When the Night Ends

by The card holder

When the Night Ends

The town of Ghostmane was a relatively quiet place, tucked away in a corner of Equestria. It already had a spooky atmosphere that lived up to the name during the day, but it was made even worse by the late hour at which Twilight Sparkle and her friends arrived. According to Princess Luna, there had been strange things going on around the town as of late, so she asked them to “inspect one of the darkest places in Equestria, please.”

Darkest is right,’ Twilight thought to herself, fighting back a yawn. Applejack didn’t try as hard, and her own yawn drew the group’s attention to her.

“Of all the places we’d be asked to check out, why here?” she asked. “And why so late?”

“Night is the best time to see if anything’s wrong, Luna said,” Twilight explained. “I told you all to sleep earlier today for a reason, you know.” When the others grumbled under their breath in response, she sighed.

Falls on me to be the responsible one, of course.

Around them, the town remained somewhat busy, despite the late hour. Every so often, they’d see a pony tending to the outside of their house, although they didn’t stop to see what exactly they were doing. Luna had told them about a specific pair of ponies they were looking for, saying something along the lines of them being “born for this sort of situation”.

“My word!” Rarity exclaimed, taking in all the architecture. “This place must look like Nightmare Night all year round! It has so much… soul!”

“Soul?” Rainbow Dash asked, bewildered. “We’re too tired for your fashion speak, Rarity.

“And besides, tomorrow’s Nightmare Night anyway,” Dash continued. “Let’s just get this done so we can make it back home in time for it.”

The center of town continued the trend of spooky-looking homes, but one in particular stood out for how relatively plain it looked. The sign above the door read: “Ebony Hoof and Ivory Mane: Hunter Services”

“Hunter?” Twilight asked to herself. “Luna didn’t say anything about that…” Pushing aside her reservations, she tried the door, found it unlocked, and led the others inside.

Within the house, there was a very simple and plain living room. A desk was set up on the far side of the room, but it was devoid of anything on top of it. Candles were still lit, however, so they knew that somepony was still home, at least. From a staircase near the corner of the room, they could hear hoofsteps and what sounded like the tail end of a conversation.

“...loses, then what?”

“Control yourself, Ivory. We always stay safe every- Where are you going?”

“Gotta go upstairs, heard somepony walk in.”

“Let me get things ready down here, then I’ll come up too.”

It was another few seconds before the source of the hoofsteps came into view, in the form of a pale white earth pony mare. She froze instantly upon seeing Twilight.

“Out of all the ponies who could…” She shook her head. “Er, welcome to our shop. Anything you need?”

“Gotta job from Princess Luna,” Rainbow Dash said, before Twilight had the chance. “Wanted us to check this town out, said something weird was happening.” Suddenly, she was yanked backwards by her tail. “Ow! Hey!”

“Let Twi explain!” Applejack scolded her, spitting out a few multicolor strands of hair.

“It isn’t a big deal,” the mare said. “I get the gist. Still, good timing for you all, at least you won’t be outside when it happens.”

“Out there?” Twilight asked. “And when what happens?”

“Gotta explain it to everypony,” the mare grumbled to herself, before turning back to the group. “Basically, the town of Ghostmane is-”

“Let me guess, haunted?” Dash asked, before being yanked back by Applejack again. “Ow!”

“It sort of is,” the mare agreed. “See, me and my brother-”

“Out there isn’t safe,” a newcomer broke in, also coming up from the stairs. This one was a dark grey earth pony stallion. The mare rolled her eyes at his entrance.

“Gotta be dramatic every time you come upstairs, do ya?”

“Let me introduce us,” the stallion said, ignoring her. “She is Ivory Mane, and I am her brother, Ebony Hoof. We run this shop.”

“It don’t look much like a shop to me,” Applejack commented.

Out in the streets, they suddenly heard a small commotion, as several doors were slammed shut all at once. Shortly after, the town’s clock tower started tolling. Ivory’s eyes widened.

“This isn’t good.” She pulled Twilight closer to her. “Look, Princess, you’re all gonna have to come with us downstairs, so the demons won’t get you.”

“Demon?” Twilight shouted, pulling out of her grasp. “Just what the hay are you talking about?!”

“Inside, now,” Ebony cut her off, waving for everyone to follow him into the basement. “We can discuss the situation safely down here.” He didn’t wait before he headed down himself, Ivory waving them forward in the same way as she also descended.

