Discord's Harp

by Who needs sleep

First published

Short story on the duality of Discord, the chaotic and somewhat fun side that everypony sees and the dark side that acts as a god of death.

As god of chaos, Discord's job is a little bit more than just freezing lakes and turning villages upside down. He is also in charge of who lives and who dies.
After all, what could possibly be more chaotic than death?

Chapter 1

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Discord stared sadly at the ponies. Of course to them it seemed no more than His chaotic personality and not even Fluttershy could see through the mask to the truth inside. Discord watched each and every one of them.

He blinked as the colt snuck up behind Him. There was no way any pony could have heard the colt’s movements but He was not a pony. He was a god, so obviously He sensed the colt. He waited until the colt got close before snapping His claw. The magic of Chaos needed some kind of signal to set it in motion and that was as good of a signal as Discord ever considered.

He briefly considered using the new energy at his disposal to turn the colt into a bird but He remembered he was “reformed.” Just thinking it made him laugh which in turn caused him to lose his grip on his magic. The floodgate closed almost instantly but Discord managed to twist the last strands of magic into a form that pleased Him, in this case a glass of chocolate milk and a hammock that floated in midair.

The colt gave a squeak to rival Fluttershy and disappeared behind a nearby tree. He ignored it knowing that the foal would be back in a few minutes.

Just like He predicted, after four hundred and thirty-one seconds, the foal began sneaking back up on Him. He patiently waited for the colt to get to what He felt was acceptable distance for one such as Him to address the foal before turning to stare at him.

“Yes young one?”

The foal nearly bolted again on the spot, those eyes in that face spoke volumes of the mad god’s intelligence, but he would not be the one to fail his sister!

“Mr. Discord sir?” he asked as he prostrated himself on the ground in front of the Dragonequus.

“Come now, Mr. Discord was my father.”

“I was wondering if you could um… make it rain chocolate milk again?”

Discord stared down at the pony as though he had grown a 2nd head. He had promised Fluttershy that He wouldn’t do that again after she had shown Him the impact it had on the wildlife of Equestria, and this foal asked Him to break His promise? He reconsidered what to do with His magic next, several choices cycled through his Head, not the least of which was to turn the foal into something that wouldn’t bother Him again, but only a fool acts without knowing all the information they can get so Discord motioned for the colt to continue.

It took a few seconds for the colt to understand the strange gesture of the creature, but he caught on eventually. “My sister is sick in the hospital and the doctor says she won’t get better, so I want to do something special for her before she…” the colt trailed off into nothingness as a look of understanding crossed Discord’s face.

He snapped his claws again and conjured a small glass marble with a multicolored smoke running through it and showed it to the foal. “This will let you change the weather one time only. The pegasi won’t be able to change it back until the magic runs out.” He then proceeded to hold the stone out to the pony who accepted it with a smile on his face.

After several minutes of the colt thanking Him, it began to wear on His nerves. He stood up as a golden doorknob appeared in front of him. He gave a little wave to whatever pony was assigned by Celestia to watch him at the time and stepped through the door. As He did, the doorknob melted into gold slag and flowed down through the air onto a small flower that instantly became solid gold and spread its seeds to the wind.
As he stepped into the room, strings of light appeared. The room He had just entered was not a place any mortal creature could look upon and stay sane. As Discord walked through the threads, he heard laughter, shouts, screams, crying and at some of them, total silence. He looked through them, though He wasn’t sure which one He was looking for, He knew He would know it.
After what would have been years to any other creature, he found the one he was looking for. He plucked the thread and listened to the resonance of it. The sound of a filly’s laughter played out over the chamber before ending in a brutal coughing fit. Discord sighed as He considered what to do with the strand and continued plucking it to listen.

He couldn’t see any way that He could justify not doing it, she was so sick and if He didn't do it, she would suffer so badly, but He couldn’t bear to make that poor little foal cry either. After an eternity of consideration, He decided what to do. He made a mental note of where the strand was, He walked through the strands, occasionally plucking one and listening to the feedback He received. He was particularly interested when he got to a pair that spiraled together, one light and one dark. He couldn't recall the last time that He had listened to these particular ones, and He plucked them simultaneously.

The sound emitting from the light one was nothing special, the scratching of a quill on parchment and relaxed breathing, but the sound echoing from the dark one was truly torture. The sound that echoed was a combination of a dozen ponies droning on about some Saddle Arabian tax law. He figured that the magic would have run out by now and went back to the first one.
It was impossible to tell how long had passed as He continued a different way through the strands, occasionally plucking one and listening to it before He made His way back to the first one. He plucked it and listened, but the only sound He could hear was a soft breathing and an occasional beep.

He gritted His teeth and swiped the claws of His left hand through the strand. Where it would have broken normally, His claw passed through with no resistance. As the strand vibrated, a soft intake of breath could be heard followed by a continuous beeping sound. After several seconds, the sound faded away into nothing as Discord wiped a tear from His eye.