• Member Since 14th Jun, 2012
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They say that reading it will send a pony to insanity. Twilight knows that's nonsense.
She knows a simple story can't make her go mad. It's perfectly safe.
Now if only she felt safe around Spike...

Winner of the Ponyfest 3.0 Iron Author Competition. This was originally written in 2 hours with the prompt: Include: Hippogriffian Culture, A Rare Fruit & An Artistic Pursuit. This version has received some editing.
Many thanks to wishcometrue for her editing and Syke for helping with the descriptions!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 63 )

This story is haunting; truly one of your best stories yet. Very deserving win, and thank you for letting me edit it.

Very worthy winner, and an absolutely amazing entry! Congrats on the dub!

I absolutely love Twilight Horror stories, and this was really good!! I love the way she slowly goes insane and doesn't even realize until the end.
That ending...yikes. Bad move, Twi.

I feel so stupid for not understanding this, but I just don't. Is Spike trying to kill Twilight? If so, why? If he's not, then why is he acting so shifty and why are all of his actions lining up with the events of the book? Is the book forcing Spike to act like that, and if so, how is it doing that? How and why is the book driving Twilight mad (if that's what's going on) when it apparently had no effect on the other scholars who read it?

There's something here, I can't deny that, but I'm failing to see the logic behind it.

EDIT: I think I get it now—disregard this post.

Seer #5 · Jun 7th, 2020 · · ·

Spike is not trying to kill Twilight. The implication is that the book mirrors the nature of the reader's reality while sending them mad. Spike was worried about Twilight since she was behaving strangely, but otherwise he was normal. In regards to the other scholars, the implication is that the book didn't have an effect on them since they only read parts of it. Since Twilight was reading the whole thing, it had its effect.

I enjoyed this as a speedfic and it's still good here. You did a good job showing Twilight's fall into suspicion. My one complaint is that the cursed story feels pretty normal. It's a straightforward tale, there aren't any oddities that could push Twilight's mind in certain directions when trying to understand it. That makes it a bit harder to accept that it would drive Twilight mad.

Wow. Dark. Good story.

That's a pretty good take on "texts that make you go mad" thing.

Alondro #9 · Jun 8th, 2020 · · 22 ·

Twilight, weak-willed and simpering, falls to a basic mind-altering incantation laid upon a book. No different than subliminal messaging in movies that the primitive, undeveloped minds are subject to.

Element of Magic, my ass. A first-year at Hogwarts would know better! Bah!


And yet a first-year did fall to it ;)

Everyone saying this story is cursed is looking at this the wrong way: It's a political intrigue story that ends on a TERRIBLE note for the protagonist. Twilight's weakness here is that she allowed her readings to color her perspective.

10276405 I was wondering if someone would pick up on that.

Now we can start speculating that the book has Voldemort in it. :trollestia:

Alondro #13 · Jun 8th, 2020 · · 11 ·

10276488 That rather paints Twilight as incredibly stupid.

I would say that'd be like believing Daring Do was real, but... yeah... thanks for destroying the internal immersion, TV show. :facehoof:

It's more akin to the very old Simpson's episode of Maggie imitating Itchy and Scratchy. We can postulate the dumb children will believe what they read in a fictional story and then instantly mimic it in real life... like hard core "Twilight Saga" fans drinking clamato juice. :trollestia:

But an educated, intelligent adult doesn't read a Hercule Poitot mystery novel and decide everyone on a train is trying to kill them.

Unless... they ARE trying to kill me! … nahhh, that's silly. (turns around just in time to see all the passengers swiftly hiding a ton of weapons, and whistling innocently) :rainbowderp:

I suppose that the implication is that Spike ran away from home after feeling really unappreciated again, but realistically, there are few places where a Dragon could run away to that he couldn't be found by four immortal horse-goddesses.

Also, Dammit Twilight!! You believed the old prophecies about Nightmare Moon, you learned first-hoof that hexes are real from Poison Joke, and you also even accepted that there are things that cannot be explained with science from Pinkie Pie! Why the tartarus would you not believe that a story designed to drive you mad, would actually drive you mad?!

So is the implication that Twilight poisoned Spike? It's a bit vague, which may be the point.

I... when I clicked on this story I expected something different.
Now I just fell sad and empty inside...
...good job???


I guess it could be. Her poisoning Spike would mirror Vynia executing Alyx in the story. I didn't think that she would take it that far, though.

