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The cyan mare floated above the scene in a realm between life and death, seeing herself in the emergency room as the doctor began to call time of death.
"I have been dead this whole time?" the pegasus said with a defeated look upon her face.
Had the last months all been some dream? She had always heard of ponies saying that your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before death but she had never known of anypony to see such horrors before death.
'My little Dashie, We have made a full circle. Tell me Dashie dear do you want me to let you live?'
The thought of this being being Death crossed the rainbow maned pony's mind but death was supposed to be kind, nor did anything say Death had the ability to defy the list. It was set in stone. When a pony's time came there was no way out. There were no compromises. You simply fell to Death's embrace and he led you to the afterlife where your soul would rest in peace. This thing however, had a more insidious agenda.
"Why should I believe anything you say to me? You still have not revealed your name to me. You are not the devil nor are you Death yet you appear to be the worst of both into one being. You talk about some wall and that you rest in the darkness of all beings but in all I learned from this. There is always more when it comes to you." the mare said, knowing the being was watching her this very moment even if it had decided to make itself unseen for the time being.
She knew better by now not to take things for granted, Never would she make the same mistake twice.
'Bravo Dashie, Now you are catching on...Now that you have deduced what I am not, you can begin to find out what I am.'
Rainbow Dash took a deep breath as the scene before her vanished and she was once again in that red and black wasteland, She knew that to it, this was all a sick game for it to be entertained by in its spare time. But for her this was a matter of life or death. She would play its game this time on her terms.
" You mentioned a deal before, what does that mean? Have we met before or something?"
The other appeared in the world beside her, in the form of the white alicorn. It was easier on her eyes for sure but she knew the evil that lurked under the surface. It only smiled at her at first, it was not menacing but instead kind. This was a dark world indeed and looking at the facts, she was the only source of color in this bleak world as it had said before.
Earlier that year above Ponyville
Rainbow Dash had been practicing her Sonic Rainboom for an upcoming tournament, She had managed to surpass her previous speed record, easily hitting mach fifteen this time, causing the rainbow to leave color upon the clouds like a pattern down the sides.
As she flew faster and faster, The laws of her world being bent around the glory of rainbow colors that chased behind her,
An unseen crack was made in her reality and into a dark world that waits behind the walls of our own.
The colors and light shone into this depraved world of decay and madness. Its lord who waits to end it all in every world for the first time saw such colors trickling down into his world of blood reds and endless blacks.
The mix of color and light dripped through that small crack like drops of dew on a spring morning, The color and light dripping to the floor to create a puddle of joy from another realm astonishing the being with its splendor, promising of a world made of shimmering lights and vivid colors past his own to make its new home.
With an excited yet demented grin upon its face, the being flew up with zealous to the new found crack. It peered through the hole like a child would peer through a keyhole on Christmas morning, awaiting some mythical being to bring magic to their mundane lives.
Through its small crack, its eyes did spy a cyan mare with hair of the rainbow. The colors danced and chased after her as she flew by. She was swift and brave, honest and true. everything in the worlds it saw it intended to keep intact.
It wanted her She was everything he ever wanted and needed.
A being made of colors and light.
The being was crafty and knew they would never meet unless she were to befall a tragic accident. Would it step on death's toes for his prized mare? It would crush them with glee if it meant getting to keep her by his side. The plan was simple enough, It would send two of his creations to collect data on his new found obsession.
Slendermane and Rake would suffice, Both were good at seeing but remaining unseen a useful skill for striking terror or in this case, stalking prey.
The days went by as it waited the reports, everyday it took glee in watching her fly from behind the slender crack in her reality. But soon it was no longer enough just to watch, He wanted her to be there.
The reports came in, yes she was indeed everything it prized in all beings. She was even stubborn and a show off, both incredible qualities he himself possessed.
Now it needed to think up a plan, a way to bring her to the dark.
Earlier this day
As Rainbow flew through the clouds, it set its plan into motion. It had taken some time but it had managed to make a corporal form to enter her world, The white alicorn hovered above the clouds as Rainbow was flying through the clouds beneath it. It smirked and created more storm clouds for her to fly through.
