• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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The lava pool was relaxing. Rainbow Dash did everything but drown in it. She allowed herself to be soothed by the rising fumes, to be lulled to semi-consciousness by the warm vapors, to be pinched by the heated, rancid breath...

Her eyes flew open. Her nose was scrunched up. Something suddenly, horribly reeked of foul. She tilted her head, and a large drop of saliva hit her square between the eyes. When she winced, she wasn't the only thing in the cave hissing.

A gigantic, scaley frame of teeth was sailing down at her.

Instead of jerking straight up, she dove through the currents, shooting away like a torpedo as the edge of the pool behind her shattered to bits. She felt an unnatural wave of hot water pushing her to the far side of the underground basin. She lifted up, sputtering, her mane soaked. She glanced over to see the front half of a large reptilian mass. She saw six limbs, two massive tails, and a neck that looked like it was forged from pure granite. When the monstrocity raised its head from the edge of the pool, she saw four rows of teeth beneath its hissing jaws.

Gulping, Rainbow Dash glanced down. She squinted.

At the bottom of the pool there was a thin layer of glowing green rock that separated the rest of the cave from a seeded river of lava. However, just above that layer, nestled in groups of six, were large clusters of rust-red eggs.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes long and hard. She didn't have much time to gawk at the situation, for soon the gigantic lizard was scurrying towards her on six thunderous limbs. It uses its twin tails as a springboard and flung itself forward at her, jaw first.

The pegasus shot straight towards the ceiling. Water and pebbles splashed beneath her as the lizard impacted the floor. She flew up, grabbed a stalactite with her entire weight, and snapped it off. Coming back down, she snarled and flung the stone at the creature's skull at full-force.

The monster didn't even budge.

Rainbow Dash was halfway through uttering an expletive when the creature headbutted her. It felt like being slammed by a living brick wall. Rainbow Dash barreled backwards, ricocheted off a stalagmite, and came to a sliding stop beside another pool. Wincing, she struggled to get up on all fours. She squinted across the landscape and saw the distant sight of her saddlebag.

The image was instantly blocked when the monster landed in front of her. With a growling hiss, the thing spun its body and slashed its tails at Rainbow.

She ducked as a chunk of wall behind her exploded.

The monster shrieked and flung its appendages again.

Rainbow Dash jumped up as the edge of the pool splashed beneath her. Kicking her hooves off against the wall, she bolted forward, skimmed directly above the monster's snapping jaws, and flew down the length of its spine. She swooped towards the sight of the saddlebag, planning a hasty retreat, when the rearmost right leg of the creature lifted up and slapped her with the monster's knee. She grunted and flew off course, sailing past the saddlebag and landing with a splash inside a deep pool of bubbling liquid.

She shot back up to the surface, gasping for breath—only to have a pair of jaws coming down on her. With a drowning shriek, she plunged back into the churning pool. The claustrophobic basin was bubbling and surging all around her. All she saw was green light, froth, and the huge chomping jaws of the creature trying to pull her out of the natural dish like a pony might bob for apples. She was running out of oxygen, out of strength, out of hope—

The monster's teet clamped onto her prismatic tail hairs. Rainbow Dash let loose a bubbling shriek. Then her entire world went cold as she was lifted up in a flash, waved around in the cave and tossed by the monster's jaws in a twirl. When she landed, her hooves stumbled upon something wet and springy. She looked down and saw nothing but tongue. Gasping, she stood up on her hind quarters and raised her forelimbs directly upward. Just in time, Rainbow Dash used her body as a stick, holding the ravenous creature's mouth open.

The muscles of the giant lizard quivered all around her. Rainbow Dash was shuddering, straining. If she moved a single inch, the jaws would close in around her and she would be flung down the gaping maw directly in her sight. The smell of bile and acid tickled her nostrols. Everything was hellishly hot as she crumbled upon the gateway to death.

The dim light of her pendant flickered. Rainbow Dash was sweating. The eyes rolled back in her head. She refused to believe that it would end like this. She thought of Princess Luna. She thought of the Midnight Armory. But suddenly nothing about the future was helping her to fight any harder. With a whimpering noise, her mind flew back... insanely far back. Her forelimbs gave way. Her knees buckled, and the monster's jaws closed all around her, consuming her.

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