• Published 15th Apr 2013
  • 821 Views, 120 Comments

The Crimson Smile. - Cookietheif

A sweet mare first steps into ponyville as their new dentist. Leads to the entire town fearing that they may be eaten during the night by a demon that sleeps within her...

  • ...

Hunt Her Down...

"Run if you want. Hide if you'd like. But never think that you can escape fate and shake off what you deserve... One day your misdeeds will resurface in the most unpleasant of ways..." -Cookietheif

The morning after Brightsmile was found to be the killer of Sweetie Bell, Blitz, and Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle was up all night trying to use any spell she knew that could give at least some hint of where the dentist was hiding, but not a single one did the trick!

Thanks to her fruitless efforts, the library was running low on many of the magical reagents she needed for her spells, and so she ventured into the Everfree Forest, intent on gathering what she could and seeing Zecora for the rest.

"Why can't we just wait until that maniac is found?" Spike asked, while attempting to keep his nervous green eyes on every little movement. He'd much rather have gone and kept Rarity company, than wander into this blood-chilling forest for a few supplies.

Twilight sighed as she prepared to explain herself once again, yet in her mind realizing that he was no more scared then she herself was... "Because I need what's on the checklist to continue trying to find Brightsmile, Spike! Princess Celestia has her hooves tied organizing the Royal Guard, and Princess Luna is personally roaming through everypony's dreams in the hopes of finding her. It's left to us to reach her before she has the chance to hurt anypony else!"


"What was that?!" Spike yelled out in surprise, reflexively clinging to Twilight's leg in a startling instant, shaking and peering up at the trees with fear in his eyes. Twilight glanced upwards and smiled softly, "Don't worry Spike, it's just Owlowiscious, I asked him to search for any signs of Brightsmile in the forest.", Spike released Twilight gingerly and cleared his throat, "I-I knew that," he claimed, shifting from one clawed foot to the other self-consciously.

Owlowiscious didn't seem that amused though, with a flap of his wings, he glided down and flew down the path to Zecora's hut, offering a concerned hoot as he flashed by, leaving nothing but the terrible sense that something must be wrong...

Levitating Spike onto her back as she ran after her feathered friend, Twilight rapidly approached the remnants of the place that Zecora used to call home, looking even more devastated than when Rainbow Dash had found it... "Zecora!" The panting mare cried out, but to no response.

Bracing herself for the worst Twilight passed through where the front door used to be... And stared in shell-shocked dismay at the mess of glass and blood, where the peltless corpse of a unicorn lay with precious gems jammed into her eye sockets. "No..." Twilight whispered, her voice suddenly hoarse as she darted back outside and set Spike down.

"W-Wait here...", she stuttered, "I have to see if there are any other ponies that might still be alive.", she told him as she reentered the home. Ducking her head to give the corpse a dreaded closer examination, she found holes in the lips that had been sown shut before... And then she saw a lengthy lock of the victim's mane resting on the ground before her hooves, of the most beautiful shade of purple.

"Rarity!", she choked out, not wanting her voice to carry beyond the door to Spike, "Why did it have to be you...?"

An enraged Celestia, a mourning Luna, together with a miserable Twilight, and even the Batpony grave keeper came inside Zecora's hut, searching for any clue of where Brightsmile could possibly have gone, but had no luck of finding evidence of it.

Although they had all found the remains in the cauldron that must have been Zecora... "I haven't seen such twisted actions my entire life, we must hunt her down as soon as possible..." Celestia said coldly, her eyes seeming to blaze in direct connection with the Sun on viewing the dark works of the dentist... Even Twilight, far from the object of her wrath was beginning to shiver in fright from that gaze.

Moon Spirit, as the batpony had since introduced himself, went into yet another room and found a horror that made everypony's heart skip a beat...

"There's more blood and manes in here!" His voice echoed throughout the room, and when the others entered her presented the locks of manes with a grim expression, nothing had prepared him for this... Two of the locks were soft and fine, as if from young fillies, and the third was a lively rainbow color.

"I saw them in the cemetery just the other day... Right in front of Sweetie Belle's grave," said Moon Spirit, his voice just a whisper, as though he took the blame of all their deaths...

Luna came to his side and rested her wing on his shoulder, speaking softly to ease his sorrow, "You couldn't have known that this, that anything, would happen to them... Don't think that this is your fault.", Moon Spirit didn't speak, but nodded and looked at her gratefully, the guilt washing from his eyes. Something about the situation felt off to them though, where we the actual bodies, why just the manes?

"Could they still be alive? It's obvious she didn't feel the need to move or hide bodies before..." Twilight said thoughtfully, there was some logic to it, it could be the reason they had found only manes. "The blood could just be from her injuring them to weaken, even thwart escape attempts as well!" As each pony pondered the idea, they agreed it seemed logical, why other reason could there be?

As ponies with body bags came to collect the remains of Rarity and Zecora, Celestia alone took to the air to check Rainbow Dash's home, and soldiers went to Scootaloo's foster family for any potential clues. Luna and Moon Spirit left for Rarity's, and finally Twilight was alone, sobbing into her mane as she got her thoughts in order; Intent on seeing if Applejack was okay, and equally intent on letting her known what had happened too.

