• Member Since 11th Jun, 2013
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AstralMouse


Ponies ponies ponies ponies ponies. And changelings too.

T

When Rarity wakes up, her bedroom is big. How big? Well, how big can a bedroom be? Bigger than you'd expect.

This was written for Seer as part of a fic exchange, with the prompt being: "Rarity, horror."

Many thanks to The Red Parade for help editing! Cover art is by RayneTheSkunk.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 48 )

A truly interesting horror story. There were parts that disturbed me, and parts that intrigued me. Above all, I have to wonder about the more horrific implications of this curse. I have to wonder if this was because she was the Element of Generosity or just because the spell latched on to her for no reason other than the last pony signed their name. The ending leaves an interesting possibility for this story to continue in a different way, mostly because Rarity now has 43's memory of the room and likely won't forget about it like the other 42 Rarity's. Good work on this story, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Seer #2 · Dec 26th, 2020 · · · Door ·

What left is there to say about this fic, Astral?
The characterisation is superlative, the atmosphere and imagery is sublime. The sheer imagination that went into crafting a story so unsettling, so compelling, so touching, so harrowing, so engrossing really cannot be understated.
Simply put, mate you absolutely smashed it and should be so, so proud. I can't thank you enough for this, whatever expectations I had when submitting that prompt were so absolutely blown out of the water by the piece you produced <3

Very interesting and novel idea. The way the curse is set up is very logical (if you can call it that) and really delivers the feeling of hopelessness and despair. The way you switch to present tense is very creative. At first I had thought this should have been written in present tense, but the way you do it is much better.

However, I feel it would be more haunting if you start each chapter with a different Rarity, presenting it as if it was the same Rarity, but weaving some contradictions into her story compared to the previous ones (for example in third chapter, when she came across the second window, she saw a different scenery than in the first one, but still remarked that she saw the same thing), only to reveal in the end they were all different.

10599080
Actually, from what I understand from the story, Rarity already forgets about the experience as soon as she steps out the door. That's how the curse works. She only has a lingering feeling that she passed something onto Sweetie Belle. She no longer remembers what it is.

10599343
I was under the impression that Rarity retained her memories of her 43d morning, but looking back at it, you may be right. I Thought her comment about passing on a good night's sleep to her sister was implying that she knows she can't rest well again and that she hopes Sweetie Belle can live her life ignorant of the curse. However, now I think that the curse may have moved on to Sweetie Belle since she says, "Well, maybe I really did pass on the restful sleep bug to her."

Well that's a bit of a creepypasta. Good stuff. Something to think of though, what if this is something not only suffered by Rarity? What if this is something suffered by all the girls because of some outside force? Something like there connection to the Elements?

Let nopony say that Rarity isn't resourceful, even in a bizarre and unsettling situation like this.

Oof.
Spooky and bittersweet.
Poor Rarity.
All I can offer is an Oof.

This was such a great story and it was unnerving in all of the right ways, I loved every single second of this piece! Fantastic work!

Delightfully horrifying experience for dream-Rarities #40-43, but if she forgets everything, and so does everyone else who experiences it, is it really that much of a horror to the "real" ponies? If the only effect is that the average pony spends maybe 10 nights in the room, signs their name when they're the size of an ant, and doesn't remember anything besides having gotten really good sleep, that doesn't sound all that bad. It does make one wonder what the purpose of the curse is, then.

I'm giving this an upvote for the effort and skill put into it, but at the same time I want to comment as being I have a weird as hell way of seeing the world I guess. (with even more messed up tastes) I have to say:

Why is this horror?

In a sense I get why it's horrible for Rarity. I do feel sorry for her.

However if it's meant to induce horror in the reader, I'm afraid it fails to do so for me personally, but that's an issue I have with most (if not all) psychological horror I've ever experienced.

For anyone reading comments, I'm about to spoil stuff in this one, so maybe stop reading here.

So... how does this curse work? Why does it do this? What's the point exactly?

One can say the point is to instill hopelessness in the one trapped in the curse. Eventually the room will get so big, it'll seem impossible to cross it, but if you forget about the room once you leave. What's the point of the curse? I suppose it's a bit of a downer that any of the dresses the other Rarity's designed are lost forever in that room, but well... people with great ideas are killed short by all sorts of things all the time. It's just a sucky thing of life. There are so many works of art/stories/etc we'll never see because someone couldn't afford to get the right education. Were born in the wrong country. Were hit be a drunk driver on their way to school/work.

It's a crappy thing to think about, but well. It isn't like there is anything I can do about it. That's just kinda how life is.

But back to the curse. Who made it? Why does it transfer from one pony to the next? For what purpose? Why is there a note that you sign and it jumps to somepony else? How the hell does it do that anyway? How does it retain enough magic power to keep making the room bigger?

I guess at the end of the day I'm just left going: Why why why?

Again I get why this is horrible for Rarity. But I'm not Rarity. I'm not going through this, I'm only reading it, and let's face it. This isn't something I'll ever have to worry about in the history of ever. Things like this just don't happen, so I guess that's why I'm not really bothered or scared by it?

I dunno. I'm sure most of you came away from this with more then just a bit of head scratching confusion you eventually just go. "Well not much I can really do about that." and just say F it. Unfortunately with things like this I've learned that if you don't get why it's scary. Even having it explained doesn't really do much for you.

I do like how imaginative the concept is though. So props for that.

I thought she had been shrunken, but it appears not. Her room appears to have entered a non-euclidean state, it would seem

Oh ho ho, there's a different but same Rarity every time you leave the room, holy moly...

This is what horror should always be, a feeling of displacement, that something's nit right.

Oh boy...

Sleep is for wusses anyways.

*Me as Rarity #37*

"Okay, so, as long as I don't stupidly set fire to my bed... again, I will warrant myself one more loop through just to sleep in my Celestiadamned bed one last time. I may not remember it, but my next incarnation will surely appreciate the sentiment."

*Rarity #38*

"I want to kill whoever 37 is when I'm out of here."

Such an interesting and cruel idea. Love it

Soron #18 · Dec 27th, 2020 · · 1 · Door ·

I'm left wondering, why didn't Rarity pass on the curse to Discord?
Pretty sure he could easily fix it.

And if she don't trust him she can always give it to a magical genius, Twilight. Who could probably just teleport her way to the door each time even if she somehow can't fix it.

Edit: Ah, i've read wrong, she doesn't actually decides who's next. my bad.


In any cases, for once i feel a psychological horror story actually deserves the tag horror unlike so many stupidely tame stories i've read.


10599696
You do realise the curse literally have the potential to Become an eternal hell, since it makes the person inside it immortal? Have you read the part where she mentions the fire or when she wonders what if she was trapped buried inside her tunnel?

wonderland syndrom

Alondro sees a horror story called "Room".

