Three weeks. That's how long it had been since the murders of Flim and Flam, and Rarity was beginning to become extremely frustrated with the down time that she had.
Before being cleansed by the Elements, she could stand going a few weeks or even a few months between kills. She would merely wait until the opportunity for another murder arose and she would take it. There was never any need to rush anything.
Now, though, all of that was different. It seemed that after almost two years if inaction on her part, her cravings to murder had become even stronger as if to make up for lost time.
Rarity was getting very anxious. She needed to make a kill soon or she couldn't be held responsible for what she was going to do! Sure she could control it now, but would she be able to later? Oh, she knew that she wouldn't attack her friends, but there were other ponies in the town that she would likely kill if she snapped. Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Snips and Snails, all ponies that she desperately wanted to kill but refrained from doing so as they were merely foals, and Rarity didn't kill foals. Still, the idea was mighty tempting when she thought about it.
Rarity found that when the urge to kill was rising inside of her, she often used the color red prominently in her designs. Her fiery dresses would command the attention of anypony who walked into her shops and to her delight, they were her best-sellers. However, even the success of the pure art that came out of her when she needed to kill did almost nothing to substitute for the real thing. The sale of a blood red dress did nothing to replace the pure elation that she felt when she was slicing out a nearly dead pony's spinal cord to display in front of her victim. Even thinking about it made Rarity's need become stronger.
Rarity put the final stitch in her latest blood red design, a little piece she called Forgotten Rain, and surveyed it quickly. It was her best design under these circumstances yet, but it was still not enough.
She placed the needle and thread inside of her kit and slammed the lid shut and let out a frustrated yell, nearly losing control and throwing her kit into the wall.
She. Needed. To. Kill!
She took a deep breath and put her kit away before angrily pacing around the room. Today was the worst day yet. She was clearly going into withdrawal at this point but this wasn't drugs, it was murder. The other days she managed to keep control of her need to an extent, but today was different. Rarity knew that a kill was necessary very soon or else she would do something that she regretted very much, something that would possibly lead to capture... and death.
She stormed out of Carousel Boutique and decided to take a walk. She didn't know where she was going or what she was going to do, but she just... needed to walk right now.
Rarity walked for what seemed to her to be like hours. It was daylight when she had started and now she saw that it was getting dark out. Still, the cool twilight air did her good and she was beginning to gain control of her urges once more.
By the time she figured that she should think about her surroundings, she found herself near a motel in the outskirts of Ponyville proper. She looked over the worn-down building with interest. She had forgotten that this place even existed, and she suspected most of the town had too. Could she... no, that wouldn't do at all. If even these ponies disappeared then someone would suspect something. If somepony suspected something then there would be an investigation and Twilight would surely hear about it and it wouldn't take a lot for her to suspect Rarity. Very little suspicious activity these days wouldn't have Twilight suspecting Rarity in some fashion. Thankfully, Twilight had never checked Rarity's basement and as such, she never saw the two new pony 'masks' that she had on her wall. She mused that she was expanding past hides and manes a decent amount these days.
Rarity took a few deep breaths before sitting down on a bench to rest for a bit before heading back to her house. Her dress did still need to be cleaned up a bit and displayed properly.
Rarity continued to sit on the bench as the sun continued to set. Yes, this walk had definitely been a good idea.
Suddenly, she heard a commotion in front of her. She turned her head to see a tiny Earth pony filly, she seemed to be about four or five years old, being angrily herded towards the motel by an Earth pony mare that Rarity assumed was her mother. The mother looked rather angry with the filly. Rarity strained her ears and tried to listen in on the conversation.
"I swear, you can be a real pain to have around sometimes, Sweetie," the mare snapped.
The filly's ears flattened. "But mommy, I didn't mean to do that."
The mare snorted and glared at her child. "We'll talk about it more in the morning; right now you need to get yourself into bed. If only your father was alive, he could deal with you instead of me having to."
Sweetie's eyes filled with tears and she cried all the way towards the motel. Rarity noted that they went into room one.
Rarity's jaw was open from shock. How could any mare say that to her filly? Rarity would never even considering saying it to Sweetie Belle, much less any child that she would have. How could she even think about saying those things to her child? The filly would be better off not being around that mare if those were the kinds of things that she said to her daughter.
