Nightmare or Nyx?
Nightmare or Nyx by Valcron

The story's cover art on FIMFiction

Writer(s) Pen Stroke, assisted by Batty Gloom
Date published October 4, 2012
Words 11,245
Status Complete
Type/genre Slice of Life
Featuring Spike
Part of In The Family
Related to Past Sins
First Hours
Story link(s)
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Nightmare or Nyx is an 11,000 word one-shot by Pen-Stroke that acts as a side story to Past Sins. It is the first in the "In The Family" trilogy set set after the main events of Past Sins (the other two being Trinkets and Winter Bells). Twilight Sparkle has gone to Canterlot for a day, and Spike is left alone to take care of Nyx, however the baby dragon fears that the little filly could be a serious threat to him and his friends.


The story is written in the third person, past-tense, and focuses on the viewpoint and thoughts of Spike. The last section of the story however, is told from Twilight’s point of view. On the FIMFiction version of the story, a break in scenes is marked by (~~~~), just as it is done in Past Sins. However, since there are no flashbacks, the triple asterisk mark (***) is not used.


Spike has a terrifying dream where he tries to save Twiight from being hung from the gallows by an anonymous silhouette of an alicorn. However, before he can make it to Nightmare Moon’s Castle, Nyx comes out of one of the shady alleyways of Ponyville and intercepts him. She transforms into a humongous figure of Nightmare Moon and attempts to crush him under her hooves. Spike tries to focus on rescuing Twilight, but he stumbles and falls. Nyx, the filly one, then holds him down with one of her hooves while Twilight is hung.

Spike wakes up screaming to find Nyx looking at him with concern in her eyes. Spike isn’t terrified by the sight of the little filly, and heads downstairs to make breakfast for the two. Twilight has already set off on a trip to Canterlot, and wouldn’t be back until nighttime. During breakfast, Nyx struggles with her now weakened magic. As she tries to lift a spoonful of cereal to her mouth, she takes an unintentional nosedive into the bowl itself. Spike cracks a joke, eliciting a tantrum from Nyx who chucks her bowl at him. Spike then casually tells her to clean up the mess since he cleaned up last time she threw a tantrum. As soon as Spike leave the kitchen however, his composure fails him, and he grabs his tail for comfort as he reflects on the terrifying scene he just witnessed.

Spike leaves to help Rarity over at Carousel Boutique where he discusses his fears with her, while Nyx stays over at Sweet apple Acres to play with her friends. Rarity argues that Spike is simply overreacting, and that Nyx throwing a bowl does not mean she is turning into Nightmare Moon, and that her situation isn’t so different than Spike’s own actions in the episode Secret of My Excess. Spike however, refuses to believe this, and storms out of the boutique in anger. Spike sub-consciously makes his way to Nightmare Moon’s castle, where he decides to break in by tunneling under the gate.

Spike goes to the throne room with the intentions of eating the diamonds encrusted in the ceiling. However, he meets Rainbow Dash there, since she was just outside the window practicing for the Mayor’s upcoming celebration in rebuilding the town. Together, the two decide to explore the castle together. Rainbow Dash is convinced that they would find treasure hidden somewhere in the castle. After an incident in the castle dungeons however, Spike sees a large blood splatter in Twilight’s cell (he deduced it was Twilight’s since she told him that it was the only cell that had been used. Convinced that Twilight’s blood was spilt in that cell, Spike can only think less of Nyx.

After continued attempts to find the castle’s treasure room with no success, the two give up their search and decide to get some ice cream at Sugarcube Corner. Spike asks Rainbow Dash her opinion of his situation of Nyx. Rainbow Dash, after being taken aback by the question, tells Spike that Nyx couldn’t even scare Fluttershy’s chickens let alone be Nightmare Moon, she then tells him that he should speak with Twilight about it. Spike then remembers that he needed to pick up Nyx from Sweet Apple Acres. As Spike makes his way to the farm, he runs into Applejack whose cart has broken down. Applejack is shocked to find out that he hasn’t picked up Nyx when he was supposed to pick her up two hours ago. Spike says that it’s no big deal, but Applejack tells him that Granny Smith is the only one left at the farm, and she doesn’t like Nyx.

Spike and Applejack arrive at the farm together to find Granny Smith speaking with an annoyed police officer. Granny Smith is asking the officer to arrest Nyx, but the Officer tells her he can’t arrest her since she has already been charged and punished for her previous crimes, and he can’t arrest her until she does something else. Applejack tries to calm Granny Smith down while Spike fetches Nyx. Spike finds her under a bucket, with Applebloom sitting on top of it. They were told to do this by Granny Smith the moment Big Macintosh left the farm, and they have been doing it throughout the entire hour the police officer has been arguing with Granny Smith. Spike takes Nyx home while Applejack and Applebloom defuse the situation.

The rest of the day passes by uneventfully, and Nyx goes to bed without even asking for a bedtime story. Spike however is still paranoid about Nyx suddenly turning into Nightmare Moon on him and decides to take a few moments to reflect over what his friends have said. After contemplating the words of Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Granny Smith, he decides to take Rainbow Dash’s advice and speak with Twilight about it. He stays up until she arrives, and when she does, he specifically tells her that he is still scared of Nyx becoming Nightmare Moon. He also tells her about the incident in the castle where he found blood in her cell.

Twilight tells spike that the blood he found in the cell was Nyx’s from when Twilight had tried to kill her. Twilight also tells spike that he should forgive Nyx for what she had done in the past, since after all, they had done the same for him after he had turned into a greedy terrifying dragon in the episode Secret of My Excess. Twilight then tells Spike that it is up to them to help guide Nyx through her childhood so that she does not grow up to become evil once again. Spike, satisfied with Twilight’s explanation, allows himself to relax. They then all go to bed, and Spike wakes up the next morning from a happy dream where Nyx was being chased by chicken.

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