This wasn't even to mention how she would tell Spike about Rarity's fate, he had been left right outside and had yet to be told just who the unicorn lying in the main room had been.

Spike was pacing back and forth near the door, the darkest possibilities swirling inside his brain, had he continued his pace he may have even made an indent in his well-worn path... The situation was far too much for a baby dragon, for anypony...

"Spike..." The unicorn -Twilight-, derailed his morbid train of thoughts and his head snapped to her, "Did you find out who that pony was? I-Is it...?" His voice trailed off, truly unable to finish his worst assumptions, and how could Twilight tell him?! His heart would never heal if he heard her say; "It, it was Rarity, Spike... I'm so sorry."

So Twilight lied, she felt she had to do what was best for his wellbeing, "It was just a mare who was visiting Ponyville... Celestia promised to find out who she was, and if she had any connection to Brightsmile, family perhaps..."

Relief washed over her poor assistant, while Spike felt bad for the "visitor", at least it wasn't the fashionable mare that he loved so much... Guilt clung to Twilight more than even the haunting memories the dentist had burned into everypony's minds with her unforgiving deeds. But there was nothing else she could do, he'd have to find out one day, but now was not the time.

"Let's go visit Applejack, I need to tell her something important..." She trailed off as she lowered herself so that the assistant she so blatantly misled could climb on her book, and off they both went towards Sweet Apple Acres.

They didn't talk much on the way, aside from a few questions that Spike had about what else they found in Zecora's home. "You'll find out when I tell Applejack... Okay Spike?", was her saddened answer, the evidence they had found was far too much for anypony to tell more than once...

When they finally reached the Apple's home, it was obviously empty; Big Macintosh could be heard searching their endless fields, calling for Applebloom... No sign of Granny Smith, and just ahead, the mare who bore the Element of Honesty was just coming out of the barn.

"Not even a sign of her..." Applejack sighed, head hanging until she saw the unicorn a few yards away, hope rising in her heart, "Twilight!" She yelled, closing the gap between them quickly. "Please tell me you've seen Applebloom! She's been missing since yesterday!"

"I may have an idea... You'd better get Big Mac and Granny together for this though..."

The worried Apple family sat inside, starting intently at Twilight as she began to tell them about they had all found, still refusing to reveal the true identity of the unicorn for Spike, and she almost broke down in tears again as she told them her theory of the missing ponies.

"A unicorn's body was found in Zecora's home, and Zecora herself... She, she, her remains were found in her cauldron... The graveskeeper found three locks of mane... Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, and Applebloom are assumed to have been ponynapped by Brightsmile for reasons we don't know yet, I'm so sorry." Twilight forced out past the choke in her throat, barely able to look at the brimming eyes of the family seated around the table.

Granny Smith burst out into years, and Big Macintosh shut his eyes as he rested a hoof on her shoulder in a vain attempt to provide comfort... Applejack merely stared at Twilight, tears still welling up in her eyes as questions began forcing their way out of her throat. "How do you know they're still alive...?" Yet Twilight only sighed and shook her head.

"I don't know if I'm right, but the last bodies were just left for everypony to see, why would she start taking corpses now? Why not take R-, the unicorn's body along with Zecora's?" She pointed out, biting her bottom lip and glancing at Spike, he hadn't seemed to notice her slip, but Applejack certainly had...

"Spike, mind staying here for a while? Twilight and I are gonna check on Fluttershy, and Granny needs some company while we're gone..." Applejack forced out with a small, albeit shaky, smile. Spike readily agreed, and with that the two young mares left.

"Rarity is dead?!!"

They were finally outside - and more importantly out of earshot - heading to Fluttershy's cottage when the question exploded from Applejack's mouth. Twilight's head hung low, almost scraping her horn against the rocks in the road as she answered. "Yes... I couldn't tell Spike! Not that it was her! Imagine how he would react if he heard the truth! You didn't see exactly what Brightsmile did to her!" She cringed at the memory of the gemstones gleaming inside her friend's eye sockets... Not even Twilight fully knew what tortures the demented dentist had done to her friend Rarity.

"Lyin' is still wrong, Twi..." Was all her friend said, but Applejack couldn't blame her for wanting to keep Spike safe from the devastating truth, and the walk was quite silent after that.

Once they were at Fluttershy's home, they noticed that Fluttershy, Element of Kindness, had turned her previously lovely little cottage into a massive fortress... Every window was boarded up, and only peep holes allowed any method of seeing inside or out. The door seemed to have gained a few more locks as well...

"Isn't this going a little too far?" Applejack thought aloud, and for the love of Celestia was that an understatement. Twilight tried knocking on the door and calling Fluttershy's name, nothing... The next time they both knocked, getting worried, and with a clatter of deadbolts and chairs, the door opened as far as the fastened metal chains would let it.

"O-Oh! It's just you two..." Said the cracked but quiet voice of Fluttershy, her normally bright coat was pale and the redness around her eyes told them that she had been crying recently... "Hey Fluttershy, do you mind if we come in?" Twilight's question panicked the shy mare to an even greater extent and she nearly slammed the door shut. "I-I'm sorry, b-but now isn't a good time! M-Maybe later! Sorry!"

