• Published 27th Jul 2020
  • 3,211 Views, 82 Comments

The Equestrian Reaper - Perfectly Insane



W-what," Pinkie swallowed nervously as she tried to speak, finding her throat was suddenly very dry. "Are you?" It seemed to stare at her for a few seconds, its dark eye sockets peering directly into her soul. "Death."

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Chapter Three: First Day (Night) On The Job.

Author's Note:

Hiya! Sorry this took so long to write, I knew what I wanted to do with this chapter, but I was struggling to properly write it out. I'm trying really hard with this story to not make the chapters too long, a really bad habit I have with other stories. I decided to make this chapter two parts, if it had been one, it likely would have been between 10-15k words.

Anyway, tell me if you see any story or grammar issues, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, thanks for reading and enjoy!

“B-but I...what, w-hen, how...WHAT?!” Pinkie exclaimed as she slammed her hooves against the floorboard for the second time that night in five minutes, both to emphasize what she was saying, and because she was farcically frustrated.

Gummy let out a hollow chuckle as his teeth clacked against each other again, hopping off the bed and landing with surprisingly no noise, except for the sound of the top of the scythe barely scraping against the roof.

“Yeah, yeah, you got your questions, I got the answer sheet. No reason for us to be staying in your room and talking like you and your friends do at your sleepovers, let’s trot and talk!” Gummy declared as he raised his hoof in the air, turning around and walking towards the door, carrying the large scythe in his other hoof with relative ease.

Gummy, her toothless pet alligator who couldn’t talk and couldn’t even look straight, was a Grim Reaper, the mythological agents of Death. Not just that, but he was a snarky one too, who didn’t seem to take anything seriously and did everything at his pace in his own way.

Twilight would probably be having an aneurysm right now.

Out of sheer bafflement and a near incapability to think coherently at the moment, she picked her jaw up off the floor and followed him to the door. She remained silent and kept her gaze on him, doing her best to organize her thoughts, what questions to ask and in what order to ask them.

It wasn’t until she saw Gummy’s skeletal hoof reach for the doorknob did she realize something.

“Wait!” She said with a loud gasp.

He, *It? Gummy did mention he identified as Mr even though they don’t have genders, I’m just going to keep referring to him as a stallion.* stopped as soon as his hoof touched it, glancing over his shoulder at her, the endless void behind his eye sockets reminding her of her encounter with Death.

Intentionally or not, she was intimidated, stumbling back from Gummy as she found herself now much more afraid than curious. “Um...shouldn’t we be more careful than just strolling around Ponyville? I mean, I know it’s late, but that doesn’t mean no one will see or hear us. After all, no one is supposed to know I’m a Grim Reaper, right?”

Hearing her own voice, she would have easily mistaken it for Fluttershy; it had been a long, long time since she’d spoken that meekly. She wasn’t even sure why she was so afraid, as long as she didn’t break any of the conditions she agreed to, she should be fine. It’s not like he would actually hurt her, he was still Gummy after all.

“Hm, I mean, yeah you’re right, but it’s not like I’m being careless. Like this no one can see or hear me, I basically don’t exist anymore. We wouldn’t just be going anywhere either. There’s a destination in mind, Death chose to wake you up when he did rather than right when you got squished by that tree like a rotten apple after all.”

He turned around and walked up to her, without any skin or muscles it was impossible to tell what he was thinking, not a single expression giving away anything. “Anyway, just transform into a...oh, I see the problem now. Us Grim Reapers can kind of just...do it, like breathing, you know? You’re the first pony made Grim Reaper ever, teaching you how to transform would be like teaching a plant how to photosynthesize.”

He placed his hoof on his chin thoughtfully, walking in a circle around her like a rich pony investigating a statue before they bought it. When he made a full circle he got closer to her, his face inches away from hers, luckily he didn’t give off that putrid stench of decay like his boss did.

She had the urge to get as far away from him as she could, but her gut was telling her that was a bad idea. Instead, she tried her best to avoid making eye contact with where his eyes should be to the best of her ability, smiling sheepishly and feeling herself sweating slightly.

“Boop!” He suddenly said, whispering it to himself almost inaudibly as he poked the tip of her muzzle with his hoof.

