• Published 20th Aug 2012
  • 9,844 Views, 475 Comments

For I Have no Friends, and Must Scream - Richardson



Trixie's life hangs in the hooves of Twilight Sparkle after an encounter with a cockatrice.

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Bound to the Earth

She knew fear. She knew pain.

And misery.

Trixie's breath caught in her throat at the sound of far-off voices behind her in the quaint town she had just ran from. Her hooves found new speed, as the showmare convinced herself that they were coming to arrest her for the spectacular lapses in judgement that had just occurred. Trixie blinked tears of terror from her eyes as she kept running towards the forest not far ahead. All she could think of was the thick safety of the treeline looming closely now.

The thick underbrush snapped at her flanks with her passage even as the canopy of the forest turned a dark summer night into an all-consuming miasma of darkness. The showmare's heartbeat thundered in her ears as the dense brush ahead scratched and whipped at her face. Trixie rubbed at the stinging welts that adorned her face, forced to halt as she gathered her strength to press through the entangling mess ahead. Behind her, the voices had faded away into the silence of the wild; oppressively blanking out all noise but the tiny crackles of the showmare's hooves crushing the leaves and twigs of the forest floor and the steadily racing sound of her own heart.

Trixie looked up with a gasp and shrank into herself as the old geography lessons she had learned long ago rose to the forefront of her mind. The Everfree Forest, the Nopony Land. Her whimpers seemed so small and pathetic in her ears against the terrible majesty that laid all around her. The showmare twisted about as her eyes sought out any sign of the path she took into the thrice cursed forest. With only the faintest glow from her horn for illumination under the nearly solid canopy, she couldn't tell where her path may have been.

Magnified by the feeble light, the shadows of the trees about her took on an increasingly sinister tone. A brush of prickly bush against her cutie mark morphed itself in her mind into the cruel claws of a manticore testing her fur before the fatal strike. A scream of terror ripped itself free of her throat as Trixie bolted into the brush unheeding of the whipping branches that cruelly clawed at her form.

"Somepony, Anypony! Trixie is lost! Please!"

Something hooked one of Trixie's forelegs, slimy and foul as she slipped against it and feel to the forest floor in a jumbled heap of flailing limbs and wriggling torso. The mud in the small clearing she found herself in soaked through her fur with contemptuous ease and chilled the showmare across her whole body as she scrabbled across the ground in a desperate flight from whatever had grabbed her leg. In a faint ray of moonlight, she could see it, a many legged horror undescribed by science or magic rising into the air thirsting for her blood. Tendrils reached across the muddy clearing, its lair beginning to churn as it stirred from its slumber. Insectile carapace glistened in the slight light as it began to weave through the air towards the fallen showmare hungrily.

With a cry of horror, Trixie blasted it with all of her magical might and scrambled back to her hooves in a desperate attempt to be somewhere, anywhere but there. Adrenaline and fear powered her strides as she fled the clearing, running ever deeper into the forest of nightmares where harmony once fell. Creatures of all shapes and sizes awoke as she ran deep into the forest, it's magic slowly driving her towards the lost castle at its heart as she fled. Her mane drifted into her eyes, stinging them with traces of mud and sweat as she swept her gaze about in terror.

Gnarled bark rose up from the darkness, the shooting pain of flesh impacting tree trunk blinding the mare as she crashed headlong into the moss-wreathed surface. Once more she rose unsteadily, but less fearfully. The comforting light of the full moon bathed the area around her, as she discovered herself on a nearly overgrown and ancient road, stretching as far as the eye could see in both directions.

"Anypony out there? Please, I~ I need your help!" Trixie panted, listening for the comfort of any voice about her, for the comfort of any sentient being. Far off crackles of moving creatures sent ice through her veins; a mad dash to the center of the road her instinctive response.

But nothing came. Whether the creatures were afraid to reveal themselves due to the open terrain, or if they were too far away to find her, or worse staying away in fear of a greater threat Trixie couldn't tell. She wasn't sure if she wanted to know as she picked a direction and began stumbling along the rough stone-lined path.

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Trixie stumbled and wobbled down the dark forest path slowly. She had escaped immediate death at the tendrils of the thing in the mudpit, but she was still lost in the Everfree. A situation that at best could only be described as extremely detrimental towards her continuing health. The moon above seemed to shine down upon her, as if to declare her its own property.

Already, she had found one end of the failing road, where it ended in roiling rapids and a destroyed bridge. Now she was making her way back in an attempt to find her way back to Ponyville. Her muddy, dangling mane continually stung her eyes as she walked, remaining wet from dew and sweat. Hooves ached from the broken road as she trudged towards whatever destiny she was doomed to find. At least the monstrous noises in the depths of the forest had quieted away, leaving her walking in silence.

She couldn't help but feel a nagging sense of dread and the sense that if she couldn't escape the clutches of the Everfree by moonset, she's never leave at all. The moonlight was already fading as she picked up the pace of her trudge, whimpering quietly at the sense that something horrible was watching. True darkness was falling, shifting the forest back into the ghastly shadows that had fueled her panicked flight earlier.

"Anypony out there? Please, I need help! I'm lost!"

Her only answer was the disturbing rustling of brush all about her, a serpentine hissing that moved all about her. A predator, waiting for the moon's protection to fade.

Trixie needed no further warning, and broke into a gallop to put distance between her and the latest thing that wanted to have a taste of her blue hide. Her hooves rattled the loose rocks of the path as she ran the fastest she ever had in her life. She didn't look back for the longest time in the fading moonlight, keeping her eyes on the road ahead and her breath as under control as she could manage under the circumstances. She only looked back once, at the sound of a strange strangled cry that sounded like a mix of a rooster's crow and a lizard's hiss.

