• Published 17th Jan 2012
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The Exile of Equestria - EBecK



A dark looking pony comes to Ponyville after being exiled from his previous home.

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Chapter 1

The Exile of Equestria

Chapter 1


Fear. A simple word with a complicated effect: it brings hate, sadness, solitude, despair, misery, exile.

Exile.

Yet another word easy to recall but dreaded to utilize. It sets one aside from everyone else, as a walking shadow. Ignored, despised, loathed, even demonized. No one wants to feel any of these negative emotions, no one...but I had no choice. It was forced on me, and I was powerless to stop it. It poured onto my soul and made it drown in sorrow and dark despair, and I became exiled.

Exile.

The very word pierced my heart like a serrated blade and it wouldn’t stop torturing and teasing my very existed. It began with fear, a weapon I thought I had mastered, a double-edged sword which I thought I had control of...I was wrong and I was cut down by my own weapon, for it had fallen into the possession of all who hated me. To me, that seemed like all of Equestria itself.

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My name is Darkbright, Darkbright Occolt, a devious name, yes, and my appearance complimented it: I’m an average sized unicorn pony with long, blood-red mane, which covered one of my eyes, as if I was an emo pony. As if I cared how I looked. My tail is of the same ghastly color and bore an average style of three non-separated clusters of mane, pointed at the end, facing downward. To any other pony,
it was merely an often sight, to me, it seemed as if I was granted the devil’s pitchfork turned into what everypony sees as a tail. My eyes never went into a full round shape: they were only half of a normal eyeball, as if I had a consistent bored look. If anypony looked me in the eyes, I could swear I was seeing them shiver afterwards. They’re not to be blamed, my eyes bore a black color, combine this with the serious expression I seem to have plastered on my face and I think anypony wouldn’t want to stay and chat. My coat was black, pitch-black, and it’s not something I’m proud of. It comes of to others as a warning that I’m some kind of dark, mysterious creature that escaped from the depths of the Everfree Forest or Ghastly Gorge. My horn didn’t come off as friendly either, it was pointed and sharp, like the tip of a spear where staring at it head on might give the illusion that it jabbed the unfortunate foal in the eye. My cutie mark...oh, the cutie mark, a symbol of a pony’s talent, what others see in them, that one thing that they can do better than anypony else. For me, it was a symbol of fear. It stared directed back at it’s beholder with demonic, pupiless eyes. It gave a sick, wicked smile that showed a bottomless pit of a mouth with sharp teeth as the gate. It was a symbol of fear, for it was a symbol of my talent. Simply put, my talent is magic-based, however, not in a way one would expect from another pony. My talent was fear mongering, an ability to cast an illusion that rendered the unfortunate one scared to the point soul-crushing. A dark and despised ability, so much so that even I hated it. I was seen as a fear monger, a horror bringer, a terror master, a dread harvester, a scare tactician, a demon. I didn’t blame them, whenever my spell was cast, my dark horn would glow a cold transparent black, my pupils would dilate to the point where it seemed like I was wearing black contacts. Whoever was unlucky enough to make contact with my physical form or gave me a direct look in the the dark mirrors of my eyes, they would see a horrific image that would drive them to their knees. I was unaware of what horrors I created, whether it was a generic image for the sole purpose of frightening, or whether it utilizes a deep, dark fear within it’s prey is beyond my knowledge. Even with my less-than socializing appearance, and my dark gift, it was miraculously not enough to shun me out of every place in Equestria. That is, it wasn’t until that dreary day came around, where I committed an unforgivable sin.

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When I first came to Ponyville, I was immediately met with contemptible looks. However, no pony would dare judge me automatically, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t suspicious. Of course, I did not blame them; I could not blame them for being in the right. I just kept on walking. Some ponies simply paid no heed to me, others began whispering about who I was or if there was some problem with me. I think I heard one say “His cutie mark creeps me out.”

The first sign of a friendly gesture I got was from a bright purple unicorn with a neatly styled mane and tail of a darker shade of purple striped with two more colors of pink and lavender. I knew perfectly well who it was: the prodigy student of Princess Celestia, the most studious pony around, and a premium user of magic, so great that she was bestowed with the Element of Magic itself, Twilight Sparkle. But I didn’t care how popular she was, nor did I care how much of a friend she would be to me, eventually she would see me for my true ugly and like everypony else, she would shun me too. That’s what I thought to myself as she eagerly trotted to where I had stopped. When she was face to face with me, she almost immediately greeted me with cheerful attitude, “Hi there, I don’t believe I’ve seen you before, are you new here in Ponyville?”

I said nothing and looked away, possibly because I didn’t know how to response to a friendly greeting, for I was rarely given one.

Twilight’s happy face formed into a confused look, and she moved to a different approach, “My name is Twilight Sparkle,” she said, pointing her hoof to herself and smiling again, “what’s yours?”
I almost didn’t want to reply, but I debated against it and decided to at least give her my identity,
“Darkbright,” I replied still looking at the ground, my voice was deep, almost inaudible, it gave the expression that I was either creepy or just shy...though it’s usually the first, “Darkbright Occolt.” I said with an anticipation of a wide-eyed look.

I was close, Twilight gave yet another confused look, as if she was wondering who would give such a name to a pony. However, she did not query as to the origins of my name, instead she responded with, “Oh, well that is certainly a unique name if not a little, well...”

