Scootaloo dragged her hooves across the grass. She wasn't looking forward to going home. She never did. The world was so much nicer out… here.
She looked up. The shadow of the familiar place loomed in front of her. Had she already come back to it? The place she loathed the most in her short life?
It was a small shack. Nothing big, a four roomed domicile, not counting the bathrooms. The paint was cracked and peeling, the garden dead and overgrown with weeds. Its overall appearance reflected Scootaloo's attitude towards the place. She hated it.
Somedays, she contemplated running away. Somedays, she wanted to just get away. But where would the little orange pegasus go? Not to Applebloom; they would find her there. Not with Sweetie Belle either; the same fate would meet her there.
She couldn't take to the woods. She liked to think she was brave enough to go out there, but deep down, she knew that she wasn't and couldn't. There would be no comfort there.
No, she needed to hide herself away inside her own home, hoping that his cold hooves would keep to themselves. They never did, though. It was the same sorry mess every night. He never tired and would never let up.
Scootaloo tried to hide it. She kept a demeanor of a happy, healthy, slightly awkward blank flank at school. Her friends never suspected that anything might have been wrong. Nopony even talked about her parents and she wanted to keep it that way. She never mentioned them and they never got mentioned.
The pathway to her house was once lined by rocks, but they had since been claimed by the nearby weeds and kicked to the side after years of neglect. All that was left was a dirt path that lead to the wooden door, the paint peeling from it as though nopony had bothered to keep it nice in ages.
Scootaloo brushed a bit of her purple mane behind her ear. She knew it was a silly habit, but it felt a bit comforting for reasons unknown.
Slowly, almost painfully, she put a hoof to the door. She touched the rough wooden texture, part of it nearly splintering. It had seen much damage here and was ready to break apart at a moment's notice.
With a sharp intake of breath, the filly pushed the door open. It creaked and the main room was cast in light as the door let it in.
The main room was where the meals were had and where her father or mother normally was. A sink, filled with dirty dishes, sat at the far end of the room, the faucet leaking with a maddening drip, drip, dripping noise. There were two windows, one on each side of the door, but the left one was boarded shut. The right one's blinds were moth-eaten and drawn closed, letting very little light into the room.
A table stood a few paces in front of the door. When Scootaloo let the light in, a smallish rat who had been feasting on her father's breakfast that had been left out earlier that morning, as it so often was, scurried away. The foal wrinkled her nose in disgust and headed to the left of the door.
Her room was through the doorway, near the boarded up window. It was basically like a large closet, a place she kept relatively clean. Mostly devoid of bugs and rats, crayons lay strewn on the floor with several drawings. Her bed was small and unmade, the blanket bunched on the floor in the corner. Her window was unboarded, giving her a good view of the backyard. It lead out into the woods which eventually merged with the Everfree Forest. Her scooter, which she hadn't taken to school that day, lay propped against the wall beneath the window. Her helmet sat on the windowsill, balanced just right so it wouldn't fall.
Scootaloo fell down onto her bed, sighing. Her head hit the pillow with a flump. Her eyes closed. Where was he? He was normally here by now…
He could have been in the other room, her parent's bedroom. That was the room which occupied the opposite side of the house. She never went there; he always came here.
Scootaloo's ears flinched at the noise of the door swinging open. Almost as if he could have heard her thinking about him, he had shown up, like some sort of demented inverted superhero.
Scootaloo's father was also a pegasus; however, he was not orange like his daughter, but rather a dull yellow. His mane, rust red, hung limp and unwashed around his eyes. His wings had a few feathers sticking out irregularly in places and he reeked of alcohol and smoke.
"'Ello, honey…" his voice drawled and slithered, like a snake covered in oil slipping down a drain. "How was… shcool?" His speech was also slurred from the many drinks he had consumed.
"It was fine, dad." Scootaloo avoided her father's gaze. She didn't like looking at him. Not at all.
"Well," the pegasus male said with a slight burp. "How'er yer friends?"
"They're fine, just like yesterday."
Her father trundled over to the bed his offspring lay on, sitting down heavily, just missing an orange leg which would have surely snapped under the heavyset elder's haunches. He said nothing and neither did Scootaloo. She knew what was coming. They both did.
She had resisted at first, all those months ago when it started. Back right before she had met Applebloom, she had already been friends with Sweetie Belle for a few days.
"You don't have your cutie mark either?" she had asked the white unicorn enthusiastically.
"Nope!" her new friend had proudly exclaimed in response. "And I don't think it's fair that Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon can just be so mean to us! And we can't be the only blank flanks…"
"So should we both go to the party just to find out if there are any other blank flanks?"
Sweetie Belle smiled, showing all of her pearly white teeth. "That's the plan!"
That was the last thing she remembered before going home and ending up in this… mess. Night after night, it was the same sorry story. She had called out to her mother the first few times, but after she did show up, nothing had changed. She just stood there, tears streaming down her dark orange face.
And sometimes, her dad moved onto her mother. Scootaloo used to look away, but now, she didn't even bother. Staring up at the cracked ceiling did nothing to stave off the sounds, the screams that could have been hers moments earlier, but were now her mother's.
Her father's hoof rubbed her blank flank, snapping the filly back into reality. She knew what was going to happen next, as she always did. The dull yellow pegasus moved his forelegs up to the top of her bed frame, his whole body casting a shadow over his daughter. Scootaloo looked off to the side, examining the wall intently. There was a crack that had been growing steadily bigger over the past ten months. She suspected rats chewed at it, but she never saw rats in her room. She liked to think she kept it too clean for such animals to show up here.
Her father bent his back in an inverted arch, his flaccid member slapping limply against the inner side of her thigh. She could feel it harden with each slap, knowing the inevitable would soon be upon her.
She knew that she should cry, feel some sort of emotion, but she didn't. She hadn't in months.
