• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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“Get off there and put 'em up!” she shouted, rearing her front limbs threateningly. “Come on! Let's go!”

“Hey,” he shrugged with devilish nonchalance. “I'm here to deliver a message.”

“I've got a message for you too!” she grunted.

He stood up and glared at her, his red pupils swimming in a yellow sea. “Listen closely,” he said. “This is important.” In a blur, he was floating around her, smirking as he dictated. “A weighty choice is yours to make. The right selection or a big mistake. If a wrong choice you choose to pursue the foundations of home will crumble without you.”

She blinked quizzically, unsure of the game he was playing. But soon everything became truly, horrifically real. He stood before her, and with a snap of his talons he opened a portal through which she saw the fate of her place of birth. The city in the sky was buckling, imploding. Soon its immaculate columns were falling chaotically, sending panicked pegasi flying across the sea of dissolving clouds.

“Clousdale...” she mumbled incoherently. “Crumble... without me...?” Her heart began beating a mile-per minute. Her vision blurred, and everything she cherished and loved collapsed in an instant. “No!” she shouted unashamedly, like a little foal.

There was another snap. A package appeared, levitating in front of her.

“That box contains your wings,” he said. She felt his presence curling up around her, and then a claw tracing the edges of her scalp. All the while, her eyes were locked helplessly on the container. “You can take them and leave the game or you can carry on aimlessly wandering this maze.”

She was hyperventilating. For over a year, she had made several close friends. In a dozen solid months, not a single one of them had abandoned her, or had ridiculed her—in spite of all of her egotism, pranks, and overtly braggart ways. She was lucky, she realized, to not be alone.

But still, they were just five friends. Just how well did that weigh against the entire dying population of Cloudsdale?

“Your choice,” he added in a low voice, and then was gone.

She didn't pay him anymore attention. She saw hundreds of thousands of pegasi being crushed to a pulp as their city collapsed around them. She hadn't realized the decision she had made until she saw the maze disappearing below her. She was flying, soaring, speeding towards the northern horizon. There was no need for friends, not so long as there were lives worth saving. A loyal existence was a lonely one, after all. It hardly dawned on her that all the colors had gone. Everything was gray, neutral, dispassionte and necessary. She could fly through those blank horizons forever.

So she did.

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