"Hey girls, find anything good yet?" Sweetie Belle asked.
She had been checking in on Apple Bloom and Scootaloo after having kept look out by the front of the dilapidated building for the last half hour or so.
"Mmm, no such luck," Apple Bloom answered with a shake of her head. The yellow farm filly was balanced atop Scootaloo, sifting through a bin full of dusty DVDs.
It was funny, really. The local Trotbuster had only been out of business for a month, and already it was in such a state of disrepair. The walls were covered in grime, posters of upcoming and older films were faded and peeling from where they hung, and sections of the roof were either caved in or missing, exposing a bit of the building's isolation as well as providing glimpses of the orange sky from the setting sun outside. The racks of VHS's and DVDs that formed aisles throughout the store were layered and practically caked in dust.
All in all, the place looked as if it had barely withstood an apocalypse and two hurricanes, and if anypony, especially any adults, had caught them skulking around in the should be-condemned building, then all three of them would be grounded for months on end. From the Cutie Mark Crusader's perspective, it was their families' fault for them even being there in the first place. If one of them had just paid for a monthly subscription to Hooflixs like everypony else, then there'd be no reason for them to search through an abandoned store every few weeks for a film to watch.
It wasn't all bad, however. Some of these films weren't on Hooflixs, and some of them would even be hidden gems. Others, well...their content would have the three scratching their heads at what they had seen.
They were pretty sure the last one they watched wasn't even in Equestrian...
"W-Well, can you hurry it up?" Scootaloo asked.
Her body was trembling as she struggled to hold Apple Bloom's weight. Being careful not to upset her friend's balance, she then outstretched a wing and gave it a few testing flaps.
"Ugh, starting to get a cramp here."
"Hold on, hold on...I'm lookin'," Apple Bloom replied. Securing a case in her hooves, she then read the film's title out loud to the two. "Eh, Trembles?"
"The one about the tatzlwurms? Mm, seen it twice," Sweetie Belle said, prompting the apple filly to toss aside the case in her hooves in search for another.
"How 'bout Astronomy Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo?"
"Seen it," both Sweetie and Scootaloo responded in unison.
"Seen it," the two repeated.
"The Sensational Six?"
"The first one, or the remake?" Sweetie asked.
The unicorn grimaced in disgust. "Ugh, toss it."
"Alrighty." Setting that film aside as well, Apple Bloom stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth as she began to rummage deeper into the disorganized pile. "Ok...how about...hmm... Oh, Appleoosan Bandsaw Slaughter!"
Hearing that name, Scootaloo shuddered beneath the earth pony's hooves.
"Heh, eh, no thanks. Kinda started avoiding your family for a week after we saw the prequel together."
After glancing down at Scootaloo with a look of disdain, Apple Bloom's mouth curled into a wicked grin as she then lowered her voice and said in a grating tone, "Why, you look like a real plump and purty filly there, Scootaloo~ Would ya mind if mah family and I have ya over fer dinner sometime?"
With her eyes widening in fear at that impression, Scootaloo instantly shut them and shook her head.
"Nope--nuh-uh! Not funny! We are not doing this right now!" Looking away, she then muttered, "And you wonder why I don't come over as much as I used to..."
Watching Apple Bloom chortle into her hoof and Scootaloo huff in indignation, Sweetie rolled her eyes in amusement at their antics as she turned for the front of the store.
"Well, I'm going back to keep look out. Call me if you find anything."
"Uh-huh, we will," Apple Bloom said, resuming her search through the bin.
Parting from them with a nod, Sweetie made her way through the--as her sister Rarity would put it--'simply unkempt' aisle, loose tiles kicked up and cobwebs stomped in the wake of her hooves. After passing a few cardboard standees of action stars, Sweetie could spot the ill-maintained counter at the front of the store. Right when she was about to reach the end of the disheveled lane, she suddenly stopped in her tracks. There, she heard a peculiar sound coming from the side.
