DISCLAIMER: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all related characters and settings belong to Lauren Faust and Hasbro Studios. This is a not-for-profit work. I am not making any money, nor am I attempting to negatively affect the market for any of the materials shown, or take proceeds from their creators, but rather to expand the fanbase and keep the pre-existing fanbase strong.

RATING: T (for some violence/dark themes)

CHARACTERS FEATURED: Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Spike

Set during Season 3

Also on FIMFiction

Twilight's Tale

"…and just when the last pony thought she was safe… there, standing right behind her, just inches away, was… THE HEADLESS HORSE!" Twilight turned off her flashlight, threw a sheet over her head, and waited for the screams.

They didn't come.

Twilight Sparkle peeked out from under her sheet. "Uh, girls?"

Her friends didn't look as terrified as she'd hoped. Rarity was casually filing her hooves, Applejack munched contentedly on a caramel apple, and Pinkie Pie was happily shoveling hoofull after hoofull of popcorn into her mouth.

"Yawn!" That had been Rainbow Dash, who sat there with a look of open boredom.

"Was—was my story not scary enough?" Twilight asked, ears drooping.

"Yeah, it was totally scary…" Dash drawled, "…the first time we heard it!"

"Sorry, Twilight darling, but I'm afraid I must agree with Rainbow," Rarity chimed in, blowing the filing dust off her hoof. Everypony nodded in agreement. "You've told that same story every Nightmare Night since you came to Ponyville!"

"Well, so-rry..." muttered Twilight, and sat back down, dejected.

In honor of Nightmare Night, Twilight had invited Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash over to Ponyville Library for a sleepover. (She'd sent an invitation to Fluttershy too, just to be thorough, but the timid pegasus had of course politely—but very firmly—declined.)

There was punch, and caramel apples (graciously supplied by Sweet Apple Acres), and popcorn and S'mores and pumpkin pie. The main room inside the hollow tree had been decorated with typical Twilight attention to detail… toy spiders inhabited fake cobwebs, wooden pony skulls decorated the table, and a great glowing Jack O'Lantern glowered menacingly at the five friends with eyes of dancing flame. Some special herbs from Zecora had been dropped into a boiling pot, which created a ghostly mist along the floor. But the best bit, they all agreed, was that Twilight had used her magic to conjure up a big black stormcloud indoors, complete with thunder and lightning. (It was only an illusion, of course, but a very effective one.)

Everypony was dressed up in the customary Nightmare Night costumes. Rainbow Dash was, naturally, her favorite literary character, with Daring's trademark explorer hat, and a compass rose Cutie Mark made of felt stuck on her flank over her own. Applejack was a skeleton, with a grinning skull painted onto her muzzle. Rarity was a princess, glittering with real gemstones, and a diamond tiara was nestled in her lovely purple mane. She had also brought along Opalescence, her surly longhaired cat, much to the dismay of all.

Twilight Sparkle, who was still smarting over the reception of her Star Swirl the Bearded costume the previous year, had decided to go with "a Nightmare Night classic" that was sure to be recognized. Unfortunately, as soon as Rainbow Dash had seen her in the sheet with the two eyeholes cut out, the blue pegasus had dissolved into gales of derisive laughter. Twilight had hidden her ghost costume right then and there, and conjured up a pair of glasses instead. With the glasses and her mane in a tight bun, she'd introduced herself to the rest of her guests as "Marian the Librarian" from the musical The Singing Stallion. This had gone over slightly better than the ghost get-up, though she found herself once more in the irritating position of having a costume nopony recognized.

Pinkie Pie had arrived with typical flair, but her costume was… well, unusual. She wore a white apron spattered with what appeared to be strawberry jam, and a big chef's hat with similar red splotches. When asked what she was supposed to be, she had replied, "I'm a baker, silly!" with a wide grin, and then added cryptically, "Scary, huh?" Dash had facehoofed, but everypony else just put it down to Pinkie being Pinkie.

Now the dancing was over with, the last of the foals had taken their candy and left, and the five friends were clustered around the fireplace, telling spooky stories.

Spike burst into the room from the kitchen, laden down with chocolate bars and other sweets. The baby dragon was dressed as a zombie. "Hey guys!" he exclaimed. "Did Twilight finish her lame story yet? Um, I mean," he amended quickly, glancing at Twilight, who was staring daggers at him, "did she finish her totally exciting tale that I had to miss because of… um, stuff?"

Twilight sighed. "It's okay, Spike. I'll just have to try something new next year."

"Thank Celestia for that!" the dragon enthused. Twilight glared, so he hastily changed the subject. "Oh, er… anyway, so whose turn is it now?"