• Published 14th Jan 2013
  • 26,297 Views, 1,588 Comments

The Monster Below - Greenback

An earth pony seeks to transform himself into an Alicorn, but how far is he willing to go to get what he wants?

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The Life Before My Eyes

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

—Edgar Allan Poe


It's been said that when you're about to die, your life flashes before you. Good and bad alike are shown, and nothing is hidden. Like so many other ponies, I dismissed it as wishful thinking, nothing more than a literary device for books and movies. Now, however, I'm not so sure; as the needles descend toward my forehead, I realize that I probably won’t survive this.

Fear makes me tremble, but the cuffs around my limbs hold me in place as the mechanical arm descends, the needles glinting in the glare of lights above the table. I try to be brave, to be defiant in the face of pain, and to keep panic from taking control. But it’s so very hard; before panic comes fear, and that fear momentarily takes hold. I instinctively buck, but the cuffs are too strong to break. I can’t even move my head, for the braces screwed into it keep me completely immobile. It has to, lest the machine makes a mistake and destroy my brain.

I struggle, but I can’t break free. I can’t run away. I can’t call for help. I can’t do anything but watch as the needles get closer, closer, ever closer.

Then they hit.

The thick needles go through skin, muscle, and bone. I bite down as the plungers come down with a soft hiss, a cocktail of chemicals being pumped into me. With no pain receptors, my brain can’t feel the pain, but I do feel the thick goop sloshing just under my skull, moving, spreading…


The needles are yanked free, and I sweat. The pain is nothing compared to the fear. The needles were nothing.

What’s coming is even worse.

The mechanical arm moves away, and, in its place, a new arm comes down. At the tip is a small circular saw. It starts to spin, sounding like the drill of a demented dentist, only louder.

It’s coming for me.

I sweat. I shake. I try to hold back the fear… and I fail.

Oh Celestia, please, not that! I don’t want this! Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!

The fear flees. Panic takes over. Rational thought and logic is replaced with animal instinct, and my body thrashes, adrenaline giving my limbs and muscles strength. The screws on the cuffs creak as every muscle in my body reaches its limit, then goes past it as I fight to get away… but that's not enough. The cuffs are too strong.

The drill descends. I try to twist my head, but the clamps hold me in place like an obscene lover. For all its strength, it can't force me to watch. I squeeze my eyes shut. Perhaps it's the old childhood instinct of hiding in the dark, believing that the monsters can't get you when you're under the covers of your warm bed. But all the darkness in the world can’t protect me as the drill hits my head and begins to cut, taking its time, in no hurry to finish the job, ignoring the pain of the one it operates on.

Oh Celestia, it hurts! It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!

I scream. I scream and scream and scream.

And then things go dark. Sounds fade away. The pain dims. I still feel blood pouring down my face, but it's fading away, all of it.

The realization hits me: this is it.

Through the fear, and before oblivion, a single thought breaks through, perhaps the last thought I'll ever have.

How did it come to this?

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