"Daddy loves you…" his whisper burned in her ears. She felt a small pang of something; rage, sorrow, she couldn't tell. But there had been something there when he had spoken. He never said he loved her.
If he really loved her, then why did he do this to her? Why did he insist, day after day, to abuse her so? What drove him to these lengths?
He smiled, his teeth in remarkable condition for somepony she was so sure never brushed his teeth. His hardened phallus prodded her fillyhood, hymen torn from her ages ago. He was not unremarkably large, but she was a small foal. After months and months, she had become accustomed to the pain. Her body was still young and stayed tight. Maybe that's why he kept coming back…
His hooves fell from the top of the bed frame, landing on the mattress to either side of Scootaloo's purple mane. Her father bent low over her, his chest touching hers every time he took a breath. He grazed the entrance to his daughter, the treacherous fluids that leaked from it causing it to slip upward. He shivered with pleasure as the juices graced his tip. The equestrian detritus that nearly hugged Scootaloo was quivering with anticipation of yet another session with his daughter.
"Oh, I love you so much…" Scootaloo kept her mouth closed. She wished that he would just hurry up and get it over with, not drag it out so long.
She wished… she seemed to be doing a lot of that.
Her father swung his throbbing erection around drunkenly, trying to find the right place to force its entry. Scootaloo almost found herself sighing at her dad's incompetence, nearly finding the yellow stallion's failure at even the most basic of attacks funny.
She hadn't thought anything funny in a long while.
No, that was a lie. Her friends made her laugh. She still loved the time she spent with her friends. They made all this almost bearable. Almost.
Scootaloo's eyes widened as her father found his mark. The pegasus stallion grunted in self-approval at this, poised at the entrance, ready to thrust himself in.
But he didn't. He paused, his eyes unfocused under his mop of rusty hair, his legs shaky. Scootaloo's eyes widened again, this time in fear. Twice before had this happened: Her father had gotten so drunk that he passed out on top of her. A whole hour she had been trapped under him, until he woke up or her mother had come to rescue her.
Instead, the assailant above her merely let out a nasty alcoholic burp and grinned. His haunches shot forward, and he thrust into his daughter. He was ready to take her for the umpteenth time.
Scootaloo gasped sharply at the stretching of her inner walls. Her father's penis was always painful inside her. Thoughts shot through her head, mixed between burning hate and crushing despair. A tear leaked from her left eye, traveling a lonesome route to the pillow.
Her dad grunted, and exhaled a toxic-smelling breath right into Scootaloo's face. The little filly's mind continued to swarm with the poisonous thoughts of destruction and retribution. She opened her mouth to speak, but her mouth was dry. She couldn't protest. She couldn't even speak.
How long would it take him to give up?
How long would it take her?
Scootaloo felt her father's dirty hoof caress the side of her face. Her cheek became fouled by the disgusting appendage; her mind refused to speculate where it had been since it was last washed. The thrusts were picking up, becoming faster. The friction of his member against her passage stung, and she let out a very pained and dry moan, akin to a rusty lever being forced down after years of neglect.
Her father's thrusts became more drawn out and slower. He did not last long, at least not with her. Scootaloo found that her mother normally made him last longer. Perhaps it was her own tightness that squeezed the seed from him faster, she did not know. All she knew is that she hated herself for it.
His head swung dangerously close to her face, and he proceeded to lick Scootaloo's cheek. Scootaloo shuddered as it left a stinky, slimy trail across her face.
Her little body's quiver was finally enough for the heinous stallion. He gasped, spraying his shameful stallion spunk deep into his daughter. Scootaloo bit her lip as her womb was filled, once again, with the propagation paste.
"Oh, honey… that wush… just sho…" The drunken mess and pitiful excuse for a father fell off of the bed onto the floor, sending a blue crayon off into the corner. Scootaloo lay on the bed, the semen leaking from her stretched slit.
Another solitary tear slid from her eye.
She awoke to the screams of her mother.
"Get over here, you little—" a male voice, and she knew whose it was.
"No! I'm tired of what you've done to me and our daughter! You're a horrible—"
Another pained scream from her mother. Scootaloo hugged her pillow hard, squeezing the remaining sperm from her system. The rest of it from earlier had since dried, crustily and flakily, onto the sides of her legs and on the bed sheet beneath her.
"You're mine, and so is she!" Her father's voice hurt her ears. She loathed the image of him in her mind, hurting her mother.
Her mother shared her pain. She knew what she was going through. The two would curl up together and sob, venting out the horrible deeds the yellow stallion had done to them.
"We're not property, we're ponies just like y—" A sickening crunch was heard, and her mother's pained screams echoed throughout the dark home. Scootaloo punched the pillow out of frustration. Why didn't they leave? Why did they continue on through all this?
They were weak… she and her mother had to be weak, and that's why they didn't leave. That's why Rainbow Dash refused to take her under her wing…
Faint sobbing traveled around the house, accompanied by other noises that Scootaloo knew all too well. She wished she could just run out of her room and help her mother…
The morning couldn't show up fast enough for the little pegasus. When the first ray of light had hit her face, she bolted from her bed, grabbing her saddlebag as she flew across her room, and into the main room.
Her mother sat at the table, a small plate of hay in front of her. One of her eyes were blackened, and a clumsily applied cast was set onto her wing.
Scootaloo's mother was a young mare, barely older than Rainbow Dash. Her coat was several shades darker than her daughter's, but was still distinctly orange. A cobalt-blue mane that swept across one of her eyes lay disheveled this morning, messed up everywhere. It was sticking up at odd angles in many places.
She turned to face Scootaloo, a look that went beyond pain set into her face. It was the look of somepony who had been broken beyond repair; as if someone had grabbed her spirit and thrown it against the wall, causing it to shatter into so many tiny pieces.
