I snorted as I lifted my saddlebags onto my back. I looked at my old desk and sighed. Without all the clutter it looked pristine and new again. Just like it had when I first took office.
I had little doubt that it’s new resident, the Mayor-elect, would maintain it in that perfect, orderly state. She’d probably find some way to make it even neater and more efficient.
It was still a week until I had to clear out. Until she took office. But I had to admit, there was a lot to clear out. And Ponyville was a slow town. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d gone all that week without one piece of paperwork to sign. So it’d be easier to get it all done early. Just get it over with.
I grimaced as I thought again of my competitor. The pony who beat me. She was always early too. She was always planning ahead. Maybe I’d learned something. I hated that thought.
With shame burning on my cheeks, I walked out the door and headed home. I tried not to think about what I’d lost, and consider where I might go from here. Maybe try Appleloosa. I knew they needed some ponies experienced in politics to deal with the Buffalo. But I discarded that thought. Ponyville’s reputation for interspecies relations was not the best. They probably wouldn’t listen to a word I had to say. Savages.
The zebra campaigned for her too, of course. How was I supposed to compete against rhyming campaign promises? A unicorn Mayor backed by zebras and dragons. What was Ponyville coming to?
Ponies stared at me as I walked home. I wondered if they liked getting a last glimpse of their disgraced former Mayor. I wondered if they were just surprised by my mane. After the election I started wearing it pink again. I wasn’t going to make myself look professional and serious for them anymore. Not for them. Never again.
There were celebratory banners all around town. Everypony was celebrating. She had Ponyville’s resident partier and designer on board, so everything was beautiful and festive and it made me want to tear my eyes out so I wouldn’t have to see it.
One of the banners had a picture of her. She was wearing that vest. That damned vest. The vest that I gave her. All-team organizer. I cursed her and my past self in the same breath. I thought it’d help me to associate myself with a town hero like that. Get a pony I could control that they’d all rally behind. Well, they did. I gave her the only campaign slogans she needed to win the election.
I chuckled as I imagined using that in a pitch to get a job. “The mind behind Twilight Sparkle’s unexpected victory in Ponyville!”
She knew, I decided. She knew all along. Everything she did was perfect. Every step she took since she moved here was undermining my support and building her own. And she had the Princesses’ support too. They of course didn’t involve themselves in elections. But everypony knew. Nopony needed to say anything.
The Princesses. She probably had her eye on that title too, I thought.
When I reached my door I grumbled to myself as I unlocked it, and I was surprised to see a pony approach me. But I knew instantly who it was. Her.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Mayor?” She asked in that sweet voice of hers. What I wouldn’t do to have that voice. If I had that voice I’d be crowned Princess by tomorrow.
“Yes?” I asked. I opened my door, trying to send the signal that I didn’t want to talk.
“I just wanted to make sure there’s no hard feelings,” she said.
I strained to keep my eyes from bulging out of my head in shock. No hard feelings? I wasn’t sure whether she were a genius or an idiot.
I put on my Mayor’s smile and nodded as I stepped inside, just poking my head out. “Of course not! It’s all politics. I understand.”
I understood. I understood backstabbing and manipulation and dredging up the undesirables of Equestria to look like the underdog. I understood perfectly.
“Great!” She beamed. Whatever she said afterward was silenced as I shut the door.
That was an amazingly unique take on the Mayor. She was far from sympathetic, but she felt very, very real. Her bitterness resonated beyond the screen; I could feel it. And her racism, the full blown, assured of its rightness racism, felt all too real. Nice work.