The moon shines brightly over Ponyville. The trees sway slightly in the breeze. A wind chime sings it's lonely tune into an empty night amidst the whispering of rustling leaves, for nopony still walks among the waking to hear it. Well, almost nopony…
"Could you please hurry up?" comes a voice from thin air.
"Hey," replies a second, higher pitched voice, "climbing is hard."
"No! It's not hard! You literally just have to stick your hooves to the side of the house and start walking," fumes the first speaker. A tense minute passes, barely audible taps nearing the roof as the owner of the second voice continues climbing.
"By the light of the Moon, finally. Could you possibly have been any slower?"
After a pause, a slight scraping sound comes from the side of the house as the invisible climber slowly begins to descend.
"Nononono… " a faint, hazy shadow forms in the air as the owner of the first voice quickly leans over the edge, at long last dragging their intransigent companion onto the roof.
"There we go," the shadow sighs, its shroud of darkness falling away to reveal a batpony mare with a midnight blue coat, a dark grey mane highlighted with various shades of lighter grey, and a cutie mark showing tendrils of light blue mist. Blood red irises surround her slitted pupils rather than a thestral's telltale yellow however, her slightly larger, fluff-tipped ears moving independently of each other to track the nighttime sounds surrounding her. After a few moments of quiet, her mouth opens as she prepares to speak once more, the brightness of the moon enough to make the pointed teeth lining her jaws easily visible, "Come on, Dawn, let's get this over with."
The shadows dissipate from the second figure, revealing a smaller not-quite-batpony filly – her coat the color of evenly roasted marshmallows and mane an off-white split cleanly into thirds by two pink stripes, a single stripe running the length of her tail, "You know, Midnight, you don't have to babysit me. I'm old enough to feed on my own!"
Midnight rolls her eyes, "You'd be a lot more convincing if I hadn't just waited half an hour for you to get up here. Besides, you're not even venomous yet. What are you gonna do, take a bite and hope they don't feel anything?"
"Why'd I even have to climb anyways?" Dawn asks, sticking out her tongue at her sister. "You got to fly, but I had to walk all the way here once we got out of the forest."
Midnight smirks, "Because your veil can't quite hide your wings when you flap yet, and you know it."
"Fine… " Dawn replies, letting out an exaggerated sigh. "I was just trying to help, since I know you'd rather be nibbling on your coltfriend… "
"C-coltfriend?!" Midnight sputters, a faint blush spreading across her face. "He's not-"
"Aww, really? But you just spend so much time together~" Dawn teases.
"He doesn't even know I exist! He doesn't even know our species exists! How could he possibly be-" Midnight closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Look. He tastes good, and that's it. Now, are you hungry or not? Because if you're not, then I have other things I'd much rather be doing."
"Like nibbling on your-"
"No! Like… reading. Or, you know, hunting. Or… uh… " Midnight stares up at the distant night sky, "you know… other things."
I really need to find another hobby.
Dawn smirks, "Yeah, because Mom and Dad would love to know that you're still stealing books from-"
Midnight places a hoof on her sister's mouth, cutting her off, "I'm going inside now. If you want to drink, you can stop talking and follow me."
Without waiting for a reply, Midnight turns on her heel and walks several steps across the roof to a closed, round window. Looking through it, she sees a darkened room, though her eyes can still discern every detail clearly. It is a room full of nothing but wooden boxes.
Perfect. Now, let's see…
She grabs the window's horizontal crossbar in her mouth, pulling outward lightly, then harder as it starts to give. With a small amount of effort, the window swings wide open.
Midnight grins, I love it when ponies don't lock up at night. It makes this so much easier.
Donning the shadows once more, Midnight steps inside and onto one of the room's many crates, Dawn slipping in to stand beside her. From their place atop the crate, Midnight's gaze sweeps the empty room, her ears pricked and on full alert, listening for even the smallest sound. After several long moments however, she relaxes, hopping silently to the floor just as a sudden gust of wind slams shut the window they had entered through.
