• Published 12th Nov 2012
  • 16,322 Views, 517 Comments

I Would Smile if I Could - Haku1013

Slenderpony finds and cares for Scootaloo

  • ...

Chapter One

I trot through the woods. My woods. My forest. My home. My home is a large one, as it stretches far across the land. Many beings travel the roads that reside within my home, whether they be minotaurs, diamond dogs, griffons, ponies, or just simple animals who already live within my territory. They all travel the roads that reside in my home and, occasionally, they come across me.

Or I come across them.

If I am the one who comes across the travelers, then one of two things happen; I either let them be, if I find them useless to me, or I feed on them, especially if they are young. It is the young that I require most for it is the young whose fear matters most to me.

I trot through the woods, alone.

Alone, as always. I don’t mind, as it has always been as such. I have existed for many years, so many that I have lost count, and in those years I have learned many things, but I have yet to feel more than two things: loneliness and hunger.

I have always been alone, so long that I barely even acknowledge the loneliness any more, but the hunger is a different matter. It can come at anytime and can only be put to rest for short periods of time. Even now the hunger moves through my equine shape. It is unavoidable. Insatiable.

I do not know why I have the form that I do, but I do not complain. I change my appearance with time, so that either my prey fears me most or so I can best look like them. I have always held the shape of a pony though, never anything else. My appendages come and go as well, appearing only when they need to. I myself don’t actually know where they come from or where they go, only that they appear when they need to.

Bird calls fill the air as I make my way through the forest. I stop my walking to look at the sky and see that it is finally darkening. I will be able to feed soon, to quench my hunger.

I hear critters scurrying under the bushes and birds flying over my head. These animals fear me, I can feel it. Should I have to, I shall feed on one of them, but their fear is not what I yearn for. They will only be, as my prey say, a ‘snack.’ I see a rabbit run around my legs and I manage to capture it with an appendage.

The animals suddenly quiet down, as if to take a mournful, fearful pause for a silent lament as I feed on of their friend. I quickly finish off the rodent and discard the empty husk unceremoniously. As soon as I begin my trot again the animals also renew their natural business, their sounds of nature.

Hushed murmurs cause me to pause mid-step. Fear; I can feel it, smell it, taste it. I silently move through my forest, intent on finding them; my prey. I move around a tree and see them. There are only two in number, but both are still young. One is hunched over a smaller one, whispering words.

I can just make them out.

“It’s hurts,” the small one cries. A colt. Earth Pony. The other tries to calm him with silent humming.

“It’ll be alright,” it said. A mare. Unicorn. “Just be quiet, and we’ll leave soon,” she continued.

Both are covered head-to-toe in filthy, torn rags. I have never known why ponies such as these attempt to look like the ones who I have based my newest form on. Ponies do not normally wear clothes as it is, so why do those of low wealth do? I do not care really.

The younger one’s leg is bent at an awkward angle. A sprained ankle perhaps? If so, then this shall be an easy meal.

I move away from the tree and into their view. The smaller foal sees me instantly but becomes paralyzed with fright. He tries to speak, but with the amount of fear that he radiates I know he will not say a word until it is too late.

I move forward and step on a twig. The mare turns around and we stare at each other intently. Her eyes go wide as she takes in my figure and I can see as the realization of the situation dawns on her face. She says nothing but instead moves into a protective position over the colt.

I can feel her fear. It is more than the young one has. I have always wondered why this is. Why is it that the one’s who are strongest fear me most? Is it because they know that even with all of their strength they could never defeat me? Or is it that they know they cannot be the ones to protect those that I hunt?

The mare will not answer my questions. Her horn glows with magic as I move closer. She fires a bolt of magic at me, but it does nothing. I am fear and the magic of those who feel fear cannot harm me. She fires several more shot, none of which do anything to me except to cause mild annoyance.

“Go,” she tells the colt, “go without me.” The colt looks at her uncertainly. His fear dwindles. I cock my head, unsure of what they plan. Another magic blast moves toward my head. I do not even flinch at the light. When the magic clears in less than a second, I see that the colt is gone, his rags now left on the forest floor.

I see a shadow move on the ground. The colt flies over me quickly. I would have chuckled if I could, even just smiled in approval. I realize now that his wings had been hidden underneath his clothing and that the magic was nothing more than a distraction. I have lost a meal due to a mistake, but I am not sad. I feel nothing but hunger and loneliness, but now the hunger calls me back to the mare.

