• Published 15th Aug 2015
  • 3,086 Views, 145 Comments

What is Left - OnionPie



Five years of cheap thrills in the big city has left Sweetie Belle in bad debt with dangerous ponies. Forced to pay up, she returns to Ponyville to seek money from an estranged sister she loathes with a passion.

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10. The Other Follows

When I woke, the room was bright. I blinked, but didn’t squint. My headache was gone.

Gray daylight shone through the windows. Rain drummed against the glass. The grandfather clock ticked in the corner.

Rarity lay in bed beside me, eyes closed. It looked like she was sleeping: calm, beautiful, and for the first time since I came back, she didn’t look sad.

I touched her cheek, and she was cold. This was her one wish, to fall asleep and never wake again. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand. But I had granted her wish out of love, and it left a crushing emptiness in my heart.

I pressed my head to hers and stayed there a long while. I breathed in deep to smell her perfume—something to remember, something to cling to when I returned to the cold world outside.

“Goodbye,” I whispered, leaving a lingering kiss on her forehead. And with a numbing sadness, I pulled away from her and got out of bed.

A corpse in a raincoat lay on the floor. I knew he would be dead, but I had to be sure. All color had fled his burned face. Blood and foam coated his mouth. He was gone—choked on his own poisons, just like me.

I untied the golden lace and pulled mom’s dress off over my head. I held it for a moment. It smelled like smoke, and there were black spots of ash on it. I folded it the way Rarity had taught me years ago, and left it on the bedside.

The sound of rain rushed inside when I opened the front door. The garden glistened with water, the sky above a dull gray. A column of smoke still rose from the town’s heart.

With my contract void, I was free to disappear somewhere so far from my debts and memories I’d never hear my name again. But the hunger would return in a day, and I would find a way back to the lake to see Rarity’s smiling blue eyes in a world that wasn’t broken.

Rain washed dry blood and tears from my face as I walked away from my sister’s house for the last time. There were no pieces to put back together again, no wounds left to heal. Nothing was left.

Just like the lilies, when one withers, the other follows.

Author's Note:

And here we are at the end of the road. Thank you for reading my story. Please do let me know what you thought of it. I'd love to hear from you.

Comments ( 89 )

Oh...... oh damn.... I-I didn't expect this outcome..... well done sir.

6325540
Thank you. And thanks for reading. How do you feel?

6325570 Conflicted and sad due to the fact that it STILL seems that Sweetie Belle and Rarity never patched things up.... but I'm glad Chuck-Chuck got offed.

6325574 They kinda did, I think. At least as much as they could. I personally hate suicide, but this story made me empathize with Rarity's feeling that it was too late for anything else, even if I might hope someone in a similar situation might seek help instead of making that choice. But for me, that feeling of empathy carries much of the story's impact and power.

I know its what she wanted but CURSE YOU!!! HOW DARE YOU KILL RARITY YOU COULD HAVE HAD A SWEET ENDING BETWEEN SISTERS!!!! still its a good story all in all. I approve.

6326961
Thanks for reading. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it despite the sad ending. I love tragedy.

6327033 its bitter sweet

6327081
Just the way I like it.

6325478 The best way to wake up. ^.^

Ironic deaths are always fun choking on your own poison and Rarity taking the selfish way out.

Yep, that story was pretty messed up, damn good to.

Many tears have been had... again. I think I already gushed about what an incredible, heartbreaking story this was, so I'll spare you this time. (Even though it was really beautiful and painful and magnificent and I'm just dying over here.:raritydespair:)

6327509
Maybe I should change my name to CoffeePie. Always glad to be of service in the morning.
6327622
I'm glad you enjoyed it. There is a lot of symbolism and irony in the story if you have a good eye for it.
6328526
No, no, please don't hold back the gush. I never really got to ask you what you thought and felt about the story in detail. Please let it spill. I would love to hear. Just make sure to use 'spoiler'

6328578 You asked for it.


I absolutely adored the whole play on the lilies, how the one head withered, the other followed, and I'm pretty sure you did it on purpose, but one is blue and the other is white, and Rarity's eyes are blue, while Chuck-Chuck's eyes are white. And the feeling-- you describe it all so well, and I could almost feel like I was right there experiencing it along with Sweetie. When she was dragged into the fight with Chuck-Chuck, I felt her terror. When she sat beside her dead sister all alone but for the company of her drugs, I felt her pain. Throughout the story, I could feel her regret, her sadness, her terror and it was all so real. And all the little connections between one life and another-- her sister's life, with the lilies, and her life, with the poisons and the drugs and the pain, it was all so ironic and connections like that are some of my favorites in stories. And you wrote it all so well-- barely any errors, nothing to jar me out of the story, and so I got so caught up in it. The sadness, the terror, the adrenaline, you write it all so well, so realistically.

