• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Rocketing To Insanity

Rocketing To Insanity
August 9th, 2014

There was a feeling of dread as I walked alone on the path back to Ponyville. I could tell I was being watched through the forest brush because I could hear The Figure following close behind as the foliage rustled. At one point, I swear that it felt like someone was running up on me from behind, but no one was even there when I zipped around. After that, I just jogged the entire quarter mile back to Ponyville, the pain in my legs subsiding once a tiny dose of adrenaline kicked in. At the bridge that crossed over the river and into Ponyville, I stopped to catch my breath and looked back. The only thing I saw was the entrance to the Everfree Forest. I've never been happier to back to Ponyville, despite it being a destination for my darkest deed.

I didn't want to wander to my next stop alone, so I built up the nerve and continued onwards into the village. In the square, where the mayor's building is located, there was about eleven ponies passing through or just talking with one another. When they saw me, every single one of them dispersed from the square and cleared out, leaving me alone. I sadly tilted my head down and let out a quiet sigh. My feelings were hurt, but I still understood why they were so apprehensive. That's why it was so unexpected to find out that my consoler would be the mayor herself.

"Caleb Barlow." Mayor Mare called up on the round balcony of town hall.

"Oh, Mayor Mare! I, uh... I have so many ways to express how horrible I feel for what I did in your village." I apologized.

"There's no need for apologies, Caleb. I believe what Princess Twilight had to say during the meeting here." Mayor Mare said.

"Really? Well, I thank you for understanding. Coming to terms with what I did is hard on me." I said.

"I can imagine. I have to admit I would be skeptical if it weren't for the multiple eyewitness reports." Mayor Mare said.

"Those are some of the most crucial bits of evidence," I said, staring back at the distant Everfree Forest. "Look, I gotta go and express my condolences to Bon-Bon."

"I'm so sorry, Caleb. I wish you the best of look in your future. Remember that there are still ponies here that believe your story!" Mayor Mare said as I departed from town hall and wandered onto a random street.

The streets of Ponyville were mostly empty or became void of anypony once I walked down it. The ponies that were brave enough to watch me walk by murmured to each other or simply stared. I even heard one pony say that I should've been "locked up for what I did." Nopony really had the guts to directly confront me. Either way, the uncomfortableness and guilt was gnawing on me, sending me into a cold sweat. It was too much and I had to sit down until the anxiety subsided and mustered the will to keep going. I've never dealt with these emotions before at such a high magnitude.

A short while later on the affecting walk, I just so happened to come across Bob-Bon's home. My eyes scanned the building and the windows had been repaired, but I got severe chills when I made out the tree in distance, the tree where Lyra's lifeless corpse impacted against and her blood soaked into the wood fibers. Distressed by the scene and the knowledge that I gruesomely killed one of my closest friends, I had to turn away and dropped down onto my hands and knees as a sudden wave of nausea came over me. The glands in my mouth salivated before bits of cereal, milk, and stomach acid erupted out of my orifice and into the grass. Once I spat out any remaining saliva to get the taste of stomach acid out, I slowly got back up onto my two feet. Nopony came out to see if I was okay, but who am I to criticize?

Facing the structure again, I now just went for it and knocked on the door, blood coursing through my veins as I waited for the door to open. My body tensed once the doorknob turned, followed by the door opening. I now looked down at a depressed Bon-Bon. Her eyes were red accompanied with dark circles under her eyelids and a few strands of her curled mane stood upright. She looked so sad and tired. Besides her physical state, there was a cast that encased her right foreleg. My heart ached for her.

"What do you want?" she asked without any emotion.

"I.... I wanted...... I came to see how you were holding up." I replied, barely able to maintain eye contact with her.

"Not too good, as you can see." Bon-Bon grumbled under her breath.

"Can I come for a minute?" I sheepishly asked.

"I guess so. Come on in." Bon-Bon permitted.

As I bent down in order to not hit the top of the door frame, Bon-Bon hobbled on into the living room, using her front left foreleg and both her hind legs to walk as her damaged foreleg hovered a few inches above the floor. She then hopped up onto a chair, elevating her broken leg on the side.

"What do you want to say?"

"Just that I'm so sorry for what happened. I have absolutely no idea what else to say to you in order to express how terrible I feel for you."

Bon-Bon didn't say anything. All she did was nod as her half-lidded eyes stared down at the floor. The room filled with silence for a moment.

"I suppose there's not much else you can say. From what I understand, you were fully aware of what you were doing, but your actions were under control of a creature that was inside you?"

"Yeah. We still don't know what specie it could possibly be. Do you believe me?"

"You always were good to me, Caleb. You and I share the same aspirations in career choice."

"Right... To protect others."

"But, I suppose I have to believe. It's not in your character to terrorize a village and murder innocent ponies. There really wasn't much you could do to stop yourself. Therefore, I can't be fully angry at you."

"That's nice to hear. How much are they charging for the hospital expenses?"

"5,000 for the one day stay and 2,750 for treating a compound fracture on my metacarpal."

