• Published 31st Mar 2017
  • 3,164 Views, 93 Comments

The Mare that eats The Monsters - Skijarama



She is known as no more than a myth, a legend, a bedtime story to scare little foals. Her name is Moonrise Drifter, and Twilight Sparkle is going to learn more about her than anypony has in a long time...

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Chapter 7 - Nightmarish Trail

“Sweet, merciful Celestia…” Rarity whispered in solemn awe, eyes wide with shock at the scene below the hot air balloon. Applejack had already pulled her hat off of her head and held it to her chest, going silent out of respect for the dead.

“What? What is it?” Spike asked, pulling himself up to see over the edge of the balloon. Rarity only briefly tried to stop him, but her own shock prevented her from doing more than twitching. Spike visibly shrunk, a shudder passing through him as his breakfest wanted to leave his system. “Oh… no…”

Fluttershy refused to speak, putting her back to the morbid scene, her face pale and her eyes searching for literally anything else to look at. Pinkie Pie had also gone silent, her mane falling completely flat against her head.

From the front of the balloon, Rainbow Dash could be heard growling before the dam broke. An enraged, desperate scream tore from her lungs as she pulled the balloon down with her as she sharply descended for the scene of the snow-covered train wreck. The balloon thudded into the ground just after Rainbow did. She wasted no team in unhooking herself from the reigns and galloping for the wreck. “TWILIGHT!” She called out.

Applejack sagged before stepping out of the balloon. “Spike, keep ‘er ready to go again, will ya?” she asked softly, earning a nod from the young dragon.

“I’ll keep him company.” Fluttershy added in barely more than a shaky whisper. Rarity and Pinkie said nothing as they departed from the balloon and went to follow Rainbow, who was still shouting and calling out for Twilight.

“Twilight! Are you here?!” Rainbow called once more as she peered into one of the carts.

“RD, please…” Applejack tried to sooth her, but Rainbow wasn’t having any of it.

“Please WHAT?! Calm down, is that what you’re gonna say, Applejack?!” Rainbow snapped, flying into the farm mare’s face with an unspeakable fury burning in her eyes.

Yes! Rainbow, ah know this ain’t what ya wanna hear, but getting yerself into a frenzy will not help us find Twi.”

“Go buck yourself!” Rainbow seethed, snarling angrily.

“Please, both of you! That’s enough!” Rarity cut in, stepping between the two to keep them, mostly Rainbow, from lashing out. “She may not even be here. Remember, Princess Celestia sent us that reply? We should try Little Lapis if we can’t find her here.”

Rainbow scoffed and looked away, the hatred and rage only barely cooling enough for her to reign in her aggression. “Ugh… fine! Let’s search the wreck and… if we don’t find her, we try Little Lapis.”

“What about all these dead ponies, though?” Applejack asked sadly, looking around at the horrible scene with a grimace. “Somepony needs to give them a proper burial…”

“You and I can handle that, Applejack.” Rarity suggested with no small amount of sorrow in her own voice. “Rainbow and Pinkie can search the wreckage.”

“Okay, then. Ah’ll start collecting the bodies…” Applejack visibly cringed as she said that. “A-and you find somethin’ that’ll tell us who all was on this thing when it… ya’ know…” she couldn’t help the sigh that slipped through. “...Ah would think their families would wanna know…”

“Yes. of course. The manifest...” Rarity said solemnly. With their tasks assigned, the four split up to look around the area.

Rainbow Dash could barely hold in her anger at the sights in front of her. But, though she would never admit it, her anger and focus on finding Twilight was equally out of legitimate concern and outrage as it was an effort to bury the horror and disgust building in her gut. She found she was almost happy to have not been here when everything began.

One particular corpse caught her attention. It was pinned beneath a turned over train cart, a long stick of wood jutting from its massive maw.. As she drew closer, she saw that it’s mouth was filled with razor sharp teeth.

Teeth that still had pieces of lavender fur and blood frozen to them.

Rainbow froze. Her buried horror and sickness was completely forgotten among the wave of white hot rage that spilled out. She couldn’t have held in her furious scream if she’d tried… and she did try.

“BUCK YOU!” She screamed at the top of her lungs before stomping down onto it’s already dead face. It’s skull cracked under the force of her assault. She reared back and struck it again. Finally, after numerous strikes, sufficiently caving in the creature's skull, Rainbow felt herself being pulled back by a pair of strong forelegs.

“RD! Calm down!” Applejack grunted into Rainbow’s ear, the latter thrashing against the hooves holding her in an effort to resume venting her anger.

“Let me go, Applejack!” Rainbow snarled viciously, her eyes still glued with murderous rage to the mutilated corpse.

“Ah know yer upset! We all are! But these ponies have been through enough! Just let their corpses be, won’t ya?!” Applejack shot back as Rainbow finally began to calm, albeit slowly.

“That is not a pony!” Rainbow snapped, pointing at the crushed skull with an accusing hoof. “Just look at it’s teeth! It’s jaw!”

“She has a point, Applejack…” Rarity said nervously as she reluctantly plucked one of the many, razor sharp teeth from the shattered remains. “These are not pony teeth, and… oh…” Rarity dropped the tooth and looked away with her eyes snapped closed. “I believe I can see why you lost it just now, Rainbow Dash…”

“What is it?” Applejack asked, slowly letting Rainbow Dash down. Rainbow had stopped struggling, falling limp and trying to calm herself with deep breaths.

“Twilight’s fur…” Pinkie suddenly said hollowly, drawing everypony to look at her. She was staring at the teeth around the skull with wide, stunned eyes. “...It bit Twily…”

Applejack looked and gulped as she realized they were right. After several moments, she cleared her throat. “Ah… ah don’t think we’re gonna find anythin’ else here… let’s get these ponies buried, find the manifest and then get to Little Lapis.”