“Creepy?” I said in a tired tone.

“No, no.” the purple pony hastily replied, “Not creepy, just...special.”

Special? I thought, Yeah that’s a laugh. The things I believed to be special were the things that everypony found enjoyable; there was nothing enjoyable about me.

After a moment of awkward silence, Twilight spoke up, “Well, if you like, I can show you around Ponyville.”

I paused for moment, then gave my answer, “Sure, why not?” Why not indeed, I had nothing to lose, not even time, for it wasn’t of any value to anypony, including myself.

“Alright!” the excited filly exclaimed, clapping her hooves, “Then let’s get going!” she turned and began walking in the opposite direction and I followed a close distance behind. The first stop was a house in the form of a tree...or vice versa, but I didn’t really care. Twilight told me that it was the library and that she lived there. She also went on rambling about all the different books she had read and wanted to read and about how she was studying to get better at magic and so on. It nearly put me to sleep, she was yammering on as if she was writing her autobiography and she only stopped when I interrupted saying, “There’s more than just the library though, right?”

“Oh, right,” she replied blushing, apparently she got carried away. We moved on to a bakery called Sugarcube Corner, owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Cake with the help of a playful pink pony, Pinkie Pie. I knew who she was also, Element of Laughter, I knew everypony that wielded the mighty Elements of Harmony and I knew they resided in Ponyville. I just never met them personally, and for this particular pony, I don’t think I wanted to. When Twilight introduced me to her, she jumped of the handle.

“Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my GOSH!” her shout caught me off-guard as I backed up a step, but she sprung right in front of me, speaking at a rapid pace, “I’ve never ever ever ever ever ever EVER seen a pony like you before. Where ya from? Whadda ya like? Do you like cupcakes? I LOVE cupcakes! They’re sooooooo delicious, I could just eat ‘em all day! Why are ya spooky looking? Is it Nightmare Night already? Why do you only use one of your eyes? Why not both? I use both my eyes, that way I can see DOUBLE of every fun thing that I come across! What’s up with your cutie mark? Why is it a spooky face? Can it talk? Well, can it? Can it? Can it? CAN IT?” With each “can it” Pinkie Pie bounced on her hooves. I was flabbergasted, I did not know how to respond, or even it that NEEDED a response. Fortunately, I didn’t to, Twilight did,

“Uh, Pinkie, I think you’re confusing him.” the unicorn stated.

“Oh,” the now calm pony said, “sorry about that, guess I got a little excited.”

“A little?” I said in disbelief with an eyebrow raised.

“Alright, a lot excited,” Pinkie Pie confessed, “but I always get excited when I met somepony new. Why, when I met Twilight here for the first time, I was so excited, I didn’t think I would ever that excited, except for the time I went *gasp*, oh man that was exciting!”

I gave Twilight a confused look and she replied, “She gasped when she first saw me and apparently it was exciting for her.”

“Oh, I’m not confused about that,” I informed, “I’m confused as to whether or not she hit her head on a rock when she was a filly.”

“Nah,” the purple pony stated waving her hoof once at me in a gesture to dismiss my question, “she’s just being, well, Pinkie Pie. You’ll get used to it.”

“That’s unlikely.” I muttered under my breath, how could anypony get used to this party pony’s antics? After a while of Twilight and Pinkie Pie talking about stuff I wasn’t familiar with, Twilight finally said farewell to Pinkie and we continued her tour of Ponyville.

We now came upon a shop, a clothing shop, labeled Carousel Boutique. To be honest, I wanted to leave the instant I walked in the room: the clothing I saw were formal, colorful, and stylish, sure, but they weren’t meant for any colts. Even if this store did hold such clothes, I would still refute them with the utmost rebuttal. I’m not one to wear clothes, I mean, I’m a pony, not a fashion model. Why Twilight insisted on coming was baffling to me, until I realized she had yet another friend that runs the store. When we located this friend, I once again recognized her as the wielder of the Element of Generosity: Rarity.I began to notice a pattern in Twilight’s circle of friends as those who wielded an Element of Harmony. Still, I didn’t care who they are or what they did, I predicted that it would all be meaningless in the future, despite that I was never once given a gesture of friendship until now. Rarity was busy knitting some kind of costume on her sewing machine, but halted her work as soon as she saw her purple-coated friend. “Ah, Twilight, my dear, I wasn’t expecting you. Why the sudden arrival?”

Twilight gesture Rarity to my direction, “I’m showing a new resident here around Ponyville and it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t come here.”

I introduced myself to her, “I am Darkbright Occolt.”

Rarity took one long look at me, examining my whole being from top to bottom, forward to back, here to there, wherever her eyes could glance upon. When she finished, she made eye contact with me and said blatantly, “You’re,uh, kind of dark looking, aren’t you?”

I rolled my eyes at the obvious remark, “And?” Why did she even care?

“And,well, if you go around looking like...that...you won’t get a lot of complimentary looks, or any nice look for that matter.”

“And I’m supposed to care, why?” I said blankly

“Why? WHY?!” Rarity exclaimed, obviously shocked at my ignorance on the matter, “Because you simply MUST want to be respected by others and a good first impression is key to that.”