Dumbfounded, Applejack and Twilight Sparkle stood in front of Fluttershy's house for a while, wondering if they should try to get her attention again, but the idea was put aside for now; They needed to put their heads together and figure out where Brightsmile could be... So they left to see what, if anything, Celestia and Luna had found.

They never felt the victorious stare that Brightsmile gave them from inside the cottage.


...An hour before Twilight's discovery in Zecora's home...

Scootaloo was beginning to stir. When her eyes finally opened she was surprised to find herself, not at Zecora's home - but on Brightsmile's back as she limped through the forest, using her magic to pull something behind her... It was a last-minute make-shift sled that she could drag along several familiar look pelts, and the lifeless bodies of Rainbow Dash and Applebloom...

The little pegasus buried her muzzle into Brightsmile's fur and closed her eyes tightly. In reality they were just corpses, but in her mind they staring at her, asking why had she killed them, cursing her name without end...

"You are just a heartless killer..." Is what pierced her heart the most. Brightsmile looked back at her adopted little daughter as they come to a stop. "Are you okay...?" She asked, honest worry in her eyes.

Scootaloo shook her head, on the verge of tears already. "I can still hear them! Feel them staring at me, and they won't stop!" She cried into her new - her only - mother's pelt, and the dentist couldn't help but smile a little... It was a perfect time to bring the pegasus into the wonderful world of madness.

"I have the cure for that..."

Something lightly touched the filly's side, the handle of the knife that been used to kill them... "If their bodies still speak to you, cut off their tongues... Drive the blade into their heads! I promise it'll keep them quiet..." Brightsmile's soothing words were just enough to make the unstable foal take the knife and slide off her back.

"You don't have the guts to do it! You just let me run into that knife, you're barely a killer! You're a PATHETIC coward!!!" Howled Dash's corpse, "You'll be hanging just like that crazy, mare-loving, freak of a moth-" The blade silenced her as it sank nearly to the hilt inside her skull. "SHUT UP!!!" Scootaloo's eyes were tightly closed... And they opened slowly as something amazing happened...

Absolute Silence...

"Hahaha... Sh-She stopped talking, mom... She finally stopped!" She began jumping about, her undersized wings flapping wildly at the prospect of finally being free of her dead idol's voice. "You disgust me, Scoots..." Applebloom's voice still lingered... "Sweetie Belle and I can't believe we were your friends..." The words merely bounced off the foal, she pulled the cure from Rainbow Dash's head and placed into Applebloom's now, a crazed smile plastered on her face.

"When you meet her in Tartarus, tell her I said hi!" Scootaloo cackled, so much like her mother now... Smile growing wider, and yet tears streamed down her face as well. Just to make sure they'd never speak again they both received several more thrusts of the blade into their heads... And Applebloom's tongue was slowly sawed off, the knife having gotten rather dull by now.

The proud mother slowly approached her laughing daughter and choked out her words. She was so proud, "How does it feel to be free from them?" The knife was dropped, and they shared a long hug. "It feels great! I couldn't have wanted a better mother!" Ah... Such a touching moment, a bond forged with spilt blood and pure madness.

Nothing was more beautiful...

Brightsmile was searching for a new place to hide, staying in any one place may be a bad idea, and that's when she remembered seeing a cozy looking cottage not far from the forest. "Sweetie, do you know who lives near the forest?" She asked Scootaloo once they passed the entrance, the morning sun was starting to creep over the horizon, and some other ponies were already up!

"Fluttershy, she's a pegasus that takes care of the animals around Ponyville." Scootaloo, her ever faithful daughter answered. Smiling slightly as she rested her head on the unicorn's back, "She's a nice pony..." A grin formed on Brightsmile's face as she started towards Fluttershy's home. "Then I hope she doesn't mind us paying her a visit then..."

Fluttershy was feeding her chickens out in the coop, eyes darting frantically left and right whenever she noticed the slightly movement. With some maniac out there, she hadn't felt safe outside at all, but she still needed to take care of her animal friends each day. "There you go, sorry I didn't come feed you all sooner... I thought I saw somepony outside my door earlier." She said to them with a shaky smile, her voice as gentle as ever.

When each animal's needs were met, she finally went inside and began locking herself in. All of her precautions were worth a staggering amount of bits, but she thought it worth it if it can keep any killers out.

Unfortunately not even all the locks in Equestria could have stopped the ability of teleportation...

"Well well, you really are a nice pony... I'd feel bad if I have to hurt you..." A mysterious force choked the startled pegasus before she could even draw breath to scream, and a dark cackle filled the room as Fluttershy was lifted into the air through Brightsmile's magic.

She turned the mare around so they could face each other before speaking again. "Although it would be a little fun..." The twisted dentist's teeth began to sharpen and glisten with what little light poured inside the room. Fluttershy tried to struggle, to get free of the magical force that was cutting off her oxygen supply, but to no avail.

