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Cupcakes:

Redemption

Narrative by Fluttershy Oakley and Sgt. Trollz

Transcription by: Fluttershy Oakley

Illustration by: FXL


Fluttershy’s eyes flickered up from their slumber. Her mind was fogged and she had no recollection of how she got... here. Looking around with her blurry and uncomfortable vision, she found herself incapable of recognising her surroundings. The far door opened and realisation was dealt in a swift manner: this was the basement of Sugar Cube Corner, Pinkie Pie was bounding towards her enthusiastically.

'Who wants cupcakes?' Her tone was one Fluttershy had heard many a time; it was perky and happy. True enough, in her hoof were cupcakes on a small round tray. 'They taste like rainbows...' She said enticingly. Her eyes looked like two saucers; wide and hopeful. Fluttershy thought she could find out what was going on from Pinkie Pie, but her friend had asked her a question, so it felt pertinent to attend her needs first.

'Um, are they spicy?' She felt this question was innocuous enough to suit the circumstances. Unfortunately, Pinkie Pie didn’t seem to pay it much attention upon seeing Fluttershy close up:

'Aww.. You look so cute in your chair!' Fluttershy felt distinctly uncomfortable at this point; even at her most random Pinkie Pie had never out of hand just dismissed something somepony said. It would be fair to say she was quite put off by the reaction. Even then she felt something was wrong with her friend. Looking down she saw that, yes, she was in a chair. Quite firmly tied onto it in fact. Again she reached into her memories for some kind of help in learning how it was that these events came about and, once again, was denied.

'Um... Thank you?' In the still silence of the room her words faded quickly, almost as though nothing had been said at all. Again, Pinkie Pie seemed to be talking not to her but more, around her. It was very unsettling.

'Look Fluttershy, one of your friends has come to play with you!' Then Fluttershy’s feeling intensified until it swelled within her stomach as a deep, uncomfortable fear. Pinkie Pie swept Angel in front of her so that he was facing Fluttershy directly. 'Look Angel, it’s Fluttershy!' Angel looked distressed.

'Oh Angel-bunny, are you ok?' Fear had, for the moment, slid from Fluttershy, her only focus now was on this pitifully sad creature before her; the whiskers were trembling from some unseen impulse, as though Angel himself was unaware of their movement; unaware of much, said his shying eyes. The reason for his catatonic state was all too clear as Pinkie Pie turned him around:

'He’s better than ever, much more fitting don’t you think? Huh, huh?' Fluttershy barely concealed a horrified gasp as Angel’s fate was revealed: on his back were two ill fitting, rusty wings. They seemed to have been made of some harsh and unforgiving material; Angel’s back had sores from where the corroded metal made contact. The point of attachment was a terrible sight that did Fluttershy’s heart a dis-service to see. She closed her eyes and tried to block out the awful thoughts of suffering that engulfed her mind.

'P..pinkie? Wh... why did you d..do that?' Her words may have seemed faltering in a confident environment; in this one, with the cold, uncaring walls and the deadening pall choking the air, they were morose whispers. Those tones came born as though from the pleas and final questions of the forsaken of many a generation; Fluttershy’s face too was moribund and lacking in vigour.

'Why? He looks more like an angel now, don’t you see?' Pinkie Pie’s head tilted to the side, accompanied by a disarmingly hopeful smile. Unfortunately for her, the circumstances and surroundings seemed intent on usurping her pretense: Fluttershy could see a fireplace in the corner of the room, perhaps its original purpose was to bake delightful treats once upon a time, which provided the room with most of its light. The shadows cast upon Pinkie Pie’s sunny face seemed to indicate the darkness within, one could not look upon them without recognising that their very presence prophesied woe and misfortune, warning all who looked upon them to leave, lest they too should join the ranks of slender spirits trapped there. Fluttershy did not observe all of these tidings, however, as she was too engrossed in her friend’s plight.

'B..but Pinkie.. don’t you see? He’s not smiling...he’s not h..happy...' At these words the heavy pall shifted weight significantly, Pinkie Pie’s hopeful smile now seemed locked in an unbelieving grimace; still the same but unnervingly different:

'You,' her eyelid at this point twitched, 'don’t like him now?' Were it not for the violated rabbit in front of her, it would have seemed as though Pinkie Pie was just a little filly whose attempts to impress a peer had not gone according to plan. Her eyes seemed on the edge of tears, her voice was quavering, it was almost as though she had made Fluttershy a delicious meal and then she had it thrown back at her hoofs.

'I like him j..just the same...' Again, the air shifted. Again, Pinkie Pie’s mood seemed to reinvent itself without any apparent reason or direction; instead of in quiet, uncertain tones, she burst out in strong, angry ones:

'You should like him better than before!' At this her mane appeared to flatten slightly, although whether this was a physical or purely ethereal change it would be impossible to say. Her loss of temper overcame her resolve, the result being her threatening approach to Fluttershy’s chair; each step unevenly punctuated the leaden silence with foreboding, much like two drummers slightly out of time with one another will unease the air with their malicious rhythm.

'I..I do like him better, I was too afraid to say so...' Fluttershy tried to appease the irate Pinkie Pie but, although her words did service their mission, she seemed as vehement as before:

'You.. you do? Then tell him that. I want to hear you say it!' At this Pinkie Pie lifted Angel so that his eyes and Fluttershy’s would be sharing in each others sight. She tried to look, but Fluttershy could not hold the Drawing by: FXL gaze with one she had known for so long, not now that the gaze was vacant and unyielding. Only a few hints of life could be found in those spectral orbs, but Fluttershy knew they were not seeing anything she would wish to comprehend. In staggered, unconvincing tones she said:

'My, Angel... you just....look so...st...stylish,' at this point Angel was roused from his reverie enough to moan softly in pain, 'oh dear, can you... will you untie me? I think he needs me...' Unexpectedly, this brought about the loudest outburst thus-far from the quickly deteriorating Pinkie Pie: 'WHAT ABOUT ME!' She snapped Angel up in her mouth and tossed him onto a nearby table like an inanimate ragdoll. True to his role, Angel did nothing to stop her; his eyes may have winced in pain as the wings dug into his back, but those muscles were the only ones that moved. Pinkie Pie squinted at Angel before attempting to diagnose him; what could his problem be? 'I can probably fix him you know,' at this point another spasm stretched across her slowly diminishing face. It was not that her face was smaller or weaker, but there seemed certainly to be less unnecessary cheerfulness; a measure of calm despair was sinking into her uncrinkled features, not visibly it should be said, but more as though the tendrils of her being are beginning to infect her face, 'I can! ' Her body blocked Angel from Fluttershy’s view, but it was evident that Pinkie Pie was doing something unseemly to the creature before her; there were unsuppressed gasps and moans, not all from Angel. Then a trickle of blood came into Fluttershy’s eye-line; it just sneaked past Pinkie Pie’s foreleg and dripped onto the floor. To Fluttershy, that drop seemed to fall forever, it glinted darkly and whispered dark reports to her eyes. When it finally did collide with the floor the cacophony was too much for Fluttershy to bear; the howling, tempestuous screams, the pitiful, joyless laments that are so often ignored can be heard by those of a sensitive nature; Fluttershy cannot see blood without hearing them.

