Three weeks ago, five ponies went missing in the Everfree forest. Celestia sent a group of her guards to investigate the disappearance, hoping to find the missing ponies, or at least find out what happened to them. They returned a few days later with only a video camera, stating that they found it in the old castle. Celestia took the camera, saying that she would look into it herself.
Celestia now sits on her balcony, the video camera in her magic. The lens appeared to be cracked, and the camera was covered in dirt and what looked like blood.
She powered it on, surprised that it still worked, and found that there was a video recorded on it. It was dated the day before the ponies were announced missing.
Without wasting anytime, and interested in the info she had just discovered, she pressed play.
The camera showed a grey colored Pegasus with a black mane. He looked into the camera as he spoke.
"I shouldn't be out here. None of this had to happen. Why the hell did I agree to go..."
He looked down for a few seconds before making eye contact with the camera again.
"My name is Steel Breeze, and I'm a pegasus stallion that moved to Ponyville to live closer to my uncle. I'm... I'm also a pony who is about to lose their life...let me explain. It's a good way to pass the time before the thing finds me and finishes all of this." He said the last part looking around him, as if expecting something.
"I was in my house, just getting off of work when a group of my friends came by. There was Arctic, a earth pony mare who worked with me most of the time. There was Flawless Beat, a unicorn stallion who was into music and worked at a club in town. There was Swift, a earth pony mare who sometimes helped us with big projects around the house. There was Ocean Breeze, a Pegasus stallion who was also my brother."
"And then there was me, annoyed because I thought my brother was spending the night with his marefriend. Instead, he went up and gathered a bunch of our friends and came back home. It was also 10 at night, so that didn't help. Yes, I get off of work that late sometimes. *exhale* Even though I was in a sour mood, I didn't want to be rude to my friends. I put on the best smile I could and told them to come in. Even though it probably wasn't that good, heh."
"My brother c-" The stallion whirled his head to look behind him all of a sudden, as if he heard something. For a few seconds, all you could hear was the stallions heavy breathing. He returned his view to the camera after a few seconds later. "My brother came in and explain that his marefriend had to cancel due to a family emergency. He didn't say anymore about that, and I didn't say anything about it either. It wasn't my business."
"The rest of my friends came in, looking excited about something. I asked what was happening, and Flawless said that they heard of a legend, and wanted to see if it was true.... stupid...."
"Anyway, he explained that the legend was that on the week of Nightmare night every year, something was to appear at the ruins of the old castle in the everfree. Supposedly, it was a crap ton of bits, or something cliche like that. Well I'm here now, and there's sure as hell nothing here."
"How he convinced all of our friends to go before me, I still have no clue. My immediate answer was no, but that didn't fly with him, no pun intended. He was determined to convince me. The main reason for me not wanting to go was it's it everfree. The second reason was that it was night, which made it worse. Despite all of that, he convinced me to go... and it's gotten all of us killed just because they wanted to prove some legend wrong."
"We left the house around a hour later, I think. We all went to the edge of the forest. None of us brought anything besides two flashlights, thinking we would all come back later."
The pony looked up from the camera at something in front of him. His ears flattened against his head.
"I don't have that much time, so I'll pick up the pace. Within 2 hours, we got lost. Neither me or my brother could fly up or though the forest because of how thick the brush was."
"It wasn't until an hour after we got lost that we noticed Swift was missing. None of us noticed she was gone. Wandering off on her own was not like her at all. We spent a hour looking for her and didn't find her. When we were about to give up, Flawless thought he saw something and immediately went looking in the direction with me and the others following him."
"He walked around a tree and just seemed to be snatched up by something. All I saw were long black claws grab him. He screamed as he entered the tree, a flash of his magic lit the tree for a second before he went silent. A moment later his mangled body hit the ground. The three of us ran as fast as we could, I could hear it chasing us."
"We reached the bridge leading to this castle, which is where I am now, and immediately saw a problem. The bridge was broken. Ocean had hurt his wing getting away from whatever it is, and he couldn't fly."
He looked down at the ground below him as fresh tears left his eyes.
"I left my own brother behind. He convin-"
A sudden crash caused the pony on the camera to look at the source of the noise at break neck speed. His eyes widened as he stood up and ran to a different room. Celestia heard the sound of a lock turning from the camera.
"It found me.... He convinced me to take Arctic across the gap and not him, saying that he'll hold it off and buy us time. In the end, for whatever fucking reason, I left him."
"It didn't matter though, it got Arctic while we were running to the entrance of this place. How it crossed that gap so quickly is beyond me."
"It's just me now. All my friends and brother are dead. Whatever this thing is, it's out for blood. It lurks in this forest, waiting for somepony to stumble in... "
The door to the room swung open all of a sudden, breaking the lock. The camera wasn't pointed at the door, but celestia heard the most disturbing noise she had ever heard.
The pony on the camera visibly paled as a shadow covers him.
"Don't make the same mistake I did..."
The camera dropped to the floor as the monster pounced on the pony, a crack spread across the screen, showing the camera had cracked.
The pony screams died in a few seconds.
Celestia slowly turned her head in the direction of the everfree in horror as the video ended.