Every year, Nightmare Night was as close to perfect as it could be. It was the one night a year when her parents stopped working, her sisters stopped worrying, and they could all agree to put aside their problems and come together. It was when Pinkie truly felt like she was a part of her family, when they appreciated and understood her love of parties and sweets and the companionship that Nightmare Night brought. And it truly did bring companionship, for the ones you walk with in the dark and in the cold you must trust with your life. Pinkie put her faith in her sisters and the two colts from the neighboring corn fields as they made their way around the farms, collecting candy and keeping watch from the ghosts and ghouls that they just knew haunted the streets on this night. They would protect each other and the night would be perfect, as it always was.
Her parents were enthusiastic about Nightmare Night, but not as much as she, as always. They let them dress up and go off, and they would laugh at their costumes and swipe candy with a smile and Pinkie would feel all warm inside. But the best part was carving the pumpkins. It always was. She loved to watch her father work with the carving knife clenched between his teeth with determination. She loved the way he would try to teach them, but eventually end up having to help them. She loved going with her mother to the pumpkin farm and selecting the biggest, plumpest pumpkins they could find.
But this year would be different. She knew that everything about this year would be different. Soon, she figured, she’d be gone. Just like she had planned. She knew that she couldn’t stay on the farm forever, no matter how much she loved her family, the farm wasn’t for her. Not forever, anyway. She was destined for something much greater. She could see it in her dreams, a town filled with ponies just waiting for her and her parties and her laughter and her smiles. A town with friends that would need her, love her, become her family. She needed that, ponies that loved her for her, for what she was meant to do. Her family loved her, she didn’t doubt that, but she also knew that they wanted her to be something she wasn’t.
So tonight when she sat down with her pumpkin and her father’s tired old carving knife, she knew it would be her last pumpkin with her family. Pinkie knew it would have to be special, different, meaningful. It would be something her family would always remember. She worked diligently, carefully. There was no room for mistakes. It was almost an odd rite of passage for her. If she could do this simple holiday task by herself, with no mistakes, she would be ready to go off and face the real world. So she did. She carved like an expert, she carved to make her parents proud, to prove something to her sisters.
And when she was finally done, she dropped the knife to the table, covered with the innards of the pumpkin and with an aching jaw and back from maneuvering the knife and leaning over the pumpkin for so long. She felt an accomplished smile tug at her lips. She had done it. Gently, she moved the pumpkin from the table to outside on the steps of their little farmhouse and struck up a candle for the inside.
In the din of the setting sun, the candle flickered from inside, illuminating three perfect balloons that were floating far, far away. Pinkie didn’t know where they were going, or how long they would be gone. All she knew was that they were going, and they were going to go somewhere spectacular.
A/N: I was gonna write something shippy, but this happened. Oops. Hopefully my next one will be happier :)
This was a really moving, bittersweet look into Pinkie’s thought processes before moving away from home. The image of Pinkie and her sisters and friends protecting each other from ghosts was great. It reminds me of how she acted during the Nightmare Night we saw in the show, and makes me imagine her as a little filly screaming and running around like mad because of those “ghosts.” I love the idea of carving a pumpkin for her last Nightmare Night at home as a rite of passage too. This was a really touching story! Great work!