'Oh... Please Pinkie! I’d really feel better if... I mean, um, could you just STOP please!' The strength in her voice shocked Pinkie Pie enough that she did in fact stop. She turned around and though, yes, her hoofs were bloody and her mane wild, her eyes just looked lost. They seemed to look past Fluttershy as she licked her lips. Then her lips parted:

'Hmm. I don’t....' Her words sounded soft and confused, certainly less energetic than they usually did. Perhaps Fluttershy may have been able to rouse Pinkie Pie’s sensibilities, were it not for Angel at that moment dashing for the door. Pinkie Pie’s sad, lonely and confused face snapped into one of truly frightening anger. From stationary to sprinting was an impressive feat, however the wings on his back did not help his endeavours and so, weak from blood loss as well, he barely made it out of the door before Pinkie Pie was charging after him like a surging river. 'Hey!' Her voice had returned to its sprightly normality and, to anypony who wasn’t witness to its previous decline at least, it would seem impossible to anypony that this pink, bouncy ball of excitement could be anything other than pleasant and sweet, 'are you sure that you’re done playing? Wouldn’t you rather have a little more fun?' She hopped through the door, swinging it shut behind her. The boom of its reception with the door caused an echo of finality that resounded through Fluttershy’s skull like an unhappy complaint. It spoke of mistreatment and inconsistent batterings, it spoke of soft crooning that it overheard when not invited. It told tales of Pinkie Pie’s mind, her mutterings, her betrayal. Those hinges were worn and dented, the door’s panel itself had many other small dings and scratches. The door was not the least happy object in the room, but it held Fluttershy’s attention as from it could be heard small sounds of tremendous struggle. Muffled crashes and peals of laughter permeated the room through that portal. That unhappy, unfitting portal betrayed the noises it emitted; warped and ersatz tones sifted through its unsightly frame such that, to anypony who was witness to the previous decline at least, it would seem as though squeals of laughter were filling the house, not peals. Fluttershy wept. Her tears cascaded down her delicate face and crashed without ceremony into the flagstone floor. The pool growing before her held all the glimmers from her watery eyes; sparkles and hopeful flourishes that twirled in the firelight were celebrating their small and inconsequential union.

Suddenly, all was still. The air once again descended into a brittle, unyielding pall. The little flecks of dirt that floated on the air currents seemed to become static, the fire seemed to dim. Just as suddenly, they were all sucked slightly to the door as a formidable implosion of air dragged them to its uncaring mouth. Within its maw stood Pinkie Pie, softly opening the door, inch by inch, which had caused the movement. 'This silly filly tried to get...' Upon seeing Fluttershy’s tears, Pinkie Pie’s face collapsed into one of sadness and hopelessness. This did not last long. Her face then ascended into one of bitter rage and, the two possibly being related, the last thing Fluttershy saw before falling unconscious was the vicious swing of a spade that arced like an extension of Pinkie Pie’s arm.



'Angel... Wanna play with Fluttershy some more?' The words were playful and seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at once... Fluttershy was still coming around and her hearing was fuzzy. Her mouth felt fuzzy too. Her focus snapped on in an instant when a bucket of water slammed into the side of her drooping face. Her head pulled up sharply and was almost immediately halted by Pinkie Pie’s grinning face which seemed, to Fluttershy, unnecessarily poised in front of hers. 'Come on Fluttershy, Angel isn’t done playing!' Fluttershy’s jaw hurt. This isn’t entirely fair: it ached in fact, it didn’t hurt. It ached because of the small furry creature lodged between her teeth. Upon seeing her spit Angel onto her lap, Pinkie Pie’s face boiled in rage. It seemed that once again her mind was not in the room. Also, her voice was not her own; they came from her throat. but the tones belonged to one much older than she: 'EAT! EAT UP LITTLE GIRL!!!' The shrill voice seemed cold and abrasive. Not uncaring though, just very strict.

'I won’t!' Although this outcry was a little more overstated than most of her exclamations, her resistance seemed pathetically lacking in the face of such great adversity; Pinkie Pie’s body was heaving with some kind of inner demon which at every moment seemed to find a new way to express itself through its malignant jester. Fluttershy began to cry openly which then earnt her nothing more than a simple and effective slap around the face.

'Stop crying.' After this physical assault Fluttershy stopped weeping and in lieu of tears supplied a barrage of whimpers that would have melted even the most inconsiderate soul. Unfortunately, her captor seemed devoid of even these most simple processes. It was as though the world had found a gateway through which it could pass both its inert and most hazardous furies; this pony, at least at this point, had lost all of her sensibilities and none of her sensitivities, allowing her to become an impassive agency for pure, demonic knavery. 'Now, will you eat your dinner like a good girl?' Again that shrill, unsuited voice spread an otherwise unachievable panic within Fluttershy; as long as you are the prisoner of a sane pony there is the the potential for reason, discussion. In the realms of insanity, however, no rule could be cast in stone, no similar events need carry any form of correspondence. Fluttershy upon hearing these unhappy words could not help but let out a little mew, similar to the one that would be made in a last ditch attempt to draw some compassion out of a pliable observer. Again, Pinkie Pie was no such individual. 'What was that, I couldn’t hear you.' Pinkie Pie brought her ear close to Fluttershy’s mouth with a fierce look upon her face. Lines had grown deeper with disappointment and cold angles crystallised around her eyes. Her frosty eyes too were hostile, her grim smile frozen into a horrific sneer.

'No.' From Pinkie Pie’s reaction it would seem that this quiet, desperate little plea for absolution was a cacophony: she spun away in disgust before seeming to collect her patience with her back to the cowed figure. In an instant she bridged the distance between them and began throttling Fluttershy.

