• Published 24th Feb 2019
  • 488 Views, 13 Comments

Chipping Away Dusk - Ice Star



Lonely nights in the junkyard are common, and Delta often sits awake through them. Staring out into the night givens plenty of thoughts the chance to invade her weary mind.

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Ashes and Memory

"It's all set."

...

The junkyard was deeply infused with an array of grimy odors as prominent as the bags under Delta's eyes. She could never scrub the smell of smoke from her coat and shirt. Her every feather reeked of the stuff, and had been for a long time. When she managed to remind (or convince) herself to shower, she still couldn't get the stench out of her. Perhaps her brain was still left on the edge of the junkyard, where she liked to sit at night and chip away at dusk with her thoughts. ('Like' was an exaggeration.) That had to be why her thoughts were so scattered.

Delta Vee groaned and thrashed, on the border of slumber. Her mind dripped an uneven world of dreams into her mind, and it was there she was dragged. In the roiling fragments of star-bound rockets and tire-fire taste of the morning's inevitable cigarette, Delta Vee was dreaming. When the lingering bits of fantasy that tantalized her mind in the grip of sleep faded, she was left to be feed with only memories of her gritty reality. Those were her dreams now that her waking life could not leave her.

Princess Luna never visited her, but Delta didn't need her to.

(Not at night.)

There were still times when she dreamed only of stars.

...

"Let's enjoy our last night together..."

...

Rockets were her passion, and with their flights, her heart would soar too. The final frontier was on the lips of ponies who wanted a new adventure. To Delta, the construction was a quest all on its own. Every engine was a labyrinth to ponies who did not have an eye for the future.

Junkyards were monotony. Or, at least Delta was sure that it was the junkyard. (That was how she said it, and allowed it to remain in her head.) This was an echo of her passion that she was trying to call a song.

When everything was just numb enough, just good enough, entirely blurred enough, and all tumbled together in a way that took her focus away from anything else, Delta could hear that song again. Delta could feel the deep euphoria that came with doing what her cutie mark told her, what she loved. It wasn't a junkyard she stood it. It didn't have to be. She could enjoy something, just pull herself out of...

Of...

...of the Delta Vee she was. The Delta Vee with canyons under her eyes, no food in the kitchen (again), and who was always going to end up staring down her muzzle at the glow of a cigarette, bright or otherwise. The Delta who lived a sour life and was always squinting out at the nightly horizon at many different things and places, but was in a junkyard every time. Her junkyard.

That was the Delta who thought that she could be junk too. (And that she could stand to clean her hooves more often.) Here she was, festering away with all the elegance of a picked-at infection and enjoying nothing.

And for the love of Luna, Celestia, and all of Equestria, she could not remember the last time she really did.

...

"...and have some drinks together."

...

When the moon was new in the sky is when the night bled a magic even Delta could put no name to. The coldness of the stars touched her and the ember-glow of the cigarette dangling from her lips might as well be the last light when the sun sank below the horizon.

The horizon always held puzzles she could not peel away with squints, just like she could not remember when exactly this ritual began, only that it was after Delta Vee's Junkyard really became 'Delta Vee's'. She knew she couldn't bother to answer anything out here if she never bothered to ask any question, but for the most part she stayed out here every time. It was only when Apogee visited that some broken rhythm in her called for sleep, however irregular.

Peering out at the line that divided the earth from the sky had somehow managed to become a sport to her. What kind of sport it was, she didn't know. Especially not when she was so tired, Celestia dammit. (How could any sleep in the world erase this? Or anything else?) Delta did know that as the sway of the night dragged on, the more that line, that single horizon was erased by an encroaching sky, pressing down on a world that only wanted to...

Delta Vee surprised herself with a cough, and attempted to roughly rub away the blurriness sapping her tired eyes with the brusque motions of her foreleg. Dizziness struck the inside of her skull, but that wasn't all that out of the ordinary. Maybe it was even extra ordinary at this point.

(The blurry vision didn't go away.)

Luna dammit, she wanted a cigarette. Tartarus knows she could've sworn that she had one right in her mouth too. At least, tonight she should've. She usually did.

Why didn't she bring one?

