NOTE: This takes place a few days after the events of Boast Busters. Curtains They say that the journey is just as important as the destination, if not more so. This is doubly true for someone who doesn't have a specific destination in mind, only that they don't want to be here. The Great and Powerful Trixie looked back on the country road she'd been walking for the better part of a day. To the inexperienced eye, nothing had changed. She was still in the middle of nowhere, clad in nothing but the dirt on her hooves and the grass stain on her coat. Maybe I should have gone back for the hat, she mused. But that was out of the question. Only a few had seen her run away from Ponyville, but it was a small town with very little in the way of entertainment. The defeat of the Great and Powerful Trixie who, despite her claims, had failed to deal with the threat of the Ursa Minor would be the talk of the town for a month at the very least. She couldn't go back and face the humiliation. Worse yet would be if she went back and nopony cared. So here she was, tired and hungry, and though she really didn't have much energy to spare she was still muttering under her breath about the unfairness of it all. It was those two star-forsaken idiots' fault, really. It took a special kind of totally ignorant country bumpkin not to realize that a stage magician's words were not the gospel truth. Yes, she took care not to break character off-stage, but surely anypony who knew anything would know that a performer and her performance were two completely different things. And as for the utter gall of bringing an actual Ursa into town just to see the Great and Powerful Trixie's magic at work - as though her craft was something to be exhibited for their entertainment whenever they were in the mood for a show - well, that was arrogance beyond belief. Because of those two blighted fools, she had lost her gimmicked carriage and props, the bits she'd saved, and worst of all her reputation. It wasn't like the olden days when nopony traveled two miles outside the village she was born in. Nowadays, even mud-hooved farmers left town to do business, and where ponies went news went along. It was just a matter of time till all of Equestria learned of the Great and Powerful Trixie's defeat. So maybe it's time to drop the curtains on the Great and Powerful Trixie. Go back to being plain old Beatrix again. She shuddered at the thought. Beatrix had been a talented but meek filly who let everypony walk over her. She had left that life long ago and promised herself she would never go back. Therefore, she must go on. First, I need to find work. Not a problem, there were plenty of farms in the country and farms could always use some extra hooves. She wouldn't earn much, but it would be enough to buy a new hat, or maybe a veil to cover her face, yes, perhaps become the Mysterious Mistress Lulamoon. More importantly, a season or two on a farm would buy time, and though it hurt to admit it, the fact was that a traveling magician would soon be replaced by the next marvel that came along. Second, I need to remember: Always. Do. The research. Using Ursa Major to sell her powers had been a - well, a major mistake. She should have learned more than just its fearsome reputation. If she had, she wouldn't have been blindsided like she had been, and maybe she could have kept her calm long enough to come up with something. A more dignified exit, at the very least. Third, I need a new act. The Mysterious Mistress Lulamoon sounded nice, but who exactly was she? She would have to create her from scratch like she had the Great and Powerful Trixie: who she was, where she came from, what she could do . . . Still tired and still hungry, she kept on walking. To the inexperienced eye it would seem like nothing had changed. But she held her head a tiny bit higher, and her hooves were no longer plodding along. The curtains may have come down, but some day they would rise again. The show goes on.