"Oh, my poor dear… did he…" Scootaloo nodded her head, and her mother's head fell into her hooves.
Why was this still a surprise to her?
The filly walked slowly to her abused parent, hugging her tightly. Her mom's crying caused her to quiver and shake, and by extension made Scootaloo vibrate erratically as well.
"I wish I could make up for all he's done to you… to us." Her mother's voice was beautiful; she used to sing Scootaloo to sleep before her father took up the habit of using a very different method of putting her daughter to bed. Now, the voice rasped slightly, and was distorted due to the tears shed.
The pegasus foal said nothing and broke the embrace she had with her mother. She walked to the door, and pushed it open. The early morning light basked her small body, bringing the faintest of smiles to her face.
She decided she wanted to take her scooter to school today.
The school bell rang, and all the little fillies and colts in Ms. Cheerilee's class rushed to their seats. The purple schoolmare smiled down at all the eager young faces in the crowd.
"Good morning class! I trust you all finished your homework?"
She was met by a mixed smatterings of affirmations and groans. She couldn't help but giggle at her pupils reactions. They filled her with such joy every day!
"All right now! Let's take attendance. Applebloom?"
And so she went down her list of foals, all of them answering back with a "here," be it enthusiastic or snide. Another thing that fueled Cheerilee: The emotion of her students.
There was no response. Cheerliee scanned the room, and found Scootaloo sitting in her usual seat. One hoof was propped against her face, and she was using the other to push a pencil around her desk.
"Scootaloo!" The little filly glanced upward, and spoke.
"Here." The apathy stung Cheerilee. Scootaloo was one of her more zealous students, always reaching out for something more, rushing through things, and diving headfirst into the assignments. To here such a lack of emotion from her was troubling, to say the least.
She pursed her lips, making a mental note to talk to Scootaloo later. "Silver Spoon?"
Scootaloo sat at the lunch table, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle sitting next to her. Applebloom was talking endlessly about something her sister had told her earlier.
"—An' then she said we ain't even had a waterlogged orchard like that ever bef're!"
Scootaloo stared up the clouds, wondering when Dashie would come along to tidy up the sky. Rainbow Dash had always done a good job of distracting her from the pain that flooded so much of her life.
Something about today was more painful than usual. Maybe it was the fact that her father had pulverized her mother so horribly, or perhaps it was the summit of all she had been through for the past ten months. Today was a day where she couldn't pretend to be okay anymore.
"Scootaloo?" The filly turned around to see her teacher looking down at her in concern. "May I speak to you?"
Scootaloo looked up at her teacher. Cheerlee's brow was creased with worry, and her eyes reflected genuine concern. Scootaloo half-smiled in a fruitless effort to seem normal in front of her friends. "Hey guys, I'm gonna bounce for a bit." Her voice cracked halfway through, causing Applebloom and Sweetie Belle to look over.
"You okay, Scoots?" Applebloom asked, a bit worried herself.
"Yeah, you have been awfully quiet today…" Sweetie Belle frowned, rubbing her chin with one of her marshmallow-white hooves.
"Don't worry about me, you guys. I'm okay, I promise." Applebloom and Sweetie Belle looked at each other, not thoroughly convinced.
"Yes, come along Scootaloo," the teacher told her student. Cheerilee and Scootaloo walked slowly and solemnly to the schoolhouse. Neither one spoke, but Cheerliee would occassionally glance down at Scootaloo, who just trudged on forward.
The schoolhouse was empty, the windows open, and letting the breeze blow a paper from Silver Spoon's desk to the floor. Cheerille bent over and picked it up with her mouth, replacing the paper on the desk. She sighed, and turned to Scootaloo again.
"Scootaloo, you've been remarkably quiet today."
"Yeah, Sweetie Belle already told me that."
Cheerilee blinked. Scootaloo was very lively, but never was she sassy. That job was usually reserved for Silver Spoon or Diamond Tiara.
"Well, I just wanted to know if everything was alright with you. Y'know, if everything's okay school wise, at home…"
A deadweight fell into Scootaloo's stomach. She wanted to scream out about all the things her father had done to her and her mother. She wanted to pour everything onto Cheerilee, to let her know of her pain and suffering. She wanted to force the horror from her lips.
She wanted to do a lot of things. But she didn't. Instead, she put on another fake smile. "Look, thanks for worrying about me, Ms. Cheerilee. But really, I'm fine."
"That's good to hear, Scootaloo. Remember, I'm always here if you need to talk." Cheerilee's voice was endearing and close to motherly. The little filly wanted to cry; she wanted to turn back and scream her feelings, and vent in the hopes of it solving everything.
"Can I go back outside?"
"Of course," Cheerillee said with a smile. “But if you ever need to talk to me, I’m here Scootaloo.”
Scootaloo wandered back outside to listen to the rest of Applebloom's story with a crooked, wooden smile that didn’t match the sadness in her eyes.
The school bell rang, and torrents of foals poured from the schoolyard, all rushing on home. Scootaloo coasted on her scooter next to Applebloom and Sweetie Belle, who were both trotting at a reasonable pace.
"So Scoots, what did Ms. Cheerilee want to talk to you about?" Sweetie Belle inquired.
Scootaloo shrugged nonchalantly. "Nothin'."
"Aw, come on, she didn't want to talk all about nothing," Sweetie Belle insisted, and Applebloom nodded her head in agreement.
"Well, it wasn't anything really important. Lay off it you two," Scootaloo said, annoyance creeping into her voice ever-so-slightly.
"Come on… you'd have it o'er with if you had too' us already!" Applebloom's voice was bordering on the whiney.
"Oh, fine: All she wanted to know is if I had fallen behind in my work. That's all." Scootaloo rolled her eyes. "The questionnaire done, Gabby Gums?"
