The mane six take shelter in a place that is, for now, safe from a disaster occurring outside.
This gruesome tale of violence and death is not recommended for colts, fillies, or the faint of heart.
For some reason, I thought this would be a good fic to start the day off on. Not that it isn't a good fic, but DAMN.
Very dark...but I like it, and I don't usually like dark fics.
I love Flutterdash, so, I dont have good feelings for this fic...
but as a bronie, I'll tolerate and love....
I don't typically read grimdarks, but since this one was so short, I figured I'd give it a try.
...and now I know why I don't read grimdarks.
Damn this was very sad and scary.
But props for establishing the setting along with the last sentence
That fits my reaction the most...
It was great, im not mean, but i love these stories, keep it up!
Y U KILL FLUTTERSHY.
I love it. But AAAAAGH.
OH MY GOD. quickest, yet most gut wrenching grimdark ever. oh my god. just absolutely horrifying. and the author didn't even explain what was going on yet! I feel sick...
What the buck is even going on?!?! Although... heh heh heh
the entire story felt like a non-event to me. somepony coughed and rainbow dash kills fluttershy. The characters did exactly what they said they would. There was no conflict. Maybe Im missing something..
Oh, there went my mind...
That was an amazing story. Although the ending makes really no sense to me. Was it somepony outside that coughed? Or did Fluttershy lie about her cough so she wouldn't have to live through the suffering of this life?
That ending hit home.
Luckily, it looks like Rainbow Dash will not have to concern herself with the staining... cough cough
Wow. I love grimdark..but..that-that was just to much...
Oh. My. God.
I died inside. That was the saddest thing I think I've ever read.
The last line shot me through the heart and left me sobbing for like 10 minutes. That was amazing.
4.5 is pretty spot on. There were a few little grammar/word choice things that irked me but overall the execution and especially the concept were really solid.
A little too focused on the grim details maybe, but take that with a grain of salt: it doesn't really get to me so it all comes across as gratuitous.
All in all though, really nice. It was pleasant when the ending actually managed to give me a bit of a "I should have seen that but I didn't".
That was fucking darker than Cupcakes, holy shit. excuse my profanity but holy shit.
I mean, it was great, but...
The only problem with this story is that the ponies are completely unnecessary. This could have just been a short story with humans characters and it would have been just as great.
Don't get me wrong. Fantastic piece of writing, very suspenseful. Just... I would have liked it more without the ponies being in it, because the ponies didn't really add much.
Holy Hello Kitty...
EqD described it as "flash fiction," which I had never heard of. Wasn't going to read it because it said Grimdark, but it was short and in a new style!
I realize my mistake. Amazing quality, though! A number of comments before mine bring up a good point: This could have been done with humans, and the only thing lost would be our prior knowledge of the characters.
Why did it have to be Fluttershy...
Honestly, I first considered the plot before I got into the pony fandom, but I didn't write back then. I still might do a human version. I'll probably experiment with first person and change a couple of things, but keep the most important parts.
Oh... oh sweet celestia... :( *sniffles*
I enjoyed reading this.
Author. Prequel. Now.
that was just sad
i cry for fluttershy
Very nice flash fiction. I had a feeling about what the ending would've been, but it was well executed and well written. I read a lot of dark stories, so the gruesome scenes didn't impact me as much as other readers, but it definitely worked. The knowledge that they were trapped with a fresh pegasus corpse would be extremely unnerving.
The thoughts that went through Rainbow's mind after the second cough must have been agonizing.
ummm....was a zombie apocalypse going on or what?
i need a prequel!
That was beautiful, in a horrible way.
I think the fact it was the mane cast rather than humans enhanced the story, since we already know a lot about the characters' personalities and can more easily imagine how each of them feels throughout (apart from the obvious, of course). Also, the ponies represent the innocence which is lost by them all. I don't think humans in the same situation would've had quite the same impact.
That was very well done.
The intensity and that fact it was short, so the suspense built within a tiny time frame, was just executed so perfectly.
I didn't cry, but that made me feel like shit.
Seriously, I read this hours ago and I still feel like i'm going to throw up.
SO FUCKING SAD.
Really well written though.
Why? Why Fluttershy?
This Fic is making me rage, and it's only chapter one.
I feel numb now..Im a Fluttershy fan and that was a great story but.....man I dont even know how to speak now
I'd say this story was good, but... the author has the added benefit of us already caring about the characters, making it easier to write. But with its short length and minimal development, if it weren't for the ponies it... wouldn't be that good.
