Out in the middle of the Everfree Forest was Lyra Heartstrings, staring at the massive tree in front of her. The tree had weird-looking masks hanging in random places along the limbs and bark. Some were on the ground, and had little candles in the eyes that gave the tree a much creepier vibe. The plant also had strange markings in different colored paint. Her eyes shifted towards the windows. There were random flashes of lights, telling her that the zebra was home.
It was midday when she had entered the forest. The sun was shining, and there wasn't single cloud in the sky. With the sun out, this should be a fairly easy journey to Zecora's. Lyra thought, as she entered the vast woods. What she had not planned on was it to be so dense that no light penetrated the tree's thick growth. The darkness consumed everything, even with Lyra's glowing horn, it was impossible to not trip over roots and jump at every sound heard. The Everfree forest was a force to not to be trifled with.
She stood there still gazing at the zebra's tree. I don't know if can do this... Her heart was in her throat and the green mare's stomach felt queasy. This had to be hardest decision of her life, and she was doing it for what? A human? This would have to be most unprecedented event in Equestria. No pony in their right mind would want to be sent to the human world. Though for Lyra she was thinking more clearly than she had her entire life, but her nerves were still got the best of her.
Transporting yourself to a different world was considered forbidden magic long lost to all ponies. Anypony caught attempting or researching a way to leave their world was considered an outcast. This was the law set by Princess Luna. Her reasoning was, "If you don't want live in Equestria, then why should we know that you exist at all?" In a way, she had a point, but she assumed that everypony should be happy there. What if there was one mare that wasn't happy? Her past relationships ended with heartbreak and depression. This desire was all that she had left. Her last hope to be truly happy with the one she loved. A human named Eric.
She had been having dreams about Eric for over two years. He was a tall, somewhat masculine man about the age 22. He had black, short hair with hazel eyes. The dreams would consist of sex, and them lying together talking about how they felt about each other. They were so vivid that Lyra was determined to find a way to the human world. She had been to every library (except for two) in Equestria searching for the answer, but always coming up short.
Lyra was pretty much alone most of her life after her parents passed away two years ago. The few friends she had, she told them about her dreams and determination to find the human. They pretended like they understood, but, the next day, they never talked to her again and avoided any contact with her. It wasn't the avoiding part that depressed Lyra, but being lied to her face is what cinched it. After she had lost her friends, she had trust issues with every pony, and rarely talked with any of them. That was until the day she met Twilight Sparkle.
* * *
They had met a year ago on a sunny afternoon, while Twilight was in her library re-organizing the bookshelves. She was dancing around happily with her eyes closed, making each book float to their proper place among the shelves. This activity was always fun for her. She would think of a new ways to arrange her books every other week or so, just have a change of some kind.
Lyra had entered the library in the middle of this performance, and giggled softly at the purple mare's enthusiasm. She could tell that the librarian had the same passion for her books as she did when playing her harp. Reading was a big part of Lyra's daily routines, but to Twilight reading wasn't a routine... It was a way of life.
Once Twilight was done, Lyra made a small cough to make her presence known. The librarian froze in place, and turned to face her unknown guest. Her, face was completely red, realizing that she had a captive audience. As she spoke, Twilight's voice cracked some. "I-I am sorry... I didn't-"
Lyra waved a hoof dismissively, and was still giggling. "Hehe, don't worry about it. I rather enjoyed the show."
"Well... Thanks." The purple unicorn paused and made a sheepish smile. Then continued. "So, how may I help you today?"
"Crap... Ummmm," Lyra said while scratching her head with her hoof.
Twilight chuckled. "Did you forget already?"
"No... " Lyra stared at the unicorn for second, and then face light up with a large smile. "OH! now I remember. I came here to a find a book on famous unicorns of Equestria."
Oh my gosh, a pony interested in Equestrian history! Twilight jumped up and down saying "yes" repeatedly.
Lyra stared at the ecstatic mare bouncing in front of her. "Uhhhhhh...?"
Twilight heard the green mare's voice, stopped her charade, and blushed again. "I'm sorry. It's just that... " She rubbed the back of her head. "You're the first pony to come in here interested in reading about Equestria's greatest unicorns. They are an important part of our history, and most ponies forget that without them, we wouldn't be here today."
Lyra grinned. "I completely agree. When I was a filly, I was always told that any part history is important. No matter how boring it is."
The grin on Twilight was too big for her own face."Amazing! You sound just like my old school teacher Ms.-"
"Historical?" Lyra said while raising an eyebrow.
The purple gasped. "Ho-how did you know?"
"I was also went to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, so we ended up in the same class together." She gave a sheepish smile. "Twilight Sparkle"
Twilight's jaw dropped. "I-I had no idea. I never paid much attention to anypony while in school."
"Yeah, I know. You were always studying, striving to be best, and I respected you for it"
"Thank you." Twilight said while blushing. "Though now I know friends are, or maybe, more important than my studies."
I don't know about that, but whatever you say Twilight. Lyra nodded and raised a hoof to shake. "Names Lyra Heartstrings."
