• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday


Saddlesoap Opera is a Canadian Brony who loves to write and read fiction of nearly all kinds.


Against her grandmother's wishes, Applejack stubbornly goes to work in a disused field on the edge of the Apple family's lands. What she finds there is far, far worse than an upset grandparent.

An entry for Equestria Daily's 2012 Horrorfic Contest.

UPDATE: Well, 4th place ain't bad, I guess...

UPDATE: A live-reading of this story can be found here.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 54 )

*finishes a story*

Well, time for bed-

*1 new notification*
*SaddlesoapOpera has published a new story*

...eh, sleep is for the weak :pinkiehappy:

Ah... a clever ploy. For a moment I thought it was Malleus Maleficarum, but now I see it is a species of apple. Would "Wild Apple of the Witches" be accurate, or "Witches Wild Apple"?

No matter. I am intrigued.

I said it before and I'll say it again, best ending is the best. :heart: Very good job, Saddles and good luck in the competition.

Quite a chilling tale. Thank you for this.

Ah, that was a welcome respite from the flamboyant romances and sickly 1,000 word comedies that seem to flood these brightly colored halls - figuratively speaking.

Well done SSO, as ever you continue to impress with a decidedly fluent and intelligent design - turning a symbolic classic into pony almost seemed effortless!

BRAVO! ... now I'm a bit scared of apples. And ponies. EEK!

Ooo-o-o-oo... scary. :twilightoops::pinkiesick:

I love how you played with time. I was unsure the entire time, but I followed perfectly, so that when it all came together--or rather, fell apart--at the end, I got ze ccchhhiiiillllzzzz.

G'job, Saddlesoap. How did I know you'd be good at horror? :raritywink:

Under the rules of the EqD contest, I think you did quite well. Without the "no gore" rule I would have suggested a bit more detail and blood, but alas it's good as it is.

This is... amazing. And I love that last line.

Well I won't be eating apples, going near my Applejack plushie, or sleeping for quite some time.:twilightsheepish:

Today, Ponyville, tommorow, Equestria!

I've always been curious, what happens when everyone in a village becomes a vampire and there's no fresh blood to go around? Does everyone just kinda... take turns draining a little blood from each other? Can't you just collect blood in cups without biting and infecting folks?

Nice. Pretty spookifying.

And that last line... :applecry:


Going just by that pun in the title, I think I'm going to love this. Now, to read it! :ajsmug:

Damn....everything was going so perfect before I found out she turned into a damn vampony....can't we ever have any other creatures other then bucking vamponies and wereponies? (or creatures) They are becoming nothing more then faggots and it's very much starting to get annoying....other then the vampony part, don't you just hate it when your sins trail after you? Poor Applejack.

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Always nice when a subtle play on words gets noticed! :ajsmug:

I suppose the same thing that happens when a plague kills too many victims -- it dies out. So, over time, infestations either get less aggressive or die out entirely.

Well, in all fairness, tales of blood-drinkers are far, far older than a single regrettable series of syrupy pseudo-romantic drivel. And I'd like to think that the "species" presented in this fic has more in common with the Strigoi and Lamia than the more recent incarnations. After all, the only Sparkle here is a Unicorn. :twilightsheepish:

1496916 Your......I........I withdraw my eariler comment, damn...your good:pinkiehappy:

wow, this was a really good read. I love the sense of mystery you manage to build with it without giving too much away and let the reader work things out for themselves and it has a great ending as well.

I have to agree, this was a very nicely written fic with an excellent build-up.

I was slightly confused over the events of the beginning of the last section - I can think of my own fill in the blanks, but I wouldn't be sure if they were right - but I might be missing something, or suck at reading, or perhaps you wanted to imply more than explicitly say. Ah well, it doesn't really mar the story at all.

Oh shit...

Err, I mean, no thank you, Apple Bloom. Thank you kindly for the offer, though. Much obliged.

Tally ho, Skip!

Well! That was worth a read!

"One Bad Apple"... :pinkiecrazy:

That wasn't exactly scary, but definitely the best of these Nightmare Night stories I've read yet! A very smooth and flowing style that keeps you reading. I had a lot of fun. :pinkiehappy:

That was really good, and great ending to.

Now I gotta read all the other finalists for the Nightmare Night contest and see if they're as good as this one!

Well done SSO. I don't know if this entry will win the, but it was quite enjoyable.

That ending was :pinkiegasp:.

Did she killed her family and/or turned applebloom this okey let me get this straight so Aj got turned by a vampire tree make more please this is the only applejack vampire story that I know

Loved it! First I thought the field was just gonna kill her, end story. Then I thought she was a werepony... the vampire thing threw me for a whirl, but it was nice. Only complaint is that it's too short, but I understand the time constraints. The skipping from past to present was a nice touch, but I think it felt a little disjointed there at the last transition, like part of the story is missing. This is the fourth of the top ten I've read and so far it's the best.

