The world crumbled all around her, all that could be read on Sunset Shimmer’s face was one specific emotion: Horror, silent yet horrifying.
It felt so unreal that Sunset, practically a prodigy, would leave Equestria. The fateful day Princess Celestia, her mentor, cast her out all for having goals that opposed everything she stood for. A decision that pushed Sunset Shimmer on a dark path towards exile not just from her home, but as a Pony. How this came to be, even she could not comprehend, let alone uncover the logical reason for her departure in the first place. It all came to this: Whatever propelled Sunset Shimmer down this path represented the polar opposite of friendship.
There she stood, the edge of a point cliff, her strength waning as her hands began to shake. The familiar aura evaporated into the air; her body weighed her down like stones attached crudely to her feet. The merciless underside of the rocky cliffs slipped away from the palm of her grasp on life itself. But Sunset Shimmer wasn’t entirely alone, for right beside her stood the shadowy figure sharing the same mane, watching her agonizing from a distance.
The figure’s glowing eyes narrowed through the light, filtered in the darkness of Sunset Shimmer’s mind, and all she could do is look right back at her as a heavy emotion rose deep within her.
“Who are you?” Sunset asked, to the Stranger.
The figure didn’t answer right away, just silently approached her. Sunset Shimmer could not comprehend the matter at hand, but the creature’s very presence suddenly became… Uncomfortable.
All at once, the figure cackled, a sound similar to when a siren echoes across the sea and luring sailors toward a watery grave. Flapping each wing toward the air at once, the figure flared over the pale moonlight. The blast from the wings sent Sunset flying backwards physically… Mentally… Spiritually…
“Who am I?” The figure hissed, deviously. “Such a quaint, useless questions. Why, I am you, and that’s all you need to know.”
The ground crumbled beneath her, the solid surface of the earth shattering to dust instantaneously. A sharp pain stabbed her through her end, enduring the noise like fighting a presence digging its way into her mind.
“Y-Y-You’re lying!” Sunset stammered. “You… You’re lying! You’re nothing more than an illusion; a figment of my imagination!”
Soon, Sunset’s sight began to warp where she found herself suspended over the cliff, levitating through an aura conjured by this creature. Cold as ice, the eyes stared into Sunset, who froze as if one move would make this snake jump out. Sunset stood helpless as she stared into those empty eyeholes, her blood freezing as the creature leaned closer. Quivering and trembling, Sunset tried to regain whatever sense remained within while forcing herself to look.
“What do you want!?” Sunset asked, sternly.
Deep down, Sunset already knew this creature thought little of her. A being beyond understanding and comprehension, with no obligation to do anything nice for the helpless girl before her. At least, that’s what Sunset initially thought… As it blinked.
That’s the only it did… Blink… Blink… Blink. Its eyelids were wide, containing a small ounce of a thousand long, fluttering eyelids. And it just blinked… Even when its pupils were completely bear.
“Me?” It finally responds.
The voice was like a thousand angels, the soothing effect did more than enough to ease Sunset’s tension. But whether she disliked this or not, Sunset could find no answer to her precarious dilemma.
“You,” Sunset grinned.
The view of the demon-like anatomy of creation itself shifted drastically before her eyesight.
“What do I desire the most?”
Through the fog and a pounding headache, Sunset connected the dots in an attempt to piece together that this was some sort of demon of the darkest variety.
Nothing but dead silence swirled around them, the unfamiliar tremor began to shake, coursing through Sunset’s body all the way to her spin. But to her surprise, she stood unfazed.
Suddenly, a jagged line began to cut through her throbbing head, her emotions began to mix, her mind and body shifting to arrest. And all she could see before her was pure white, as another figure began to materialize – The ravishing orange-and-red mane, the only thing she could vaguely remember, yet found herself searching her mind for the name…
“Sunset!” She screeched.
Tears began to dampen the weary edges around her eyes. Her mouth was suspended in a permanent, wide gasp, and yet her words came off as sincere, somewhat worried.
All of a sudden, the illusion before shattered to a million shards as Sunset found herself stuck between two planes: The Demon’s realm, entirely white, and the world of the ink creature and her strange mesmerizing eyes. Her bones started to morph and crack back into place in a split second. It was the most confusing moment of her life, the poor girl merely wishing for this all to end.
The creatures screamed a devilish symphony, ringing into Sunset’s ears. She tried to object, but to her shock, she was unable to stop it. She felt their eyes watching her from above unable to stop the eerie screams.
“What do I want?” The creature asked.
And the more Sunset gazed into the creature’s eyes, the more they deepened as if those eyes could swallow Sunset whole.
“DON’T ‘Sunset’ me!” The non-Sunset said.
At least, so she thought when she lashed out at the Unicorn. Yet, once again, she was unable to stop it. That disturbing presence returned to her spine, the numbing sensation accompanying it returned, digging into her skull. If only she could, she could pull every last strange of hair off her head, little by little just to make it end.
“What do you want from me, demoness?!”
“Such a filthy tongue on you, foolish girl,” The creature snapped, twirling her hand.
Sunset felt herself drift to sleep, welcoming the embrace of endless darkness.
“But since I’m feeling generous,” The creature continued. “I’ll answer your petty question.”
Perhaps, for no other recourse, Sunset Shimmer felt herself descend deep into a mystery with seemingly no sense or reason. Without a care in the world, she wondered what good it would do to fight against it. Perhaps for Sunset, this was for the best. After all, even a prodigy of her caliber had no hope to stop what was beyond her control.
“What I want, my dear Sunset…”
“How do you know my name?”
That was all Sunset Shimmer could think but couldn’t find the will to speak. Everything had a meaning, as the two little words echoing in her mind…
“… Is you.”
The demon vanished just as quickly, the only trace of her were the few aquamarine wisps straying in the area. Slowly blinking, Sunset’s eyes adjusted to the empty void of cruelty. Soon her mind began to ease, her spirit sunk to a point it hardly exists. A part of her realized…
“I deserve this torment,” Sunset thought. “After everything I’ve done… Why not?”
She was aware nothing she said, nothing she could do, would ever change the outcome of her circumstance. For everything she’s ever done, the regrets she made, every action had consequences…
However, it is because of these events that Sunset Shimmer would grow as an individual and learn from her past. Like a bird free from its cage yet weighed down by gravity, as any normal human would be. No words could describe what she went through in her plunge to insanity, her psyche reduced to confused emotions, her cheeks damped with tears. It was akin to a feather tickling her, accompanied by the feeling of something that made her weak body wince in pain. The feeling of a powerful entity powerful enough to make her spine crawl, but she couldn’t care less if she fought it at all.
There was nothing Sunset Shimmer could do, as her joints ceased to move with her blurry vision, relaxing her weary body and her muscles.
“Sleep, little sun…” The sweet yet sharp voice whispered. “Everything will be fine…”
“Yes,” Sunset thought, blissfully. “Everything’s going to be just… Fine…”
An image of new friends guiding her was more than enough for Sunset to carry her through. That despite her actions, her inner demons in a constant war, she knew even if she spiraled out of control those figures would be there to help her. Drawing her last breath, she gazed toward the sky above her, passing out with a smile on her face knowing that a bright future was coming…