• Published 6th Oct 2020
  • 657 Views, 63 Comments

Don't Lose Your Head... - Robipony



After picking up a cute little outfit for Irisa from Rarity's shop you make your way home to discover that your maid might still have a few untold secrets up her hooves.

  • ...
4
 63
 657

Macabre

The loud thud of metal resonated through the air as you knocked on the door to the Rich family estate using the knocker. Both you and your maid, Irisa stood waiting in front of the door. There was a pregnant silence as the two of you stood there waiting, wearing your Nightmare Night costumes. You with your witch doctor outfit and Irisa with the Little Red Trotting Hood costume Rarity had made for her.

'Do you think we got the time wrong, master?' Irisa asked.

"No, I'm sure we're on time," you answered.

Aside from the leaves blowing in the chilly autumn air, all was quiet. The weather was perfectly suitable for Nightmare Night, especially with the thunderstorm that was organized by the Ponyville weather team for the evening.

'Master, are you sure, you wanted me to accompany you this evening?' Irisa inquired, 'I'm sure you could have found a prettier mare to come with you.'

As usual, Irisa overestimated your charm. However, even if you were so charismatic, you hadn't intended to come to the party with a trophy mare as your accompaniment. Instead you had wanted to bring a friend.

'This place is a little spooky,' Irisa said, 'kind of like one of those haunted mansion from one of the books in your collection.'

"You're not too scared, are you?"

Irisa smiled. 'No, I'm fine master.'

It was then that the door opened and an elderly stallion in a butler's uniform opened the door. You recognized him as Randolph, the Rich family's personal butler.

"Good evening," Randolph said, "do either of you have an invitation?"

Using your magic, you presented to Randolph the invitation Trixie had given you. Examining the invitation, Randolph gave a nod.

"Very good, sir." The butler pulled the door open further and motioned with a hoof for Irisa and you to enter. "Please do come in."

After you both entered the house, Randolph closed the door behind you.

"Please, allow me to escort both of you to the trophy room. Some of the other guests arrived early and Mister Rich wanted to show them his achievements."

You followed Randolph upstairs to the second floor. The house was massive with exquisite walls, paintings and chandeliers. There was also the scent of polish and cleaning supplies in the air, it wasn’t strong enough to be offensive but it was a subtle, lingering presence.

'This place is huge, master.'

"Indeed," you whispered in response.

Eventually the three of you reached a door with the golden symbol of an axe and a shield. The sound of other ponies conversing on the other side could be heard.

"And here we are," Randolph said, "dinner will be ready in an hour, however drinks and appetizers are available for you and your companion. Please enjoy your time."

Randolph opened the door and you walked in, with Irisa following behind, her movement being a little uneasy. You were completely aware that she was uncomfortable around crowds and ponies she wasn't familiar with. Still, you hoped that this party would help her grow more secure. Plus she could use more friends and parties were a great way to make friends.

Stepping into the trophy room, you beheld the rest of the guests. There was Mr. Rich with his wife, Trixie, both of whom wore the outfits of a couple Victorian nobles. Not too far away were Rarity and Applejack. While Rarity wore a striking dress in the style of the famous Shadow Spade, Applejack's outfit was that of a cowcolt clown, something that seemed to be annoying Rarity. There was also Sunshine Smiles who was wearing a toga and a crown of leaves. Following her annoyed gaze you saw Caramel in a set of knightly armor, flirting with one of the twins.

Serving drinks were the twins, Gash Bloom and Flash Gloom. Both of the mares were wearing matching bunny suits, with fishnet stockings, a purple, coat tight suit with fluffy white bunny tails, white bunny ears along with white collars and black bow ties. The outfits appeared rather alluring on both of them.

While the twin, Caramel was flirting with giggled, the other seemed to be sharing in Sunshine's irritation.

'Oh, my.' Irisa appeared to be shocked by the costumes. 'those are some... Interesting uniforms.'

"I suppose so," you whispered.

'Master, would you like for me to possess such an outfit?'

You could feel your cheeks growing warm in response to Irisa's inquiry.

"I don't think that would be necessary." You whispered back, though secretly there was a part of you that wondered how Irisa might look in such an outfit.

"You made it!" Trixie exclaimed as she walked over. "And this must be the maid I have heard about."

Irisa moved closer to your side as if doing so would provide her with some protection. Seeing the visitor's, Sunshine Smiles came over to observe.

"Yes, this is Irisa." You introduced your maid.

Irisa waved at Trixie, still clinging close to you.

"Well, hello Irisa, I'm Trixie and it's nice having you here."

