by Magpiepony


Darkness was not the correct word to describe this place, but the only one that seemed appropriate. It wasn’t warm or cold, wet or dry, it was as close to nothing as it could be. The air was thick with a haze darker than black that masked a sky somehow darker. There was a ground, uneven and rough like gravel and yet her hooves still echoed with each step.


She cried into nothing and received nothing in return. She could hear her own heart beats like an echo in a deep cavern but with no visible walls to carry the sound. She wasn’t sure why but she was compelled to keep moving, putting one hoof in front of the other hoping that by wandering around this place she could find some kind of sign or hint to where she might be.

“Can anypony hear me?”

She tried again, her voice echoing in all directions growing louder rather than softer as moments passed.

“Make it stop!”

She cried, curling up on the ground and covering her ears with her hooves, blocking out as much of the sound as she could.


She added, and without warning the echoes ceased and left her in an eerie silence.

Fluttershy clamored to her hooves and began to run, unsure which direction to take or how to escape this confusing place. She was too afraid to take flight here, worried that she would become even more confused and turned around and even slightly afraid that she might forget where the ground was. This place wasn’t a place like she’d ever seen and she didn’t trust it. It reminded her of something that might have come from his twisted imagination.

Discord. That thought triggered a reaction in Fluttershy and she stopped running, panting softly for breath. He was the reason she was here though she couldn’t find it in her heart to blame him. He truly believed that he had made the right choice when he—

Fluttershy’s thoughts were cut off, her ears twitched when she heard the soft sound of scratching somewhere behind her. She started running again, this time sobbing as she did so. She didn’t know what was coming but she knew it was important not to get caught. She ran from the sound then stopped, digging her hooves into the non-gravel in confusion when the sound came at her from a different direction.
She recognized the feeling of dread and knew that she had faced whatever this was before; faced it in her dreams… her nightmares. This time, however, it wasn’t a nightmare and not even Princess Luna herself could protect her from what was coming.

“He just wanted to keep his friend forever! He didn’t mean to hurt me…”

Fluttershy plead into the darkness but the scratching just got louder. Though she ran as fast as she was able, the sound still grew louder. It wasn’t too long before her hooves began to ache and she worried that they would fail her. As the little hope she clung to threatened to give out, Fluttershy saw the faint outline of an iron fence come into view. She gasped and panted in joy; something ANYTHING would be a welcomed sight.

As Fluttershy neared the fence the scratching noises softened until they disappeared back into the darkness. She stuck her hoof out to touch the metal but hesitated, sensing an unspoken danger here as well. Rather than take her chances, she avoided the metal and walked along side it instead. As she walked, she noted the deterioration of the metal and the bent and misshapen spires. Their decay gave Fluttershy the chills; it looked unnatural in comparison to other worn fences she had seen in her lifetime.

Eventually, the metal fence had faded and crumbled leaving nothing but the unforgiving ground where it once stood. Fluttershy was so preoccupied with the actual fence that she only now discovered what lay beyond it. There were little patches of grass, trees, and shrubs that blended faintly in the darkness that surrounded it. Fluttershy strained her eyes when she caught sight of what she believed was a welcomed sight.

“Angel? Angel is that you?”

She called, racing towards her long-eared companion. Once she reached him, however, she discovered he was nothing more than a great mound of dust so perfectly sculpted to look like her dear pet.

“Oh Angel…I… I’ve missed you so much”

She reached out her hoof to touch him and he disintegrated into dust.

Fluttershy sobbed. The memory of him tugged at the back of her mind and she reached down to the unforgiving soil to re-sculpt him from the dust.

“H-he had ears like this… no maybe they were longer… no his nose was different. This isn’t right. I can’t remember! It’s been so long I can’t…”

Fluttershy broke into sobs again and the dust that remained blew itself into nothingness. She stayed curled on the ground in her tears until she heard the scratching again. This time, she didn’t care. She wanted it to find her, she wanted this endless wandering to finally stop.

“What are you doing? Get up! Get out of here!”

Fluttershy’s head snapped up at the sound and she held her breath. That voice, no matter how much time had passed was still as crisp and as clear as if it were yesterday. It captured her rasp perfectly, and the inflection of impatience that Rainbow always had in her tone.

