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Open for Art Commissions. I write horror. I write gay. I write gay horror. GAAAAAAAAAAYYYY


Shining Armour had a great life, everything he could ever want. He was happy.

That is until the Monster arrived.

Violence tag due to certain themes within the story. CW: Child Abuse

An entry in the A Thousand Words Contest under Horror.

Preread by The Sleepless Beholder and mushroompone.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 27 )

...This kinda reminds me of the 'thing' that my mom made up to scare my brother and sis into behaving. Great fic! 10/10!

Very interesting concept.

Can someone explain this to me? I can’t wrap my head around this

I think much of it is intended to be left up to interpretation, but what isn't is that his mother is related to the monster. In fact, I consider them to be one in the same, and Shining does too. I interperet the monster's appearance to be Shining Armor's interpretation of his mother's rage, with her becomming a terrible monster in Shining's eyes, even though she, in reality, did not change form. Instead, it was easier to imagine her as a monster than his mother.

This shit slaps hard. Almost as hard as the monster.

It’s an allegory for child abuse

The Monster is Twilight Velvet his mother.

hits too close to home.. heh... heh


I was scared. I didn’t know what the monster was, but I wanted my dad because he would protect me. So, I cried out for him, steamed it as loud as I could, desperation in my voice.

I think you want "screaming"?

An error? There is no error. There never was an error.
(Thank you for the catch, fixed it)

Well dang. I'll just give you my hat.

Not sure if it's just me, but I'd really like to see a world play out with this underpinning it.

Kind of reminds me of that game where you play as a baby with a teddy bear and it's this big overgrown shadow creature hunting you down because it wants to hurt you.

well. wonder what happens when Celestia finds out.

among the sleep if you were wondering the name of it


That his mother could be so awful that that is how he sees her. To be traumatized like that; and scarred. Hang your head in shame Velvet; you’re unworthy of your title.

One asked how Celestia would feel about matters here... About what you'd expect I suspect:trollestia:


“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

Twilight Velvet's ears twitched at the sound of the Princess's soft tone, and turning, she began to smile, then ears flattening to her skull, she took a step back at the expression on the diarchs face, and in that moment, the mare learned how cold the world was when the sun denied you its warmth. For a moment Velvet's horn flared to life, seeking something, anything, to protect herself, delving to the deepest for IT, the spell every unicorn knew as from birth as easily as a foal knew to seek its mothers side, a means of self preservation... and with a mere narrowing of a micrometer of her eyelids, Celestia dispelled her attempts.

"Do you know who said that? Somepony, perhaps, who would forgive your transgressions mare, if you sought such. I... am not so awash in kindness and mercy. But what I do have are healing spells and ol' Bertha."

Before Velvet could inquire as to who Bertha was, Celestia's horn flared and after a brief flash a rust covered ship anchor fell to floor with a clank, and hefting the improvised weapon to rest it across her withers, Celestia began to step forward.

And as she walked, she began so sing


Meanwhile across town, Cadence looked up as a screech of utter terror echoed across Canterlot.

"What was that?"

"I believe that was your coltfriends mother screaming in fear your Highness."

Nodding, Cadence returned to her paperwork.

"Oh. Good."

This shit is far too common and people should be a lot less forgiving for it.

This was a pretty effective depiction of domestic abuse. I've seen this sort of story before, so I figured out from the start that Twilight Velvet was the monster, but this was still well told.

I needed to think about this one for a bit. Rather unwisely, that was over lunch. :pinkiesick:

"X's parents were actually abusive" is a tough sell for me with many of the Mane Six's families. With Twilight's, there's some textual support. She had to develop that anxiety and perfectionism somehow, to say nothing of how the Crown of the Sibling Supreme had her and Shining literally competing for their parents' affection. But this still doesn't quite mesh for me. I think the biggest issue is that Shining actually got his cutie mark this way. What do they tell the neighbors? What does he tell his classmates or his teacher? That's incriminating evidence right on his backside, to say nothing of the welts in a society without a nudity taboo.

This might have been able to justify itself with more available words, but as is, I can't believe Velvet escaped Protective Services. Still, best of luck in the judging.