This warranted a nod and a slight smile from Irisa. Trixie on the other hoof looked rather confused by Irisa's silence. Seeing Trixie's reaction, Irisa seemed to shrink behind you.

"Unfortunately Irisa can't talk." You explained.

Immediately Trixie's confusion changed to an apologetic smile. "I'm so sorry, I didn't know. I hope I haven't troubled her."

"I'm sure she'll be fine," you replied, "it just takes her time to warm up to others is all."

Irisa smiled slightly, which seemed to liven Trixie's mood.

'Thank you master.'

Looking around you noticed that one member of the Rich family was missing.

"So where's your… uh, step daughter?" You asked.

"Oh, Diamond Tiara, she's spending Nightmare Night with her friends. I believe she said that Silver Spoon and her were going to hang out with Apple Bloom and her friends."

"I see, well that's kind of nice."

"Yes, it means she won't be walking around bored at this party and that my hubby and I can… well…"

Seeing a slight redness to Trixie's cheeks, you had a vague idea what Trixie and Mister Rich might have planned once the party was over. You decided to try to change the subject.

"If you don't mind me asking, how did you and Mister Rich meet?" You asked.

"Well, as I'm sure you are aware a few years ago I had caused some trouble in Ponyville…"

Yes, you recalled the time that a crazed Trixie had seized control of Ponyville with the use of a powerful amulet. Fortunately you had avoided much of the abuse.

"After that nopony would associate with me, which had resulted in me going broke," Trixie continued, "I would have starved to death if it wasn't for the generosity of a certain stallion."

"Mister Rich."

"Yes. The two of us became friends and after Rich divorced his first wife due to her infidelity, we… developed a bond. With his help I was able to return to show business."

As Trixie said this, you thought you could recall seeing one of those shows.

"Didn't you have a trick involving petrification?"

"I did," Trixie replied, "however after a few ears and tails broke off, I decided to stop."

The both of you had a little chuckle at that and even Irisa seemed to find the joke to be amusing, even in her silence.

"Well, thank you both for coming," Trixie said, "I hope you'll enjoy the party."

"I'm sure we will."

'She seems nice,' Irisa said.

"Well, she certainly has come a long way."

As you walked around the room, Irisa followed you closely. The room consisted of various items mounted on the wall, such as the head of a massive timber wolf, its eyes absent of the light that signaled that the wooden being was alive. Its teeth glistening in the room's lighting.

Next to it was the severed head of a hydra, it's lips curled back with a mighty hiss. It's eyes glazed over.

There were also paintings of other members of the Rich family, including what appeared to be a family portrait with Filthy Rich, his new wife Trixie and Mister Rich's daughter, Diamond Tiara. From the smiles on their faces it seemed that the family was very happy.

Attached to the room was another door which had a golden label above the door with the word, Study etched into it. You guessed that it probably contained documents pertaining to his business.

"Hey there, sugarcube." A familiar feminine voice called out.

You turned to see both Applejack and Rarity drawing near. While Applejack appeared happy to see you, Rarity seemed sullen, her eyes focused on Irisa. No doubt, she still felt bad for what had happened at the boutique. Taking a quick peek over your shoulder, you could see Irisa hiding behind you.

After a sigh, you gave Applejack and Rarity a smile. "Hey, it's nice seeing both of you here."

"Yep, the Apple family and the Rich family go back a ways," Applejack said, "though when I accepted the invitation, I didn't expect you to be joinin' us."

You let out a chuckle as you scratched the back of your head. " Yeah, Trixie was nice enough to give me an invitation."

"Well, both of you are lookin' nice this evening." Applejack said, motioning to the costumes you and Irisa were wearing.

"Yes, we purchased them from Rarity's store."

"Rarity does make some nice costumes," Applejack answered, “you should have seen the costume she made for Sweetie Belle. Ah’ve never seen a cuter robot before. As fer me, I made my costume myself."

"I can see that." It had been very obvious since your arrival, by Rarity's mood, however now she seemed rather sad. It was like she wanted to say something, but wasn't sure what words to speak.

You weren't sure how to proceed. While it was very clear that there was some tension between Rarity and Irisa, it seemed that neither knew how to address the subject.

The tension was thick enough that even Applejack could sense it.

"Hey, Rarity why don't we go talk with Sunshine Smiles." Applejack suggested.

"Uh, yeah."

You watched as both Applejack and Rarity walked away. Once they were out of earshot, you turned your attention to your maid.

"Are you okay?" You whispered, concerned for Irisa's wellbeing.

'I'm sorry master.' Her eyes looking down at her hooves.

Though even as you said it, you realized that there really wasn't much Irisa could do to communicate with others without giving away her true nature. You would have to think of some way to allow for Irisa to talk with others.

