• Published 28th Nov 2012
  • 4,394 Views, 110 Comments

SIX walk IN - KitsuneRisu

Twilight and Friends visit an old house to celebrate a birthday with deadly results.

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P : SIX walk IN

And there upon the hill rested the house.

Like the open jaws of a predator
as it bares its teeth of splinters and brass
both as a warning and invitation
do its doors both starkly remain open.

But yet no being, Pony or other
not Gryphon, not Mule, not loathsome Creature,
dare they to trouble themselves with its soil.

And there on the rising of the full moon
does blossom the Mist with blood in its eyes
rolling in from sources unknown, unseen.

For any who passes the tongue, the teeth
accords in viscera, fosters on tripe
shall seek their way in, only to falter–
cracks in the mind is where they shall linger

Until the sun's dawn cuts forth without sound
or when task is done without obstruction
will the day be free without encumbrance

And there upon the hill rested the house.

Twilight Sparkle closed the book, a small cloud of dust rising above it and fading away, scattering into the sunlight that beamed down through the windows of her library. There they danced, joyous and merry within the warmth and comfort of the light, but disappeared as they left the narrow path of companionship that the beam had left for them.

Rainbow Dash could not help but follow a stray bit of fluff with her eyes; it helped take her mind off other considerations.

And Twilight smiled, facing the four ponies surrounding her while she read from the old tome. Mixed expressions met her gaze, but that particular mix of confidence and stubbornness had convinced Twilight that what she had was a good idea, and nothing was about to change her objectivity.

Her friends seemed to realise that too, and to this end no argument was given.

"So, that's what's written about the house," Twilight said, nodding and motioning toward the book. It was an old thing, crumpled and crinkled; a leather-bound cover stained with patches of brown wrapped itself around the yellowing pages, keeping them safe from harm throughout the many years. It was a book of local legends and lore, a silly old thing passed around from hoof to hoof simply because no one had wanted to keep it, and there it now sat in its latest home in the Ponyville library.

It spoke of things in and around Ponyville from the years gone by – from the magic of the fields beyond to the canyons of deep; from the heights of the clouds to the bounding mountains of yore. It spoke of flora and fauna and magnificent sights, and it spoke of buildings of curious nature.

"You sure about this, Twi?" Applejack asked with a tinge of caution, tapping her hoof against the side of her head. "Nothing you read sounded pleasant or fun in any way."

"Oh, it's not meant to be pleasant in that way," Twilight explained. "I was thinking, every year we just throw the same old party over and over, and I thought, why not try something different this time? Well, she said it best that one time – sometimes it's fun to be scared. So I thought, why not throw it in an old fashioned haunted house, and give her a special birthday surprise while we're at it?"

"H…haunted?" squeaked Fluttershy.

"It's not really haunted," Twilight continued. "It's just a creepy old house!"

"You know the old tales, Twilight," Dash argued. "It's always the same. Five ponies walk into a weird house or shack or cabin and they all die, Twilight, they all die!"

"Then we'll be just fine!"

"What do you even mean by that?"

"Well, there's six of us, aren't there?" Twilight grinned.

Rainbow Dash just let her mouth hang open.

"You know, Dash, I didn't peg you for one to be scared of old legends and mythology… Besides, I already scoped the place out, it's just this small mansion that lies on the Northern edge of the Everfree Forest. If anything, it's the forest that stems the stories, not the house itself. Although why anypony would want to build a house so near to the forest is really beyond me…"

Three sets of eyes flicked instinctively to Fluttershy, who just stood there silently in slight embarrassment.

"Well, I can't think of a reason," Twilight finished, looking back towards the group. "It's an hour's walk out of Ponyville, and we can have a picnic and stay the night. I'll set up some spells to ensure we'll be safe, and we've done plenty of worse things before…"

"But… but why something so ghastly so early in the year, Twilight? It's nowhere near nightmare night." Rarity voiced her concerns.

"Well, she'll be unlikely to expect it then, won't she?"

"Why this house?" Dash spoke up again.

"Well… I don't really have a reason," Twilight admitted. "Honestly, I went to take a look at the place out of curiosity, and while I was there, the idea just came into my head. It just seemed… perfect."

