• Published 22nd Nov 2012
  • 1,069 Views, 29 Comments

When it all Falls Apart - Rysonn



Strike up the band, now, and find what you were always missing.

  • ...
 29
 1,069

Anywhere but Here - Chapter 1

Scootaloo always found her eyes drifting up to the sky as she walked. It was a deep purple tonight. No stars, of course. There were never any stars in the city. She had only seen the stars once, once with a foal’s eyes, far too young to remember any of their beauty. That’s what they’d told her at least.

Something felt different, something inside—something big. It was her opening night, and she stood just seconds away from singing her first word before a crowd of thousands.

She was finally doing something.

Tonight was her gift to herself. A payment of sorts. Tonight was going to make every year without a birthday kiss. Tonight would be the night that made up for every other night—for every night she had gone without food. Without water. Without love. Tonight would be better. Tonight was her debut, her big opener. Tonight was the night she left all this behind her.

Cobbles crunched with her last hooffall as she slowed to a halt, staring up into the night sky. Simply because there weren’t any stars up in that vast expanse didn’t mean that it wasn’t beautiful. The most beautiful part was the little hint at a storm brewing in the distance. West. That settled it. She was headed west.

First, however, she sighed softly. The night may not be young, but she had a few errands to run.

Pebbles ground once more as she turned and made her way into a small alley behind a little saloon not long for this world. She couldn’t remember the name of it, but that wasn’t important. There were four dumpsters in a row against the saloon’s brick wall. Hers was the last.

The dumpster was cold in the crisp night air, and in the pale moonlight she could see a thick black coat curled into a ball. Inside were a small pouch and a smooth-as-silk purple scarf that matched her eyes perfectly. On one end of the scarf, the letter “S” had been stitched in the same colour as her coat. She’d never dared to wrap it around herself before, and the time wasn’t quite right yet. She slid the scarf gently and delicately into the coat’s left pocket. The little pouch she dropped half-carelessly into the right.

She felt like she wasn’t a foal anymore.

A pair of hooves slid into the sleeves of the coat, and little wings fluttered through the slits on either side. Then she walked on.

It was even colder now than ever, cold enough she could see her breath lingering in the air like fog. The moon was small tonight, hardly more than a sliver in the night sky.

This was the street, that much she was sure of, but she’d long since forgotten the address. She would recognize it though. Oh yes, she’d never be able to get that place out of her head.

There. She didn’t remember it looking as bad as it did. The concrete steps were rubble on one side, and the foundation had crumbled away. The panes were broken out of many of the windows, and windowsill flowerbeds sat dirty and broken, the flora long since dust.

She knocked on the door, for cold, slow, deliberate taps, before twisting the knob and letting the door swing gradually open.

Before her, only a few feet away, stood a nearly-bald stallion. He looked gentle enough, much like many old men she had seen, and in most cases, more than just seen. What little mane he had left was combed, but just barely. He smiled at her; sure to keep his mouth closed for his teeth had mostly rotted away. His eyes seemed to be failing him as well, for he squinted hard simply to see her from the short distance she was.

Despite all he had done to her, she still felt sorry for him. He was hardly even middle-aged, and he looked like he wouldn’t make it through next week.

He would though. Bastard always did.

“Well.” His voice was deep and raspy, and his throat whistled as he spoke. It sounded almost as if he had been eating gravel. “Didn’t expect you back so soon. Or at all. Been almost a year now, iddun’t it?”

“Six.”

He simply stared through her, watching something from another world dance before his eyes. All he could give her was a mumbled “Eh” in dismissal. She looked into his eyes, really looked. They were the distant—cloudy and dismal—and they shook ever so slightly back and forth.

He didn’t have the foggiest idea she was still here. She could feel that much.

After a short little while, his eyes found their way back to her. “Sorry… Well, you can put your stuff over there if you like…” He gestured over to a small bed in the corner of a small room to her left. The door’s hinges had long since passed on, and the door itself leaned awkwardly against the wall nearby.

She was surprised. That must have been the best room in the house.

“and… y’know, if you want, I got a new shipment in. Hash that is. Milkman died a couple weeks back and I still haven’t found a replacement, so I don’t have anything el-“

“I won’t be staying.”

“O-oh…”

Pushing passed him, she dropped the little pouch onto the little cardboard box that must be serving as this week’s coffee table. Out from its mouth spilled thirty bits or so. Must be at least a few thousand left inside.

Then, she stepped passed him once more, heading back into the cold night once more. All that remained was the West. So she walked on.

Little hints of daylight were beginning to flicker against the sky. The sun would still be good while, but this was her cue. As she walked, the buildings thinned down to little lots and houses until all that was left was a long strip of relentless asphalt.

“…Please...”

She stopped.

“…Please don’t leave me again….”

“Look… I may not be the best at showin’ it, but I miss you every day I go on living… She left. Then you left… I don’t want to go through this again… I can change, I promise I can… I just wish I could say you’re the one part of my life I haven’t fucked to hell yet…”

She turned, and walked back over to him. He was the same ol’ stallion, his hazy eyes looking into memories of another time.

“Live ‘till you see me again, and I’ll stay.”

It took her every ounce of will she had left, but she needed to close this chapter on her life. There was only one way. She hugged him close to her.

“And dad?”

“…Yes, Sweetheart..?”

“…I forgive you…”

Scootaloo held her father close for just a short moment before she tread on, leaving the city, and the sunset, and a grown stallion crying in the streets far, far behind.