• Member Since 21st Mar, 2013
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Grimm


Mostly harmless.

T
Source

After an expedition into the Everfree Forest ends in disaster, Applejack and Rainbow Dash take refuge in an abandoned cabin until morning.

This is probably a poor decision, but it's only one night, after all. How bad could it be?

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 115 )
B_25 #1 · Jun 16th, 2019 · · ·

That ending again? C'mon.

Damn. Cliffhangers.

Seriously?! A cliffhanger?! I was on the freaking edge the whole time and now I don’t know who was behind the door! Was it Twilight? Or Cthulu’s spawn? But that was a good kind of horror story, kept me reading until the end. I’ll like to imagine myself in those kind of situations, I would have kicked Applejack’s broken leg the moment she tried to open that damn door.

Nice fic.

Though if there is no sequel, could you pls pm me who was behind the door in the end? Horror logic dictates that the horryfing things are just there during the night and it was morning of the next day. Still, who knows what that creature is capable of.

9683176
You let her open the door and hide under the couch... I mean... I statistically have a higher chance of making it out alive if she dies first...

I actually really liked the cliffhanger end to this, and how easily this story can be read both ways. Those that paid attention will probably note that the creature didn't appear to ever use the same voice twice, and that it did mimic Twilight earlier in the story. The list compiled by AJ and RD, though, never listed a name more than once. Considering this, the remark about daylight that we get from Dash and AJ toward the end feels like something of a red herring.

The creature was a chilling, fascinating thing. I found it fit very well with Everfree spookiness and had a right amount of allure to it to come across as a kind of supernatural creature that went well with the setting, feeling similar to monsters that have already appeared in the show and something that could come out of similar sorts of cartoons. Gravity Falls actually came to mind. You've obviously put a more mature spin on things, even if multiple ponies have nearly been eaten by stuff in the Everfree canonically. Seriously, congrats on creating a monster that was captivating and didn't feel cheap, overused, or unsuitable for ponyfic horror. There's just so many un-compelling monsters that I've seen thrown into pony. Was it based on anything in particular?

On a side note, when you described the creature stealing voices and favoring strangulation, I couldn't help but think of this. I'm pretty sure it's not what you had in mind for possible inspiration, though.

Anyway, hooray for some new Grimm-words!

9683176
I would never give the game away like that, but I think there's enough in the story itself to make a reasonable assumption as to who (or what!) is outside at the end. That said, it could easily be either, and is left vague on purpose.

9683371
Thanks as always for the kind words! The creature has a mish mash of all sorts of horror influences. Biggest ones would be The Thing (of course), the bear from Annihilation, and even the gibbering mouther from dungeons and dragons. No serial killer influences, though! In fact the strangulation stuff was really all in Dash's head, when she's imagining it as some kind of typical, predatory creature. Who knows what it would have actually done to Applejack if Dash hadn't reached the door in time, although it would almost certainly be unpleasant...

Will there be a sequel?

9683417
Huh, guess I missed that little bit about it being imagination, then. It did seem to match up with how the creature stretched out the ungodly arms as a form of attack, though, so I thought there was some connection there. Seeing how easily AJ and RD's memory became fuzzy as they kept watch and were in the cabin, it didn't seem all that unlikely the original 'don't open the door' writing was from them after they glimpsed it, and then got away in order to have some ground to defend. Or maybe they just got a peek and ran, and the writing isn't theirs. The false memory felt like a good clue, in that regard.

And yeah, I didn't think that he'd have been the inspiration. The idea of stealing voices, despite being so distinct, doesn't really connect to much else I can think of except that dude and, uh, Ursula form The Little Mermaid? I figured a weirdly-motivated strangler killer who professed weird tales and deeds regarding women's voices made more sense than a sea witch.

I'm actually not familiar with the mouther or the bear one. Is there actually any kind of bear that could resemble this thing?

I don't deal with horror well lol. Why did I read this I ain't gon sleep tonight.

Wow, this was good! Terrifying too, and an original concept to boot!

