by Incitatus


Discord scratched at his fluffy ear idly as he passed Cerberus, guardian of Tartarus. A smile encroached his toothy mouth as he realized the true magnitude of his visit.

Having acquired the princesses’ permission to tamper with Tirek after long bouts of dramatic pleading, faking insult, and crocodile tears—he even turned himself into a crocodile for that—the draconequus planned on knocking the imprisoned demigod down another peg. Petty? Maybe. But nobody takes advantage of Discord’s kindness and gets away with it!

Unless you’re Fluttershy, of course.

Discord looked up at the mountainous pillar beyond his path, plateauing at the top where an indiscriminate iron cage sat. In it sat Tirek, who was so bored from his imprisonment that he noticed even the difference in air pressure in Tartarus. In turn, he looked down at his former, nominal friend with brief shock, or at least all his frail body could do. Tirek grasped his cage firmly, but lowered his guard and steeled his emotions, opting to let Discord make the first move.

Discord put on a cheesier smile than the last one and waltzed slowly and agonizingly up the jagged, narrow path. Unfortunately for all creatures in Tartarus, this was when he decided to recite bad poetry.

“The poor demigod
has been reduced to a simple clod.
The power of the centaur
humbled by friendship’s mentor.

“Yet that doesn’t satisfy me,
who would really like to see,
the traitorous old Tirek
turned into an absurd wreck.”

If the woefully cliché lyrics didn’t cause anybody to cry, Discord’s inability to emphasize the right syllables certainly did.

Tirek withdrew his weak hands from the cast-iron cell and held them over his ears, lamenting both the message and its execution. Discord didn’t see anything wrong with his “art,” though, and upon reaching Tirek’s cage casually leaned his elbow on it, pointing a finger on his unique claw towards the incapacitated villain with a sly wink.

“Poetry suits you best, Discord. Art like that is what an egotistical megalomaniac’s rightful role is, not ruling,” a withered Tirek frailly but sarcastically commented.

Discord rolled his eyes. “You’re one to talk, Lord Power-trip.”

Tirek’s eyelids drooped in response. He wasn’t going to argue the merits of poetry versus politics.

“Speaking of which,” Discord continued, “that’s what I’ve been sent here for. The princesses have so much trust in me they sent me to punish you! Isn’t it so nice to have such trustworthy friends?”

This caused Tirek to groan in exasperation. Not because he regretted betraying Discord’s trust, but because he regretted not waiting until he destroyed the Elements of Harmony before betraying Discord’s trust.

“Discord, old friend,” he pretend-innocently pleaded, “don’t you think my eternal imprisonment in Tartarus is enough of a punishment?”

“No,” Discord replied flatly. “If something as trivial as a bugbear can escape Tartarus, so can you, an effective demigod. After all, I was set in stone for a thousand years, but that didn’t stop me from being freed! So, I’ve come to call your deification into question. And since you seemed to enjoy my art so much, I’ll even put on a show while I do it!”

Discord then snapped his fingers, clothing himself in one of those fruit hats and silly dresses like the Chiquita Banana girl. At the same time, he summoned a stereo that started to play the Piña Colada song, but its pitch was distorted because Discord didn’t want the show to get sued for copyright infringement. He then proceeded to dance rather poorly to the horrific music, of which he was much too proud of his lack of skill.

Tirek backed away in distaste at the horrific spectacle, again protecting his ears with his hands. He sighed audibly, causing Discord to take his focus off of his dancing and instead pay attention to the poor villain.

“Can we just get to it? I thought I was being de-deified, not tortured,” Tirek genuinely begged.

“Everyone’s a critic,” Discord flatly stated as he kicked the offending boombox into the endless abyss.

He then stroked his goatee thoughtfully as he hadn’t yet considered Tirek’s punishment. Suddenly, a light-bulb appeared above his head, which then collapsed into his fruit hat, messing with the design. He would turn Tirek into stone, just as he was! Only Tirek would have no means to escape on his own, given he wasn’t a spirit of chaos like Discord was.

Discord then grabbed at Tirek’s weak arm, causing him to start turning into stone like he was a discount Medusa. Tirek realized this and then yanked back in panic, but not before he was stone from the neck down.

Tirek’s sudden yank caused Discord to be pulled forward, dropping the lightbulb and a hoof-full of fruit from his hat onto the ground, shattering all of them. All except a single gourd, that wedged itself in-between the bars of Tirek’s cage. Both of the demigods looked thoughtfully between the pumpkin and each other, although it was much harder for Tirek to do considering his neck was stone.

“You are insane! This isn’t stripping me of deity status, it’s flat-out torture!” the stone centaur yelled from his still-free head.

Discord frowned, realizing he had probably gone too far. He glanced back down at the pumpkin, still wedged in the cage like the fat, harmless thing it was. That’s when another lightbulb appeared above his head, which again promptly collapsed and broke on the draconequus’ head.

“You’re right, Tirek,” Discord not-so-seriously atoned, “I may have been a bit too quick in my judgement. So,-“ he picked up the pumpkin from its prison, “-I’m going to give you more freedom in your mortal state. Instead of deification, consider it, I don’t know, pumpkinification?”

Tirek dropped his jaw in awe as Discord deviously smiled, then wound up the pumpkin like he was throwing a baseball. The pumpkin flew from his paw like a bowling ball at mach five, hurling straight at the centaur who had since braced himself.

The pumpkin flew neatly through the bars, slamming into Tirek’s head at such a speed that it became his head. The gourd encapsulated it, effectively turning what remained of the poor wretch into a Nightmare Night decoration. Discord’s strange and undefined powers of chaos made the centaur into a living pumpkin patch. The pumpkin reshaped itself like Tirek’s head on impact, its wrinkles becoming the defining features on his face, like his mouth or eyes.

The pumpkin tried to speak, but he couldn’t from his lack of mouth. Still, it was enough to make his “head” bob up and down, which made Discord notice that he needed a little help.

In typical fashion, he reached into Tirek’s cage with his claw and carved his mouth and eyes out where the wrinkles defining them were, then lit up his hollowed head with a candle. He withdrew and admired his handiwork.

“I hate you,” the jack-o-lantern said.

“Oh, don’t be such a whiner. It’s not permanent, and you won’t become rotten. You already are.”

“I think I would have preferred you just stripping me of my ability to absorb magic. This isn’t un-deification-“ Tirek said but was interrupted.

“It’s pumpkinification!” Discord yelled with too much glee. “You’ll be fine. Harmless, but fine. The princesses might even let you out on good behavior in your current state!”

He waited for no reply, instead summoning an umbrella and Mary Poppins-ing towards the gate out of Tartarus. He stopped and waved at the humiliated Tirek, who was by then shouting many insults at Discord, all of which were unintelligible. Then, he vanished from Tartarus.

Tirek was left alone with his own thoughts. Or what should have been his own thoughts, were they not accompanied by a candle burning in his head.

Cerberus ran up the jagged path towards Tirek’s cage to smell the pumpkin candle scent, all three of his heads poking their snouts through the gaps in the bars.

“Oh, come on! This wasn’t part of his terms!” Tirek lamented.

He hoped nobody could see him in this state, like through a crystal ball or something. That would be humiliating.

Grogar eyed Tirek through his crystal ball intently. While foggy, it provided a clear enough image. The once-powerful villain had been reduced to a carved fruit artistically placed on a stone statue.

“Uh,” Grogar confusedly remarked.

Maybe he could forgo freeing this one for his plan.