She smiles at me smugly as if she believes that she has won.

“Do not smile,” I say. Her ears perk up, surprised that I can actually speak. “Do not smile,” I repeat. “For I shall find him. I never lose my prey and I shall not anytime soon.” Her smile disappears momentarily, but returns quickly.

“Just try to find him, monster,” she spits at me. The liquid lands with a splat on me, onto my black form. I move forward onto the now snarling mare. She screams silently as I feed.

I feel hunger no more as I leave the empty husk behind, but I know that I will again all too soon. I look to the skies and see the pegasus colt quite a distance away now and he stares at me with fear in his eyes. I stare back at him and he quickly turns to fly away.

I feel the fear he leaves behind and I begin to follow it. I never lose my prey and I never shall.

I move through my forest. It has been some time since I found my prey. It was as I told the mare, I never lose my prey and I shall never lose my prey. The pegasus colt was easy to track down and easy to take down, and he has filled what hunger I had. But I have since moved on. Once again I am surrounded by the calmness of nature. The birds do not call tonight and, after some time, I begin to wonder why.

I soon find my answer.

I stand at the edge of a clearing that is filled with activity. A ring of small tents fill the area and a roaring fire is at the center of the camp. I count several ponies in the area, all of which are much too old to quench my hunger. There is nothing here for me, so I turn and prepare to take my leave.

Cries fill the air, however, and I whip around. A mare comes out of one of the tents and I see that she carries a small bundle in a saddle bag. She sits by the fire and a stallion moves next to her. He smiles affectionately as the mare takes the bundle out, and it is clear that whatever it is, it is the source of the noise.

The two ponies began to coo and make faces at the loud thing and cries soon turn to laughter. The stallion pulls out a bowl of liquid and starts to spoon feed the bundle, and I am finally able to see the bundle.

Instantly, I am once again stricken by the hunger, for I have not devoured an infant for quite some time. I move forward to attack and take the bundle from the ponies, but stop myself before I can step into the clearing. If I attack now, the ponies will most likely retaliate and take the young prey away from the conflict.

I decide to wait until all is silent in the camp to make my move.

It does not take long for the ponies to tire out, including the infant. Soon all is quiet. The ponies are in their tents, the fire is out, and I move from where I have kept myself hidden. I silently trot toward the tent that the infant was taken into.

I hear some mumbling coming from my left. One of the ponies, a unicorn, has exited their tent, smacking their lips a few times. He turns his head toward me and stares silently before moving on toward my forest. He floats a roll of toilet paper along with a shovel closely behind him with his unicorn magic. Ignoring the idiot, I once again make my way to the tent. I open the tent quickly and quietly.

The two ponies I watched are sleeping and the infant is between the two. I move to take the baby, but feel something smash into the back of my head. I whip around to face the unicorn from before holding the shovel with his magic.

“Move one muscle and it’s lights out!” he says loudly. The two ponies bolt upward and are quite shocked to see me. The mare grabs the infant and moves toward the back of the tent while the stallion moves to protect them. He flares up a pair of wings that I did not see before, trying to intimidate me.

I hear more shouting and see light filling the area as ponies surround me, many holding fire-lit torches, varied weapons, or dangerous farming equipment.

“Holy Celestia! What is this thing?!” one of the ponies shout, the light now showing my faceless features. I try to get a good look at the ponies, but I do not have the time to count each one nor tell what kind of pony they are.

“I think the better question is why is it standing at my tent,” the stallion says. The mare has now managed to get out of the tent and stands at the back of the group.

“The infant,” I say quietly. This startles the ponies but they recover.

“I’ve heard of this guy,” another mare quivers. “I heard some ponies talk about him...at the town we were in before we entered the forest.” She pauses to get a good look at me. “A tall, thin, and white pony in a black pressed suit. No face...” she mutters.

The pegasus stallion stands tall and moves toward me. “I don’t care what it is, what does it want?” he asks the mare.

“The infant,” I say again. “I want the infant.”

The pegasus glares at me. “Why do you want my daughter?!” he shouts at me.

The mare responds before I can. “The stories that the townsfolk told me... they say he takes the young... eats them or something. I thought he was just that; a story, told for no other reason than to scare children or attract tourists.”

“Well, he’s not taking my little pony,” the stallion declares, and the other pony bring up their weapons, holding them by magic or in their mouths. Instinctively I bring up my darkness, something I heard prey say looks like ‘tentacles,’ whatever they were.

