We woke up by about 7 am. There was another slice of bread. We left the water dish outside the door last night, and today it has been pushed inside with water in it. Looks like Rarity was right about this. Maybe whoever locked us here brought a bag of bread and a big bottle with clean water when he came feed us. I imagined a stranger walking up to each door and giving out bread and water.
Rarity tore the bread into two unequal pieces, and she gave the bigger one to me.
“There is something I need you to do.” She said.
She wanted me to swim around in the ditch again and ask other ponies about their situation. I don’t want to go into the ditch again, but Rarity said if refuse then I don’t get the bigger piece of bread. Out of hunger, I had to listen to what she wanted.
“Come on Sweetie Bell, it’s not that bad. I only need you to ask two things. One is how many days had they been locked up, and second is if they had seen … anything strange flowing down the ditch. Just these two would be enough.”
I did as she said. I started with room 1, 2 and 3. Every pony looked relieved when they saw me. I asked them about the two things. At first I thought it would be hard to count the days they had been locked up since they are in a closed room with no windows, but then I realized that the meal came only once every day. They just had to count how many meals they had had.
I went downstream afterwards, but something was not right.
The fifth room was just like yesterday with the young light yellow Pegasus.
But a new mare had suddenly appeared in the sixth room, which was empty yesterday. I have never seen her before. She screamed at my appearance, crying and yelling. She thought I was some kind of monster living under the sewer. It took me a good few minutes to explain to her what I was doing.
She woke up in the room with no memory of how she got here, just like all of us.
I moved to the seventh room, but to my great surprise, the room was empty. The tired and worn out mare was gone, disappeared. What’s more strange is that it looked like the room had been cleaned. There was no dirt or anything on the walls, only a dim light bulb emitting weak light.
Was I hallucinating when I saw the mare here yesterday? Or did I miss counted the rooms? I checked downstream, but the iron bars blocked my way.
I returned to our room and told Rarity everything.
Today was the 6th day for the mare in the 1st room, 5th for the mare in the 2nd room, and 4th for the mare in the 3rd room. We were in the 4th room, and it had been our third day. I didn’t get a chance to ask the 7th mare how long she had been locked up before she disappeared.
“Where did she go? Did she escape?”
I asked Rarity, but she wasn’t even paying attention to me. She was just sitting in the corner, thinking about something.
To the second question, however, every pony’s answer was the same: No. They looked worried and unsettled when I asked them the question.
“Why do you ask?”
Every pony asked me. They thought I had gotten some information they couldn’t get. Actually they were right, since they couldn’t move around like me. So they could only imagine the other side of the wall was a cupcake shop or an amusement park, and kill time with these kinds of random thoughts.
“I’ll tell you as soon as I figure it out.”
I finished up the conversations as fast as possible.
“No, you shall not pass. Are you a spy? From whoever locked us here? You said there are other ponies in other rooms too, that’s a lie too right?”
When I was about to leave the first room, the mare who dyed her hair red blocked my way. She moved down to the ditch and blocked the entrance.
“You are not going anywhere unless you tell me EVERYTHING you know.”
I had no other choice, so I told her everything. Her face turned a little pace, and said, “Ridiculous.” But then she moved and let me go back to my own room.
I sighed and wiped my coat with the rope. I lied down on the ground with my hooves underneath me. The ground was too cold and hard to lie to sideways, so I had to improvise.
I think I should tell every pony about what I found out, since they didn’t know anything about their own situation, so they deserve to know. But then again, what I know didn’t offer exact answers either. I was confused, should I really tell them about what I found out?
Rarity was sitting in the corner, staring at something, and then she held out her hoof and picked something up.
There was a think strand of hair on Rarity’s hooves. She looked serious.
“Yeeah? It’s hair. We both have it on our coat.”
Rarity stood up and moved closer. She held the hair right in front of my eyes and said, “Look closer.”
I finally realized that Rarity was going at. The hair was cyan, a color that neither of us had.
“So there was some other pony who were in here before us? What’s the big deal?”
Rarity’s face turned pale, she mumbled, “It must be… no, maybe… Sweetie Bell, listen. Maybe I am wrong, but you should have noticed, there was a new mare who were put into here, once every day, one after another.”
“What was the room like before any pony was locked in? Was it empty?”
“Of course… so that way, the 5th room is the 2nd day, the 6th room is the 1st day, which matches what you told me. That makes the 7th room the 0th day.”
“Zero-th day? I don’t get it.”
“It is empty isn’t it?”
“Oh, I see.”
“But if we go back to yesterday, then the 6th room would be 0, and 7th would be negative one, right? You should have learnt about negative numbers in pony school, right?”
“Yeah, but still I am confused, what does it mean to be the -1th day?”
“Don’t you get it? No pony can be locked her for -1 day. I think… I think she was killed.”
“Every day, the room that was empty would proceed downstream. If it got to room 7, then it would start over on room 1. So the pony that was about be in the empty room… is going to be killed!”
It still took me a while, but I think I understand what Rarity meant. Every day a pony is killed and tossed into the ditch, and a new mare would be put into the empty room right next to it.
Yesterday the 6th room was empty, but today there was a new pony there.
Yesterday there was a pony in the 7th room, but she was killed and tossed into the ditch.
Rarity chewed on her own hoof, mumbling something like it was a curse. Her eyes were empty and unfocused.
“That’s why only the 7th mare could see dead bodies. If we are killed in this order, only ponies downstream could see the bodies flowing down. The 7th mare was not hallucinating. She saw the bodies of the ponies from room 1 to 6.”
Then I realized something. Right now the empty room is at 7, so it’s going to start over… at one!
The mare in the 1st room is going to be killed!
I rushed over, leaving Rarity behind. I told her everything, but she didn’t believe me. She raised her neck high up in the air and said, “I don’t believe you.”
“Please, believe me. You are going to be killed today?”
“No way!” She looked upset, “What the hay is going on with these rooms?”
I had to go back to Rarity. When I swam pass room 2 and 3, the mares asked me what happened. I am not sure if I should tell them about it, so I told them I would be right back and went back to Rarity.
Rarity was sitting in the corner, hugging her knees tight. She waved at me when she saw me moving out of the ditch. She hugged me tightly despite my smell.
Her hoof watch was pointing right at 6 pm.
We saw something red flow down streams. We didn’t talk. We just stared at the water. Then something white flew down the stream. At first I couldn’t tell what it was, but it flipped around in the water, and we realized it was part of a pony’s jaw from the teeth that was still on it. Then we saw ears, skins, and small pieces of muscle and bones flowing by.
Then it was a piece of dyed hair. Actually, not only the hair, part of the scalp was connected as well.
This is the remaining of the mare who were in the 1st room. I could barely connect her with these pieces of… meat.
Rarity moaned with her hooves over her mouth. She had thrown up in the corner once already, but she didn’t really puke anything out. She didn’t respond when I talked to her either. She was just staring at the ditch, completely lost.
These dark, cold rooms separated us. It gave us a taste of horror and loneliness, and then it kills us.
“What the hay is going on with these rooms?”
The 1st mare’s voice echoed in my brain. I felt that these rooms had locked away far more than just our bodies, such as life and soul. It’s like a prison of spirits. It told us about fear and loneliness that we have never felt before, as well as that we have no hope or future. Our life had no meaning any more.
I counted. We would be killed six days after we were locked here, so it would be 6pm on Thursday.