• Member Since 2nd May, 2014
  • offline last seen Jul 20th, 2016

Foxy E

I tried my hand at writing in the winter of '13 and discovered a life-long passion.


Before she left, Twilight told Applejack not to open the door. But when leaving the door shut means compromising her values, how long can Applejack hold out?

Written for the December 2014 writeoff: "Behind Closed Doors"

Side note: I've done some general edits and (hopefully) improved the ending. [26/02/2015]

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 30 )

Glad you think so. :twilightsmile:

I wrote a review of this story; it can be found here.

This is certainly different from the writeoff version. On the one hand, I liked the original's more ominous ending, but this one wrapped things up nicely too


Ri2 #7 · Mar 2nd, 2015 · · 1 ·

Good job, Applejack! You've killed your brother, destroyed your home, and are quite likely infected. Truly you are Best Pony!
No, wait, no you aren't. You aren't at all.

Guided by earth pony magic, the apples fell neatly into the buckets.

I always wondered how they did that :ajsmug:

Clocking in at 2000 words shorter is the original draft of The Sunset Room, which I submitted to the December writeoff. It's worth checking out some of the other entries. It was a pretty good batch!

I can totally see AJ doing this. Her pride has frequently been an issue for her. I loved this line here:

It hadn’t enough that her brother was taken care of, had it? It had to be her taking care of him. Had to be her saddling the burden, making the sacrifices.

I'm glad to hear that. One of the issues with the writeoff version was the ridiculous amount of fridge logic, including why AJ would open the door in the first place. That you think her actions are believable means I did my job :twilightsmile:

This was good. This was...really really good. The writing was taut and tense, and it was heartbreaking. Even though I knew that it would end badly, I found myself hoping against all hope that Big Mac would be okay somehow. That through all this darkness he would survive, somehow. I can say I saw the end coming, but not in the way that it did, if that makes sense. Even I did not think the consequences of Applejack's actions would lead to this.

And perhaps Big Mac could have been brought back. Could have been, had Applejack's pride for not being able to be the one to carry him through hadn't been her ultimate downfall. Of course, it sounds like Big Mac might have been beyond help even with all of Twilight's knowledge and magic. There are things that even the Princesses cannot prevent.

I like to think that Applejack survives this incident.

Also, I can't help but think that Big Mac was being turned into a Timber Wolf, or something similar. Maybe that's how they're created....


I like to think that Applejack survives this incident.


Also, I can't help but think that Big Mac was being turned into a Timber Wolf


Very well written, though once again I'm left to wonder if Applejack tried headbutting trees before switching to bucking.

I just knew it that Big Mac's turning into some sort of Zombie!

This is beautifully tragic and painful on Applejack's side. Losing nearly everything precious to her and possibly getting infected all because of her stupid rotten pride.

I do think the original version of this was definitely much creepier; this one is dark, but it lacks that creeping, unknown horror that the original really had going in it, that sense of 'Something wrong, alien had been contained within the room...and Applejack let it out.

The original ends with the chill of 'Containment has been broken. The infection is loose. Equestria may well be doomed'; here, it's 'Applejack done fucked up, but really all that happened is her house burned down and maybe she dies.'

I definitely think the motivations are improved in here, but at the cost of the horrifying elements.

I read the original after this one, and I like the ambiguity of the new ending better. In the first one, it's highly likely that AJ is infected. In this one, there's a little uncertainty; maybe she is, maybe she isn't, there hasn't been enough time for us to know.

What we do know is that she's pretty much destroyed her family regardless. If she doesn't go the same way Mac did, she has to live with those consequences. You get the feeling that she'd much prefer that it be the former rather than the latter.

All in all, really well done. You get the worry and the tragedy coming across very nice, with the reveal and the fight at the end handled quite well. Nice piece, well earned Like.

I question why no one thought to use a ladder to look in his window, to see how he was doing that way, but of course that would ruin the whole point of the story. :twilightsmile:


Not sure that I would agree that all the horrifying elements disappeared, but yeah, I did sacrifice a good few of them.

(On a misty night in the old bog behind the cemetery, knife in hand and sacrificial beast unwilling, I did foul things to contact and contract the elder forces.)

I lost the punchiness of the original ending, but I struggle to see how I could balance the weaker elements of the story and conserve it. Something like that is beyond my current skill level. I'd be interested to hear any different ways you would have done it! It might shine a light on some tool of structure that I didn't consider.


I question why no one thought to use a ladder to look in his window, to see how he was doing that way, but of course that would ruin the whole point of the story.