With her ears perking, and a confused look about her, Sweetie did a quick scan of her surroundings.
"Hello?" she called out, swearing that somepony had addressed her by name.
When she went unanswered, she called out once more, spinning a full three-sixty degrees as she did so. She spotted nopony, but, for some strange, unearthly reason, she felt rather uneasy--on edge even, like she could feel a set of unseen eyes peering into her, evaluating her for all her worth. Without her realizing when exactly it had happened, Sweetie's breaths had gotten deeper, yet she felt as if she were getting very little air in her lungs.
Other than the occasional clacking and mutterings coming from the back where her friends were, things were eerily quiet around Sweetie, yet she was unable to hold back the lurking senses of dread and anxiety that had begun to creep up on her nerves. After staring at the cracked and up-heaved tiles before her, the little unicorn shut her eyes tightly, sucked in her lips, and held in her breath as if it were her last. She suddenly and inexplicably found herself filled with a tempest of conflicting instincts, each shouting different courses of actions for her to take, with her unsure as to which one to listen to.
One small part of Sweetie was shouting for her to run, to escape the aisle and flee to the safety of her home. Her friends would probably call her a chicken for bailing on them, but she could live with that. Another was telling her to stay perfectly still, that whatever this foreboding, looming presence was, it would find her not in the least bit interesting and leave her be.
Unsure as to which decision to make, Sweetie Belle, slowly, and with bated breath, cautiously cracked an eye open. Nopony, just like before, only now her fretfulness had unusually lowered somewhat. Opening both eyes, then closing them again in a more relaxed state, she allowed herself to release a breath that she had been long holding.
Realizing how silly it was for her to overreact to such a silly and mundane situation, Sweetie made for the front of the store. However, before she could even take two steps forward, the sun, as if having been waiting for its queue the entire time, chose that moment to reveal itself from behind a cloud. The unicorn filly paused, her eyes widening in amazement at the pillar of light piercing through one of the roof's many gaps, illuminating every particle of airborne dust from the ceiling all the way to the very floor.
To her astonishment, the cone-like shape of light, acting more as a focused stage-light, began to glide towards one of the racks, soon traveling up it. As soon as it reached the top shelf, however, it stopped, the light highlighting a lone, propped DVD case. Blinking at the oddly calming sight of it, Sweetie cocked her head to the side.
It was just a regular Trotbuster's case, the kind were they printed out the label for disks that were missing their original box. There was nothing really special about it. Nothing noteworthy. Well, other than the fact that it, unlike the others that rested a good distance away from it, was surprisingly devoid of any dust, appearing to have been untouched by time.
Sweetie wasn't sure how long she was staring at the thing. Could have been a few seconds, could have been a few minutes. One thing was for sure however: her eyes were constantly drawn to it, a sense of calm and security replacing her more fearful ones the longer she gazed upon it.
"Anypony come near here yet?"
"Huh, w-what?" Sweetie muttered, snapped from her trance-like state by the sound of Apple Bloom's voice. Looking down the aisle in a semi-disoriented state, she spotted the other two crusaders approaching her.
"Geez, you got dust-bunnies in the ears or something?" Scootaloo asked, shooting Sweetie an amused smirk. "She asked if you've seen anypony come by yet."
Instead of giving a simple reply, Sweetie just leaned forward and stared at the two, prompting Apple Bloom and Scootaloo to pull their heads back as they looked at each other, then back at her. To their confusion, Sweetie's eyes appeared to be narrowed at them in deep concentration, almost as if she wasn't all there and had trouble deciphering their words. Thankfully however, before one of them decided to ask her if something was wrong, they realized that she grasped their meaning when her eyes fully opened and her mouth formed a small 'o'.