She caught a glimpse of it for just a moment, flittering across the gap in the trees. Beady red eyes that seemed to glare into her soul, a long lizard-like tail that stretched out several feet, and short stubby wings that buzzed madly in the moonlight. A strange stiffness nearly tripped her as she met the monstrous creature's eyes. Breaking eye contact was hard for her; the glare seeming to bore into her very soul as her legs grew heavy.

She still managed to break free of the mesmerizing glare, running on despite the newfound lethargy that coursed through her form. Her legs didn't want to bend all the way, her hooves making strange new noises with every hooffall. Blinking the stinging tears back from her eyes, she could see a curious hut built into a small clearing beneath overhanging trees. She pushed on despite the pain gathering in her leg muscles, fighting the cramps in her extremities as she ran up to its door.

"Please, let me in! Whoever you are, I need help, something is trying to kill me out here!" Trixie gasped out her plea as she pounded upon the door. But something caught her eye as a faint last gleaming of the moon broke through the trees, a change in her own hooves.

Trixie let out a ragged cry of sorrow and horror as she realized what was chasing her, and what she had already partly become. The stone texture that had replace much of her lower legs served as an intense wake-up call for her studies of Equestrian wildlife in school.

"PLEASE LET ME IN! There's a cockatrice out here! I don't want to die like this!" The showmare pounded with a renewed fury upon the Zebrican-engraved door as she tried to break in. Rustling movement wormed it's way through the bushes on the edges of her vision as the cockatrice closed in upon her.

Fury found her petrified hooves as she slammed upon the hut's doors, hearing the owner stirring slowly within. As hard as Trixie tried to break in, the vile light of protective wards glowed beneath her hooves as they struck supposedly vulnerable wood. Trixie backed away from the door to make a running tackle against it in her desperate fight to break it open and find shelter within.

And it appeared, the loathsome green scales shimmering in the light of the wards reacting to the cockatrice. The predator reared up, the transformitive light burning within it's eyes as it prepared to finish it's attack.

Trixie did the only thing her panic-stricken mind could think of, turning tail to it and running once more for Ponyville in a screaming gallop of terror. If she had been in the right state of mind, she might have noticed that the monster's gaze had been hidden behind a protective veil for her. Darkness surrounded her, instead, beneath the twisted and clawing branches of the Everfree as she ran for her life.

"OH CELESTIA, HELP MEEE~EEE! Keep away!" Trixie begged for her life as she ran, hearing the swift-winged pursuit that was steadily closing upon her. Far-off, a voice called to her from behind in answer to her cries. To Trixie's ears, the foreign tongue sounded all too much like the sound the reaper himself guiding her to Tartarus as she raced for her life.

Bushes continually flashed to either side of her as she ran, her mane and tail freely flowing beneath the darkening skies. Ragged sobs interspaced themselves between gasping breaths as she kept her pace, determined to not go quietly into Luna's night. Baleful hissing erupted directly before her, just seconds before a low heavy mass ran directly into her legs, tripping her and dropping her end over end roughly across the path.

"Keep away!" Trixie screamed in terror as she instinctively fired off a blast of the strongest lightning magic she could summon. Her stiffened hooves struggled to find footing beneath her as she bled from a dozen tiny scratches in her coat. A squawk of pain brought a grim smile to her face as she blindly blasted again, trying to kill it before she became a monument to her sins.

The hiss directly before her face broke her concentration, seconds before twin glowering red eyes, seemingly full of the fire of Tartarus itself as they glared into her soul. Trixie screamed once more as the cold of stone began creeping up her legs once more. Rearing back, she flailed her now entirely inanimate legs at the creature to kill it. And she found to her horror that her rear legs had frozen in place entirely, trapping her in that unstable position as the cockatrice escape her attempt at retribution.

Trixie had few options left as the creeping stone continued to slowly claim her, slowly transform her from Trixie the Great and Powerful into Trixie the Stone Failure. Lightning shot from her horn once more as she closed her eyes, trying to break contact. A terrible force scratched at her eyelids, a primitive telekinesis prying them open fraction by unwilling fraction.

Her tail was a frozen mess, claimed by the obliterating stone even as her cutie mark fell to its icy embrace. Trixie yelped in terror as her breath began to be stolen from her under the cockatrice's assault. "Momma! I don't want to die! Anypony please he~"

Trixie worked her mouth, realizing that no sound came from within. Beneath the perifying gaze of the cockatrice in the darkness of a now moonless night, she could see that her entire torso had been frozen solid, leaving her as good as dead. Tears dripped from her eyes as the creeping oblivion slowly inched up her neck.

Against the coming oblivion, Trixie spat in the face of the cockatrice in defiance. She was doomed, she knew it, but all the same she wordlessly cried for her long-lost mother as the coldness rippled up against her chin. Tears froze on contact with the stone portion of her body, forming strings of her sorrow.

With almost no movement left to her, not any subtle gesture of defiance against the creature that was killing her, Trixie wept as the cold froze the last of her mane into place, her vision growing dim as she channeled every last erg of energy left to her. Lightning crackled about her horn as she tried to kill the cockatrice one last time, the air humming with energy even as sound was blotted out to her as her ears turned solid and grey.

Before her, the gloating face of the cockatrice grew nearer as her muzzle froze into a grimace of sorrow and pain. The monster alighted upon the tip of her nose even as the charge in the air suddenly ceased. Trixie's eyes widened one last time as she realized she had waited too long; her horn now petrified and useless. She strove to close her eyes, to prevent her last look from being one of pleading uselessness, even as blackness creeped in, her consciousness swirling down into oblivion as the last of her became a granite monument to her fear.

'Anypony~ What did I do to deserve this? Please, Trixie doesn't want to go...'

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