Twilight shook it. "Nice to meet you Lyra. Now let's go get you that book, and would you like stay with me to chat for awhile?"
Lyra insides churned. This had been her first friend in over a year, and she wasn't sure if she was ready for another one. The smile on her new friend's face was different from anypony she had ever met. There was kindness and understanding behind the purple mare's smile. Well I guess give this one more go. I won't reveal anything until I know I can trust her.
"I would love to." The green unicorn beamed as she trotted past Twilight.
Unbeknownst to Lyra, Twilight was checking her out with her mind racing. This is amazing. I wish I got know her back in school. She as smart as me, and is gifted in magic. Truly a wonderful mare to become friends with, ooorrr... Twilight cocked her head sideways to get a good look at Lyra's flank. I hope maybe we can become more than just friends.
* * *
A bond was formed between them after this first encounter. They would read together, share stories of their life, and discuss their theories on magic. The inseparable friends spent almost every day with each other. It was Lyra's longest friendship she had ever been in, and she was happy. Though there was one thing that still nagged her every night. She wanted to tell Twilight of her secret. I hope she will be more compassionate compared to my other friends.
Lyra and Twilight were sitting in the library enjoying a moment of peace with their books. Though there was slight creaking noise every so often coming from Lyra as she fidgeted around in her seat.
Her friend tried to ignore the sound, but with each creak of the chair seemed to grow louder and echo in her ears after every movement the harp player made. Her book closed, looked over at Lyra with a concerned look. "What's wrong? You're not acting like yourself today."
Lyra sighed, set her book down, and pushed it away from her all while staring at the table. "I-I have tell you something important Twilight."
The librarian's heart began pound fast against her. I hope this is what I think is...
"But... "Lyra looked around as if looking for something. "We need to discuss this in private. You think we could go to your room?"
Twilight's heart skipped a beat at this question. Oh My Celestia. Sh-she wants to go ahead and cut to the chase. She nodded at Lyra, and took the lead upstairs. It's a good thing Spike is out helping Rarity. I get to have this mare all to myself. It took everything she had to resist from jumping up with delight.
Once they were upstairs, Lyra went in front of Twilight and sat down at the edge of the bed fidgeting with her her hooves.
Twilight stared at her nervously. She is being too quiet. This must be really hard for to admit to me. Oh, if she only knew how much I cared for her... What if I just said something? The ignorant mare opened her mouth a bit before she was cut off by Lyra.
"Twilight, I am in love with a human!" She said in a loud, rasped whispered.
The librarian's mind shut down, and her heart sunk into her stomach. She's already in love?!... And he's a human! I mean she has told me about how obsessed she is with them, but in love with one? That's just ridiculous. Remaining calm, Twilight began in a monotone voice. "So you're saying that you're in love with a being from another world that you've never met. Am I right?"
Lyra nodded, and said. "Well that's not entirely true. We have met few-"
"You've been to the human world?!" The purple mare's eyes widen in shock.
"No, I haven't, but... " Lyra's voice was in a whisper with her eyes looking at the floor.
There was a sigh of relief inside Twilight's mind.
"I have dreamed about him for the last two years."
Wh-what, and she considers these dreams as a connection of love? Is this pony crazy... Twilight remembered when she almost caused a riot over a friendship letter, and the warning from she sent herself from the future. I guess I could relate. She trotted next to the bed, laid down next to her friend, and asked, "Would you mind telling me about these dreams?"
The green unicorn smiled at Twilight. "Of course not, You've been so understanding about this. I was expecting you to think I was insane."
Twilight gave a nervous laugh. "Well you've had to put up with my antics. It's about time I return the favor."
"Fair enough," Lyra agreed. "Though there is one thing that I don't think you'll like about these dreams."
"And that is... ?"
A sly smile appeared on Lyra. "We have sex."
Ugh, I think I'm gonna be sick. Why, oh why, am I in love with her. As calm as Twilight could possibly be, she said, "Yeah, if you don't mind. Please, skip that little detail. I don't mind you telling me about the sex you've had with your coltfriends, but that is just awkward."
"Understood." Lyra turned around and crawled the back head board of Twilight's bed with the purple mare next to her. They sat up against it as she began her story. Her voice was filled with excitement, and dreamy a look in her eyes.
"The dream would always start with us laying down on a bed. We stare into each others eyes and talk about anything we wanted to share. He would listen to me intently, as if nothing else he's heard mattered. He would even cuddle up with me as I spoke. His skin was warm, and his hands tickled the edge of my fur. He would stay silent most of the time, but when he spoke, his voice was a smooth, rich vanilla tone to my ears. I wanted nothing more than for us to talk for hours, but after awhile we would begin to kiss and so on and so forth."
Twilight let every word sink into her. The thoughts of Lyra making out with a human made her stomach feel queasy, but she didn't let show. Instead, she gave her friend a polite smile, and asked, "So you think this human could actually exist?"
"It sounds ridiculous, I know, but these dreams are so vivid. How could he not be?"