Dawn lets out a startled yelp, her wings snapping open as she jumps forward off the wooden box and onto her sister's back.
"Yeah, you are so ready to feed on your own, getting scared by windows," Midnight snickers.
"I wasn't – fear is an important part of hunting!" Dawn huffs, "It helps keep you alert. That's what Mom always says."
Midnight turns to look at her passenger, raising an eyebrow as the shadows fall away from her head, "Right, but when you're trying to be sneaky, making sudden moves because something surprised you is the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do and is a great way to get noticed by whatever you were sneaking up on."
Dawn opens her mouth to respond, but before she can do so, Midnight freezes, her ears swiveling towards the door leading out of the room, "Sh! Somepony's coming!"
Dawn drops to the floor at her sister's words, hiding behind one of the larger boxes while Midnight returns to full invisibility and scales the wall, crouching upside-down on the ceiling with her eyes locked on the door. A few seconds later, a grey pegasus with crossed golden eyes enters the room, yawning. The pegasus rubs her eyes sleepily once her yawn concludes, after a couple slow blinks her attention focusing more or less on the window – the force of the wind enough for it to have bounced back open. Starting forward, the oblivious pony navigates between the boxes like a pinball, only changing directions after bumping into an obstacle.
Upon reaching the window, she grabs its handle with her mouth, closing and locking it before letting her forehead rest against the cool glass with a sigh, a soft snore emanating from the mare mere moments later. Midnight snorts and silently walks across the ceiling until she's right above the snoring pony. Detaching her forehooves from the ceiling, she carefully stretches down and bops the mare on the head.
Jerking awake with a yell of "Muffins!" the pegasus rubs her head, glaring up at the ceiling angrily. Midnight stares back, a thrill of power rushing through her as the pony stares straight into her eyes, yet sees nothing. Said pony, seeing only moon-cast shadows, turns and eventually finds her way out of the room – though not before fishing a muffin from one of the many boxes. Midnight listens intently, a tense minute passing until a door is heard closing elsewhere in the house.
Letting out a sigh of relief, Midnight climbs down from the ceiling while Dawn comes out from behind her box. Both standing in front of the now open door, they move forward, following in the hoofsteps of their unsuspecting prey.
The two sisters silently move through the darkened home, pausing frequently to listen to the quiet creaks from the house shifting in the wind to be sure that it isn't somepony moving around instead. Midnight's heart beats faster, the sensation from the muffin storage room returning tenfold as they walk down lightless hallways to make their way deeper into the home, the thrill of the hunt sharpening her senses and keeping her body pleasantly on edge. She smiles darkly, licking her lips in anticipation of what is soon to come – then pauses, taking a moment to focus as they approach their first target.
Maintain control. Let your instincts guide you, but not control you. Losing control leads to… bad things.
Now somewhat calmer, Midnight exhales slowly and moves towards a door that's not quite closed all the way. Putting her ear to the crack between it and the floor, she hears faint snoring from somepony inside. She smiles.
Turning the knob all the way to the left and holding it there, she quietly pushes the door further open. Once clear of the frame, she carefully turns the knob back to its resting position, the door slowly swinging all the way open with a light push. Midnight's smile widens, the door's opening making no sound at all.
Unlocked windows, well greased doors… this is just too easy. Maybe I should feed here more often.
After they enter the room, Midnight closes the door, turning the knob before the latch hits the doorframe and then slowly releasing it when the door is flush with the wall.
Not great, but least we'll hear the door opening first if the other one decides to stop by.
Turning, Midnight and Dawn observe the pegasus laying spread-eagled on the bed before them. Moonlight shines through the window of her room brightly enough that even a normal pony wouldn't have much trouble seeing, giving the space an ethereal quality – though the many images of muffins covering her blanket, pillowcase, as well as nearly everything else in the room mutes the effect somewhat.
