• Member Since 4th Dec, 2014
  • offline last seen September 9th


One day, you will all come to my funeral just to make sure that I stay dead, but today is not that day | https://ko-fi.com/chillybook

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  • 6 weeks
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  • 7 weeks



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  • 34 weeks
    Pulse Check

    Anyone still here?

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What I'm Up To · 2:26pm Aug 12th, 2022

It's been over a year since my last update to this account, and I wanted to rectify that a tiny bit. This is gonna be a sort of State of the Union Address deal.

For one, I Get Off is still in progress. I'm still chipping away at it in my free time, as diminishing as that free time has been these days. The main roadblock was a particular chapter involving Aria's parents that, try as I might to make it work, I just never found myself happy with. I've elected to move on for the time being, maybe revisit the concept at a later date, but what really matters is that it's not completely dead. There will be more.

In a similar vein, Nothing Without Me is still on my list of priorities. It's got 2, maybe 3 more chapters left, and I have every intention of finishing it for those of you who care about that sort of thing. I know that story has some baggage, but that's primarily why I want to finish it so badly. And finish it, I will. Eventually.

The primary source of my focus these days is my dark fantasy epic on my other account, The Handmaiden, which I recommend you all read if you liked my more serious stories like Crime Pays, Intelligence, and A Made Man. I learned a lot from those earlier stories, and I say with full sincerity and no hyperbole, The Handmaiden is the highest quality narrative I have ever written. It would mean a lot to me if you guys gave it a look as it begins to wrap up.

[Adult story embed hidden]

As for this account... I've been working on some new, fresh ideas that I think are really interesting. Here's a little peek at Good Intentions.

By the time I finally tracked Applejack down, it had started raining.

I never liked the rain. So drab and dreary, not to mention the damage it could do to my hair. These days, I don't have the energy to concern myself with such things as how my hair looks. Considering the circumstances, it just feels… wrong, to dwell on something ultimately so insignificant. Were the situation less dire, I'm certain Applejack would have applauded me for my shift in perspective. Unfortunately, things don't get much more dire than they are now.

I hurry across, trying to get into the church before getting too wet. I make a reach for the door and, to my surprise, it's unlocked. There was no service underway, and I thought for sure I would need to knock for someone to let me in. Not the case. I pull the door open and step inside, the wet squelch of my footsteps surely alerting anyone who happened to be in the church at the time. Still, no one stops me, so I soldier on.

Once I make it past the lobby and into the nave, I can see her past the row of pews, kneeling at the altar before a large crucifix nailed to the wall. Her hat is on the floor, as she keeps her hands folded in front of her. I always knew Applejack to be deeply religious, but I've never actually seen her in church before. She doesn't look up as I enter, probably so deep in thought and prayer that she hadn't even noticed that I'm here. I leave her be for a bit, slowly and quietly approaching so as to not disturb her. I can't quite make out her muttered prayer, but I catch one word in particular. Forgiveness. I wait until she's done before I make my presence known.

"Applebloom told me you'd be here," I say. She looks up, and after a short second of confusion, she smiles slightly. "Mind if I join you?"

"Ain't my place to tell you no," she says. I nod my understanding and slowly lower myself to the floor beside her. "What brings you here? You never was one for church."

"No, I'm not. Well, not anymore. I did Catholic school before we moved to Canterlot City," I say. Applejack nods in understanding, then lets a tense silence descend onto us. "Respectfully, though, I'm not here for church. I'm here for you."

"Yeah. Figured as much. I haven't exactly been there for you. Or anyone," Applejack says. "Sorry about that."

"You have nothing to apologize for. After what happened, no one can blame you for needing some time to yourself."

"I s'pose. Still, don't feel right to leave you all on your lonesome."

"I'm not alone. I'm here, aren't I?" I scooch a bit closer to her. "So… Did service go over time or something?" Applejack looks at me, confused. "I just mean, you've been here for some time. There's plenty of other quiet places in town. Just curious as to why you came here, specifically."

She doesn't respond straight away, and I start to worry that I stepped over a line by asking. Worse than the silence, she turns away slightly. Then, as I watch her more closely, it dawns on me that Applejack isn't angry. She's embarrassed, maybe even ashamed. I can tell from the way she shrinks down, almost folding in on herself. The way she trembles slightly as I reach for her. The way her eyes are glued to the floor, never once meeting my own. To see someone as strong and steadfast as Applejack reduced to this… the only word for it is heartbreaking.

"Darling, please… You know you can talk to me, don't you?" I slink a little closer, and gently place a hand on her thigh. My presence stills her for a moment. Not a complete resolution to her turmoil, but I like to believe I'm helping in some small way. "I know you've always been the backbone of the group, but you don't have to be so strong all the time. It's okay to let yourself go a bit."

"It ain't that easy, Rares. It's not like some test I’m stressin' over," she says. "This is real. Some little boy is dead 'cause of us. He wasn't no older than Sweetie or Bloom, and I watched his Mama cry over his grave."

I feel a pang at that. I can't imagine how Mr. And Mrs. Blossom must be feeling right now. Sounds like every parent's worst nightmare, to have to bury their child. Just thinking about it sends flashes in my mind, images of Sweetie Belle in a tiny little coffin. I'd go mad, I just know it. It was that image, the thought of Sweetie getting hurt, that convinced me that we needed to take such drastic action in the first place, tragic though the result. Even still, I couldn't imagine being in the same room as the one responsible for her death, nevermind inviting them to her funeral.

"So you went, then?" I ask. "To Ginseng's funeral?" Slowly, Applejack shook her head.

"Not really. Sorta just… watched. From afar. I 'member how Granny looked when Pa was buried," she says, her normally strong, even voice a quivering, uncertain mess. "I couldn't bring myself to look Mrs. Blossom in the eye, knowing I'm responsible for the worst pain she's ever known." She waited a bit before continuing. "I think Fluttershy went."

"Sounds like her. As hard as it must've been for her… She's a lot stronger than I think anyone gives her credit for."

"Hope she's doin' okay."

"You know… she's still in town. We can go see her, if you like," I say gently. Applejack doesn't respond immediately, so I nudge her just a bit. "Of course, if you'd rather be alone…?"

"I don't know, Rarity. I'm just not ready, I'm so…" Applejack sighs, and buries her face in her palms. "I just… I'm…"

"Deep breaths, darling," I say. I put my arm over her shoulder, and even though I'm a bit wet from the rain, Applejack doesn't push me away. That's nice. "I'm here for you. You can tell me."

"I'm scared,  Rarity," she says, finally. It's only a few short, simple words, but it sounds like it was nearly impossible for her to say it. "I'm so darn scared…"

Thanks everyone who stuck around. Just know, I didn't forget. And I'm coming back for you.

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Comments ( 4 )

Sounds good to me! Glad you're making progress, and take your time, we'll happily wait. :twilightsmile:

Guys read his story "Handmaiden" it's so freakin great, promise you won't be disappointed.

Is handmaiden almost over?

Yes. Only a few more chapters

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