• Published 24th Apr 2012
  • 9,572 Views, 170 Comments

The Adventures of Vampire Cheerilee - totallynotabrony

  • ...

Chapter 2

Many thanks to Doctor Whooves for the new cover art.

Warning: bloody dead bunnies ahead. That sounds funnier than it actually is. If you don’t like gore, do a ctrl+F and skip to the word “morning”

By themselves, trees were not scary. Even in groups, there was little they could do but sway in the wind. However, there was something different about the Everfree Forest. The trees somehow seemed more sinister. The winds they swayed to were not pony-created.

The entire Forest was abnormal. Dangerous, freakish creatures lived there, and the whole area was shrouded in sinister mystery. Ponies had disappeared there. Young foals were warned never to approach Everfree.

The only pony Cheerilee knew who tread there without fear was Valiant, but he didn’t count because he was insane. She looked worriedly at the dark leafy canopy above her head. Gaining fangs and a lust for blood hadn’t done anything to the uneasiness that she felt while in the Forest.

There was no other place for her to go, however. No other place offered privacy and an abundance of wildlife. Cheerilee’s eyes, more keen than they had been one week earlier, picked out a light trace in the undergrowth. It was a faint path traversed by rabbits as they hopped from one place to another.

It was on this very path that Cheerilee had killed for the first time. Not even swatting flies with her tail had ever involved death. It just wasn’t in her nature, or at least it hadn’t been. Only days ago, here in the forest, she had discovered just how much things had changed.

Cheerilee turned and walked parallel to the path. She’d find a rabbit eventually. She wondered vaguely how these new instincts had manifested. It felt like she was letting things happen automatically, and without input from a rational part of her brain.

There was movement up ahead, and the pony crouched slowly down into the bushes. A brown rabbit came along, looking oh-so-tasty. Cheerilee stayed as still as a rock.

The bunny stopped, sensing something was wrong. Its little nose wiggled, trying to determine if there was a threat in the area. Cheerilee launched herself out of hiding, slamming into the rabbit with her forehooves. While it would have been less messy to simply hold the rabbit down while she quickly nipped its neck, the struggling creature was difficult to contain and required a quicker dispatch.

Pony jaws are not particularly powerful, but Cheerilee’s teeth had no problems slicing through the tender flesh. The rabbit’s throat was opened, and its struggles began to grow weaker as blood gushed from its jugular.

Cheerilee shook her head, her teeth digging deeper into the limp body of the rabbit. The taste of blood was on her tongue, and she felt determined to drink more.

Somewhere amid the conclusion of the hunt, the quiet noises of the dying creature, and the sight of flowing crimson liquid, Cheerilee managed to override her instincts. Her knees buckled and she fell to the ground next to the mutilated rabbit. Sobbing, she rolled away from the kill, her mind a nonfunctioning wreck. She slowly cried herself to sleep.

Morning was not particularly apparent under the thick cover of trees. Cheerilee blinked in the dim light. Several seconds passed before she remembered why she was sleeping in the forest.

Cheerilee rolled over. At the sight of the dead rabbit next to her, she felt the need to be sick. It angered her slightly that her body did not comply. What was the point in being horrified if you couldn’t react like a normal pony?

She got up, carefully avoiding some blood that had dried during the night. The crusty red pool had spread out into a shape that vaguely resembled one of the flowers in her cutie mark. Cheerilee shuddered.

At the edge of the trees, it became apparent how high in the sky the sun had already risen. In a panic, Cheerilee galloped back towards Ponyville. While the fur coat that everypony wore was sufficient to protect from medium amounts of sun, a vampire’s eyes were sensitive.

That, and she was going to be late for school.

Cheerilee dashed inside her house and confronted the bathroom mirror. The old pony tales were not completely true. She had no problems looking at her reflection. It was lucky that she hadn’t encountered anypony in the streets, or they would have been horrified by the residual blood around her mouth.

After splashing some water on her face, Cheerilee touched up her mane with a brush. A shower would have been nice, but since becoming a monster she hadn’t really been perspiring. Nopony would notice.

With only minutes to spare, Cheerilee made it to the school building. As she walked in the door, she remembered the graded papers sitting on her kitchen counter. Oh well, they could be returned the next day.