A wide smile spread across Rarity's face as a beautiful, beautiful thought entered her head. Yes, that filly would be better off without her mother verbally abusing her like that, and that was something that Rarity could very easily make happen.
* * * *
Rarity walked back towards the motel with a new spring in her step. Finally, a new kill! After weeks of waiting, she finally had another pony to kill! She decided that she would do with the filly what she did with Scootaloo all those years ago: the Ponyville Orphanage. Although, she would probably drug her to make sure she stayed asleep during the trip over.
She saw the motel in the distance and as it got closer, she moved a little faster. Her urge to kill this verbally abusive mare was giving her new purpose and she knew that she could get back to being happy old Rarity once the night had ended.
As she approached the motel, she noticed that the light was on in cabin one. She carefully trotted over to the window and peeked inside. The mare was sitting on the bed, seemingly deep in thought and the filly was nowhere to be seen. Rarity assumed that she was simply in the other room.
Rarity was confused by the fact that the mare looked sad as well as contemplative. Did she regret what she said earlier or was she merely wishing the filly's father was still alive? It didn't really matter to Rarity one way or the other and she quietly moved over to the door. She was just about to open the door when she heard the mare move around on the bed and the light switch off. Good, it seemed that she had just gone to bed. This would be easier than she thought.
Rarity tried the door handle to see if it was locked and she found that it wasn't. Rarity grinned. Ponies were far too trusting of their surroundings.
She gently pushed the door open and took a tiny syringe out of her saddle bags. Once the mare was knocked out, she would knock out the filly and give her to the orphanage before dealing with the nasty mare.
She tip-hooved closer to the bed and expertly stabbed one syringe into the mare's neck. The mare gave a grunt of pain and swatted at the syringe before sitting up and turning the light on. She turned around and her eyes landed on Rarity. She gave a gasp of shock and clearly she wanted to cry for help but the drug was already taking its effect.
"W...Who are you and...wha...what are y...you..." The mare's speech became increasingly slurred as the drugs took effect. Rarity had to hold back a chuckle. Any second now she would be unconscious.
Rarity smiled at her. "Just go to sleep now and everything will be okay," she soothed. "I'll make sure your daughter is well taken care of."
The mare gave her a horrified stare before turning her head towards the other room. With a strength that Rarity was surprised she had, the mare pushed herself off of her bed and began dragging herself towards her child's room. However, the drugs were too powerful and few seconds later she was still on the ground.
Rarity gave a satisfied smile and turned towards the other room to deal with the filly only to find her already awake and staring in horror at her unconscious mother. Rarity gasped and took a tentative step backwards.
Sweetie looked at Rarity with wide eyes. "Miss, what's wrong with my mommy? Who are you?" she whimpered. The child was obviously terrified and to some extent, Rarity was too. The filly quietly walked over to her mother and began shaking her. "Mommy, wake up mommy, what's wrong with you?" The filly began crying.
Rarity was frozen to the spot. The filly would certainly remember her even if she dropped her off at the orphanage. The ponies who ran it would ask her about her parents and she would undoubtedly be able to describe Rarity. Even if she was only a filly, her testimony would undoubtedly be able to implicate Rarity in the disappearance of her mother. Rarity began to inwardly panic. Did she have to...?
The filly walked over to Rarity and tried to pull her over to her mother. "Please, miss, we gotta get my mother to a hospital! I-I think something's wrong with her! Please, miss, you gotta help me!" she begged.
Rarity was close to tears now but she couldn't make a choice here. Her basement, she had to get the mother into her basement.
Rarity used her magic to take a smaller syringe out of her saddlebag and wordlessly she stuck it into the filly's neck. The filly gave Rarity a sleepily confused look before collapsing next to her mother.
* * * *
Rarity's transportation of the filly and her mother had gone off without a hitch, just like it always did. The mother was unconscious on Rarity's table and the filly was carefully wrapped up in the potato sack as if it were a blanket. Rarity hoped dearly that the filly wouldn't wake up, and then she could figure out what to do with her. She didn't want to kill her, she couldn't kill her!