"No, it's fine," you said, "though if you don't feel up to this, we don't have to stay."

Irisa shook her head. 'No, master, I'll be okay I can do this.'

Well, if Irisa was alright, then it probably wouldn't hurt to stay for a little while. Perhaps this party could help her come out of her shell a little more and maybe you could think of something that would allow her to talk to others without using her eyes.

"Can I have a drink?" You asked one of the twins as she drew near.

This twin who had previously been glaring daggers at Caramel gave you a bright smile. "It would be a pleasure, sir."

She held out the tray so that you could take the glass with your magic. Irisa carefully reached out with a hoof and took a glass for herself.

"Thank you," you said, "now I know I will probably be asking this again, but who are you?"

"I am Gash Bloom." The twin answered.

You took a sip from your glass of champagne. Looking over at Irisa, your lips curled slightly as you noticed her blink a few times in response to the drink.

"Does it annoy you, when other ponies try to figure out, which of you is which?"

"Oh, it can be frustrating at times." Gash Bloom lifted the tray once more, before giving you a mischievous grin. "But sometimes keeping others guessing as to which sister they're talking to can be a little fun."

"Are you having fun now?"

Gash Bloom looked back to her sister who was still in a joyful conversation with Caramel, her frown returning.

"No, not at the moment."

"Is everything okay?" You asked.

"I'm sure she will be fine." Gash Bloom shrugged. "There are just some things I don't like sharing is all."

'Sharing?'

You were about to inquire more on the subject, when you heard the door open and the room went completely quiet. Turning around you saw the reason for the silence.

Standing in the doorway with a condescending expression was none other than Mister Rich's ex-wife, Spoiled Milk.

"Randolph, be a dear and pour me a glass." Milk said, her demeanor being that of a mare who controlled the room.

While she wasn't wearing a costume, you were fairly certain that Spoiled Milk didn't need one.

The butler was about to do as Spoiled Milk had instructed, before Trixie raised a hoof and walked over to the other mare. "Spoiled Milk, why are you here? Surely you could be spoiling the mood elsewhere."

Spoiled Milk looked smugly at the new misses Rich. "For your information dear, I was invited."

"Really, you don't say." Trixie glared over her shoulder at the twins, a look of embarrassment on their faces. Seeing this, you guessed that they might have sent Spoiled Milk an invitation by accident.

Mister Rich coughed in an attempt to distract everypony from the tension in the air. "How about I give you all a tour of the trophies I have here."

While most of the ponies at the party seemed to be following along, both Trixie and Spoiled Milk continued to share hateful glances. Taking a deep breath, you joined the group.

Our host started by standing in front of a wall mounted axe. The weapon possessed a steel axe head, strong oak handle and leather wrapped around the handle. Something resembling a timber wolf was carved into the side of the axe head.

Even as you and Irisa joined the group, it was very clear that your maid was very apprehensive, her eyes seeming to focus on Rarity on more than a few occasions.

"This axe here belonged to my grandfather, Stinkin Rich," Rich said, "when Ponyville was first established there were many problems of timber wolves leaving the Everfree Forest and terrorizing the town. Many of the villagers including my grandfather created a posse to hunt down any timber wolves when they entered the town. This axe is the very axe he used for such hunts."

"It's quite a charming weapon," Sunshine said, "but a mere axe isn't going to do much to a timber wolf."

"That is true," Rich replied, "a normal axe would merely make a timber wolf fall apart, which was why when he started the posy, he had a unicorn enchant this axe so that it could cut through the strongest material like butter. In fact, I would dare say that if the Vermillion Hourglass were still around and she were to show up in this manor, that this axe could dispatch her with ease."

'Master, I don't believe that axe is magical.'

You looked over your shoulder to see Irisa standing there. Carefully you whispered to her, "Are you sure?"

'According to one of your books, The Art of Enchantment, magical items will usually have some runes etched into them, though I don't see any.'

Interesting. Did Filthy Rich know this? Well, it would probably be wise to reveal this to the stallion when the party was over. No reason to spoil everypony's fun. After all, a good host is a happy host.

At one point, you noticed Randolph walk up to Gash Bloom. The two of them seemed to be talking to each other in hushed tones. Reaching into his suit pocket, Randolph gave some sort of small object to the twin, who quickly accepted it. Aside from the slight glimmer of metal, you couldn't tell what it was.

After the exchange, Gash Bloom made her way to the door and stepped outside.

'What do you think they're doing?' Irisa asked, clearly noticing what had happened as well.

"I'm not sure," you replied.