Bonus points for the Latin titled! Appletree of the Wicked/Witches, a reference to the inquisition document Malleus Maleficarum... and of course you have the double-meaning of "malus" meaning both "evil" and "apple tree" depending on pronunciation. I assume that was purposeful. Well done. I LOVE IT when people use proper Latin :rainbowkiss:

Actually, it's not a double meaning since malus does in fact not mean evil using any pronunciation whatsoever :) It means mast tho...

erm. Yeah, it does.
Malus, mala, malum: bad, evil, wicked.
It's an adjective, but you still get that sort of double meaning in there anyhow. It could be used as a substantive adjective.
Source: http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?keyword=malus

Whoa. That was totally excellent. Third of the 10 I've read and tied as my favorite so far with Negib. I personally love psychological stuff, which this definitely had, even if it wasn't as horror-y (though that Dead Wood scene definitely had the vibe). Even more than that though, you're a FANTASTIC WRITER. :twilightsmile: Seriously, the only one I've read so far with zero mistakes and flat out wonderful word choice, it had a good use of suspense, and it was very easy to follow. Not to mention the title. (I didn't get it on my own, but I also love clever people and cleverness in general). Definitely would love to read more by you!

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To clarify, in the final scene, Vamp-AJ rushes home, only to find that Apple Bloom's earlier "door's open" comment allowed the newly turned Caramel free entry to the farmhouse. With her family slain, AJ turns on her progeny in a rage and re-kills him with her bare hooves and fangs. Wracked with guilt, she confesses to her assembled ex-family, only to find in the last moments of the story that they will now share in her curse as well...

From my series of EQD comments ranking my top six favorite of the contest submissions:

"3) Malus Malificarum. My #1 and #2 choices became clear to me pretty quickly once I'd finished reading all the entries, but choosing between this story and Nigeb for the #3 slot was far more difficult (to the point that i even briefly considered switching their places after singing my praises for Nigeb). In the end, though, there are four moments of the story I'd like to point to that demonstrate why this story managed to scare me more than Nigeb. The first is Mooriella's death, which successfully caught me by surprise just as much as it did Applejack thanks to the excellent transition from the viewpoint character trying to figure out what's going on to the transplant of the story's villain from the Dead Wood to the viewpoint character herself as she unthinkingly commits murder (not to mention that the story omits any description of the actual killing of Mooriella, which of course is more scary than showing it could hope to be). The second is the short flash-forward directly after this happens, in which a single line proves itself capable of elevating the horror of the previous scene to its greatest height: "As Celestia is my witness... nothin’ I’ve ever ate tasted so good." The third is the scene of Apple Bloom stumbling upon the cellar, which succeeded for two reasons: It squarely hit on the head the greatest of the reader's fears once the story made it clear that Applejack had become a danger to those around her (Applejack's defiant sentiment of "NOT HER!" was pitch-perfect), and, strange though it may seem, it avoids the cheap and obvious route of having her kill Apple Bloom; that she successfully resists the urge keeps AJ in character and therefore maintains all the credibility a story that ends the way this one does can possess. Lastly, the fact that the story opens with Applejack looking back on the events of the main story set up the expectation that, since she's lived to tell her tale, the story will resolve nicely. Which is precisely why the final scene's reveal that the flashback framing device is actually the final nail in the characters' coffins is so effective. (Though as long as we're speaking of the ending, I must be honest and mention that I could do without the closing line. Maybe it's just me, but the callback to the first episode feels too much like a punchline to feel menacing, especially since the entire story that preceded the line demonstrated that it's scarier for an infected character to kill against their will than for them to just turn evil.) Even so, it's thankfully not enough to deflate the horror that the rest of the story communicated so well."

That is one of the most thorough analyses I've gotten in quite a while!
Thanks for taking the time, and glad you enjoyed the story! :twilightsmile:

I'm greedy. And sometimes desperate for something nice to happen to me. But hay, if it means I get beat out in the contest by this, I'll gladly settle for "just" finalist.

Props to you, by far my favorite of the contest finalists. Maybe even more than my own entry.
Sincerely, best of luck to ya!

Author Interviewer

Here are my comments from reading this:

Good title. Good setup with the foreshadowing opening there, though I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. Ah, silly Applejack, thinking the Dead Wood tales are just superstition and forgetting that you used to think the same about Zap apples. Or someone did, anyway. Unfortunately, I'm having major Evil Dead flashbacks. I like the use of the threshold. Well, the story is handled well, but the writing isn't quite evocative enough to really drive home anything outside the Dead Wood. I've not seen a pony story like this before (well, maybe I have), but I have seen stories like this before, and this one doesn't stand out much. The ending feels rushed, to the point where it was very hard to follow the last scene. I am, again, unsatisfied.