Seeing as there's some confusion, I figured I'd offer up my own (possibly incorrect) inferences and the official "Word of God" (see an earlier comment by Seer) to help explain what might be going on:

As Twilight reads the book, its text "warps" to reflect the goings-on of her real life. These "coincidences" convince Twilight that Spike, like the younger sibling in the story, is trying to kill her, and she thus misinterprets his usual snarky quips and concerned remarks as sly allusions to his "true" intentions. After she dreams of Spike poisoning her apple, she recalls that "Vynia had made moves to capture Alyx" and decides to similarly get the jump on her own supposed would-be assassin, taking the apples up to the cellar and presumably poisoning Spike's.

However, in both the novel and Twilight's reality, it all turns out to be a tragic misunderstanding. As the protagonist of the book realizes that their now-deceased younger sibling never meant to harm her, Twilight comes to a similar realization about Spike, who is now heading downstairs to eat the apple she had poisoned last night.

But by the time Twilight has come to her senses, it's too late—the damage has been done, and an innocent life has paid the price.

Ah. Dark, but it is horror. Yeah I saw the author's comment but it still left things vague. Again that may be intentional.

Oof, that's one mistake that's going to bite one in the butt real damn hard. Short but oh so thrilling and chilling. It's going to be hard to explain how Spike kicked the bucket and not succumb to madness from the guilt.

Guess the cursed book continues to live up to its reputation.

Well written tale in the horror genre of olde before people were so jaded.

Man, poor Spike does all that work for twilight and still gets mistreated.
Seriously though, there a good lesson here of not allowing things to lead you on blindly, whether it be a book mirroring your life or the news trying to tell you a certain view . Question everything, poor spike

Woah, now that was terrifying o_O

Dark yes but not really horror.

Twilight pinched the bridge of her muzzle and yawned.

Can someone explain to me how a pony does this?

No, it's definitely Horror.

How so?

¨girl go crazy and poison guy¨ This is dark, not horror.

There is nothing scary, nothing malicious, nothing disturbing, no gore, no greater stakes. Anything that would warrant a horror tag simply isn't present in the story. Its a good dark story, but if it is attempting to be horror then it is clearly failiing.

if death is synonymous with horror to you than yeah i guess, but it objectively isn't

10281098 There's several types of horror, dude. This is definitely in the realm of psychological horror. Also, you came here to read about a book that fucked with people's heads, and now you're complaining about it because you got exactly what was advertised. And "nothing malicious"? It's a cursed book! It's very CLEARLY malicious! Let's not forget, that it's supposedly a HISTORY book, as in, not fiction. So that means that everything in that book actually happened, and from what I can tell, the spirit of the killer from the story, starts to make the reader see everything as they did.

That's definitely horror.

First of, i am not complaining, i even said its a good dark story, just not a horror one.

And thats the thing, The ¨curse¨ is not prominent enough to even be sure its there in the first place, a non-cursed story could have had the same effect on someone with just the right events.

The story is dark because someone went crazy, the story is not horror because it didn't go far enough to deserve that tag. For the same reasons a murder-case police story is generally considered dark and not horror.

10281240 The fact that your definition of horror is "Gore, disturbing, and malice", tells me that you think a horror movie isn't good unless there's blood and guts every 5 minutes. That's not horror, that's just gross.

Horror is when something is taken a step further than merely being dark.

This story don't do that, it gets dark, but does not build up anything to warrant being called horror.

Edit: ¨and from what I can tell, the spirit of the killer from the story, starts to make the reader see everything as they did. That's definitely horror.¨
That is an enormous stretch, if making a stretch like that is necessary to make it horror, then the actual story isn't.

That's a flawed definition. Some of the best horror I've ever seen only shows you the dark parts, but leaves the more gruesome shit up to the imagination. Sometimes what you DON'T see is a hell of a lot more terrifying than what you DO see.

Exactly, and in this story, there is nothing you don't see.

There's a LOT we don't see. We don't see Twilight poison the apple, we don't see what happened to Spike, we don't see if Twilight was ACTUALLY free from the curse, or if her getting her mind back was only temporary, etc. There's a lot here that wasn't shown, because the suspense of not knowing is scarier than if the author had shown us what the aftermath was.