The world was starting to fade to black, until she dropped onto the ground and precious air began rushing back into her lungs. The scared mare tried to get to her hooves and run, but her attacked simply knocked her back down with a hard shove and began fastening her limbs together with rope. "I knew keeping these would come in handy! A mare's intuition is never wrong, right?" Dark ominous laughter filled the house.

A giggle came from the far end of the room, Scootaloo was holding Angel Bunny... With a knife to his neck. "S-Scootaloo? What are you doing?!" Fluttershy cried out, slightly louder than her usual tone. "Just playing with Angel, do you think he'll cuter with a little shave?" The edge of the gleaming blade neared his delicate skin...

"No! Please!" The crying pegasus begged. "I-I'll do anything, just please don't hurt him!" Bingo... "Then you won't mind if we crash her for a while?" The sinister dentist jumped in. She lowered her head and whispered into her captive's ear. "I was asked not to kill you... But if you try contacting for help in any single way, I'll slaughter every animal I can find in front of your pretty little eyes, then slowly end your miserable life..." Sharpened teeth slowly brushed against her ear, "Understand?"

"I-I understand..." Fluttershy sobbed, her body shaking uncontrollably... Angel Bunny was released and ran to the sobbing mare. "Since that's settled, why don't we begin making a dress? After that I'll start up a nice hot bath." Brightsmile was heading upstairs, her daughter following just behind. Before Scootaloo was out of the bond mare's sight, she gave Fluttershy a small, sad smile... "Sorry..." Then she followed her mother upstairs.

Brightsmile, her white coat gleaming, was laying out the pelts and putting the bodies face-up along the floor, turned to Scootaloo. "I'll teach you how to skin off pelts, I had to do it when I was little... Then we'll begin making a wonderful dress just for you!" She brought out a new knife that was from the kitchen below, and handed the hilt to her daughter. While she kept the duller one. "We'll make the first cut..."

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* "Fluttershy?"

"Twilight!" Brightsmile hissed, already galloping downstairs and peeping through one of the few gaps between the boards. She was with some orange earthpony... She assumed it was Applejack. "For the love of Celestia, why are they here?!" She thought, now her heart was pounding quicker than it ever had before.

The ropes still bound Fluttershy, all except for one that Angel Bunny had managed to gnaw off; and when undone it had instead wrapped itself around the little rabbit now. "Answer the door and get them to leave!" The demented dentist hissed quietly. "If you even try to hint to them that I'm here, I'll eat your little pet alive!"

*Knock knock knock knock knock knock*

A series of rapid thuds hit the door, as both Twilight and Applejack knocked.

Fluttershy started undoing the locks and bolts, removed the chair, and almost as an afterthought wiped her tears away before opening the door as far as possible with the fastening chains. "O-Oh! It's just you two..." She tried to sound normal, but she knew she wasn't pulling it off. "Hey Fluttershy, do you mind if we come in?"

Brightsmile swore to Tartarus under her breath, and sensually brushed Fluttershy's flank with the flat end of her knife. Twilight's question, and the chilled feeling of the knife, made her jump as she slammed the door. "I-I'm sorry, b-but now isn't a good time! M-Maybe later! Sorry!"

The fearful mare received a pat on her head, as the floating knife neared her neck... And Angel Bunny finally struggled out of his ropes as Brightsmile stared through the gap. "Will they try to come inside anyway? Will they suspect I'm here...? No, no they're actually leaving..."

"Fools" She finished with a sharp-toothed smile, the knife soon put away as she continued to stare outside. "Soon Applejack, you and your family will be seeing Applebloom very... Ow!!!" She yelped out as Angel jumped on her and began sinking his teeth and claws deep into her back. "You filthy little rodent!" It was hard to concentrate her magic on him when he keep moving around, continuing to bite her in several places... So she resorted to dropping her body onto the ground and tried crushing the pest by rolling on top of it.

Angel jumped off of Brightsmile even as she made the attempt, and sprung for her again, ignoring Fluttershy as she pled for him to stop before he got hurt... But then a flash of brown fur collided into him. "Leave my mom alone!" Scootaloo screeched and managed to pin his little body down with a hoof. Angel, naturally stubborn as he always was, ignored her demand and clawed the filly's leg. "Ow! Buck it!" The leg was lifted, but before he could go for another attack, he was pinned to the floor with a white aura.

"Scootaloo! I know it hurts but you really shouldn't curse..." Her mother scolded, but she had already forgiven the filly, those claws and buck teeth really did leave a bad sting. The rabbit was levitated into the air, as the aura began to constrict around his neck... "No! Stop that!" Fluttershy's voice cracked again as she begged. The yellow mare stepping boldly towards the dentist, but before she could even put a hoof near her the demented unicorn shot her a blood thirsty leer that froze the pegasus in place...

"Stop what...?" A dark smile formed as a sudden crack echoed inside the cottage walls, "That?" The constriction had broken Angel's neck, killing him instantly.

"A-Angel!!!" She stopped over his lifeless body and sobbed. Brightsmile was ready to just drive her knife into the mare's spine, but her daughter seemed to read her mind. "Sh-She didn't tell him to do it... Please don't hurt her..." She begged quietly... Brightsmile thought about killing the crying pegasus anyway, but when she saw her daughter's pleading eyes the thought melted away...