"I figured it would be that expensive. Here, I'll come by again later on and give you a bag of bits, enough that should cover the costs."

"Oh, no, I have enough. I'm a big saver, but Lyra on the other hoof, well, not exactly."

"And I'm a big saver, too. I know it ain't gonna bring Lyra back, but consider it as an extension of my apology. Please."

"Okay. Okay then. Thank you, Caleb. C.A.M.A sure does pay a lot, huh?"

"Mm-hm. I had so much money at one point that I helped Twilight pay for the Golden Oak Library before it was destroyed and everything."

Suddenly, Bon-Bon's facial expression began to change, turning from rather uplifted due to our conversation into a blank stare, almost as if her brain completely shut off.


This unusual stare and behavior now morphed into an event that seriously fucked up my already sensitive psyche. Her eyelids slammed tightly shut and looked as if she was in an unbearable state of agony. This was followed with her letting out bloodcurdling screams that repeated one after another, piercing my eardrums. I tensed up and my eyes went wide as a giant wave of anxiety swept over me. The screams sounded identical to Lyra's as I was beating her to death; shrill, pitiful, and filled with anguish. I covered my ears with my hands, but the screams went right through. My state of mind was beginning to deteriorate and I started to cry from the strong emotional stress. I wanted to run out and away from the house, but I felt stuck. In only a timespan of thirty seconds, I couldn't take it anymore.

"STOP IT!" I bellowed into her face, but this only made Bon-Bon's screams intensify and terrifyingly switched to Lyra's vocal tone.

Hearing those painful screams in the real world one more time left me speechless and filled with the highest amount of guilt I could ever feel. Letting out a short yell of anguish, I lowered my head and placed one hand of each side of my head. My body trembled in terror, whimpering as tears streaked down my cheeks. However, in a contrast to what was just transpiring, the screams ceased and the room became quiet once again.

"Caleb, look at me! What's wrong?" Bon-Bon asked, now standing in front of me with concern on her face.

"You were screaming like Lyra, that's what's wrong! Why would you do that?!" I said, sniffling mucus from my sinuses.

"Oh, I did no such thing! Look, I appreciate for wanting to pay off the hospital charges, I do, but I want you to leave now. Just, just get out and drop off the money tomorrow." Bon-Bon said, her tone lowering as the statement went on.

Confused and in a state of emotional turmoil, I did as she told and walked back out onto the street. I was beginning to question myself wether the world I was currently in was even real or not. I looked in all directions, but I was not seeking anything. Grunting, I flailed my hands in frustration and began to wander aimlessly throughout Ponyville.

It didn't take long before I noticed a black mass following close behind me in my peripheral vision, blurred due to the visual restriction. The mass stuck out from the vibrant colors of my surroundings and it followed my exact walking pace until I came to halt and stood in the middle of the street.

"Fuck you. Fuck you, you fucking bitch." I hissed through my teeth as a spiteful, fiery rage towards The Figure grew inside me. The response I got to my profanity insult was a guttural growl and that just set me off. "Son of a-- FUCK YOU!" I swung around and threw a punch through the air, the mass disappearing. "I'LL TEAR YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF!!! BITCH! WHERE ARE YOU?!"

In an effort to find The Figure, I kept on going from alleyway, to house, to alley, and so on and so forth. The Figure was no where to be seen and this rage turned into fear of the unknown. The Figure must've felt the emotional shift because when I started retreating from the area, I heard Lyra's voice chillingly call my name at the other end of the street, which caused me to quickly turn around. That's when I saw The Figure manifest itself, coming out of an alleyway. Like always, it was at a distance, but it a lot more visible since it was daytime. It was pitch black and the humanoid body ghostly undulated and morphed as it walked towards me. My jaw hung open halfway as I gasped, petrified by its surreal appearance. When I realized The Figure wasn't stopping, I turned my ass around and sprinted in the opposite direction. Adrenaline was now surging through my body and my heart thumped at a rapid pace. Without thinking, I cleared various obstacles that were in my path, turned sharp corners, and just kept on running and running and running until I reached Twilight's castle. I never did look back once.

"Caleb! What's going on? Why were you running?" Twilight said as I slammed the castle doors shut.

My body shook and was hunched over, taking in deep breaths, rapidly blinking my eyes, and my teeth were clenched together; a true visual definition of fear.

"Calm down... Just come over here and sit down." Twilight quietly said, trying to lead me to a safe spot.

"No, no, no, no, I won't. I saw it." I said.

"Saw what, Caleb?" Twilight asked.

"Twilight, I just saw the shadow of the The Figure.... I-I-I got scared and Bon-Bon was...."

Twilight instantly knew what I meant by the word "shadow" and the term "The Figure." I could see it in her eyes as she looked at me. She then peered out the window before running to my side again.

"Let's just head into Map Room for now, okay? Can you tell me what happened in there?" Twilight asked.

"Um... Uh, yeah. Let's go........"

"What happened to Caleb? Is he okay?" Spike asked from the second floor, looking down upon Twilight and myself.

"No, Spike. He saw something he didn't want to see." Twilight replied to the curious dragon.

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