"Oh," Sweetie said as she brought her head back up in understanding. Discovering a bit of haze to still be lingering in her thoughts, she closed her eyes and gave her head a small shake before continuing. "Uh, sorry about that. Must have zoned out or something. Um, no...no I haven't." Reopening her eyes, she noticed that her friends were lacking a DVD in their possession. "No luck?" she then asked for confirmation.
Just glad to see that her friend was fine, Apple Bloom shook her head as she answered.
"Nope. 'fraid that we might be scrapin' the bottom of the barrel here, girls. Or in this case, 'bin'."
Stepping forward, Scootaloo spoke.
"We could just, you know, watch one of the other ones that we've already seen." Her gaze then lowering, she scratched at the tiles beneath her as she chuckled nervously. "Heh heh, eh...maybe watch that documentary they made of Rainbow Dash and her friends after the third or fourth time they saved Equestria?"
Apple Bloom had a feeling that she was going to suggest that. As always whenever they were indecisive on what to watch. Still, she couldn't help but deadpan at Scootaloo.
"Eh, pardon? If anything, it's mah sister, and her friends. 'sides, knowin' you, you're gonna want ta skip to the Rainbow Dash sections, then pop the disk out after that bit is over. You do realize there's like, more to the movie, right?"
As if insulted, Scootaloo scoffed before replying with, "Well, yeah. But come on, who'd be interested in watching a farm pony do boring farm work for fifteen or so minutes? If you ask me, I think they only added that part for filler."
Apple Bloom knew that the pegasus was just trying to get a rise out of her. The toothy smirk of hers was making that apparent. She could just ignore that comment, let it slide as a joke that failed to get to her, but then she'd be ashamed to call herself a member of the Apple clan if she did that, especially when said comment was directed towards her sister.
"What in tarnation did you just say about Applejack, ya orange chicken?! I'll have ya know that she graduated top of her class in apple-buckin', and has been involved in numerous missions by Celestia herself to defend Equestria, AND that she has over three-hundred confirmed trees bucked! She's also been trained in animal husbandry and is the top farmer in this entire side of the map! Compared to AJ, Rainbow Dash is nothing but a feathered mare! She will--"
Despite chortling along with Scootaloo as Apple Bloom continued to drone on about her sister and her exploits, Sweetie couldn't help but zone out again. She didn't mean to. It just sort of happened, almost like it was beyond her will or control. Her vision became blurred and unfocused, and yellow filly's voice was nothing but one long perpetual note to her. It was as if there was a ringing in her ear, seemingly raising in volume, yet remaining constant.
At first, she thought that she might be coming down with something, but as soon as her eyes began to wander, her vision regained most of its clarity and the ringing seemingly stopped once the DVD case from earlier became the focus of her attention. It was still there, sitting atop the shelf under the light of the setting sun. It was as if the hunk of plastic was trying to stick out, make itself more prominent for somepony to notice it.
Sweetie didn't know what possessed her to do so, but, she swallowed a lump in her throat before speaking.
Her voice was caught only by Scootaloo, as Apple Bloom was still ranting.
"But ya couldn’t, ya didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, ya--"
"Uh-huh. Huh, Apple Bloom, are you gonna be wrapping this up soon? 'Cause Sweetie's trying to say something," Scootaloo interjected. Once Apple Bloom was silent, the pegasus then gestured for her to turn to their friend who had been waiting patiently.
With both sets of eyes now on her, Sweetie spoke.
"Thanks. Uh, anyway, what about that one up there?" she asked, accentuating her words by pointing a hoof up to the top shelf for the two to notice the DVD.
"Huh, never noticed that one there before," Apple Bloom said with a curious sideways tilt of her head.
"What do you think it is?" Scoots asked, her wings buzzing as she tried and failed to get off the ground for a better look.
"Eh, I don't rightly know. It's one of those cases." Apple Bloom looked both sides of the aisle before continuing. "Hmm, I don't see a genre on any of these shelves, so we might be in the obscure section. Huh, now I'm interested; could be anythin' in it. Well, anythin' we haven't seen before, that's for sure." With an excited glint in her eyes, she then looked to Sweetie. "Think ya can nab it with yer magic?"