"Fine..." The twisted mother sighed, climbing the stairs to the bathroom to search for disinfectant. Her voice echoed out of the small enclosed room. "Maybe I should make us something to eat before the skinning... I'm starving." The thought of food made Scootaloo's belly almost roar in reply, she had nearly forgotten that they never ate anything this morning...

Fluttershy was tied up once more, for insurance that she wasn't going to try and get help. The fridge was raided and the two maniacs began eating some flower-topped hay sandwiches, which neither thought was nearly as good as raw flesh... Angel didn't really have enough on his bones for a filling meal however. Brightsmile was deep in thought, looking at her new daughter... "She is still afraid to kill a pony, and if I let too many live then things will become very difficult... Maybe we should start small?" She thought to herself.

Scootaloo was trying to offer some food to Fluttershy, deep down in what was still her sanity, she felt guilty for what she had put the kind pegasus through... This wasn't a good sign to the dentist, what if this sanity grew and took her daughter away from her? If only Crimson's maddening influence were still around... But that's enough about that now-worthless shadow, they had dresses to make!

Scootaloo was going to have a dress made the ponies she had killed... So the other were being used for a dress for Brightsmile... Unless she went back to where this 'tragedy' had all begun, in her home where the other pelts were hidden; if Twilight hadn't found them of course... Then again, Pinkie Pie's body had been left right there in the living room, they must have torn the place apart and found them. Where would they hold the pelts? Probably not in the morgue.

Perhaps in the police evidence room, not even Twilight was fool enough to believe this wasn't an investigation. To the station it was, then!

"I'm going out for a while, please keep our generous host tied up unless there's somepony she needs to shoo off." With a kiss on Scootaloo's head, Brightsmile began heading out. "And if I don't come back... Just know that I love you." With the help of her magic, all of the locks, bolts, and even chains unlocked and she took a step outside, taking a deep breath of the fresh air.

"Wh-Where are you going?" Scootaloo was immediately behind her adopted mother, tone overflowing with worry. Was she going to kill Applejack now? Would she try to kill Twilight in the process? Brightsmile looked down lovingly at the filly, giving her a soft hug. "I'm just going to get a few things... Don't worry sweetie." She cooed softly.

A large smile gradually grew on the little pegasus' face as Scootaloo hugged Brightsmile back. "Be back soon!" She wished her with luck.

The journey into Ponyville was pure insanity, in a manner of speaking... Guards and skittish ponies, not mention Celestia herself, burning with rage incarnate, were everywhere. "Go search her home again! If that monster had one room hidden, they may be more somewhere else!" She ordered a couple of Guards, the Voice swaying even the buildings in it's wake. If anypony game in reach of the princess, they risked singing the fur off their manes... Strange heat was radiating off of her, and her glare seemed capable of setting anypony on fire!

Brightsmile was stuck under a bridge and starting to second-guess her decision, maybe she should wait until nightfall to get the pelts... But then she realized she had no more time to wait; Soldiers were crossing the bridge listened as attentively as Brightsmile herself to their Commander. "Later this afternoon, we're scheduled to check on Fluttershy's cottage, if she is not home we have to break in. But first we've been ordered to see if Sweet Apple Acres is clear." The rest voiced their understanding and moved off... "BUCK!" Brightsmile seethed inwardly...

The plan now was to rush to the cottage and kill Fluttershy, hopefully she'd be able to escape with Scootaloo before the Guards found them... Although this time she may have nowhere to go, every home was being checked daily; and that may mean that Zecora's hut was too dangerous to return to. Unless something happens in town and each patrol is ordered to return... Her teeth sharpened, and in a small flash she edged closer to the police department...

Finally! The back door was just a foot away from the deadly mare, it was locked but it didn't matter... With one last teleportation she was inside at last, panting heavily and leaning against a wall. Brightsmile was nearly at her limit with the teleportation spells, how would she get back to her daughter once she gets the pelts? "Hopefully luck is still on my side", she thought.

Nopony knew she was inside yet, and with the structure nopony would know unless they took a right down this short hallway at the very back... This area of the building was where the holding cells for temporary prisoners were, and up front was where the officers would take reports and file paperwork. Between these two sections was the entrance to the evidence room, filled with boxes of material from whatever crimes had taken place in Ponyville... The pelts might be bagged and put in one of these boxes, perhaps in a safe place for the severity of her crime?

Luck wasn't nearly so gracious to her, two cells housed ponies that had done some small crimes, and then there were three officers; one in the back guarding them, and two at the front desk to file paperwork and be available for anypony with a crime to report... Five ponies that only needed a single chance to shout for help and the entire town would be onto her. Brightsmile was shaking once she had glanced out of her hallway to see where each pony was stationed, not in her usual excitement, but because she was truly afraid.

She quickly made a mental estimate of how much energy she had left for magic, perhaps one more teleportation spell at the most... Maybe enough to levitate a few objects around for a short amount of time. No way she could finish them all off without alerting anypony outside... "Voices, all you do is babble in my head at night, mind being useful?!" She hissed quietly to herself, and then the whispers made her ears perk... A plan was being explained, and a dark smile rapidly formed across her face...