"Well gosh," Sweetie Belle said, a bit hurt. "You seem in a really bad mood."
"Yeah, whut's eaten' you?" Applebloom asked as she jumped in to back up her friend.
"Nothing!" Scootaloo hadn't been looking where she was going, and her scooter collided with a rock. She was sent rocketing up into the air, screaming as she spilled into the grass on the side of the road head over hoof.
"Ohmigosh!" The two other fillies rushed to their friend's aid, inspecting her for injury. "Are you okay?"
Scootaloo rubbed her head, and flapped her wings to make sure everything was undamaged and still functional. "Y- yeah… think so. Glad I was wearing my helmet!"
"Me too," Sweetie Belle said, pointing to some nasty looking rocks that Scootaloo's helmet had been dashed across. Scootaloo ran her orange hoof over her helmet again to find abrasions and dents in her safety device.
"Wow, I'm really l-luck…" Scootaloo swallowed hard. The word was stuck in her throat like a chunk of dry bread. How could she say she was lucky?
"Scoots?" Sweetie Belle poked her fallen friend with her hoof tentatively.
"Do you think the fall knocked her head loose?" Applebloom wondered with genuine concern.
"I'm f-fine…" The word also hurt to choke out. She wasn't fine, she hadn't been for months. The time spent acting had ruined her, and she was feeling the sting of all the pent up emotions that she refused catharsis.
And then she cried. The tears were quiet and subtle at first, but soon she was laying on the ground, bawling as hard as she could. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom exchanged unsure glances at each other.
"Um… do ya want to tell us something, Scootaloo?"
Scootaloo said nothing, and nearly lay on the ground, sniffling pathetically and allowing more tears to stream down her face. Suddenly, she felt the warm embrace of her two friends surrounding her. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom hugged the poor disheveled pegasus, holding onto their friend as hard as they could.
Scootaloo hiccuped, and smiled. Her friends truly filled her with happiness.
"Um… could I stay with one of you guys tonight?"
Applebloom gave Scootaloo a quizzical look. "Well sure, ya can come over ta my place, if Applejack says it's okay, but… won't your parents be upset?"
Scootaloo bit back her response, and opted for a more neutral standpoint. "No, I'll be fine."
"Hey, can I come over? It'll be another slumber party!" Sweetie Belle said with a giggle. "We can try and get our cutie marks again, we haven't done something to try and earn them in forever!"
"That's a great idea!" Scootaloo was willing to grasp anything that would push her home as far as she could out of her mind. "This is gonna be an awesome night."
"I'm gonna run off and get Rarity's permission, I was supposed to be staying with her tonight." Sweetie Belle dashed off towards the Carousel Boutique as fast as her little legs would carry her.
Applebloom put her hoof over Scootaloo's shoulder comfortingly.
"Come on, Scoots. Let's go see if Applejack will let ya guys come o'er, Ah'm sure she'll be more than happy to oblige."
Scootaloo trotted over to her scooter and brushed off some of the grass and mud. Sighing, she wheeled it after Applebloom, who was already scampering off towards Sweet Apple Acres.
Applejack, of course, was more than happy to accommodate for the three foals, who decided to spend the night out in Cutie Mark Crusaders' Clubhouse. Sleeping bags were assigned, snacks were gathered, and chatter was frequent. Scootaloo felt loads better, and looked forward to a night of freedom from her house. She had experienced nights like these before, but they were so few and far between that she cherished every moment she had with a night away from her father's debauchery.
"Alright, crusaders," Sweetie Belle said. "The sun is gonna be going down any minute, so we gotta plan out the night. What do you guys want to do?"
"Well, we gotta figure out a way t' earn our cutie marks," Applebloom pointed out.
"Well duh," Scootaloo said a bit brashly.
"Jus' remindin' y'all."
Sweetie Belle paced the clubhouse. "Well, we could try and head out into the orchard at night and look for something to earn out there!"
"I dunno," Applebloom quipped with a bit of disdain. "Applejack always tells me not t' head out inta the orchard at night…"
Scootaloo rolled her eyes. "Applebloom, we'll never get our cutie marks if we always listen to the rules! We gotta head out, and fight the system! Think of what Rainbow Dash would do!"
"Well, all right…" Applebloom still looked very unsure about the whole idea.
"Then it's settled!" Sweetie Belle flung the door of the clubhouse open. "Let's get crusading, crusaders!"
The three fillies ran outside in the dusk, out into the apple orchards. The fading daylight sent long shadows, and the sky was now a dark purple. Some clouds left over from the afternoon when the weather ponies had pushed a few in were being tinted by Celestia's setting sun, and Luna's moon rose off in the east.
"Wait… does anypony know what we're gonna actually do to get our cutie marks?" Sweetie Belle wondered aloud. Both of her companions shook their heads.
"We could always catch fireflies…" Applebloom suggested lamely.
"Pfft, I don't want my cutie mark in that!" Scootaloo exclaimed. "I mean, come on!"
"Well, ah don' hear YOU contribution' anything!"
"Girls, all we'll get is our cutie marks in arguing if we don't stop this right now!" Sweetie Belle divided the two bickering fillies with her hooves. "Come on now! We gotta think hard about this one…"
"Well, we could try tree climbin'!" Applebloom waved a hoof at the tree next to her. It had a branch which hung lower than usual, and could be reached if some pony were to give her a boost.
"Wasn't that one of the first things we had tried out?" Scootaloo asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, we could always try again…" Applebloom smiled coyishly. "Sweetie Belle, give me a boost!"
Sweetie Belle bent down, and Applebloom stepped onto the unicorn's back carefully. Scootaloo watched as the yellow filly wrapped her forelegs around the low-hanging branch.
"Ugh! Ah can't get all the way up!" Applebloom struggled a bit more before continuing. "Sweetie Belle, push up on mah bottom, and Scoots can help!"
