The blinding red light began to fade away, and Chrysalis' vision started to return. As the last dots faded, she could finally see where she was. She gasped in surprise when she found herself in the middle of a clearing in what appeared to be a forest. The tree line circled around her as a dense fog hung in the air, drastically reducing the visibility of her surroundings.
"What happened? Where am I?" she asked aloud.
Silence was the only reply. She remembered being brought to Canterlot, and then the trial...
"NO!" Chrysalis screamed. Quickly she looked at her back while bringing a hoof to her forehead, checking for her wings and horn. The last time she had seen them, they had been disappearing right before her eyes. Upon seeing her wings and feeling her jagged horn, she let out a sigh of relief.
Okay, calm down, Chrysalis. You have your wings and horn. Relax, we are going to get through this, she thought.
Chrysalis looked up and decided that she could escape by flying away. She flapped her wings—but nothing happened. She grunted and flapped them even harder, but still she remained on the ground. Her breathing quickened. She closed her eyes and tried to cast a spell, but like her wings before, nothing happened. Not even a glow surrounded her horn. Chrysalis once again began to panic.
What is going on? Why am I unable to fly or use my magic? I don't feel injured. I feel as if something is different, but I do not know what. Other than that, I am fine. What in blooming hell is going on around here? Chrysalis asked herself worriedly.
At that moment, she heard a rustle among the tree line. Chrysalis flared her wings and dipped her head in preparation for a charge. She wasn't going down—not now, not without a fight. Seconds passed, but nothing happened. Her green eyes scanned the area for any threat but were unable to find any. Just as she was about to relax, the sound of soft hoofbeats filled the air. Tensing up again, she turned to the direction of the sound, bracing herself. Out of the tree line and through the dense mist, a group of ponies proceeded. Chrysalis froze, ready to retaliate at the first sign of an attack. She saw the outlines of the ponies coming closer. She stood her ground; running was not an option, as she had no idea where she was. When the first pony came into view, she could see it was wearing a black veil over its face. Others came into view, each wearing an identical veil. They were closer, now only fifty meters in front of her. She gritted her teeth, ears flattening as she steadied herself. She waited for a sudden move to release her energy and attack, but they only trudged closer and closer towards her. They continued moving closer to her—and then they walked right past her as if she did not exist.
Chrysalis’ ears flopped down in shock at the lack of attention she was receiving. "Hey! What is going on here?" she demanded. Again silence was her only answer. Chrysalis stamped her hooves on the ground.
"I will not be ignored!" she yelled, bucking out with her hooves at the nearest pony. Her eyes widened in shock when her hooves passed right through the pony. Again she lashed out, but, as before, her hooves phased right through the pony, who did not even react. She tried the same thing on a different pony, but the results did not change. Incredulous, Chrysalis fell to her haunches, staring in dismay at her front hooves.
"D—does this mean I am... dead? I—I really did die after all?" she asked herself.
Chrysalis thought she had already accepted her fate, but now that it had actually transpired, she did not know what to do. Am I going to be stuck like this forever? Chrysalis thought. She looked up and around, noticing that all the ponies from before were gathered around in a group behind her. There must have been at least twenty of them, all just standing in a circle. Chrysalis stood and walked towards the middle of the group. She stood there in the center, wondering what on Earth was going on.
All at once the ponies began to prance and skip around her. Chrysalis stood, bewildered, as the ponies danced as if they were celebrating something. In unison the ponies grabbed their veils and threw them off, finally revealing their faces. Chrysalis gasped as she saw their visage—they were twisted and demonic, each one grinning wickedly, revealing sharp teeth. Chrysalis was confused and nervous. Ponies were not supposed to be like this. It was as if demons had taken the form of ponies. They continued to prance around her, their dancing becoming more erratic. Chrysalis, however, was frozen in her place, unable to look away.
Ding... Ding... Ding...
Suddenly all the ponies stopped their prancing as a bell chimed in the distance. They slowly began to clear an opening in the circle while the bell chimed again.
Ding... Ding... Ding...
Another group of ponies strode in, each one with the same wicked face. On their backs sat a large rectangular box.
No, Chrysalis thought. That cannot be. I saw what happened—there was nothing left! She could only watch in silent horror as the new group of ponies walked past her and towards the center of the circle. They lowered the box onto the ground, and Chrysalis walked towards them. As she got closer, her fears were confirmed—they were carrying a coffin. Chrysalis continued walking towards the coffin, eventually standing over it.
“Is that really me in there?” Chrysalis quietly asked herself.
She did not need to wait long to find out, as one of the ponies came up to the box and yanked the lid off. Chrysalis could only look in silent sorrow at her corpse. She fell to her haunches, tears forming in her eyes as she saw her own body, broken and defeated. Her horn and wings were missing. The look on her face was the worst part of it all. Instead of the mask of defiance for which she so desperately strived, there was only fear and sadness.
“No. This is not what I wanted,” she said weakly.
She was shocked out of her despair when the ponies around her began cheering. She turned to look at them and saw that their twisted faces’ grins were now much more sinister. Again they danced, this time even more wildly and fanatically. They pranced as if they were mocking her. Chrysalis could only lie there, shoulders and ears slumped. She buried her face in her hooves, softly sobbing to herself.
This is not what I wanted, Chrysalis thought. I wanted to be feared and respected, to be given at least some dignity in my death. This is madness. They are mocking me. Just leave me alone, stop mocking me. Just stop, please stop it. Please, anyone, just make them stop—
As if on cue, the dancing and cheers were silenced as everypony stopped what they were doing. Chrysalis looked up, hoping that her wish had been granted. The ponies turned around and began to bow as two new figures entered the circle.
“No,” Chrysalis whispered.
Shining Armor and Princess Cadence strode in, heads held high and eyes closed. Their faces were not demonic like the other ponies. Chrysalis could only stare as they joined the gathering. They stopped before her coffin, slowly opening their eyes as they looked down on Chrysalis’ corpse. They looked at each other, slowly grinning as their faces became diabolical and vicious. Turning to Chrysalis, they roared in laughter, revealing sharp fangs. Everypony followed suit, laughing at the defeated and broken queen. Shining Armor and Cadence suddenly stopped, looking at each other as they began to kiss over Chrysalis’ body. Like before, the crowd followed suit, making out with one another around the coffin.
Chrysalis was horrified at the sort of hedonistic gathering her funeral had become. The celebrations, dancing, and kissing continued. However, Chrysalis could only watch. She wanted to stop them but was unable to do anything. Shining Armor and Cadence stopped their kiss, looking down and then grinning at one another, cruel, evil smiles plastered on their faces. Chrysalis watched as they reached down towards her body.
“No!” she yelled.
Shining Armor and Cadence grabbed her body.
“Stop it!” she roared.
They lifted it out of the coffin, the crowd cheering in anticipation. Each pony grinned wickedly.
“No! Stop it!” she screamed with everything she had.
Her eyes shot open, her heart pounding in her chest, to gaze upon a white ceiling.