It was cold and stiff, but otherwise felt like a normal hoof. She wrinkled her nose a bit and crossed her eyes, trying to look down at it and see if anything changed.

“What was that for?”

“Oh, that? To make sure you were properly Grimmfied, a term I just came up with, trademark pending. If you were a normal pony, you would have dropped dead on the spot, physical contact from a Reaper tends to have that effect.”

Pinkie felt a shiver down her back, suddenly very thankful she could feel and hear her own heart beat.

“That could have killed me? WHY WOULD YOU EVEN TEST THAT, DOES MY LIFE NOT MATTER TO YOU?!” She screamed in his face, or lack thereof, her terror of him temporarily forgotten.

“Don’t worry bout it, sweetheart. If you would have died, Death would have just brought you back and fixed whatever was wrong. At worst, I would have been scolded. Your contract with him is still active, you aren’t allowed to die until it’s complete or broken.”

After saying this Gummy lowered his head, hiding most of his skull beneath the hood. He made some sort of gesture with his hoof Pinkie didn’t recognize, he remained that way and stayed silent for half a minute or so.

“Hm, this would be a lot easier if you were a changeling, but don’t let anybody say Gummy The Grim Reaper doesn’t like a challenge.” he said as he raised his head to look at her again, lowering his hoof onto the ground silently. “Alright, we’re gonna try this the good ole’ changeling way. Close your eyes and imagine yourself transforming like I did, but, well, minus the getting larger since you aren’t an alligator.”

She was about to ask him about that, but decided against it and to save it for later. Pinkie followed his instructions and closed her eyes, imaging her skin and muscles fading away, the skeleton pony beneath being revealed. She felt a strange feeling overcome her, similar to when she’d move closer to a fire to get warm, but instead of a wave of warmth, it was more similar to numbing cold.

It spread from her hooves to the rest of her body in a near instant, she opened her eyes whenever it got to the end of her tail, raising her hoof to her face and seeing it was a skeleton hoof just like his!

She ran to the bathroom to see her reflection in the mirror, revealing that she had indeed turned into a Grim Reaper. Her frame was over all a bit thinner than Gummy’s since she was a mare, but otherwise she was identical to him. She even had the large, black robe that covered her entire body except her skull and the tip of her hooves; the only thing she was missing was the oversized scythe.

“This is...kind of cool.” Pinkie said to herself, seeing her mouth move without muscle and skin or anything put goosebumps on her skin.

*Or it would, if I had any! On the plus side, I’m going to be able to make so many puns!*

“Right? You’ll get used to it over time, but it is pretty cool. Come on, we have a decent amount of time, but I’d rather not push it. By the way, you won’t be getting your scythe quite yet, we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

She went back into the other room with Gummy, a lot less bothered by his appearance now that she looked the same, and that she couldn’t die. Without being stopped this time, he opened the door to Pinkie’s room, she followed him and they began walking down the stairs to the kitchen.

She was tempted to run into The Cake’s bedroom and make silly faces at them since they couldn’t see her, but then remembered that she didn’t have a face. However, that did lead her to thinking about all the pranks she could do now! Being invisible and no one could hear her? Perfect! She just felt a little bad she couldn’t do it with Rainbow Dash, which reminded her that she was going to have to be careful not to touch anyone when she was like that.

She was so excited at the ideas she had for pranks she found herself bouncing down the stairs like she usually did, just because she was a Grim Reaper now, didn’t mean she couldn’t make it fun!

“I see, and hear, that you’ve got your groove back. That’s nice. Go ahead and ask me all your burning questions, I’m sure you got plenty.” He remarked dreadfully.

She abruptly stopped her bouncing, having gotten so excited about the prospect of pranks she could pull, she had almost forgotten about her current predicament. She scowled, or at least made the effort of scowling without a face.

“Alright, buster, I’m onto you! Where’s the real Gummy? The one I picked up in The Everfree Forest. That’s what happened, right? You swooped in, kidnapped and hid him somewhere and you’ve been impersonating him. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, but that’s Chrysalis' schtick, and she did it way better than you.”

She got in front of him and poked his chest, or where his chest would be, with her hoof, halting him as she made her accusation. He tilted his head to the left slightly like he was amused, before clacking his teeth together again as he let out that signature, empty laugh of his.