"I don't think we're gonna get our cutie marks like this…" Scootaloo's voice was dripping with doubt.
"Just… come over… h-here and… help!" Sweetie Belle said, the strain in her voice making it very apparent she couldn't hold Applebloom up for much longer.
Scootaloo complied, but not without a roll of her eyes. Heading over to the two, she pushed her head into the side of Applebloom's blank flank. It was soft, and smelled faintly of apples.
"Applebloom, do you use Apple-Scented Coat Wash?"
Applebloom looked down at Scootaloo from her higher position. "Yeh, Ah do! Mah whole family does, Ah think… How'd you know?"
Scootaloo didn't answer, merely grunting as she pushed her friend higher up into the tree. Sweetie Belle strained as she tried to get her friend higher up as well.
Unfortunately for them, Applebloom lost her grip and tumbled to the earth below. Scootaloo was able to leap out of the way in time, but Sweetie Belle got a face full of Apple Plot.
"Mmmph!" Sweetie Belle's shriek was muffled by Applebloom. The white unicorn lay on her back, with the yellow earth pony sitting directly on her face.
"Oof! Sorry, Sweetie Belle!" Applebloom grimaced unexpectedly as Sweetie Belle struggled to get out from under Applebloom's plot. Something clicked in Scootaloo's mind just before the rest of her realized it.
"Gosh darn it!" Applebloom moved her flank from Sweetie Belle's face, where it left a sticky residue stretching from the exhausted filly on the ground's muzzle to the other.
"Applebloom, did you wet yourself on top of me? Because if you did-"
"No, Ah didn't! Ah swear, it was something else…" Applebloom blushed. "It felt REALLY good…"
Sweetie Belle wiped her face. "Well, it didn't taste that bad… still, a bit of warning next time? Are you sure that wasn't pee though?"
"Ah'm sure!" Applebloom plopped down on her back, displaying her fillyhood. Scootaloo felt very uncomfortable looking at the sticky slit, and found herself averting her gaze off at a nearby rat which was gnawing on a fallen apple.
Sweetie Belle pressed her hoof into Applebloom's crotch, giving the yellow filly another little spasm of pleasure. "Wow, you sure are wet!" She put both of her hooves on either side of her friend's moist vagina, and spread it. "I wonder where it all comes from…"
Applebloom was heaving, while Scootaloo was blushing so furiously she could feel her cheeks burn in the cold night air. The rat had since departed with the half-eaten apple, leaving nothing to distract her from the event that was transpiring a few feet from her.
"Is yours…" Applebloom began, but stopped to avoid making Sweetie Belle feel uncomfortable.
"I dunno!" Sweetie Belle turned around and presented her plot to the perverted pony now behind her. "Can you check?"
Scootaloo coughed. "Um, well, guys, maybe we should-"
"Huh, it's all squishy!" Applebloom exclaimed with a slight giggle as she poked Sweetie's privates. A bit of liquid dribbled from the opening as well. "Can Ah… Ah want to see what it tastes like!"
"Now wai-AAH!" Sweetie's voice cracked and rose an octave as Applebloom buried her face in the unicorn's crotch. The shrill cry felt as though it were forcing broken glass into Scootaloo's ears. Had she sounded like this on occasion?
Applebloom finished her quick taste, and licked her lips. "Wow, you taste pretty good!"
Sweetie Belle smiled a bit, still blushing furiously. Scootaloo was fighting back tears.
"So, Scoots, can we-"
"NO!" Scootaloo screamed, her voice echoing through the orchard. "NO!"
Applebloom and Sweetie Belle shot looks at each other. "Jeez, Scootaloo, calm down-" Sweetie Belle was cut off by another scream from Scootaloo.
"NO! NONE OF YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE!" The orange filly wanted to run, but it was all closing in on her. Where could she go if she couldn't trust her friends?
"Know what what's like?" Sweetie Belle asked. "I thought it felt kinda good…"
"YOU DON'T HAVE HIM ON YOU EVERY NIGHT!" Scootaloo was now curled up in a ball of orange and purple hair, sobbing and holding herself. Why did she let this happen to herself?
"Him? Who's 'him?’" Applejack's drawl had carried onto her sister quite well.
Scootaloo didn't answer, and merely continued to cry in the curled up ball that she was in. The two remaining crusaders stole glances at one another, and then both leaned down simultaneously to hug the little filly.
"Come on Scootaloo, it'll all be okay…" Sweetie did her best to try and convey a tone of comfort.
"No, it won't!"
Scootaloo dragged her eyes away from them. She didn't need them, they wouldn't understand…
"Scoots, what the hay has been going on?"
The pegasus filly curled up on the ground, a small sob sending a shudder through her body. Her two friends hugged her tighter, attempting to comfort her, attempting to do anything to help.
“Y-you wouldn’t get it! It’s never happened to you two; it’ll never happen to you two!” She bit her lip, and plunged her crying face into Sweetie Belle’s shoulder. Sweetie’s eyes opened, and she tried to stroke her hoof comfortingly through her friend’s mane. Applebloom looked directly into Scootaloo’s eyes, a sense of deep caring for her friend pervading the area.
“You can tell us, Scoots. What happened?”
Scootaloo opened her mouth. Now was the time where she could finally talk, where she could finally spill what had happened to her. This was her chance, her free shot, her ticket out...
But nothing came. Nothing came as she tried to impart all the injustice, all the cruelty of the past ten months, all the horrible feelings and thoughts and her own victimization.
Something had been going on through her young mind. After ten months of burying it under everything, forcing it down, letting it fester, she couldn’t speak about it. Something had formed a blank, the words got caught in her throat. She wanted to scream out and tell everypony about what had happened and what she had been though... but she couldn’t. whatever had kept her from talking about it before kept her from speaking now.
