• Published 30th Oct 2016
  • 497 Views, 7 Comments

Onryō: A Cursed Haunting In Equestria - Razalon The Lizardman



Four mares will learn that grief and despair remain even after death.

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Chapter 1

A sense of eerie, dark calm had settled over the pine forests surrounding Vanhoover. Crickets, frogs, and other wildlife filled the air with lively ambiance, while the occasional gust of wind would shake loose some pine needles, sending them down to join their brethren covering the forest floor. Luna’s moon and stars, being obscured by some clouds forgotten by the Cloudsdale weather team, failed to shine light for any travelers that might have been out at this late hour.

Along one of the many hiking trails crisscrossing the hilly landscape, four young unicorn mares were trying their best to navigate through the darkness back to the lodge where they were staying. They moved in single file, paying extra attention where they placed their hooves on the slanted terrain so as not to trip.

Minuette’s horn was alit with the luminescence of a standard light spell, sufficiently illuminating the path at the front of the line. The light also made her blue coat and two toned white and dark blue mane nicely stand out in the darkness of the forest. She walked with a giddy spring in her step, while also humming a jovial little tune she made up as she went along.

Lemon Hearts used the light to read the map held in her telekinesis. Her yellow coat and light blue mane were easy to make out with or without the light, as were Twinkleshine’s own white coat and pink mane, who had her horn lit with her own light spell.

Moon Dancer brought up the rear. Like Twinkleshine and Minuette, her horn provided much needed light for the group, though she occasionally cut it off in order to use telekinesis to readjust her glasses whenever they slipped too far for her liking. Unlike her friends, who were all naked, she wore her favorite black sweater as a precaution in case the temperatures became too great for just their coats to bear. A negative side effect of this, however, was that she was partially camouflaged with the nighttime atmosphere.

The four mares had spent the past couple of days on a nice, relaxing weekend away from Canterlot to get out and see a little nature. They’d explored the wilderness, took photos, and had such a great time as friends. As today was their last day before they were to depart back to Canterlot, they were determined to squeeze as much fun into their last day of vacation as possible. They’d lost track of time as a result, and were now forced to make the trek back to the lodge in dangerous conditions.

“Hey, Lemon Hearts!” Twinkleshine called up. “Are you sure we’re going the right way?”

Lemon Hearts squinted at the map. “I… think so?”

“Any chance you can give a more definite answer?” Twinkleshine asked, rolling her eyes.

“Look, I’m trying, okay?”

“Ah, chin up, girls!” Minuette called. She turned around, flashing a pearly white smile at them. “As long as we’re going up the hill, we’ll keep getting closer to the lodge!”

Twinkleshine furrowed her brows. “Maybe if somepony hadn’t spent three hours taking pictures of nothing but trees and water, we wouldn’t be lost.”

“But we’re not lost!” Lemon Hearts said with a frown.

“Really? So you know for an absolute fact that we’re going the right way?”

Lemon Hearts glanced back down at the map. She honestly believed it’d be easier to decipher ancient Neighgyptian hieroglyphs than the sheet of paper she held. “Well, um…”

“Yeah, we’re lost.”

“Not so long as we keep going up!”

“What kind of horseapple logic is that!?”

“It’s not horseapples!”

“Oh for crying out loud…”

Moon Dancer tuned out her friends’ bickering, instead choosing to focus on the surrounding forest while thinking about what a lovely vacation she’d had. The fresh scents of pine, the beautiful scenery, the wonderful time spent with her friends– all of it was just what she needed to feel alive again after all the time she’d spent cooped up in her decaying house in Canterlot.

It was a vacation she'd long needed, as she couldn’t remember the last time she’d stepped hoof outside of Canterlot for anything, let alone to see some exotic locales and scenery. She was grateful to have such adventurous friends in that regard, as she’d otherwise have been too afraid to step outside of her comfort zone of Canterlot’s spires and cobblestone streets. She may be stubborn, but she was thankful her friends were doubly persuasive.

Coming out of her musings, Moon Dancer turned to look back up ahead, only to freeze up when she saw no sign of her friends. The trail ahead of her was empty, with not even a small flicker of horn light to indicate her friends were close by.

Panicking, Moon Dancer broke out into a gallop, hoping to catch up with the others. She swerved around wayward trees and ducked under branches, moving as fast as her admittedly sub-par physique would allow her. She made a mental note to start making regular visits to the gym upon returning home.

Suddenly, Moon Dancer found the ground rushing to meet her as she tripped over a rock, landing hard on her barrel. The wind instantly knocked out of her, and she tumbled a little before coming to rest on the side of the trail, her glasses flying off and landing a few yards away. She let out a low moan of agony at the pain in her left hind hoof where she’d hit the rock, but her body as a whole felt okay and intact.