One of the officer's pens fell off his desk while he was buried nose-deep in paperwork and rolled across the floor towards the far back... His desk, unlike the other officers, was stationed in the cell-block itself so that he could keep a constant eye on the prisoners if need be. The officer himself, a grey earthpony stallion with an orange mane, facial hair, and tail, sighed as he followed the pen once he realized where it rolled. "Now how'd you get all the way back here?" He muttered... As he picked it up, a white blur collided into him, forcing him over.

"Make any sudden sounds and this cop dies!' The two prisoners and the downed officer stared fearfully into the wretched mare's gaping jaws. Her lips had peeled back to growl like a beast, displaying her deadly teeth; her voice was just quiet enough so the ponies up front couldn't overhear that was happening. "Unless you want your throat ripped out, you'll open the cells and stuff both prisoners in them."

The request was strange, but the officer cautiously stood up and did as he was told... He may have possessed the power to take her on, but he didn't know how exhausted she was, and the razor sharp teeth were a great motivation to do whatever she said... The mare cackled. "Good boy!" She took a letter opener he had on his desk, one recently used to slice open a letter from his sister in Manehattan.

The other officers rushed to the cell-block once they heard the strange cackle... By this time their partner had the letter opener pressed to his throat. "Oh no! You've caught me!" Brightsmile said with deranged laughter, just a brief moment before she continued. "But I'm not the one who's going in the cell, you are... Now!" She pointed at the single cell that now housed both prisoners... They weren't sure if they should do as the mad unicorn said, so she slowly began digging the letter opener into the third officer's neck, causing a few drops of blood to leak out... "I killed a filly, don't you dare think I won't cut his throat unless you do what I say!"

With that rather grisly ultimatum, they gave into her demands and entered the cell, Brightsmile's white aura grasped the cell door and latched it closed behind them. "Now, handsome..." The blade began to twist, making him wince and take a sharp inhalation through his gritted teeth. "Can you show me where my little trophies are? You know, the pelts I was keeping..." Her smile was getting ever so wider, and the blade moved away from his neck just enough for her tongue to harvest blood from the dripping wound.

The officer began shaking uncontrollably in her merciless grip. "I-It's in the evidence room in the vault in preparation to be moved to Canterlot... Th-The combination is 17, 3, and 22." He spoke extremely fast, but despite his nervous staccato, she still managed to get the numbers... And the letter opener served a new purpose, it cut his throat wide open, yet Brightsmile didn't let him fall to the floor... She shoved her muzzle deep into the gash in his throat, and she let his blood pour down her throat before she dashed into the evidence room... Leaving him thrashing on the ground trying to cover his wound with rapidly weakening gestures.

"Yes! Did you miss me, pretties?" The merciless mare said with foreboding glee, she had her pelts, her witnesses, and her plan to draw the search parties away... Brightsmile walked back towards the cells, towards the officers crying for their dead partner; And the other ponies cowering in fear, expecting a similar fate. "Tell Celestia if she wants me, she really needs to scan her town a little more thoroughly..." Brightsmile said in a mocking singsong, before ducking out the back a few scant minutes before ponies began flowing in through the front...

With her pelts draped across her back, and a feeling of victory overflowing her heart, the catcalls of the misled fools behind her made her hooves feel light as air as she made her escape back to Fluttershy's cottage.

And yet, something far too frightening for even the psychotic Brightsmile to have accounted for chose that moment to throw a flaming wrench into her plans...

"BRIGHTSMILE!!!" reverberated Celestia's Royal Equestrian voice from behind the dentist, making Luna sound very much like a screaming Fluttershy in comparison as the ground began to shake, and as the temperature of the air began to rise dramatically throughout the town.

Brightsmile's eyes widened in abject fear as she noticed that the very ponies - whose incompetence had been aiding her brilliant escape - were rapidly closing in opposite an ever-advancing wall of deadly flame... The desperate murderer ran from the crowd, coming nearer to the only group of buildings yet to be cut off by Celestia's rage, the very essence of the Solar Princess defying Brightsmile to turn her face.

Her final escape route nearly cut off the advancing fire, Brightsmile winced from the sweat burning off her coat, she nearly stumbled from the heated agony... Catching herself on willpower alone, she made a desperate leap through the flames as they closed to admit nothing more than a pinprick of light, scorching the tip of her tail before she finally fell.

Sprawled in a heap on the unforgiving ground, Brightsmile slowly got up and grinned, for not only was she intact; but her priceless pelts had survived the ordeal as well... But that smile quickly died away as she realized that somepony inside the cordoned ring of fire was still looking for her...

"Where the buck are you?!" Fire cascaded across Celestia, engulfing the adored princess in a flowing river of flame... Her barely distinguishable features reminding everypony that even here was something to fear... Eventually the fire seemed to cool, and metamorphosed into an amber-colored set of armor, causing Celestia's appearance to resemble a far more terrifying version of the Nightmare Moon; An anger-filled transition that promised to continue until Brightsmile was no more than a small pile of ash to pay for her crimes.