I would presume they'd claim he saved Twilight from some sort of accident. She'd had a magic surge and knocked something big and heavy off a shelf and Shining was the one around to see it and cast a shield spell over her

I hadn’t meant to do that, but it had happened and I was readying to apologize to my parents when they got there.

But they didn’t come.

The monster did.

and oof

I told him about the monster and my dad had been horrified. But mom told me that the monster was natural, that it always showed up when foals did bad things.

And that it was my fault the monster appeared.

and oof, love the ambiguity here. in the magical world of ponies, for all we know this could be a real phenomenon and not Shining's disassociation between his loving mother and the monster who hurts him, but this type of thinking, and saying such a horrible thing to a foal, would make Twilight Velvet just as much the true monster even if it were a separate entity

It used to only be the size of my parents, but soon its head scraped against the ceiling along with the many racks of horns that grew from its head. Its eyes multiplied in number, all the better to catch me when I misbehaved. Its frame grew until it could barely contain itself within the walls of my home.

and yes, that ambiguity again! the monster acquiring more horrifying traits as time goes on and Shining sees it as this growing and awful thing that smothers away the carefreeness that he had as the little colt at the beginning of the story, great metaphorical stuff

I obeyed every rule, did everything I was asked, until, after several months, my baby sister was born.

and oof, filling in the reason for why the monster was absent for that specific amount of time...

It was a magic surge. Perfectly normal for a three year old unicorn. We'd been playing in her room, book forts erected to protect the Rulers of Book and Shield. But a burst of magic caused it all to go flying across the room.

augh, such a cute moment to make what is coming all the worse

The welts on my side permanently scarred me that day.

As would the others in the coming years.

But the shield on my flanks that appeared afterwards guaranteed I would always look at my injuries with pride.

and oof! giving Shining's cutie mark a deeper and darker meaning is a great touch, and augh. that theme of older siblings doing all they can to protect their younger ones from their parents is always so heartbreaking to see

I climbed into bed with her and held her in my hooves, soothingly telling her that she would be fine.

When the monster inevitably came, its shadow loomed over us. It demanded I move. I refused and pulled my sister closer to me, using my body as a shield to keep her safe from the thing that wished her harm.

It stood over us for a time before, finally, it left.

“Goodbye, mom,” I called out.

and augh, love these paragraphs! they're what the story's impact rests on and you knocked it out of the park in managing the tension and the timing of the reveal. i can't think of a word to remove or add without lessening it somehow. and the "body as a shield" to call back Shining's cutie mark and the story's themes really makes it pop

i've been very lucky to not have firsthand experience of parental abuse growing up, but growing up has been having more and more people in my life who i care about and love who do have such a background, and all this rings so true with the struggles they've shared with me. i love how well this story delivers its core idea that is sadly universal enough as a concept to translate into all sorts of settings. (this could easily be origfic, with the shield cutie mark theme being the most difficult to translate, but not impossible!)

excellent work here, Otter.

Hello! Have a review. A troubling, dark alternative look at Shiny's colthood. Impressive that it avoids feeling exploitative, though FOME's comment does ring true. Have a like anyway, and well done on the honourable mention!


This might have been able to justify itself with more available words, but as is, I can't believe Velvet escaped Protective Services.

Sadly, some countries don't even have dedicated CPS-like bodies. It's not out of the question that this AU of Equestria is just a shell of what we know from canon, or that Equestria is just so peaceful overall that CPS was never established, leaving abusers like Velvet run free.

Greetings. Your reading has been completed and can be found below. I hope you enjoy.

i'm not sure of your experiences, but i'm assuming u dont know much abt this type of thing firsthand, so i wanted to explain ^_^" lots of child abuse victims have let their abusers walk free, often all the way until that parent dies. sometimes, like in my case, its because as children we knew it was a better option to stay in the house than to be put in the usually-unstable hands of cps and their equally abusive, overcrowded foster system (and as adults, it's more effort than its worth). other times, the parents finding out cps was called leads to them covering up their tracks before anything can happen, or the parents suspecting the child was the one who said something and severely taking it out on them. cps is unfortunately not a magic bandaid.

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