• Published 29th Apr 2012
  • 31,769 Views, 2,028 Comments

A Ghost Story - Elemist



A human's insubstantial adventures in Equestria.

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Chapter 1 - …as a doornail

I was bored. I was in Equestria and I was bored. Fan-freaking-tastic. I let out a sigh, inaudible to everything but myself and peered down at the slowly awakening marketplace below me. The sounds of vendors hawking their wares made their way to my ears and I let a small smile alight upon my face when I heard the familiar drawl of Applejack announcing to the world that she had fresh apples for sale.

Another sigh escaped my lips as I pondered said apples. What I wouldn’t give for a taste of a freshly picked Red Delicious from Sweet Apple Acres. Being insubstantial though left me with very few options on eating anything, let alone an apple. Almost two months since I had anything to eat…..I’d give my left testicle for a cheeseburger. On second thought maybe my left arm, I was rather attached to my testicles after all.

Seeing a flash of mint green below me, I quickly scanned the slowly building crowd of ponies and observed Lyra purchasing a saddlebag full of apples from my favorite Stetson wearing mare. Hmm, I hadn’t shadowed the silver and blue maned filly yet, it might be just the thing to stave off this boredom. As I slowly floated toward the unknowing mare below me, I began to think about the fateful night almost eight weeks ago when I had first appeared within Ponyville.

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I slumped down onto my mattress in my living/bedroom and let the days stresses melt into the springs below me. My throbbing head letting me know that I had tried to do too much today, a mixture of classwork, work, homework and finally a few hours of My Little Pony.

An aching head was nothing new to me; I had spent the last few weeks nursing them whenever I went to bed. I chalked this up to the immense amount of work my last semester of college was throwing at me combined with my drive to get as much pony related media mashed into the piece of meat I called a brain.

Tonight was particularly bad, with every heartbeat sending a searing throb of pain racing through my thick skull. Maybe I should go see the college’s health center in the morning, this amount of pain definitely wasn’t normal.

As the minutes began to tick away I wondered if I was going to be able to get to sleep with the incessant pounding between my ears. As I lay there a sudden sensation causes me to twitch in discomfort and I realize the searing pain I had been experiencing had suddenly ceased. About to release a sigh of relief I realize a small fact that should have been more pressing, I wasn’t breathing.

Sudden panic caused me to force myself off of my bed. Feeling oddly light I whirl around to a sight that makes me catch my non-existent breath. Laying on top my covers is a young man, almost six feet in height with long brown hair with a messy beard to match. Adorned with a pair of light brown slacks and a forest green button up shirt he looked very peaceful lying there.

I must say it was a new experience for me, gazing down at my own corpse. I wish I could have thought of some great philosophical debate about the fleeting mortality that we all shared but all I could think was how awkward it was going to be for my roommate to find me the next morning.

As I was pondering the look of shock my fun loving roommate would most likely be wearing when he went to wake me with his patented wet-willy alarm clock I felt a sudden sinking sensation wash over my “body” and felt the cold grip of terror as the light of the room fades into blackness. I floated in what appeared to be a sea of utter dark for what seems like eternity, of course thirty seconds feels like eternity for me if I don’t have something to occupy my mind.

The darkness slowly gave way to a faint light as I began to regain a feeling of solidarity. My bare feet hit what appeared to be a cold stone floor in what appeared to be tunnel of some sort. I looked down at my body and realized I was still wearing the clothes I had on when I went to bed. Huh, if I was dead shouldn’t I be naked? Or for that instance why do I even have a body to begin with? Maybe it was the fact that I just couldn’t imagine myself without clothes and what I saw was a mental construct.

A mystery for later then I decided, as I looked down the long tunnel before me and into the faint light ahead. Ah, the light at the end of the tunnel cliché, one of my favorites. As I started the trek before me a though raced through my head, ‘if this is a tunnel, then there has to be at least one more exit behind me.’ I slowly turned around to be faced with what appeared to be the same exact tunnel but with the distinct lack of light that the other direction afforded.

What to do, what to do? That was the question. Head towards the light or off into the darkness? What the hell might as well try the darkness? The soft patter of my feet slapping against the stone reverberate back to me as I pad towards the darkness in front of me. As I walk I come to the realization that I’m still not breathing, guess I didn’t need to since I was dead. Deciding to experiment I expand my chest and realize that I just pulled in a decent amount of stale air into my lungs. Apparently I could still breath but only if I put an active effort into it.

Shrugging my shoulders I continue onward into the dark, the light from behind me throwing a long shadow away from my feet to precede my steady march down the desolate tunnel. As I walk, the light behind me slowly fades into oblivion but for some strange reason I can see the tunnel in front of me better than I could before. The chiseled stone walls around me seem to fade to shades of gray, white and black as if I’m see the world like a high definition black and white television.

Gazing up from the gray floor in front of me I see that the tunnel seems to have a darkness emanating from it much the same way the light was emanating from the other end. As I continue my march down the hall I see the darkness is actually a figure of some kind. Not slowing my pace I approach the figure after a few minutes.

Before me floats what appears to be a cloud of black miasma in a vaguely humanoid form with a piercing pair of rose red eyes. The eyes shift to look over my frame and I realize what I mistook for a forlorn maliciousness within those eyes is actually nothing more than passive boredom.

Forcing a breath I ask “who are you, good sir?” My voice reverberating back of the walls as silence follows my inquiry.

After a minute or so of waiting a deep but definitely female voice responded “I am the gatekeeper…Who are you?”

Wincing only slightly at my mistake of accusing her of being the wrong gender, I respond with a certain amount of snarkyness, “I am the key master.”

The figure below blinks slowly and stares into my face. Feeling like I should have kept my mouth shut and my idiotic comments to myself I open my mouth to correct my earlier statement only for the gatekeeper to respond in a slow drawl, “took you long enough to get here.”

She turns to face one of the walls and hold her cloudy forelimbs up; clutching what appears to be a shadowy book of some kind in her arms, “so what world gate do you need me to open for you?”

I stood there in stunned silence for a few seconds wondering what my best course of action would be from there. Of course, I wouldn’t have ever come down this end of the tunnel if I hadn’t been willing to at least try, so with a tiny flicker of hope in my heart I whispered, “Equestria?”

The silence is almost palpable as the gatekeeper continues to peer at the book in her hands. After a few seconds she begins to flip through the book, mumbling softly. I strain to hear what she is saying but her mumbles remain unintelligible.

“Here we are, Equestria. It’s been a very long time since I had to open that gateway.” She says as she holds the book up in front of the rolling black cloud of a void that I had labeled as her face. After perusing the book for a moment she steps to the side of the tunnel, allowing me to peer beyond her into what appears to be pure blackness.

Looking towards her questioningly, she merely nods once gesturing for me to continue. Throwing all caution to the wind I walk past her, feeling those eyes staring at the back of my head as I pass. After a few more steps the darkness envelopes me in its cold embrace.

My trek down the tunnel is abruptly interrupted by the distinct lack of floor beneath my feet as I feel myself tumble forward, falling into the black void.