Midnight glances at a lamp with a muffin as a base and an upside-down muffin wrapper as the lampshade sitting on the nightstand next to the bed, chuckling inwardly while she and Dawn stand silently watching the pegasus for several minutes. Once it is clear she is truly asleep, the sisters let their shadows fall away, Midnight approaching the bed with Dawn following close on her heels.
"Let's see here… " Midnight murmurs to herself as she carefully inspects the closer of the mare's hind legs, her eyes glowing a soft red to reveal the bloody, pulsing lanes within – crisscrossing, merging, and splitting randomly like a Discordian super-highway.
Picking the right location is very important after all. Pick too small a vessel and my venom wouldn't spread fast enough. Pick too large of one and the pony might die, not to mention the mess blood spurting everywhere would cause.
And unlike those silly novels, killing this kind of prey unnecessarily is really stupid. It'd be like… like… harvesting apples by chopping down the tree. It just doesn't make any sense to waste a perfectly good tree like that. Hmm…
Her eyes shift between two possibilities, indecision creasing her brow until she settles on the one closer to her prey's barrel. Tapping Dawn on the shoulder, she bares her fangs and sinks them into the sleeping pony, sweet warmth flowing into her mouth as another warmth exits her two fangs into the appendage held by her jaws.
The mare gasps weakly at the pain before it gets numbed by the venom and stirs, adrenaline from the brief unpleasant sensation warring with the rapidly spreading numbness. However, after several moments of semi-conscious movement, she fades back to sleep mumbling, "Chocolate muffins… aren't supposed to bite… "
Feeling Dawn pressing up to her side, Midnight carefully removes her fangs from the wound while making sure to keep her lips sealed around it to prevent any blood from leaking onto the sheets. She pauses, then quickly releases her hold and moves out of the way. Dawn instantly latches onto the wound, letting no blood go to waste. Her task complete for the moment, Midnight sits back and savors the taste, though she is far from sated.
Well, at least two ponies live here, she thinks as an anticipatory grin spreads across her muzzle. I'll have my fill off this one's mate soon enough.
Dawn taps her sister on the chest once she finishes feeding, Midnight leaning back over as Dawn detaches herself from the mare. Her red eyes glowing faintly, Midnight lets out a deep breath onto the wound, the blood coagulating and hardening almost immediately. As soon as she finishes her breath, the newly formed scab flakes off and dissolves into dust, leaving nothing behind except for two small points of fresh skin.
"Good," Midnight says, looking over to Dawn, "now go back home, I still need to-"
She stops mid sentence, her ears swiveling towards the door and twitching slightly. Dawn opens her mouth to ask, but a glare from Midnight quiets her. Silence.
Then comes a nearly inaudible *clop* from the hallway just outside the door.
Quickly turning back to Dawn, she motions for her to hide underneath the bed, then once again fades into the shadows as she scales the wall and takes up a position crouching on the ceiling. Muscles throughout her body tense in preparation as the doorknob turns, the door swinging open to reveal a stallion standing in the doorway. At the sight of him however, an involuntary shiver ripples down her spine and she instead automatically takes a step away before catching herself, scowling to suppress the beginnings of a growl building in the back of her throat.
What was that? I'm the predator here!
Heedless of her stung pride, her instincts continue to insistently whisper in the back of her mind that there is something very wrong with this newcomer. She eyes him from her perch on the ceiling, examining him closely as he takes another step into the room while doing her best to silence the irritating uneasiness that his presence brings.
Earth pony, dull red coat and mane, cutie mark is a…
She squints at his flank, trying to make it out, but it's faded like chalk that's been through a storm – unrecognizable. He takes another step, licking his lips as he sees the mare out cold on the bed. The motion draws Midnight's focus to his mouth, her eyes widening.
Why does he have fangs? Is he a vampony too?
Her eyes skim his sides, but find nothing.