Twilight felt a sharp pain in her heart. What if this human was real? It would make her so happy to see him. I may love her, but... The purple unicorn avoided looking at Lyra with a small frown as she spoke in a small voice, "I-I may know how to get you there."
Lyra's heart skipped a beat, and stared at Twilight in disbelief. "You do?"
"Yes, I read it in a book called 'Dark Rituals' in the Canterlot Archives. It was vague on the subject, but it mentions that there is one race that knows how to send ponies to other worlds."
"Who?" The green unicorn said with a desperate tone.
Lyra's jaw hit the floor. "That means... Zecora must know how."
Twilight gave a slight nod.
The unicorn grabbed Twilight into a heartfelt hug. "Thank you so much, Twilly. You have no idea how much this means to me."
"You're welcome." Twilight hugged back. "Seeing you happy makes me happy." As she pulled away and gave Lyra the best smile could. Even if I have to give up my happiness.
Satisfied with Twilight's response, Lyra got up from the bed, galloped down her stairs, and out the front door. "Bye, Twilight. You are best friend a mare could have!"
Twilight slowly waved goodbye, then slumped into her pillow, and began to cry. The only mare I love is in relationship with a human. Oh, how pathetic could one pony be?
* * *
Lyra held her head up high, as she trotted towards Zecora's tree. I have been searching far too long to back down from it now. It's now or never. Once she had reached the door, the mare knocked on it three times when she heard.
"Wait, one sec. I'll be there soon. I'm just mixing up a potion for little Apple Bloom."
Resistance to buck the door down was slowly weakening inside Lyra. She scrunched up her face, and waited patiently as she could.
Until, the door opened up, and Apple Bloom came bouncing out. "Thank you again, Zecora. My teeth are good as new, just like last time, " She said cheerfully as the filly galloped away.
The zebra came to the door and waved the filly goodbye. Then turned towards Lyra and said, "Hello there, one who plays the lyre. Come on in, you have nothing to fear."
Lyra slowly trotted in after Zecora. She was shaking slightly as she entered Zecora's home. It was rather warm inside from the fire that was burning under a boiling pot. There were a wide variety of smells that mixed together, making each it difficult to tell them apart, but together made the place smell horrible. Even with the fire going it was still rather dark.
Taking one of her candles off the wall with her mouth, Zecora ignited it with the fire, and light all the other candles hanging on the wall. She returned the candle, and faced Lyra. "These candles go out on their own when the door opens, I dare say. Now how may I help you on this fine day?"
"Oh, um, I am not sure how to say this, but... " The unicorn gave nervous smile, and her voice cracked. "I-I, uh, want you... To send me to the... Human world."
Zecora's expression darkened, and she began to close all the windows as quick as she could. Then trotted to Lyra with the same dark expression. "Who told you of our sacred ritual?"
Lyra was shaking more than ever now. The zebra had stopped rhyming, and was aggressively pushing her back against. 'Wh-what will she do to me if I don't answer, and if I do tell her. I don't want her to hurt Twilight.'
"Hurry up. I am getting impatient." Zecora growled.
"Twilight Sparkle! She told me she found it in a book."
At that, the zebra's expression relaxed, and she back away from Lyra. "Oh, I see. Any friend of Twilight's is a friend of mine."
The unicorn wiped the sweat off her brow, and calmed down.
"So would you be the one she calls Lyra?"
She nodded her head and answered, "Yes that's me."
"Hmmm, and why do you want to Earth so badly?" Zecora took a small piece of chalk off one her shelves, and begun to draw on the ground next to the boiling pot.
"I-I want to find the one I have been dreaming of, Eric. He has been in my mind for years, and I so desperately want to be with him." Lyra pleaded.
"Is that all?" The zebra responded still continuing to draw.
"That's all I have wanted for a long time." Lyra could not see what she was drawing but from the way her head was moving it looked rather complicated.
"Good, because once you're are in that world. There will be two conditions." She finished her drawing, took six candles off the wall, and placed them around the drawing at equal intervals.
"I don't care what they are, but you may proceed." Lyra stated flatly getting somewhat impatient.
"First, I can only open the portal once every ten years, and will stay open for a week until it closes. So you have until then if you decide to come back. If not you'll will be stuck there for a long time."
The unicorn waved a hoof a dismissively. "Yeah I won't be coming back. What's the second?"
Zecora turned and looked at her. "You will not be able to use magic."
Lyra flinched at this. I have dedicated a large amount of my life to magic, and now I have to give it up. With a heavy sigh, She said, "I accept these conditions."
Nodding and then pointing to the circle of candles, Zecora asked, "Please, stand in the middle of that so I can start the ritual"
Doing as she was told, the unicorn trotted on spot and stared at strange drawing. It had words in another language written all over it with pentagons crises-crossing over each other. Interesting.
Then Zecora began to chant a strange incantation that Lyra could not understand. As soon as she started, the circle of candles began to grow brighter, and everything that Zecora had drawn was glowing. Suddenly a vast wind began to blow from below Lyra, the circle opened up into a massive light on the floor, and, poof, she was gone.