The thought flickered in her mind that she could still reverse this. She would just put them back in their motel room and with any luck they would see this as just a bad dream. No harm done, no harm done at all. Yes, that sounded like a wonderful idea. Rarity reached for the straps that held the mother down but reality caused her to pull her hoof back at the last second. No, they couldn't both have the same bad dream.
The mother groaned and groggily woke up. Rarity merely observed her silently as the mother realized what was happening to her. Rarity glanced at her tray as the mother screamed in terror. She had been so lost in thought that she didn't even pick out any knives.
The mother saw Rarity and began panicking. "Please don't hurt my daughter!" she pleaded.
Rarity managed to put on a brave face and gained a little resolve once she remembered how this mare had treated the young, innocent filly. "Why not? If I kill her now then you'll be rid of her just like you wanted. I seem to recall you saying that you wished her father were still alive so you wouldn't have to deal with her," said Rarity coldly.
The mother's mouth dropped open and she laid back on the table. Her head slowly turned to her sleeping daughter. "I didn't mean to say that," she whispered. "It was very, very, very wrong of me and I didn't mean it. I apologized to her the second we were inside. I had had a long day and she had knocked over a display case in a grocery store we had just come from. It made a huge mess but that doesn't justify my words to her. I...I was gonna make it up to her when we woke up, I promised her that I would make it up to her. I didn't mean it, I didn't mean it."
Each word the mare said in her defense was like a great flood, whittling away the rock that was Rarity's resolve. She wanted to believe that the mare was only saying that so Rarity would spare her life, but deep down Rarity knew that this mare was telling the truth.
Rarity and the mare stared at each other for a long time; neither saying anything for fear of upsetting the other. Rarity wanted to say something, anything at all to break the silence, but no words came. The mare was slowly calming down, but the horror of the situation that she found herself in was still etched on her face.
When she could no longer meet the suddenly piercing gaze of the mare, Rarity broke off the stare. She had planned a torturous night for her. She was going to carve the words that she had said to her daughter into her flesh, but now she couldn't do that. No, it would be a quick and painless death now. Rarity owed her that much.
Rarity opened up her workbench and pulled out a sharp hunting knife. She knew just where to stab her to instantly kill her and she would do it as fast as she could. She used her magic to levitate it and walked back over to the mare who began hyperventilating and sobbing when she saw the knife.
Tears were beginning to fall down Rarity's face now too and she looked down at the instrument of death in her hoof. "I...I'm so sorry," she whispered. "I don't want to do this anymore."
"You don't have to!" pleaded the mare. "You can let us go and we won't tell anypony about this!"
"Oh don't give me that," Rarity groaned. "Look around you! It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I'm a serial killer. You'd blab to the first pony you made eye contact with. I'd be arrested within five minutes of letting you go."
"But you'd be free from all of this," said the mare. "If you don't want to do this then at least you would know that in the end you were merciful, that you didn't kill a mother and her innocent filly. You would at least have that."
The tears were falling fast and hard now, wetting the blade of the knife. There was truth to the words of the mare. She could end all of this with an act of mercy and die knowing that an innocent filly was safe in her mother's hooves.
All of a sudden the situation turned from terrible to an all-out nightmare for Rarity.
Rarity and the mare turned to see that the filly had woken up and was running towards her trapped mother. She scrambled onto the table and curled up into a ball on her mother's chest. "Please don't hurt my mommy!"
Rarity was only barely able to keep herself from dissolving into hysterical sobs. As it was she was openly weeping.
The filly did her best to wrap her forelegs around her mother as she cried into her chest. The mare was crying as well and for a few minutes, the basement was filled with the sounds of pure sorrow and fear from everypony in the room. Rarity's hold on the knife completely went away and it clattered onto the ground. Rarity's knees gave way and she was lying on the ground with her back up against the wall, crying her eyes out.
The filly turned her head towards Rarity and looked at her with tear filled eyes. "Please don't hurt my mommy. She didn't do anything to you, please let her go."
"S...Sweetie, you need to get off of mommy right now," said the mare.
"No!" said Sweetie, hugging her mother tightly.
