattered about, enormous swarms of Parasprites were chasing the villagers around, and a bunch of balloons hovered around, exploding. The black hole really was starting to wreck havoc on the land. I had material for a whole book now, but that was not important at all. I needed to be back in a normal universe, where my actions mattered. I needed to find the others before it was too late. I was above the main square of Ponyville now, but the phoenix kept circling around never stopping.

“Put me down, NOW!” I yelled.

I lifted my other free foreleg, and knocked the bird on the head. After a few hits it suddenly let go of me, several meters above the ground.


Right before I hit the ground, the bird flew underneath me, catching me. I was relieved to be alive; still I scowled at the devil like bird.

Every where I looked, chaos was terrorizing the citizens. The big clock tower kept turning its hands, never stopping. Meanwhile, snakes were crawling out of chimneys, enormous bowling balls were rolling through the cottages, along with the odd case of ponies rising to the sky and falling down again. In the midst of this chaos, The Mayor was running around, trying to control her living hair.

The Phoenix had returned to its ticket form, and had flown right back in my pocket.

“If I could just, cut that thing off her head.” I thought.

The ticket changed shape, into a machete-like red knife. This thing really was something. I drew it with my mouth and approached the mayor, taking aim for her hair. For some reason, the knife wanted me to aim lower, more specifically: her actual head. I ignored it, and sliced at her hair-roots.


The hair-mutant fell to the ground, and the mayor turned to me.

“Thank you so much. Aren´t you…”

“It does not matter” I interrupted. I had gotten tired of introductions.

“Mayor, can you please tell me if you have seen a red colt passing through here?”

“I think I saw somepony like that. He was headed towards Sweet Apple Acres, right through that forest-path over there.”

She pointed her hoof to a tree-filled path behind me. I started to sprint towards it.

“Thank you!” I shouted back.

My alicorn! What had I done? This place was quickly dissolving, and the only ponies who could fix this, might have become some unnatural abomination! As I sprinted through the path of trees, I felt all energy drain from me. Running that much was tiring, for someone who lived on sweets and hay. The ticket had been following me the whole way, refusing to give up pestering me. I finally exited the path, panting like a horse. Sweet Apple Acres looked devastated. Not mutating like Ponyville just deserted. A few feet away, I could hear yelling from the main barn. I speedily sprinted over there, while the ticket followed me.

I kicked the door in with my foreleg, and saw a ruined barn. The place was filled with holes, in the shape of a massive beast. The yelling was coming from on top of the roof.


Out of nowhere, somepony crashed through the roof. It was ASAP, with some strange device on his neck, and he was coming down towards me. I quickly rolled out of the way and he slammed right into the hay-covered ground. He quickly got up, and stared at me with big glowing red eyes.

“ASAP, what happened to you?” I asked foolishly.

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” he roared back.

The thing on his neck, looked like a huge thermometer, and it was all the way up in the red. He charged at me. Once again, I sidestepped to avoid him. He crashed straight through the back of the barn. The whole thing came down on me.

I dug myself out of the pile of planks. When I got back on my feet, I saw Applejack standing a few feet away from me. She looked worried, but ready for a fight.

“You okay there?” she said when she spotted me.

I spat out the ticket that had hidden itself in my mouth, the coward.

“I´m okay. Were did that Pegasus go?” I asked.

“Oh you mean that meat train over there?” she pointed to the remains of the barn, where ASAP was standing, steaming with fury. As soon as he saw me, he charged at me again.

“Applejack, can´t you tie him up or something?” I quickly asked.

“I lost my rope in there.”

ASAP kept getting closer. I looked down at the ticket on the ground. It turned into a red rope, which I grabbed and threw it to Applejack.


She caught the rope, but it dissolved in her teeth, turning into paper again.

What a pain that thing was. I quickly ran over to Applejack, and took the rope in my mouth.

“How do I do this?

ASAP were just a couple feet away.

“Swing it behind you, and spin it in the air, until you got enough force, right?” Applejack explained. “And when you have enough, you let go of some of it, and swing it around his throat. Go on DO IT!”

I did as she said, and swung the rope, a few seconds before impact. I sidestepped away, while ASAP zoomed past me. I held the rope tight, and pulled as hard as I could. ASAP was struggling to get the rope off his throat, only choking him.