Everypony silently agreed, setting about doing just that in a tense, uneasy silence.

“We’re coming for you, Princess…”

Twilight’s breath came in quick, panicking gasps as she rounded another corner of this awful maze. The metallic walls were made of train carts, blood oozing out of them where disembodied pony legs twitched and reached from holes., looking for something to grasp and hold.

Twilight came to a very brief pause to look left and right at the t-section she came to before choosing left. The right path was obstructed by a practical horde of these fiends, all feasting upon a banquet of fresh pony corpses. They looked up and began to cackle and laugh sadistically before giving chase.

“You can’t run from us, your highness! You can’t fight us!” the maniacal calls of her pursuers jeered after her down the endless corridors.

“I just want to go home…” Twilight whimpered under her breath, wanting nothing more than for this horror to end.

“You can’t go home, my dear Princess.” a new voice claimed. Twilight drew to a complete stop, her legs locking in place against her will.

A shrill scream sounded from Twilight as she struggled to move her legs. They were glued to the floor and felt as if they were filled with densely packed iron. The pack of hungry Fiends began to circle her, licking their lips and salivating excessively.

Another figure began to emerge from the darkness ahead. Twilight wasn’t sure what she was seeing. It looked vaguely like a pony, a unicorn to be exact, but there were no clear indications of that being the case outside of shape. There were no colors, no reflections. It was as if this figure was but a blind spot in her vision.

“Hmmm… I must admit that I am disappointed in you… and her. I would have thought Celestia would train a more… capable princess.” his voice was snide and smooth, cold and emotionless. A pair of bright blue eyes slowly became visible.

“Who are you…?” Twilight asked fearfully as the figure drew closer. The blind spot in her vision began to twist and contort, long, tentacle-like appendages sprouting from the figure’s sides where wings would be on a pegasus or alicorn.

“Oh, you mean you want to know? How interesting…” the figure drew past, one of the long arms he had grown pausing to brush under Twilight’s chin in a soft caress. That caress turned painful as a blade began to emerge from the tip, digging into Twilight’s skin as the figure drew it across her back. “But I bet you don’t want to know, do you? Nopony ever does. After all…”

Twilight gasped in pain as blood began to run down her side from the long slice the ‘pony’ had made. He was suddenly next to her, whispering into her ear in a voice that made Twilight go pale in terror.

“I was so feared, so hated, so despised… that your beloved princess Celestia erased me from history…” The calmness in his words was unsettling to say the least.

Twilight’s agonized cry died before it ever even began as the bladed appendage tore out the front of her throat, the figure having just stabbed it through the back of her neck. Fresh blood began to pour from Twilight’s mouth and her new wound in excessive amounts. She began to feel faint as the figure let her collapse to the ground, blade still in her throat. Despite the fatal injury, she wasn’t dying.

“I look forward to meeting you face to face, Princess Twilight.” The bladed arm pulled out of Twilight, leaving her to collapse to the floor beneath. She passed through it as if it never existed, falling into a seemingly infinite abyss that only became colder as she fell. “I’ll be waiting for you and Drifter on the horizon…”

“Twilight, wake up!” Drifter shouted, shaking Twilight from her sleep. Twilight sat bolt upright, the terrified scream she had been giving swiftly dying in her throat to be replaced by ragged gasps. She was matted by cold sweat and horrible shivers. Drifter swiftly rearranged the thick blankets on the bed to wrap Twilight up to calm her down and warm her up. “Hey, it’s okay, you’re okay, you’re safe…” she said soothingly.

“I… I…” Twilight stuttered between her pants, pulling the blankets tighter around herself in an effort to hide from the world.

“Shhh, it’s okay. Deep breaths, okay? Come on, deep breaths…” Drifter urged gently, giving Twilight reassuring, comforting pats on the back. Drifter looked up with a frown to Lumberjack, who stood in a stunned silence by the inn room’s door. “Get her some food; something warm.”

“Right away.” He gave a quick salute before breaking into a gallop out of the room.

Twilight shivered uncontrollably in the blankets, though her breaths were starting to grow more steady as she gradually calmed down. “That… that was terrifying…” she finally squeaked out.

“Sounds like it was a pretty bad nightmare…” Drifter noted gently with a frown. “I guess it was about being chased by the Fiends?”

“Y-y-yeah… in a m-maze… a-and… there was… s-somepony there… with me…” Twilight managed with a touch more volume.

“Who?”

“I d-don’t know… he said that Celestia erased him from h-history…” Twilight said as she recalled the sensation of having her throat so violently and suddenly stabbed. She tensed up herself as Drifter suddenly locked up next to her.

“What else did he say?”

“Um… that he would be waiting for us on the… the horizon.” Twilight felt her ears go flat against her head as it clicked into place.

“Luminous Horizon… that son of a bitch…” Drifter snarled in a hate-filled whisper.

“That was Horizon?”

“I imagine so.” Drifter gave Twilight a frown that soon shifted into a slightly joking smile. “Well, color me jealous. You’ve seen him before I have and I’ve been looking for him for five hundred years.”

“Drifter… no.” Twilight said flatly. Drifter cleared her throat and sighed.

“Yeah, not funny… sorry. I was just trying to lighten the mood a bit is all.”

“You don’t want to see him.” Twilight said hollowly before going silent and snuggling into her blankets even more.

Drifter had to admit that Twilight was right, but chose to stay silent and simply keep Twilight company while they waited for Lumberjack to return with food.