When it became obvious to all that she wasn't in the ring with the Princess, Celestia flapped her wings and burned through clouds; scattering rain and flaming embers alike across the town below, before reaching a higher vantage point and scanning the land below.

Brightsmile had been reduced to nothing more than a terrified mare, sprinting away towards the river as fast as her legs would carry her; she nearly screamed in pain shooting from her frontal right leg, convinced that her fear had been numbing a fracture sustained in her earlier fall...

Hiding under the bridge as she had done before, she dipped her front hooves in the water and tried to calm down, her heart threatening to burst out of her chest from the speed of her pulse. "Oh buck, oh buck, by the flipping Moonlight, buck!" Brightsmile thought desperately, her life flashing through her mind so fast that she nearly bit her town as she whinnied softly, "I'm dead, I am so dead! I'm not going to be anything but cheap charcoal soon!"

Celestia's shadow flashed over the ground past the bridge, a trail of flames following her with an audible crack like a whip... "If she doesn't burn down the entire town first!" Brightsmile nearly screamed in pure fright, before managing to clasp her muzzle shut in time... The renewed pain from her fracture causing Brightsmile to barely avoid the same fate her silence sought to escape.

Something alighted on the bridge with an ethereal gust that quelled the fires the moment the wood creaked under the additional weight, "Sister! Stop this madness, please!" Luna's anguished voice coming nigh-directly over Brightsmile's head... She wasn't yet sure if she should sigh in relief and stay hidden, or attempt another escape; unlikely as the prospect seemed to her.

Interrupting her thoughts was Luna's continuing voice, "Burning down everything, everypony! 'Tia, everypony in sight won't catch her! Please just calm down..."

It was obvious even to Brightsmile that Luna was afraid of her sister, not as afraid as everyone was of her, of course... But if nopony spoke it seemed that Celestia just may leave nothing left of the entire countryside and the town with-in it...

Another set of hooves echoed on the bridge above her, the radiant heat seeped through the stone and even caused the weather-proofing tar to drip below, hissing where it met grass and water alike, it was reasonable to assume that Celestia was now facing opposite Luna.

"This insanity hath progressed for far too long, sister, and should destroying Ponyville be part and parcel with finding the beast, then so be it!" Came a dread intonation that echoed even in the still air, barely recognizable as Celestia, the sentence only punctuated by a single hoof-stamp that cracked the stone supports of the bridge they stood on.

There was a moment of equally heavy silence, the fright hanging with heart-stopping in the air until Luna began to reply, "Your anger is getting the better of you! You told me this isn't how a Princess should act, should carry herself! Do you not see how the citizens of Ponyville look upon you?"

Curiosity managed to repel fear, if only briefly, and Brightsmile peered from the one of the more-intact edges of the bridge to see the ponies back in the town... All of whom were fearful, and not just because of her latest murder, they were gazing at Celestia with fear stamped over all their faces. Twilight and Applejack were among them... Twilight as pale as the blue-maned unicorn beside them, with tears streaming down her cheeks and her entire body shaking too much to even look away.

Celestia hung her head in an expression of soul-breaking shame, each stare from the townponies piercing her heart as an arrow, "What have I done?" She whispered, all the flames that still danced off her form throughout the town dying away, the air becoming chilly in the sudden absence. Forcing herself to choke out the words loud enough for her subjects to hear, she continued, "Effective immediately.. I-I resign from this investigation... I cannot afford to let my anger to control me in a similar manner again. I offer you all my deepest apologies..."

With those words, Celestia flew off towards Canterlot, her tears dancing in suspension on the winds instead of her flames.

Eventually everypony began to repair everything that had been touched by the fire, Luna herself oversaw the freeing of the imprisoned officers and their wards... Even leaving to bring the grim news to the dead stallion's family herself... And Brightsmile finally took the chance to make it back to the relatively safe confines of Fluttershy's home.

Her limp was getting worse with every passing step she took; when she finally reached the cottage the sun had already begun setting on the horizon. Brightsmile banged on the door with a sluggishness borne of pain and exhaustion and weakly called out for Scootaloo, after what she experienced she was almost content to collapse on the hard ground, never to wake again.

With a welcome clatter, the locks, deadbolts, and chains were removed as the chair slid away across the floor... But instead of her worried daughter, Brightsmile was pulled inside to be brought face-to-face with a wretched blast from her recent past...

Pinkie Pie stood before the weakened unicorn, her bright-pink mane as voluminous as ever, with her tail wrapping around her hind-legs with a fascination that almost drained the gleam off the cleaver she supported in her left hoof. "Hiya!!!" She greeted Brightsmile with a truly chilling grin, before the cleaver threw itself at Brightsmile's throat of its own volition, missing by a mere inch as she scrambled backwards.

"N-no! You're supposed to be dead!" She screamed, the effort alone causing agony in her dried throat... And then she blinked, only to notice that Pinkie was inexplicably gone, "Gone?" She thought, only now seeing that Scootaloo was alone at the door, staring at her with confusion and worry.

"Wh-What's the matter, mom?" Scootaloo stuttered out, her nerves still a wreck, having barely opened the door before her mother screamed incoherently... As if a ghost had been standing in her place, "You've been gone all day, what happened?"