So she cried. She let the tears flow forth as they had been, but not in the explosive, destructive, angry way that had come out before. No, this crying was something different. This was the crying of someone who had become completely and entirely helpless, forced to live through hell and unable to talk. There were ponies who could help her and deal with the situation, so very close to her... and she couldn't even speak.
Her friends hugged her, holding her close. The young pegasus felt the warmth of their bodies, her dearest companions, who were unable to help her because of her own fallacies. Because she was unable to speak, she doomed herself to this fate.
Inside her head, she screamed, which came out as a small, very wet sob.
The rest of the night was uneventful. After Scootaloo had cried until there were no tears left, the trio of fillies had went back inside the barnhouse to sleep. Scootaloo’s night was restless, but it was better than any night she had spent at home in recent memory.
After breakfast, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were off to school. The whole time, as Scootaloo slowly pushed herself on her scooter, the words that she wished could come pouring out of her mouth circled around in her head.
“Um, Scootaloo?” Sweetie Belle asked quietly. “A-about last night...”
Scootaloo turned to her friend, a tired, fake smile that wobbled as her eyes watered plastered on her face. “Yeah?”
Sweetie Belle bit her lip. “Do... do you wanna talk?”
Scootaloo stopped propelling herself on the scooter. It drifted a few more feet, carried by the fading momentum. As she opened her mouth, she coughed, the words caught in her throat. The scenes of what was dealt to her flashed by her eyes, and she finally made that last push to get the words out.
“HE DID IT TO ME!”
The whole world was silent. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom looked at each other, a bit scared. “Um... who did what to you?”
Scootaloo swayed in her spot, and fell to her back. The others rushed to her side, and she opened her mouth, yelling out the words she wished she wasn't saying.
“Go away... GO AWAY!”
“Scootaloo, we’re your friends—”
“I SAID GO AWAY!”
Applebloom and Sweetie Belle scampered away, tears forming in Sweetie’s eyes. They rounded a bend in the path to school, then tried to assess the situation as best as they could.
“What do you think happened to her?” Sweetie Belle asked, wiping a tear that had begun to form in her left eye.
“I dunno... it musta been somethin’ real bad,” Applebloom said softly, looking down at the dirt.
“But what?” Sweetie Belle asked, gritting her teeth. Applebloom pondered this for a moment.
“Maybe Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon did something to her...”
“No, she would tell us if something like that happened to her!” Sweetie Belle kicked a rock off to the side, a small spark erupting from her horn in frustration.
“Wait...Ah remember something from a talk Applejack gave me a few weeks ago!” Sweetie Belle nodded to show that she was following where Applebloom was going with this. “What if... somepony...” Applebloom swallowed hard. “Violated her?”
Sweetie Belle’s jaw hung open. “Violated her? Rarity talked to me about not letting stallions touch me where we were... playing with last night. Do you think some stallion might have done something to her? It would explain why she was so angry at us last night when we...”
Applebloom scowled. “Ah wish they would tell us more! All they do is tell us about our private parts is that we use them to go to the bathroom, which we already figured out ourselves, and that we shouldn’t let anypony touch them when we don’t want them too, especially if it’s an adult we don’t know! They don’t tell us about the sticky stuff, or what else we use them for, because...”
“Um, Applebloom? Not that I don’t agree with you, but has this got to do with Scootaloo?”
“Well, Ah dunno! If we had been taught more of this stuff, maybe we could have been able to help Scoots easier... ugh, I’m just fed up with everypony dodging around!”
Sweetie Belle gestured over towards the bushes where on the other side Scootaloo was probably stilly laying. “C’mon, let’s help Scootaloo. We need to talk to her about it, because if something did happen, we need to get the the bottom of it. She’s our friend!”
“But she asked for us to leaver her alone... when Ah want to be left alone, Ah need mah space. Should we just... leave her alone and let her catch up with us at school?” Applebloom caved to Sweetie’s disapproving expression. “Oh, alright...”
The two slowly crept to the bushes, and peered through. Not wanting to upset Scootaloo anymore, they were going to have to handle this delicately. Both stopped dead when they observed what happened next after poking their heads through the brush.
“Every single night, for the past... forever... he hurts me. He hurts me, you guys. He’s... he doesn’t love me. He lies. He LIES! HE SAYS HE LOVES ME AND HE LIES!”
“What is she—” Applebloom began to ask, but Scootaloo was on a roll. Her mind as finally letting her speak, and she wasn’t going to let it be stopped now.
“I don’t know what he’s doing, because nopony ever talked to me about it. But all I know what he’s doing to me is bad, it hurts me... it hurts me, you guys...” Scootaloo coughed loudly, her voice raw from her screaming. “It hurts...”
The two glanced at each other. Their suspicions had been correct...
Scootaloo almost smirked, as she was confident that she would finally be able to get this done with. With no pony around, she was able to get it all out. “My d... da...”
“MY DAD DID IT TO ME!” Her scream was something like a horrible gargoyle’s screech. It was raw, and it felt like she had spit up jagged slivers of glass, but it was finally out. She was finally free.
Her two friends looked at each other again, as they seemed to be doing an awful lot of. Applebloom leaned in close to Sweetie Belle and whispered into her ear. “Well, we gotta tell somepony else! We gotta get her dad taken away from Scoots or somethin’!”
Scootaloo sniffed. She wasn’t able to talk when she needed to, and now she had chased away her two friends. She was only perpetuating the pain that had been prolonged over the past months.
“Well, she’s really upset right now... I don’t think we should talk to her because she’ll just get angry that we came back instead of going away,” Sweetie Belle whispered back.
