• Member Since 19th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen January 3rd


Only mostly dead.


It was an accident, but in a heartbeat, she was gone forever. Or at least, it seemed that way before Gearshift met Test Tube. Now Gearshift’s workshop is filled with the necromancer’s bizarre experimental equipment, pages of impenetrable magical theorems, and a tank filled with murky, green fluid.

And within the fluid, a chance.

Cover art by 2135D

Click here for an excellent reading of this tale!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 46 )

Will read on flight home. Really cool cover art.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat the actual fuck, dude.

This was unsettling as all hell.

~Skeeter The Lurker

7337664 I really like that dude's art. He's done several covers for my stories.

7337670 oh so this was a commission? When you link the source, you might want to link to the page of the picture rather than the picture itself. It's something I used to be guilty of also.

Dang that was good!
Favorited it.

This was both incredible and unsettling. Good work.

7337682 I have his info in the story description. And yes, it was a commission. I was pretty sure I wouldn't find a suitable image for this one, so I just had it made.

7337742 Thanks! Glad you liked it. :twilightsmile:

7337665 It was actually a story I started as an amusing fix to a weird sentence I wrote on someone's blog. Then it just kinda kept going.

The creepy keep on rolling. You built them up, building suspense at what was to come, and nailed it with that twist.

This may be a bit too much, but the ending of this reminds me of the christian poem Footprints in the Sand. Specifically this line "When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.". Just a odd connection I felt like sharing. Very well done on your part.


I'm afraid to ask what that sentence was...

~Skeeter The Lurker

I feel like Test Tube got screwed over. He more or less succeeded, after all.

7337897 Can't say that I think Gearshift's really a hero or anything. He just felt like Test Tube didn't succeed. It's up to the readers to determine if they agree with that or not.


This was a bit creepy. Well done, but creepy.

7337968 Thanks! I do like a good creepy story.

7337766 7337766 yeah I saw that afterwards. He's done some really cool stuff, like that "things Tavi says", and I think I might commission him for a simple profile picture, because it's been a while since I last switched mine out.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think of Nigel Thornberry when looking at the cover art?


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

7338093 You are not the only one.

woah, that was a trip. bleak, creepy, yet just a bit of heartwarming in there. I figure if Gear put his mind to it, he can probably figure out how to teach themselves sign language.

Huh. Fascinating. Creepy, yes, but not oppressively dark. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this before, and I greatly enjoyed it. Thank you for it.

7338729 The hooves could always just write words in the sand, I suppose.

7339776 Dark without being too dark seems to be my thing. I've written three dark stories now, and I don't think any of them are what people generally consider dark. They are just bleak.

Shades of Herbert West: Reanimator here...


Dark without being too dark seems to be my thing.

That part at the end where Iris' hooves are prancing around, full of her original zeal, and excitement, and happiness is gruesomely sweet

7341000 I've actually never read Herbert West, Reanimator, but I was hoping that this didn't get too close to it. I know the basic idea of the story, but not the details. I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, but I've never cracked that one open for some reason.

What can I say? Very well-written and appropriately terrible. Nice work.

7342734 Thanks! Bringing readers down in a quality fashion is my niche, it seems.

Author Interviewer

So pleased to finally see this published. :D

7337829 Oops. Forgot to reply to this. Glad you liked it. I wish I had more things to send you these days, but my job and dog have pretty much eaten all my free time.



This is fucked.

And I love it.

Are the hooves actually moving on their own? Or is Gearshift really losing it? He seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on her hooves while in the tank, so I have to wonder...

7341118 Reminded me of that right off the bat, but you didn't ponify it. Merely it contained a similar theme.

Also I get the sense that the hooves are merely in his head, aside from the brief point where they were trying to get out. Honestly I'm just surprised he didn't say sorry to her when she began crumbling.

