• Member Since 18th Sep, 2012
  • offline last seen Jan 7th, 2018



Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle get worried when Scootaloo doesn't show up for their planned day of crusading for cutie marks. Naturally they go to Scootaloo's hometown to check on their friend. But the fillies may for once have bitten off more than they can chew.

(This fanfic was written as an entry for EqD's 2012 Nightmare Night Fanfiction contest)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 41 )



Interesting, pretty well written, utterly and totally horrifying... :pinkiecrazy: Yeah, this is a nice little scary story. Might have been better to end it on a slightly more mysterious note, with the fate of the five missing ponies unknown and maybe some mention of Cheval's severed leg being found. Knowing that they're in a cave waiting for revenge made it less creepy to me.

Thank you. This is my first attempt at a serious fic, so I appreciate the kind words.

You may be right, and I was contemplating an ending similar to that, but ultimately chose this because I was afraid of seeming too cliché with the "unknown fate" ending.

Also, my reasoning for the severed leg not being found is, that while it would need either extensive magical care or amputation, it was still (sort of) attatched to his body. The impromptu amputation would have taken place after their escape.

Sweet fucking excellent, Batman!

That... that was fantastic. Your first attempt at a serious fic? For the love of literature, do attempt things like this more often!

It was creepy, it was shocking, it had all the right pacing and it brought my into the illusion of the story's reality. Fantastic job. Thank you for the submission.

Inky Award for Excellence... and a fave.

I swear, I never, ever expected to see this explanation as to where Scoot's parents are!

Man, great story until it went into summary mode about what happened to the crusaders.
"Oh yeah, before I forget, they were all badly damaged, of course. So uh, the end?" :facehoof:

Besides that, I'd say this is probably my second favorite story of the event so far. Still got three to go though.


I somewhat agree with you on that point. I simply couldn't think of any other way to end the story properly. But you're right, summary mode isn't the best solution.


Thank you very much. I do write a lot in my spare time, but horror is far outside my comfort zone. As is writing fanfics.



There is hope for the literary world yet!

Honestly, going back to the village, finding it empty, and dredging the river for bones was a pretty good ending. :unsuresweetie: It added some conclusion and finality to the village itself. you could have found a way to stop there, along with the powerful final line of.
"The Cutie Mark Crusaders never became quite the same after the events of the final adventure."
But ah well, whats done is done. This is still my second favorite fic of the whole competition :rainbowlaugh:


Indeed I do. I love writing and reading, and becoming an accomplished author is my big dream :ajsmug:


That is quite true. Honestly, I should go with that ending after the competition is over. Since my story made it to the finals, I feel deleting the last part would be inappropriate. Kind of like cheating.

Thanks to the both of you. Knowing I entertained but a small audience makes me extremely happy :pinkiesmile:

Unfortunately, I misread "carnivores" as "cannibals," and saw the ending coming a mile away. Freaking Arbu.

Still good, though.

To be honest I saw cannibalism coming a mile away.

That was a fun read, really brings me back to that chapter with Arbu.

Good luck in the contest. :twilightsmile:


Oh wow, I had completely forgotten about Arbu. That was a good chapter, indeed. And thank you :ajsmug:

:rainbowhuh: :rainbowkiss: :pinkiegasp: :fluttercry: :twilightsmile:
That's pretty much my range of emotions from this. Confusion at first as to where you were going, but very much intrigued. Then definitely interested and captivated, and kept in semi-suspense. Then TOTALLY FREAKED OUT AND SCARED FOR THE CMCS' LIVES. Then actually *almost* crying for Scootaloo and her mom (I really was THIS close). Then totally satisfied in having read this story. My only advice would be to change the ending as previously mentioned to leave the reader with suspense (it may be a cliche but it works!). DEFINITELY loved it, and your writing style is wonderful. I'm not the least surprised to hear you're interested in being a professional writer, and I hope you succeed! Would love to read more by you!


Thank you very much! :twilightsmile: It means a lot to me that people enjoyed the story!

I'll change the ending after October 31st, since my story is still in the competition.

