A red quill covered in a golden aura was moving along a piece of parchment in Celestia’s personal office. The princess of the sun had been working on government documents for what seemed like an eternity for her. To her left was her faithful pet, although she was in the process of moulting and the vast majority of her feathers were gone. Sitting to her right was a pile of papers that stood as tall as her. It had taken hours to go through them all and to decide whether or not the contents of each proposal were worth while. The quill stopped moving and the piece of parchment was sent to the top of the pile. Celestia cracked her neck and sighed.
“Finally,” she said. “I’m done. Now I have a chance to…” She looked around her and saw that there were six other piles standing as tall as the previous one. A groan left her mouth.
“Damnit,” she said. The top papers of one of the piles was covered in a golden glow and brought in front of her. “I don’t suppose that you’d be willing to help me, Philomena?” In response, Philomena coughed and lost more of her feathers.
“I thought not.” The title page of the proposal was flipped over and she began reading. Why do I keep letting Luna distract me?
The moon was near its zenith when Celestia was in her chambers. In front of her was a fifty page proposal asking for alterations to the current agricultural laws. She yawned as she skimmed through it. Even after a millennium of doing this, it’s still boring. It wouldn’t be so boring if the language in these things weren’t so dry. I think this is wording even drier then how it was a thousand years ago. A knock on her door interrupted her from reading.
“Sister?” a voice said from the other side of her door. With a thought, Celestia opened the chamber’s door. Standing on the other side was a midnight blue alicorn with a smile on her face. “Are we interrupting anything?”
“I’m just going through this proposal,” she replied, “Nothing too important at the moment. Is something wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong,” Luna said. “We were actually about to go to a local tavern with the Lunar Guard. And we were wondering if you would like to join us.”
“I’d love to, really. But I have to have this proposal read for tomorrow and…”
“Did we mention that Scarlett Rose is performing at the tavern we’re planning to visit?” A white blur ran past Luna as the question was asked. She chuckled and closed the door.
“Your Highness?” a mare wearing a navy blue blazer asked. She was standing in front of one of the many offices that resided in Canterlot Castle. The door was open slightly ajar and light was streaming from it. The mare tilted her head in confusion when she saw what was on the other side. Celestia was lying face down on the office’s desk with a small pile of papers sitting beside her. A sign with crude penmanship on it sat in front of her. The mare tiptoed inside and looked at the sign.
Hung over. Any and all requests can wait until I am better. If you have any proposals that you would like me to go over, they must be placed to my right.
The mare shrugged and reached into her blazer. She pulled a small folder full of documents and added them to the pile.
Again, Celestia sat in her chambers going over some documents. Her sister opened the door and walked in.
“Luna,” she said. “I’m really behind on work, so unless this is an absolute emergency, I have to work.”
“This is not an emergency, but a manner of manners,” Luna said. “A new friend of ours came into Night Court today and we’d like you to meet her.”
“Luna, this work is important, I can’t drop it just to meet a friend,” Celestia said.
“Please? Just introduce yourself to her and have a quick chat. We promise that it will only take ten minutes at most.” Celestia sighed and placed the documents down.
“Alright Luna,” Celestia got up and walked to the doorway. “I can afford ten minutes. Before I meet this friend, can I ask for her name?” A mischievous smile grew on Luna’s face.
“Her name is Sour Diesel. And we know that you’ll like her. She’s in our chambers as we speak.” Celestia took the lead and walked down the hallway. Luna closed the door and quickly followed behind.
The last of Philomena’s feathers fell and she burst into flames. A few sparks flew to the document in front of Celestia causing it to set on fire. She quickly put the fire out before it was permanently damaged.
“That was close,” she said. “I have to be more careful, or these would have been lost forev…” Celestia’s eyes widened. The pile of ashes that was once Philomena formed a phoenix and again set itself on fire. With a wave of her wings, Philomena returned to her former self. She watched with curiosity in her eyes as Celestia moved about the room.
“Do you know where the lantern oil is kept?” she asked. Philomena pointed to a cabinet.
———————[Time Limit Reached]———————
The cabinet was opened and a large bottle full of a translucent yellow liquid was pulled out. Celestia opened the bottle and splashed liberal amounts of the liquid on the piles of paper. The piles of paper were then arranged in a line in front of Philomena’s cage. The cage’s door was covered in a glow and opened.
“Philomena,” Celestia said with a smile on her face. “Can you come here?” The phoenix responded by flying towards her owner. Each pile of paper caught on fire as her wings brushed past each one. She landed on Celestia’s head. Philomena shifted looking for a comfortable position as Celestia watched the piles of paper burn with a calm smile on her face. A maniacal laugh came from her while the papers turned to ash. A knock on the door stopped her laughter.
“Your Highness?” a female voice asked. “Are you done with those documents?” Celestia’s horn lit up and flames dwindled away. What was left was burnt pieces of parchment and piles of ashes. She breathed in the smell of burnt papers with a smile on her face.
“You say nothing,” she said as she approached the door. The door was opened and standing on the other side was a white unicorn mare wearing a pinstriped blazer. The only remaining stack of documents was brought over to her. “Here you are, these are the documents that I have finished working on. Unfortunately, because Philomena has been moulting, the others were lost when she returned to normal.”
“Oh don’t worry about that,” the mare’s horn glowed. In a flash, six piles of papers that each stood as tall as Celestia appeared before them. “We figured that this would happen, so copies were made.” Celestia’s jaw dropped. The pile that she handed the mare was covered in a blue glow.
“I’ll bring these to the Record Offices so that they can go over them,” the mare said. “I’ll come back later on today to collect the proposals that you’ve finished. Is that okay?” Celestia gave a weak nod. The mare smiled and walked away with a pile of papers in tow.
“Help?” Celestia asked looking at her pet. Philomena flapped her wings and flew in the opposite direction that the mare went. “Of course not.” The six piles were telekinetically brought into her office. Celestia sighed as she closed the door.
Ahh, the trials and tribulations of Equestria’s elder diarch. I love how the paperwork keeps piling up simply because Celestia is so easily distracted by her sister’s promises of fun, and how easily her ultimate solution is foiled by the failsafes put in place to prevent such disasters. Philomena’s reluctance and ultimate refusal to help Celestia was also amusing. A humorous tale, Shingo!