“Has this whole town gone crazy?” Pinkie Pie asked, genuinely concerned for once.

“A matter we can discuss downstairs,” Rarity said, already making her way to the basement. After sharing some looks, the rest of the group followed closely behind. As they entered into the basement proper, they found the two siblings busy reading through a collection of books, as well as looking at a machine of some sort that simply held a display that none of them could make heads or tails of.

“Hold on, that’s weird,” Ivory commented. “Readings are higher than they should be this early in the night.”

“Of course they are,” Ebony replied. “There’s now a Princess in Ghostmane.”

“Me?” Twilight asked out loud, getting their attention. “Please explain what’s happening outside. Demons?”

Clenching a book between her hooves, Ivory effortlessly tossed it onto a bookshelf on the opposite wall before consulting the book that was under it. “For the past several decades, every Nightmare Night, the town of Ghostmane is attacked by mysterious creatures for several hours. Almost nopony has been able to see what they look like, because once they finally leave and we can go back outside, those ponies are nowhere to be found.” She looked up as the machine in the corner made a harsh beeping noise.

Its readout was still incomprehensible to the guests, but they couldn’t deny that whatever it was measuring, there was now a large amount of it.

“Power levels are increasing,” Ebony muttered. “Something isn’t right...”

Trying to get an understanding of the situation, Dash hovered over to where Ivory was flipping through a set of books. “So, uh, is that bad?”

“To put it lightly, yes, extremely,” Ivory snarked.

“Break down the readings, see if you can make anything of them,” Ebony said, walking from his side of the room right past Twilight and her friends.

“Free up some space,” Ivory told them. “Whatever’s going on, I don’t like the looks of it.”

“Gotta piece of good news, at least?” Applejack asked, perhaps too hopefully.

“Let me guess,” Dash started under her breath.

“It doesn’t look good at all,” her and Ivory said at the same time, causing the latter to pause slightly while the former added a cheeky “Called it.”

“Out with it, then,” Rarity spoke up. “Should we be concerned?” In response, Ivory sighed.

“Gotta be this year of all years…” She turned to face the others. “To be honest, I’m really kinda scared by all this. I have no idea what to expect.”

“Let us help, then,” Twilight offered. “We’ve dealt with plenty of threats already.”

“It isn’t that simple,” Ebony cut in. “What’s going on here isn’t anything like one of your friendship problems. What’s going on here could be more sinister than any of us could imagine.”

Out in the town, they started to hear noises, including faint screams, slamming doors and… something. In response, both Ivory and Ebony bustled around the room even faster.

“Gotta find it,” Ivory muttered out loud, shoving entire shelves of books aside looking for something in particular.

“Let us help,” Twilight repeated, stamping the floor in frustration. “We’re not foals to be coddled!”

“It isn’t-!” Ivory shouted at them, before taking a breath. “Princess, with all due respect, there’s a good chance we’re all going to die tonight if we don’t do something soon. This isn’t our first dance, we know what we’re doing. So, please, just stay put down here, and for the love of Celestia stay away from windows and doors.”

Out of steam due to the sudden bluntness, Twilight deflated. “O-oh.”

“Gotta find… what, though?” Dash asked, immediately jumping to a new subject.

“Let me explain once I find it,” Ivory replied, now searching through the top shelves with the aid of the nearby chairs. Despite how precarious her balance looked, she never came close to actually falling.

It was another brief moment before Ebony, who had similarly been searching the room, called out, “Here!”

Out of seemingly nowhere, he pulled out what looked like a miniature cannon, along with a burlap sack that he hefted almost effortlessly but created a heavy thud when he dropped it on a table.

“Move!” Ivory said, shoving her way past everypony to get to the device. “We need to act fast, now.”

“Fast is my-” Dash started, before Applejack pushed her back slightly and just shook her head. Meanwhile, despite the tense situation and the noises outside growing louder, Ivory chuckled.

“Baby, it’s about to get loud,” she muttered, just loudly enough that the others overheard.

“Don’t get too excited,” Ebony cautioned. “Remember what happens when you get too worked up?”

“Be quiet, like you’re any better!”

“Slow down, now,” Applejack said. “What’s ‘bout to get loud?”

“Step back, and watch the fireworks!” Ebony rolled his eyes at his sister’s theatrics, and simply motioned for the group to stand far away from the staircase, and they were happy to oblige without complaint.