"Alright, alright." Applejack surrendered. "We get it. Well, maybe it'll be fun, who knows? Can't hurt to give it a try."

"Glad you said that, Applejack." Twilight nodded. "Because I'll need you to find a way to convince Pinkie Pie to go out there."

"Wait, why me?"

"Because everypony else has their own jobs!"

A round of moans escaped the lips of the other ponies. Even Fluttershy added to the discontent with a soft murmur of her own.

"We're going to prank her, and prank her good," said Twilight. "Rarity, you'll need to make a costume. A scary monster costume. Rainbow Dash, you'll need to practice your silent flying! You're going to have to move around in the dark a bit, so prepare for that, I guess. And Fluttershy? I have something for you too. It won't be any trouble, I'm sure."

"And what are you doing, dear?" Rarity asked, indignant that she had the weightiest of the work.

"Why," Twilight said with a smile. "I'm putting it all together, aren't I?"


It was some days later, and Pinkie Pie was heading up the excursion that trudged down the road to the house. She bounced along, as she usually did whenever she went anywhere, with a song in her throat and the wind brushing against her mane. She was always head of the pack – her enthusiasm for any activity was expressed in action and spirit.

The others trailed along, bags on their backs, appreciating the scenery that led there. Despite being a fairly disused road that led toward one of the more dangerous locations in all Equestria, the path was still appreciable for its simple, pleasant beauty.

It was the way the leaves all pulled and pushed each other, swaying arm in arm to form a canopy of dancing drops of maple and gold, scattering bits of sun like rain down upon the forest floor. The soil was crunchy underhoof; a pleasant buoyancy gave spring to everyone's step, intentional or not. And there was the melody of silence that engulfed the area – the feeling of being alone in a big empty space with nothing but your friends, the rustling of the trees, and a couple of crickets who caught a ride along somewhere way back when.

"How'd you manage to convince her?" Twilight whispered to Applejack, the two of them walking side by side at the rear of the convoy.

"Well, it weren't easy, I tell you what," Applejack said, rolling her eyes.

"Bet it wasn't."

"First I asked her if she wanted to join us for a trip up North, and she asked me 'where', and I didn't have an answer so I dropped that. Then I thought of somethin', saying there was this fair that was gonna open up and maybe we should all go see, but she had this… this schedule of all the fairs opening everywhere across Equestria, and she checked it and it weren't on there, and that was the darndest thing, for truth."

Twilight had to stifle a chuckle.

"I mean, who in tarnation makes a schedule for that sorta thing? So that was a dead end. And then I said, we're all having a picnic, and then she was like, oh, yeah, we should go to the waterfall, that'd be a great place, and I said no, this place would be better, and she said no, I want the waterfall, and then it got a bit messy, and then I tried like eight other things and finally I got it."

"What did you say in the end?"

"I told her we were throwing her a surprise birthday party so come along and just pretend like I didn't say nothin'."

"Applejack!" Twilight exclaimed suddenly, temporarily attracting the curious looks of Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, who were just up ahead. "Um… Applejack. What?"

"Well… I mean… in the end she told me she already knew about the surprise party and she was just playin' with me from the start. So, no harm, no foul, I guess?"

"Nngh." Twilight let out a soft sigh. "Yeah, I suppose so. Still, we had a plan, you know? Everything was supposed to go according to it."

"Ain't such a thing as perfection, sweetie," Applejack said. "I mean, I'm sorry I let the cat out an' all, but sometimes you just gotta be flexible and let things go, you know? I know it ain't like you, but…"

"Yeah, I know, Applejack. It's just that… you know."

"I know, Twi. But it'll all work out in the end. She doesn't know about the prankin' bits and maybe she'll expect it less now, because she thinks we're just gonna surprise her with the party announcements and all."

"I guess so." Twilight sighed again. "I just really want this to be perfect, you know? Well, either way, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get upset."

"You call that upset? Try waking Bloom up for school every mornin'."

"I suppose you're rig– hey, we're here."

