• Published 3rd Oct 2020
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As the Spring Bloom Withers - Jinzou



Apple Bloom was nervous about the upcoming derby, but she never thought there'd be so much to lose.

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Chapter 1

Ugh…‌ ‌

I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌my‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌slowly‌ ‌open‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌stared‌ ‌out‌ ‌blearily‌ ‌at‌ ‌my‌ ‌surroundings.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌saw‌ ‌a‌ ‌dirt‌ ‌road,‌ ‌some‌ ‌hay‌ ‌bales‌ ‌lined‌ ‌up‌ ‌every‌ ‌fifteen‌ ‌or‌ ‌so‌ ‌feet,‌ ‌and‌ ‌grass‌ ‌beyond‌ ‌that.‌ ‌Down‌ ‌the‌ ‌dirt‌ ‌path‌ ‌were‌ ‌two‌ ‌black‌ ‌poles‌ ‌holding‌ ‌up‌ ‌a‌ ‌checkered‌ ‌black‌ ‌and‌ ‌white‌ ‌flag.‌ ‌

“Ooh,”‌ ‌A‌ ‌nearby white‌ ‌unicorn‌ ‌mare ‌complained,‌ ‌“my‌ ‌beautiful‌ ‌swan‌ ‌cart‌ ‌has‌ ‌become‌ ‌an‌ ‌ugly‌ ‌duckling.”‌ ‌

My‌ ‌head‌ ‌rolled‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌struggled‌ ‌to‌ ‌recognize‌ ‌that‌ ‌mare.‌ ‌I‌ ‌knew‌ ‌that‌ ‌I‌ ‌knew‌ ‌her,‌ ‌but‌ ‌no‌ ‌names‌ ‌were‌ ‌coming‌ ‌to‌ ‌mind.‌ ‌I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌my‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌roll‌ ‌in‌ ‌my‌ ‌head‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌caught‌ ‌sight‌ ‌of‌ ‌two‌ ‌more‌ ‌mares,‌ ‌and‌ a couple feet away from them were ‌two‌ banged‌ ‌up‌ ‌fillies‌ ‌who‌ ‌were‌ ‌looking‌ ‌around.‌ ‌They‌ ‌seemed‌ ‌to‌ ‌be…‌ ‌confused.‌ ‌

My‌ ‌vision‌ ‌focused‌ ‌back‌ ‌on‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌mares.‌ ‌She‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌pale‌ ‌orange‌ ‌color‌ ‌and‌ ‌had‌ ‌a blonde‌ ‌mane.‌ ‌She had ribbons tied to the end of her mane and tail. She‌ ‌was‌ ‌an‌ ‌earth‌ ‌pony.‌ ‌She‌ ‌was‌ ‌wearing‌ ‌a‌ ‌red‌ ‌helmet‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌green‌ ‌stripe.‌ ‌She‌ ‌was‌ ‌lying‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ back,‌ ‌rubbing‌ ‌at‌ ‌her‌ ‌temples‌ ‌and‌ ‌looked‌ ‌very‌ ‌out of it.‌ ‌

Applejack.‌

That’s‌ ‌right,‌ ‌that‌ ‌was‌ ‌my‌ ‌sister.‌ ‌

What‌ ‌is‌ ‌she‌ ‌doing‌ ‌here?‌ ‌

What‌ ‌am‌ ‌‌I‌‌ ‌doing‌ ‌here?‌ ‌

I‌ ‌seemed‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌in‌ ‌some‌ ‌sort‌ ‌of‌ ‌wooden‌ ‌box‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌waist‌ ‌down.‌ ‌Well,‌ ‌the‌ ‌sides‌ ‌were‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌wooden,‌ ‌the‌ ‌part‌ ‌in‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌me‌ ‌seemed‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌covered‌ ‌in‌ ‌some‌ ‌dark‌ ‌red‌ ‌liquid.‌ ‌With‌ ‌another‌ ‌look‌ ‌I‌ ‌noticed‌ ‌that‌ ‌I was‌ ‌also‌ ‌covered‌ with that same red fluid.‌ ‌ ‌

That’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌right,‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌red‌ ‌coat.‌ ‌Do‌ ‌I?‌

Slowly‌ ‌I‌ ‌reached‌ ‌out‌ ‌and‌ ‌tried‌ ‌to‌ ‌place‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌forelegs‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌wooden‌ ‌beam‌ ‌in‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌me.‌ ‌ ‌