Alondro is disappointed there is no reference at all to Tommy Wiseau.

10599706 I tend to agree that the random existential horror stuff doesn't phase me at all. If there's no reason behind it, no 'twist' to demonstrate the relevance to the character or the motive of whatever force is behind it, then it's just a blank sheet as far as I'm concerned.

That's why so many "Twilight Zones" episodes hit hard. You found out WHY and/or WHAT/WHO was doing the strange and terrible things to the characters.

Honestly, in this case, it likely would have been better if it hadn't been a curse. Because a curse absolutely implies a deliberate action on the part of something malevolent, and immediately begs the question of "Why did it go after Rarity, of all characters?" Even 'for shits and giggles' is a motive, but we've got nothing. Not even a trace of a clue. Other than the room getting bigger and bigger and the note being there with all these 'Rarities' adding to it, there's no other structure and no sign of purpose. It's clearly a massive amount of magical power being expended to slowly torment a random mare for... blah? But when she DOES exit, she forgets it... so why?

It's far more frustrating than frightening. Much like "Cube", followed by the even LESS interesting "Hypercube". A ridiculously convoluted torture/test chamber designed to... demonstrate that some autistic people are really good at math? WHAT'S THE POINT?!

What a great horror piece! You've got the tension element of horror down PERFECTLY!

From what I understand, Rarity dealt with this curse all the way forgetting everything each "day" until #43 decided she's been through enough and passes the curse on. Maybe to Sweetie Belle. Correct?

10600836
From the way things are described, this goes way beyond 43 days? I'm not sure. This one didn't have the sunbeam to guide the way. But it could also be an exponential growth over the days as there's description of things taking so long, including the journey taking long enough that she would eventually go on to name tell stories for each strand of hair.

10600679
Gotta love how even though I gave the story an upvote and said I was. Because I have a different opinion, people are downvoting my comment.

Hate to break it to you folks, but some people don't see or enjoy things the same way you do. Get used to it. I didn't say the story was bad or that you shouldn't read it after all. Just that it didn't connect with me personally.

I agree with you so much on what's the point. This curse makes no sense. It slowly makes your room bigger till you sign a paper and pass it on? Why in Celestia's blue sky, did someone make a curse that does this? Just... what the hell?

I mean, is it horrifying because you're basically stuck wandering? I guess the horror is that since you don't know the room is just getting bigger each time, you can be stuck traveling for what feels like days or even months before you get to a wall. Except if you find a note each night that basically describes what's happening, I doubt you'd let it go for as long as Rarity did. Even then I'm not exactly sure why Rarity didn't pass it on. Like 43 said. What would happen the next 40 days? It takes a while to get large enough for it to matter, and by then I think most of us would just sign the paper. I mean if there was no indication that it started over, that'd be pretty bad for the next guy if their room just got bigger from whatever size you put it, but with Sweetie Belle getting out, (and I'm pretty sure it passed to her) I don't think that's how it works.

All I really get from this story is whoever made the curse is a moron. Way to go. You made a room grow bigger each night, with an easy way out of the curse, and they don't remember it in the morning. I mean you basically have forever to get to the door. It might take a while, but no matter what you CAN get to it, and since you don't need to sleep you can just keep going.

I can see how it'd be terrifying if you were traveling for so long you went insane, but this story doesn't give me any ideas on what happens if you get that far. Seems time is frozen in this world, so can you even disappear in the real world? I mean is there a time limit? There doesn't seem to be.

Now if the story ended with Rarity realizing the curse was moving onto Sweetie Belle, and she was powerless to take it back, but had faith that if she escaped it, so could her sister. Only to walk into the real world and walk into Sweetie's room which has become a storage room, and have the story end with Rarity sometimes wishing she wasn't an only child. That'd be scary and fucked up. That'd tell us that it IS possible to be trapped in that other world forever and no one even remembers you existed.

This story as it is? Not really seeing it. Though don't get me wrong. I'm glad it did NOT end the way I just described. I'm not really a fan of bad ends.

And even with all that said. I still think this is a neat concept that's worth looking at. So again. I'm not bashing the story. I'm just not really 'scared' by it.

Read it, loved it, want a sweetie sequel!

10601367
I didn't mean 43 days, just Rarity Number 43. She thinks she's 43. There could be hundreds more who just galloped through the door as soon as she saw it.


What I believe is that this curse has been around for a long time, and was probably passed from pony to pony. Rarity has lived through it multiple times but never remembered it. However, a series of tragic events and torture made Rarity #43 decide enough is enough, and signed her name while every other Rarity, out of Generosity or altruism decided to live with the curse, whether she knew it or not. In the end, #43 impassively signed and walking out, doesn't remember it...but is implied Sweetie Belle may have caught the curse that once was Rarity's.


10601453
I think the correct word for this kind of story is psychological horror, just generally a feeling of intense tension over an extended period; actually a "Mystery" tag might even be warranted, as the first 3 chapters are Rarity uncovering something. As for scary, I have to agree with you - it's very challenging to get jump scares out of a written story but this did give the feeling of tension that I mentioned earlier. I'm also a little glad it didn't end with some scary Guardian-Of-The-Door or whatever monster made this thing, turning it into another Daring Do novel.

Just for the record, I didn't downvote you as usually opinions on what scares you are subjective and if it didn't work for you, so be it.

10601955
Ah, okay, point, point. Thanks for that! My brain kept glossing over what I knew were important pieces, but I just couldn't see them.

This was a very well-done story, showing how Rarity would methodically work her way through this problem, and also what would finally push her over the edge and damn some other pony. You did a great job demonstrating the strange horror of the situation, and I applaud you not bringing in a monster or something. However, I do think the curse as depicted doesn't make much sense; it's only a threat because Rarity let it go on as long as she did, assuming everyone has that letter at the entrance.

10605261
Yeah, while writing this, I was running a bit short on time by the end, and I wasn't too sure how to end it, really. Or, like, what to try to explain or leave unknown. This was the best I could come up with. I'm honestly not sure what a satisfying ending for this would even look like, though. Glad you liked it anyway, though.

10601453

I agree with you so much on what's the point. This curse makes no sense. It slowly makes your room bigger till you sign a paper and pass it on? Why in Celestia's blue sky, did someone make a curse that does this? Just... what the hell?

For the same reasons many people do the shit they do: Shit and giggles.

Or perhaps it wasn't even indended as a curse. Someone made something to sleep better and the effects were weirder than intended. Perhaps the room getting bigger is some side effect of time and space being frozen and needing to go somewhere or some random crap like that?

Or simply wanted to screw up with the room getting bigger. And since they knew how to end it they weren't really scared of being stuck.
But something made the spell latch on to someone else who didn't have the mage's spells or knowledge of the curse.