It seems to be a classic case of the author having a story to tell, but just making it a fanfiction instead of something original, thus maximizing readership. It has nothing to do with MLP other than the characters being in it, and really, those roles could have been filled by almost anybody in any fandom. A tiny bit of dialogue change and there you go.
No, this story would have been much better as an original piece, but it would have to be much longer so that we could get emotionally invested in the characters.
What the HAY
Good presentation for such a short fiction, needed a bit more emotional agony for the deed done though!
The last sentence kiiiinda took the edge off the emotional aspect, especially since the horror aspect it added to was only modestly developed. Good scenario though!
Gosh, this was great. I know how it's supposed to be sad and all, but I really enjoyed it. With an ending like that, all it needs is one chapter, in my opinion.
I LOVED THE WAY YOU DETILED HOW FLUTTERSHY DIES.
I am not a big fan of FlutterDash, and you are a very good writer
When I first read this story, I thought that it didn't affect me. I merely thought it was a short, sad story.
And then it began to stew in my head. And my heart. It began to fester and grow, until I could feel the numbing sadness throughout me. It caught me by surprise so much that I couldn't help but cry a little.
You are a fantastic, if not evil, writer.
Reminds me alot of the Masque of the Red Death!
manly tears...*sniff*...manly tears...
My reaction after reading this: DDDAAAMMMNNN!!!!
i read this story along time ago and i read this again and the same question poped in my head. who coughed?
Absolutely loved this one, nice work.
Wow, it was over so quick but it left such a powerful impact. It was dark, but not dark for the sake of being dark. Those last 5 words sent a shiver down my spine
Is there an official interpretation of the ending?
From people who've read this, I've heard that:
-Fluttershy really was infected.
-It was actually Rainbow Dash.
-It was a pony other than Fluttershy, but no one in particular.
^anon#61 here again.
Finally, I've also heard that the ending is intentionally ambiguous. Which makes as much sense as anything else, I guess.
Rainbow Dash, the element of loyalty, coughed. She was too scared to admit it and face certain death. Fluttershy falsely admitted to it because she couldn't take living through seeing her best friend die, and wanted the misery to end. Rainbow Dash didn't want Fluttershy to take the fall, but she knew that she was suffering more than any of the others, and wanted to spare her more suffering. So her loyalty to her allowed her to give Fluttershy peace in death.
I wrote it with the intention of leaving things ambiguous and tried not to decide on any 'official' version of events, even internally. Still, I couldn't help but have a favorite interpretation and that one is implied a bit more heavily than any other course because I'm not perfect. I know I didn't do too poorly at it because there are almost as many opinions as there are readers.
The conflict is that noone knows who coughed. Thinking it had been Rainbow, Fluttershy fessed up to try and save her. They then made The lover kill her love in a gruesome, horrible way, that was no doubt intensely painful and wretched. And then, after what they did began to sink in, someone coughed again, meaning they would need to murder ANOTHER of their friends. THAT is dark stuff right there, my friend.
Does it need to be that. short?
I have to believe that the cough was two different ponies
if the first one wasn't fluttershy, even if it was dash, there is no motivation for dying in her place except selfishly not wanting to see her go first; it's incurable after all. Same for anyone wanting to hide that it was them. I just can't see these characters clinging to a few hours tops at the price of another death.
Read this on DeviantArt
...This is hardcore, man.
Fluttershy is exactly who you think she is no matter the circumstances and that is what makes this so awesome! Loved it.
I beilive that the first cough was Twilight, thus the insiting on killing, Fluttershy tried giving the other ponies a sense of peace. that last line sent a shiver through my spine.
i would say that this cost me my sanity, but that would imply i was even marginally sane
This story was brilliant; just long enough to get the point across and not too short to set up a great mystery. Now for my obligatory take on the ending.
Personally, I don't think it matters which pony coughed the second time, since they're most likely all going to die anyway. Rainbow Dash, driven insane by the guilt, is almost certainly going to go all Cupcakes on the others' rumps. Or, more specifically, Twilight's rump. This will result in either one or the both of them ending up dead, and even if they don't, if whoever survives has taken a good hit to the side, stomach, or face (a likely occurence in a hoof-fight), they'll be coughing up a storm. At which point, the bystanders (Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie) will have to kill them, because who can tell if they're coughing because of a punctured lung or because they're about to turn into...whatever it is ponies who have The Cough turn into.