I‌ ‌missed.‌ ‌

“It‌ ‌still‌ ‌counts‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌win‌ ‌‌if‌ ‌I‌ ‌‌push‌‌ ‌my‌ ‌cart‌ ‌across,‌ ‌right?”‌ ‌Came‌ ‌the‌ ‌raspy‌ ‌voice‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌nearby‌ ‌blue‌ ‌pegasus.‌ ‌Again,‌ ‌I‌ ‌could‌ ‌tell‌ ‌that‌ ‌I‌ ‌‌could‌‌ ‌‌recognize‌ ‌her,‌ ‌but‌ ‌no‌ ‌names‌ ‌or‌ ‌memories‌ ‌came‌ ‌to‌ ‌mind.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌weakly‌ ‌shook‌ ‌my‌ ‌head.‌ ‌I‌ ‌wasn’t‌ ‌sure‌ ‌what‌ ‌was‌ ‌going‌ ‌on,‌ ‌but‌ ‌maybe‌ ‌these‌ ‌ponies‌ ‌could‌ ‌help‌ ‌me.‌ ‌I‌ ‌just‌ ‌needed‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌up.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌tried‌ ‌to‌ ‌push‌ ‌myself‌ ‌up‌ ‌and‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌wooden…‌ ‌whatever‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌in‌ ‌with‌ ‌my‌ ‌hindlegs.‌ ‌ ‌

Nothing‌ ‌happened.‌ ‌My‌ ‌legs‌ ‌didn’t‌ ‌even‌ ‌twitch.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌shook‌ ‌my‌ ‌head‌ ‌again‌ ‌and‌ ‌tried‌ ‌prying‌ ‌myself‌ ‌up‌ ‌with‌ ‌my‌ ‌forelegs.‌ ‌I‌ ‌gave‌ ‌out‌ ‌a‌ ‌loud‌ ‌gasp‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌sensation‌ ‌of‌ ‌being‌ ‌stabbed‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌back‌ ‌by‌ ‌some‌ ‌sort‌ ‌of‌ ‌blade‌ ‌overpowered‌ ‌me.‌ ‌ ‌

I‌ ‌saw‌ ‌Applejack‌ ‌stand‌ ‌up‌ ‌and‌ ‌turn‌ ‌around.‌ ‌I‌ ‌vaguely‌ ‌registered‌ ‌the‌ ‌look‌ ‌of‌ ‌horror‌ ‌dawn‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌as‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌color‌ ‌fled‌ ‌her‌ ‌face.‌ ‌

“APPLEBLOOM!”‌ ‌She‌ ‌screamed,‌ ‌racing‌ ‌toward‌ ‌my‌ ‌side.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌bit‌ ‌my‌ ‌lip‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌tried‌ ‌to‌ ‌kick‌ ‌off‌ ‌with‌ ‌my‌ ‌hindlegs‌ ‌again.‌ ‌As‌ ‌the‌ ‌disorientation‌ ‌faded,‌ ‌I‌ ‌recalled‌ ‌where‌ ‌I‌ ‌was.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Derby.‌ ‌ ‌

We‌ ‌were‌ ‌doing‌ ‌the‌ ‌Derby.‌ ‌Me,‌ ‌Scootaloo,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sweetie‌ ‌Belle.‌ ‌We‌ ‌built…‌ ‌carts.‌ ‌

That‌ ‌must‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌wooden‌ ‌thing‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌inside.‌ ‌ ‌

But‌ ‌why‌ ‌couldn’t‌ ‌I‌ ‌kick‌ ‌my‌ ‌way‌ ‌out?‌ ‌

As‌ ‌the‌ ‌shock‌ ‌faded‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌pain‌ ‌started‌ ‌to‌ ‌set‌ ‌in,‌ ‌I‌ ‌tried‌ ‌again‌ ‌pushing‌ ‌myself‌ ‌off‌ ‌the‌ ‌ground.‌ ‌

My‌ ‌forelegs‌ ‌worked‌ ‌fine.‌ ‌

Why‌ ‌weren’t‌ ‌my‌ ‌hindlegs‌ ‌moving?‌

Applejack‌ ‌danced‌ ‌just‌ ‌outside‌ ‌my‌ ‌vision‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌panic‌ ‌started‌ ‌setting‌ ‌in.‌ ‌I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌myself‌ ‌start‌ ‌to‌ ‌hyperventilate‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌screamed‌ ‌in‌ pain,‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌kick‌ ‌my‌ ‌way‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌collapsed‌ ‌cart.‌ ‌Around‌ ‌me‌ ‌I‌ ‌heard‌ ‌other‌ ‌voices‌ ‌screaming,‌ ‌other‌ ‌voices‌ ‌shouting‌ ‌my‌ ‌name.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌saw‌ ‌Scootaloo‌ ‌race‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌cart,‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌wide,‌ ‌face‌ ‌pale,‌ ‌and‌ ‌gushing‌ ‌blood‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌gash‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌eyebrow.‌ ‌A‌ ‌quick‌ ‌look‌ ‌showed‌ ‌that‌ ‌Sweetie‌ ‌Belle‌ ‌was‌ ‌frozen‌ ‌in‌ ‌place.‌ ‌