Perhaps also someone who wanted to be immortal in their own pocket dimension. And the room getting bigger was that someone wanting to test out how big he wanted it to be.

10607242
Except the note literally says "Sign your name here to pass the curse on to somepony else"

It's clear it was intended to be a curse. Just if you really think about it, it's a really weirdly made one.

I still think it's a very neat and creative idea. I sorta see where 'horror' could come into play. I'd hate to wake up and find an endless room feeling I'm trapped forever, but given how long it takes to get to that point, I'm a bit skeptical of it ever reaching that point.

I suppose whoever made it could have just wanted to test those in it or something, but if the answer was "I was just bored one day and made this" At least to me that REALLY takes away the horror element.

Also, obviously to many it doesn't matter. Many are loving this story, and given how well written it is, rightfully so. I'm just that one weirdo who has to question how things work, and in my opinion, that reveals too many flaws of how it all works for me to really take it all that seriously.

10601955
I did get it was suppose to be psychological horror, though that sadly is the main reason I have trouble grasping why it's scary. From my experience with such horror, it just doesn't work on me. A good example I can give is the Silent Hill series. I just don't find it scary.

Even knowing this was that type though, I was (am?) still a bit confused on why it's horror. The only real horror you get is knowing that you eventually COULD be wandering for ages. The first Rarity we get has the very good idea of following the sun beam, which brings her to a wall and window. While it's clear she can't escape through the window, she then gets the idea to follow the wall till she finds the door. These are logical choices one would make, but gives you a clear goal. At no point are we given any reason to think something 'dangerous' is lurking in the room with her, and well there isn't. It's just her following the wall to the door. Then you get Rarity 43's thoughts and it's over.

I didn't get any feeling of tension from that, because there was always a clear goal. A clear path to take. A possible way out. So in my mind I'm just like: "What's there to be scared of?"

10607307
I don't see how the notes condradicts my ideas.

-The note don't contradict it being for shit and giggles.
-The note don't contradict someone using it to sleep better, it can simply be the way out that the creator intended.
-Same for someone who wanted to screw around.
-Same for someone wanting to create his own littlebig world.

In any cases the main ¨Horror removal¨ for me is that it only gets bad for stupid people.
Cmon Rarity, it is only bad because of those like you who keep it for too long. If everyone simply kept it as long as it was fun, and then gave it to someone else, the ¨curse¨ would only be fun and giggles (For example i can see rainbow dash getting a field day flying in this place. Or Pinkie having fun playing hide and seek with her furniture etc..) + nice sleep.

10607415
Well I will admit I was wrong about the note and what it said. The curse part could simply be what the Rarity's devised.

However...

If it was to help them sleep better or make their own little world. Why does signing the paper pass it on? The note MUST mention that clearly or Rarity wouldn't think that. So we know for certain that if you sign the note, it passes to another. Also the room was designed to work the way it does. To grow bigger each night. To ERASE YOUR MEMORY OF IT each night.

How the FUCK does that translate to someone wanting to do this for shits and giggles/ sleep better/etc?

Why the FUCK would you design it to do that? That makes even LESS sense then it being a curse. You make something to mess with ponies, you don't want them FORGETTING what it does. That serves no purpose. You're not messing with anyone then. You just made something that in time anypony would realize it'd end badly. Rarity 43 mentions wandering for an eternity wondering what's going on or where she is. Then an eternity following the wall. However it takes forever to get there, anyone making the spell would HAVE to realize that would eventually happen.

While it is possible somepony knew this and did it anyway just for the hell of it. That makes it all the less scary. That just makes me want to go back and slap them for being an asshole.

I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make with me. My point was the curse didn't make much sense, and seems oddly designed. All you did was just prove to me that yeah. It really doesn't, and really is.

10607590
First, i didn't say Rarity designed it.
And also i.... already explained all of that, please reread my first post.
Well, minus the ¨you forget¨ part, which is indeed quite hard to make sense of.

10608025
No no, I mean the fact that it's a curse could be the conclusion that the Rarity's came to. Not that they made the curse.

Let's break down what we know:

We know that each night you end up in a slightly larger space that resembles the room you went to bed in. (Makes me wonder. If she goes to bed in Fluttershy's room, does it start over? Does she still end up in her room for some reason?)

We know it takes a while for it to grow so big it's a problem. We know you seem to be immortal in this room. We know you can't dig yourself out of it, the only way out is the door.

We also know that your memory of said room is erased every time you wake up the next day.

Lastly we know that you can pass it on to someone else if you sign the note. (Also it provides you with a journal for some reason)

The fact it erases your memory and can be passed on, automatically rules out most of your theories.

To sleep better doesn't need the room to get bigger. Also why allow it to be passed to someone else? Why be immortal? Why have it be that you wake up in a room in the first place? If you wanted to sleep better, I'm sure there are far more simple spells. This is way to complex. I imagine a spell like a computer program. You have to MAKE it do this stuff.

Therefore we can conclude that this was made by design from the get go. Whoever made this spell wanted it to do what it does. The only real logical reason is a curse. Thus why the Rarity's came to said conclusion.

However, again for a curse it makes no sense. A bit easy to get out of, and takes way too long for it to be any real threat. Now it's possible that the original creature this was designed for could have been one the caster knew would wait too long for it to get that big, but that doesn't explain why it can be passed on to someone else, unless the curse was tampered with later. Regardless the lack of any answers to those two questions doesn't help the story in my opinion.

For shits and giggles is a possible answer, but then it just kinda makes the entire thing rather stupid. A unicorn/mage/whatever went through a LOT of trouble to make this thing, only for what? A practical joke? This curse is like the magical manifestation of a chain letter. "If you don't sign your name on this parchment to pass it on, endless wandering will befall you!" "However if you do sign it, your crush will ask you out!"

While possible, that's a lame answer in my opinion, and again would just make me want to slap the creator for being an asshole.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'wanted to screw up it getting bigger'

and since I stated that it erases your memory when you wake up. Trying to be immortal in your own pocket dimension also doesn't make sense.

The only real reason I can see, and what I'm sure the author intended, was for this to indeed be a curse, and while it's a very interesting and unique one.

At the end of the day it just makes no sense in concept.

10608384

I don't understand why you're dead set on the curse being intentional. Like 10607415 said, it could very easily have been a harmless spell that went wrong. And even though the creator couldn't remember their experience in the dream, that lack of memory could have prompted them to reexamine the spell, and figured out its flaw. Then they tried to make an amending spell to fix it, but the only thing they could do was to transfer it to another. I wouldn't even put it outside the possibility that it was Twilight who made it, or Celestia, or Starlight.