And yeah... I think that's all.:twilightblush:

6328619
Thank you for the detailed response. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside that you enjoyed it so much. As for the colors of the lilies--one white head and one blue--did you notice any other use or mention of those colors in the story? Rarity's dress is blue. Sweetie Belle's dress is white. After the fire, Rarity's dress is smudged with black soot (like a withering dream lily). In one scene, Chuck-Chuck asks if Sweetie knows "why most poisons are white, and so many antidotes are blue?" The poison Chuck-Chuck uses on the sisters is white in color, the antidote--the lily's sap--is blue. There's a lot of symbolism play with those two colors. Rarity views Sweetie Belle as poison, Sweetie views Rarity as her antidote--the cure to her problems. If you ever re-read, maybe you'll pick up on a few more of them.

I really enjoyed this story. I just reread it to catch the symbolism I missed which just made it an even better story.

I loved the way this fic was written, it felt so real and honest and really made me sympathize with both Rarity and Sweetie Belle's struggles.

6330234
Wow. I'm flattered you took the time to reread it. I wove in a lot of motifs and metaphors and symbolism into the narrative for readers to catch up on. Wanna tell me (in spoiler) what symbolism you noticed? I'd love to hear.

6330612
Absolutely! (Sorry if it sounds a little rushed, I jotted down my thoughts during my lunch break)

The first time I read it, I read it with a focus primarily on Rarity and Sweetie Belle's relationship. Sweetie Belle constantly holds on to an idealized version of her sister that she always goes back to and has trouble coming to terms with how much things have changed. She thinks that maybe if she just reaches out a bit and maybe if she is strong enough they can patch things up even though Rarity sees her as a toxic person, a poison, that she let take advantage of her generosity for too long.

When I read through the second time, I noticed the color symbolism (embarrassingly, I could not remember the color of Rarity’s dress during my first read through so I missed a lot.) I did notice (and correct me if I'm wrong, it's been awhile since I looked) that the color of their dresses matched their state of mind during the story. Sweetie Belle's white dress symbolized her desire to wipe the slate clean while Rarity's blue dress symbolized her depressed state of mind.

6332507
Let me refer you to something Chuck-Chuck said:

“Do you know why most poisons are white?” he asked through the glittering smoke. “And why so many antidotes are blue?”

6328578 Maybe. That would be cute. But OnionPie is cute too...

>3<

6328578

Maybe I should change my name to CoffeePie.

No, because then I'd have to change mine to OnionMinion, which...

...I mean, OK, I guess I'm basically there... :rainbowwild:

6342082
Heh. OnionMinion. But no, I'm not seriously considering changing my user name, despite how much I love coffee.

6328830 I did not notice the symbolism in the dresses, so thanks for pointing that out, plus a few others. And I probably will reread it as soon as I have time.

I have to say, this whole story was quite.. depressing. I was quite literally on the verge of tears with the greenhouse part. It almost had me convinced Sweetie Belle and Rarity could have some sort of a happy ending. But then you, author, tore my heart a little with the previous chapter.. I applaud you. I'm not even sure how to feel about Sweetie Belle not saving Rarity. Even if she had any chance of living considering the overdose. As I said above, this whole story breaks my heart a little bit.

I also would like to say this is a good example of symbolism in a story I've read so far. It's not so hidden to the point of being pointless, but it isn't so obvious to the point you'll catch it all in your first read. So you did an excellent job balancing that out. I'd be too nervous to try my hand at it, in fear of screwing up.

I may have missed it, but we were never told the amount of debt Sweetie owed? although, the amount itself wouldn't have changed the story that much, just something I noticed. Over all, a very good story. I'll consider checking out your other works.

6349347
Thank you for commenting. I see I've managed to raise your hopes and dash them quite expertly. I love tragedy. In a lot of ways, losing something makes you cherish it more than if you kept it.