I wasn’t convinced. How could she possibly say something that she has no knowledge about? In fact, how DARE she say something like that, as if she knows what I wanted! But I kept my cool and replied calmly, “I just don’t see why anypony would need respect if they didn’t care whether or not they got it.”

Rarity could not believe her ears, my lack of self-preservation and self-esteem seemed to have flabbergasted her thoughts. She was stuttering for a bit, speaking gibberish and other things that made no logical sense, until finally she managed to say, “Why darling, were you living under a bridge your whole life? I’m terribly sorry, but I must insist on making you something at least moderately nice.”

“But I don’t want--” I started, but I was interrupted.

“You don’t have to pay me anything for your first time here, it’s all on me.” the fashion designer said proudly. I now began to wonder whether this generosity element was really a gift, or just a curse, a very respectable, harmonious...annoyance of a curse. I finally agreed to allow her to make me something. She smiled and turned towards her supplies. At that moment, I swiftly turned towards the door and galloped out. Twilight followed me out, but Rarity was still inside sorting out the fabric. When I was a good distance away from the shop, I stopped and let Twilight catch up to me. She looked at me with a frustrated look, “What was that all about?”

I gave her a quick, slight grin, “I wasn’t gonna wear anything SHE made.”

“And why is that? I thought you said you’d let her make something for you.” the magical pony said annoyingly.

“Yeah, I did,” I confirmed, “but I didn’t say anything about WEARING the thing.”

Twilight put a hoof to her face and sighed, “Look, I’ll continue the tour for if you want, or you can go explore on your own.”

“Excuse me?” I asked. I was confused, why give me such a choice now?

“I’m getting the feeling you don’t want anything to do with anypony here, and if that’s the case, I’ll leave you alone to go and do what you want.” Twilight explained.

I will admit, I was impressed. To be able to deduce that through one act of abandonment, she was as smart as I had heard...or overheard. My first and immediate thought was to walk away, but something else inside me said not to leave. I was baffled; how did such a feeling rouse itself up from the depths of my emotions, when I’ve been so isolated from everypony else? This feeling was telling me not to disappoint Twilight Sparkle, a pony I’ve never met until minutes ago. It was unknown to me and I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say, didn’t know how to act. Yet I spoke something, “I want to continue your tour.” I said it blankly, expressionless, unconsciously and when I realized what I had just answered, I started asking myself why I said such a thing.

Twilight had a proud face on with a gleeful smile, “Okay then, let’s get on with it.” She resumed her walking and I resumed my trailing behind her.

During our little journey through Ponyville, I could hear a faint whistling. It didn’t sound like melodic whistling, more like high-pitch whistling, grower louder and deeper as if a jet was about to soar over our heads. I turned my gaze to the sky and saw a wide blue sky with puffs of white clouds, but nothing resembling the sound my ears had picked up. Twilight looked at me, then looked to the skies, seeing nothing interesting, then saying, “What are you looking at, Darkbright?”

“I’m not sure.” I replied, “I thought I heard something.”

“Like what?”

“Like a high-pitched whistling getting closer.”
Twilight looked around the area above her, she too could this sound, wondering what it was, but then suddenly, with a smile, she recognized it, “It’s Rainbow.”

I turned to her and raised an eyebrow, “It’s a what?”

Twilight shook her head, “Not what, who, hold on.” She began waving her hoof to the sky as the sound got closer and louder. Just instants later, I saw what looked like a rainbow-colored streak whoosh through the air, and then whooshed back here to the ground in front of us. What I thought was a rainbow on a sugar rush was really a rainbow-maned blue pegasus with a rainbow colored tail, which what probably caused the streak; it was actually a rainbow contrail. She spoke to Twilight with an almost boyish voice, “Hey Twilight, what’s up?”

Twilight pointed a hoof at me, “I want to introduce to a new face in Ponyville. His name is Darkbright Occolt.” She now introduced her blue-coated friend to me, “Darkbright, this is Rainbow Dash, Ponyville’s greatest flier.”

Rainbow Dash stood up tall, as if she was posing for a camera, one look told me that she might be a little full of herself. Nevertheless, I greeted her, “Yo.”

RD put a hoof under her chin and was rubbing it in thought. She hovered closer to until she close enough for me to feel her breath. She squinted at me directly in the face and I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable, so I spoke up, “You’re not checking me out, are you?”

The blue pegasus hovered backwards, taken aback by the question, “What?! No! How did you come to that conclusion?”

“With all due respect, when somepony gets that close, they’re usually about to kiss or something.” I answered with a mocking grin.

Rainbow Dash gave me a disgusted look and put all four of her hooves on the ground, “I just thought you looked a little strange is all. We don’t normally see any black-coated ponies around here, or any of Equestria for that matter.”

The coat color...why did I have to be so dark a color one could see their darkened reflection. It may have suited my personality and talents, but not so much my likes. “And you’re one to talk?” I asked, irritated by the subtle discrimination I seemed to have retrieved from the simple observation, “Last I checked, there aren’t a lot of rainbow-maned ponies either, yet that doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to anyone.”

Rainbow Dash merely rolled her eyes at my counter-analysis and decided to move to a different subject, “So, you know I’m awesome at flying, right? Now I have to ask, what are YOU good at? I can’t seem to understand what your cutie mark represents.”