And what makes this type of stories scary is that it makes us overlook certain aspects of things, only for us to realize later the true seriousness and ramification of it. Yes, it has a flaw that if the readers don't realize that ramification, then the horror is lost on them. But that's on the readers themselves, if others can realize it and they can't.

Like in this story, there are 4 ramifications to realize.

First, the fact that you don't remember anything once you leave the room makes it even more dangerous. The story points this out itself. Rarity #40 got out of the room relatively easy because by pure luck she discovered the light from the window and used it as a guide. But because she didn't remember that, every time she reset, she could easily overlook that clue and get completely lost. And she could be driven insane and committing self torture for years on end in the hope to die like Rarity #43 did. You may say "well she forgot all the horrible experience once she got out, so why does it matter?" I don't see it that way. Because you actually spend way more time inside the room than outside in the real world, and during that fleeting time outside you blissfully forget all about it, only to be waken up to the horror, I'd say to the one who's cursed, the outside is more of a blissful dream, and the inside of the room is more of their terrifying reality.

Second, you're right to say at the first few days, the room wasn't anything scary. Rarity herself thought it was silly. But the fact that the room expanded exponentially every night, and the story alludes to the fact that there were a few night Rarity had missed the note as she walked out the door, make the danger real. Very easily, by pure chance, someone could miss the note a few times at the crucial moment to pass it on when the room are about to get too big. And the next time they wake up in the room, it could be too late for them. And that could easily happen to anyone.

Then, when you get the 2 points above, you'll see the third point. It is clear that Rarity understood this danger. That's why she was set to not pass it to others in an act of valor. Or so she thought. The room completely broke her down just after 3 nights from 40 to 43. The way it easily shattered not just one's mind but one's morality, especially a morality as strong as Rarity's, makes it terrifying. The most terrifying horror is not the one that causes harm on the character themselves, but one that drives them to commit cruel act on others.

And finally, we know who it transferred to in the end. And it's the final horror. Rarity thought that she escaped, that she was free. But in fact, she got a fate that no doubt she would wish less than death itself: she threw her sister to the horror. And given that Sweetie was just a filly, there was even less chance she could make it out. In a sense, Rarity was doomed all along.

10610690
I'm dead set on it being intentional, because I can NOT see magic working the way you are trying to sell it to me.
If magic could evolve or mutate like that, then I think we'd have a lot more of it doing these kinda things. A simple spell to keep your drinks cold could mutate to freeing the blood solid of anypony that touches the box you put the enchantment on. If that's how it worked, there would be a LOT LESS magic due to how incredibly dangerous it would be.

No, I still see it like programing a computer program. You have to WANT it to do what it does. It's not a digimon. It's not going to evolve over time. No matter how many times I play Super Mario 1, Bowser isn't going to randomly appear to attack me in world 1-1. It can only function how it was made/programed to do.

The only way for it to do what you say that I can see, is maybe the spell was like the Tantabus and gain sentience and began to change on it's own, but then it makes even less sense as to what it's doing. I imagine if the spell could think, it'd try communicating with the one trapped in it.

The only logical explanation is it's a curse, and it was made this way on purpose. I can't possibly think of what purpose the spell would have had originally. If you really think that maybe it's as you say, then can you tell me what the original spell might have been? Maybe if you stretch it a bit, you can come up with some ideas that make it work. But to quote a meme from Linkara:

"It just raises too many questions"

Now to counter point your four ramifications:

First, the fact that you don't remember anything once you leave the room makes it even more dangerous. The story points this out itself. Rarity #40 got out of the room relatively easy because by pure luck she discovered the light from the window and used it as a guide. But because she didn't remember that, every time she reset, she could easily overlook that clue and get completely lost. And she could be driven insane and committing self torture for years on end in the hope to die like Rarity #43 did. You may say "well she forgot all the horrible experience once she got out, so why does it matter?" I don't see it that way. Because you actually spend way more time inside the room than outside in the real world, and during that fleeting time outside you blissfully forget all about it, only to be waken up to the horror, I'd say to the one who's cursed, the outside is more of a blissful dream, and the inside of the room is more of their terrifying reality.

Except you don't remember being in the room before. So the outside wouldn't be "Like a blissful dream" because every time you end up in the room, it's your first time. You don't remember what the other yous did. You only know what you yourself have experienced. What's more for whatever reason the room gives you a journal. This is the only reason Rarity knows there were at least 40 other versions of her to do this, but more on that on your next ramification. Thinking about it, what did the other 39 Rarity's before it even write? You'd have to get enough clues to get a general idea of what's happening, and let's face it. The room gives you PLENTY of time to figure it out. So maybe this was a test for something long ago? If you're dead set on this NOT being a curse, then fine maybe that's it. But if so a test for what? The lack of answers doesn't make anything scary, just more frustrating in my opinion.

Regardless, since you don't wake up in the room remembering you are there again. There is no horror. You're just confused and all like: "What the heck?" It doesn't get anywhere NEAR horror till you've apparently gone through 50 or so loops given we have no idea how many Rarity's didn't write in that journal. Which brings us to:

Second, you're right to say at the first few days, the room wasn't anything scary. Rarity herself thought it was silly. But the fact that the room expanded exponentially every night, and the story alludes to the fact that there were a few night Rarity had missed the note as she walked out the door, make the danger real. Very easily, by pure chance, someone could miss the note a few times at the crucial moment to pass it on when the room are about to get too big. And the next time they wake up in the room, it could be too late for them. And that could easily happen to anyone.

We don't actually know how many times Rarity didn't see the note. However we know NUMBER 40 wrote down the original account we are reading. Meaning it took over FORTY TIMES of her being in here, just for it to get about as big as a trip to Canterlot. Yes that's big, but it took a long time getting there.

Giving you plenty of time to see the journal and write down what you know. Seems to me that many of the Rarity's read the journal and pieced together what was happening. They just didn't pass the curse on out of Generosity. Maybe they thought they could beat it. Maybe they thought it surly couldn't get THAT big right?

That's less horror to me, and more "You're doing something stupid"

Then, when you get the 2 points above, you'll see the third point. It is clear that Rarity understood this danger. That's why she was set to not pass it to others in an act of valor. Or so she thought. The room completely broke her down just after 3 nights from 40 to 43. The way it easily shattered not just one's mind but one's morality, especially a morality as strong as Rarity's, makes it terrifying. The most terrifying horror is not the one that causes harm on the character themselves, but one that drives them to commit cruel act on others.

Is it a cruel act to pass it on? It's not ideal to know you're basically going to put someone else through this weirdness, but that's really all it is. Weirdness.

Like I understand what you are trying to get at, but I don't see it as horror. You have to understand. We don't actually know what happens if you never escape the room. Do you vanish in the real world? Do you sleep forever? Sleeping forever isn't even an issue in this story. Rarity is friends with Twilight Sparkle. If Rarity didn't wake up, Twilight would no doubt check on why and find a way to get Rarity out of this mess. I really doubt it going any other way there.