She ran up, and kicked the thermometer to pieces. ASAP stopped struggling, his eyes returning to normal.

“Wha…what happened?” he said, obviously confused.

I pulled the rope off his neck, and threw it to the ground.

“You were very angry for a while, because of that thing on your neck.”

ASAP looked at his neck.

“AAH! What is that thing?”

“I don’t know. What happened when I fell down the hole?”

“Everything went wrong. The hole got so big all of a sudden, and it changed us all. Hodge was disfigured, and twilight…I don’t really remember much after that. How did you survive that?”

I stopped to think and wonder. Why was that?

“I…don’t really know. Maybe the black hole doesn´t want me. Am I that bad?”

“No. You just need to get your head straight about what you´re doing, you know?”

He was right. If I was to get through this madness, I needed more focus. I needed to throw that stupid ticket away, and find the others, before it was too late.

“You’re right. Listen ASAP, the hole has grown so enormous now, that it will swallow the whole world if we do not find the others.”

“Then let´s find ´em.” He quickly fired back.

I turned to Applejack.

“Applejack, you didn’t per chance see any red, scared, colts running around here?”

“Well, while I was busy defending my farm, I saw something run towards the wheat fields over there.”

Applejack pointed towards what I was expecting to be a field of knee-high wheat. Not the case at all. Instead, we were met by meter-high towers of wheat, all as thick as tree-trunks. Despite that, they still bended when the wind hit them. Their height made it impossible to see anything past the fields. I groaned loudly. There was always a way right?

“Ticket? Do you have any ideas?”

The scarlet piece of paper had been lying on the ground ever since I dropped it. When I finished my sentence, it seemed to come back to life, and dashed into my mouth. I could feel its shape shift in there; it felt like a piece of gum was trying to eat my head. It kept shifting, growing in size out of my mouth until I stood there with a nasty, saw-like device. It was motorized and kept turning and turning. Before I could do anything, it moved my head so that I pointed the device at Applejack and ASAP, who both had a confused look in their eyes. The thing just had something against everything but me. I spat it out, and as it returned to its paper form, I stepped on it.

“I don’t have time for your games, you wicked thing! ASAP, do you have any ideas?”

He smirked.

“With my flying skills, and your observing skills, we should be able to fly above those things and find Hodge down there.”

“Okay” I almost shouted while I climbed on ASAP´s back “giddy up, and away!”

As we launched into the air, we could hear Applejack shout.

“Guys, what in tarnation is going on?”

As we soared above the wheat giants, I looked out for any red pony-like mutants below. The wind was getting stronger, causing the wheat to bend over itself, and this made it a lot harder to see anything. I was just about to give up looking when I heard the voice of Traffic Cone.

“Help, we can´t find a way out!”

ASAP swooped down where the voice was coming from. Down below the wheat, sat Traffic Cone and what looked like Hodge Podge, hiding his face in the dirt. I dismounted ASAP, and we ran over there.

“HP!” ASAP shouted “are you okay?”

“You guys!” Traffic cone squeaked “you got to help! I can´t get him to leave!”

“Why, HP?”I asked “We do not have time for this; we have to get twilight so that you two can close the hole!”

Hodge turned his head to face us. It was…weird. He had no face, nor a head. A leg was placed where his head should be. That meant no horn to close the portal. But the worst was yet to come. He showed us his “hooves” on his forelegs. They had both been replaced by purple dragon-hands.

This was all very sad, but for some reason I started to laugh. Hodge looked so stupid with his head just dangling from his neck; it was like a stocking with a rock in it. ASAP also snickered a bit, but quickly stopped. Unfortunately, the thing that stopped me from laughing was not me, but the painful dragon-fist of Hodge, which hammered into my stomach.

“But then who´s going to close the hole with their magic?” ASAP asked, while I recovered from the surprise attack.

“Actually, we don’t really need HPs magic to close the hole,” Traffic replied “we just need to get Twilight to use a special technique we came up with.”

Traffic sighed.

“Problem is, only Hodge knows how to word it properly, because I don’t remember very well.”

“So, if we can just get Hodge to communicate with us somehow, he will tell us what to tell Twilight?” I pondered.

“That’s it!”