Twilight eyes lit up, “Oh yeah, you haven’t told me your special talent yet. Please enlighten me.”

I was silent. Sure it was hard to get a clear exegesis of my cutie mark, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to explain it. However, they were waiting for my answer. Both the purple-furred unicorn and the rainbow-streaked pegasus locked their eyes and ears on me. My talent wasn’t something to be admired or idolized, even if it’s a bit less than harmonious than most talents. But the more and more eager the two fillies stared at me, the more backed into a corner I felt. So I decided to give them what they wanted, “Alright, if you truly wish to know, my talent is...fear mongering.”

Both Twilight and Rainbow Dash had a bewildered look on their faces, wondering if what I just said was true. Rainbow Dash giggle nervously, “Yeah, yeah very funny, but seriously, what’s your talent?”

I shot the blue-coated pony a cold, hard stare and said nothing, sending a silent message that stating how serious I was. Rainbow Dash bit her lower lip and waited for my answer, but I remained absolute in my stance. Twilight now painted a look of disbelief on her face, “Well, if it’s true,” she began, “what exactly do you do?”

I faced the unicorn and answered, “I know a spell, a dark spell, that allows me to create illusions with the mind of another pony. Horrific illusions that pour despair, sorrow, hatred, and of course fear into the soul of the unfortunate one. All I have to do is cast the spell, and then either make physical contact with them, or look them directly in the eyes. After that,..the rest is silence and sorrow.”

The two fillies I had just “enlightened” with what my ability was both had their jaws hanging from their faces as if they hadn’t been proper screwed in or something. After a while of dead air, RD finally spoke up, “Okay, well, I just remembered something I had to do somewhere...with somepony...sometime...right now! Nice talking with ya Twilight,bye!” And with that she shot back into the air and was gone almost instantly.

Twilight faced me with what seemed almost like a disappointed look, though I wasn’t too sure why. When she spoke, it started with a stutter, “I-I can’t believe that...you really...I mean...why?”

I was confused and irritated at the same time, why did I have what I had? Was that rhetorical? Why do you hold an Element of Harmony? I thought to myself , what point was there to asking such a question? I responded caustically, “Why are you so good with magic?”

Twilight tilted her head, “Huh?”

I continued my rant, “Why is the sky blue? Why are you purple? Why must you keep your mane and tail nice and straight?”

Twilight was lost, “Excuse me?”

I reached my point, my voice tone was raising “Why did you ask me that? How could I possibly answer that? Perhaps it was my destiny to carry such a power? Just because my talent is...unorthodox doesn’t mean you should question it’s existence. Is that clear?”

Twilight’s confused look shifted into an affronted one, but kept her calm saying with minor aggravation, “I’m sorry if I offended you or anything, but I didn’t know the topic was sensitive.

I shut eyes in annoyance, then reopened them and replied in a softer tone, “It’s not sensitive, I just find it pointless. Does my talent really bother you that much?”

Twilight averted her gaze to the side, pondering on what to say next, then finally she muttered loudly enough for me to hear, “I just found it to be, well, not something you’d find in a book. I mean, magic is supposed to be used to help everypony, not hurt. The magic I use is calm, full of harmony, and not anything destructive. But yours is...dark, disturbing, and corrupted. I’m not trying to offend you or anything, but that’s what it appears to be to me.”

I wasn’t offended, I understood where she was coming from, so I replied accordingly, “I know it’s not something every magical being would like to get to know, but I’m stuck with nonetheless. If you can’t accept me for who I am, you really shouldn’t be hanging around me.” It was at that moment I thought Twilight would want to break up the little tour she was doing.

The purple pony’s line of sight recalled itself back to my position and she returned with, “Only if you want to stop.”

Truthfully, I wanted to see how long this would go before she, like everypony else, would shut me out. So I retaliated with, “I’d like to continue, if you don’t mind.”

Twilight made a slight smile and renewed her walking with me following.

We now were heading away from the main part of the town and into rural area. As I walked along, I could see a line of picket fences barricading a plethora of apple trees. Everywhere I turned to look, I couldn’t help but notice an apple; whether green, red, or yellow, all my vision granted me was apples. Twilight could interpret my glancing around as confusion and decided to quell my curious mind, “One of my friends works here growing apple trees and harvesting them. Her family owns the entire orchard, so it’s only natural that she’d do her part.”

Although that may have satisfied my curiosity, I still couldn’t help but wonder who would want to work on a farm throughout their life? Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I assume. We were nearing the main barn when Twilight walk onto the orchard path towards a bright, orange coated earth pony wearing a cowboy hat. She was carrying two buckets, filled to the brim with apples. When she noticed Twilight and myself coming towards her, she stopped and waited until we came within speaking distance. Twilight began the introduction, “Hey Applejack, let me introduce you to Darkbright Occolt, a newcomer to Ponyville. Darkbright, this is Applejack.”

Before I could say anything, Applejack took my right hoof and began shaking it in a somewhat rough greeting, “Well howdy-do Mr. Darkbright, strange name ya got there, but hay, I ain’t one to judge too soon. I hope you find yerself at home in this here town of ours.” She stopped shaking my hoof , “So what brings ya to Ponyville?”

The reason I came to Ponyville wasn’t something as simple as moving from an old home, more like I was forced to leave what I thought was home. I chose my words carefully and replied deeply, “Things didn’t go so well at my previous abode.”

