“There,” Twilight said. “Done, for now.” Floating in a violet aura in front of her was the lifeless body of a pink earth pony. The body had a poofy mane and tail and a trio of balloons on her flank. It was set down in the center of an arcane circle. She stepped outside of the circle to where a baby dragon stood.
“This isn’t a good idea,” he said. “We’re tampering with the very forces of nature itself. Many things can go wrong.”
“They can, Spike,” Twilight said. “But they won’t. So long as everything goes according to plan.”
“Do they ever?” Spike asked. Twilight was silent. “Of course not.”
“Spike,” Twilight looked straight into her baby brother’s eyes. “Just in case something goes wrong, I want you to know, I love you.” Spike wrapped his arms around Twilight’s neck.
“I love you too,” he said. Tears began to form in his eyes. Spike broke the hug and put a metallic glove on his hand.
“All of the letters are prepared?” Spike nodded. “Good.” The metallic glove was placed on Twilight’s chest.
“See you soon, Spike,” she said.
“See you soon, Twilight,” the glove gave off a high pitched whine. Blue energy moved from its base and into Twilight’s chest. The purple unicorn’s eyes widened before the light faded from them. Her body fell to the ground when Spike removed the glove from her body. “Or if something goes wrong, good bye.”
When Twilight opened her eyes, she was standing in the library’s foyer. The body of the pink pony was still in the arcane circle and Spike was still standing outside it. The only new addition to the scene was the lifeless body of a purple unicorn. A cloaked figure silently approached Twilight from behind her. A chill ran up her spine as it got closer.
“Twilight Sparkle,” the figure said. “Your time has come.”
“Not yet,” she said turning around. Standing in front of her was a skeletal alicorn wearing a white cloak with a gold trim. A black ethereal tail flowed from the back of the cloak and the same energy moved under its hood. “I’d like to set a challenge. The spoils, my life.”
“You should know,” the alicorn said. “Very few mortals actually win these challenges.” A golden coin was pulled from one of Twilight’s ears.
“I like my odds,” the coin was held out in front of them. “Heads, I get to go back. Tails, and I follow your every order for eternity.”
“Interesting. Very well, Twilight Sparkle. Toss it,” the coin was flipped into the air. Both Twilight and the alicorn watched it spin in the air. It fell to the floor with a soft clunk and spun. The coin’s movements slowed down. After a few moments, the coin’s momentum stopped. Facing upwards was a picture of a stylized sun.
“Congratulations, Twilight Sparkle,” the alicorn said. “You’ve won the right to life. Now, let me reattach your mortal coil.” The alicorn’s horn emitted a gray aura. Both Twilight and her body were covered in a similar coloured glow.
“Not so fast,” Twilight said. “I have a second challenge for you, Death.” The glow disappeared.
“A second challenge?” Death asked. “You’ve already won your life back. What possible gain is there in challenging me a second time?”
“Her life,” a purple hoof pointed to the pink body. “I want her soul.”
“You do realize, that she’s been gone for quite some time now,” Death walked to the body. “This isn’t even her original body.”
“I know, I made that one,” Twilight approached the lifeless pink body. “But I want to see her again. I want her to bring happiness to everypony again, even if it’s just for one day.”
“I can’t bring her back permanently, but I can allow one day,” Death sat down. “Because you have already chosen a challenge, it’s my turn to choose our playing field.” Death’s horn lit up again. Gray energy swirled between both of them. The energy took the shape of a small square with a checkered pattern on it. At the ends of the board, two sets of wooden figures were brought into existence. One set was dark and the other was light.
“If you win,” Death began. “You get to bring Pinkamena Diane Pie to the mortal world for a single day.” Twilight moved a hoof to one of the figures.
“However,” Twilight’s hoof stopped. “If you should lose, you will be stuck in this existence when your mortal coil is cut. You will be on the mortal plane, but you will not be able to interact with them. You can see and hear everything they do, but you yourself cannot affect them. Not directly. Agreed?” One of Twilight’ figures were moved forward by two spaces. A figure on Death’s side was covered in magical energy and set in front of another piece. The two of them sat in silence as they played their game.
Norse Pony’s comments: Ah, a classic structure, playing on the Wager Against Death. I like that trope, and you’ve executed it well here. The idea of Twilight manufacturing a body for Pinkie to occupy and also risking her own life to bring Pinkie back, even if it’s only for a little while, is touching and creepy.