• Published 25th May 2021
  • 1,529 Views, 127 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 2

Applejack awoke to several loud thuds in quick succession, followed by pained yelling and swearing. Quickly looking over, she saw that the colt’s bed was empty. Her body moved automatically as she dashed out of the bedroom. Reaching the stairwell, she saw the colt lying at the bottom, yelling in pain and anger while slamming his head into the floor.


Applejack rushed downstairs and was at the colt’s side in an instant. His coat was slightly damp with sweat. He almost certainly had a nightmare, though it thankfully wasn’t bad enough to make him cry out. He probably got out of bed because he was trying to get some food and then leave.

“Quit hurtin’ yourself!” Applejack exclaimed, putting a hoof between the colt’s head and the floor. “Fallin’ down some stairs can happen to anypony. Beatin’ yourself up about it ain’t gonna help.” Horror crept into Applejack’s thoughts as she wondered whether the colt himself was responsible for any of the marks on his body.

“What do you know?” the colt snapped, “You’re not stuck in this weak, useless, pathetic little body! You’ve never had everyone and everything you cared about ripped away from you with no chance of getting it back! You’re not trapped in some alien world with no way to go home! You have everything! I have NOTHING!”

Needless to say, the colt’s shouting had woke up the rest of the household. Everypony had left their respective rooms and were now staring at the panting colt sitting at Applejack’s hooves. They had all heard enough, some more than others. Not all of what the unstable colt said made sense to them, but they were each able to draw terrifying conclusions. Either his family was dead, or he had been foalnapped and escaped but didn’t know the way home. Possibly both.

Applejack wrapped her forelegs around the colt, hugging him tightly. Applebloom hurried down the stairs and followed suit. The colt tensed in their embrace. From the sound of his breathing, he was trying very hard not to cry.

“It’s okay to cry, sugar cube,” whispered Applejack, “Nopony’s gonna make fun of ya. Just let it out.”

The colt took a deep breath before pulling back, prompting the sisters to let go of him. The look on his face was one of weariness and defeat. It was a look that nopony should wear, much less a foal. “Thanks for putting up with me,” he said, “I have to go now.”

The colt turned to leave, slightly limping from his fall, but Applejack moved into his way.

“Ah can’t let ya do that,” she said. “Ya look like ya haven’t eaten in days and you’re all beat up. Ya need food and a doctor.”

“Food and a doctor won’t bring my life back. Nothing will.”

So his family was dead, then. Nothing could raise the dead, after all. That didn’t explain what had happened to his body, however. Did somepony abuse him after his family died, either foalnappers or relatives, and he ran away? Did he hurt himself on purpose? Applejack forced those questions to the back of her mind. This colt needed reassurance and comfort.

“Ya can’t think like that, sugar cube,” she said. “Ah know losin’ your folks is hard, but ya can’t go on like this. Your family would want ya to be strong for ‘em.”

The colt glared at her. “You don’t know anything about them.”

“Maybe not, but ah do know that nopony would want their colt to go without food or hurt himself. They’d want somepony to look after him if they were gone. Isn’t there anypony out there who can take care of ya? Any aunts or uncles?”

The colt’s glare disappeared and he looked at the floor. “No,” he answered, “No one. They’re all gone, along with everything else that mattered.” He looked up. “Besides, I can take care of myself just fine.”

Applejack felt a mixture of pity and frustration as she gestured to the colt’s body. “Ya call this ‘just fine?’ If ya keep goin’ on like this, you’re gonna die!”

Applebloom gasped and silence filled the room as the mare and colt stared at each other. The staring persisted as Big Mac moved to usher Applebloom out of the room. The filly knew better than to protest as she was led away. Granny Smith looked at Applejack, then to the colt, silently asking if her granddaughter wanted her there. Applejack shook her head ever so slightly. Granny nodded, then left the room.

Normally, Applejack would never have been so blunt with a foal, but she needed this one to understand what he was doing to himself. He was tearing himself apart and Applejack couldn’t stand to see it. It pained her that the colt might start crying again because of her words, but that was a small price to pay for his well-being. Instead of crying, however, he bowed his head and sighed.

“I don’t belong here,” he said, anger replaced with emptiness. “Please let me go.”

“Ah can’t. Ya need help, and ah’d be a terrible pony if ah didn’t help somepony who needed mah help.”

“You can’t help me.”

“Ah can if ya let me.”

He shook his head. “You can’t. Just leave me alone.”

Applejack moved closer. “Ya don’t need to be alone. Let me and mah family help ya. We can get ya to a doctor so ya can get better. Applebloom can help ya make friends your age. We can help ya find somepony take ya in. Ya won’t be alone, and then ya won’t be so sad anymore. That’s the honest truth.”

The colt shut his eyes tightly and grit his teeth as he held back a sniffle. “I don’t want a doctor or new friends,” he said, voice breaking, “I want my life back.” A sob escaped him as Applejack embraced him. “There’s n-n-nothing for me here,” he choked out.

She began to rock him back and forth. “Shhhhhhhhhhh. It’s goin’ to be alright.”

He shook his head. “No, it’s not.”

“You’re gonna get better. Ah promise.”

The sobs were no longer suppressed. “Please let me go,” he begged, “Let me die.”

Applejack’s heart broke at those words. She had no idea what to say that might convince the poor colt he needed to keep on living. She held him close as he wept and fought the urge to cry herself. She had to be strong for his sake, but she alone couldn’t help him. Silently, she vowed to get him all the help he needed. This foal would heal. She and her friends would make sure of it.

Author's Note:

I can’t promise consistent chapter updates, but I do have a plan concerning where to take this story.

I’ve tried to lengthen this chapter to give readers more time to process things. Commenter Mr. Nopony was kind enough to point out that things were moving a little too quickly, so I hope I’ve fixed that.

I welcome any and all constructive criticism.