What exactly is scary there? we already know what the worst case scenario is, if anything, not knowing this is reassuring because he might not even be dead in the end.
Not seeing things as trivial as ¨in which shop the murderer bought his knife?¨ is not ¨mystery¨

if the only things we don't see are so tame, then as i said, not horror.

It didn't control her. It played off her paranoia

10287909 *sigh* And these days, the minds of the readers are so weak they can't even pick up on obvious silliness, even with a Trollestia emoji at the bottom and a blatant reference to Harry Potter. :facehoof:

Foolish Purplesmart.:ajsleepy:

Good story.

Alright, rude. Trolllestia doesn't always mean it's a joke, it just means "Ha!". It looked like just you last line was a gag, not the first half.

You only specified material in the last half, even. It's possible to have a funny line in a serious paragraph without implying the whole thing is a joke. If you meant to imply the whole thing as a joke, it was unclear.

It is not that exciting a piece, but it is horror. Psychological and tragic.

The stakes are, to Twilight, she could die to Spike or wrongly kill him. Since this is tragic, she ends up choosing wrong. It's mystery because she (and the audience) are uncertain if the parallel between the advisor and spike is true or not(and what that parallel could mean).

Psychological and tragic Is not Horror, its Dark.

Edit: imma rephrase it since no one puts it in context it seems:

TAME Psychological and tragic Is not Horror, its Dark.

Both can be horror, and it seems to function as horror in this instance. Horror is not just terror, pain, gore, and death.

It could just not be horror to you. There are stories on this site that some see as horror but is not made with it in mind, or labeled for it.

Horror is often paranoia. Some good horror has only a threat within, and the only danger was the shadows in the corners of their eyes.

If the piece is framed from a outsider's perspective, it may just be dark or sad.

For the one suffering, it becomes horror.


You do realise we are not Twilight right?

A story must be classified from the view of the reader. from our view there is no horror to be found.

By your description, The Lion King should be classified horror, afterall from Simba's perspective he saw his father die and even believed he was the cause.


you do realize that we are seeing from her perspective, right? We're not literally Twilight.

And we saw the Lion King from Simba's perspective. Your point?

Oh ffs, you're still going? You're WRONG. Just to put in my 2 cents before I block you entirely, here's a list of Psychological HORROR games, since you're so damn adamant that psychological horror doesn't exist.

Alan Wake
American McGee's Alice
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Corpse Party
Cry Of Fear
Dead Space
Doki Doki Literature Club
Eternal Darkness
The Evil Within
Fatal Frame
Higurashi:When they Cry
Layers of Fear
The Last Door

Finally, before I go, Ahem.
"Psychological horror video games are a subgenre of horror video games. While such games may be based on any style of Gameplay they are generally more exploratory and "seek to instigate a sense of doubt about what might really be happening" in the player."

If that wasn't enough, then here.

"Psychological horroris a subgenre of horror and psychological fiction which focuses particularly on mental, emotional, and psychological states to frighten, disturb, or unsettle its audience. The subgenre frequently overlaps with the related subgenre of psychological thriller, and it often uses mystery elements and characters with unstable, unreliable, or disturbed psychological states to enhance the suspense, drama, action, and paranoia of the setting and plot and to provide an overall unpleasant, unsettling, or distressing atmosphere."

There. Now goodbye. For the sake of my own sanity, I'm blocking you.

Wow. what a blown up reaction.
If you are so fragile that a simple debate about ¨what is horror¨ is enough to drain your sanity then i feel sorry for you.

Of course i am still going: someone, who isn't you by the way, talked to me, i won't just not answer back

Why did you even post all these horror games? None of them contradict my point, and my point have never been ¨psychological horror does not exist¨, my point is that this story ISN'T psychological -horror-. Just compare this story to SIlent ¨FREAKINGGG¨ Hill and you will easily see the difference between a tame dark story and a true horror story.

The very descriptions you give just prove my point about this story merely being dark, and does not warrant the tag horror.

"Psychological horror video games are a subgenre of horror video games. While such games may be based on any style of Gameplay they are generally more exploratory and "seek to instigate a sense of doubt about what might really be happening" in the player."

It's horror. Bugger off.

It's not, and acting like a rude asshole will not encourage me to bugger off.

When it's so tame, having doubts about something does not make it horror. Learn to put quotes into context.

If mere doubts were enough to make something horror then every MLP episodes, and 95% of every fictions ever would be horror.

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