Brightsmile, her mind reeling from the horror she'd been experience, didn't even seem to hear Scootaloo at first, so busy was she at scanning the area - making sure that pink menace was conclusively gone. "I'll... I-I'm fine, sweetie... Just ran into some trouble," Brightsmile picked herself up from where'd she been huddling on the floor, gasping from the sudden pain that shot up her right leg. "Buck it!" She swore under her breath, seeing no way she could possibly carry on with her leg in its current condition.

Coming inside and laying on the couch, Brightsmile's eyes felt heavy and there was little energy in her body now that she was safe. "What happened while I was gone?" She asked, having already noticed that Fluttershy wasn't tied up on the floor anymore...

Scootaloo looked downwards at the floor, "She said she h-had to use the bathroom... A-And then she tried to go out the window...' Brightsmile felt her already taxed heart skip a bear or two, "WHAT?!" She tried vaulting off the couch only to collapse back onto its cushions, as Scootaloo quickly spilled her story, while trying to get her mother to settle back down.

"B-But I managed to stop her from leaving," Scootaloo was shaking now, the memory of what had happened cascading through her helpless mind. "I got inside as she took out the last the board... When she tried flying out of the window I, I-I..." Her voice was cracking as tears began forming in her eyes, blurring her vision. "I-I threw the knife," she choked back a sniffle. "It stuck into her wing... She fell and, and her head hit the edge of the bathtub... Fluttershy wasn't moving after that, mommy."

Scootaloo buried her muzzle into her mother's fur and began crying in earnest... But she began to smile a little, she didn't like seeing her daughter cry, but she did exactly what Brightsmile would have wanted her to do... "There's no need to cry, sweetie..." She uttered softly in her precious filly's ear, "You did the right thing... If she had escaped, both of us would have been caught... You wouldn't want that happen, would you?"

The unstable pegasus didn't try to speak, but instead shook her head firmly... Brightsmile began softly humming a lullaby in Scootaloo's ear as she settled the filly on the couch beside her. Eventually her eyes began to close, and she was quickly sound asleep. "My lovely little pony..." Brightsmile thought, as she softly kissed Scootaloo's head, "I could never ask for a better child..."

A new voice began to echo throughout the cottage, one that only Brightsmile could hear... "You know," hissed the voice, " That white coat of yours is really rather bland! You need some color, dearest..." Rarity was hovering over Brightsmile, with gemstones set in her eye sockets, thread dangling from her lips, a fractured horn and a horrifying makeover... Just like when she died, only one feature differentiated from Brightsmile's memory, her teeth were even more jagged then hers when she was about to kill...

"And maybe some blood... Yours, to be precise, would add a nice touch to it!"

The deceased unicorn dove at the terrified mare, and her deadly teeth sunk painfully into Brightsmile's neck, without leaving any wound... And Rarity was gone, leaving Brightsmile to shake uncontrollably and keep her eyes, forced shut in her fright of seeing Rarity at all, tightly closed... "This can't be happening, this can't be happening..." She repeated to herself, a mantra pierced by her own hyperventilation, "She's dead... She's dead... And there's no way she could be back..." Brightsmile opened her eyes...

After a few minutes, the horrified mare broke from her petrified state and decided to go upstairs... But as she opened the door to the living room the odor of rotting flesh hit her, and she cringed backwards from the smell. "Buck me... I should have collected their pelts back at Zecora's..." She muttered, lighting a candle near the door as she began skinning the corpses in silence. Her eyes kept darting to the left and right as she kept thinking she had heard something... "It's just your mind screwing you over... Idiot!' She hissed to herself, "I've still got Fluttershy after these two as well... Hopefully I can snack on her at least a little..."

Whispers started to flood the room, but Brightsmile wasn't afraid this time, the whispers came from the voices in her mind that she had long-since grown used to across the past few days... Some even encouraged her to go on, but some were impossible understand no matter they were saying... And there was one that kept insisting she'll die some horrible death, the most clear of them all, but the most underwhelmed as well.

"If Celestia doesn't kill you... We will."

Brightsmile froze, that voice... Wasn't from her mind, the mare turned and almost screamed as the spirit of Blitz hovered nearby to haunt her... Blood was constantly flowing out of his throat, and his belly was split wide, allowing his half-eaten organs to dangle free and sway in an unfelt breeze. "If you survive tonight, then we'll back tomorrow, and if you don't after that..." Blitz leaned forward until only a few inches separated him from Brightsmile, his tattered mane brushing across her face as she tried to back up past the wall. "Then we'll be back the day afterwards... And the day after that, and the day after that..." And he was gone, vanished like the others.

...Then he flared into sight in front of her, his cold muzzle pressed against hers, "UNTIL YOU FINALLY DIE!" he screeched, before fading from view again.

Brightsmile tried to scream, but she couldn't seem to draw the breath, for nothing escaped from her throat... Her heart was pounding so fast it rattled in her chest on the verge of failure, and the world became a dark void... She collapsed onto the unforgiving floor and blacked out from the sheer terror.