• Published 10th May 2014
  • 2,573 Views, 58 Comments

The Beast Within - Arreis Of Avalon



Discord, after Tirek has gone back to his prison, has trouble dealing with his own inner demons. He knows what he did. He knows what he did was wrong. Unable to cope, he does the unthinkable.

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Casting Shadows

The ball kept bouncing.

It wasn’t anything very unusual. It just kept bouncing. I don’t know why, but it seemed to represent my situation rather well, wouldn’t you think?

I threw it once. Only once. I just let it hit the ground. It hit it hard, then suddenly soared above everything else…

I watched it sail towards the ground again. Up. Down. Up. Down. It wasn’t reaching up as high anymore.

I sighed, lying back against the wall. My room is white. I made it that way, I think. It used to be rather normal – Then it looked stunning, pink and green and orange, neon alizarin even – and now it is white. My shadow sits across from me. His area is a dim grey. He does not like white.

“Are you going to sit here with me all day and watch the ball bounce,” I ask Him.

“Are you,” He responds.

I don’t know how to answer Him – I never do. I used to think I did – But since Celestia had given me a talking to about good and evil, right and wrong… I’m not as sure. How does one confront Evil?

The ball is still bouncing. I’ve counted how many times so far. “Eleven thousand three hundred forty two, by my count.”

“Why have you counted so high?”

“Because I was bored,” I respond logically. After all, I’ve always been very logical. Nopony ever understands how logical I am. Especially not Him.

“If you are bored, then why not go outside?”

“Because I am asleep,” I say dimly, watching the ball tediously.

“Who said you were asleep?”

“Me.”

“And who are you to say you are asleep?”

“I am Discord.”

The ball bounces, hitting the ground hard, rising high once again. The shadow grins, and I can see His red eyes watching me in the darkness that He lives in. He knows I’m asleep. He knows that I will be asleep for a long time. I try to deny that I will be asleep – I try to tell myself I will wake again. I sit in silence. We sit in silence, simply watching it, He from the shadows, I in the light.

The room has changed color again. It must have changed when I said my name, I realize. It turned to a light grey, with specks of blue in it. I’ve always liked the color blue. It was the calm before the storm.

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

“It’s not bouncing any higher.”

I jump somewhat as the shadow speaks. He does not often speak for Himself – rather, He hides. He remains in the background, and unbeknownst to others does He pull at the chess pieces. “It would not. It already reached the highest it could go.”

“Who said that,” He asks, a permanent grin etched into His hollow face, His red eyes the only color but His shining fangs.

“Physics. Whoever made the universe. Gravity. There’s millions of answers.”

We are silent again as we contemplate what was said briefly, without hesitation. I am often hesitant. He is not. I think in the silence. I think in noise too. But often, I think in silence. No words need be said. Simply meditation without reflection, thoughts without truly thinking. I see my life pass by. I see it fade. I see nothing.

I open my eyes.

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

“You’re still dreaming,” the shadow reaffirms. I nod absentmindedly. He tilts his head, still smiling – He always smiled. No matter what, He always smiled. “Why so morose,” He asks. He always thought Himself smart for the language he uses. Always left for somepony else to decipher His riddles.

“I am not sad, if that is what you think.”

“Then why don’t you smile?”

He’s got me there. Why aren’t I smiling?

I think some more. Once again, in silence.

Bounce.

I said silence.

Bounce.

“How am I supposed to think with this NOISE,” I shout angrily, rising.

Bounce.

“You could always stop the ball from bouncing.”

I sit back down, sighing, my outburst already wearing thin. My shadow sits with me. I did not see Him rise, but He always rose with me. “You and I both know what would happen then.”

“Would it be so bad,” He asks. His question is genuine.

“Depends,” I respond.

Bounce. Bounce.

“On what?”
“What?”
“On what does it depend?”
“I suppose it depends on from whose point of view it’s from.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because, if it is from my point of view, the ball does not matter. How high or how low it is, it doesn’t matter – It still exists, and sooner or later, it must stop bouncing.”

I shake my head, confused.

Bounce.
Bounce.

“… Who spoke, just now?”

The shadow smiles. “Who do you think spoke?”

