• Published 12th Dec 2023
  • 2,867 Views, 100 Comments

Gamophobia - RunicTreetops



Chrysalis is supposed to thrive at weddings. Today, she ran from the most important one of her life: hers.

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Intruder

Rain continues to fall on Ponyville. At this point, everyone in town has gotten used to it, though many businesses are still incapable of functioning due to the flooding. The damage has been great, but until the rain stops, it can’t even be assessed properly.

Anon trudges through the murky, muddy mess as he finally reaches his home. The train ride to and from the changeling hive isn’t exactly a short one. Everything else aside, it was nice to get out of the rain for a while back there.

Stepping onto his wet porch, he goes to unlock his front door. However, as he inserts the key, he suddenly stops.

It’s unlocked.

Slowly shoving his keys back into his pocket, he slowly turns the doorknob and peers through the crack, doing his best to remain as quiet as possible. Pressing his ear to the door, he feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

It’s dead silent inside, but something feels… off.

After taking a moment to control his breathing, he opens the door and steps inside, this time purposefully making the door creak. He tries to focus as hard as he can on his hearing, listening for anything that might sound out of place.

Sure enough, for only the briefest of moments, he hears some kind of shuffling from somewhere inside followed quickly by silence.

“Chryssi? Is that you?”

There is no response. He hopes beyond hope that his suspicions might be correct. Has she returned? Will he finally be able to see her again? As these questions pass through his mind, he feels a weight begin to settle in his chest.

Is he ready to face her again?

Narrowing his eyes, he closes the door behind him. He removes his sopping-wet shoes and jacket before taking another step into the house. From the entrance, he can clearly see into the kitchen and the living room. Both appear to be completely empty.

Of course, given that she is a shapeshifter, it would probably be pretty easy for Chrysalis to hide in plain sight as something small.

Hoping that this isn’t the case, Anon is left with three main options. If someone is inside the house, they’re either upstairs, in the basement, or in the bathroom. Since the bathroom is right around the corner, it’s easy for him to confirm that no one is in there.

All that’s left to do is to either go up or down.

Figuring that it’d be easier to check upstairs than the leaky basement, he decides to ascend the steps and check up there. His first target is the master bedroom, if only because there isn’t much upstairs aside from another bathroom, a few unused bedrooms, and a study.

Just as he enters the bedroom, however, there is another sound. It’s very brief, but the sound is unmistakably movement of some kind coming from downstairs. As swiftly as he can, he practically throws himself back into the hallway to get a glimpse down the steps. However, all he manages to catch is the tip of a green tail disappearing through the front door before it slams shut once more.

Rushing down the stairs, he throws the door open and peers outside. Unfortunately, whether it be due to the rain or the speed of the intruder, he can’t see anything out of place. With a frustrated grunt, he closes the door behind him. His first instinct is to lock it, but in truth, he wants Chryssi to come back.

…But why was she here to begin with, especially if she was going to hide from him?

For a moment, he stares at the closed door. His eyes are sharp, focused on nothing in particular. Then, without a word, he turns in place and crosses the living room, placing his attention squarely on the door leading to the basement.

His walk down the short flight of stairs is methodical and deliberate. It isn’t until he reaches the bottom that he finally relaxes the tension that had been growing in his shoulders.

The basement looks to be unchanged from the last time he saw it. The buckets he had been using to catch the water leaking onto the stone floor have been replaced by a much larger tub, one that can go multiple days without needing to be emptied. Aside from that, there is little down here except some storage. Chryssi lived down here once upon a time, but after becoming more open about her feelings, she moved upstairs with him.

Just as he thinks that nothing seems out of the ordinary and he should head back upstairs, something catches his eye: a barely opened box used to store some Hearth’s Warming decorations. He knows for a fact that the box was closed last time he was down here, seeing as it was just a few days ago. With a puzzled look on his face, Anon shuffles towards the box and removes the lid. Curiously, it looks like the contents haven’t been touched.

With a shrug and sigh, he closes the box once more. Maybe he just needs to get a new one. With the heavy feeling in his chest never quite going away, he heads back upstairs.


Anon begins to stir as sunlight pours through his window and lands directly on his eyes. He groans as he sits up, lazily scratching his back before tossing his blanket to the side. It’s a late, quiet morning, and the only sound is the birds happily chirping outside his window.

…Wait a minute.

Anon tilts his head as he saunters over to his window. Peeking through the blinds, he can’t help but notice how sunny it is. How pleasant it seems. How quiet and not-rainy it sounds.

He practically throws the window open after that realization. Sure enough, it’s a gorgeous day outside without a single cloud in the sky. The ground is still wet and a bit flooded, of course, but for the first time in weeks, it has finally stopped raining.

Even amidst everything else happening, he can’t help but chuckle. It’s nice to see the sun again.

The rest of his morning continues as normal, interrupted only by the sound of something hitting his front door. Setting his coffee down, he looks outside to see the morning paper being delivered for the first time in a while. With a smile, he happily picks it up and begins to read as he resumes eating his breakfast.

The headline on the front page makes everything clear. “PRINCESS TWILIGHT FIXES WEATHER BLUNDER WITH MIRACLE SPELL!” A big picture of Twilight flying just beneath the clouds with her horn glowing bright enough to be noticeable even in a black-and-white photograph adorns the page beneath that headline.

“Good job, Twi.”

It’s a bit of a relief, too. Being Equestria’s sole ruler, many disgruntled ponies affected by the flooding blamed Twilight for being unable to address the issue and fix it with any haste. Of course, anypony that actually knows her (Anon included) knows that she was doing everything in her power to help every single day, but the public loves having someone to hate.

And if it’s not Chrysalis, it’s Twilight.

Hopefully, this will help rebuild some of the trust Equestria lost for Twilight. The last thing she needs is something like that slowing down her reign.

Deciding to take the good news in stride, Anon quickly finishes his breakfast and starts getting dressed. If it’s not flooded anymore, he can finally go back to work.

And right now, any opportunity to keep his mind off of Chrysalis is an opportunity he will gladly take advantage of.