Aside from a muttered comment from Dash about “Having all the fun.”

“Reload, hurry!” Ebony said to Ivory, who was busy pouring powder into the cannon.

Time suddenly seemed to grind to a halt as the door upstairs was starting to be very clearly attacked by something. At the same time, whatever those strange noises outside were, they were now even louder.

To all of the ponies in that basement, it definitely sounded… wrong.

“Go, get back!” Ivory said, just now pulling a small cannonball from the bag.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Fluttershy muttered, doing her best to curl up behind the others.

“Can’t believe what, that we’re in danger again, or that we’re being bossed around like this?” Dash asked.

“...seem to be…” Ebony said under his breath, as the banging on the door continued.

To try and keep a handle on the situation, Twilight did her best to try and recognize anything in the noises she was hearing outside. Unnervingly, the more she listened to it, the less idea she had of what it was. Her friends being in varying states of unrest alongside her didn’t help matters.

“Control yourselves,” Ebony said to them. “We’ll do everything we can to keep us all safe.”

All around them, the noises got louder, and the banging on the door never ceased. The tension in the basement was palpable.

This changed into pure terror when they heard the front door finally give way.

Rage was visible on Ivory’s face as she focused her aim at the stairs, her hooves keeping a firm grip on the cannon. It wasn’t long before the first… thing made it downstairs. Everypony in the room found that, whatever it was, the longer they looked, the less sense it made. The only truly identifiable characteristic was that it was dark- as if whatever light met them simply ceased to exist.

“That’s far enough!” Ivory screamed as she pulled the trigger, the cannon spitting fire as the projectile barreled into the creature. Nopony could see exactly what it did to it, but they could tell it had immediate effect due to the already-unnerving noises being replaced with a split-second ear-piercing shriek, before the creature vanished in a puff of smoke. Behind her, Ebony had procured a sword from somewhere, and turned back to face Twilight and her friends.

“Inside the storage rooms!” he told them. “There’s enough space to circle around so you won’t get cornered! Go!”

“Me? Run away?” Dash asked. “I don’t-”

Pulling on her tail, Applejack smacked her in the back of the head. “Do what the stallion says, Dash!”

Shots continued to occasionally ring out as they quickly went into the storage rooms, but not before leaving the door cracked just enough to see what was going on.

Aiming as soon as she had the weapon reloaded, Ivory was able to fire at a frighteningly quick pace. Even if a creature got too close for comfort, Ebony would strike it with his sword, producing an identical effect.

Dots of shadowy mist started to gather before ascending back up the stairs, which wasn’t a deterrent to the creatures that had yet to enter the basement.

“Yeah! Come and get some!” Ivory shouted, pumping a hoof between reloads.

“I can’t believe she’s getting excited over this,” Rarity whispered to the others.

“Don’t you get a little into it when we’re beating up bad guys?” Dash asked, also whispering.

“Miss!” Ivory suddenly yelled out, her earlier bravado evaporating as she leaped backwards, still holding the cannon and the bag with what ammo was left. Ebony was quick to pick up the slack, stepping forward to meet the creatures blade-first.

Branded in the same fashion as his flank, Ebony’s sword moved almost too quickly to follow. He was clearly just as skilled in its use as Ivory was with the miniature cannon, and the way they managed to figuratively (and in one case literally) bounce off each other in combat proved that they did, in fact, know what they were doing.

By the time Ivory had another shot loaded, however, the situation was looking far more grim.

Fire spat out from the end of her weapon, the split second of light revealing that there were far more demons present now than there had been just a few moments ago. If the two hunters had any fear of the situation, they did not show it.

Born for this sort of situation,’ Twilight thought to herself, remembering Luna’s words. Was this what she meant by that?

In a matter of moments, the basement was starting to become overrun with the creatures. The siblings were still putting up quite the fight, but it was clear that, as skilled as they were, they’d eventually reach their limits.

The first sign of trouble arose as Ebony faltered slightly after one of his swings, and part of the shadows surrounding the creatures reached out to grab him. Twilight tried to look closer, to see if, this close, she could finally make out what exactly these things were.

Abyss was the only thing that she found.

Red flashes of light could be seen from farther into the horde, part of some previously unknown ability these things had. As soon as the flashes started, there was only one word that could describe the new atmosphere within the basement.