"Um, it's a little high up, and I've only gotten a little better with my levitation magic, but I'll try."
After stepping forward, Sweetie eyed the case, her tongue sticking out the side of her mouth as she estimated how much exertion it'd take for her to magically grasp it. Believing to have the logistics down, her horn then glowed as she began to concentrate. Oddly enough, it was difficult for her to establish a connection with the case, but, after giving it a few more tries, and thanks to Twilight's tutelage, she finally managed to engulf it in her magical aura.
"Nice!" Scootaloo cheered, watching the case as it began to teeter back and forth. Sitting on her haunches, she then raised her forelegs up. "Ok, now you just have to knock it off and one of us will catch it."
With her face strained, Sweetie nodded before adding a bit more force to her efforts. Soon enough though, and much to her friends' glee, the case wobbled upright one last time before leaning forward, toppling off the top shelf. However, just as Apple Bloom and Scootaloo moved to catch it, the rack itself, as if having served its purpose, chose that moment to collapse in on itself, engulfing the trio in the resulting cloud of kicked up dust.
"Every...everypony alright?" Apple Bloom asked, coughing loudly as her hooves fanned the last of the settling dust away.
Scootaloo, raising from the mound of dust she was practically buried in, was the first to answer.
"Ugh...yeah." Giving herself a quick once-over, the pegasus released an exasperated sigh once she noticed all the collected grime matting her fur in varying shades of gray. "Great... Now I'm going to need a shower when I get home."
"Anypony at least seen where the DVD went?" Apple Bloom said. After receiving a shrug from Scootaloo, the two began to comb through the dust and rack's remains.
Before their short search could become frantic, however, Sweetie Belle gained their attention by clearing her throat.
"Girls, relax," she said calmly once they turned to her. Meeting their confused stares with a collected smirk, she then drew out the DVD from her back. "I got it."
"Sweet!" Apple Bloom cried, her and Scootaloo pressing themselves against Sweetie Belle for a much-deserved--albeit dirty--group hug.
Moments later, Apple Bloom, done with their little heart-felt moment, separated from the group.
"Alright girls, break it up. Moment's over."
Her eyes darting in excitement between her two friends, Sweetie raised the DVD case in the center of their impromptu circle and give it a shake.
"So who's up for seeing what we got, hmm?"
With them giving her a firm nod in reply, she made to open the case. Seconds later, however, Sweetie learned that the box wasn't being very cooperative, as no amount of magical force she'd apply would get it to open.
"Well?" Scootaloo soon asked, gazing at her friend quizzically. "Are you going to keep staring at it, or are you going to open it?"
Her teeth gritted, Sweetie shook her head. "Rrrgh... I'm...trying..." Ceasing her efforts, she looked at the two with a sorrowful expression. "It's not opening--I think it's stuck!"
"What? Give it here," Apple Bloom said, outstretching her forelegs for the case. Once she had it, she used her two hooves in an attempt to pry it. However, just like Sweetie before her, she was met with no success. "Yup, thing ain't budgin'," she huffed out tiredly. Holding it in her hooves, she began to examine it. " Huh, I guess both halves must have fused together from bein' out in the sun too long, or somethin'. Ah think Ah can open it if Ah had a tool from the far-- Hey, what's this?"
Having flipped the case onto its other side, Apple Bloom noticed a note slipped in between the clear plastic of the box and the printed out Trotbuster cover.
"What?" Scootaloo inquired, leaning forward in interest.
Resting the case on the flat of her hoof, Apple Bloom began to read out loud the scrawled out words written on the note.
"To whoever this may concern, please, I beg you, for your own well being--DO NOT watch this film! I don't know where this thing came from; it just showed up one day on our shelf and there doesn't appear to be any record of it on our inventory lists.