From my series of EQD comments ranking my top six favorite of the contest submissions:
"2) The Riverbed Village. I'll be upfront here. The concluding half-dozen or so paragraphs are by far the weakest part of the story. Yes, I realize that what the Cutie Mark Crusaders went through is MASSIVELY screwed up, and I'm not saying the experience wouldn't and shouldn't have left its mark on them... but did we really need them all to suffer irreparable, crippling psychoses for the rest of their lives? As I discussed in #5, the setting these stories are working within is crucial to the structure a story set within it requires to succeed, and that setting dictates that everypony is either a villain, dead, or living a nice life overall. This in-between resolution where the CMC walk away forever tainted isn't as satisfying as either their triumph or even their deaths would have been, especially given how little it matches up with the huge level of bravery and commitment to working past her issues that Scootaloo (who out of all the characters had the most reason to stay as far away as she could) demonstrated by taking part in Celestia's investigation. What's more, the solution is simple - end the story on an ambiguous note six paragraphs early, so that people like me can construct their own scenarios where the Cutie Mark Crusaders manage to get through everything all right, while others can choose to believe that things don't go quite so well for them. The fact that the characters' mini-epilogues are as rushed and telegraphed-as-epilogues as they are doesn't help their impact, either.
So why, in light of flaws as serious as these, did I rank this the second best story of the competition? Because, in short, the story that leads up to it is so good that even the ending's missteps can only devalue it so much. As it stands, though the choice was not as difficult as the decision behind my #3 and #4 picks, The Riverbed Village was good enough that I did seriously consider giving it the #1 spot over the story I ultimately went with, and the reason for this is actually more to do with the happy parts of the story than its horror elements. Earlier, I said that Nigeb's scene between Fluttershy and Angel "may well be" the most touching part from any of these stories. The sole reason I couldn't name it THE most touching thing was because of... well, pretty much the sum of everything leading up to the dark turn this story takes about three-quarters of the way through, but especially the scene where the Crusaders are just relaxing by the riverside, fantasizing about their cutie marks and teasing each other and having fun without a care in the world. The thing that this story has over all the others is how masterfully it juxtaposes the My Little Pony setting with the horror that is to come; the bright, optimistic descriptions of events like the last day of school and the humor to be found in ideas like the CMC attempting to take up alligator wrestling is the sort of thing you frequently find in both the best of MLP's fics and the show itself, and fits in with them flawlessly despite our foreknowledge that something bad is going to happen. That the characterization is so flawless throughout all of it, especially on the Crusaders' part, only adds to this impression. We really get the sense that the sunny lives of the citizens of Ponyville have been and will continue to go on despite the dangers lurking outside it, and that's the reason why the subject of cannibalistic ponies - an idea that is SO easy to mess up in its execution - ends up more impactful than concepts like vampires or demons that, in theory, are more scary. I saw just where the story was going the moment I read the word "carnivores," and I correctly predicted exactly what Scootaloo would do with the meat cleaver, but by then I was too swept up in the course of the story to care, and that momentum carried me all the way through the climax and through (most of) the resolution. It's tense, funny, terrifying, heartwarming, tragic, hopeful, and above all else, real. Chop off the last bit, and it's an outright masterpiece of MLP horror."

By Celestia's beard! That was scary as fudge! I saw that escape coming (specifically I hoped that's the action Scootaloo was about to take), but it was still satisfying and exciting, as was Sweetie Belle's use of her horn.

I feel kinda bad for how deeply the trauma affected them, but the ending was appropriately and deliciously ominous.

And on a side note, I would like to mention that Spike could easily have been a hero in this story. He can chew anything the villagers tried to hit him with, he can absorb their blows with his thick scales, he can barbeque his food on the spot, and he's definitely already an omnivore. He coulda walked into that place and taken them on all by himself.

Author Interviewer

Comment I was going to leave on EQD:

So, the whole time, I'm going, okay, the writing's kind of plain and telly at spots, but you've got a good mystery going on. And then the reveal happens. WHAT. This makes absolutely less than no sense. Oh dear, and I can see where this is going. Yup. I'm sorry. This started as a fresh new look at "why we never see Scootaloo's parents", but it's just not working for me, and the ending is actually pretty bad, just glossing over everything in a rush.

Good story. I was expecting something bad to come from the village, but I never imagined THAT would happen. :pinkiegasp: When Scootaloo said her family were carnivores, my pizza landed back on my plate. I really enjoyed this story. Keep up the good work! :pinkiehappy::rainbowkiss:

Eh. *shrugs* Tis okay. Given you wrote it in a week for that competition, it is graded on a curve and considered excellent. Seriously, it is hard to write and polish a story in a week. Honestly I feel like the soiling herself part while realistic was unnecessary and didn't add anything, but that's just me. So have a like, but not my vote for this competition.

Hey everybody,

we did a live reading of this storyand posted the recording here:

Hope you all enjoy, we certainly did :twilightsmile:

Love and tolerance,
TheLiving Library Player Socieety

Some ponies have complained about the 'summary mode' in the ending of the story, so I won't repeat their comments (but I heartily agree with them :pinkiecrazy:). I have to commend you, though, for introducing an interesting explanation of why we haven't seen Scootaloo's parents in the show yet. I've grown pretty sick of the ever-popular Orphanloo theory recently. :raritywink:

Have you had the amazing reviewers at /fic/ board on ponychan or EqD prereaders look through the story? If I had to be a dick point out anything that fixing could make your story look better (aside from the summary mode in the end :rainbowkiss:), I would go for the ever-famous tell less, show more rule. It isn't a big flaw in your case, but if you worked it through, your future stories could really shine. Because the planning and execution are already on a pretty decent level, methinks. :twilightsmile:


I haven't had anyone but myself proofread this story, no. Primarily because A) I've never browsed Ponychan, so I didn't know about the /fic/ board and B) I didn't know EqD's pre-readers did proof reading. Aside from that, I don't know anyone who's into pony (except my younger brother, who did help with errors etc.).