Cheerilee had been a teacher long enough that she could tune out her brain and follow the lesson plan without really thinking about it. It bore a disturbing similarity to letting her instincts take over as she attacked small animals.

Mercifully, she was able to suppress most of the bad memories and the day went by quickly. After the last student was out the door, Cheerilee packed up her things and went over to the library for an appointment with Twilight. The purple unicorn had been supportive of her condition, although she had the annoying tendency to ask uncomfortable questions.

Valiant was in the front room when Cheerilee came in. He was working on something and looked up when he heard the door open.

“Hey, can I interest you in a t-shirt?” He held up some kind of garment. “Ten bits,” he said.

“What’s it for?” asked Cheerilee, deciding to humor him.

“You can have a shirt with some kind of witty slogan on it so everyone thinks you’re clever. Or, if you just want to be random and weird, you can wear one that has a non-sequitur, like, say…narwhals.”

Cheerilee had no idea what a whale had to do with anything, and perhaps that was Valiant’s point. Luckily, Twilight walked in and whisked Cheerilee into another room.

“One of his get-rich-quick schemes,” Twilight said, rolling her eyes. She invited the other pony to sit at the kitchen table. “So, have there been any new developments?”

“I was…out last night,” said Cheerilee.

Twilight nodded. “Valiant said something about that.”

“I feel terrible.”

The unicorn got out a notebook. She hovered a quill over the paper.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Cheerilee.

“But maybe if we understood what was going on, we might be able to help,” pleaded Twilight. “You could control yourself better.”

“I don’t want to be in control when I’m doing these things,” said Cheerilee, her voice rising. “When I’m tearing apart some cute little bunny, I want the instincts to take care of it. I don’t want that to be me, my own mind doing it.”

“Come to the dark side, Cheerilee,” called Valiant from the other room. “It’s pretty cool, not gonna lie. We have parties every Saturday and go bowling once a month.”

Cheerilee let her face drop to the table, grunting slightly with pain, but not caring. “Why me? Why can’t we do anything?”

Twilight put the quill down. “I’ve been over all kinds of literature, but I’ve never found any clue that a cure might exist. The only sure way to change back is to eliminate the one who turned you.”

Cheerilee raised her head enough to peer at Twilight from across the table. “Valiant?” she asked quietly.

“I have no idea. I mean, yes, that’s who it is, but since he’s not a vampire anymore, I don't know if killing himwill work." Twilight’s voice was equally subdued. It was clear that neither one wanted this conversation to leave the room.

Cheerilee sat up. Twilight studied her face. The school teacher looked like she was deep in thought.

“Are you considering…” asked the unicorn.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, he’s hard to kill.”

Cheerilee looked up sharply. “You’ve tried?”

Twilight flushed. “Oh, no. It’s just that there’s no way somepony as apparently idiotic as he is could have survived so long without some kind of tricks.”

“His robots?” asked Cheerilee.

“Well, that’s part of it. Personally, though, I think he’s just really, really lucky.”

“And I’m great at eavesdropping,” said Valiant.

Cheerilee whirled around, glaring at the smugly grinning stallion. “How long were you listening?”

“Since you walked in, pretty much.” He waved a hoof dismissively. “You don’t have it in you to murder anyone.” His face brightened. “But that’s good. As long as you feel that way, you’ll be nervous around small animals for fear of hurting them. I bet bring-your-pet-to-school-day will be hilarious.”

He walked away, and it sounded like he was doing something in the other room.

“How does anypony get to be so infuriating?” asked Cheerilee.

“Well, he may actually be from a different dimension and isn’t really a pony,” explained Twilight.

“Wait, that’s true?”

Twilight laughed nervously. “Oh no, we don’t have repeatable data to prove it conclusively. Unfortunately, we can’t entirely disprove it, either.”

Cheerilee stared at her. “I don’t think it’s up for debate. He either is, or he isn’t.”

Twilight sighed. “I’m sorry. Right now, the scientific method is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy when I’m dealing with Valiant.”

The stallion popped his head in. “I’m going to the market. Do you need anything?”

“Can you pick up a quart of milk?” asked Twilight. Valiant nodded and departed the library.

“What?” said the unicorn upon seeing the look Cheerilee was giving her. “He may be nuts, but he’s good with groceries.”