Even so, it takes so long to get to where 43 was, that the actual odds of it ever getting that far are pretty slim.

I'd get not wanting to risk having someone else stuck here, but we have to face the facts. We'll likely have written enough in the journal to get an idea of what's happening. We know the room keeps getting bigger. We know it takes a DAMN LONG TIME to get to that point. We know we'll never remember this place when we wake up. We know we can get out of it just by signing the paper.

It sucks, but you're only real choice is to sign the paper. There's no point in holding out. You can't beat this thing. It sucks someone else will have to deal with it after you, but what other option is there? You can't keep wandering aimlessly when the room gets too big. Something 43 figured out. You can't stop the curse. You can't even remember it when you wake up. You won't even remember signing the paper once out.

Trying to be a hero and deal with it in the end helps no one. Lest of all yourself. If someone doesn't figure out how this all plays out, hate to say it but that's their own fault. You didn't make the stupid curse. You just got stuck with it for a while. For this to be horror, I really need to know what happens if you end up stuck in this world since the outside world doesn't seem to move while you're in there. It can't just keep doing that forever. Say I'm a unicorn and I cast a spell on myself to turn myself into stone. There now I'm stuck in once place forever. While that's horrible in it's own right, what the hell happens to the room and the outside world? I can't go find the door, so I'm just... there. Something has to happen to your real life body. You have to escape the room to wake up. Is there a time limit? I don't know of one since Rarity 43 took forever to find her door, but still found it and in the real world it's as if nothing happened.

I can't be scared of something that makes no damn sense.

And finally, we know who it transferred to in the end. And it's the final horror. Rarity thought that she escaped, that she was free. But in fact, she got a fate that no doubt she would wish less than death itself: she threw her sister to the horror. And given that Sweetie was just a filly, there was even less chance she could make it out. In a sense, Rarity was doomed all along.

The hell are you talking about? Rarity IS free. She made it out. She passed the curse on. Can the curse come back to you? Does it reset if it does? She certainly doesn't remember the room or her experience at the end of the story. How is she doomed? She's done with the room. It's over. She's not going back the next night, or if she is, the story doesn't say that. Seems to me from what we're told she's indeed out.

Yes it sucks Sweetie is going to go through that now, but she's not the element of generosity. There's no telling she'd let it go as long as Rarity did, and even then, the worst she has to worry about is wandering for what seems like days, only to finally find her door. Deem enough is enough and pass it on. Forgetting it ever happened in the first place.

Again. I love the idea. It has merit. But when you start to look closely at it, it just falls apart. It's not scary to me. I'm sorry but it's not.

Absolutely brilliant. Pure existential horror. Rarity going against her Element at the end was like a dagger to the gut. Oh my god.

10610769
Why does the spell have to be sentient to do what it did in this story? If you want to see spells as computer codes, then fine, let's just say the original creator designed a spell matrix with the code room_size = a, but they mistakenly made it room_size = ex instead. Is it that much of a stretch to believe? We saw in the show multiple times the spells didn't do what the casters intended it to do. Twilight cast a spell to stop the parasprite from eating food. They turned around and ate everything else instead. Did she intend it to do that? Absolutely not.

And even if you want to assert that spells have to do exactly what the caster intends it to do (which they clearly do not as we see in the show), it doesn't mean the intention couldn't be a mistake. Someone might just say "hey wouldn't it be cool if I make the room bigger every time?" and overlook what that would actually lead to until they already cast it. Yes, they would be an idiot for doing that, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have happened.

And for why magic wasn't banned if it's that easy to mess up. The answer is it's not. To design and experiment with such a spell, that had to be a talented and powerful unicorn/alicorn. Not every average unicorn can do something like this, maybe not even one in centuries. That doesn't mean that genius couldn't mess up. Besides, we saw a bunch of dangerous spells in the show before. Time travel, magical comic book that can trap one in a virtual reality. mind control spell, etc. And magic was still allowed. Starlight was still free to craft spells in her unorthodox way. Maybe they haven't thought about it, and some day may put a law down to require such experiments to be performed in controlled environment to prevent accidents, but clearly they haven't yet.


Now for the ramifications.

I think you still don't get how easily it is for one to overlook the danger of the room. It doesn't matter how many loops from the start it takes to get to the tipping point. What matters is how many loops it is between when you still consider it a joke to when it gets out of control. As any exponential growth, that range is only in a few loops at best. Until loop 37, it might just get as big as Rarity's house. But after that, it got out of hoof fast.

Furthermore, the room DOESN'T give you plenty of time to figure it out. Like you said, you forget all about it when you reset. Whether or not you sign your name on the exit is based solely on your experience in that loop, and a little bit from what you read from the journal (just enough to know it will get worse next time). Remember that your sense of time and space is vague in this place. From what you read from the journal, you don't really get the feel of how big it was on the previous loop to understand how bad it's gonna get the next loop. You may think you can still cope with it next time, like Rarity #40, #41, #42 did, just to mistake your strength horribly. The horror is not when you wake up in the room, but when you're about to exit it, knowing that you will wake up to this the next time you sleep, and either being overconfident, or realizing, after already paying dearly, that it will get much worse and losing all hope.

That drives us to the next point, is it cruel to sign or stupid to not sign your name? Yes, in a sense if you don't really give a damn how it's gonna go for the next pony then it'll feel stupid to not pass it on. But if you appreciate how the next pony may miss the journal on the way out on the few loops when it matters, or how it could be a filly who doesn't think about writing it down on the journal in the first place, or whether it could latch on a baby who doesn't even know how to read yet, then you'll understand the gravity of your signature. I believe in that situation, anyone of us would hesitate to put our name down, just like Rarity. That's not to say it would solve anything, but that's exactly the point. Despite how much we would want to do the right thing, the room breaks us down.

And that's what I mean when I said Rarity was doomed either way. She got her freedom, but she paid dearly for it: her virtue and the suffer of her love one. Yes, Sweetie Belle could be a smart filly, and pass it on on the 10th loop. Or she could rush out the door and miss the journal every time. The risk is there, and like I said, she was just a filly, so the risk was even higher. And Rarity could do nothing about it anymore. Had Rarity known she would pass it on to Sweetie, I believe she would have rathered die in that room a thousand times more. But in the end, she was pushed to commit the act, and her sister suffered for it.

I don't really get your way of thinking that all the torture a person suffers doesn't amount to anything if they forget about it afterward and there's no lasting effect. But if you want something concrete, then notice that at the end, Rarity did feel something from her experience in the room. That means the curse only wipe out your memory of it, but not the impression the experience had on your psyche. It's like the movie Inception if you've ever watched it. Maybe one day, Rarity would feel a sudden guilt that drives her to commit suicide. Or maybe Sweetie Belle would suddenly develop agoraphobia.