Applejack responded sympathetically, “Aw, well I’m mighty sorry to hear that, but it’s all downhill from here, right?”

“Right.” Yeah. I thought, All downhill into the dark abyss below.

Twilight then informed the workaholic pony that she was showing me around Ponyville and they spoke about things that are unbeknownst to me. Meanwhile, I was looking around the orchard and found myself wandering off into the mosh pit of apple trees. When I stopped to look where I was, I had gone deep into the middle of the orchard, however I was not lost for I could see the barn’s bell tower in the distances. Just as I was about to move towards the barn, I felt something hit my hind leg. I turned around and saw a small scooter with handlebars but with no driver. I looked towards the direction it came from and heard a faint rustling. I squinted in the direction of the sound as it came closer so that I could see who or what was responsible for the noise. As it drew closer and louder, I inhaled deeply preparing for the worse...only to find my concerns were not to be taken seriously, for I saw a small, orange pegasus with purple mane and a purple tail. Following behind her were two more small fillies: one was a short, white coated unicorn with bright lavender mane and a curled tail that match her mane’s style. The other was a bright yellow earth pony with a somewhat bright red name and tail. The orange one spotted the scooter and gasped in joy, “There it is! Finally!” She rolled it back to her friends, “Now I’m really ready to continue our journey to find out our true purposes.”

The yellow one spoke with a similar accent to Applejack’s, “That’s great, but I don’t think we’re cut out to be circus acrobats. I mean, how were we supposed to stand on top of each other while riding on a moving scooter?”

The orange one seemed let down, “I just thought it would be cool at the time. Oh well, guess we need to try something else then.”

“But what?” the white filly asked with a sweet sounding voice.

All three fillies were pondering the question, yet they didn’t seem to notice me standing right next to them, so I made my presence more noticeable to them, “Ahem.”

Simultaneously, they turned their heads to the source of the sound only to see me standing next to them, giving them a half-eyed stare.

The orange filly raised an eyebrow at me, “Did you need something?”

“Who you are would be a start.” I informed blankly.

“You know it’s polite if you introduce yourself first, right?” the white filly stated.

“But doesn’t that mean that we should introduce ourselves first? The yellow accent-holding one asked, “Y’know being polite an’ all?”

The orange one thought about that for a minute then said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” she then turned to me, “I’m Scootaloo.”

“Name’s Applebloom.” the yellow one said.

“And I’m Sweetie Belle.” the white filly sweetly noted.

Now all three of them exclaimed together, “And together we’re...THE CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS!”

I was a bit caught off guard by the sudden exclamation of the name of whatever group they had formed. Firstly, I had no idea what that meant, nor did I know whether or not I should continue speaking with them, or let them go about their ways. But one thing I did know was that they had given me their names and I thought it only fair to give mine.

“It’s, uh, nice to meet you.” I said nervously, “I’m Darkbright. Darkbright Occolt.”

Sweetie Belle tilted her head, “Darkbright? What kind of a name is that for a parent to give to their kid?”

I had wondered that myself I don’t recall any memories of my folks, maybe they too shunned me out. But my lack of knowledge made my pursuing of this wonderment meaningless for the time being. I responded with, “Don’t know, maybe that’s what they thought of when they first saw my appearance.”

“Well, ya do have kind of a dark looking coat, ya know.” Applebloom stated bluntly.

“Yeah, I know.” I acknowledged, “I guess I’m not the friendly looking type, huh?”

“What do you mean?” Scootaloo asked, “I think it’s pretty cool to find someone with your...uh...unique style. There aren’t many black coated ponies around Equestria.”

“Actually,” Sweetie Belle corrected, “There aren’t ANY black coated ponies in Equestria.”

“Except me.” I muttered softly.

“By the way,” Applebloom began, “I couldn’t help but wonder how exactly you got your cutie mark.” She pointed to the creepy symbol that stuck to my flank, “I mean, it’s just weird outlines of angry eyes and a mouth with sharp teeth colored orange, what does THAT represent?”

I didn’t want to tell them; I wasn’t sure how they’d take it. So all I said was, “It represents something you don’t want to try. Don’t you have something you’re doing?”

“Yeah yeah,” Scootaloo said swiftly, “but we wanna hear what your talent is. It sounds mysterious, like a lost talent.”

“Or a secret talent.” Applebloom suggested.

“Or a talent you keep locked in that special cupboard with all the super rare jewels.” Sweetie Belle said proudly.

Persistent fillies. I thought, I needed to get their mind off this subject, but how? I saw the scooter they had been chasing earlier, still as can been, facing a hill that drops in elevation. I had a plan. Using my magic, I gave the scooter a small nudge. It twitched forward a bit and gravity did the rest. Soon, it was picking up speed and zooming down the hill. “You might want to catch that scooter of yours if yo don’t want t lose it.”

The three fillies all turned to see the scooter make it’s daring escape. They immediately jumped up and started after the scooter once again. “Sorry, Darkbright gotta run.” Scootaloo said quickly and in seconds, all of them had disappeared as quickly as they appeared. With that, I headed back to the barn.