I move my appendages around my being just as the ponies charge in. I strike most of them down in only a few swings. Their blood dirties my form, but the attack continues. Through the slaughter, I catch sight of the only two mares I have seen, the mother and the one who spoke, leaving. I take a few steps and am in front of them. It is clear that they’re shocked by how fast I can move while on the hunt.

“Oh no you don’t!” the pegasus yells as he flies over me, trying to slice at me with a knife of some sort. I knock him out of the air and away with an appendage, the mother shouting out a name that I did not hear. The other mare moves to protect the mother and infant, who is now crying at all of the noise I have made.

“No, please!” the mare shouts, “We’ll leave your forest! We’ll leave you alone!” She’s begging now. I stare at her for a moment. I would have taken her offer, normally, but the hunger drives me forward. The mare is silenced and her blood quickly covers me, too. The mother is crying along with her infant now.

Fire rages around us now, most likely birthed from the fallen torch of one of the ponies. Of those who had attempted to harm me, a few still stand, though just barely. I ignore the fire and move my appendage to take the infant, but the mother holds tightly.

She is now crying, but I see bravery in her eyes. She moves forward, causing me to lose my grip, and propels herself into the air after bucking me in the head. She smiles defiantly, but I recover and shoot my appendages into the air faster than she can fly.

I claw at one of her wings. She lets out a cry of pain, but still holds onto my crying prey. She falls to the ground and I move quickly. Before I can take the infant I feel another force pushing me. The pegasus stallion has return, albeit wounded, and is ramming into my side. I barely move under his force, shocking him.

The mare opens her eyes, which must have closed when I struck her, and she screams out the stallion’s name again as he falls to the ground, dead. She tries to move to him, but I stop her.

“All I want is the infant,” I say, “I have never lost my prey and never shall. There is no use in you dying to protect something that will eventually become mine.”

She glares at me once again, a face that I am now beginning to get use to, and mutters, “Obviously you have never been a mother.”

I stare at her glaring face, unsure of what to say to that. After a moment of the two of us simply staring at each other, I decide to simply end it here, instead of continuing in conversation. My appendage moves quickly and more blood splatters onto my form.

I move the now lifeless body over so that I may see the bundle. The infant is wrapped tightly in the dead mare’s hooves, but it takes only a second to pry it from them. I unwrap the infant with an appendage and take it.

The fire is still raging through the camp as I take the infant with me. I do not look back to the ponies that must be watching me as I leave. I have gotten the prey that I waited for, fought for, killed for.

They say that food you’ve worked for tastes all the more sweeter...

I have taken the infant far away from the camp, away from ponies I know would have chased me, hunted me, if I was too close to them. The infant has since stopped its crying. I have calmed with the return of nature’s natural silence. It is very calming, almost soothing.

The sun has now begun to rise as I make my way under a tree. I sit under it and bring the infant close to my face; I want a good look at my new meal. I might be rushing into my meal, but the hunger begins to push me over the edge. I try to calm myself. I want to savor this, want to make this infant fear me as much as possible. I want to remember this, because when is the next time I will be able to feed on a baby? I do not know, so I want to remember this child.

It was a filly, with an orange color pelt, and a small, curly, purple mane. She was a pegasus, something I should have realized when I faced her parents. Her tiny wings buzz slightly, as if taking their first breaths out of the blanket that wrapped her.

The infant, I note, is now sleeping. I shake it gently to awaken it. Prey is always much better if it is awake. The fear is always better, fresher, stronger if they are awake.

The infant’s eyes flutter open. Her eyes are purple like her mane. The small filly gives out a similarly small yawn. Then she takes notice of me.

I have had infants before and they are a rare treat. An infant, although not truly aware of the goods and evils of the world, is still able to tell what is safe based on at least a single of the five sense. And the infants I have taken in the past always knew I was definitely not safe. They instantly knew that they should fear me and fear me they did. The infants always broke into tears or screams when they first saw me, especially if they were conscious to see me destroy their only protection in this world; their home, their family.

This filly, however, merely pokes my head with her hoof and laughs.

She... laughed. She giggled. She chuckled. She chortled. She snorted.She guffawed. She snickered. She rolled in aisles. She laughed. At me. At the living embodiment of fear. This little filly laughed at me.

I do not know what to do to her for this. No one has ever not feared me before. It is fear that I need and so I will make her fear me.