And yeah, if AJ survives, her life is going to be pretty hellish.

Have to sub-let the farm [x]
Destroy home [x]
Kill brother [x]
Betray trust of family and a dear friend [x]
Betray integrity [x]
Lingering injuries, which will stop her from applebucking into the near future, and maybe hinder her long after that [x]

And that all depends if she isn't infected herself.


The biggest two things I think would improve it are : You made the nature of the beast fairly understandable, and you left it with an ending that suggests that everything will be, if not fine, then at least contained.

The audience knows Timber Wolves, so they're not really creepy in the way a parasitic fungus or such would be; and the original ends on a note of 'AJ has just let it out, and infected herself, and we really have no idea what this is so for all we know he's a giant pulsating sac now about to explode and spray spores everywhere' sort of thing.

You can have a completely known horror be frightening - Silence of the Lambs does this pretty darn well - and while I, personally, almost always crave an explanation of what's going on, leaving bits unsaid or merely implied does go a very long way.

Cheers for that. It's something I'll have to think about. One of the marks of confidence as a writer, I think, is managing subtlety with a deft hand, and my hand has been anything but deft. :rainbowwild:

Maybe I'll continue the torture of everyone's favourite farmer write another horror and play around a bit. Maybe open that door just a crack, so people can glimpse the horror inside, rather than throwing it all the way open.

At this point, all a transformation into a Deadwood zombie like Mac would do is make Applejack feel she was "getting what came to her".

She's a monster on the inside now. Being transformed on the outside to match would only be fair, right?

The setup before the reveal was deliciously unsettling, and it’s nice how just a single instruction can bring that huge bundle of uncertainty.

Well, this was certainly an intriguing story. I don't normally read horror fics for MLP, but I'm really glad I read this one. I was on the edge of my seat with every paragraph, and I had to stop myself from just scrolling to the end to see what happened.

Overall, great story. You paced it well and I absolutely loved it.


I didn't like this story.

I didn't give it a thumbs down, because it wasn't bad. I've been thinking on this all day, and I think I've figured it out.

The writing isn't bad. It's definitely readable, good enough to draw someone in.

The pacing isn't bad.

The structure is bad.

Here you've got this story, and it starts out great. But pretty early on, I've already figured out what's going on, and everything after that lost its punch. There was zero tension after that. Why?

Because the entire buildup, all the tension and confusion and everything... it was all in AJ's head. The entire story, up to her opening the door, was about how AJ was feeling and thinking about the situation. She opens the door and *phhhhhtbbbt* the whole thing deflates into an action thriller/chiller with a condensed-but-highly-standardized resolution from there on.

I think you should have ended it the way you started it. In. Her. Head.

I think you could have done so much more with the last third of the story. I think you could have given it another two or three chapters. What's going on in her head, now that Mac's gone? Did the poison remain? Is AJ safe, or is her increasing paranoia a symptom of the infection? Did Apple Boom nick herself when she pulled out the splinter?

I hope you keep writing.

It was alright. Ending was good reflecting on Applejack's actions. Horror wise and dark not so much.

Seriously dude, I know people are kinda meh about this story, but you have way too much talent to give up on writing. Your style is a bit artsy for my tastes, but people like artsy. Near-poetry, I wanna say.

You did an excellent job on this! Loved it, and I loved how you kept AJ in character revealing that her stubborn pride is her downfall. I also love the Mac-Beast, excellent job!

I love this comment. I'm not the author, but I think this is a really well thought-out response, especially since you said you thought about it for quite a while. Myself, however, I enjoyed it quite a bit regardless, but I take things much more simply and at face value unless I'm being tugged under for the sake of clever and wit being bound into the words.

I do agree also that this could use a continuation of some sort, if the author so wishes to revisit it. I am very interested in finding out what Twilight's been doing for so long, especially for where it's taken her. Has she run away? Is she working on something else? Is she trying to repurpose this for her own use? Is it a curse or a possession?

I kinda saw the climax coming, but still enjoyed the read for what it was.

Do not open the door. What rubbish. Oh, she understood why she wasn’t allowed to see her brother – by sealing him away, Twi had prevented any contaminants from spreading – but it didn’t feel right. Her brother needed more than food and water and rest. He needed care. To deny him that was not the Apple family way.

Hey this is a Canadian TV show based in America based on the perspective of a Southerner. Why are there British terms in my Southern horse living in the USA through the eyes of a Canadian. Immersion ruined 0/10.

Haven't you ever played Tf2?
That's why Soldier says https://youtu.be/YK-a0HdCkLA?t=7

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