Three years later
The moment had arrived. Years of scrimping, saving, favors, and working her hooves off had finally paid off. Now she had achieved one of the goals that she had had since foalhood. It had taken far longer than she had wanted it to, but Rarity now held the deed and the key to the run down building that she had her eye on ever since she was a young teenager. It was certainly true that the place was filthy, but Rarity enjoyed cleansing filth. She had ever since her first murders. However, that was eight years ago, and a lot had changed in that time. For one thing, she had now moved out of her parent's home. This building would not only be her business, but it would also be her house. In fact, the selling point for this building had been the potentially cozy room on the top level that would be perfect for her room. On top of that, there was a fabulous room on the bottom floor which would make an excellent workroom.
Smiling to herself at her good fortune, she took the key to her new home out of her saddlebag and unlocked the rusty door. Much to her chagrin, it promptly swung shut again once she was inside. The atmosphere inside her house was dank and musty, and it took Rarity a few moments to get used to the smell. She looked around for a light switch and when she found one, she flipped it on. The light overhead flickered briefly before a crackle of electricity ran through it and blew out the bulb. Rarity ground her teeth together. It was just one more thing to pay to get fixed around here. Money was no issue of course, as her ability to find gems had long since set her up for life, but she still disliked having to pay for things to get organized. She pulled a candle out of her saddlebag - the blown-out bulb was something that she had anticipated - and lit it to get some light in the room. It wasn't much, and the sunlight shining through the door offered more light than the candle did, but it was just enough to see with.
Rarity trotted outside where a group of movers were lounging around, waiting for Rarity to give them the go-ahead to begin moving her things inside. She nodded at the foreman who clapped his hooves together to signal his workers that they had better get to work. The stallions groaned, but they shuffled to their hooves and started moving Rarity's belongings into her house.
Rarity went inside ahead of them and used her candle to locate curtains for her to open. She found some and threw them open, letting sunlight flow through the window. The dust that had been accumulating on the curtains for however many years flew into the air, and Rarity fought the urge to sneeze. It was a lost cause. She sighed and dabbed her nose with a hoofkerchief.
She shook her head to clear it after the facial explosion and looked back up to examine the curtains. She saw that they were a garish mustard yellow color and shrank back with a tiny squeak. "I should kill whoever put these curtains up," she grumbled. She used her magic to tear them down and piled them in a back corner. "A light blue maybe," she mused. "Anything but..." She glanced over at the piled curtains and let out a noise of disgust. "That."
She shook her head and turned around just as the team filed into her home. She smiled and trotted over to them. It was time to begin.
* * * *
The day was a busy one for Rarity and the movers. Hour after hour was spent cleaning the rooms, carrying items into the rooms, and Rarity dictating were she wanted everything neatly put. Rarity privately thought that all of these stallions were brutish and idiotic. Sometimes it seemed as if they were deliberately ignoring her orders. They'd put a dresser in the workroom instead of in her room, or a display case in her room instead of the main hall. It was little things like that which made Rarity grow steadily more irritated with the workers as the day moved on. Her biggest worry was that one of them would snoop around and find her box, but none of them did. Her box was secure in a fold of fabric where it was supposed to be. What really irked Rarity was the fact that every now and again she received the occasional lewd look from one of the workers when they thought she wasn't looking. The foreman in particular shot a glance her way whenever he got the chance. She supposed she should be flattered that they were admiring her beauty, but it really was quite bothersome for her.
Finally, after eight hours of work, she was officially moved into her home. As Rarity looked over the completed job, she felt a sense of freedom that she had never felt before, even while committing her murders. She was free! She was completely on her own now, and out from under the rule of her parents. Not only that, but she was starting her own business in Ponyville. She still cared deeply for her family, particularly a fast growing Sweetie Belle, who had just celebrated her third birthday this past month. She had been sad to see Rarity move out, but Rarity hadn't moved too far away and the two could see each other every day.