When I returned to Twilight and Applejack, they had not yet noticed I was gone. Must have been an intriguing conversation. I thought. The instant I stopped next to Twilight, she turned to me and said, “Well, ready to go? I have one more place to show you before I have to get back to my studying.”

“Yeah, I am.” I replied blankly. I saw no point in bringing up my encounter with the proclaimed “Cutie Mark Crusaders.” Where would a young filly learn such a word as “crusader” anyway? Again, no point.

We we’re still outside the main town when we came upon a cottage, it looked like something out of a fairy tale. The woodlands, the creek, the wild animals, it was all there. I wondered who would want to live in such a...sincere-looking place. Twilight knocked on the door and in about three seconds, there was an answer. I saw a bright yellow pegasus with long, pink mane and a neatly styled tail. She had butterflies for a cutie mark, so I took her to be some kind of peace loving pony. This was proven true when she spoke to Twilight with soft, kind voice full of fragility and sincerity, “Yes Twilight?”

“I just wanting to introduce you to a new pony,” Twilight motioned to me and the soft-hearted pegasus look at me, then quickly backed away a little into the house. “Don’t worry,” Twilight comforted, “he may look a little scary, but he’s not all bad, right?” she asked me, pushing for a specific answer.

“Yeah,” I replied reluctantly, “the name’s Darkbright Occolt. And you are?”

The frighten pony peered her head out and mumbled, “I-I’m Fluttershy.”

“Excuse me?” I asked. How could one possibly hear her soft tone?

“M-My name is Fluttershy.” she tried to say.

I said nothing, but my face said, “Seriously?” this pony was being a little too paranoid for my tastes in friends.

“Her name is Fluttershy.” Twilight told me, “And if haven’t already guessed, she’s a little shy.”

“A little?” I asked sarcastically, “So are we done now?”

Twilight looked a bit offended by my sudden change in attitude, “Well, yeah I guess if that’s what you wa--”

“Then I’m gone.” I interrupted and dashed off back to town.

Fluttershy, now out in the open, bore a sad look, “He seemed a little upset.”

“Well,” Twilight rolled her eyes, “he is a bit stubborn. It’s almost like he didn’t even care for my help.”

“He must really feel bad.” Fluttershy said drearily, “I’m gonna go see if I can help him feel better.” She then spread her wings and flew out the door in my direction.

“Fluttershy! What if--” Twilight was too late to get her message to Fluttershy. The purple-furred unicorn groaned and went off after the pegasus.

When I had gotten to the central plaza, I saw a rainbow-maned pony standing there looking right at me. She had a less-than-friendly look in her eyes. She stopped me in my path, saying she wanting a word with me.

“What is it, then?” I asked, curious as to what exactly she wanted.

“Now listen here,” Rainbow Dash commanded rather scruffily, “I don’t want you causing any trouble, so you might as well just steer clear from everypony who doesn’t wanna talk to you first.”

She stopped me to order me around? I don’t think so. “And who are you to tell me who I can or can’t talk to, hmm?”

“I’m the fastest pony in all of Ponyville,” RD boasted, “so if you even think of trying anything, I’ll know.”

I still wasn’t convinced, “And that justifies your actions, how?”

“Look,” the blue pegasus said sharply, “I don’t think your talent is anything to be admired. In fact, I think it’s something to just keep away from, you know?”

“Of course it’s something to keep away from!” I snapped, “It’s fear, and just because it is, doesn’t mean I’m gonna cut myself off from everything, you understand?”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened at my sudden remark, but quickly regained her composure, “You know something, I think you’re just trying to get attention.”

“Excuse me?”

“I think you’re just making stuff up, I’ve seen it before, bunch of light shows and smokescreens. If anyone should be getting attention, it’s me.”

Was she serious? I wasn’t about to be called a fraud! “You better watch it, foal! My abilities are no hoax, they are something to be feared.”

Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes at me, “Prove it.”

I snickered, I knew she was goading me, but she was about to see the consequences of her actions, “Gladly.” I snarled. I shut my eyes and focused. My horn glowed a transparent black color and I felt a rush of cold power flow through my body. I pointed my face to the ground and opened my eyes; my vision was fading to black, but not pitch black. What I saw was the same bit of ground but covered in a fog of shadows. It was as if I was wearing sunglasses; my eyes had dilated to the point of become full black. There was chill throughout my entire body, all I had to do now was look the foalish pegasus in the eyes and she would be overwhelmed by her own fear and despair. I grinned wickedly and spoke in a voice that was followed by a deep echo, “Prepare yourself!” I wasn’t too sure what Rainbow Dash was feeling at the moment, but I could still see her hooves, meaning she had not moved, which suggested to me that she wanted to see this through to the end...and she would. I began to raise my head.

Suddenly I stopped, I thought I heard something. So I listened, still in magical focus. I heard it again: a voice, calling out to me. It was soft, a little high-pitched and was getting louder. It was Fluttershy. I saw her hooves land right next to me, but I dare not look up, or else...

“I’m sorry for earlier,” Fluttershy said kindly, “but I thought that you looked upset over something and I just wanted to say that it’s okay. If you ever need to talk, you can just come to me.” Her left hoof lifted off the ground towards my direction.