You shouldn't be nervous about adding symbolism to your own writing; it's a lot easier than you might think. Symbolism and motifs and themes only truly become apparent once the first draft is fully written--it's more something you add in later when you find something fitting than something you weave in along the way.

As for your question, no, Sweetie's exaxt debt is never revealed. This is intentional, and as you pointed out, it wouldn't have any relevance to the story anyway. All the reader needs to know is that it's enough to get killed over, but not so much that a wealthy sister can't cover it.

holy crap this made me cry...:fluttercry:

6379632
I'm sorry. Which part made you tear up? In spoiler please. :twilightsmile:

6400359
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and it's inspiring to know that you did. I'll continue doing my best to do the sad genre justice. Hopefully you'll enjoy my next one.

Was worried a bit when I saw the tradegy tag, but I did like the ending, it works.
Wish I could make something as sad as yours

I really do not know why this was featured on Equestria DAily... It really isn't a very good story at all to be honest. Least not good enough to have a feature.

Largely it has a massive flaw. You killed a canon character and, more so, have to ignore the White and Blue alicorns in the room to do so.
What fool would threaten an element of harmony? Ther ewould be no survival. Just death for them.

More so, sweetie belle was in a situation where her sister was in danger....... She could have blasted the guy and woken Rarity up, and then they could give him a sisterly beat down.

Tragedy is not something that can be easily executed in a world where Friendship itself can manfiest as power.

6327033 Tragedy can be every bit as lazy as a happy go lucky, everything is perfect ending. In this case, i find it lazy. Emotional, but lazy. She is a unicorn who has to protect her sister. And there is no way Celestia would not have ponies keeping an eye on the mane six to prevent this.

:ajbemused:

I find this about as believable as some guy who's buddies with President Obama not going up to Obama and asking, "Say, could you maybe protect me from these Russian mobsters who are trying to kill me." when he knows they're coming for him.

Seriously, the characters have to actively avoid all mode of thought so they can't get help from the MOST POWERFUL BEINGS IN THEIR WORLD, whom they know personally.

This story could have worked with background ponies... if it had some better construction overall to boot... it just feels very haphazardly tossed together... NOT with main characters who know the leaders of their nation AND who happen to be part of the super-important magical weapon.

6500830
6501784
Thank you for the feedback--I appreciate it. The two of you point out the same thing, namely that nearly everyone of note in the universe knows some all-powerful being or other that can at any time, without effort, swoop in and solve all their problems. That just seems like lazy storytelling to me; characters should have to overcome their own problems and hardships. Regardless, Rarity never really knows that she or Sweetie Belle is in danger. And if Sweetie Belle's own sister has become a stranger to her, she certainly won't be close friends with heads of state that she interacted with on rare occasions as a child. And even if she were, she'd be faced with the choice of going into hiding for life (her debt wouldn't disappear) or simply getting the money from Rarity, pay off her debts, and move on with her life--the latter option certainly seeming optimal.

6502033 I did not state that some force would swep in and solve all theri problems. I said there would be things that could protect them from threats on her life.
And as i said, Rarity is one of the mane six. There is no way a criminal would even think about harming one of them because that would bring down the wrath of the regal sisers.
That is the difference here you see. A normal pony would have a lot more threat to them in this circumstance. Sweetie belle being connected to Rarity would mean that harming her would affect rarity, which would come to the attention of the regal sisters themselves.

And even then, as i said, someone was threatening her sister, and Sweetie belle is a unicorn. She could have blasted him, or created a massively loud noise to wake rarity up, or levitated the guy and slammed him against a wall several times. There are factors well beyond just their connection to the Regal Sisters. Even if this was applebloom and applejack instead, it would apply. Earth ponies are very, very strong. Thus she could have tackled the assailant and smashed him through the wall.
And in both circumstances if the assailant managed to overpower sweetie or applebloom, they would be attacked by a likely enraged big sister who would have been awakened by the commotion, and who have fought off far more dangerous foes and won than some two bit laonshark of a bsatard.

6501784 Even if it weren't for that. Ponies kinda have powers. Sweetie could have blsated him with magic or thrown somethign at him, or even snatched the poison away to begin with.
So even if we had it be Dinky and Sparkler the same circumstances apply. IF it were applebloom and applejack instead, still same circumstances. Hell even worse for the guy. He would ahve to somehow deal with an enraged and protective little sis with super strength throwing herself at him, and THEN with a even more pissed of big sis who would wake up from the commotion.