Still, there was something more than a little exhilarating about the fact that this was her home, that she had purchased with her money. Her eyes scanned it, and her smile grew steadily larger as she did. "This is my home," she whispered to herself. "This is my home!"
Rarity allowed herself a victorious little giggle and turned around to see the foreman come up to her. "So, were you satisfied with our work here today?" he asked.
Rarity 'hmmed' and tapped her lower jaw, but slowly nodded after a few seconds. "Well, everything is where it should be for the most part, and my home certainly does look much nicer than it did before. So yes, I think you did an adequate job today."
The foreman grimaced at the word 'adequate' but seemed to shrug it off. "Alright then, lady. If you'll just pay us we'll be out of your hair."
Rarity nodded and walked over to a nearby chest. "Oh yes, of course. How much was it again? Two hundred bits I believe was the agreed upon price." Rarity opened it and pulled out a bag of coins containing the proper amount and handed it to the foreman. "Here you are, good sir."
The foreman took the bag from her and opened it up. He scanned the contents, then looked up at Rarity with a scoff. "Yeah, about that. See, when you hired us, you didn't say that we'd have to help clean your house too. You owe us four hundred bits now."
"I beg your pardon?" Rarity pulled the bag of bits back and tossed it back in the chest. "I hired you because I heard you were hard workers and not too expensive. I was told that your rate was two hundred bits for a job like this!"
"Well, your house was a special case, lady. Like I said, you didn't hire us to do any cleaning," the foreman retorted.
Rarity shot him an angry glare. "I wouldn't pay four hundred bits for your hide, much less the mediocre job you did today!"
The foreman took an aggressive step forward and his face twisted into a snarl. "Well I can involve a lawyer in this whenever I want, lady! Pay up or we'll sue!"
Rarity's eyes narrowed, and she had to hold back a request that he wait for a moment while she got a kitchen knife. Her actual response was more level-headed than that. "Well then, if you are willing to involve a lawyer in this extortion, then I suppose I had better pay up, shouldn't I?"
The foreman's mood of anger faded away to replaced with a smug smirk. "That's the idea, lady. You wouldn't want us to have to give your store here bad press before it even opened."
"Indeed not," said Rarity stiffly. "However, I don't have an extra two hundred on hoof at the moment, so if you would be so kind as to wait until I have gathered that amount, I would appreciate that."
The foreman nodded and snatched the bag of bits out of the chest. "Just drop it by my office by tomorrow morning." The foreman turned to go, but as he did, he turned back to Rarity with a reinforced glare. " If you don't, I will get a lawyer involved."
As he exited the house, Rarity smiled to herself and glanced towards the kitchen where her collection of knives had been placed. She opened one of the drawers and gently pulled out a gleaming butcher knife. She held it up to the light and allowed the sun's rays to reflect off of it, giving it an almost other-worldly glow. Perfect.
She smiled and placed the knife inside her saddlebag. "Oh Rarity, it's so nice when ponies get what's coming to them, isn't it?"
Humming to herself, Rarity trotted up the stairs to her new room. The bolt of fabric hiding her box was tilted until the box slid out. She leaned the fabric against the wall and lowered the box to the floor. She unlocked it with her magic and flipped the lid open.
She levitated the rock out of the box and grasped it in her hoof. She sat down on the floor and raised the rock high as she remembered the foreman's behavior. "So brutish. So despicable," she cooed. "Just like the rest of them of late. He's a bad pony, Rarity, and it's quite obvious what I do to bad ponies."
Rarity cackled and swung the rock down.
Putting the rock aside for the moment, Rarity lifted her kill counter out of the box. In the past five years, she had added eleven more gash marks to the box. Twenty-six ponies in all. Time for number twenty-seven.
As Rarity put the counter and the rock back in the box, she frowned to herself. "You know, Rarity, if you're not more careful then you could get caught. It's dangerous killing local ponies who quarrel with you."