“Babe, I am the real Gummy. My style is my own and I don’t like copying others, unlike a certain swiss-cheese now statue bug.” Pinkie couldn’t help but to snort at that one, which was weird to hear without any skin or anything.

He pushed her to the side with little effort, continuing to walk out of Sugarcube Corner as she begrudgingly followed him.

“Think about it: Do you really believe a toothless alligator would survive a day in there? The answer is as brief as it’s life span: no. Assuming the mother wouldn’t just straight up eat it so it wouldn’t have to waste resources and time on keeping it alive, it would be abandoned and gobbled up faster than a stray jelly bean in a candy shop by a foal.

No, I was strategically placed so you would find me when I replaced the previous Grim Reaper of this town, something that happens every century or so because it gets boring staying in the same place with the same ponies all the time. Don’t really know why Death chose to make me a toothless alligator instead of a pony or something, I guess he does have a sense of humor every now and again, as strange as it is.”

She listened intently to his explanation, trying to detect any change in his voice that might have given away any lies. While it was distinctly snide, it was monotone in the sense that that’s all it was, staying static no matter what he was saying or how long he was talking.

She didn’t think he had any reason to lie to her, in fact, she was preeeetttyyy sure he wasn’t allowed to lie to her. Pinkie couldn’t say for sure, now that she wasn’t quite literally staring Death in the face and overwrought with crippling terror, she was realizing that there were probably a lot of things she should have asked while she could. There were still some things she was vague about that she really should have known more of before agreeing to things, but it was too late now and all she could do is ask her pet alligator now Grim Reaper after the fact.

She began following Gummy on the streets of Ponyville again, stopping abruptly again as the full realization of his words hit her. If she still had skin and blood, she would have been blushing furiously.

“B-but...all those t-times you watched me take a bath! Wait, all those times you took bathes with me! And, watched me get changed and-”

She was interrupted by a chuckle that didn’t quite leave his throat, which made her question how he even made those noises without having vocal cords, she now understood a bit better how others felt when they witnessed her Pinkie Sense.

“Oh, don’t get your panties that you don’t wear in a twist.” He said with a dismissive wave of his hoof, not bothering to stop when Pinkie did and just continued walking. “I couldn’t give a timberwolf’s thorned flank about any of that stuff. Grim Reapers both can’t and don’t have the right parts for reproductive functions, we can’t die so there’s no need for it. Now stop stopping! It’s annoying.”

She recoiled a bit, surprised out how loudly he raised his voice. She quickly caught up to him, keeping along with his pace and glancing under his hood every now and again. She couldn’t see very much of his face, but the little she could was impossible to read. She had always been pretty good at understanding ponies and getting a rough idea of what they were thinking by just looking at them, she’d have to be so she could make them happy!

However, she couldn’t get a read on Gummy, and it wasn’t just because he literally couldn’t make facial expressions. It was also his body language, more specifically, the lack of it. His body was completely stiff, no gestures as he spoke, no shifting his body in any way, nothing.

It was like Maud but amplified, it was...kind of scary.

“So...how long do you think I’ll be doing this for? Death said I’ll need to escort at least ten ponies, but he didn’t really say how long that would be.”

“Hard to say. For a town beside the most dangerous forest in Equestria and housing all six Bearers of Harmony, which has made it a target on many occasions, there’s a lack of actual death. Before you ask, yes, I do mean natural deaths. Not just sickness or old age, even if a monster comes out of the forest and tears some poor pony apart. if they were meant to die, it’s natural.”

He turned his head towards her slightly as if to glare at her, and while he actually couldn’t due to a lack of eyebrows and eyes, it still got the message across. “He already gave you the spiel about the whole ‘those who were meant to die and balance of the universe’ thing, so I won’t nag you about it, I’m sure you know better than to try to prevent anyone else’s demise from here on out, eh?”

He teasfully bumped his flank against hers, which made muffled clunking noises as their bones collided, a sound she was still struggling to get used to.