She pulled herself forward with her fore hooves while sweeping the ground in search of her glasses. Locating them, she enveloped them in her telekinesis and stood up. Her vision cleared once she put them back on, and she blinked in confusion at what she saw.

It might have just been a trick of the shadows, but she could swear she saw a figure through the trees, suspended in midair. It appeared to be pony-shaped, but she couldn’t be sure through the darkness. A chill ran down her spine as every sense of calm she’d previously felt evaporated. Whatever that thing was, it was an unknown variable. It looked quite out of place within the surrounding pine.

Fear took hold of Moon Dancer, telling her to keep moving, and she obeyed. She continued along the trail, changing from a gallop to a gait so she wouldn’t trip again. The tranquil forest suddenly seemed a lot more sinister now, seeming to close in on her, reach for her, as she made her way along the trail. All she wanted now was to find her friends and get back to the lodge.

It was such a welcome calm to her senses when she heard Twinkleshine’s voice calling out to her. “Moon Dancer!? Where are you!?”

“I’m here! I’m here!” Moon Dancer called back.

“Follow the sound of my voice!”

Her face splitting into a large, relieved grin, Moon Dancer broke into a fast trot. Eventually she came to a fork in the path.

"Do I turn left or right!?" she called.

"Left!"

After another few moments following the trail, Moon Dancer spotted a glimmer of light through the trees, and picked up her pace. That's when she noticed the outline of a large building emerging through the woodwork. Details made themselves clearer as she came closer: oriel windows, two corner towers; the structure boasted many soft, elegant touches in its overall framework and design. Whoever built the place must've been a fan of Trottingham architectural styles from the past century.

Or, even more probably, it was built around that time period, because just one look at the mansion’s exterior told Moon Dancer it had been abandoned for a very long time. Nearly every window was shattered and every surface was covered with ivy. Many roof tiles had dislodged and were littering the ground in front. The front lawn was overgrown and in desperate need of a trim. The mansion was so rundown that it made Moon Dancer’s own decrepit house back in Canterlot look like the Royal Palace by comparison.

Moon Dancer let out a relieved sigh at the sight of her friends gathered at the front doorstep, and broke once more into a gallop as she rushed to join them.

“Thank Celestia you’re alright!” Lemon Hearts said, embracing Moon Dancer in a gentle hug. “I was worried sick you’d gotten hurt or something!”

“I’m alright, just a little scraped from where I tripped,” Moon Dancer replied between pants. “How come none of you noticed I was gone?”

Her friends’ expressions of relief turned sheepish in response. Rolling her eyes, Moon Dancer briefly returned Lemon Hearts’ hug before breaking away and giving the mansion’s exterior another once over. “What is this place, anyway?” she asked no one in particular.

“Heck if I know,” Twinkleshine said. “But it looks like we’re gonna have to spend the night here since we’re lost.”

Lemon Hearts frowned. “But we’d be breaking and entering,” she protested.

Twinkleshine gave her a bemused look. “Does this place look like it has tenants at the moment?” she asked, gesturing to the dilapidated architecture around them.

“Well… no.”

“Then we’re going in.” Her tone brokered no room for argument.

“C’mon, Lemon Hearts,” Minuette said, donning a smile as she threw a hoof over her friend’s withers. “Think about it; this is like the perfect bookend to our vacation. We’re gonna spend the night in a spooky, scary, old-timey mansion. How cool is that!?”

Her friends all stared at her deadpanned, unsure if she was being serious or not.

“Anyway,” Moon Dancer said, not bothering to give an answer, “let’s get inside before we get hypothermia.” She turned to the door and pressed her hoof into the doorlock. It wouldn’t budge. “Ponyfeathers, it’s locked.”

Twinkleshine stepped up and tried it herself. It still wouldn’t budge. “Okay then.” She gripped the entire thing with her telekinesis and tried to yank it off the door. Still no luck. “This is ridiculous.”

Moon Dancer shined a light spell on the doorlock’s keyhole. It was all rusted and worn, clearly not having been oiled or changed for some time. “I don’t think we’d be able to get in even if we had the key,” she said.

“Over here, girls!”

The group turned to see Minuette standing in front of the window closest to the front door; the wooden frames looked incredibly loose. She enveloped them in her magic and, with a single good tug, ripped the entire window out of the wall.

Minuette smiled, and tossed it aside to the grass. “Let’s go!” she said, before hopping up onto the windowsill and slipping inside.

The rest of the girls each donned a grim expression, simultaneously cursing whatever abstract force of the universe that decreed they were to take shelter in an old, derelict mansion, and have to go through a window to do so. But it still beat spending the night outside with no roof over their heads.

They followed Minuette inside.