Rainbow was down now and it could take it from there.
It entered her now dying mind, smiling softly as she struggled to hold onto life. The cyan Pegasus was weeping in misery before it. It looked to her, its smile fading.
'Why are you crying? I made sure it would not hurt at all..'
Rainbow Dash sniffled and looked up to him, wiping her eyes sadly.
" I will never see them again, will I?"
It forgot about them. Those other five mares, It could care less about them really but she loved them deeply. This was a problem or perhaps an opportunity. He looked down to Rainbow Dash and smiled.
"If I let you see them once more will you come with me without a fuss?"
The mare nodded and the deal had been made
all that remained was the debt to be paid.
'The end is neigh Dashie dearest. I held up my end, it is time you held up yours.'
The stallion looked down to her,
he knew she would not complain.
Now for the first time, it began to rain.
Rainbow's still body lay in the open casket as one by one the citizens of Ponyville approached her coffin. There were no smiles this day, no songs to be sung. Twilight placed a white rose gently aside her now dead friend. Their beloved friend Rainbow Dash remained loyal to the end.
In their hearts a hole would be from the horrible loss, Her smile would forever be held as a national treasure for every pony to hold onto as long as they lived.
Rainbow's body was surrounded by flowers of every type and color, the tears of everypony falling to the ground like a storm of sorrow.
She watched from the same crack that it had once watched her from, their sorrow moving her to tears. She had been taken away before her time.
It had come for her.
'Do not cry, nor fret. I promised you once it's not over yet.'
Rainbow Dash feared the meaning behind those ominous words. What did it have in store? She watched in terror as the crack began to widen and peel back.
"What are you doing?" she growled at the being before her.
This could not be good at all.
The other vanished and all she could do is watch as it entered her world.
Twilight sat in her study, reading her books sadly. She was looking up means of communication to the other side, since she missed Rainbow Dash sorely.
The shadow crept its way across the wall beside her, Its smile wide.
The words upon the page Twilight was now reading had begun to distort, surrounded by odd symbols and numbers before the words began to move around on their own volition upon the page. Twilight's eyes widened in horror as she watched the words move about the page, spelling disturbing things.
My little Dashie, My little Dashie,
she's dead and gone.
My little Dashie,
Don't you want to join along?
A world of madness, aint it neat?
And your death would make it all complete.
My little Dashie,
don't you know that this is your end?
Twilight threw the book as fast as she could manage, Her horn still glowing with magical energy as she readied herself for anything. Suddenly the shelf above her collapsed upon her without warning, the falling books hitting the purple unicorn in the back of the head, knocking her out cold.
'Rise and shine Miss Sparkle, You don't want to be tardy to your own funeral do you?'
Twilight's eyes slowly opened, the throbbing sensation in the front of her head causing her ears to ring in pain. Her vision slowly focused as she looked about the dark room, She attempted to move her hooves to find she had been strapped down to a table on her back with her limbs stretched out much like a starfish.
She struggled against her bindings, surprised to find there was an iron clasp around her neck and a set of interlocking metal hooks along her mid section. The only free part she had was her tail which swayed back and forth upon the edge of the gurney.
Then, the shadow crossed into her sight. The vision of the demented being with hollowed eyes frightened her normally calm and logical mind. She had never seen such a thing in all her life, She was even an occult fanatic and had never came across this image. It crept slowly towards her, a smile creeping across its face, which only caused the purple unicorn to shudder in response.
She began to concentrate with all her might, her horn beginning to glow. Twilight was attempting to cast a teleportation spell so she could escape, But she was not expecting what happened next.
The being chuckled as a saw was raised from the metal tray that rested beside her, The blade rose to Twilight's eye level.
All she could do was watch in despair. Her magic was taking too long and she would be killed in seconds.
Soon enough she would be praying for such a simple and quick release.
The blade met not with her throat but at the base of her glowing horn, the teeth slowly moving their way back and forth at the base. The noise was that of sawing wood. At first there was no pain but as the saw made its way through the external layer she screamed in pain as the metal came in contact with the delicate nerve endings.