"I'm not sure if this thing's freakishly enchanted, cursed, or whatever, but whenever I take it off the shelf, it reappears there the second I turn around! I even burned this thing out of annoyance and tossed it in a woodchipper a few times for good measure and it still manages to somehow come back every single time in one piece! I don't know, it's like this thing wants to be watched!
"Still, it shouldn't--not by anypony! One of our employees here got curious and decided to look at it alone, and...and he hasn't been the same since..."
Baring a look of utter bewilderment at that, Apple Bloom pulled her head back and looked to her friends. There, she saw that they were staring back at her with the same expression she had: hesitant, yet curious. Turning her attention back to the note, she read the very last sentence on it as:
"Please, this is your last warning: put this thing back where you found it and walk away..."
"Huh, kind of a weird movie synapses, if you ask me," Scootaloo said as she scratched at the back of her head.
"Syn-opsis, Scootaloo," Sweetie corrected, bumping her flank against the pegasus's. "I'm pretty sure 'synapses' is a part of the head; eh, that dangly thing in your mouth, I think."
Scootaloo rolled her eyes.
"Hmm," Apple Bloom hummed, her eyes skimming through the note once more. Her mouth then formed into a small smile. "Well, sounds interestin'. Here Sweetie, you take it."
"Me?" Sweetie said, her voice squeaking as she did so. Apple Bloom nodded.
"'Course. 'sides, you're the only one of us who has a DVD player, 'member?"
Accepting the case with her magic when Apple Bloom offered it to her, Sweetie nodded.
Apple Bloom nodded once more. "Then it's settled. Just hold on to it 'till we can see it tomorrow night."
Blinking, Sweetie cocked her head to the side.
"Tomorrow? But I thought we were going to see a movie today?"
"We were, but, it's startin' to get late, and..." Rubbing a hoof at the back of her head, Apple Bloom gestured at herself, Sweetie, and Scootaloo, saying, "Ya really think yer sister's gonna let all three of us step foot in her house when we're up to our necks in dirt 'n such?"
Completely separate from the conversation, Scootaloo's wings then buzzed as she tried to free her feathers of the specks and grime clinging to them, kicking dust into the air and unintentionally adding weight to Apple Bloom's claim.
"Good point," Sweetie said as she turned back to Apple Bloom.
"So it's settled then," Apple Bloom said. "You just hold on to the movie 'till tomorrow, ok, Sweetie? Hopefully, by the time we show up to watch the thing--and I've brought somethin' to open its darn case--we'd have cleaned ourselves of for yer sis to let us in. All agreed?"
When the two fillies nodded to her in agreement, she returned the gesture in kind, then made for the front exit. With Scootaloo and Sweetie following her out the building, the three then said their goodbyes to each other before heading in their own separate ways.
As Sweetie walked the dimming light of the road towards her home, carrying the DVD with her in tow, she was overwhelmed with a strange sense of excitement that felt much unlike her own.
"I'm home," Sweetie Belle called, the bell above the front door to her sister's home and place of business chimed as the filly entered. With the door closing in on itself behind her, causing the bell to ring once more, Sweetie was greeted by the cheerful tone of her sister Rarity's voice, emanating from the kitchen.
"Welcome back, Sweetie. I'd welcome you home with a hug if I could, but it seems that mother's recipe for quiche requires my undivided attention. ...Oh--heh heh, eh, it seems that I've ruined the surprise... Well, in any case, I hope you're hungry~"
Hearing what was on the menu for tonight, Sweetie silently retched. Unlike Rarity, Sweetie wasn't much of a fan for their mother's most prized dish. Normally, she'd go into the kitchen and hope to convince her sister to change the course in lieu of something else, anything really, but, luckily, this provided her with an opportunity to sneak upstairs, hide the DVD in her room, and take a bath before Rarity caught her tarnishing the sanctity of her spotless home with her dust-matted fur.