Living with three rotting corpses is bound to drive the already unstable Rarity over the edge. Her OCD dictates that she must either remove the messy bodies from the scene or herself from the messy bodies. Which leaves her with one of three options, she can either try to drag the evidence outside (most likely using her magic), which might give away their position to the Cough-ridden ponies, or, along the same line of reasoning, just go outside herself (implied to be akin to suicide), or she can actually commit suicide. And attempt to take Applejack with her, to spare the farm-pony from what Rarity believes to be a horrible end. Assuming she goes with the third choice, Applejack will almost certainly overpower her, but Rarity will still end up dead. Now we're down to two.
If this cave is like most of its kind, there's almost nothing growing in there, which leaves us with a bunch of starving ponies. Or rather, two starving ponies, one of whom is coveting a flour sack. Can you see where this is going? Assuming Applejack is starving, she's bound to eventually confront Pinkie about eating Madame le Flour. Which is almost certainly going to end badly, seeing as Pinkie doesn't seem to be operating on full proccessing power at the moment. In true made-for-TV fashion, the flour sack is bound to break and spill its contents all over the ground, rendering it useless. Only, to Pinkie, it's not only useless, but also dead. She has just watch practically every single one of her friends die, including the imaginary ones. This will not go over well. Pinkie will either, A.) attack Applejack and end up dead, or B.) attack a wall/herself and end up dead. Either way, we're left with only Applejack.
Still working under the assumption that there is no food in this cave, Applejack is either going to starve or eat the corpses of her friends. Because she's a strong pony, it will most likely take Applejack a long time to give in to her cannibalistic urges, if she ever does. But waiting means that, by the time her will does break, all the bodies will be well on their way to decomposition. Meaning, they'll be full of maggots, bacterium, and other icky things that aren't good for your health. Eating her friends will almost certainly give Applejack some sort of deadly disease, if not The Cough itself from accidentally choosing the infected corpse. Who's a silly pony?
So. Yes. I know it's probably bad forrm to write a comment that's longer than the story itself, but that's my take on the ending. A brilliantly written story, sir, and kudos to you for leaving it on such a note that so many bronies (such as myself) can have different interpretations; that takes true skill.
A truly suspense filled tale that let me gaping at the end. One question haunts: Who coughed? Simply amazing to read, one of the best stories I have read in a long time.
WHHYYY FLUTTERSHY? (Also, well written.) But my heart dropped when it said someone coughed again.
>>9471794717 Maybe the cough is just like a disease? Just killing them, unless it says something in the description (i've had this open for 2 days so i dont exactly remember the summary :P)
Nah, I mean, it's pretty clear it's a disease. I just meant that, regardless of whether or not they all catch it, everyone's still gonna die. So it doesn't really matter who coughed in the first place.
i really liked it and to anyone who wondered what the ending is...make your own. heres mine.
rainbow dash was the one who coughed but she could not face death yet. so when it was too late for dash to confess fluttershy did. and dash killing fluttershy was the worst feeling dashie had ever felt.
Excellent work. Most fics don't leave me on the edge of my seat (not even Rainbow Factory). Excellent work. I hope you write more
I really hated this story... I'd rather risk dying to be with my friends, than turn on them so callously. TRY not coughing... Even just reading the story... Refrain from even clearing your thought... Imagine the stench, and the dust, and the awful place they're in... and imagine the same...
I'd rather risk the horrible death at my friends side, than betray them like that...
And besides... what good are the elements of harmony... of they have resorted to killing one another...
This story damns all Equestria.
......... awwww..... it's so sad.
Yeah that is... dark... Jesus christ...
When are the next chapters coming? I hope you haven't abandoned this fic. :(
Nevermind, I see it's tagged as complete. Bah, sucks.
Pretty good all around.
I uh but I uh mind full of fuck why did it have to be fluttershy
I came here because of the fart.
And then I cried. Fluttershy, why you have to say you coughed?
I do not know precisely why, but during reading this fic I found it impossible to contain my laughter.
Yes you did read that correctly.
I suspect that this effect is a direct result of the way certain parts of this fandom (as with any fandom) are SICK and TWISTED
Repeatedly encouraging MALICIOUS PERVERSIONS of a subject and/or setting.
Hopefully this message will convey ... something to you readers (but I suspect that is more than I may hope)
Really good. That's all I have to say.
