• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen 30 minutes ago

Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


A note written in an unknown language. An escaped Nightmare bearing gifts. A young colt afraid of the dark. A pegasus in search of a predator.

It's that season. A collection of short stories celebrating that weird, creepy, beautiful holiday we call Halloween Nightmare Night.

Includes Marginalia, winner of the spookest October Writeoff in Writeoff history.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 45 )

Ohmygod I cant wait to read this tonight!

The joke is on the Nightmare. Twilight takes notes in her books. Using a sharp quill.

Another life saved, thanks to the Acme Monster Snorkel (tm)

Oh, Twilight. You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could read the letters, that you didn't stop to think if you should.

Oh my god, this last one was perfectly unsettling. Thank you for a group of great stories!

What exactly happened? I have an idea that now everything turned evil and dark but... I dont know.:rainbowhuh: Must have read it too fast

Fluttershy. Fluttershy, I need you to be straight with me.

Are you a werewolf?


Jaxie, Jaxie! We're both in the feature box! You know what this means, right?

(it means war)


Oh, you want to fight, huh? Alright! It's on!

I'll be up here in #2. You can walk on up from #4 when you're ready to scuffle.


The fight starts when we're in adjacent positions.

Hey you!:rainbowhuh:

Want to unleash your own ancient evil?:pinkiegasp:

Then send your very own"Shadow Alphabet" to Twilight Sparkle's castle of friendship today!:yay:

Just send your alphabet in the form of a puzzle now and Twilight will work tirelessly, without sleeping and without question in order to unlock it's secrets because she is just that naive and OCD.:twilightsmile:

So what are you waiting for?:applejackunsure:

Don't you want to strike fear and Terror into the hearts of Mortals and lesser creatures everywhere?:pinkiecrazy:

Order your very own shadow alphabet today!:pinkiehappy:

(Some shipping and handling is required.)

(Shadows and words Incorporated is not responsible for any loss of Soul, organs, sanity, friendships, or any other disasters of an apocalyptic nature due to the misuse of this product.):derpytongue2:

Wonderful! This just shows how easily the world shifts with our perception of it. In this case, its much quicker and more obvious. I would love to read such a page, for our own alphabet of course. Or not. The words of shadow may not need the redundant sounds.
Amazing read, lets see what the next story has to offer.

"Monsters don't sleep under your bed, they sleep inside your head." - Unknown

Sometimes our own imagination causes us more anxiety than the reality around us.

Sweet dreams Rumble.:twilightsmile:


CIG: "Your mother was a horse!"
Me: "Oh yeah! Think you're so tough? Why don't you come up here and say that!?"


Me: "Oh shit, he came up here." :twilightoops:


Well that went from funny, to odd, to creepy in a minute.

(’S good though.)

Subtle. Well done.

Okay, that was pretty damn interesting.

A wonderful collection of horror for the holiday, in a variety of flavors. Thank you for them all. Especially the bit where Fluttershy declares herself god of her domain. It's bizarre, yet it actually kind of works.

All of these vignettes were unsettling or creepy in their own way for a moment, but I felt they were too short to be maximally spooky. I would have preferred maybe 2000-3000 words each - just a little more - to fill in a proper short story plot. I guess it was really good that they were as unsettling as they were, given the length.

Very creepy. Love the ending.

This one leaves me puzzled. It is possible that the intent is to convey the dread that one manufactures for oneself, but the oddity and recurrence of the hair suggests that there may be something more going on… though I cannot tease out anything substantive. Still, an evocative read.

Logic at its zenith. :twilightblush:

"Her voice was filled with spiders." That is all.

Okay, so maybe I don't understand what happened at the end. Did someone "win"?


Would it matter if

No, no, I can't do it. Let's, uh, let's try this:

Aren't we all a little bit werewolf on the inside?

Equestria is a world of miracles, dark and light. Apparently that includes the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as well? The idea that language determines thought.

Now, this is why you should always use the Buddy System when studying eldritch lore.

I don't get it. Is something hidden in the text?

8522139 Yeah this pretty well sums up my thoughts. Very creepy ideas, but just a bit too short to really build up the creepy factor and get into the story enough. Great set ups, could have used a bit more fleshing out to really be as good as they could be.

"It's harmless. As long as you don't give in to its temptations." Twilight gave in.

The fact that someone besides me was thinking this makes me very happy.

Okay, but this actually strikes a chord with me. When I was... 15 or 16, for about a month I had nightmares and sleep paralysis. Sleeping on the couch instead of the bed helped a lot, as did sleeping with a green (Christmas) bulb on in my bedroom. This makes me think a lot of that time.

Also of the time that my own bed depressed like someone was sitting on it. God that freaked me out. Didn't turn to look, even though I had been thinking of grandma at the time - doesn't take much to stroke the reptilian brain, I gotta tell ya.

Though I do kind of think that there's a zombie or a demon or another critter in the room, hiding under his pillow, under his bed, in the closet, waiting and creeping and just watching for the moment he lets down his guard because that always happens and you can't avoid it and--

I really liked this collection of stories - they're very well put together. Just a bit of creep, plenty of mystery, beautiful little one-shots. I like the way you packaged them with their finality - this is how one-shots should feel, others feel like they have too many loose ends, so much more we want to know.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to read more about Twilight's letter and her actions, and Fluttershy dealing with this, but at the same time, the way you've packed them all together, even as a standalone I think and not included in this collection, gives it an air of "No more will come".

8526504 It's known to be an incorrect hypothesis now. Unlike most people, I still have memories of before I could speak more than a few words. Flashes of images, unformed intent... but clearly non-verbal thoughts.

We also now know very well that some animals exhibit pre-sapient behavior, even fashioning fairly intricate tools, without any structured language.

The structures for thought permit the formation of speech, not vice versa. This is borne out by structural neuroanatomy as well as regionally-specific brain damage which destroys the language-processing centers while leaving other cognitive centers intact.

(Once more, science ruins all the fun.) :twistnerd:

(I shall improve this!)

And so it was that Twidark Darkle came upon Alondro, who spoke only 4 words, "You dun F'd up" before punching her with a force that was... really a lot... which made her die.

The end!

(Truly, a profound masterpiece in the making...)


Twilight ALWAYS fails.

Which is why we had to kill her... I sent Pinkie to her after I had her deal with Dashie. :pinkiecrazy:

Ghosts and demons don't need doors.

Clearly, what's really happening is... A SERIAL MOLESTER IS IN HIS HOUSE!!! :fluttershbad:

And that's actually scary because those monsters are real...

8524522 Pfft, werewolves are total mutts.

I'm a wereGOD!!

(That's how professional powergamers do it!)


Author Interviewer

Fluttershy is the pony I'd want with me while trapped in a horror movie. She juked all those classic death tropes like a boss!

Hmm. This one was a lot more unsettling, for me, than the previous two. Even aside the detail of the door being open in the end, it's in part because of some personal experiences -- I had my own phase of crippling fear of the dark as a child, plus a period after a surgery where I was under quite a lot of morphine and... well, among other things, I sleep on my side, and I had a recurring impression of there being something behind me, nestled against my back, its weight pulling at the covers, and I was terrified of it and could never work out the courage to look back and see what was going on.

Oh, I told myself it was only our cat sleeping next to me, but somehow I never quite believed it.

Some kind of reality-altering Infohazard

I think this is one of the best metaphors for "knowledge of the flesh" that I've ever seen.

I was looking through the top-rated [horror] stories for something new and short to peruse but as soon as I saw this I had to reread it. It's just... so good.

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