The Chance

This story is a sequel to The Chase
The city of Vanhoover is having the worst winter storm in generations as Mignon Croix has to make his way home from the grocery store. Along the way home, he finds something that will change his life forever, but only if he will take the chance.
Reading The Chase is helpful but not necessary to enjoy this story.


8. Epilogue

There was something about the scarred unicorn that was terrifying. Mignon took a deep breath and tried to relax, telling himself that everything had worked out okay so far, and that Buckminster had been nothing but good to him. Nothing he told his brain could stop him from feeling his blood was going to freeze though when he looked upon the surviving eye of Buckminster and saw the hazy purple mist drifting away from it in a lazy meandering plume.

“What you saw behind the door was very troubling,” Buckminster stated in a low voice that was hard with authority. He blinked a few times and looked unsettled.

“I can’t remember… I just remember the crimson door,” Mignon whimpered, shaking his head, the crimson door looking in his mind’s eye, large, red, and terrifying. It caused painful stabbing shivers to shoot down his spine.

“You have suffered an injury of your mind, and you are unwell Mignon. It is like a sliver, burrowing deeper and festering. This will continue to taint your happiness. Would you like for me to fix it?” Buckminster asked in a low voice.

“You can fix it?” Mignon breathed, his ears pinning back against his skull as he spoke.

“I can make it so that what was beyond the door will no longer bother you or cause your mind to repress what it was that you saw,” Buckminster answered, his nostrils flaring slightly as he spoke, because he remembered all too well what he had found in the orphanage.

“I don’t want to remember… I’m happier not knowing,” Mignon whimpered painfully.

“Yes, Mignon, ponies are happier not knowing certain things. Unfortunately, you learned something that you don’t want to know. I will make it better. I promise, it won’t hurt you and when we are done, you can go have a nice life with Magnolia and Olive. Think of this as a surgery… I am only trimming away ruined flesh that will never heal correctly,” Buckminster explained.

Nodding, Mignon’s lip trembled as his head bobbed up and down enthusiastically. “I think I’m ready,” he said, and then he took a deep breath, afterwards, he puffed out his cheeks as he exhaled slowly, trying to relax.

Relaxing was a mistake.

Moving with what seemed like supernatural speed, Buckminster was upon Mignon in a flash, and Mignon found himself completely paralysed. He saw Buckminster’s terrible horn glow with blue-green light, intense light that made Mignon’s eyes water. The stallions were almost snoot to snoot with one another, and Mignon could feel a terrible pressure just behind his eyes. For a moment, he remembered everything. The blood soaked sheet and what was beneath it, the colt who had been so chewed by rats that he no longer resembled a colt, but something entirely unrecognisable, his gender erased by gnawing teeth and ravenous hunger.

Mignon cried out, gibbering with fear, wishing that the horrible image would go away.

Blinking, Mignon realised that something had happened, but he couldn’t tell what. An image of a door loomed in his mind’s eye, a large white door. And when he thought about it, he felt a sense of pride, of accomplishment. He didn’t need to know what was behind the door, he had saved Magnolia from it and that was enough. He looked at Buckminster, feeling peculiar.

“I was going to ask you something… I was going to ask you to help me,” Mignon muttered in confusion. “You were going to do something.”

“It has already been done,” Buckminster replied, rubbing his head. “Now go. Leave me be. My head hurts and I wish for some quiet time. It is a beautiful new sunshiny day, go and be with the others. The party will be soon.”

“Before I go, might I see her?” Mignon asked.

“I suppose so,” Bucky sighed, still rubbing his head. He stepped away from the small bassinet and made a gesture to Mignon.

Fearful, slow, and cautious, knowing how strong certain feelings of fatherhood could be, Mignon approached the bassinet where the pink foal was resting. Looking down at her, he saw her lavender coloured eyes, he studied her, looking at her violet mane that was streaked with cotton candy and sunshine. The foal was smiling, she was beautiful, radiant, and her deep reflective eyes looked up at him.

The foal, seeing Mignon, stuck out her orange tongue and blew a raspberry.

“I will be going now, thank you,” Mignon whispered in a low voice, backing away. “I have my own foals to look after. I have taken enough of your time.”

“Vino is a good pony. She wants what is best for you. I would recommend that you listen to her. She will keep you out of trouble,” Buckminster suggested.

“Yes sir, I will do that,” Mignon replied.

“Go and be with your girls,” Buckminster grumbled.

“Again, thank you sir,” Mignon said graciously.

The gathering room was warm, but being near Vino made it almost too warm. Mignon squirmed uncomfortably as the mare pressed her advantage and kept coming closer. She was young, distractingly beautiful, and the air all around her smelled strongly of roses and peppermint.