"Ok, can't wait!" Sweetie lied, walking across the main room as she headed for the stairs. "Just going to...head upstairs. Take a bath. You know...relax for the night. Uh, call me when the quiche is done, ok?"
"Mhmm, I will," Rarity replied. "I'll make sure to add plenty of spinach, just for you!"
Sweetie couldn't see it, but she was positive that her face turned green as she retched once more into her hoof. After forcing any would-be bile back down her throat, Sweetie regained her composure with a shake of her head, then climbed up the stairs to the second floor.
"The quiche will be ready in about twenty minutes~!" Rarity sing-songed, her voice carrying throughout the rest of the household. Opening the door to her room, Sweetie Belle, with a towel draped atop her still damp mane, stuck her head out into the hallway.
"Ok!" she called back.
Pulling her head back into her room, Sweetie turned back around and closed the door. As she moved for the center of her room, she ran her towel through her mane one last time before tossing it haphazardly atop her bed, then huffed dully as she scanned the room.
To put it simply: Sweetie was bored and was at an utter loss on what to occupy her time until bed with. She'd do her homework, but she and the Crusaders had already completed it in class in order to allow for more time for their movie night. Sadly, however, now that they've rescheduled, that effort seemed to have been for naught.
Her ears perking to attentiveness, Sweetie blinked and shook her head.
"Rarity?" she muttered as she turned to the door.
Going unanswered, she approached it, then opened it just wide enough for her to peer through.
Rarity wasn't standing outside her door like he had expected. No nopony was. Her sister was still down in the kitchen, an assumption confirmed by the sound of clinking cutlery and the older mare humming to herself.
Thinking that perhaps she was just hearing things, Sweetie moved for her bed, hopped atop it, then closed her eyes and shook her head.
"Ok, Sweetie...get your ears checked out next time," she said to herself.
With her eyes still closed, Sweetie relaxed her breathing, hoping to catch a short nap before dinner was ready. Sleep wouldn't come to her, however, as she just found herself tossing and turning atop the comforter.
"Ugh," she soon grunted as she slammed her hooves on the bed in frustration.
Opening her eyes, Sweetie lifted her head and scanned the room, looking for anything remotely interesting. Her sights soon came across the Trotbuster's DVD, lying flat atop the wooden stand where the TV sat, right where she left it.
"Huh," she sounded curiously. With her eyes remaining fixed on it, Sweetie crawled off the bed and approached it. Enveloping the case in her magical aura, she then brought it closer to herself for inspection.
Turning the box front and back, Sweetie entertained the idea of watching the film right then and there. Whatever it was the disk contained, it'd have to be better than boredom. Still...it'd spoil the fun of movie night with her friends if she watched it before them, so she set it back down and turned back for her bed.
Besides, it wasn't like she could open the thing anyway.
Fate, however--or something else entirely--had other plans that night, as right as Sweetie took a step forward, she heard the telltale sound of a DVD case opening.
"Huh?" she uttered as she turned back to it, seeing that the box had somehow opened on its own.
This deeply confused the young filly. She didn't do anything special to open it. She didn't even make an attempt!
Still, curiosity got the better of her, and Sweetie reacquired the case in her magical grip. As she began to pry the box wider, Sweetie was filled with an innate sense of giddiness and, unbeknownst to her, trepidation.
Just a peek at the disk, she thought to herself, slowly opening it. Just want to see if it's an adventure or romantic-comedy movie or something.
Apparently, opening the case any wider was harder than she thought, as she had to take a moment to prepare herself. Closing her eyes, she then took a deep breath through her mouth before fully opening the case in one go. After slowly reopening her eyes, she looked to the splayed box to finally get a look at the CD.
"What?" she said, tilting her head in bafflement.
It was a regular CD all right, but she couldn't read the title printed on it in black ink, as it didn't appear to be Equestrian. Upon closer inspection, Sweetie noticed that, strangely enough, the characters seemed more 'alien' than foreign.
