• Published 21st Jan 2015
  • 4,062 Views, 198 Comments

The Mailmare - Bad Horse

The Equestrian Postal Carrier's Hoofbook lists three circumstances under which mail service may be suspended. The end of the world is not one of them.

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6. Everfree

Derpy held her wings out at full length and looked down as the Everfree rolled by far below. From this height, it looked like a thin coating of moss on the world. Delicate, like you could scrape it off with a knife. Ponies feared this place more than any other now, but Derpy found it relaxing. It was the only place she felt safe anymore.

Well, not safe, exactly. But as long as you were well-fed and rested, and could fly over and well above the whole thing without stopping, it was relatively safe. Safer than the plains north and south of it, anyway, which were infested by ponies more malevolent and cunning than anything in this forest.

If some great winged beast rose from the forest to snatch her from the sky, at least she’d see it coming a long way off. At least it would be a predator that had some kind of birthright to do it. It wouldn’t try to frighten her, or justify itself to her, or try to make her confess that she deserved it.

Ponies thought this was where the world’s sickness had started. But as she looked at the miles of green stretching out in every direction—it looked green to her now; the eternal sunset had stripped her world of all but shades of red and brown, but her mind had begun to learn to repaint it—she realized they had got it backwards. This was the only healthy place left. Everywhere else, where ponies had ordered wind, clouds, rain, and plants to their liking, it had all died when the ponies stopped forcing it. Twisted to meet the needs of ponies, it had lost the will to live. As she would have if the raiders had kept her for their needs.

The sickness didn’t come from here, she thought. It came from us.

The Everfree had already surged back over the boundaries ponies had set for it, spreading out in slow, leafy waves. She imagined it rolling east and west and north and south until it reached the mountains and the sea, burying farms, cities, and ponies in a warm blanket of green.

“Don’t worry about me,” she whispered to the forest far below. “I’m on your side now.”