• Published 25th May 2021
  • 1,274 Views, 122 Comments

Through Despair and Hope - Blue Writer



How does one help a grieving child? How does one heal from losing everything?

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Chapter 1

Yet another day of farm work had come and gone at Sweet Apple Acres. The sun was setting and Applejack had put the last of the tools in the barn when she heard Winona barking. The barking persisted as Applejack left the barn and shut the door. Wanting to see what had her dog so excited, she trotted over to where she heard the noise.

Cresting a small hill, Applejack saw Winona barking at a young colt, who was pressed up against an apple tree and frantically trying to shush the dog.

“Winona!” called Applejack as she moved toward the two, “Heel!”

Winona obeyed faithfully. Applejack then turned her attention to the colt, whose eyes were now fixed on her.

He was a unicorn, likely no older than Applebloom. His coat was copper-colored while his mane and tail were a silvery gray. No cutie mark. The CMC would undoubtedly try to recruit him if they ever crossed paths. Applejack’s brow furrowed in concern as she noticed how thin the colt looked. She was positive that his ribs were visible, to say nothing of the scratch marks and bruises all over him. Who or what had done that to him?

The colt’s eyes were frantically darting up and down Applejack’s body, no doubt frightened by how much bigger she was than him. Foals were easily scared, after all, and this one’s looks meant he likely panicked quicker than most.

Applejack contained her rising anger at whoever had hurt the poor colt in front of her. She needed him to trust her.

“Howdy,” Applejack said with reassuring smile, “Ah’m Applejack. What’s your name?”

The colt didn’t say anything. He started breathing heavily and a look of utter horror was on his face. Foals were not supposed to be that scared of adults. The abuse theory was becoming more and more credible.

“Ya ain’t in any trouble,” Applejack said gently, slowly moving closer. “Did ya want an apple?” she asked, gesturing to the tree. “Ya must be mighty hungry.”

The colt ignored her. Instead, he took several deep breaths and looked down at his hoofs, mumbling something about no hue-mens, whatever that meant, and being trapped.

Many questions ran through Applejack’s mind. Had this colt ran away from home and was scared to tell anypony? If that was it, why would he have ran off? Were his parents the ones responsible for all the marks on him? Were they even alive?

Just then, the colt started to chuckle. Applejack frowned slightly. She knew that foals could be silly, but the state he was in was not a laughing matter by any stretch of the imagination. The chuckle quickly turned into laughter as he lifted his head. Applejack found herself more and more confused by this colt.

“What’re ya laughin’ about?” she asked.

“Everything!” he answered, laughing all the while. “You, me, this world, my life! Might as well laugh, right? That’s all that’s left to do, isn’t it? There’s nothing else! There’s nothing! Nothing!”

Applejack was not sure what to make of the colt’s raving, but none of the conclusions she reached were good. One thing was clear, however. He needed serious help and fast.

He kept laughing, but the laughter quickly turned into crying. “Gone,” he sobbed, “Nothing left.”

Applejack quickly pulled the crying colt into a hug. “It’s alright,” she said, “You’re gonna be alright.” She could feel the brief shake of his head. She continued to hold him as he wept into her barrel, shushing him soothingly. “It’s alright,” she repeated, “It’s alright.” She did not know how long she held the poor colt until he had cried himself to sleep.


Applejack gently hoisted the colt onto her back and carried him into the house. Granny Smith was in the family room with Applebloom, with Big Mac likely in his own room.

“Ah need some help gettin’ the spare room ready,” Applejack declared. All eyes darted to the sleeping foal on her back.

“Who’s that, Applejack?” Applebloom asked.

“Ah don’t know,” she replied, “Winona found him by one of the trees.”

Granny had moved closer and was looking the colt over. “Ah ain’t never seen a young’un so beat up. Poor little thang looks half-starved, too. Was he asleep when y’all found him?”

“He was awake when we found him. Ah think he was tryin’ to get an apple, ‘cause he was right scared when he saw me.”

“He was tryin’ to steal our apples?” Applebloom asked, sounding confused.

“Only ‘cause he was awful hungry and too scared to ask,” Granny explained. “You run along off to bed now and maybe ya can play with him in the mornin’.”

“But-”

“No buts. Your sis and I gotta talk.”

“Yes’m.”

As Applebloom went to bed, the two adults carried their guest upstairs to the spare room.

“How’d ya get him to sleep?” asked Granny.

Applejack quickly related everything she knew about the colt up to that point. “He kept cryin’ ‘till he fell asleep,” she finished.

Granny sighed heavily. “Ah don’t rightly know what to make of him. Ah just hope he’s got good family out there somewhere.”

“Me too, Granny. Ah can’t bear to think of what coulda happened to make him act like that.”

“I reckon we should get him to the hospital tomorrow. Let him sleep now.”

“I dunno, Granny. Seein’ me scared him right to death. A hospital’s sure to scare him worse.”

“Ah figured that, but that colt needs a doctor and maybe one of them counselors too if he’s ever gonna get all better. Sure, we know some things about takin’ care of young’uns, but we ain’t miracle workers, Applejack.”

Applejack’s green eyes wandered over to the sleeping colt. She had to admit her grandmother was right. “Alright,” she relented, “Ah’ll take him there in the mornin’, but somepony else is gonna have to take Applebloom to school.”

“Ah’ll ask Big Mac,” said Granny. “Ah’d better get my blanket.”

“What fer?”

“Somepony had better stay with him tonight. If Ah figure right, he’s liable to have nightmares.”

Applejack’s eyes widened slightly. She hadn’t considered that. Foals could have bad dreams over the smallest of things. A scared colt who had probably lost his parents and suffered abuse was likely to have nothing but bad dreams.

“Ah’ll watch him,” she declared.

“You sure?” asked Granny.

“Ah think Ah’m the only one he won’t get scared seeing when he wakes up, ‘specially if he has a nightmare. He don’t know anypony else.”

Granny smiled slightly. “Alright,” she said, “But if ya need help, just holler.”

“Ah will.”

Applejack went to her own room to get a blanket and pillows, then carried them on her back to the guest room. She set down the pillows to use as a makeshift bed, then laid down near the sleeping colt. A great deal of worry plagued her as sleep slowly came.

Author's Note:

I apologize for the poor cover art. The free app I used to make it didn’t have an option for fillies/colts.

I hope I have everyone in character while also making sure they act rationally.

Constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.