Temper flaring from both the heat and seeing her brother in danger, Ivory fired one last shot before diving into the fray directly to help him, swinging the cannon at anything that got close. It was surprisingly effective at first, but it wasn’t long before she was in just as bad a situation as Ebony.

“I can’t watch!” Fluttershy said, falling back from the door. The others shared her sentiment, and quickly backed away, Twilight taking care to shut the door as they did so, plunging them into darkness.

Just the sounds of combat was all they could hear now, with no clue as to how badly it was going. At the same time, the noises the creatures made were growing in frequency and volume, beginning to drown out more and more sound. Twilight tried to comment on this, only for Dash to shake her head at her.

“Can’t hear you!” she shouted over the cacophony. “Speak up!”

“Resist all you want, you’ll all perish!” Ebony yelled from the other room, uncharacteristically loud. It seemed like him and Ivory had pushed their way to the opposite side of the room, but they were unable to determine if that was the case on sound alone.

All of a sudden, Ebony’s battle cries grew much quieter, almost immediately being overshadowed by the demon noises.

This was followed by the unmistakable sound of something metal hitting the ground.

Vengeance colored the following screams from Ivory, as she no doubt doubled down on her attack.

Inside of the storage room, Twilight and her friends had backed away from the door as far as they could, Twilight and Rarity trying to levitate as many things as they could in front of it, only to realize with a sense of growing dread that their horns refused to work for some reason. By the time the door was properly blockaded as much as possible, Twilight turned to the others, her face frightened yet determined.

“Me and Rainbow Dash will be at the front if they get through,” she directed. “If what Ebony and Ivory said is true, then we just have to wait until morning.”

“All the way until morning…?” Applejack asked, equally surprised and distraught by the news.

“Of course,” Rarity said, speaking faster than normal from her nerves, “surely creatures as nightmarish as this wouldn’t survive in the daylight.”

“These things ain’t normal!” Applejack countered. “That means we probably can’t beat ‘em with somethin’ normal, either!”

Voices echoed back and forth within the room as the friends argued with each other, until Twilight finally silenced them by shouting “Girls!”

Inside of a second, the room was once again filled with only the sounds of the demons outside. “Look, all that matters right now is that we do everything we can to stay safe. They…” She turned to look at the barricaded door, and trailed off.

Of the two hunters, their fates weren’t confirmed, but by now they all feared the worst, even if no one wanted to admit it. “Alright, then,” Dash spoke up, “what’s your plan, then?”

“My… plan?” Twilight said, more to herself than anything, only just now realizing she was coming up blank outside of staying put and hoping for the best.

Head hung low, she eventually admitted, “I… don’t know.”

Blinding terror gripped the group as, the second after Twilight said that, they could distinctly hear the creatures on the other side of the door. Once Twilight recovered, she steeled herself and faced her friends again.

“My plan,” she stated, “is that we stick together and… fight as best we can. If those two could last that long, then we should be able to do just as well, if not better, right?”

Sight was a vital part of combat, however, and she didn’t want to admit that they’d be at a huge disadvantage in the dark. Still, her words seemed to work, and one by one her friends stood up straight to steel themselves, even Fluttershy.

In the other room, the creatures clearly started to become agitated, and they started bumping against the door.

“A natural born speaker, aren’t ya?” Dash quipped. “Don’t worry, it will be… uh… what’s the thing they do at the end of plays again?”

“Curtain call!” Pinkie helpfully shouted out.

“Of course, yeah, it’ll be the curtain call for them!”

Red lights could barely be seen under the door, as the bumping started becoming more aggressive.

Frustration brewing at the noise, Twilight poised herself for combat, the others following suit.

“Is that all you got?!” Dash challenged them. “We can take all of you!”

Getting louder and louder, the strikes on the door were starting to show signs of progress, as the makeshift barricade started to shift back and forth in time with the hits.

“Bigger things, we’ve fought bigger things…” Fluttershy muttered to herself, doing her best to stand strong beside her friends.

Bang. The smaller items blocking the door fell over, as the whole pile shifted towards them ever so slightly.

BANG. Again, the pile moved just an inch, and Twilight shared one last look with her friends before tensing herself. Whatever happened next, she’d make sure that she gave everything she had into protecting her friends.


Pull my devil trigger

First word of every paragraph, happy april fools