But in the end, I can't persuade you to fear for the characters, and to be honest, there's no point anymore. You already read the story, and if you did not feel anything the first time, you won't ever. It's like watching a horror movie a 2nd time and hoping you'll be more scared than the first time. If you already decide all the torture and suffering the character was subjected to in the room doesn't mean anything because they forgot it all, then you won't feel for them, ever.

But on that note, I am a little curious as I feel it quite contradicting. If you consider the time you're trapped in the room and all the suffering you have doesn't mean anything once you find the door and walk out, then why would you pass it on to another? After all, talking by that logic, you would get out eventually, even if you may spend near eternity in it, and then all is good right? Then why do you have the urge to pass it on? Shouldn't there be at least something you're scared of, something you don't want that prompts you to do that?

10611588
I'm going to try and put this as simply as I can.

If you can explain to me, WHY the hell someone would design the room to grow slightly larger every time, WHILE making it so you can't sleep. WHILE making it so you are immortal but still feel pain. WHILE erasing your memory of it all every time you wake up. WHILE giving you a journal, and a way to pass it on, and have your explanation make sense, then I'll consider the point you are trying to make here.

It's a damn curse man. It's very obvious. What else could it possibly be? Why else would you design it like that? ALL these things like this? This isn't about making a mistake with the room just growing bigger. THIS IS ALL OF IT. You don't accidently put all this together. I can NOT see that as likely in any situation. Stop trying to convince me otherwise. At this point you may as well be trying to tell me it rains mayonnaise. I'm not buying it.

Oops! I accidently made a room that grows bigger every night, while making you immortal, but it doesn't stop pain, also it'll erase your memories of it every night, but hey don't worry you can pass it to some other random pony by signing a note. Oh also. I made sure it gives you a journal! But that's odd as I was just trying to record my dreams in a crystal!

Please.

Furthermore, the room DOESN'T give you plenty of time to figure it out.

YES IT DOES. As stated it gives you a damn journal to write notes to your other self for whatever reason, and even if we take into account that you might miss the journal on a few runs, we know at least 40 Rarity's wrote in it, and the 40th one got the light beam still. Okay granted, maybe your room doesn't have a window facing the sun, so you have less time. We still don't know how many Rarity's didn't actually bother with the Journal at all. For all we know twenty did. Rarity five I think had the equivalent of maybe a ballroom. Was she really Rarity number five? Or just the fifth one to write in the journal, and there were twenty before her who didn't?

You're given so much to work with to figure out what's going on and there has to be information that tells you SOMETHING. After all Rarity doesn't 'think' that signing the paper will pass this on to somepony else. She talks as if she KNOWS it's going to do that.

Likely the paper tells you it's a damn curse, and tells you in order to pass it on you have to sign your name. IT TELLS YOU THIS. (So again no this isn't some mistake, or if it was, Rarity would have commented on it, and not called it a curse. It's a freaking CURSE)

I suppose it's possible you'd miss the note every time, but given it's on a table you don't own right by the exit, I just can't fathom that happening. At some point you're likely to find the note, and since it basically tells you this is a curse you have to pass on. You should be able to paint a picture of what's happening. At some point I feel it'll dawn on you what you're in for. Maybe it will get to the point that you wander around aimlessly for hours. That can certainly break any spirit, and I can see why that'd scare people, but to me it just seems so unlikely you'd get to that point.

I don't see Rarity as having paid dearly for her choice. The 'difference' she feels at the end is she isn't well rest like she has felt for the last few months. AKA the time she spent with the curse. That's it. She remembers nothing else. Will she suddenly feel guilty for no reason? I have no damn clue. Doesn't seem likely from what we're shown.

So the passing it on thing. Okay let me tell you something about life. Sometimes you're going to be put in a shitty situation, and you're going to have to do something you don't want to do, but you're not going to have a choice. You can worry and stress about it all you want. It's going to happen either way. Best to just steel yourself and do it.

I don't like having to make other people suffer or even have a bad day because of something I did. I worked for over a decade at a horrible job, working myself sick to keep it going and trying to help my co-workers out. Co-workers who got the idea they could just leave stuff to me instead of doing it themselves. Still I'd feel bad if I got sick and had to call out, knowing me not being there is going to make their days crappy. But know what? Sometimes you have to look out for yourself. You can't worry about what's going to happen to other people sometimes.

This is such a situation. Though I will admit the baby point isn't something I considered. I never once thought that it'd latch onto someone so young. I'm not sure how I'd feel knowing it'd do that, but at the same time. I'm also not sure what can be done. It's probably something that would be a good addition to the story. What if Rarity KNEW it was Sweetie Belle that'd get the curse? Imagine how torturous that'd be. She realizes what's going on, but knows if she signs that paper. It's her sister that's next. Could you do it? Could you sign the paper knowing your loved one is doomed to this hell if you do?

Now that's horror to me. At that point I do think I'd break. If I knew doing that would doom one of my brothers. I'd have a really hard time.

As it stands though? I have no clue who it's going to, and that takes away some of the sting. It's like that thing about the demon giving someone a box with a button on it, that if you press it. Someone will die, but you get riches for it.

I wouldn't press the button, but that detail of "Someone" is what sells it for some. You don't know who is dying, so maybe you can live with yourself.

Still, with how much the room gives you to basically 'beat it' in the end I'd just have to hope my brothers would figure it out. I see a little of what you mean now. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut.

The main issue and something I can't help but notice you avoided. Is what happens if you don't leave the room? Time seems frozen in the outside world if you look through a window. Time flows strangely in the room, but... what happens if you never escape? That's the thing that makes it hard for me to take this seriously.

Time can't stop for us in the real world. There doesn't seem to be a time limit for those in the room. So say it IS a baby that gets trapped in the room. The baby can't really tell what's happening. They'd cry a lot, and maybe just... I dunno sit there? Can they grow old? Can they slowly begin to comprehend what's around them? If they just lay there and do nothing, what happens? The real world can't actually be frozen in time. That just doesn't make sense. That's just not how things work. No matter how much time you spend in that room, you still end up 'awake' the next morning. It's always the next morning. I'm not even sure if it's the same time every time. Can you sleep in till noon?

I'm not scared of this because I'm looking at it and going: "But how does..." I'm asking questions, and these questions show me that when you break it down. This doesn't work all that well.

It's like when I was a kid and people tried to scare me with the Bloody Mary thing. The first thing I asked was why she showed up in the mirror, or more precisely the legend/story behind what happened to her, and why she now kills people who say her name in the mirror three times.