"Mommy will be okay, Sweetie, but I need you to be very brave for mommy right now. In a few minutes we'll go home and we'll be happy together. We'll go to Fillydelphia and see that play that you love so much and we'll be happy together, but you need to be brave for mommy right now, you need to be brave."
Sweetie wiped her eyes and looked up at her mother. "Do you promise everything will be okay, mommy?"
The mother gave her a watery smile. "I promise you that everything will be okay."
Sweetie sadly nodded and gave her mother one last hug before climbing off the table and returning to the corner where she huddled into a frightened ball.
Rarity lost all control and she began loudly sobbing on the floor. Her gaze landed on the discarded knife next to her, and she wondered why she even picked up the wretched thing to begin with. "I'm sorry!" she wailed. "I-I can't..."
"All you have to do is let us go," the mare whispered. "You don't have to hurt me or my daughter."
Rarity whimpered and wiped her eyes with her hoof. She took a deep breath and looked up at the shaking filly huddled up in the corner. "Your name is Sweetie, isn't it?" she said quietly. A sad smile crossed Rarity's face. "I have a sister named Sweetie Belle. She's not much older than you are."
"You wouldn't hurt your sister!" said the mare. "Y-you couldn't hurt an innocent filly, could you?"
Rarity slowly shook her head. "You even look a little like my sister. Your coat is a little grayer than hers, and your mane is a darker purple than the purple in her mane." Rarity took a deep breath and looked over at the knife. "I love her very much. I would never do anything to hurt her. If I let you go, then I have to die because your mother will tell ponies about what I am. My little sister will have to grow up without me, and that would make her very sad." Rarity reached forward and dragged the knife towards her. She picked it up and stared at the gleaming blade. "I... I can't." Rarity shook her head. "I can't do that to her. I have to be alive for her. I... I need to be alive for my sister."
"Please just let us go!" the mare begged. "Your sister will be proud that you did the right thing in the end!"
"No," Rarity whispered. She slowly pushed herself to her hooves, levitating the knife next to her. "I'm sorry, but I have to be alive for Sweetie Belle." Rarity walked over to the table and stood over the mare. She reached up and plucked the floating knife out of the air. "I... I promise I'll make it quick... for the both of you."
The mare's eyes widened and she let out an ear piercing shriek. "You don't have to do this! Just let us go!" she screamed.
"Mommy," Sweetie whined. "Please, miss, don't hurt my mommy!"
"Close your eyes, Sweetie!" begged the mare as she struggled to free herself from the straps. "Close your eyes and be brave for mommy! It'll all be over soon!"
Rarity advanced towards the mare with a blank look on her face and tears still falling from her eyes.
"Mommy, no!" Sweetie whimpered.
"Close your eyes for mommy, Sweetie. Close your eyes and be brave. Close your eyes, Sweetie, CLOSE YOUR EYES!"
* * * *
Rarity walked out of Carousel Boutique, the blank look still etched on her face. She just needed to walk now. She didn't even know where she was going and frankly she didn't care. She just had to be away from her house, away from that wretched basement where she had just... no, she couldn't think about that now.
She tried to think of something, anything else to get her mind off of what had just happened but she kept re-playing the events in her mind over and over again. She imagined that she would for a long time.
Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain on her head and she looked up to see that she had run into something: Twilight's library home. She had walked all the way to Twilight's house.
Without thinking too much about what she was doing, she approached the door and knocked. She didn't expect anypony to hear her but she didn't know what else to do. She heard a few noises coming from inside the house and within a few seconds, the door opened to reveal an exhausted looking Twilight.
"Oh, Rarity," she said with a yawn. "What can I do for..." She stopped in mid-sentence when she took a good look at Rarity. She still had the blank expression on her face but tears were streaming down her eyes once again. "Rarity, what's the matter?!"
"I...I...I just..." A sob coursed through Rarity's body. "Help me," she whimpered.
"Come in, come in!" said Twilight opening the door and escorting the ivory unicorn into her home. Rarity entered without another word. The minute Twilight close the door Rarity felt her knees begin to wobble. Twilight looked at her with a concerned look on her face. "Rarity, what's wrong?"
Rarity's legs lost all of the will to stand and she collapsed onto the ground.
Any thoughts of dignity long abandoned, she curled up into a ball and cried.