Also, I don't really plan on writing more fanfics (never say never, though). I just thought it would be fun to enter the contest and to challenge myself by going outside my comfort zone :ajsmug:

With EqD pre-readers it all dpends on who you stumble upon. :twilightsmile: But I hear most of them offer some helpful pointers if one's story is not perfect enough to be posted up. :raritywink: /fic/ board is a different matter, however. You can usually count on receiving a full review on the story you decide to post there (I speak from my own experience :pinkiehappy:).

Well... that's certainly one way of explaining Scootaloo's family. I... don't know about this story.

The premise itself is not that bad. Some people have mentioned that village cannibals are overdone but I still think there's life in the idea if it's done right. I mean, it was pretty obvious as soon as they mentioned that they were carnivores, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't have still ended up very creepy.

The way you portrayed Scootaloo’s parents at first was skillful. You made them just regular, kind-hearted ponies until their way of living comes up wherein they become passionate and fierce. The CMC were handled well also, with us being stuck in their perspective and their simple way of looking at the world.

Unfortunately, these shining tidbits were mired in a lot of mistakes. First of all, there was a lack of building dread in the early part of the story. We get a small amount of nervousness from Scoot's being interrogated about her parents but that isn't capitalized on. You included a scene of a sleep-worried Applebloom, but it felt sudden and out of place. The fact that you proceeded to make Applebloom and Sweetie wait around and go on a hunt to find Cheerilee afterwards did nothing to help what could have instead been steadily rising tension.

There were several other weaknesses in the plot as well. There was a lack of any true foreshadowing when it came to Scootaloo’s parents. One second they seem off-kilter and then a second later they’re as sweet as apple pie, and, were it not that this is a horror story and that it's easy to connect the dots between carnivores and cannibals, then the reveal would have felt entirely left fielded. Some subtle, worrisome hints of things to come could have worked wonders.

The ending felt like a complete shoe in. The hasty escape was devoid of any true terror as we knew they would make it out as soon as Deus Ex Scootamom did her thing. Then you suddenly turned a chase scene that was supposed to be filled with fear into a ham-fisted tearjerker scene that didn’t really add anything.

The conclusion was… I don’t even know what that was. It was as if you suddenly remembered that horror stories should have bad endings and hastily scrawled three paragraphs down before you clicked “Submit.” Horror stories can have good endings. It's true. You can put the readers and the protagonists through the gauntlet of fear and have both come out with a sense of triumph and still have a good story on your hands.

Also, I hate to say this, but this was the first of the stories in the contest that really had noticeable grammar issues. It was very telly in some parts and you've forgotten the rule that a character's actions should be in the same paragraph as their dialogue.

Really, this story needed a nice truckload of polish, but I can see the potential seeping through there. The good thing is, you bit the bullet and wrote this story and submitted it, and no matter how many flaws, you’ll come out a better writer for it.


I agree on a lot of points you brought up (lack of foreshadowing, the ending etc.). As I've mentioned above, this was written fairly quickly, purely to challenge myself and just for fun. To be quite honest, I didn't spend as much time polishing/editing as I normally do, because this was a fanfiction.

As for the grammar errors, I honestly thought I had done better. I mean, I expected a few overlooked mistakes here and there, but I didn't think it'd be on the level you describe.

I appreciate the feedback, though. Especially because it is constructive. Thank you :ajsmug:

I hope you don't mind, but I have put together a dramatic reading of this fic on YouTube --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blI0Xv200MM

I feel such sorrow for Scootaloo, and knowing that your mother has been killed and eaten. I feel sorry for poor Scootaloo.

Cheval Cuisine

That kind of gave away what was going to happen.

She sighed in contempt

That should be "contentment".

O.o O.o O.o uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh....wow....holy cow...cannibal ponies....

Very scary. :D

So riveting. No words to describe the horror of this.:applecry::ajsleepy::raritydespair: Very good job:pinkiesad2:

Dis I like. Reminds me of Andale from Fallout 3. Have some moustaches: :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

Great Story

Poor Scootaloo

20/20 :raritystarry:

"bitten off a little more than they can chew"
oh haha
I see what you did there


Holy fucking shit that shit was truly scary. 10/10 scariest dark fic I've ever read.
Fuck your disturbing mind, bro. I bet you have nightmares all the time with an imagination like this.
This made my day.



It's so funny when they use these words instead of "bullshit" :)

I know none of the CMC or other Main Characters died in this, but Scootaloo's utter loss of innocence, trust, hope, etc. left me feeling just as gutstruck as though one of them had died.
Well feckin done, my dude.:scootangel:

Saw most of this coming, including the failed search, but I still enjoyed it.
Scootaloo's parents in this were kinda similar to her official parents in urging her do so something that meant losing her friends, just like in the show they were going to take her away despite how much she cried about it.

Remind me again what episode was that. I don't recall ever seeing her parents, or even a mentioning of her parents in the show?

"The Last Crusade is the twelfth episode of season nine of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the show's two hundred and eighth episode overall."

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