Makes me wish for a sequel!

9683417
This was fantastic! I love horror and I really didn't expect it from you :twilightblush:
I immediately thought of the Annihilation bear-thing!
So creepy, and I liked the strange hypnotic vibe it gave off an addition.

I just got done playing Dead by Daylight with friends... well done sir this was genuinely terrifying.

It's pretty impressive at the end that Twilight was able to exactly quote the creature that was trying to mimic her the previous night. I'd love to insult its intelligence, but clearly it was smart enough.

No clue what game inspired this. Wish there was an ending in a seperate chapter. Sure open ended can also be quite good and this story was actually pretty tense so good job on that. I'm usually harsh on horror because it's never done right. You however managed to make it both creepy and scary without really revealing much about it. The horror is usually not in what we see but in what we don't see. Things in ther corners of your eyes or hidden in the night. That to me is true horror. It's also psychological horror due to it trying to mess with their heads this much which again is one of the things one simply needs for horror to be real good. I almost never read horror here because from my experience it's usually just "ooga booga I'm mcevil creature" which just removes the horror the human brain can create by simply having to imagine small bits of info instead. Probably why I like the lovecraftian universe so much. Otherworldly horrors that can never truly be described. Either way this was a good read :)

The modern fandom won’t appreciate this fic, nor does it really deserve it. Great work.

It's a shame that this was written now instead of, say, around 5 years ago. So much of the fandom has eroded away, and I'm sure they would have loved to read this. I know I certainly did.

Getting major "The Thing" vibes from this creature; voice mimicry, absorbed masses of bodies, elongated and outstretching limbs. The only bit that doesn't give me that indication are the memory lapses—or false memories—it gives to its potential victims.

I digress, this creation you've written up does more than intrigue me. Honestly, I loved how... Eldritch it felt.

Ah, well, while it isn't a flamethrower, the door worked wonders on temporarily stopping it, I suppose.

Fucking helluva good horror fic.

Based on the summery, picture, and first comment, I thought this was another version of The Bird Feeder fic from months back. Or the same writer. It's not, but a good fic to read during Halloween. I'll save it to spring on friends.

9684017
Awwwww dangit you're right. Well at least that answers the mystery of the ending, although it's a depressing one.

This story gave off 1408 vibes as it started and described the cabin and the creepy stuff started happening. Then it became evident there actually was a creature outside which was a pleasant surprise. There existed something tangible that, while threatening, wasn't completely infallible or invincible. It actually made everything much more tense because Rainbow and Applejack could die horribly, but they could also survive if they played their cards right.

I like that the ending is left entirely at the interpretation of the reader, I personally believe that it was Twilight at the end and that Rainbow and Applejack survived. It's a more interesting ending with more possibilities for what could happen after. I'd love to see a sequel where the pair deal with the trauma of this event, perhaps another one where a team are sent in to capture or kill this abomination to keep it from hurting anypony else.

Great story, horror done right.

9683938
Horror's one of my favourite genres! This isn't my first foray into it on this site, but I haven't written any for a long while. I had a lot of fun with this one, though, so I may end up writing a couple more while I have the itch for it.

9684371
9684017
I don't think it's quite so cut and dried. The monster doesn't just speak in the voices of ponies they know, it acts like them, too. With Scootaloo it talks about how she looks up to Dash, and so on. Perhaps it is as simple as the creature simply reusing the voice again, or perhaps it was a supernaturally good imitation before, now indistinguishable from the real thing.

Very creepy. Excellent atmosphere, if it wasn't for the MLP references you could sell this or even make a movie script from it.

My only personal complaint is the tone of the ending but I feel it's a subjective thing, the ambiguous tone leaves the story feeling unresolved and tense. No release here.