“Well, we gotta do somethin’! We just gotta!” Applebloom hissed back. “Well, I guess we could always tell somepony... let’s tell Cheerilee! She’ll be able to get somepony to help. We’ll run ahead of Scootaloo before she knows we eavesdropped, and we’ll get the whole thing sorted out!”
Sweetie Belle nodded, and the two hurried down the path to the school as fast as their little limbs would carry them.
Scootaloo, meanwhile, had picked her scooter back up, and was staring at the dirt it had lain in on the ground. Why was she unable to speak about her pain? Why was she chasing her only friends away from her? Why was thing happening to her.
She mounted her scooter, and adjusted her helmet. She was just going to have to suffer through another day. And she knew that at the end of this day, there was just going to be another horrid night waiting for her.
Scootaloo arrived late to school. She had taken her time meandering down the path to the school, letting her mind drone on about her suffering. Seeing the building rise in front of her, she noticed a certain pink filly wearing her frivolous tiara sitting on the front steps.
“Hey, Scootalooser!” Diamond Tiara said with a smirk. “I guess I’d have to see your ugly face since I got put outside for passing notes.”
“I’m not in the mood, Diamond Tiara,” Scootaloo said apathetically, throwing her scooter to the side of the play-yard.
“Jeez, who raped you?” Tiara said with a scowl.
Scootaloo’s eyes widened, and her pupils shrunk. She knew what that word meant. It was rarely used, and when it was, it was never never used so casually. She didn’t know why her mind hadn’t made the connection earlier to this, but that’s what her father was doing to her. Raping her. He was raping her. There was no way Diamond Tiara could know this, but it mattered little at this point. To disregard that, to use that filthy word so casually in her presence...
Scootaloo threw herself at the insipid little bitch who dare do this to her. Her front hoof shot up and punched her right in her eye, knocking her backwards and sending her tiara tumbling to terra firma.
“What was that?” Diamond Tiara screamed, tears flowing down her cheeks. “WHAT WAS THAT?”
Scootaloo didn’t want to hear this. Scootaloo didn’t want to deal with this. Something in her very fragile young mind snapped. It wasn’t just this, it was ten months of terrible nights and abuse to both her and her mother, it was her own inability to speak about it when others were around, it was her driving away her very own friends, all just to be tossed around by this little brat who has never had to experience any of this in her entire life. She dare have the audacity to do this to her...
Scootaloo turned, and ran. She ran away from the school, towards the town square. Tears were flowing freely from her eyes, streaming down her cheeks as they have done so often in recent times. Snot leaked from her nose as she sobbed, as she unraveled and became a complete mess.
She wandered around the streets of Ponyville, one last thing in her mind that might be able to save her, the one thing that had been able to save her and distract her in the past: Rainbow Dash. If she could see Rainbow Dash, just have her comforting, awesome presence...
She had stopped crying, her one goal now filling her mind. Scootaloo lost her balance, and fell sideways into some bushes that lined the base of the large tree she had wandered near.
She lay there for Celestia-knows-how long, letting her tears dry, and her heart beat return to normal. Her broken and battered mind was being held together by a very thin solvent. She knew of only one thing. She needed Rainbow Dash.
The little distraught filly pulled herself out of the foliage, and looked around at where she was. Through some small miracle of fate, she had ended up at The Golden Oaks Library. Her breaking mind had no time to deal with looking anywhere else, she needed the closest thing to Rainbow Dash she could get. With any luck, Twilight would know where the older pegasus was.
She knocked on the door, her small orange hood trembling as she did so. She waited a few moments, before the door opened up.
“Oh. Hey, Scootaloo!” Spike greeted her with a smile. Scootaloo looked at the young dragon, her expression vacant and strained. Spike arched an eyebrow. “Boy, you look awful. You feeling alright?”
“Am I...” her face almost contorted, but she was too tired to continue this. “Where’s Twilight Sparkle, Spike?”
“Um, she should be upstairs, but—” Scootaloo brushed past him, heading inside and towards the staircase. “Hey! Are you mad at me? What’d I do?”
Scootaloo began to head up the stairs, but was confronted by an already-descending-the-stairs Twilight.
“Hello Scootaloo!” Twilight had the same sort of cheer in her voice that Spike had had. Why were they all so damn cheerful?
“Twilight, do you know where Rainbow Dash is?”
Twilight gave Scootaloo a small frown. “Oh, sorry Scootaloo. Rainbow Dash is in Cloudsdale. She’s visiting her father.”
At that moment, the last fragment of hope, the last bits of light, the last of the glue that held her mind together, all were blown to smithereens by this news. Scootaloo heard not what Twilight said after this. This had been the straw that broke the camel’s back, and Scootaloo’s fragile and abused mind was now too far gone.
There was no escape for her. She was doomed to silence through her own mind, torture every night at the hooves of her father, and the only one pony who could have offered her any hope wasn’t here.
She glanced out at the window, where a rat sat on the sill, sleeping in the soon-to-be-afternoon rays. It awoke almost on cue, stretched out, then hoped down from the sill to slide off elsewhere. Scootaloo could almost swear it had winked at her.
It came to her mind in a weird, faint, buzzing way. The only way out, it had been so simple, yet so out of reach until now, when she was sure she was at the end. She turned back to Twilight, who was looking down at her from a few steps up.
A faint smile crossed her face. “Twilight, do you have a copy of Equestrian Knot Tying?”
Back at the school, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were a bit concerned that Scootaloo hadn’t shown up yet. However, they knew that she deserved every right to take her time coming to school.
“We’ll tell Miss Cheerilee at lunch about what happened to Scootaloo, ok?” Sweetie Belle whispered to Applebloom. Her friend nodded.
“Ah’m still a bit scared that Scoots hasn’t shown up yet. Ah mean, what if she went on and did something bad?”
“Bad how?” Sweetie’s ears flattened.