'Yes! You must eat it. EAT IT!' Suddenly overcome with rage, Pinkie Pie began tearing at Fluttershy’s ear with her teeth. Slowly, she teased the ear until a rip appeared. Naturally, harrowed screaming permeated every corner of the gaunt, watching room as the process continued. When finally her task was done, Pinkie Pie took to waving her trophy in front of Fluttershy’s face, watching with glee as her face transformed from one of wretched agony, to unhappy speculation, back to wretched agony. Seemingly disinterested with it, Pinkie Pie discarded the ear onto Fluttershy’s lap before bounding around the confines of the gloomy hole within which the unpardonable was occurring. As she went, Pinkie Pie continued to lick her lips in ever greater and greater exaggerations of delight and contentment. To the chorus of unending bellows of breathless and wretched anguish: 'wow, you taste good Fluttershy! I don’t just mean a little good, you’re delectable!' Upon hearing these words, Fluttershy’s breaths became shallow and irrelevant, more panicked and unknowing attempts at action rather than for any purpose; with so little available to her, Fluttershy was forced to panic with far subtler and more ingenious devices. After she had recovered voice enough to words and breath enough to speak, she called softly out to the blur of pink excitement:

'P...Pinkie?' Although her reserved tone would not usually attract any attention, Pinkie Pie tended to her delicately, looking up at her from the floor where she was playfully pushing around a piece of lint with her nose. She stopped briefly to stare adoringly up at Fluttershy:

'Yes, my love?' She gazed into Fluttershy’s teal eyes without a care in the world. Fluttershy saw something in those eyes, a trace of tenderness she thought impossible to come from such an ersatz mockery of a pony. But, true enough, in those eyes was a glimmer of something... hidden, lost even. It did Fluttershy’s heart good to see that her old friend had not only ever been this ruthless tempest, but had instead descended into this unending nightmare. Seeing this, Fluttershy felt she could speak to a part of Pinkie Pie now that was for the most part absent:

'I...um...' She winces from the intense pain in her ear. With each beat of her tender heart a new wave of pain throbbed through it, it didn’t seem feasible that such a small part of her could cause her such....discontent. As though the pain weren’t enough, Fluttershy had the uncomfortable sensation of her own blood trickling down her spine and running over her face to deal with. The fluid was even seeping into her open ear canal, fading what little noise she could discern, which disturbed her more than she could bear to think about.

'What is it Fluttershy? Speak up!' She said in jovial tones. It was almost as though she physically couldn’t see the blood trickling from Fluttershy’s head, almost as though she couldn’t see the violated Angel before her, resting beneath the blanket of Fluttershy’s ear. It was almost as though the thick, stagnant air that reeked of Fluttershy knew not what was not assailing her nose, tempting the breather to gag. No, she was entirely separated from reality. There was little hope.

'Um, I...I w-want to see R-R-Rainbow...I mean...D-Do you know, know w-where she is?' It was hard to speak with the intense agony that was flooding her brain. It was also distracting to have part of her vision rose in colour as her thick, red blood cascaded over her eye. It seemed that with such a question the air around Pinkie Pie grew colder... Somehow sharper... It also seemed that Fluttershy was making a desperate ploy to ignore the situation, although her question was of course deeply founded in desire; of all ponies Fluttershy felt the greatest affinity for the Rainbow streaked flyer. Even with the simple thought of having her warming presence made the room seem less intimidating; the embers wrought not ghosts across the room now but hopeful little sparks of light. The crackle of flame no longer instilled a sense not of destruction, the flames of bright decay, but instead a feeling of security and homeliness. It was strange that, despite all those dark and ominous indicators to the contrary, in this moment Fluttershy could feel safe. The doorway no longer stared at her but gazed with sincere care. Pinkie Pie no longer filled the room but merely stood within it.

'Oh. Dash? She’s sleeping silly! She was so tired, I let her have a little nap, just over there!' At this she pointed to somewhere behind Fluttershy. Before she could turn to look though Pinkie Pie again said, in simple, lucid and clear tones, 'But she looked uncomfortable, so I put her in here!' At this she pointed at the cupcake. Just as quickly, the room once again reverted to its former nature; sinister, dark currents pervaded the air. It almost seemed to be mocking Fluttershy, teasing her with thoughts of sweet release, of mercy in her captor. She all too familiar with mockery, however, knew just how to deal with it: she began to ignore it. Though her efforts were ardent and well founded, her ability fell far short of her desire and so she could not alienate herself from the situation, in the truest sense of the word:

'She’s... in there? Are you...are you sure that’s more comfortable?' Indeed, her efforts were valiant. Unfortunately, Pinkie Pie seemed to have no issue with deconstructing her fantasy:

'Oh, she probably isn’t... I mean, who would be, right?' A dazzling smile concluded her sentence the words of which, having already dispelled Fluttershy’s fantasy, proceeded to form a phantasm in its own right; that smile seemed to be not of Pinkie Pie, but instead merely to float ghost-like above her face. A pallor of quite disturbing proportions hinted at its existence just beneath that grin: a very cold, very weary pallor. Untold trials had assailed that unassuming face, nopony could see it, nor could Pinkie Pie be said anymore to truly feel it, nor even be capable of doing so, but years of strain had within those features accumulated until now, now they were so laden that they refused to be expressed, instead masking themselves with what would appear to be inarguable delight, masking desperately as each little disappointment added further and further to the growing ladder which plumbed the deepest depths of her heightening insanity, that soaring, fetid insanity, scouring azure skies for others of its kind, finding nothing save for empty, fetid darkness which clawed at her, empty darkness itself entering her soul at a fundamental level, slowly climbing the ladder, accelerating faster and faster, the darkness consuming all of her, faster and faster until.... Until it permitted this cheery, beaming grimace to play on its hosts lips. Fluttershy noticed little of this, however, but could still discern in her words that Pinkie Pie was definitely not safe to be around. Fortunately, ringing out into the turgid air came a few quiet reprieves; there was a knock on the door upstairs. Unfortunately, Fluttershy was powerless to do anything with Pinkie Pie stood so close. Tittering like an old mare who had found a filly causing mischief, she produced a gag from some recess of the room. Tying it firmly in place, she bounced off to the door saying as she went: 'don’t worry yourself, Auntie Pinkie Pie will be back soon!' She opened and closed the door with surprising care. The cold metal soon sealed itself with a snick; the door was locked. The room grew colder, the fire died down. Although her presence was certainly... upsetting, without Pinkie Pie seemed somehow worse; it was almost as though she were actually holding back the torrents of malicious intent of the room from pouring onto Fluttershy. The walls seemed to bulge at her, the door seemed to smirk. The soft lighting allowed the room to develop, to press its desire into the folds of Fluttershy’s mind. With each crease there were new ways to satisfy her sadistic, self-torturous imagination; when her eyes were averted, but not so much that she would have the relief of not seeing, the corners of the room appeared to swarm with a multitude of fascinating and ravenous insects. Clawing over one another in their desperation for flesh they scrabbled towards her until she looked at them directly and then.... they vanished, only to start flowing out of some other crevice in the room. Terrified at her hallucinations, Fluttershy closed her eyes. Even in such a refuge, however, she was still vulnerable to assault. Against her coat she could feel cold, damp scales rushing over her, subtle tentacles caressing the bottom of her hooves. A soft sigh seemed to spread over the nape of her neck and chill her hair with unseen, unhappy, creeping feelers. She opened her eyes and just as quickly the sensations disappeared, only to be replaced by the visual tormentors once more. Without distraction such sensations would undoubtedly cause insanity within her as well, but Fluttershy need not fear that for the sound of talking above her managed to prove a worthy enough competitor in the tournament of her attention. Fluttershy could make few sounds with the gag in place, so she rocked the chair from side to side, yelling what little she could whilst she did so, until the chair clattered to the flagstones with an undignified and altogether distilling clamour. From her new vantage point Fluttershy could see the room behind where she had been before seated. Blood. A lot of blood was there. It seemed almost ridiculous; in spite of her current circumstances, to Fluttershy it seemed as though there was no way there could be blood in the basement of Sugar Cube Corner, but there it was: mostly dried, but some was still a little sticky looking. Although her efforts to alert the visitor had been great, the result of them left her in a worse position than before; now it felt as though the insects that plagued the room had perfect purchase over her body and it seemed the visitor had just departed. Solid, measured hoof-falls came from the door which swung open with a burst, denting the door and the wall to which it connected.