Rarity scoffed and snapped the lid shut. "And what exactly traces them back to me, hmm? There are only two ponies who know that the foreman tried to exploit me tonight and one of them is going to be food for timberwolves in a few hours. Besides, I mostly kill ponies from out of town anyway."
Rarity put the box next to the bolt of fabric and got to her hooves, stretching out her back as she did. The sun was slowly sinking over the horizon, darkening the landscape. If Rarity's information was correct, it was just about closing time.
* * * *
That evening found Rarity hiding in the bushes next to the office of the moving company, waiting for the foreman to exit. It reminded her of the way a snake waited for a mouse to come out of its hole. She shifted uncomfortably as one of the branches poked her in the side, and she rued the fact that she needed to wait for him in such an unclean place. Still, it would all be worth it when he came out. Oh yes, it would all be worth it to see the look on his face when she tore him apart.
Rarity focused her full attention on the building in front of her just in time to see the foreman leave his office. With a yawn, he locked up the office building and left for home. Rarity eased out of the bushes when he was far enough away. She always made sure to keep her distance so as to not alert her prey, but stalking ponies in the dead of night was just another skill that had become second nature to her.
As Rarity continued to follow him, she saw that the number of houses in the area had decreased. Rarity recognized this part of town as the one she had grown up in many years ago. "Oh don't say that he lives in my old house." Rarity smiled and darted behind one of the nearby buildings. She poked her head around the corner just as the foreman stopped directly in front of her old house. Rarity giggled and stepped out of the shadows. "Goodness, I haven't killed here since that day with Sweetie..." Rarity's words died in her throat, and her stomach twisted itself into knots as her pupils shrank. Blood. So much blood all over her dear sister. Rarity cleared her throat and shook her head. "Since that day with that solicitor."
Pushing all thoughts of that night aside, she checked her saddlebag once more to make sure that she had everything that she needed for the kill. Content that she was ready, she walked up to the door and knocked. She heard a slight commotion inside the house, a mumble of irritation and the sounds of someone coming to the door. Within a few seconds, the foreman opened the door. When he saw Rarity, he raised an eyebrow. "Uh, can I help you, miss?"
Rarity flashed him a sweet smile. "I believe you can. You see, I was about to deliver the money to your office when I ran into a lawyer friend of my own. I spoke with him about the events of this afternoon, and he assured me that I certainly had a case against your extortion. In fact, I believe he informed me that I can sue you for enough to gain control of your entire operation." Rarity's smile flashed with smugness for the briefest of moments. "Celestia knows that I could run it better than you do."
The foreman's look of confusion quickly gave way to one of unease and he shifted where he stood and cleared his throat. "Uh, look miss, I'm sure we're both reasonable ponies. Maybe we can work something out here?"
Rarity giggled. "Oh, that is precisely the purpose of my visit, good sir. Nopony wants a mess on their hooves, do they? Do you mind if I came in so we could discuss the matter more comfortably?" The foreman grunted and inclined his head to beckon Rarity into his home.
Rarity walked inside the house and looked around. The layout obviously had not changed, but the fact that somepony so mean lived here was a taint on the home of her youth, and she almost sensed that in the air. She tisked and shifted her saddlebag. I hope somepony better moves in after tonight. I'd hate to have to keep coming back to kill here. Once is enough.
The foreman led Rarity into the living room and directed her to a chair. Rarity shook her head with a smile. "Oh no thank you, I prefer to stand," she said. He shrugged and sat down on a chair himself.
Before he could begin his discussion, an orange pegasus mare whom Rarity surmised was his wife came into the room. She frowned when she saw the Rarity in her living room and turned to her husband. "Honey, who is this?"
"Oh yes, pardon me," Rarity began. "My name is Rarity, and I am here to make sure neither I nor your husband have any reason to go to court against each other. You see, your husband here tried to extort me for double what I owed him after I used his services. I am merely here to straighten the matter out."