9684484
Thank you, I will use that. I prefer happy endings.

9684484
Please do! I'm definitely a fan. I'll check out your other one as well.

the creature was twilight. twilight could bust down the door with magic, or imply vanish it/ teleport it off the hinges, simply say "hey, twi, we just had a run-in with a really bad shapeshifter, and since it cant use magic we will stand clear while you explode the door and help us. please do so now"

boom. problem solved

Amazing, very thrilling! Gave me the chills and had me sitting up on my bed at night, on edge. Many kudos to you!!
Now we just need to get someone like Scribbler to do a reading of this on YouTube so I can just sit, and listen. :)

9684579
The Lady or the Tiger.

9685046
What I thought of as well, but the thing with 939 is that it can only impersonate prior victims

This story is fairly strong on the whole, but there are some issues I had; some minor, some less minor. I'll start with the more minor ones.

First, the occasional swearing. The problem is, it's out of character, as neither Applejack nor Rainbow Dash has ever sworn in the series, even in the most dangerous or distressing of situations. It's true the reason for this is that it's a kids' show, but it means that canonically it's not something they ever do, and thus to portray them as doing so is out of character. This story is hardly the only one to do this, but it's especially harmful in a suspense story where it kept taking me out of the story.

The next problem is the setup. It doesn't make sense. Okay, so Applejack and Rainbow Dash are in the Everfree Forest and Applejack breaks her leg. So... why doesn't Rainbow Dash just fly her out of there back to Ponyville? She's strong enough to do it, in "Sonic Rain-Boom" she was able to carry four ponies all the way up to Cloudsdale at once. Carrying one pony to Ponyville should be a snap. So the required setup for the story doesn't make sense. It would have worked far better had Rainbow Dash had her wing injured instead, as that would have nicely fixed this plot hole.

But what I found most frustrating was the ending, for two reasons. First, there was no shortage of ways Rainbow Dash and Applejack could have tried to verify Twilight's identity at the end, such as asking for a demonstration of magic (teleportation would have solved it instantly), but none are attempted. Second, and more pertinently, ending the story on an ambiguous cliffhanger, while arguably appropriate on a thematic level, still feels like a cheat to the reader.

Apart from these issues, the story was quite good with a decent atmosphere and suspense... but they do still detract from it.

A rather well-written story, wit ju st the perfect mix of creepyness and horror. That said, I intensely dislike and loathe these "the reader must guess the outcome" cliffhanger (non)endings *sigh* :/

Second point of criticismAJ and RD grabbing the idiot ball really tight in the ending. Unless they are under the creature's influence again (and thus dead), it seems terminally stupid that they don'the even consider asking "Twilight" to e.g. teleport in, or at the very least step in front of one of the boarded up windows on account of there having been a big monster outside that can imitate others. Since the ending is supposedly intentionally vague and open, this comes across as rather out-out-character :(

Dash was sure she hadn’t heard it come back. Hadn’t heard any more claws, or voices, at least until now.

Great suspense, thrilling.
I enjoyed every aspect safe for one thing:

Girl or the Lion ending? Really?
:moustache:

9685154
Expertly said and written. I concur.

9685154
I mean, the swearing is a pretty invalid point. Who cares about whether a character would swear or not on a kids' show. I'm honestly pretty sure both of these characters, if real, would swear. Regardless, it's not really a valid criticism.

The rest I agree with, but that can be put down to letting a horror story actually play out.

It's fine. That's fine. I was pulling an all nighter today anyway, yup.

Seriously though, I felt some pleasant chills creep down my spine in a really good way, the ones that only a solid piece of thriller/horror can provide. Bravo.

Also, no. The cliffhanger ending is a simply perfect solution, in my opinion. The real Twilight would be good for some and horrible for others. Same with the monster. This way, it's like "Choose your own ending" kind of thing.

The most scary thing is that this story lets the reader try (and quite possible fail) to assure him/herself every night that RD and AJ will be all right, it was Twilight at the end :rainbowlaugh:

Though honestly, this is a great horror fic'. I have to agree with the others, I personally dislike the lack of a resolution. I get the effect it gives but even movies like A Quiet Place, at least there's some sort of resolution, where the creature's weakness and potential hope of actually surviving the catastrophe is visible. I'm not going to say it's bad, it is very, very well done in fact. It's just this ambiguity seems to me like taking an easy route out of either giving people what they want or don't want, and thus not dealing with the backlash. [Please don't misinterpret, I don't assume you're doing this, it just feels that way.]