No! She mustn’t! I thought desperately and then blurted out, “Fluttershy! Stop! Don’t touch--!” My warning was too slow. I felt her hoof gently tap the back of my neck and the chill I felt rushed to that very point. I felt all the darkness, sadness, anger, and fear leave my body and pour itself into the poor pony’s soul. I heard a gasp, followed shortly by a bloodcurdling screech, so loud that I had to flop my ears down to keep myself from being deafened. I felt my magic fade and my vision returned to normal. I stood up and immediately turned to Fluttershy. She was on the ground, curled up in a little half-ball shape with her front hooves over her eyes, weeping bitterly.
In a matter of moments, everypony in the vicinity came rushing over to see what the commotion was. There they saw the petrified pegasus, crying in a puddle of her own tears. I took one look at Rainbow Dash; her jaw was dropped, she was speechless. Well, I thought, on one side I proved my point, but was it really worth it?

One pony in the crowd looked in Dash’s direction, “Hey, what happened RD?”

The fast flier closed her mouth and tried to explain, “I-I’m not sure. I mean, one second she was up, talking to Darkbright, then the next...” My name was all they needed to hear, for I got a crowd of angry glares.

Another pony shouted, “What did you do to her?!”

“I...I...” I tried to speak, but couldn’t for some reason. Before I tried again, I heard hooves in the distance, rapidly getting closer. I looked behind the crowd of equines and saw Twilight rushing over. In seconds, she pushed through the crowd and knelt down next to her timid, now frightened, friend.

“Fluttershy,” she said, trying to calm the pegasus, “what happened?”

Fluttershy tried to explained, but all she could get out was more sobs, her throat was becoming scratchy from all the crying she doing. Finally, she managed to say, “Nnnnnngg...I don’t know...I was trying to comfort Darkbright, and when I touched him I saw...I...I saw...ghh...gnnnnhhh...” Fluttershy resumed her crying from having to recall such a horrific memory.

I was unsure of what she saw; I cannot see what the illusion I created was, or whether it used one of her own personal fears against her, but I did know that it was pretty effective. Twilight hearing my name must have put the same thought in her head, though she didn’t want to believe it. She turned to me with a disappointed look in her eyes. When she asked me if I was responsible for this, I could feel her sadness. I wasn’t entirely sure as to why though. I decided not to keep her waiting, “I...might have had something to do with it.” I replied, almost nervously.

“Might have had?” Twilight asked in disbelief, “What do you mean by that?”

“I mean that...it wasn’t meant for her.” I replied, suddenly realizing that was a mistake.

“Wasn’t meant for her?!” Twilight’s tone was raising, “Then who was it meant for?!”

I casually pointed to Rainbow Dash, who then shrugged, smiling innocently.

Twilight rolled her eyes, “Rainbow, what did you do?”

“Well, uh, I kinda called him a show-off and said that he wasn’t the real deal.” RD scratched the back of her head nervously. Twilight temporarily shut her eyes in irritation. Probably wasn’t the first time she acted before she thought. I thought to myself. The frustrated unicorn turned back in my direction,

“What Rainbow did was wrong, but it was you who made a bad decision.” Twilight lectured, “I think you need to apologize.”

“Apologize?” I asked in disbelief. For what? An accident? “Why?”

“Why?!” Twilight responded in shock, “For causing poor Fluttershy such pain.” Fluttershy was still crying, though not as hard as earlier.

“That was an accident. I shouldn’t have to apologize for that!”

“You were gonna use your dark magic anyway, right? So it’s only natural you would have to apologize.”

“It’s not like I wanted to get Fluttershy!” I snapped back, “She got in the way!” Another mistake.

“Got in the way?!” Twilight couldn’t believe her ears, “So she was just some obstacle getting in the way of you and your pathetic goal?!”

I was angry now, “I never said that! She was caught by accident! She was the one who touched me, not the other way around!”

Twilight was getting angry as well, “Oh, so it’s her fault now?!”

Jeez, Twilight, you sure know how to take words and twist them up, huh? “That also not what I said!”

“Then what are you trying to say?” Twilight asked expectantly.

Now I was stuck, what was I trying to say? Forgive and forget? No. So I picked something out of the air, “I’m saying that I shouldn’t have to say sorry for something that wasn’t truly my fault.”

“Even if it wasn’t,” Twilight said, softer than her previous remark, “you were the catalyst behind it all, so you still need to apologize.”

She just wasn’t getting it. When was she gonna learn that it was all one big misunderstanding? I walked up closer to Twilight, keeping a blank half-eyed stare in her direction. I stopped when our snouts were touching and gave my response in strong, deep, and “that’s final” voice, “I will...not...apologize.”

I backed away from Twilight, who was in shock from my answer. She turned towards the ground with a saddened half-stare in her eyes, then lifted the look in my direction. Her voice was soft in a sad way and she spoke in utter disappointment, “Then...you shouldn’t even be here.”

“Excuse me?” I asked bewildered by her statement.

“You shouldn’t be here,” the purple coated pony stated again with the same sad tone, “you shouldn’t be here in Ponyville if you can’t get along.”

She wanted me gone, as did the other ponies, who would occasionally give outbursts about how I don’t belong here, or that I should be banished, and so on. I knew it was coming, and yet...I wasn’t expecting it.

“I shouldn’t be here?” my voice had lowered it’s tone to a more soothing one, “What are you trying to say, Twilight?”