It is a story that is not well adapted.

6502033 Uhm, the ponies in question are criminals who commit murder.

Murder tends to be a crime. As is all activity regarding these sorts of 'loans' from gangsters and other unsavory sorts.

Plus, Celestia and Luna are MONARCHS, which basically means the law is whatever the heck they say it is as a moment's notice. If they decide they don't like the ponies threatening Sweetie... well...

Me thinks this is a case where Discord's pedestal might get some new additions.

6502225
I'm sorry I misunderstood you. Thanks again for the feedback.

This is the first of your stories I have read onion pie and I am stunned by this beautiful piece of work. Powerful, engaging and highly emotional, this is one of the few fics where I have had to read it from beginning to end without breaks or stopping.

I congratulate you on this mini masterpiece and look forward to reading your other written works both present and future @:3

6520332
You've warmed my heart quite expertly. Thank you very much for the encouragement--you've given me a tremendous boost. I'm glad you enjoyed my story, and I hope I won't disappoint with my next one.

6764983
You might be surprised how many don't pick up on the blood foreshadowing. You have a good eye.

6766134
I would still say that it was a bit heavy, though I suppose that's more of a stylistic choice. You get better at interweaving your color scheme as the story continued. Over all I liked it quite a bit, though I do still feel that certain bits of color foreshadowing were a bit heavy handed (the detail of the leaves as blood and gold was the one that stuck out a bit far for me), and others provided some great set ups that were tied together well latter on (the white and blue bandages in the beginning comes to mind). The fact that the other mane six are barely mentioned does detract from the story a bit, but due to the scope of the story it is more than understandable as to why they aren't there. The ending I do believe was well done, and I could feel the emotions underlying the choices of the characters though out it.

I look forward to perusing your other works, and am glad that you are pursing original fiction.

6767711
Thank you very much for the feedback, and thanks for taking the time to read my story. It's always nice when people leave comments.

That was a downer, but well done. The pace was very good, each chapter kept me hooked, and the ending was not expected.

And screw you for killing Rarity.

6787807
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm relieved to hear that every chapter kept you hooked--I really tried to keep it interesting all the way through when writing it. Sorry about the thing.

6787901 No need for the apology! I was being a bit facetious with the "screw you".

6789436
No worries. I know. :twilightsmile:

I read this all in one go, since it was very addicting even though the various other parts of the internet keep trying to distract me - and my own writing. I loved how I could analyze this and enjoy it as a story, since picking out symbols and motifs happens to be a favorite of mine when reading. However, it seems you were not in your element when you wrote this...
...You went above and beyond your element, creating a story in your signature bittersweet style as well as one that I can only describe as Shakespearean in how the tragedy plays out .
Even though Rarity is often very, very easy to use poorly and write in a way that is vapid and annoying, you avoided all that. For this, your story will be going in my favorites.
The last line was my favorite provided a paradoxical end: did Sweetie perish as well? Will there be a sequel or is this beautiful little bit of symbols going to be where the curtain falls?
My only issue is that i can only favorite/upvote this once. Such an injustice.

Now if you excuse me, I need to set up a camp here to wait for when you publish more horse words while I sit and type out my own during the wait.

6792721
That's quite some praise. Thank you very much. It's cool to hear that you liked reading about Rarity in this story. What about her did I do differently than others that made you enjoy her so much?

And there are more horse words coming, don't you worry. Camp for as long as you want.

6794217

*whee camping*

Well, characters whose personalities depend on them being very feminine in a cardboard damsel in distress or passive role and who pay more attention to their appearance than a quick look in the mirror during an important scene - shallow behaviors of whatever kind, I guess - can get on my nerves very fast, since being vapid is a hard way to be understandable (and characters are like friends after all, vapid friends don't make for very good company). Here - with Sweetie as a contrast - she felt more subdued, elegant, mature and simply lady-like. An excellent foil as well as deuteragonist.

6803408
The contrast between them is what made them so enjoyable to write. They're opposites on the outside, but deep down surprisingly similar as well. And today I learned that deuteragonist was a word. Thanks for that.

6803553

*hat tip* :scootangel:

*hat falls off* :applecry:

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