The answer I got was: "Just because". Just because is not an answer. Just because tells me you are making shit up. Horror can only grab you when you understand why it works. A story about Rarity coming home, and finding a timberwolf hid in her closet and attacks her, can be horror because you can logically conclude how a timberwolf could have gotten there. Or there are logical reasons as to why and how the thing might have gotten in. Why it's a danger to Rarity if it attacks.

This room doesn't quite have that. It has some, but not enough. It's almost there, but needs some serious work to make sense and fit together. I'm simply pointing out the flaws I'm seeing. I like this idea. In a way I want it to work. It's just not in my opinion.

But on that note, I am a little curious as I feel it quite contradicting. If you consider the time you're trapped in the room and all the suffering you have doesn't mean anything once you find the door and walk out, then why would you pass it on to another? After all, talking by that logic, you would get out eventually, even if you may spend near eternity in it, and then all is good right? Then why do you have the urge to pass it on? Shouldn't there be something you're scared of, something you don't want that prompts you to do that?

Well why would you have the urge to keep going? The only thing we're given is that you have to pass it on. Otherwise you're going to do this again, and again, and again, and that sounds very tedious and annoying, and I do that already working retail.

But if I had to answer. Maybe I'm already broken. I live in a world where magic isn't real. I'm not going to go on some magical adventure. I'm not going to walk through the woods and see a unicorn. I've often wondered. I'm a guy. What if I was a girl? What would it be like to be a dog for a day? A horse?

I'm never going to know the answers to those questions. This world doesn't have the means to achieve those goals. To learn that information. Hell, I'm sure it's just SOOO shocking to learn I'm still single. Life isn't like the movies, you don't randomly meet someone and fall in love. Any attempts I've made at meeting anyone have ended in failure, and though we don't want to admit it? The truth is. There are some of us who are simply never going to find anyone. I might be one of those people. I very well might be dying alone. That's the world we live in.

So this curse? The paper? It's designed that the only way out is to sign the paper and pass it on. Would I now though? Knowing some small child might get stuck? I dunno. It's 3am and I'm tried of arguing. Maybe I'd loose all motivation to go on and just lie there forever. My mind long gone that I don't even notice my surroundings anymore. What then? I don't know. There's no answer to that.

10611676

If you can explain to me, WHY the hell someone would design the room to grow slightly larger every time, WHILE making it so you can't sleep. WHILE making it so you are immortal but still feel pain. WHILE erasing your memory of it all every time you wake up. WHILE giving you a journal, and a way to pass it on, and have your explanation make sense, then I'll consider the point you are trying to make here.

Since you didn't read my own comments apparently i will copy paste it here in hopes you may finally do. so here are my own quotes:

Or perhaps it wasn't even indended as a curse. Someone made something to sleep better and the effects were weirder than intended. Perhaps the room getting bigger is some side effect of time and space being frozen and needing to go somewhere or some random crap like that?

There are may theories about freezing time that talks about how you, who is not freezed, would put out way too much energy. To cite one example of the possible whys it would do that.

Or simply wanted to screw up with the room getting bigger . And since they knew how to end it they weren't really scared of being stuck.
But something made the spell latch on to someone else who didn't have the mage's spells or knowledge of the curse.

By screwing around, i mean simply having fun, as Rarity herself described it, it was cute and she felt like a mouse.

Perhaps also someone who wanted to be immortal in their own pocket dimension. And the room getting bigger was that someone wanting to test out how big he wanted it to be.

Self explanatory for Size and immortality.
Remember that the simplest way to remove pain is to remove sensations altogether, perhaps that is why you can indeed still feel pain, due to the creator not wanting to null other sensations. Or perhaps just he didn't know how.

-The note don't contradict someone using it to sleep better, it can simply be the way out that the creator intended.

Self explanatory again, when you create a spell, you create a way to end it.

As for removing the ability to sleep, perhaps that simply comes with the fact that you need to sleep to get there in the first place.

10611744
BUT WHY. You aren't reading my comments either. WHY DID THEY DO THIS. What was the original intent. You are trying to trying to argue that someone made a room where they wanted to be immortal. Okay, I'm following.

They wanted their own pocket dimension, didn't dull their senses. Okay I can see that. Makes some sense.

They wanted to make the room bigger, but it kept going. Okay that seems like a really weird thing to test, but okay. People are weird.

Oh and makes sure it erases their memory when they wake up. Okay now you're losing me. That seems pretty specific a detail to do. I can not see that being a side effect. I can accept it MAYBE being a space they created for themselves in dreams with the door being the exit, but then you have to think about how it erases your memory and it starts to fall apart when you consider what would happen in this situation.

Okay so let's say it did do that. Let's say it's as you said and just a room where they wanted their own space where they are immortal. They for whatever reason, let you break windows that don't re-spawn. Let you dig through floor or wall only to go nowhere instead of just you know. Making it that you can't do that or hit an unbreakable wall. Being it's just meant as their own little think tank if you will. That seems like unnecessary detail to put in. They're playing around and decide to make the room grow... but only by a little, and it stops. However it's suppose to grow slightly larger each time you enter it? That's a really weird specific thing to make it do. If you wanted the room bigger... wouldn't you just have it keep growing WHILE in the room? Why the HELL would it make it grow by like 3 feet every time you enter? Also this causes a strange side effect that erases your memory when you wake up? What?

Last of all you are so intent in telling me over and over how horrible it is to sign the paper. What many of us would think if faced with that decision. Which I see your point to. However that leads me to this question:

Then... what about the caster in the spell? What would their thoughts be when they realized the hell they created? They made the spell. They have access to it. Even Twilight messing up her spells could un do them. I can't recall any instance where she had to do something where like in this case you just pass it to someone else, and if that was the only way they could do it. Then why isn't the note that TELLS you you need to sign the note to pass it on come with some long apology for sticking them in there in the first place? If it's so horrible to sign your name, knowing what you condemn upon another for doing so. Why didn't this spell caster feel the same way?

Rarity doesn't comment about it after reading the note. She simply states its a curse.

The scenario you present to me doesn't work when you break it down and think about it. There are too many inconsistences, too many things that would have to be coincidence. To slim a chance that all this came together in this EXACT WAY.

You are trying to tell me it rains mayonnaise. It makes no sense, and I'm not buying it.

Anyway I'm done alright? Nothing you say is going to make me consider that an option given what we actually know from the story, and again. It's clear the author themselves wrote this with it being a curse in mind.

I'm sorry to you author. I just wanted to share my different opinions while still praising your creativity, and it's turned into this.

10611676
I don't know why you get so defensive. I am not even arguing. I am just trying to explain the merits of the story, and understand your thought process in return. I'll try to explain one more time because I don't want to leave thing in the middle, but if it's that annoying to you, we should just stop the discussion.