Twilight was a screaming mess, her eyes rolling back into her skull as blood poured from her precious appendage. The horrendous pain caused the purple unicorn to pass out with a gurgling noise as drool made its way down her twitching lip.
The figure chuckled and quickly awoke her with its dark powers, there was no hum nor glow. What it wanted to happen became real.
The unicorn gasped as she awoke, the searing pain coursing through her small body as the figure loomed above her with that depraved smile of twisted pleasure.
'Such a horrible student, shouldn't you be paying attention in class?'
The being chuckled with unbridled delight as it looked upon the mares horrified face. It hadn't had this much fun since the black plague and it was going to savor every delectable moment of her anguish.
'Today were studying where magic comes from. Being the Element of Magic you should know that right Miss Sparkle?'
The mare was unable to answer, the pain too much to bear which only served to irritate the ghoulish figure before her. She was a boring thing to dream up after all, and such a lightweight too.
With a heavy sigh it looked down upon the mare. She was no more than a pathetic filly before his eyes and so very disappointing.
'It appears that the fun is over too soon, I should have at least dreamed you a spine[.' the sinister being spoke as it used its powers to force open the purple unicorns mouth, The other was not as fun to play with as it had hoped.
It cracked its neck from side to side for a moment before diving into the mares body.
Her eyes were wide as she watched the skin on her abdomen move as if something were wiggling just under the skin. The sensation flowed through her entire body, her skin beginning to tear and peel from her hooves. The purple flesh bled as it peeled down her body and to her center, the mare helpless as she was skinned alive.
Her vulnerable and bleeding muscles and tendons were now exposed in the crisp air, steam rising from her body from the contrast of the cold around her and the freshly revealed blood.
The shadow emerged from her body with a devious smile, stretching the newly peeled skin with delight, blood still falling from the pelt as it swayed in his hooves.
' Such a frail little filly, her skin delicate like the pages of a book she so desperately craves.'
With a smile the books began to fly from the shelves and towards its, the skin glowing as it swirled them together. The final result horrified the once purple mare. Her skin was the new binding on her favorite books.
'Look Twilight, your dreams have come true.You are forever immortalized in books.'
The mare drew her last breath, her eyes glazing over with deaths kind embrace.
The Element of Magic fell.
Rainbow could not see too well from the crack behind the wall, She was not very skilled in directing its gaze like it was. She groaned in frustration.
"Darn it!! If only Twilight were here! I'm sure she could figure out this stupid thing!!"
And then, as if by magic, behind her in the darkness she heard a whimper. Rainbow turned around to meet the sound and to her astonishment, there before her stood none other than Twilight Sparkle. She too was claimed by this horrifying world.
"Rainbow?.." the purple unicorn said as she approached her dear friend.
Could it really be true? Here she stood, Rainbow Dash. Twilight smiled and ran to her.
" I missed you so much!!"
Rainbow Dash was not so happy, Rainbow's mane was frayed and unkempt and those eyes, Twilight's eyes, were now a pitch black, It was only when the other blinked she could confirm she had retained her eyes.
" Twi, Y-your eyes."
Rainbow Dash shuddered and looked upon her friend who was now frantically looking for a mirror.
Twilight looked around in the dark unable to spot anything that could reflect, She then decided to use her magic. Her horn began to glow in the dark.
"Whats wrong Rainbow Dash?"
" Your eyes are black now...."
Rainbow only could manage to say in a sheepish voice, It was not something one heard every day.
" So, That's what it is then. I was wondering about that." Twilight said whilst tapping her hoof upon her chin.
Thank Celestia. Twilight knew what this thing was.
As Twilight was about to reveal its identity, her mouth suddenly slammed shut, the skin peeling off, causing her mouth to vanish completely.
'Now, now that's no fair. No cheating now.'
Rainbow Dash growled, her rose colored eyes narrowed in rage. The fact that the demon had desecrated Twilight's horn as well only added fuel to the fire.
" What have you done?"
'I am letting you have your friends. I wouldn't want you to getting lonely now Dashie dear.'
The voice chuckled in the darkness around them.
'One by one I lure the kittens into my den
Unaware they shall never see the sun again.'