Applebloom looked around cautiously, and then leaned in to the unicorn. “Ah don’t know! That’s why Ah’m scarred. I mean, what if she went back home and her dad...”
“Alright! Lunch time, class!” Cheerilee announced peppily, and everypony but the two concerned fillies clamored from their seats and outside to enjoy lunch.
“Um, Miss Cheerilee?” Applebloom approached the mare, her gaze on the floor.
“Um... we have something a bit... serious to talk about.”
Cheerilee perked up. “Oh? Well, I’m always here to talk to, girls.”
“Yeah,” Sweetie put in. “It’s about Scootaloo.”
“She isn’t here today, I noticed.”
“Miss Cheerilee, you know when a stallion tries to... force themselves on you?” Cheerilee’s mouth fell open.
Sweetie Belle and Applebloom both looked down on the ground.
“Who did this to Scootaloo?” Cheerilee’s voice wobbled as she said this. The thought of this happening to any of her students was just so...
“Her dad. At least, that’s what she said when she was yelling out earlier.”
Cheerilee cocked her head, confused. “Yelling... out?”
The two fillies recounted the last night in the orchard, and the incident on the way to school. As they went on, Cheerilee became progressively and progressively gloomier.
“Girls, I’m glad you told me right away. When something like this happens, it is very serious and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.”
“Ah don’t understand, though,” Applebloom said sadly. “Why would her dad want to do this to her?”
Cheerilee blinked a tear from her eye and looked down at the two young foals. “Girls, you have to understand that the world has some very bad ponies in it. Sometimes, those very bad ponies are right next to us, hiding as the ones we love.”
Sweetie Belle looked up at her teacher, and gasped. “Miss Cheerilee, you’re crying!”
The teacher looked away. “For this to happen to one of my students after it happened to...”
Cheerilee inhaled deeply. “No matter. We need to get to Scootaloo as fast as possible. It’s never too late to help somepony, girls, never forget that.”
Scootaloo was staring back at the familiar sight of her run-down house. This time, however, she had a book clasped in her mouth, and this book was to be her salvation.
The book was Equestrian Knot Making, and using the knowledge in this book she was going to make this the last night her father would ever try to hurt her.
Going behind the house, she obtained a long coil of rope. Heading inside her house as quietly as she possibly could, Scootaloo crept into her room. Looking up at the ceiling where a pipe lay uncovered, she threw the rope over it, and dragged it down where she tied a noose knot on the end closest to the door. Taking the other end, she looked around for anywhere to tie it down to. She decided to choose the bed, but before she could tie it, she heard a door slam, and heavy hoofbeats heading towards her room.
Frantically, she jumped to her door and slammed it shut, locking it in haste. Rushing over to her bed, she slammed her back against it, pushing it across the floor. It produced a loud scraping noise, but she could care less about being heard at this point. Her father was already bearing down on the room.
There was a loud thud as she presumed her drunken parent walked directly into the door. Scootaloo felt a small twinge of sick satisfaction as she imagined her father’s throbbing skull, as the collision sounded particularly painful.
The doorknob jiggled, the lock preventing it from being opened. Even if her father attempted to break the door down, her bed would keep him from getting inside. He wasn’t getting inside anything anymore.
Scootaloo returned to the task at hoof. The rope was nearly ready for its task, but she still needed to tie it down. Taking the end in her mouth, she went to the end of her bed where she tied the rope in place. Making sure it was nice and taut, she went over to the edge of her bed where the noose part hung, swaying slightly.
Scootaloo took a deep breath. “Alright...” She stood up on her hind legs, her balance wavering slightly. Grasping the noose with her small hooves, she slipped it over her head. Using her little wings, she propelled herself a bit further as she hopped into the noose, the rope tightening around her neck.
The squeeze of the rope around her neck wasn’t so much a bad feeling as it was an odd one. The pressure made her feel a bit woozy and lightheaded, but for the most part, everything was okay. Then, she felt the air being cut off from her lungs. Panicking slightly despite herself, Scootaloo thrashed a bit as the feeling of being held underwater for too long washed over her.
“Come on shweetie, open the door...” there were several loud crashing noises as her father smashed his drunken frame against the door. The whole room shook, and as Scootaloo’s eyes frantically scanned the room, her gaze fell upon the crack in her wall. Rats, dozens of them at least, were slowly climbing out, landing on the floor to scurry, tumbling over each other, or just to lay still, free of the wall.
Scootaloo had finally calmed herself down, getting over the initial terror of her actions. Even though she had planned this out, she did not anticipate the feeling of complete terror that would come from being surrounded by all this air, unable to breath it. She was ready to leave.
The little filly let herself fall limp.
But... her wings were still moving. They flapped as hard as they could, propelling the orange mare upwards. She hovered upward, her wings carrying her up through her roof, out of her room, out into the light of day above her house. Her wings shot out on either side of her, bigger and more powerful than they had ever been before. She grinned at them, and shot upward.
Flying was exhilarating. The crisp wind blew through her mane, the air hugging her like a cold, refreshing blanket. Shooting over a cloud, she flipped on her back, letting herself glide about.
Now just lazily flapping along, Scootaloo let the sun shine its brilliant rays upon her. The warmth from the solar light contrasted against the cold atmosphere, and she loved it. She loved every moment of it.
So this is what it’s like to really fly Scootaloo thought to herself. This is what it’s really like to be in control and fly all by yourself, free of anypony else. Nopony else to try and hold me down, nopony else to tell me where not to go.
Scootaloo, now speeding up, giggled as an idea came to her. Changing her direction so she was flying straight up, she shot through a cloud and higher than she had ever flown. Stopping suddenly, she let herself fall back down, the sky blowing past her, the air warping, her mane blasted back, her cheeks filled by the fast wind that was being created by her fall.
Scootaloo let loose a yell of elation as she fell towards the ground, finally free.