“Yeah silly! Don’t let the monster getcha!”

Another familiar sound, this one so delightfully out of place with its bubbly nature. Then again, Pinkie’s optimism typically was out of place to begin with.

Fluttershy raced towards the sound of their voice.

“Pinkie? Rainbow? Where are you? Please… please say something else!” Fluttershy cried.

“Get out Fluttershy,” Rainbow cautioned again.

“Not until I find you!”

“We’re not lost silly,” Pinkie said.

“You know exactly where we are, we’re right where you left us. All of us.” Fluttershy disregarded what was being said; she just wanted to find them.

“I’ve been looking for you all for so long… it feels like ages…” She said amidst her tears. She ignored the pained throbbing of her hooves to pursue her dearest friends, and through the haze she could at last see their silhouettes. They were together, like Pinkie had said, and they looked like they were ready to embrace her again. This time her tears fell in gratitude and no amount of pain could keep her from her friends.
At long last, she reached them. She didn’t hesitate throwing her hooves around Rainbow to hold her close.

“Oh Rainbow I’ve miss—“

She stopped, realizing the object she held now was cold and hard. She jerked herself away from it in confusion; she had been hugging a single flat stone that was sticking up unnaturally from the ground. There were five stones just like it in place of all her friends.

“No… no… please, I’ve waited so long to see you, I can’t lose you all again…”
Fluttershy curled up on the ground next to her friends and revisted each painful memory. She hadn’t noticed the scratching sound growing closer until it was too late to run. Fluttershy felt a chill run up her spine and her eyes flew open to face the monster that had pursued her all this time.

It was herself, or at least, another version of herself. This Fluttershy, however, had no eyes, only two great balls of darkness where her eyes should have been.
Fluttershy screamed and jumped back to her hooves in a panic. The dark Fluttershy only smiled and offered out her hoof where a sharp bloodied knife rested. It didn’t take long for her to start running again, but the pain of her hooves compelled her to fly. The dark mist grew thicker as she climbed in the air, her wings struggling to keep her airborne. Her chest constricted and she gasped, unable to suck in a breath from the weight of the mist around her.

Fluttershy strained her wing muscles to push higher and higher until at last she broke free of the surface of dark water. The dark Fluttershy was not far behind, pushing Fluttershy’s head back under water, trying to force the life out of her again. Fluttershy screamed and thrashed in the water, bucking at her twin until she broke free at last, gasping and shaking as she dragged herself back onto solid ground.

The mist began to change again, this time when it cleared it revealed an entire forest of trees. Fluttershy looked over her shoulder at the darker twin who flew towards her still clutching the knife. She took flight again and headed into the trees, hoping to lose her. Each tree she passed grew more twisted, more mangled in thick rope-like vines. She looked back to see where the other Fluttershy had gone and flew herself straight into a vine that pulled at her neck. She threw her hooves up and tried to pull it away, once again gasping for air, and noticed the vine was being tugged on the other end by the dark Fluttershy.

“It’s the only way!”

Dark Fluttershy called out to her. “I never wanted this! I never wanted to be separated from my friends! Don’t you understand Discord? I don’t love you! I want to die!”

Fluttershy cried, unable to beg for her life but desperately trying to cling to it. Dark Fluttershy approached her, the rope still digging into her neck with the blade drawn.

“It’s the only way I can see them again.”

Fluttershy thrashed, her vision becoming hazy.

“You never even asked me what I wanted all those years ago. I can’t take it anymore…”

Fluttershy’s eyes were stained with tears she couldn’t breathe but was somehow still thrashing about as lively as ever.

“Magic can’t protect me if I do it myself… it can’t keep me here if my heart stops beating.”

Fluttershy closed her eyes and braced herself, knowing what was coming next. She lowered her ears and waited. When the blade dug into her chest she threw open her eyes and screamed. Once again she was on the ground, nothing visible but the dark haze that cloaked an even darker sky.


She called out, feeling an unnerving sense of dread even though she didn’t know why.

That’s when she heard the scratching.