The foreman bit his lip and flattened his ears against his head. His wife's eyes narrowed and she flared her wings out as she turned to her husband. "Is that true?"
Rarity sighed and nodded. "Oh I'm afraid that it is quite true, madam. Having said all of that, I'm not actually here to discuss money or lawyers."
The foreman's ears perked up and he exchanged a glance with his wife. "Uh, then why are you here?"
Rarity opened her saddlebag and pulled out her butcher knife. Time to make it sing. "I'm here to kill you."
The foreman and his wife froze in shock, trying to register what Rarity had just said. The moment of shock was all she needed, and with a snarl of rage, she lunged towards the foreman and sunk the knife deep into his shoulder. He screamed in pain as Rarity threw her body weight into the knife, and it sank deeper into his body. The foreman fell to the ground writhing in pain, and his wife began screaming in terror. Rarity wheeled around and pointed the knife at her. "I would stay very quiet if I were you. Your life and the life of your husband depends on you entirely, so please, shut up!"
The words silenced her, and she began quietly sobbing. She moved over to her husband and knelt down beside him, trying her best to ease his pain. She could only place his head on her lap and look up at Rarity. "How could you?" she cried, angry tears flowing from her eyes. "Is a little money worth this?"
Rarity merely laughed and wiped the blade of her knife against a foreleg rest on a nearby couch. "Why of course, dear." The wife quietly gasped and Rarity rolled her eyes. "I mean, one must be firm in matters like this. Extortion is wrong, isn't it sir?"
The foreman weakly nodded. "We... we won't tell the cops on you, Rarity, just let us go." A jolt of pain coursed through his shoulder, and he gasped in pain.
Rarity scoffed and took a step forward, pointing the knife at the frightened couple. "Oh, don't take me for a foal. You know what I look like, you know where I live, and I just stabbed you in the shoulder and made no secret of my desire to kill you. Why, the second I leave it would be your duty to call the authorities on me, and they would catch me very quickly. So really, don't insult my intelligence by saying you won't tell anypony because you certainly will."
There was a brief moment of silence while Rarity pondered what to do next. The position the two were in made attacking outright difficult as the wife would certainly begin fighting to save her husband. Attacking the wife first would possibly be risky too as she would know when Rarity was going to attack by her body language and possibly fight back. She suddenly remembered how she had accomplished her thirteenth and fourteenth kills and decided that the situation called for that same strategy. She smiled sweetly a the two ponies in front of her, and tapped the knife on her lower jaw. "I'll tell you what, sir, I will let you go if you give me something."
The foreman's eyes widened and he smiled eagerly. "Anything! Just name it!"
Rarity slowly pointed her knife at the pegasus mare. "Your wife, or more accurately, her life. If you let me kill her right here and now, I will let you go."
The wife gasped and looked down at her husband. "Honey, you—"
"Yes! It’s a deal, just take her and let me go!"
His wife let out another tiny gasp and took her husband's head out of her lap. She let it fall to the floor with a thunk, eliciting a cry of pain from the foreman. She slowly stood up and began backing away, tears falling from her eyes. "I... I don't..."
Rarity merely smiled. It could not have gone any better. "Well then, I suppose we know what to do now then don't we?" With another snarl of rage, she jumped on top of the foreman and swung her knife down. With a few quick swipes, he was gone.
Rarity regained her composure after a few seconds, and looked up to see the wife staring blankly at the bloody mess before her. Rarity stood up and walked over to her. "I'm so sorry you had to see that, darling. Not me killing him, obviously, but I'm sorry you had to see his betrayal like that. Things of that nature are immensely distasteful to me." Before the wife could respond, Rarity drew the edge of the knife across her neck.
Rarity wiped the blade off on the mare's body and began cleaning herself up. "Maybe not stabbing next time if I do a house kill again," she muttered.