If you can explain to me, WHY the hell someone would design the room to grow slightly larger every time, WHILE making it so you can't sleep. WHILE making it so you are immortal but still feel pain. WHILE erasing your memory of it all every time you wake up. WHILE giving you a journal, and a way to pass it on, and have your explanation make sense, then I'll consider the point you are trying to make here.

Ok, I'll try to be as specific as possible:

Twilight tried to make a spell to let her continue to work in her sleep. It created a pocket dimension of her bedroom with time outside standing still (or more likely slowing to a crawl because her brain activity accelerated super fast in there). She could wake up whenever she walked out the door. Obviously she would want to have sensation in there otherwise it would just be terrifying not feeling anything, and pain is just an extension of sensation (or like Soron said, excluding pain is just too much of a hassle. She was not gonna hurt herself anyway so why care?). She cast it. Next morning she woke up not remembering anything. She checked the spell again. Then she realize because real time was slowing down, when you wake up all your memory in there was compressed to a single point a trillionth of a second. That's why you don't remember a thing. So she set out to fix it, tinkered with it bit by bit. But through the experimenting, one day she mistakenly made the room bigger every night. When she noticed her mistake after reviewing the spell matrix, she was horrified to realize she couldn't stop it - she didn't think of a fail-safe stop button, or her tinkering had broken it. She tried and tried but couldn't find a way to fix it. The only way it could work was to transfer it to a random pony. In panic realizing how big the room had gotten by now, she did it. She added a journal next to the transferring mechanism for the next pony to write down their experience so it would be easier for them to figure it out. She wrote her apology down into the journal, and signed her name. Little did she know, what written in the journal didn't transfer from pony to pony (or was erased every time the room reset to normal size). Such is the unpredictability of magic. She continued to work on the spell, and maybe she had figured out how to fix it by now, but since she had no way to know which pony was having it, there was nothing she could do. So she kept quiet about it.

There, I wrote you a prequel.

Then again, why does it matter so much? If you're so dead dead dead set that it had to be a curse, then ok, maybe some dickhead thought this could be a fun prank, and nopony was gonna be stupid enough to let it get too big right? So they just did it. Or maybe somepony had a grudge on another and made a curse to trap them in a room, but they were not powerful enough to make the room big right from the start so they made it grow each day instead. Then the other pony discovered this (through reading the other's diary perhaps) and made the transferring to cure it, as that was the only way they knew how. Or maybe it was just the Tantabus going crazy.

Why does it matter to the fear factor? If you don't understand why a ghost is haunting you, then you're not afraid of the ghost at all? I find that thought process really strange.

Then again, maybe you're such a rational guy. I don't know. It's up to each person. I can't tell someone when they should be scared. And I'm not trying to tell you. I am just trying to understand that thought process, is all.

You're given so much to work with to figure out what's going on and there has to be information that tells you SOMETHING. After all Rarity doesn't 'think' that signing the paper will pass this on to somepony else. She talks as if she KNOWS it's going to do that.

You completely miss my point. I am not talking about Rarity figuring out how the room worked. I am talking about Rarity figuring out whether she could cope with the next loop. I am trying to explain the rationale behind someone not signing their name.

Like I said earlier, there are many reasons one would consider transferring the spell to another a cruel thing. Under that thought, most people would have the urge to "do the right thing", or at least would hesitate. Naturally, they would weight their morality against the suffer they would have the next round. And that second part is important. "How big is the room gonna get next time?" "How much suffering will I have?" What is the expectation? The room doesn't give you much to deduce. You only have a vague idea of how big the room was last loop, so you only have a vague idea of how it will be next one. If you were given a definite answer, say the room will be 100 times bigger next time, then at least you had a reference point to weight you choice.

Furthermore, you don't know about any of this until you reach the door. You don't get to think about this when you're suffering, but after everything has passed. It lessens the pain. Think about it, when you're on the dentist chair, you're more likely to do anything to never have to come to the dentist again. But if you're asked about it afterward, you will feel it wasn't that bad. It's the same here.

All of that factors in your decision, and lures you in to not sign. That's what makes it scary (to me). It's like seeing someone signing their name to participate in the game in Saw because they think they could cope with it.

I don't see Rarity as having paid dearly for her choice. The 'difference' she feels at the end is she isn't well rest like she has felt for the last few months. AKA the time she spent with the curse. That's it. She remembers nothing else. Will she suddenly feel guilty for no reason? I have no damn clue. Doesn't seem likely from what we're shown.

She subconsciously felt that she had passed "the sleep bug" to her sister. Furthermore, she felt that "Sweetie Belle really deserves it". That implies some impression was left in her subconscious. You can even say it already changed her, and made her more cruel. Again, I refer to the movie Inception (you should really watch it if you haven't). Very small change in one's subconscious can have great effect later on.

The main issue and something I can't help but notice you avoided. Is what happens if you don't leave the room? Time seems frozen in the outside world if you look through a window. Time flows strangely in the room, but... what happens if you never escape? That's the thing that makes it hard for me to take this seriously.

Is the time standing still that difficult to wrap head around? Like you said, eventually the one who's trapped will find the door. Even if that's a baby, it will just crawl and wander randomly until it finds the door. Maybe that takes a trillion trillion years in there, but in the end it will get out, and time moves again.

But if that's so difficult to understand, then just imagine that time outside doesn't stand still, but just slows down to a trillion times, like in the example with Twilight I wrote above. And if one who's trapped can't find a way out, then to the outside it would look like they suddenly fall into a coma.

So the passing it on thing. Okay let me tell you something about life. Sometimes you're going to be put in a shitty situation, and you're going to have to do something you don't want to do, but you're not going to have a choice. You can worry and stress about it all you want. It's going to happen either way. Best to just steel yourself and do it.

Yes, like I said, that's exactly the point. True, when looking at it from the outside rationally, it feels stupid to not pass it on—it doesn't fix anything. But given what you said after that in your comment, I think you'll agree with me that most people in that situation would feel hesitate, would fear for the next person, would want to not do the cruel thing, would try to see if they can cope with this. We don't act like cold-hearted calculating machines, we act based on how we feel. But in the end, it's hopeless. The room breaks its victim down. In a sense, you can think of it as a metaphor of how shitty life is, how it beats the crap out of you and teaches you a lesson that your virtue means nothing. That's the whole point of it. That's what makes it scary (for me at least) to see someone as virtuous as Rarity having her morality shattered apart.

I've read stories with the classic endless fall, endless stairs, endless hallway, and eternal entrapment in non-endless space.

Not entrapment in a large fully visible space, though, assuming its endless. There was limitled space without resources in Blink. (usually cycling spaces like hallways and stairs require movement and have limited viability, stairs usually being switchbacks or spiral, hallways having a corner that then leads to a mimic of the last hallway).

Ah, this will be fun. I never get tired of it.

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