'Oh! Looks like you’ve had a spill!' She bounced menacingly up to Fluttershy. Her pleas of apologies, though already impeded by the damp rag thrust in her mouth, were cut short: 'You know, I really can’t be having you make all that noise, what if Rarity’d heard you? That would be no fun at all!' Though her words were not particularly comforting, this time her face did not even attempt to fool Fluttershy: Pinkie Pie was angry. 'I’m sorry, I really am, but when a little lamb strays beyond her borders you have to punish her. It’s for her own good, you can’t have her straying into danger, now wouldn’t you agree.' It wasn’t a question. It wasn’t even a suggestion, it was simply stated as fact. Pinkie Pie then bounced off again to a dark, hidden recess of the room; to the corner Fluttershy had not yet seen. She returned with a needle and thread. Fluttershy at this point began to panic quite an amount, things no longer made sense to her. She bucked and brayed as much as she could, but to no avail: Pinkie Pie held her down with surprising ease and began her demonic work. A few stitches into Fluttershy’s leg she began to laugh. 'Oh silly me! I forgot to thread the needle, I’m sorry Fluttershy, can you hold on a few moments more.' Again, no question was asked. Delicately and deliberately in Fluttershy’s view, which was further being obscured with her own blood with each passing minute, she, with trembling hoof, threaded the needle. Again she descended on Fluttershy’s rear legs, simply sewing them together. Fluttershy could not understand what was occurring, it just did not make sense in any way. The pain was real, that she could rely on understanding, though she felt she must be being misled as to its cause. It took several minutes before Pinkie Pie managed to carefully seal Fluttershy’s legs. She considered herself lucky to be gagged, certainly Pinkie Pie must have too, it must be noted, as Fluttershy was sure she would have bitten through her tongue long before the deed was done. Her moans, however muted and distorted as they may have been, must have displeased Pinkie Pie, as she in quite short order crashed something into Fluttershy’s head.


Wet. Her face felt damp, almost moist. Something kept assaulting her face with tiny little bursts of enthusiasm. It was...nice... comforting. Fuzzy balls of darkness started being separated from her vision, little spinks of painful, but still woefully dim, light tore through them, making more and more of the world float into view like a bad nightmare. She was now propped up. On what she knew not, she was too weak to really try and find out, but it felt stiff and wooden. Her forelegs were tied behind the object, her hind-legs were tied in front of it. The object was leaned forward so that she was suspended. Her own weight was pressing unfavourably on her chest, she was struggling to breath. The gloomy room remained otherwise unchanged; the chair was discarded in the middle of the dirty floor, a tray of cupcakes carefully set aside. She realised with horror that she was propped against the wall that had blood caked into its crevices. There was a pink pony stood before her. She was happy again. She made this patently obvious by continuously, obsessively licking Fluttershy’s face. Upon reaching a appreciable level of consciousness, Fluttershy felt it worrying how hungrily Pinkie Pie licked and licked at her.

'P..Pinkie?' Talking hurt her head, it hurt her ear. Noises rattled around in her brain building and building, crescendoeing with unbidden voraciousness. Because of this she was forced to snap her eyes closed in some pitiful attempt to gather some shred of relief. Pinkie Pie, however, clearly did not recognise this in her enthusiasm:

'Come on, don’t go back to sleep! Wake up you silly spilly filly you!' Fluttershy groaned in pain at the noise. It was only at this point that she realised that her mouth was free to make sound. The lack of gag must have meant Pinkie was in a more lucid mood, that perhaps she may be pliable to some form of reason. It’s at this point she notices how long she has been unconscious; the fireplace has died down and now there is only a lick of flame amongst the dying embers. The light emitted is low, ghostly shadows lurk and collate in the corners, stretching from their prisons towards Fluttershy with long, probing digits. Those dark figures flickered around each other in a morbid dance, joyously taunting her with what little freedom more they could express than she possessed. In that moment, she envied them; their short yet blurred, fluid lives seemed at least to fulfill their desire, their purpose. In their fleeting tryst of existence they managed to do more than Fluttershy felt she ever would. Her groaning seemed to sate the shadows, it seemed to sustain them. They grew stronger with her suffering, their stretching forms growing longer until they tasted her hooves. Satisfied not with just the taste of her lower limbs, they seemed to creep up her legs and cling to her coat, stroke her neck. Curling around her chin, they tickled her nose and groped around within, they sidled up to her eyes and penetrated mercilessly. The blackness started entering her eyes, engulfing all, covering her vision, inky droplets seemed to spread deeper and deeper, spiralling into her eyes, thrusting, scouring, scraping deeper, spreading until the world blotted to indistinct... 'Hay! What’s the matter, are you ok?' Pinkie Pie’s words snapped her out of her descent into sheer, unimaginable panic. Breathing shallowly, her eyes gained sight again, serendipity struck her core as she saw the concerned expression pony stood over her. Whilst doubtless just another mask, it did her heart good to see it. Her bones were aching from being constricted and bound for, what she appreciated, may have been quite some time. Her muscles too were protesting from where she had slammed unceremoniously into the floor. Though almost driven mad with her condition one sane thought, one sane goal had remained firm throughout, it seemed no longer possible for her to contain her hopes, her fears. For this reason Fluttershy once again asked:

'W-where’s Dashy?' The broken whimper would have done little other than inspire protective and ever well wishing actions in a less warped creation than that before her. Though the meaning of her words had been uttered before, it was now and only now that their meaning was conveyed to Pinkie Pie.