Twilight's interjection came at a sudden surprise, as interjections normally do. The house sat there, dormant, in the middle of a small clearing. Twilight didn't notice it in the horizon until she was close enough to take a full view, but the others certainly did; they had stopped somewhere along the road to watch the house as it simply existed, as if being there was enough to inspire awe.

Even Pinkie Pie had stopped bouncing to take in a breath at the domicile’s presence.

Only Twilight remained calm and centered, enjoying her companion's reactions. She was, of course, the only one of the group who had been there before, even if it was just for a minute or two.

To the group's left, the path led onward to a misty part of the woods where the trees turned sinister and the sky grew darker – clearly the way to the Everfree itself.

But as it was, the house stood on the top of a small mound; a pit stop on the road to danger. It perched at the tip of a very small hill, perfectly poised to survey all who approached with a sense of regal disregard.

A gentle slope upwards ran a scratch of dirt past what must have once been a garden at one point; the weeds grew in rows and in organized fashion, and lines where even the grass didn't grow showed the soil to be too weak to carry anymore life. These plots were situated in uneven patches around the winding path, but all of them not too far away from the road itself.

The road, in turn, led to a raised patio that was caked in faded and crumbling paint so well-tuned to the condition of the rest of the house that it almost looked like it was done that way on purpose. But cracked, dusty shingles and worn wooden columns were what kept the house alive, and despite its worn appearance, it showed no sign of collapse. Not a creak or a groan did the house make, even when the wind picked up and pressed harshly against its side, nor when the group of friends made their way onto the floorboards to take a closer look.

Further glances observed the true size of the house, which was more massive than one would have picked up from the walk along the path. It was of two storeys, that was clear, but could easily hold a great number of rooms on each floor. Surely it must have been constructed by somepony very rich, or very bored.

The windows were frosted by time itself, and no amount of cleaning would get it to the level of transparency that it once held at birth. Holes and cracks gave a new meaning to looking through the glass, and beyond the stained panes was a darkness that couldn't be reached by the outdoor light, so no further effort was made to peer in.

And there was no reason to anyway, for the grand double doors were hanging wide open, welcoming the group in as they crawled along the outside of the house, like insects inspecting a dropped piece of candy.

"That's… odd," Twilight said, motioning toward the entryway, the door frame bordered by a set of metal lanterns. They hung stiffly on chains that could not sway due to the rust that clasped them in sleep eternal.

"What is?" Applejack asked.

"When I came here just last week, the doors weren't open. But they're… well, it's just like the book said."

"I told you, I told you it was haunted!" Rainbow Dash cried out, backing away from the walls.

A silence crept through the group, as nervous eyes jumped from face to face, hoping to get some affirmation of any kind.

"Mm… Bwahahaha!" Twilight burst out suddenly, laughing and pointing at Rainbow with a bounding leg. "Gotcha!"

"Wh…what?" Rainbow stammered.

"I opened the door when I got here the first time, sillies. There is no such thing as ghosts or curses! I told you!" Twilight grinned.

Tension left as the ponies breathed sighs of relief, especially from Pinkie who joined in with the laughter.

"She got you good!" Pinkie chortled along, nudging Rainbow in the flank. "That was a really good one, Twi!"

"W…what are you laughing at? You weren't even around when we read the book! You don't even know what Twilight's talking about!" Rainbow sputtered.

"Oh, I know. But I know a good one when I hear one! And that's a good one!"

"Right." Rainbow huffed, snorting through her nose.

"So, the house is haunted, eh? I love haunted houses!" Pinkie chattered as she flew through the entryway. "They're like regular houses, but with ghosties! Anyway, I think I sang about something like this before! Just laugh and everything will be okie dokie lokie!"

And with confidence once again at the prime, Pinkie bounded in through the portal to darkness, leading the way no matter what might lay ahead.

"Girls, get in here." Her voice came from the foyer, inviting her friends to join her within. And one by one, they stepped through, Twilight closing the door behind her.

And the echo.

The echo of heavy wood crashing against heavy wood; like an angry shout did the doors slam close, the brass handle and intricately carved lock frame rattling as the mechanisms that held the door in place did their duties.

And when the echo died, were the six left in the grand foyer of the house on the hill.

End : prologue