I set the giggling filly onto the ground and, with as much energy I can summon, unleash my appendages around her. They swing and slice through the air, some even cutting through nearby trees as if they were, as the ponies call it, butter.

The infant simply sat there and watch in wonder and amazement. When I brought my appendages back, the area completely destroyed by them, I couldn't help but stare at the filly even more.

I crouched down to her level, something that was a bit harder than I thought because of my unusual height, and get as close to her face as possible without actually touching it. And with one mighty breath, I release a loud, primeval roar upon her. One would think this impossible because I do not have a mouth. Well, I can speak, can’t I?

My roar bellowed past the filly, blowing her purple mane behind her while her wings buzzed through my fearful energy. I did this for less than a minute before stepping back.

The filly took a moment to recuperate before staring at me with wide eyes and I felt a slight wave of fear coming off of her. I think that now, maybe, I will be able to feed on her and quench my hunger.

The filly eye’s water a bit before closing tightly...only for them to snap open and before rapidly closing again as the filly sneezes. Afterwards, she proudly claps her hooves together, laughing even more than I would have liked.

This infant is a strange one. She does not fear me and, thus, I cannot feed upon her.

I turn away from the babe and begin to trot away. If I cannot feed on her then there is no point in trying to. I am several tail lengths away when small cries begin to echo around me. I turn slowly to see the source, the infant is trying to crawl toward me, trying to follow me.

As if she could not be even stranger...

I turn away from the child and trot away further. Once again, I hear her cries and pleas, but I ignore them. I feel nothing for the it; nothing but hunger. And with nothing more, I leave the filly alone.

Or at least would have...

There is an animalistic growl behind me. I turn to see that it is a young manticore and take notice that it moves closer to the infant, who turns away from me to watch the predator try to catch its own prey. The infant’s cries intensify and I feel a strong wave of fear.

This child fears a simple animal but not me. I feel what I once felt for the babe’s mother. It gnaws at me, but I ignore it and take another step further. I hear the manticore bring up its claw to end the filly’s life and I feel her fear surround me.

The manticore brings down its claws, intent on killing its prey. Instead of scratching into a young pony, the claw stops several inches away from the infant, who has now stopped her crying to watch. The manticore's claw is wrapped in one of my appendages. The beast tears away at the dark tendril and backs away quickly.

I move between the beast and the filly, my appendages acting as a means of offense. The manticore roars at me defiantly while I simply stand before it, tall and unmoving. My appendages move closer to the manticore. It claws at each one, but with each one destroyed another two fill its place.

Soon I am able to grab hold of the beast and pick it up above the ground. I bring it close to me. It bares its teeth and tries to bite, but it has no power to defeat me. I say nothing, do nothing, and this scares the beast. I can now feel its fear.

I take this chance and feed. It is not the first time I have fed on a manticore and it may not be my last. The beast quenches me. My hunger is, for the most part, now dissipated. I use a tendril to throw the husk into the bushes and prepare to take my leave once more.

Before I am able to take a step, however, I feel something grab my form. I look down and see the infant, clutching onto me with dear life, as if it thinks I will protect it. I use an appendage and bring the infant up to my face.

I stare at the filly, whose eyes are shut tight while tears seep out. Her hooves reach out slightly, trying again to hold onto me. This filly is a strange one indeed. It fears a simple animal, but not the one who killed its family without hesitation...

I set the filly on the ground and watch as it holds tightly onto my legs. I sit down with her, unsure of what to do. I turn my head away from the sobbing filly to look at the spot where I tossed the dead manticore and then in the direction of the camp I attacked. Then back to the filly who was still clenched around my sitting form.

We stayed like this for some time, until the sun rises close its highest point in the sky. Until then the filly has cried and I have stayed. I begin to feel something that I have never felt before. I do not what to call it. It is not hunger or loneliness.


If anything, this new feeling is the opposite of that. Hunger has the been the only one of the two things I’ve felt that has ever left my being. Loneliness has always stayed with me. Whether I was feeding or hunting or resting, loneliness was always there. It has always been with me, so long that I could almost forget it was there.

But this filly has given me a new feeling, one that is different from loneliness. It is... nice?

My thought’s are broken when the young filly loses her grip. I look down at her and see that she has now fallen asleep, her tears having left a pair of wet trails on her face. Without a second thought I pick up the filly with an appendage and place her on my back. I leave the clearing then, with the sleeping filly still alive.

Even if I will still feel the hunger, maybe I will no longer feel the loneliness now...