This is one of the most excellently-written season-appropriate horror fanfics I've ever read. The descriptions, the imagery, the story, everything about it oozes Halloween spirit like a fresh cut. The scene where Applejack goes after Mooriella could have been drawn out more, since it's the big, intense realization scene, but other than that, it is perfection.

Thank you... Just, thank you.

This single line:

"Aren'cha gonna stay fer brunch?"

It totally destroys anything scary about this story. :rainbowlaugh: But the way you used it... Brilliant! Simply genius! :pinkiehappy:

Well, while this story is excellently planned and brilliantly executed (then again, I would never expect anything less of you :rainbowkiss:), I have a serious problem with it... You see, I'm allergic to vamponies. :rainbowlaugh: I would offer it an alternate ending (like with the previous vampony story I read - The Cellar), but it doesn't seem to fit in here, so I will withdraw. :pinkiecrazy:

I never really intended Bloom's line to seem all sarcastic and evil... more like she's naive and confused like AJ was and doesn't understand why Twilight is running, so she's sort of defaulting to the first words she spoke to her, and it's unsettling due to context.

Guess folks didn't see it like that... :applejackunsure:

Either way, glad you liked it!

I might have not been clear enough, so let me apologize. :pinkiesad2: I haven't read that line as either menacing or scary or sarcastic. Rather, it sounded cute and naive (I don't know about confused). And because of that cuteness, regarding the whole dark and tragedy aspects of this story, it totally seemed out of place, thus completely destroying the scary effect (which, by the way, was hard to develop in the morning in a train packed full of people wither way :pinkiecrazy:).

I know now that it's still the different effect than what you wanted to achieve, but when I read it, it totally seemed deliberate - like you wanted to wrap the story up with a twisted, dark humor punchline. dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/Applebloom_lolface.png

This story was fairly well put together, but it felt like it should have been a starting chapter instead of its own story.

The writing was solid and did a good job of getting us into the mind of Applejack, both before and after her transformation. You also excellently portrayed the panic and bloodlust of the story and the subtle hints about AJ's fate that were put into the introductory part were nice, because I'll be honest, I didn't notice the foreshadowing until after the fact, but it was clever when I did.

Having Applejack unaware of her transformation was a nice change of pace from a lot of werewolf/vampire stories in which the characters seem to know instantly. You also made other smart plot decisions, such as having AJ seek Twilight’s help and having Applebloom open the cellar. The latter was enormously cliché yet you wrote it well enough to still feel tense.

Unfortunately, the story suffered from predictability and lack of a good conclusion (a pattern I’m beginning to notice in a lot of these kinds of stories). I saw Applejack's family falling from as soon as I found out AJ was a vampire and I thought you might deviate from this path when Twilight became involved but instead you trolled me and just went right back to the standard ol’ plotline.

However that wouldn’t have been a bad move if you had continued the story. It had the potential to turn into something much more interesting. Perhaps you could have Twilight searching for a cure while at the same time finding some way to forge a truce between the now vampiric Apple family and the rest of Ponyville. The introduction of deeper elements like that could have taken this story to very interesting heights, though I do realize that that the word limit for the contest this was submitted to was rather a hindrance in that regard.

Here’s to hoping you consider expanding it!

(P.S. I take back what I said about your ending line in my review on EqD. Now that I've read the comments I see what you were trying to do there. It didn't work, but at least you weren't being silly.)

I liked the last line. Hauntingly innocent.


Well, I wasn't going to sleep anyway..

Anyway, this was a great story. It was engaging, had some thought put into it, and was actually genuinely scary.

That was terrific. I really dig the idea of the Apple Family becoming vampires. It would never work, but it's a nice thought to play with. I really did enjoy how Applejack actually fought against the bloodlust, rather than just giving in. It's what I would have expected of the character, after all.

Very nice, well written, and creepy. :D


I second his opinion! Please write a sequel, or at least more in this story!!!

Hey, I wrote a review of this story. If you are interested, it can be found here.

If you care about a review for a 2 years old story, know that I found it pretty good and atmospheric, but a bit too much on the silly side for my tastes – specially that Apple Bloom line.

I always care about reviews - if I didn't want feedback, I wouldn't post online. :twilightsmile:

Sorry the story didn't grab you as intended; I can tell you I wasn't ever going for silliness or mixed-mood deliberately. That's the trouble with horror - when it doesn't hit the mark it can often seem farcical to the un-disturbed.

Regardless, thanks for taking the time to comment and review...

Have you ever considered submitting this story to Equestria Daily? You can find out how to do so here.

You get a fave, just for that last line

"Aren'cha gonna stay fer brunch?"

Really!! You build all this glorious tension, do all this wonderful build up, and you end with that?
God damnit, that made me burst out laughing. :rainbowlaugh:

Still, decent enough horror. Have my like.

Ha, that line at the end was what made this a great story

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