"Hmm," she hummed to herself, eyeing her DVD player sitting in the TV stand.
Well, it was found in a Trotbuster, so the film, whatever it was, had to have been somewhat popular if it ended up in that chain store...
"Sweetie?" Rarity called, looking up the stairs into the second floor. "Are you napping up there? Dinner's ready... I've been calling for a whole minute. ...Sweetie?"
Moments later, when a response never came, Rarity decided to go upstairs and find her.
She had to be a sleep, the unicorn thought, thinking that to be the only explanation.
"Oh, good heavens," Rarity soon said when she reached the top of the stairs, her breath made visible with every exhale. "My, the air's gotten a bit...nippy here." She looked to her sister's door, open by just a crack. "Sweetie, were you playing with the thermostat?"
Again, her response went unanswered.
Rarity moved to the thermostat fixed to the wall, confusion soon adorning her features when she noticed that its knob had gone untampered. Stranger still, when she lifted a hoof to tap it, the light fixture in the hallway's ceiling began to flicker.
"What in the..." Looking from both the thermostat to the hanging light, Rarity shook her head and tsked. "Hmm, some electrical doo-dad must be going on the fritz. Perhaps I should get Twilight or Applejack to look into it later..."
Glimpsing Sweetie's door in the corner of her eye, Rarity disregarded the malfunctioning appliances and decided to refocus on the task at hoof.
"Sweetie," Rarity said as she opened her sister's door, the unicorn soon balking when she was met with a darkened room.
Looking forward, she found her sister, staring away from her while sitting on her haunches before the only source of light in the room: the TV. It was obvious to Rarity that her sister had been watching a movie, as rolling credits were displayed on the screen. Well, whatever she was watching, it had to be foreign, as the credits appeared to be written in some language other than Equestrian.
"Oh, were you watching a--" Just then, as Rarity was turning on the room's light, the bulb bathed the room in an intense white before suddenly going out with an audible 'pop'.
Startled by that, Rarity, with a hoof to her frantically beating chest, looked at the burnt out light bulb as she tried to compose herself.
"I...I think we're going to have to get some things replaced..." Her comment met with silence, Rarity turned to her sister.
Sweetie hadn't moved. Hadn't budged. Didn't even react to the light popping when Rarity was still riding the adrenaline surge it gave her. Instead, she was still sitting there where Rarity found her, still staring up at the TV.
It was then that Rarity knew that something was wrong. She could sense it, feel it in the very air around her. Her fur was standing on ends, yet she wouldn't stop that from allowing her to check on her sister.
As she carefully, hesitantly stepped closer to her sister, she could steadily make out signs of her still breathing, but only by just barely.
"Sweetie?" she then asked as she reached a hoof forward, placing it on her sister's shoulder.
Seconds later, Sweetie Belle spoke, much to her older sister's initial relief.
"It's too late, Rarity... I've seen... I've seen..."
Rarity cocked her head, wondering why her sister sounded so...empty...
"Seen what, Sweetie?" Rarity asked. With her gaze still fixed forward to the screen, Sweetie continued.
"I've seen... Seen..."
Eerily, and very slowly, Sweetie turned to face her sister. And as she did so, Rarity more and more shirked back in fear of her younger sister, her mouth open in a silent and unceasing silent gasp.
Rarity wanted to scream out in fear--she would have, too, if she hadn't felt weak and dizzy instead. With her soon falling atop the ground without her fainting couch being there to normally catch her, one of the last few things she saw before blacking out was her sister--what was her sister--rising off the floor to turn to her, it looking down at her with its unblinking, soulless eyes.
Wanting to look away from that horrible sight, Rarity turned her slowly closing eyes to the TV, just in time to catch the film's credits end and for the DVD player to take them back to its previous menu. Just like the credits before it, it was written in that horrible language that she couldn't decipher.
My Little Pony Episode Select:
Sweetie Belle's Gumball House Surprise