“Anyway, to answer the million bit question; I don’t really know. Like I mentioned, people don’t die around here as often as they should, something that will be stabilized now that you won’t be going around saving them like some off-brand Mysterious Mare-Do-Well. Could be months, years even. On the plus side, you won’t age until then since you’re a Reaper now, so hopefully we’ll have it done before others start to notice that little detail.”

She felt her heart sink at the reality of Gummy’s words, if she even still had one. She didn’t think it would be that long! Sure there were benefits, like the pranking she could do and the fact that she won’t have to worry about developing wrinkles anytime soon. That isn’t outweighed by the fact that she was going to have to wake up every morning, asking herself if she was going to have to watch someone she knew die and escort them to the afterlife, when she knew she could have saved them.

It didn’t help that she wasn’t going to be able to talk to any of her friends about it. There was a certain loneliness in not being able to talk about something this important with the ponies she was closest to, and she didn’t deal well with loneliness. It reminded her of the rock farm, and those were days she’d rather keep far away from her thoughts.

Pinkie stayed eerily silent as she followed Gummy through the quiet streets of Ponyville, her head hung down low and her hooves were scraping against ground, she was slower than before but was still keeping up with him. He picked up on her demeanor, but decided not to say anything.

The air between them was tense as there was not even the sound of their hooves touching the ground with each step, the fact that nothing she did made any sound at all just felt innately wrong to her. There were so many things about this whole thing she was going to have to adjust to, the good and the bad.

All of it seemed trivial to the fact that she was going to have to get used to accompanying the dead.

They both remained like that for a few minutes, every now and again Pinkie would draw a breath and open her mouth to ask a question, then she’d close it and shake her head. Everything she’d been told so far answered most of her questions, directly or indirectly, most of the questions she had were on the smaller details. There were a couple she had left she would have to ask Death personally, and doubted Gummy would know.

There was one burning question that she needed to ask, one she had primed for whoever ended up being The Grim Reaper.

The second Death told her that it was someone she knew, she tried to figure out who it could have been, who’d been lying to her about their friendship from the beginning. Not only had they been watching her this entire time, but their entire lives had been a lie, all their relationships with everyone in Ponyville had just been a cover.

The Reaper being her pet was quite a shock, but they didn’t change her burning need to ask the question that’s been at the forefront of her mind.

“Gummy, did our relationship mean anything to you? Do you...actually care about me?”

This time, it was Gummy who stopped, she got a few steps ahead before noticing and stopping herself. She observed her surroundings to see where they were, it was hard to see much with how dark it was out, but she had a rough idea of where they were. Somewhere on the outskirts of Ponyville, opposite to the side where The Everfree Forest was. Some of the lights were on in the nearby houses, but nobody was actually out as far as she could tell.

She turned around to face Gummy, he was staring off in the distance somewhere, not at anything in particular. She was just guessing since there was nothing to give it away, but it appeared he was thinking deeply about something.

“When dear ole’ daddy Death told you you were the first of your kind, he was omitting some details, something you’ll come to realize he does often because he thinks it makes things ‘interesting’. You are the first who’s had your ability, yes, but not the first a Grim Reaper has been ‘bestowed the privilege of observing’. You could say Life and Death have had many...conflicts, along with a few other conceptual entities. Us underlings get caught in between sometimes and have to make sure nothing goes wrong with certain individuals, as in they don’t die before they’re supposed to or anything. You won’t have to worry about any of that stuff, it’s way above your head. But…”

His head dropped as he raised his hoof, turning it back and forth and examining it like he was looking for something.

“Grim Reapers aren’t supposed to get attached or have personalities, if we start caring about things, our job get’s a lot more complicated. Even so, living a double life like we do, sometimes the personality we pretend to be...bleeds into us and becomes less fake. After a while, traits from those personalities become a part of us and we resemble ghosts of all the people we were pretending to be, rather than the emotionless machines of death like mythology suggests. I shouldn’t have to explain to you the kinds of problems that comes with that, and how lucky you are that you won’t have to worry about it.