'Well, she’s right here silly!' At this Pinkie Pie offered the plate of cupcakes which, Fluttershy now noted, had a distinctly blue hue. The captive now reflected her captor as the meaning of the words eluded her grasp, some unseen censor was daintily removing her from a painful truth she had unhappily known for all too long.

'I...I d-don’t see her Pinkie...I...where i-is she?' Pinkie Pie barked out a laugh which seemed to grow in magnitude and diminish to resounding and unkempt malice within the confines of the room.

'Right here! She was a little tired though, so I let her sleep in this warm, comfy cupcake!' Fluttershy did not seem to process this information with any degree of dignity.

'She’s not d-dead....s-s-she can’t b-be, she’s not...I m-mean..um...' Her words were insignificant in the pervading gloom; her weak protestations held no weight in so dense an atmosphere. The only effect they had were on Pinkie Pie, for though her hopeless words of denial had been for her own comfort she could not delude herself into such a falsehood. Pinkie Pie, on the other hand, was seemingly conveyed into a mild state of confusion; her countenance and temperament unchanged, she glanced around the room following trails of long forgotten conversations and discrepancies seen by none save her. Though she caught little of the truer processes at work, Fluttershy caught a glimpse of what her words had done; looking at Pinkie Pie she could see, just for a moment, into her soul: Each avenue of thought leading her deeper into memories so entrenched now it seemed impossible to imagine a being without them; memories of loneliness, despair, longing and hoping. Quaint, unfitting homes were scattered along these paths: simple, well kept houses with laughing families inside were dotted on the cracked and weeping ground which pulsed like a voracious frog. Each house contained within it a different reality, a different time where Pinkie Pie was good and whole. As Fluttershy explored these avenues she found the road narrowing, the houses on either side becoming slightly more cramped, their frames no longer kept well, ivy and other merciless creepers fracturing the foundations of these once proud structures. In these houses were no laughing families, only moribund ones. Fluttershy scoured Pinkie Pie’s inscrutable face for more clues as to why her soul was so wrought, but what she found there made her recoil in fear, although pity too struck her heart with unfathomable force; the cramped, dilapidated housing now held guest to no families; in the windows she could see only Pinkie Pie alone performing obsolete tasks, redundantly repeating them in a stupor. As she continued, the path grew infested with with brambles and brier. Though she wished to stop, the slowly steepening gradient of the floor was hard to combat and she had no choice now but to continue on this pilgrimage to she knew not where. Her pace quickened faster and faster, accelerating more still until she flew at a firm canter past houses with grotesque figures, their shells sprouting many unsightly and unwelcome ornaments, their host becoming successively more and more erratic, despairing, desperate in her loneliness, sounds of sobbing permeate the air, and still further Fluttershy plummeted down the street, the floor so steep now her hooves could not hold contact, she fell, fell quickly into the darkness awaiting below, houses streaming past with unbearable noises oozing from each, now screams of madness filling thick the putrid air which was clogged with ash, wretched demonic laughter rattling her bones, and still she fell now vertical into the awaiting darkness which promised to engulf her with its... 'Dead? Nonononono! She was just tired! So,' at this a slight twitch flashed from one side of Pinkie Pie’s face to the other, setting permanent residence at the base of her neck which occasionally made her head flick like a puppet, 'she’s having a nap. I put her somewhere warm and toasty, I swear!' At this there was great fear in Pinkie Pie’s eyes, it was almost as though she was afraid of not having lived up to Fluttershy’s non-existent expectations, as though she was wary of retribution were Rainbow Dash not kept as comfortable as possible. Fluttershy’s mind, only recently revived from dementia with Pinkie Pie’s punctual interruption, was glad to accept this turn of events; if she could believe Pinkie Pie then she could disbelieve herelf, which at the moment at least was far from an unappealing prospect. The shadows in the room once more collated, though now their shapes seemed warmer, more inviting. From them she could draw some comfort, with the dying light more interesting forms flickered before her, and with the dying light she felt she may be able to escape her unforgiving thoughts. 'I’ll show her to you, but only if you have a bite first!' Pinkie Pie seemed to have returned to a jovial and playful state and with Fluttershy’s powerful persistence with denial she could see no wrong in taking a bite. In fact, the only reason she wouldn’t take a bite would be if she weren’t hungry, which she was, or if there were something wrong with the cupcake, which there simply couldn’t be. The small treat was being held just before her muzzle in Pinkie Pie’s hooves. A bite told her it didn’t taste bad, far from it. For a moment Fluttershy is confused as to why she would naturally have assumed it to taste bad. The inside of the cupcake looked...inconsistent. A bunch of glistening masses lay huddled together, seemingly out of comfort, all suppressed in a dark, thick jelly of some sort. It certainly looked like no cupcake Fluttershy had ever seen before; the aroma too was alien and confusing. 'Can you see her now? Doesn’t she look comfortable?' These words induced such fear that Fluttershy was forced to look around, searching for her great friend. Though her hopes and efforts desperate, the chances of such slim, Dash appeared before her; she raised her eyes with bated breath upon seeing her lithe blue form out of the corner of her eye.

'Dashy!' These two syllables ruptured from her lips before Fluttershy could stop them. Upon hearing these sounds Dash’s smile grew wider and she bounded over to Fluttershy, hugging her strongly. 'Oh! I-I’m so glad you’re s-safe, I was so worried...I thought..I thought something t-terrible had happened.' At this Dash’s confused face turned on its side, looking strangely at Fluttershy.