We all looked at each other. A storm had started brewing above. We could hear pieces of earth being ripped of the planet, and ponies flying towards the hole. I feared for my existence. I fumbled around the pockets of my jacket, looking for a magical solution. Let´s see, stupid tape recorder and…aha!

“Why not make him write it down, so that she can read it?”I suggested, handing HP the note book and the pen.

“Yes! That’s perfect!” Traffic proclaimed.

HP tried to pick the pen up, but dropped it again fumbling with his new hands. After a few seconds he started writing. It was sloppy, but he was a unicorn who had been writing using levitation his whole life. When he had finished, he handed me the notebook, and climbed up on ASAP´s back. Traffic followed, and finally I joined them. It was a rocky lift-off, but eventually we got back in the air.

The environment was already halfway ruined. The trees were getting pulled from their roots; houses were getting torn to pieces by sheer force pulling them in. In the horizon the only thing that was visible, was the humongous all engulfing black gateway. ASAP tried desperately to fly in the other direction, but it was hopeless. All he could do was slow us down by only flying slightly backwards. All we needed now was twilight. But nopony knew where she was. Trying to avoid the terror, I asked Traffic about the spell.

“How will it work?”

“What Hodge just wrote, is what Twilight must think of when she tries to close the portal. The more she concentrates on restoring Equestria, the more focused her magic should get.”

That was all nice, we only needed a purple unicorn and we would be saved. We had been navigating around all the flying debris for several minutes with no Twilight in sight. Suddenly, Twilights library hovered up in front of us. She was standing in the door, disoriented. Praise Celestia´s light!

“Twilight!” I shouted through all the noise. “We have found a way to close the hole! All you have to do is read this thing that hoof head here wrote, while you are casting the spell!”

Twilight looked at us. Or did she? As we drifted closer, I finally saw what the problem was. Her eyes kept shrinking and growing, shrinking and growing, large, small, large small.

“When I was struck by one of those beams, I ran home to look for a spell against it. When I arrived I found out I couldn’t see or read. I can barely even sense you guys.”

Twilight sounded hopeless. She really wanted to save the day, but she had been severely sabotaged.

“…Don’t worry. I will read it to you!”

It just kind of came out of me.

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I am going to be sucked into a black hole again, I will do it while trying the best I can!” I shouted.

“Yeah!” ASAP shouted. “Let´s deliver an Equestrian package to that thing!”

Traffic followed suit.


Even the faceless HP was feeling it, giving a scaly thumbs-up.

“All right” Twilight said smirking “let’s do this!”

We were only a few feet away from the void, and Twilight had been focusing her magic for the last few minutes.

“You can start reciting…now!” Traffic shouted.

I held the notebook up and started to read aloud.

“Think of the-“

The next instant, something knocked me off ASAP´s back. I landed on a hovering piece of dirt, a few feet below Twilight´s house. I got on my hooves, and saw who had knocked me off. The ticket was hovering right in front of me, completely ignoring the pull from the hole. I was running out of time.

“Twilight! Can you hear me up there?” I yelled as much as my tiny throat could take.

No answer. I started to read aloud anyway.

“Think of the majestic river running free, imagine the ponies running free again, all under the sun and the moon of our g-“

The ticket somehow slashed through the note-book, cutting it in half.


The ticket flew past me, slashing into my fur with it´s sharp edges. It kept doing this, ripping my jacket to shreds. But I kept going. As we were about to be sucked in, I could see the light coming from Twilight´s horn becoming bigger and bigger, until it engulfed everything around me.

I awoke in my bed. It was still dark outside.

“Oh no” I thought. “Did I dream all that?”

I looked at myself. Beside my bed, was two halves of a notebook. I was still wearing the torn up jacket. I was delighted, as long as my tape-recorder had remained in my pocket…

I reached my hand in, and found nothing, but steaming hot sandwich containing hay and tomatoes.

The next morning I wrote a letter telling the squirts over at the paper that I was quitting. At the very bottom I wrote:

In the past weeks, I have realized that Ponyville brings me joy like no other. It mystifies, enchants, and wins me over every week. And I will dedicate my life to study the amazing ponies in it. So kiss my flank, and lick my hooves, because I have my own newspaper now.

See ya out there

Dirt Digger, Chief editor, founder, writer, and publisher of The Ponyville Express
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