Rarity trotted over to where she remembered the bathroom to be. She cleaned the bloody knife and used a few towels hung on a rack to clean herself off as well. She then picked up the bloody rags and went to go move them over to where the bodies were but decided that as long as she was here, maybe she could stop by her old room briefly to see just how much it had changed, for old time’s sake. She placed the towels in a pile on the floor and trotted towards her old room.
The door was closed and, oddly enough, painted in bright rainbow colors. It seemed rather unlike this couple to do something like that, as the rest of the house was painted in dull greys and reds. Rarity opened the door and what was inside the room almost caused Rarity to give a small yelp of shock. On a tiny bed on the far end of the room was a sleeping pegasus filly. Rarity quietly entered the room and tip-hooved closer to examine her. She was just about Sweetie Belle's age, and had a light orange body and unkempt lighter purple hair. Tiny wings were folded at her side, and Rarity noticed that they seemed to be a bit small for a filly her size.
Frowning to herself, she looked around the room and saw a picture frame on the wall to the left of the bed. Rarity took a closer look and saw the foreman, his wife, and the filly in the picture, smiling happily at the camera. A caption underneath the photo read; "Mom, Dad, and our darling daughter Scootaloo at the Fillydelphia Fair." So, her name is Scootaloo, is it?
Rarity turned back to the sleeping filly and tapped her hoof on her chin. "Er... Rarity, it might be best to go all of the way," she muttered. "No need to make this poor dear suffer the pain of dead parents."
Nodding to herself, Rarity went back to the bathroom and collected her knife from where she had left it in the sink. When she returned, the filly was still sleeping peacefully, unaware that her parents lay butchered in the sitting room not fifty feet from where she now slept.
Rarity stood over the filly and raised her knife over her head. It would be quick.
* * * *
Rarity walked through town in a brisk pace, lest somepony see her. Sleeping peacefully in her saddlebag was the little filly from the house she had just been to. Rarity had lost the nerve to kill little Scootaloo a few seconds after she raised the knife. She just hadn't been able to kill her like that. She had imagined what the three year old filly would look like with a large gash in her throat, and Rarity immediately flashed back to that horrid day when she had held a blood-soaked Sweetie Belle in her forelegs. She realized at that moment that there was no way that she could kill this little filly. Rarity had hurriedly wrapped her in a blanket and put her in her saddlebag. She had spent a few hours cleaning up the house so that it would be spotless to even the most thorough investigation. Then she had wrapped up the corpses in a large tarp which she carried into the Everfree Forest for the predators to dispose of.
Rarity was actually surprised that Scootaloo had not woken up yet, as she was certain that the bumpy journey towards their destination would have brought Scootaloo out of her slumber. Having said that, the screams of her mother as Rarity stabbed her father should have done that as well, but little Scootaloo remained fast asleep.
After an hour of walking, Rarity reached her destination: the Ponyville orphanage. It was located outside of the town itself, but it was still considered a part of Ponyville. It was a perfect place to deposit the tiny filly, as Rarity didn't know anypony in Ponyville who would appreciate waking up in the morning to see a sleeping pegasus foal on their doorstep.
Rarity used her magic to gently lift Scootaloo out of her bag, and she placed her on the doorstep of the orphanage. She also pinned a note that she had written using a sample of the mother's hoofwriting on Scootaloo's blanket. It merely said: 'Please take good care of our daughter Scootaloo as we cannot.'
Rarity pounded her hoof three times on the door and bolted away. She hid behind some bushes, and peeked through a gap in time to see an elderly mare open the door. The mare gasped at the sight of the sleeping Scootaloo on the doorstep, and she immediately picked her up and brought her inside.
After the door to the orphanage shut, Rarity let out a breath that she hadn't realized she had been holding in. Scootaloo might not have any parents now, but at the very least she was safe. Rarity nodded and took a moment to close her saddlebag before turning around and trotting back to her home, content that her job was done.