“… Would it be so bad,” I ask him, watching the ball closely.

“What do you think, Discord?”

The room is nearly black now. My face feels wet and cold. I realize there are tears on it. I wonder how they got there. I see the ball.

Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce.

Bounce.

“… I think the bounces are getting less frequent now.”

“I think you might be right,” He says.

“Really,” I say, a small, grateful smile starting to grow on my face.

“Yes,” he says, his own smile lessening to match mine, but more… sympathetic.

“It’s nice to be believed in,” I say, the words dripping out of my mouth like honey, sweet on the tongue.

“Yes,” my shadow responds, smiling. We both turn in the silence. The room is black, and it is hard to see Him now. His eyes and his small smile are the only things I can see now.

I look forward blindly. “I can’t see anymore,” I say softly, hoping He can hear me. It is nice to know someone is there to listen. To hear. To understand.

A pause.

Another pause.


“Yes,” I finally hear, and my heart sighs in relief. “It is hard to see now,” He remarks. As he speaks, the room gets darker still. I cannot see my own claw in front of my face.

We are silent, and the room is silent. There is no light – only darkness. Time is irrelevant in darkness, I learn. We spend seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years in darkness without ever realizing it. It all passes by faster than I can blink – and I could not tell if I could blink. For there was no change in light or dark to know.

My eyes have been open for days now. Weeks. Months. Years.

I saw everything.

Bounce.

Yet I am now blind.


“… Discord?”
“Yes, my shadow?”
“Can you get me my ball?”
“But I cannot see it.”

“That’s alright,” my shadow says. “Do you want me to take it for you? I promise I’ll give it back soon.”

I smile listlessly, my body relaxing as he suggests this. “Thank you, my shadow… It truly is a burden.”

I see a claw in the darkness. It reaches out.

“Thank you,” I say, “for taking my burden, Discord.”

“Of course… My Shadow…”

*~*~*~*~

“How long has he been like this,” Luna asked. Together, she and Celestia stood in the hospital wing of Canterlot castle. Discord sat before them, his eyes shut and his face stuck with an everlasting smile. Nurses and Doctors of the highest caliber rushed around for a medical explanation to this.

Celestia sighed, looking at his motionless body. “Ever since Tirek came back, he’s been acting aloof… confused… He started mumbling to himself… I should have seen the signs… He came to me for help, Luna, questioning right from wrong, good versus evil…” Celestia bowed her head, feeling tears rising to her eyes. “He was lost in the dark, and I, the Princess of the Sun and of Light, could not save him from it.”

Luna looked at her sister sorrowfully. She had been horribly concerned about Discord, and Luna had some suspicious of the first embers of love sparking between the two – But now this catastrophe had happened. Celestia sobbed while Discord lie there, presumably in a coma.

Luna left Celestia to her misery, pulling aside the nearest nurse. “Excuse me, but do you know anything more about his condition?”

The nurse bowed respectively. “I’m sorry, Princess, but the only thing we’re certain about is that he’s absolutely not dead.” She shook her head, glancing over the papers. “it’s so strange... His mind has shut down entirely, but his heart is still pumping. By all rights, he shouldn’t be alive – But he’s still got a beating heart, and he’s still breathing.”

Luna shook her head, glancing at her sister. Celestia stood alone, watching the body for any signs of movement – any at all. A wink, a smirk, anything to show that this is a joke. He would never voluntarily put himself into a coma unless everything was going wrong… Tell me, show me something, Discord… What went wrong??

She jumped as Luna gently laid her hoof on her shoulder. Celestia looked at her, then glanced once at the body. “Come sister,” Luna said softly. “It is time to return to our rooms.” Celestia sniffed and nodded, confused and afraid for her kingdom if even the God of Chaos was in this state.

Both ponies turned and trotted back to their respected rooms. Nurses and Doctors scrambled about, trying to file paperwork and investigate into the mysterious illness that had taken the draconequus. Not a single pony, in all of them that passed him that day, realized that the body left no shadow on the sheets where it lay.

After all, a shadow cannot cast a shadow.

Author's Note:

Not sure if I'm going to keep this one chapter, or continue it. Marked Incomplete for now, in case more ideas for the story come. :P

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