Here, it's left ambiguous and the only catharsis you can achieve is by lying to yourself each time to remember — that it was really Twilight on the other side of the door.

Still kudos, thumbs up and I look forward to more.

That's fine, I wasn't going to sleep tonight anyway.

Cognitohazards are their own entire universe of creepy.

9685154

I agree with your first two, but not so much your third. You can say this story is about breaking points. We've seen Applejack's breaking point with her father, but what of Rainbows? I feel like the ending of this could be showing it. Staying up all night for the sun in sheer panic and fear, waiting for that nightmare creature to come back. and this is after the horror, pain, stress, and mind breaking powers Dash faced before it left. She is not in the right state of mind, to say the very least. On top of all that, if this isn't Twilight then game over. What can she do? She needs to open the door. Not for her, but fer Applejack. Applejack needs help now, not tomorrow or three days from now-- She needs help now. If Rainbow Dash opens the door now, for Twilight, she wins! She best the monster, save her friend, and doesn't have to be afraid anymore. Even if it's the real Twilight Sparkle behind the door, with Dash's mind destroyed, I can still see her opening the door without thinking about asking Twi for proof. We also don't know how Applejack reacted to Twi. It's not Applejacks scenes it reacted to, It belongs to Rainbow Dash-- it's her breaking point. Dash's hoof is already at the door. It's unlocked. All she has to do for the nightmare to end is... open the door.

That's how I see it. :twilightsmile:

I was getting some serious deja vu vibes from this story and couldn't figure out until right at the end. There's a pretty similar story to this by(Spoiler because if you have read it, this spoils the entire story) Natural Born Derpy called Please Open the Door. I'm not sure between yours and his which I prefer but I do know both are among the best horror stories I have ever read.

Regardless, that description of the monster is incredible. It's so vivid that I can almost smell him. I kind of want to know some things about it. Namely is it tied to the cabin or is it a free roaming monster that could drift anywhere in the Everfree. Has Zecora ever met it? Did they meet it out in the forest and it's what broke AJ's leg? So many questions but I feel like answering them would ruin the story.

9685533

Honestly, ordinarily I wouldn't have commented on the swearing, as it's only occasional and this is hardly the first story to have the main characters swear (even if it is, in my view, out of character). I probably shouldn't have mentioned it at all--it was the most minor of my criticisms, as I noted. But for some reason it bothered me far more than usual in this story; I'm not sure why.

Unforgettable, memorable, stunning.

Was it a happy ending or not?

9684484
Was it a happy ending or not?
(Edit)
instant favorite, but seriously tell me hate with all my heart and my being these endings I prefer you to tell me plain and simple if they died or not.
Pleeeaaseee :pinkiehappy:

9686022
And you have stumbled on the point, as they say.

If Grimm respects their craft, as I'm sure they do, they will not tell you. That feeling you're left with, that "are they, aren't they" lingering feeling of dread, that lack of knowledge, that lack of certitude...that is the essence of horror. I recommend enjoying it, if you can; it's not often we get that anymore.

Alondro opens the door and punches Twilight in the face.

"OWWW!! What was that for?!" Twilight winces, rubbing her bloody snout.

"Oh, ah git it," AJ drawls. "Ya'll were makin' sure it were the REAL Twilight!"

"No," Alondro declares flatly. "That was for sucking so badly at running Equestria for a day."

Twilight... finds that she cannot dispute this.

The monster, meanwhile, is afraid of Alondro and remains well out of sight. This proves it possesses wisdom. For it is wise to fear Alondro.

:pinkiecrazy:

On a story-related note: Why couldn't it just smash the door? That's the thing that bothers me the most about these types of stories. The monster's biggest weakness is always locked wooden doors. Hell, I know some parodies that have mocked this very trope. At least with vampires, it's a stated rule that they have to be invited in. The rest? Just cliché.

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