Twilight turned towards the ground again, then answered my question without even looking at me, “I’m saying you should leave, don’t return, and find some other friends who can tolerate you like this.” Every word she spoke was like a blow to both our hearts. Why it was affecting me so greatly; I had no idea. The last time I was exiled, I felt indifferent, but now, I felt terrible. But why?

Twilight continued her response, “Your magic is something nopony here would like to be around. In fact, in my opinion, it shouldn’t even exist. Magic is something used to help others, not hurt them.”

I was annoyed, she would question the existence of my abilities again?! This was not gonna end like that! “How dare you?!” Twilight’s head jolted up at the sudden change of tone, I resumed my rant, “How dare you question the existence of my power? If you can ask me such a thing, then let me ask you this: why is your magic so neat and tidy? Why do you hold the Element of Magic within you?” I knew exactly where to strike next: “Why did Princess Celestia make you her student?”

Twilight’s eyes lit at the sound of her mentor’s name, “What did you say?”

I smirked, “I said why did Princess Celestia make you her personal disciple? Why you? Why not somepony else? You think your so clever, so smart. You’re the grade A student, always studies whenever she gets the chance. Yet you go around doubting the talents of another pony, even though it’s clear that I was to bear this curse in a gift? Let me tell you something, Twi, you’re not that smart, you’re not that clever, and you CAN’T expect to be able to answer every question you think up.” I lowered my voice tone and gave my darkest stare, preparing myself for what I was about to say next. I wanted to draw back the bowstring to it fullest, “Perhaps Princess Celestia made a mistake in making you her star pupil.”

Twilight gasped and put and front hoof to her mouth. The background ponies all let out an “oohhh.” My arrow had pierced her soul and she was suffering from the aftershock. I expected her to snap back at me but much to my surprise, she turned away from me, faced her fallen friend, who was still in tears, but had stopped making noise. The unicorn’s head drooped, her tail followed shortly. I saw her mouth move, but couldn’t make out the words, so I prompted her to speak, “Beg pardon?”

I now heard a faint whisper, still too quiet to hear what she was saying, so I prompted again, “You need to speak up Twi, I don’t have super hearing you kn--”

“JUST GO!!!” I was almost knocked over by the scream, but retained my balance. Twilight looked at me with an angry face, tears were in her eyes and I was speechless. She was angry, but not the same angry; this anger was fueled by sadness. Anger fueled by more anger will beget a rather violent argument, however anger fueled by sadness will beget an emotional argument, which is stronger than any physically abusive argument. Whether she was sad from my previous insult, or whether it was the accident, or worse, both, she was angry and sad, which made her emotionally dangerous. She turned back to her previous direction and spoke again, softer, “Just go! Just go and never come back!”

A new feeling roused up inside me, it was guilt. I felt guilty for what I had just said, I want to apologize, I wanted to make Twilight feel better. But why her? Why not the previous town? Was it because Twilight had shown me a gesture of friendship? It must be! She shared the magic of friendship with me and I threw in her face. I felt awful. I went closer to her a lifted my right hoof. “Twilight I’m--” I touched her tail lightly, which then slapped my hoof away and I was force to pull it back.

Twilight turned around again with the same sad/angry look, “Leave now! If you don’t I’ll...I’ll...I’ll...I’LL DESTROY YOU!”

Now it was my turn to be shocked. I never expected Twilight to say such a threat, or any threat for that matter. Apparently, she didn’t expect it either. She quickly turned back around and I could hear sobbing. Fluttershy had stopped, and the only other pony who shed tears was...Twilight. She sniffled and tear were falling from her eye sockets to the ground like a waterfall. I wanted to say something, but I felt as if she meant what she said with that threat. I had actually FEARED for my life. I slowly turned in the opposite direction and began my trek out of Ponyville. Twilight’s sobs were getting weaker and weaker until I could hear them no more.

A few minutes had passed and I was looking at the ground the whole time while walking. I looked up and turned my head to look behind me. I saw Ponyville in the distance, the central plaza where the incident occured was long out of sight. I turned back forward and kept on walking. I didn’t know where I was going, I just followed the ground wherever there was ground. After what seemed like a decent amount of time, I stopped and look up. I could see a cave not too far from me. Looking even higher, I saw huge walls of rock on both sides. It was like I was at the bottom of a canyon...or a gorge...Ghastly Gorge. Fitting, I thought, a ghastly place for a ghastly pony. The sky was beginning to turn dark, so I entered the cave. When I reached the back of the cave, I realized that it was a short cave, far back enough to keep shelter well, but not too far to the point where the cave entrance wasn’t visible. I curled myself up in a ball, all four of my hooves seem to point at one spot on the ground. My tail curled up over part of my hooves and pointed to the exact same spot. I lowered my head down and curled that towards the spot and tried to sleep. I couldn’t. It wasn’t that easy anymore. For the first time in my life, I felt as if I let somepony down. My vision was starting to fade again, but not in fogs of shadows, more in a fuzzy, liquid-like way. I put a hoof up to my eye and felt something moist. Tears? Really? I was crying? My throat became scratchy, my lips were quivering, and my vocal cords couldn’t help but sob. I close my eyes because I didn’t want to look at everything through tears. I kept on sobbing quietly until my voice grew tired.

For the first time in my life...I had cried myself to sleep.


END OF CHAPTER