Lastly, I wonder if reentering the chamber once a week would have saved her from decay. I get the sense that the magic merely was regenerating her and that her actual body never legitimately reanimated. Like how one could use electricity to get a corpse to appear to move, just at a far higher level.

I honestly don't feel bad for Test Tube, he made the engineer look relatively sane.

7418507 Yeah, I know. I wrote this as kind of a joke to amuse some people, and then sat back and said, "What the hell? Where did that come from?"

7418574 That's pretty much up for you to decide. One of my early readers asked a similar question. I liked that it could be ambiguous as to what was going on, so I left it that way.

For what it's worth, I like to think the hooves are actually there.

7419082 Well good. I really do need to read Herbert West: Reanimator, though. Got to get on that, but I'm glad it didn't seem like a copy. If I'm going to copy something, I'd at least like it to be intentional.

The problem with putting Iris back in the chamber was that the fluid inside was decaying. Test Tube tells him that the fluid has reached its limit. That's why they have to perform the experiment. The fluid will lose it's ability to restore soon afterward.


Gotcha. Thank you for the response! I didn't think you were going for that angle, but I could totally see it fitting if you did, so I figured I'd ask.

Interesting read.

But I feel like he should have gone to a better Necromancer afterwards. If the hooves are aware, thus possibly still controlled by his wife's spirit, he should take her to see somepony more qualified so see if they could give her a method to communicate verbally.

I'm probably taking this story too seriously, but I couldn't help but keep thinking that he should be arrested for murder as well as wasting that wonderful scientist's brilliance. :twilightsheepish:

Resurrect a loved one and have her melt into a pile of goo before your eyes...

Reminds me of that one "Rick and Morty" episode the car used to freak out the police by replicating the dead son of one of them.

Anyway, terrible scientist. Couldn't even properly reanimate a dead body. Feh. Victor Frankenstein managed that in the 1800's! :trollestia:

Also, naturally in a fanfic there's no police investigation of the bloody mess that results when one bashes a head in with a shovel.

You have no idea how hard it is to clean all that up! Truuuuuussssst meeeeeee... :pinkiecrazy:

Very interesting story. The style and themes remind me of Edgar Allen Poe (although compared to Poe's work this has a much happier ending). The characters stood out very well in the brief time they had (3,000 some words). I enjoyed the Gothic darkness as opposed to some sort of poorly done and cliche gorefest that some might come to expect from stories like this. The small details were very interesting, such as Test Tube's cheerful almost-ruthlessness. There was one typo I caught though:

“I am totally sure!” Test tube snatched up what seemed to be a random piece of parchment covered back and front in dense scribbles. “I told you, I found the error! This is going to be the one!”

The only thing I can find to complain about is the rating. This is in no way an E rated story, as the rather descriptive drinking habits, morbid descriptions of the corpses, and murder. Are just a few things that should move the rating up. Here's an example of a story that takes in a bar (as well as including some fantasy combat) yet is rated T despite it being something that is delivered in a very light tone. Even though it took place in a bar there wasn't any of the detailed and dark drinking shown here. Yet this story is still rated T.

I could pull up better examples if needed, but that's what I've got off the top of my head.

7485718 I did go back and forth over whether this should be Teen or Everyone. I don't really think it's extreme enough to need a Teen rating. I don't think there's anything in there that's too far off from, say, Grimm's fairy tales, but I do understand where you're coming from. I'll send a message out to my followers and see what they think. If anyone else thinks it ought to be Teen, I'll switch it up.

Thanks for the feedback and for reading!

Quality story. I enjoyed this.

7337840 Stupidly late response, but I'm somewhat incidentally to blame for this. See the comments on this post on my blog.

About time I gave you the fave you've earned. I'm really not only giving this because of my incidental part in the story's creation -- I'm doing so because I think it's a great read! I'm a fan of superior crackfic, and this fits the bill. :pinkiehappy:

Oh.... OH! Indigo hooves... ha! I see what you did there.

Nice story though ^^

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