Delta wanted a cigarette. Badly. Every one of the cursed packages sat not with her, past the junkyard's edge, but at the heart of it. Home. Her junkyard. Where only junk belonged.

(Delta had wanted those drinks too.)

(Just the drinks.)

...

"What'd you say?"

...

Not enough.

She hadn't said 'yes' either.

Delta never said yes, not to what Jet really wanted.

Not to anything but drinks.

...

"Heh, I would love that."

...

Flushed cheeks, freckles, and two dark eyes stared down at her from above.

Her own face was doubly flushed and spinning with...

...with alcohol, because her and Jet...

...Jet and her had drinks.

She wanted drinks.

Just drinks.

Drinks.

...

Tomorrow, Delta Vee would wake up to Celestia's sun shining over her junkyard like nothing was ever wrong. She would wake up because she knows that exhaustion usually overwhelms her, and that she'll have dragged herself off to bed. Figuratively. Delta rarely makes it to bed. Not on these nights.

Sometimes she'll half remember stumbling somewhere when her sleep is disturbed and fitful. Those kinds of nights are the nights she spends entirely, completely, and utterly alone in the junkyard.

The junkyard that is hers. Delta Vee's.

It is the junkyard that is always there, always waiting.

And just like any other junkyard, there is nothing that isn't broken inside.

Author's Note:

As my latest blog said, I'm back to writing again now that I have a new computer. This is the first story I've written on it, and I hope that it was worth the read. Please let me know how I did with a vote or a comment. Any feedback on Space Ponyos would be nice to hear since I'm still new to writing them. While I'm not sure if I'm going to do any pieces with them in the future, I did have this idea and wanted to show an angle to Delta like this and present a murkier, more surreal, and choppy narrative like I've done in other works. I really enjoy doing them, but I'm not sure what y'all think of it here. Any setting oops is the fault of me being scatterbrained.

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Comments ( 13 )

Well.... That was an unneeded feels trip...

I'm unsure what to say really, other than very well done on the perspective writing style, you really capitalize on it.

It was so well done it depressed me.

9482219
Thank you for reading! This was a story I wasn't expecting to get any comments on once I noticed the reception it was getting, but it feels really great to get one now. I haven't done this kind of perspective breakdown in a while (and normally I do them with poetry, tbh), so it's hopefully not too rusty.

9484241
It was a very good read overall, it especially packed a lot of emotional depth (and punch) for how short it was. I'd say any concerns of rust you have are unfounded. :rainbowlaugh:

I do believe the reason for the lack of attention is due to the tag mixer. Tragedy is avoided like the plague by most, (For usually good reason, if they want to avoid crying) but paired with Non-con and Dark, it just puts up even more warning signs. I wouldn't take the reception too hard, considering the above.

9484345
That's always true, though space ponyos do tend to garner reads and all, so it was still a little odd. It's good to see I haven't lost my touch, though.

That was a lot of feels for a short story, awesome work and writing :heart:

9517752
thank you so much! it means a lot to me knowing you enjoyed it C:

That was quite an emotional trip for 1000 words. Nicely done!

I really should not have read this. It's phenomenal writing on every level but god i should not have read this.

either way, it's important for stories like this to exist. thank you for writing it

9778411
I’m sorry if it stirred up anything it shouldn’t have; I try to label stuff like that as well as possible. But thank you so much for the praise! My darker pieces tend to be among my favorites and seeing comments on them always makes my day because it shows I’m doing something right.

9779811
no need to apologize. Honestly it's kinda hilarious for me to get all worked up about this anyway, knowing ive written about the same things. Irony and hypocrisy go hand in hand, I guess

And for real, this is an excellent story. Its a staggering reminder that big emotions don't come from big words, and I hope you're super proud of it cuz you really should be

9779820
Thank you so much!! I was pretty reluctant on how to go about this little piece, since it wasn't as, ah, abstractly terrifying as some of the other things I wrote. Autophobia and its companion thingies. It's the first experience I've had tackling the subject in my own fics, and it's something I had no intention to treat lightly.

knowing ive written about the same things.

always waiting for you to rip my guts out with an update on a sadflower story/update :,)

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