'Something happen to me? Nah, I’d never leave everypony hanging, I mean, you all need somepony to look up to right?' These words, though softly spoken in a high, excitable voice, held about them an uncomfortable, mocking air. Though the words themselves curled cosily into Fluttershy’s mind, the tone seemed misplaced, certainly not as warm as Dash normally spoke. It seemed to Fluttershy that Dash too was experiencing some nervous discomfort with the surroundings and she dreaded to think of the circumstances Dash may have suffered from the hooves of the pink pony. However, her mind retorted, Dash did seem well; no injuries that Fluttershy could see, certainly she was happy enough. The low firelight caused shadows to ripple across her face, the cheeks looked deeper and more sallow. Apart from this though, her complexion and countenance spoke only of complete joy. Still, the light flickered without cessation, distorting and pulling at Dash’s features; it caused her glassy eyes to glisten, it stretched her smile’s reach into a mocking rictus of familiarity, instead a hollow imitation of merriment. Placid Fluttershy, however, took this distressing image as simple seasonable change; the hidden Winter in Dash’s faux-congenial grimace served only to tell Fluttershy of her friend’s great concern for her. Fluttershy felt touched, as often she was, that her friend would worry so over what Fluttershy now felt to be merely minor injury; for Dash’s unbound, uninjured state gave evidence to Fluttershy’s unassailable realisation that her friend was well, despite what she had previously assumed. She chided herself for doubting Pinkie Pie, for even considering that her friend was capable of the monstrosities which she had contemplated. With her new-found resolve the room instantly became warmer; Summery tones now emanated from the fireplace in lieu of the grim, spectral rays it had favoured before, bright colours were wrought now from the air and her surroundings. Dash herself seemed shrouded in a ethereal aura of small spinks of light that danced and floated on the almost static air currents. The glints and glimmers that drifted around her seemed to be urgently requesting Fluttershy’s attention, certainly they were trying to give her a message. Unfortunately, for though the communication was simple and clearly presented, Fluttershy’s mind was not in proper situe to receive it. So beautiful a performance, so tragic a waste of effort on a pony not perceptive enough, at least in will if not in physical constraint , to understand it. Dash approached Fluttershy and hugged her with great feeling, nuzzling the crook of her neck slightly. Fluttershy returned the gesture as they always had done; she turned her head to the side to rub Dash’s neck affectionately. This gentle, happy moment was torn from Fluttershy as her ear scraped grimly against the coarse, cold skin. New rivulets of blood seeped from the agonising wound and fresh tendrils of pain pulled at Fluttershy’s mind, causing her to recoil from the embrace. Looking at Dash’s face, the same happy grin lay there accompanied by her immaculate skin and mane, the ever dancing halo of light somehow brighter than before, as if enlightened by some unseen censor who into this one happy, if torturous, moment did their whole being out-pour. Suddenly Fluttershy could hear a minor rattling. It seemed to be coming from within the walls itself and held the same consistency of hail falling on tin. Dash however seemed undisturbed by the noise. Instead, though the noise persisted, never ceasing, ever consistent, always tinging, now further still the noise had grown to include a slight rumbling, Dash seemed quite undisturbed by it, her unchanging features ever displaying that cool calm that Fluttershy had often noted and admired from within her, although Fluttershy could not help but see now that her reaction to the embrace may have offended her. With slowly sinking heart she hastened to remedy her mistake:

'I’m s-so glad you’re h-here...I just m-missed.....m-missed...' Her words were interrupted by a great clod at her throat that threatened to hold her words hostage for a longer period than she would bear to allow it. She attempted to swallow it, but her efforts were in vain; indeed they did nothing if not distress her further as her throat ached and complained at its abuse. After the attempt, new, and uniquely painful, sobs trickled out from her. Dash’s warm smile, though firm in both resolve and stature seemed, to Fluttershy at least, to soften and accept her apology. It wished her comfort, it wished her well, Dash’s embrace once more enshrouded her, this time taking care of her ear.

'It’s okay Fluttershy, just open up to your auntie Rainbow Dash,' at this a little giggle burst from her, the feeling shaking open trapdoors in Fluttershy’s stomach of which she had scarcely been aware. Once more she felt the air cloy around her, metallic tastes seeped through her skin and from all around came the ever present zinging, tinging, pinging noise and groaning sounds of great monoliths of creation colliding into disbelief. Saved though, was dear Fluttershy, from a fate that was less than nothing by no less than the calming flick of her dear friend’s mane. Ever tighter the coil of dethroned fear threatened to squeeze her from her insufferable delusion whereas in fact here stood her dear friend without whom she could not imagine one placid uneventful and altogether a quite tranquil time they were having, which altogether would have been an almighty shame to sever brief and so they couldn’t be apart for Fluttershy didn’t feel any grief or shame, neither lingering nor brief save for that noise in the air that permeated ever stiller and again stiller with a groaning, creaking, never troughs always peaking into new descent that shook from the ground now too with a calamitous heave and sigh from the ground too now, saved by a darting look from her dear friend who’s posture was not what she remembered but now again was as the image before her shimmered in the halo of spectral, ungainly lights now attacking her friend not celebrating her No!

No it cannot be that in tranquil times these ghostly capering jesters were assailing her friend, but to no avail of course as Dash’s rictus grin held its course burrowed deep into Fluttershy’s eyes, burrowed deep into those sweet, lost eyes, that rictus slowly devoured from those warm, hopeful, trusting eyes their innate worth, their mirth, until all that was left was the fallacy and their wastrel, wight of a master’s author, until further light and light was cast upon it still, though it must be said so fine was Fluttershy’s quality that even devoid of hope and reason, sense and reason, left bereft of good thought and left forever alone in cold abandoned ramparts, her mind, the shrivelled remains of what once was mind, was merely in mid-season, a terrible mid-season though ardent and fully fledged it may be is still only stretching to the porch of truest torture, lying in wait just beyond the battered, broken and monstrous door she saw something that was again no more than nothing, it was as though within that one last tethered tendril which latched onto the world as the world itself knew she did relinquish her soul to tempt it not into believing the truth that even now stretched before her door, that great and ungainly truth that pawed without cessation at her door, her dear friend trying of course to save her from it but please...no Dash, this is not your burden stay down from my strife, it is not your burden to bear lay down now and we can have a cup of tea just like old times have changed haven’t they??! It seems only yesterday that we were in Sugar Cube Corner but now so many decades have past times don’t need to be considered anymore Dashy, no, please, listen, um, it’s not safe for you here, you have to get out before she finds you, why won’t you listen and save your breath she’s not listening to you anymore, she can’t, don’t you understand this about Dashy, she’s the most loyal dear friend you’ll ever NO! It’s not TRUE! Please, PLEASE make it STOP greedy, all that sugar will give you wide hips and how are you supposed to fly in a straight line if you’re going to Sugar Cube Corner after your exercises? Um, I need some things actually, can I come TOO LATE to save her YOU KNOW body cares about you NEVER forgot her don’t worry my deary deary me, what have we got here here, the gallows I say, order order in the tea shop FOUR CUPS PLEASE........................Dashy......Bow-Bow....