“Oh‌ ‌Celestia,‌ ‌she’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌impaled!”‌ ‌Rarity‌ ‌cried‌ ‌out.‌ ‌

Impaled?‌

My‌ ‌breath‌ ‌caught‌ ‌in‌ ‌my‌ ‌chest‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌looked‌ ‌down‌ ‌again.‌ ‌A‌ ‌little‌ ‌under‌ ‌halfway‌ ‌down‌ ‌my‌ ‌chest,‌ ‌there‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌small,‌ ‌jagged‌ ‌piece‌ ‌of‌ ‌wood‌ ‌sticking‌ ‌through‌ ‌me.‌ ‌The‌ ‌area‌ ‌around‌ ‌the‌ ‌injury‌ ‌was‌ ‌gushing‌ ‌blood.‌ ‌

My‌ ‌blood.‌ ‌

Oh‌ ‌Celestia...‌ ‌that‌ ‌was‌ ‌sticking‌ ‌‌through‌‌ ‌me.‌ ‌

My‌ ‌efforts‌ ‌to‌ ‌kick‌ ‌myself‌ ‌out‌ ‌redoubled‌ ‌as‌ ‌waves‌ ‌of‌ ‌pain‌ ‌slammed‌ ‌me.‌ ‌ ‌

I‌ ‌unwittingly‌ ‌let‌ ‌out‌ ‌a‌ ‌gasp‌ ‌of‌ ‌pain‌ ‌as‌ ‌my‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌started‌ ‌tearing‌ ‌up.‌ ‌I‌ ‌saw‌ ‌Applejack‌ ‌at‌ ‌my‌ ‌side,‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌break‌ ‌the‌ ‌cart‌ ‌around‌ ‌me‌ ‌with‌ ‌powerful‌ ‌bucks.‌ ‌

I‌ ‌let‌ ‌out‌ ‌a‌ ‌whine‌ ‌as‌ ‌my‌ ‌lungs‌ ‌desperately‌ ‌sucked‌ ‌in‌ ‌air.‌ ‌

“Oh‌ ‌Celestia….‌ ‌Applejack‌ ‌I‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌feel‌ ‌my‌ ‌legs.‌ ‌I‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌feel‌ ‌my‌ ‌legs‌ ‌I‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌feel…‌ ‌I...”‌ ‌I‌ ‌rambled,‌ ‌tears‌ ‌rolling‌ ‌silently‌ ‌down‌ ‌my‌ ‌cheeks‌ ‌as‌ ‌I‌ ‌struggled‌ ‌to‌ ‌grasp‌ ‌what‌ ‌was‌ ‌happening.‌ ‌

“I‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌feel‌ ‌my‌ ‌legs‌ ‌and‌ ‌no‌ ‌no‌ ‌no‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌die.‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌die‌ ‌please!‌ ‌I‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌feel‌ ‌my‌ ‌legs!”‌ ‌An‌ ‌intense‌ ‌spasm‌ ‌racked‌ ‌my‌ ‌body‌ ‌as‌ ‌my‌ ‌forelegs‌ ‌flailed‌ ‌out‌ ‌haphazardly,‌ ‌searching‌ ‌for‌ ‌something‌ to squeeze, or some sort of comfort.

“I know, Applebloom, honey. We’ll have you outta there in half a jiffy! Just hang on!”

“Nonononono I don’t want to die oh Celestia help me. Somepony help!” I choked out through sobs, still trying to move my hindlegs as my vision started turning white.

“Applebloom!” Scootaloo shouted, grasping my hooves. “We got you! You’re gonna be okay!”

With a grunt and a well aimed kick, Applejack broke off the piece of wood sticking through me from the back. This jostled around the part impaling me, and I felt a large gush of blood escape from the wound all at once. A large spray shot out and coated Scootaloo, who let out a startled gasp and broke out of the hold to wipe her eyes.

The last thing I remember is letting out a high pitched whine and coughing up blood as the world faded to white.

And in the next moment there was black. And I was falling, falling, falling into the endless void.

And then I was gone.