“The story is front page news. Corruption, embezzlement, most of the city council and many of the big philanthropists of the city, they’re all going down because of you,” Vino said in a nervous wavering voice, scooting a little closer to Mignon. “And this is my story. All mine… I broke this story. It feels really good to see my name in big bold type. Vino Veritas.”

“I am really glad you got your story,” Mignon said, fidgeting nervously. He looked at Magnolia, watching her as she chatted away amicably with her sister, making up for lost time as the smaller foal burbled wordlessly and blew spit bubbles.

“I only got part of my story,” Vino said breathlessly.

“I don’t understand,” Mignon muttered.

“I want to be part of your story,” Vino replied bluntly, blurting out her words nervously, her eyes blinking rapidly with fretful energy. “There is still a lot more story with you. This is only the beginning… when I first met you, I felt all kinds of feelings, I worried about you and lost sleep. After our first meeting, every moment of not knowing you were okay was agonising… I want to be around to see how this story ends.”

“Are you saying that-”

“I’m just saying that I want to have a chance to see if our stories can merge together to make a satisfying whole,” Vino interrupted. Closing her eyes, she bravely planted a kiss on Mignon’s other cheek and then opened her eyes. “I told you I’d give you a matching set.”

“Aw, you two are so adorable!”

“Thank you,” Vino replied, blushing when she saw Sunset Shimmer.

“Master terrified the city looking for Olive. When he started getting the details about you and Magnolia to hunt you down, he had to find Olive. It made him grumpy. Master left behind many soiled backsides and puddles of filth among the higher ups in the foal services division. Master does not like them, not one bit. He used the Voice on a few. Eventually, Olive was brought to him to appease him and make his rampage of terror stop,” Sunset Shimmer explained, a peculiarly smug smile of satisfaction upon her muzzle.

“It was good she was found,” Vino said, looking relieved.

“Oh she was found, but the nightmares are only beginning. Master has such plans,” Sunset Shimmer announced giddily. “There’s gonna be a reckoning. They have called and he has answered!

Unable to stop himself, Mignon shivered. Buckminster and his apprentice were absolutely terrifying. He was glad that he had gotten off so easy.

“I gotta go… ENTIRELY TOO MUCH EGGNOG!” Sunset shouted as she galloped off.

“She’s so sweet,” Vino remarked as the young mare went tearing off.

“Yeah, sweet,” Mignon agreed, feeling a bit of concern for Vino.

“When she and Buckminster showed up to speak with me, they were so perfect together. So much love and trust between student and teacher,” Vino commented.

“I suppose so,” Mignon replied, feeling nervous about the whole conversation.

“He saved her life you know,” Vino said, her eyes turning to look at Magnolia and Olive. “Her horn cracked.”

“Oh dear, I did not know that,” Mignon said, feeling alarmed.

“You know Mignon, you aren’t the most observant pony in the world,” Vino tittered.

“I suppose so,” Mignon agreed.

“Sunset placed mistletoe overhead when she stopped to talk to us,” Vino remarked.

“Oh noes,” Mignon muttered.

“Party preparations. Are you ready?” Vino questioned.

“I hope so,” Mignon answered.

“Good, because I’m ready,” Vino whispered.

The fearless mare lunged forward and pressed her muzzle against Mignon’s kissing him boldly, warmly, thawing out Mignon beneath the mistletoe. After a moment of stunned paralysis, Mignon came to life, and found himself kissing Vino back.

The pair broke apart breathlessly, staring into each other’s eyes, hearing the giggles of a little pegasus filly not far away.

“The peppermint candy you were sucking on is in my mouth,” Mignon breathed.

“Keep it, there’s more,” Vino replied in a low whisper. “Besides, you have stinky garlic breath you Fancy pony.”

“So are you going to be my mother?” Magnolia asked in an innocent foalish voice.

“I hope to make all of you part of my story, “ Vino answered, turning her head to look at Magnolia and smile.

“Is this a storybook ending?” Magnolia questioned.

“I suppose it is,” Mignon answered.

“So the plucky little pegasus is reunited with her sister, gets a mommy and a daddy, and gets to have a happy life?” Magnolia inquired, scarcely able to believe her luck.

“That does seem to be the case,” Vino answered, a broad grin spreading over her muzzle as she left Mignon’s side and went to stand next to Magnolia.

“I found the best Hearth’s Warming gift ever… it didn’t have a pretty wrapper or bows, the box was kinda ugly actually, but it had the most wonderful gift ever found inside,” Mignon mused.

“Oh, that’s good, I gotta write that down,” Vino said, pulling a notepad out from nowhere along with a pencil. She scribbled down a note, nodding as she wrote.

“But this isn’t the end of the story where everypony lives happily ever after, is it?” Magnolia questioned, her muzzle scrunching up in concentration.

“No Maggie, this is only the beginning,” Mignon stated as he crunched up the peppermint candy in his mouth.

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