"So who is this?" Caramel asked, pointing to a portrait on the wall.

The painting showed a stallion with a close resemblance to Filthy Rich other than his beard and mustache, which possessed some additional gray hairs. The stallion in the painting seemed to be looking down on the viewers, his gaze carrying a sense of disdain. As you gazed upon the portrait, something about him seemed familiar.

Mister Rich let out a deep sigh in response to the portrait. "That's my father, Sir Cunning Rich. A stallion whose shadow I would prefer to avoid."

"Why do you say that?" Rarity asked.

"Well, let's just say that he wasn’t all right in the head," Rich continued. "He was a paranoid stallion who assumed the worst of those around him, even his own son. To make matters worse he's reputation stained our family name, his greed and deceit knowing no bounds. Furthermore, there are rumors that he might have participated in some… occult practices."

Spoiled Milk rolled her eyes, clearly having heard this on more than a few occasions.

"Give me a drink dear," Spoiled Milk said as she plucked a drink off of Gash Bloom's tray.

Despite the spoiled mare's reaction, you found this information to be rather interesting. You could probably adjust it for one of your stories.

'His eyes are so haunting.' Irisa shivered.

As you examined the portrait further, the sudden image of the homeless stallion you had encountered on the way home appeared in your mind.

"Where is your father now?" you asked nervously.

Mister Rich gave you an uncomfortable look. "At the Ponyville Asylum for the Insane."

Almost as if on cue, there was a flash of lightning outside. Looking around you could see that a few of the ponies were a bit disturbed by this. One such pony was one of the twins carrying a tray of appetizers.

"Are you okay, miss Gloom?" you asked, trying to comfort the mare while also distracting yourself from the fact that you might have met Filthy Rich's mad father earlier.

The twin smiled at you. "Actually I'm Gash Bloom."

You shook your head, returning the smile. "No, Gash Bloom is the one serving drinks."

"What makes you think that we didn't swap trays?"

"Because even if that were the case, your mannerisms returned to your happy normal self, after I distracted you from the lightning."

Flash Gloom gave you an impressed smile. "Very clever."

"So are you okay?"

The twin looked a little nervous. "I'm just not a huge fan of thunderstorms is all."

You nodded. "That's understandable, but I wouldn't worry about it."

The thunderstorm had been scheduled by the weather team to help with the Nightmare Night theme, so you were sure that everything was under control.

"So why is your sister upset?" you asked, as you took a spinach appetizer. Even as you chewed on the snack, something felt a bit off.

"I'm actually not too sure," Flash Gloom said, "she was fairly happy for a while, then Caramel came over and her mood changed."

"Really."

Flash nodded. "He had suggested we sleep together and I was like, sure that could be kind of fun."

You nearly coughed up the appetizer. "What?"

"Yeah, I mean love slumber parties, so I didn't see the harm in it, but apparently it just soured Gash's mood."

A part of you was shocked by what you had heard. Was Flash Gloom really so innocent that she didn't realize that Caramel was hitting on her or was she trying to trick you, like she had just moments ago?

Though that did explain why Gash Bloom was so displeased.

"I don't think it's a slumber party that he was wanting."

Flash gave you a confused look. "Then what else could he want?"

Looking over at the stallion in question, you saw him speaking with the snobby, Spoiled Milk. He certainly was a sly little stallion.

'Master, do you think he is trying to find somepony to mate with?' Irisa said, eliciting a slight blush from your cheeks. It was about then that your insides started to feel like they were twisting and churning.

"Is something wrong, sir?" Flash Gloom asked.

'Are you okay, master? You're looking a little green.'

Your insides gurgled. It felt almost as if there were worms squirming inside your stomach. Was there something wrong with the appetizer?

"Ummm… if you will excuse me, I need to attend the restroom."

'Would you like for me to accompany you, master?'

You gave Irisa a quick look and shook your head, signaling that you didn't want her following you.

Slowly you walked to the door, not wanting to aggravate anything too soon. As you made your way to the door, the butler spotted you.

"Is everything alright sir?" Randolph asked.

"Could you show me where the restroom is?" You wheezed.

"Absolutely sir, right this way."

Randolph escorted you down the hallway to the bathroom. As pristine as the room was your attention was more focused on expelling whatever it was that had upset your stomach.

Hunching of the Ivory throne you proceeded to violently vomit into the bowl. While the process probably only took a few minutes, to you it felt like hours.

After splitting up the last of the bile, you flushed the toilet and walked over to the sink to wash your hooves. As you were washing a sound caught your attention.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

As you heard the noise, you could have sworn it was coming from the mirror. Almost as if somepony was tapping on the other side of the mirror.