She was interrupted by a ghastly screeching noise, as though two gargantuan sheets of rusted metal were scraping against one another. A whistling! A whistling too now joined the cacophony, piercing and ringing in Fluttershy’s ears. Dash seemed to speak words to her but she could hear them not, her mind was cast into an uninterpretable mesh of sound, each noise jostling for attention. Dash now seemed to repeat her words, looking carefully with those glistening, now simmering, then glistening again eyes, anxiously now holding that same spectral grin, her clean mane flicking from some unseen tempest whose foul and ungainly winds had struck perhaps from some unhappy, distant tonic shore, whose great passage of duration had endowed it with some venomous weariness, had been laden with some bitter, small sultry weariness, and through the great passage of time it had accumulated years of struggling, tender, insecurity, and loneliness, to dark madness to form finally this; monstrous tempestual abomination swept as a rigid and indefatigable, malicious sore before her. Trapped invisible within her sights was the sum of eternal nocturnal frights, dark and eerie passages, lit with blackened lights that creaked the floorboards when the wax drip-drip-dripped onto its stately surface, the oak paneled walls tarnished and cracked, twisting further from sight in a terrible screw that curved cruelly against where the floor should be, forming as it did a nightmare spiral that stretched to infinity in all directions, seeping, along its length, with many vile and toxic oozes. The source of this malcontent maelstrom once more opened its mouth to speak, the words lost once more in its surging, pandemonium, the roaring bedlam, and lost too with it became the features that produced them; the mouth, eyes, nose and skin faded from view to form a plain, grey, unadorned mask. This plain, faceless figure stood before her, motioning occasionally with its head, sick, mocking gestures did they seem, made only with each sinew and fibre capable of delivering evil, unpleasant notions to Fluttershy. The blank, unfeeling bluff approached her with monolithic impression, rubbing against her face tenderly with its own pallid, dead one. The din, whilst still as loud as before, grew with frightening voraciousness to an unsettling quiet, perhaps being ominously omitted by some unseen censor whose demanding trickery knew no bounds, as though dragged across the horizons of thought so that its strong presence could still be felt just as keenly as the rosey tints of dawn on the clouds of a fresh day, such that the words could now be plainly heard by Fluttershy. It was through no means of conveyance that Fluttershy had capacity to understand that the words “who am I?” Thundered like so many leaden and despairing last knolls of a funeral bell within her mind, echoing across every surface, exploiting each delinquent crevice of her soul to echo further and louder still until with rattling breath and laboured essence the truth became known to her. This grim and vapid knowledge caused her descent’s promises, its protection, validity for her; as her mind now attempted to once more hide in that veil of insanity it had so kindly produced for her, but to no avail did her pleadings or barely muffled utterances give her any lack of desperate reason, indeed, they only furthered her realisations that the ship she so longed to embark upon had set sail. That silky, hopeful ship of delusion upon which she had previously wished for no passage but now upon which she prayed her company to keep had set sail for ethereal planes she knew not what. No, knowledge now rested heavy upon her brow and she wept without knowledge of when she could stop, her fears and unchallengeable, irrefutable loathsome woes had come to rest upon her brow, with each crinkle and wrinkle furthering her distance from those Plutonian shores to which her bereft ship had, of course, now set sail. No, now that unkind, uncaring knowledge had lodged itself upon her, within her, and this caused within her such a sadness that she could not have even imagined before, such a sadness that into her very being had allowed seeds of dismay and repentance to flower, upon her core there now lay a stain the likes of which she could not imagine cleaning, a stain so foul and yet tempered by reason that in reality its cause she could no longer ignore. She looked back up at her dear Dashy, into the eyes, those spectral, unwavering eyes that straight into her soul bore, and answered, though her heart pleaded she say not the word that rattled and shattered her very core, as though with the entirety of her soul in this one word she did out-pour and admit defeat, the likes of which she would hope to never feel again, though this hope of course would be founded nevermore:

   

“Pinkie.” Such a simple word, and so aptly spoken, had never until now been such a cause for dismay, for with it she struck down her harrowed attempts to withdraw from the truth; her dear friend Dashy was dead, her carcass ungainly laid open upon one she had loved in a sick, capering gesture. That plain, grey mask now slipped from sight to reveal Pinkie Pie’s own, grinning smile. At this point she began once more to hop about the room and with each terrible thud of her pink hooves upon the flagstone floor the cacophony of sound diminished until it could be heard no more. The silence was deep and dark, the loneliness now unbroken around Fluttershy’s ears save for the little, sadistic squeal of pleasure that emanated from the pink viper that she could no longer see as a friend. It was the death of both her great friends that caused her sobbing to burst from her with such force that caused the pink blur of motion to stop and stare; from the unhappy objects that so solemnly observed the traumatic transgressions this room had held in store to the gristled, congealing mass of cupcake that lay spent upon the flagstone floor there was no sadness such as that within the yellow one’s eyes; the small crystals that slipped down landscapes wracked with pain and smashed upon the floor and the wailing build of crushing cadences that tormented Fluttershy’s throat colluded to form a scene the likes of which had never before been beheld with such sadness by anypony alive or dead. Pinkie Pie felt the air so keenly that it was quite without ceremony that she trotted up to her dear friend; all pretence spared, her heart now hung low (though she of course could not understand why) with only one burning desire within it: to save her loved one from whatever torture she was experiencing:

   “You got it right, Sillyshy, don’t cry! See? It’s okay, you got the answer right?” She looked down at her hooves and continued, her confirmation sating her: “What are you crying about!” Little twitches of fury at Fluttershy’s lack of response cascaded over her brightly drawn features, but all were overridden by her master purpose; she licked a couple of Fluttershy’s tears from her face, a few from the floor upon finding no solution to the perplexing problem with which she had been confronted. Finally, she settled for comforting her friend, rubbing her nose over Fluttershy’s cheek and kissing the gruesomely torn ear. Her breath began staggering within her breast, deadly thoughts rushing through her head as to the resolution of this problem. Once more she asked, softly, with care: “What...please, what are you crying about?” Her breathing was really starting to bother her, it simply wouldn’t do as it was told, and it had to do what it was told, didn’t it? Little pants were escaping her now as Fluttershy’s lost, hopeless expression came up to meet hers. In weak, distraught tones, she spoke:
   “You....k-killed...” A little shudder ran through Pinkie Pie. “K-killed...m-my....D....you...Dashy....why? W...w...” Fluttershy could continue no further, but she knew that she did not need to; Pinkie Pie’s eyes moistened and released one solitary, regretful tear. It slowly tumbled over her cheek, ran over her lips. She fought all temptation to bite at it as it shifted off, trickled to her chin and fell endlessly towards the ground, twisting eternally before it exploded on the ground with a silent, pealing thunderclap. The little fragments of what was left sluiced around and mingled with Fluttershy’s sorrow until the two could not be further distinguished. As they lay there one would notice no subtle difference, no distinguishing marker which could ever allude to who shed which. Both lay there equal in grief, distress may have been their only shared companion, but this surely was enough for them to communicate. Seemingly without volition, without any force Equestria had yet come to define, the fragments grouped around Fluttershy’s own growing pool and joined it. The mixture could be said to have warmth, the company could be said to lift their spirits and cheer their little existences, it could be said that the dire embrace which they shared made being worthwhile...but such thoughts would be deception; their union could not alleviate either from their fate, so sad was each in its environment, so inconsolable were they after their experiences of the world that even finding some of their kin, one that they could confide and find comfort in, who had shared their misery from the moment of conception, that they themselves would have wept had bitter providence not cursed them with the awful inability to do so. So too would their melancholic choruses of moans shaken the room if they could have made it so. But instead, left impotent as they were of such devices, they huddled together in a futile expression of companionship. Of course, to any who cared to think of such things, as time passed Pinkie Pie’s tear was becoming steadily more and more diluted by the gathering mass that was Fluttershy’s sorrowed mere. Having been integrated so into the awaiting pool, this tear lost all its bearing of being, though that was fine by it; it had finally found a purpose. Even if it couldn’t be happy, if it would forever be the cascading gem that desired only to express its discontent, just once...well, it could at least have purpose, to shield, to hold and protect this great vat of worth within which it had found itself, to be there when nothing else was, to be testament and guard to the great sorrow. That it was, that it ever shall be. Neither Pinkie Pie nor Fluttershy witnessed this though, their sights too firmly lodged within one another, too many thoughts racing from both to allow this small, pointless union to be acknowledged. Pinkie Pie had stopped breathing, Fluttershy noticed, and with it came some distress across her captor’s...her friend’s face, rippling glints of sadness now flitting once more into their deep recesses as anger, terrible anger, anger Fluttershy had never before seen burst upon her face, rupturing over it like a dozen furies sent by a malevolent demon to torment her once so youthful features, a dark and twisted force contorted her anguished, woe begotten face into one woe forgotten, only bitter resentment now within those otherwise empty orbs lay, cold and frightening features that once more threatened to send Fluttershy spiraling past the brink of madness in terror, but to no avail once more! Pinkie Pie bounded away from her, jerking from side to side as though possessed. She came upon the door and, without hesitation, slammed her hoof with spectacular force into its frame with each syllable she thus expressed in tones so calm and sedated it seemed infeasible that the source could be this tempest of anguish:
   “Did. You. Ev-er. Like. My. Par-ties?” With each heavy impact there came too, Fluttershy heard, a sickening crunch, like gravel scrunching underhoof. Silence once more choked the air save for an odd, irregular and repetitive sound: tap, tap, tap-tap, tap, tap-tap...Fluttershy saw rivulets of blood trickling down Pinkie Pie’s leg which she had left pressed firmly against the door; it seemed to Fluttershy that though her pounding had stopped, Pinkie Pie had settled for pressing her whole body behind that point of contact. Fluttershy’s stomach dropped as she heard the pathetic, lonely sound of bones scraping against each other before one finally snapped; Pinkie Pie seemed to have not only broken her dismaying hoof but annihilated it entirely. Calm breathing now filled the sanctimonious silence, followed by two more horrific crunches of flesh and bone on metal: “DID. YOU?” Silence once more contaminated the air and tempted Fluttershy’s throat into betraying a single syllable, taunting and teasing at her vocal chords, begging her to make anything above a pitiful whimper. Though tribulations had assaulted the shaking figure for far longer than she had care or curse enough to recall, it was thoughts for her friend that let the spell over her be broken; whilst not the most caring words she had ever intoned, it was surely them that halted the pink rage from obliterating itself one bone at a time: 

“Y...y-yes...of course! I...w-we all did...m-me...Jackie...D-Da...Da...” Once more into the maelstrom of discontent did Fluttershy’s eyes fall perilously and without lifeline; waves of tears broke over her vision, wretched gusts ripped up and down her throat to the rhythm of her timeless despair. Once more should she sink with her ship as lightning storms crackled around her, illuminating her grief stricken face before leaving her in bottomless darkness, only to voraciously burst once more into the scorching light which fades as though shutters were cast around a lonely ghost’s lantern. Pinkie Pie whirled to the sputtering figure upon reception of the dark descent, spittle and foam at her lips and the rage still burning incandescent within her eyes. The pupils seemed to be fortresses of stoic soldiers who marched upon the irises, lighting their way with lit torches of terrible, noxious blue gas. Against what foe Fluttershy knew not, but she could see the fight was a great ordeal, truly a war that had been beyond understanding for her and her kind to realise had been waging for aeons within moments; energetic, bursting leaps shook each eye to form what appeared to be two shivering refugees, too far from home, with no hope of return and underneath the ancient battle lay a web of fear so colossal, so intricate that it threatened to entrench Fluttershy with but a glimpse of its being. Fortunately the light from the embers left from the fire now glowed so dimly she could scarcely even see as much as she did, almost complete blackness now throttled the air. A great chill had descended upon the room with the absence of its spectral display of light, the breath between the two ponies hung about as though captured by some ether, some otherworldly tormenter that seemed satisfied to simply remind Fluttershy: you are still alive.

“DASHY? It’s always...always, yes! DASHY! DASHY! Always needing Dashy, running to Dashy, no, did you EVER NEED ME? DID YOU? DID YOU! DID YOU EVER.....did you EVER love me?” The tone at the end was surprisingly tender, vulnerable, her voice cracking with her penultimate word. Her mannerism could not convey this though, they expressed instead the rage and monumental struggle that the forces within her exerted, threatening to rip the poor creature apart into its very components. The snorts emanating from those frantically contracting and dilating nostrils were enough to make Fluttershy’s face feel quite warm, the tears streaking horizontally now so that they mingled with her hairs. There too lay unhappy union and disrest, though none could compare to the union of the two ponies’ stares; one of sadness and one of madness, Gorgon and limpid petal fused until Fluttershy’s voice returned with a small and barely audible mixture of dread and sweet honesty:

   “I...I do l-love you...” Pinkie Pie screamed, flicking her forelegs into the air before bringing them hurtling into the frigid flagstone floor with a most horrific snap. 

“NO!...no you never loved me like I loved you, like you loved Dash...it’s just...it’s just not the same!”

Refrences

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