Due to the after effects of having Reapers being forced to have lived so many lives, and many being driven mad by it, Death had to intervene. Now, every time a Reaper replaces another in watching a town, we get reset, so to speak. We become blank sets, starting from zero like when we were created, no memories of who we were and just with the knowledge we get with being a Grim Reaper. In my case though…”

He lowered his hoof and began walking again, bumping into Pinkie and twirling the scythe with ease. “I don’t feel anything for you, any of your friends, or anyone in Ponyville. However, I can’t deny the effect you’ve had on my development. There’s not exactly a lot of personality in a mindless alligator, so I more or less took after you, kind of like imprinting in a weird way. Luckily just the parts where you joke about everything and don’t take anything seriously, rather than the more idiotic part of you that I’m honestly surprised doesn’t annoy more people; you can be so insensitive and immature at times.”

She couldn’t bring herself to look at Gummy. His words were cold and held no emotion at all, it sort of reminded her of whenever Twilight would rant about something and occasionally state things that would hurt someone’s feelings without even thinking about it.

She was reminded of her birthday, when she thought that Rainbow and the others didn’t like her or want to be her friend anymore. Except this wasn’t a misunderstanding, Gummy was telling her to her face that he didn’t care about her and that their relationship was nothing more than a farce.

Somehow, Pinkie felt like this was a friendship problem they wouldn’t be able to fix.

Hearing those words from him was like a stab in the heart, if she had her mane right now, it likely would have been completely straight. But, she didn’t have time for a mental breakdown at the moment. The turnips, rocks, and buckets would have to wait.

She trudged toward him, trying to get her mind off what he said.

“Can you...at least tell me where we’re going? You’ve kept saying we need to be somewhere, but not why.” She asked in a solemn tone.

“Isn’t that obvious? We’re going to escort your first soul! Huge coincidence that someone’s dying the same night you get coronated into reaperhood, you can’t sense when someone’s going to die quite yet, you’ll get the hang of it.

As for where, well, that’ll spoil the surprise! A surprise party isn’t a surprise party without the surprise, now is it? You haven’t been here in a while, but I’m sure you’ll recognize it soon.”

He moved his lower jaw back and forth, something about it was almost teasing her. Her blood ran cold as soon as he said it, or it would have if she had any. Her mind raced with the possibilities of who he could have been talking about, she was friends with everyone in Ponyville, and none of them seemed like they were anywhere near dying!

Dread filled her entire core and only got worse with each step they took down a dirt path, she knew she should be shaking, but the lack of muscles made her still stiff and steady. She wanted to ask Gummy more, but she both didn’t think he’d actually answer, and she wasn’t sure she could bring herself to ask properly.

The silence was so tense she couldn’t think about anything else, the complete darkness of The Whitetail Woods and the sounds of the night didn’t help. She knew that she shouldn’t have been worried now that she couldn’t die, but fear wasn’t exactly a rational emotion.

There was a light in the distance as they turned the corner, coming from a small shack at the end of the dirt path in the woods, the realization of who lived there stopped her in her tracks. How did it not register with her before? There was only one person she knew who could be living there, and now that she was here, she regretted not coming to visit more.

“No...Cranky.”

Comments ( 12 )

Oh Cranky... So soon after finding Matilda, too. Hopefully he passed in his sleep.

Intriguing...
Glad to see this story back up and running.

Ouch...

At least send him off with a punchline Pinkie!

Well, this has been a fun ride. I love the premise and story, it reminds me of a TV show I watched a few years ago (I think it was called Death by Me) and I'll be expecting this next chapter. Don't worry, I'm patient, I also have problems writing long stories and this year in particular hasn't been nice to me.

was kind of thinking one of the souls she had to reap will be granny smith's

Neat story, I am excited to see where this story is going to go, very interesting twist with who Pinkie will be substituting, who I will be giving the voice of papyrus, can't wait to see the development of the characters, this is going to be ride, I am sure of it :pinkiehappy:

Amazing story! Found it while searching for horror stories. And the cover art is PERFECT! Keep writing please!

It seemed to stare at her for a few seconds, its dark eye sockets peering directly into her soul. "Death." :pinkiegasp:

My response to that would be "I gave at the office" & shut the door in his face. :pinkiehappy:

is there gonna be a new chapter or did the author forget about it?

10843623
Didn't forget, just don't have the desire to continue atm. I never forget anything I write, both a curse and a blessing.

Comment posted by Whirl Hoof deleted Sep 1st, 2021
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