"I wonder if something was wrong with the appetizer." You groaned.

With your hooves you splashed some cold water onto your face. Feeling clean and a little empty, you emerged from the bathroom. There Randolph stood, patiently waiting for you.

"Are you feeling better, sir?"

You nodded. "Yes, thank you."

There was a bright flash of lightning outside and the crack of thunder, before the lights went out. Moments later you heard a scream from the trophy room.

Fearing that something might have happened to Irisa you ran to the door, the image of its frame burned into your eyes as another flash of lightning illuminated the hallway.

You were about to pull open the door when suddenly the door swung open and slammed right into your nose. The pain flashed through you like the lightning outside.

"Are you okay sir?" Randolph asked.

"Oh, sorry about that." Sunshine Smiles said, verifying that she was the one who slammed the door in your face.

"I'm fine," you groaned, "just make sure everypony else is okay."

After recovering from your nose pain, you followed Randolph into the room.

"Is everypony alright?" You heard Applejack call out, off to your left.

Lights began to fill the room as the unicorns that were present illuminated their surroundings with their magic. Pale blue and light pink energy began to radiate in the room. Once you had recovered from your nasal injury, you contributed your own magic to lighting the room.

"Randolph, please light the candles," Filthy Rich instructed.

"Of course, sir."

As the candles were lit, Rarity let out a sharp gasp. Soon it became very clear why as a macabre scene was revealed. On the floor lay both Gash Bloom and Flash Gloom, their heads completely severed from their bodies. A surprised expression marred the twins' faces.

Aside from the thunder outside, the room was quiet and still. It was as if everypony hoped that by being silent, the scene before them would disappear and the party would return to its jovial mood. However nothing changed. Finally Mr. Rich spoke, breaking the silence.

"Let us go downstairs into the dining hall. Randolph, could you please move the bodies to a more secure location?"

"I would advise against that," you spoke up.

"Agreed," Rarity said, "we don't want to tamper with the crime scene."

"Crime scene?" Trixie inquired anxiously.

"Yes," Rarity replied, "it isn't normal for ponies heads to just pop off last I checked."

Looking back to the twins you observed the killing incisions. Each of the cuts along the necks were straight and clean. No blood leaked from the bodies, merely a black ashy powder. It would seem that the killing blow was delivered by magic or an extremely hot blade.

Filthy Rich nodded, "No, no, you're right. Well, could we at least cover the bodies with a blanket?"

"Yes, I suppose that would be fine." Rarity said, grimacing at the grotesque scene.

Even as Randolph came and placed a blanket over the bodies, you couldn't help but feel uneasy. Looking around you could see that you weren't the only one that possessed such feelings and that made matters more difficult. After all, one of them had to be the killer.

Examining the expressions of all the other guests you noticed that most of them carried a sad demeanor. That is except for two ponies. Caramel who had a large scowl on his face and Irisa who was completely absent from the room.

"Now if you will all please follow me," Mr. Rich instructed, "we should go to the dining room and wait for the authorities to arrive."

"Has anypony seen Irisa?" You asked.

"She might be in the study." Rarity suggested, pointing a hoof at the door that was now open.

As the rest of the group vacated the room, you walked over to the door and stepped into the study. The room was dark, save for what little light came through the window. More of the room came into view as the light from your horn illuminated your path.

"Irisa, are you in here?"

There was a moment of silence before a familiar voice entered your head. 'Master?'

Peering around the room you saw Irisa, huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth on her haunches. Many of her eyes gazed around the room in a frenzied manner. Slowly, you walked toward her.

"Yes, it's me," you answered, "Are you okay?"

Irisa shook her head. 'No.'

"Are you hurt?"

For a moment Irisa was silent. 'I remembered it again. I try to forget, but it keeps coming back.'

Tears leaked from multiple eyes on Irisa's body.

"What do you remember?"

Once more Irisa shook her head. 'I don't want to talk about it.'

So that's how it was going to be. Just like before, she wasn't going to talk to you about what was bothering her. This filled you with a sense of fear and insecurity. You weren't sure which was a more dreadful thought, the idea that she didn't trust with this matter or that perhaps this secret was so horrible that it was crippling for Irisa to talk about.

As you pondered this, Irisa looked up to you.

'The twins... are they...?'

It seemed that even this was difficult for Irisa to put to words.

You nodded. "Yes, it would seem that both Flash Gloom and Gash Bloom are no longer with us."

"Blank walls and empty space. White ceramic covering writhing red flesh, chewy pulsating muscle moving behind the walls. The smooth walls devoid of sockets for lifeless, ever watching eyes."
-Scribbles on a White Wall