Lovely piece of writing, That was thoroughly enjoyable. If all grimdark was this good, I would read more of it.
Good read. But you killed my Waifu now I'm sad.
I was forced to give this story a thumbs-up, because it did keep me reading until the end, and it did evoke an emotional (that is, horrified) response. However... Fluttershy? Really?!
No... Just no. I hate this story like poison, but I still couldn't stop halfway through.
>>25482548 If you enjoy the grimdark, I wrote this one about a week ago and have been looking for some criticism, if you have the time I would love some feedback: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/13756/Dark-Skies-on-Cutie%27d-Thighs%3A-Chapter-1
I dont think it's quite so bad as this, but I think it turned out okay
Right, that's the shameless self-promotion over with. This story is pretty damn good, in as much as the characters were well-written and the shocks kept coming. I actually liked that we have no idea why this is happening, for me it enhances the sense of mystery and for lack of a better word 'creepiness'. I appreciate it's a short fic, but the one suggestion I would make would be to give it some juxtaposition: scary/harrowing situations become even more so when put alongside a picture of normalcy or lightheartedness. But it's early days yet, I hope you write some more chapters because this fic has some serious potential!
I can safely say that it doesn't hurt as much if Fluttershy isn't your favourite pony, but I did feel that bitter emotion. The pain conveyed from Dash could have been a bit more dramatic. BUT THE ENDING LINE. You do not believe how loud I cursed in my mind the moment my eyes scanned that sentence. If I was in that situation, either as Dash or any other, I couldn't take it. Death now rather than later, please. I also liked reading the comments, everyone's theory on what the next scene is. The atmosphere was also nicely set. Jeez, the setting affects me more than the actual story. Leaving me with this hunger as to what the bloody hell does this plague do and why is it here and holding on to this little cursed paradise of a shelter with five other desperate and terrified living beings who want more than anything to make everything just stop. But, I do agree with FourFire. Bronies aren't all nice and fun when they get their mind working, especially the more sick and twisted of us.
Crap! The end scared the heck outta me. EEP. OOOHHHH MY STOMACH IS CHURNING AT HOW FLUTTERSHY....DIED. I couldn't look
tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, this fic... tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, tolerate and love, toler, FUCKIT ILOVETHISBUTIHATEITANDIWILLTRACKYOUDOWNANDRAPEYOURSOULTHENRIPOUTYOURINTESTINESANDCRYATYOURGRAVEUNTILIDIEOFOLDAGE
You aren't the first to say so. I get that a lot, actually.
I read this while listening to the Smile Smile Smile song.
My emotions are torn
I actually think after dash wept,she got an idea.here is my ending:
"she wept quietly to herself.
In the darkness,some pony coughed.
"UGH!WHO DID IT THIS TIME!"said Twilight,annoyed.
Applejack was gonna say she did it,but rainbow dash said "ME!"as if she was eager to die.She quickly grabs a Knife and stabs herself repeatedly in the chest . She kept on screaming"THIS IS FOR YOU , FLUTTERSHY!" everypony gaped at their survival skills and the scene in front of them.were they really that bad?they guessed so.nopony coughed any more.nopony talked anymore.nopony felt comfort anymore.so,everypony decided that nopony would breath anymore....
(look at continued comment)
Rainbow dash POV:
In the darkness , some pony coughed.
It was me.yes,me.
But,on purpose.because I thought I had to do something.then i remembered those jehooveah witnesses at my door.talking about a God,not Celestia and Luna,nor discord.but the one who created us all.what if Fluttershy was up there.watching me.crying.i thought,maybe,there was a chance to see her.if I died and went ther , we could date. We could be happy,together again.so,I decide that.what if there was no pony heaven?this was for her.what if I go to pony hell instead?this was for her.i would deserve it , anyway...but while I was in my thoughts,I didn't notice twilight yell something in frustration and annoyance.i saw apple jack about to move her lips.and I thought,no mockery,no comments,no nothing before I died.or people lying for me."ME!"I yelled ,and quickly,eagerly grabbed a knife on a counter in this wasteland of a house.i stabbed myself repeatedly for all I was worth,screaming"THIS IS FOR YOU,FLUTTERSHY!THIS IS FOR YOU!" while screaming and stabbing,I saw everyponys faces.they were certainly asking 'why?'.that is why I yelled.i was happy to see a white light and a beautiful angel.my pretty little angel...who coughed because it was too much for her...and me...."