He can't be, he has no wings. And the rest of his teeth are flat. Is he some kind of mutant? His ears are wrong too, they're normal daypony ears. What's going on here?
The not-pony takes the remaining steps necessary to bring him next to the bed while Midnight attempts to unravel the mystery, his eyes locked on the unconscious mare. A trail of saliva trickles from between his lips as he looks down at her, the thin flow gathering into droplets beneath his chin before falling onto the blanket.
Midnight stares at him, dumbfounded, Please tell me he's not planning on-
The stallion bares his fangs with a growl and descends towards the sleeping pony's neck.
Midnight releases her grip on the ceiling, unfurling her wings and with one powerful flap ramming her whole body into the creepy pony. His mouth snaps shut from the sudden impact, barely missing the fortunate mare to instead pierce her muffin-y blanket. Falling on the other side of the bed, Midnight jumps to her hooves and skitters away from the stallion – said stallion spitting the blanket from his mouth and hissing at her before getting to his hooves as well.
Midnight glares at him, wings still flared, "What do you think you're doing?! You were going to kill her you-"
The rest of her exclamation dies in her throat, the pony across from her staring back with dead, empty eyes periodically pulsating a sickly shade of red.
A male voice calls out sleepily from elsewhere in the house, "Derpy? Are you alright?"
Midnight looks away, distracted by the voice, and with another hiss the stallion lunges at her.
"Midnight!" Dawn screams from under the bed.
With no time to dodge, Midnight braces herself and raises her forelegs. The attempted defense proves useless however, a solid crack resounding through the room as his hoof connects with her left foreleg. Midnight staggers, choking back a scream as she accidentally puts weight on her now broken limb.
Panicked hoofsteps of the house's only other occupant sound from near the now open door to the room, "Derpy! What's going on?!"
Panting from the pain, Midnight looks back at her attacker just in time to see him preparing to buck her in the side.
His hooves strike her like a pair of steel pistons, sending her flying across the room into a dresser, wings falling limply to the floor beside her. A half eaten muffin falls onto her barrel, sharp spikes of pain shooting across her body. Looking over towards the bed, she sees Dawn cowering underneath, seemingly unable to process what's going on.
"Dawn!" Midnight yells as loud as she can through the pain from her broken ribs. "What are you doing?! Run!"
Dawn's eyes refocus on her sister and she hesitantly starts moving towards the door.
Dawn jumps, startled, but then draws the shadows around her and dashes out the door into the hallway. Midnight coughs from the exertion, a few specks of blood hitting the floor while the bitter taste of it fills her mouth.
That can't be good. I need to get out of here, or else I'm gonna… I'm really gonna…
She swallows hard, cutting off that train of thought and struggles to her hooves, doing her best to ignore the pain from her broken bones and bruised wings.
The window's my best bet. I don't care what that other thing is, it doesn't have wings. It can't fly.
A split-second after Dawn escapes, another stallion enters the room, a worried expression on his face.
"Derpy, you didn't break the floor again… did you… " he trails off as he takes in the scene before him – an unknown pony limping, another unknown pony baring giant fangs at him, and his wife out cold between him and said fanged pony. He pauses, his mouth hanging open slightly as the cogs in his brain creak back to life, discarding all extraneous information being presented by his eyes in light of one simple fact. Letting out a roar that would've done a dragon proud, he charges the strange pony opposite him, executing a half spin as he passes over his wife, planting his front hooves as he lands, and bucking the fanged pony in the chest with all the strength he can muster.
Limping as quickly as she can while the two stallions stare at each other, Midnight approaches the window.
Alright, step one: get to window: check. Step two: break window…
A body collides with hers, breaking through the window and sending them both tumbling down into the street below. Her ears ring loudly and her vision goes completely white from the pain upon impacting the ground, all awareness of herself and her surroundings blissfully fading away into the numbed abyss of unconsciousness.