The Equestrian Reaper

by Perfectly Insane

First published

W-what," Pinkie swallowed nervously as she tried to speak, finding her throat was suddenly very dry. "Are you?" It seemed to stare at her for a few seconds, its dark eye sockets peering directly into her soul. "Death."

For Pinkie, it was a day like any other, spending time with her good friend Fluttershy. What she didn't know was that it would be her very last day alive, passing away in an unfortunate accident as she tried to save her friend. When she woke up, she was laying in the middle of the woods, staring Death itself in the face as it made an offer to her. Should she make a deal with Death, or would that be worse than dying itself?

This is the source of the art, I stumbled across it and it's partly what inspired me to write this story.

Huge thanks to for editing!

Featured: 7/27/20 to 7/30/20, 9/12/20. Wow, really wasn't expecting this to blow up so much. This is my second ever featured story, and my first story that ever got hot. I'm glad you guys enjoy it so much. This is now my most liked story, I can see you guys really like this.

Chapter One: Nothing Escapes Death.

View Online


It was more than just all she could see, it was all she could feel. She saw nothing but darkness, she felt nothing but darkness, she couldn’t even feel herself breathing or her own heartbeat. She felt weightless, lifeless, like she didn’t even really exist.

Quite frankly, it was terrifying.

Like a sudden tidal wave, all of her senses came back to her. Her heartbeat in her ears like a drum, she breathed deeply and erratically, not realizing how much she missed being able to breathe until she couldn’t. Her ears were filled with high pitched ringing, unable to hear anything else. The air in wherever she was smelt and tasted dry and stagnant, like a forest during dry season, not having gotten rain in weeks.

Pinkie’s eyes popped open, bloodshot and her pupils constricted as she tried to see where she was. It seemed to be sometime during the night, the only light source was the moon, and it was barely bright enough for her to make out where she was. She seemed to be in an open area in the middle of the woods, a small plot of land where there were no trees. There was grass as far as she could see, but it wasn’t normal grass. It was blood red, a color that was very clearly unnatural and wrong for grass.

The trees didn’t look right either, all the trees were dark black and rotting, having no leaves on them and evidently having been dead for a very long time, but were still standing somehow. Even though there were no leaves on any of the trees, there were some being blown around by the wind, which was strange because Pinkie couldn’t feel any wind at all. The leaves were the same shade of red as the grass, which might have been fine if it were fall, but there was just something about it that

She also noticed crows on some of the trees, they didn’t seem different than normal crows. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that they were watching her, dozens of them standing on the branches of the trees closest to her. She also noticed that even though the moon was out, past the circle of land she found herself, it was just darkness. She couldn’t see into it no matter how hard she tried, and something about it made her too afraid to move closer.

The scariest part was the moon.

She had heard of a blood moon before, but never seen one. Like most of the things here, it was red, but a much darker shade than the leaves and the grass, almost black. It was a full moon, and the light coming from it was normal moonlight. Under it seemed to be red streams of a liquid, the exact color and consistency of blood. She didn’t see anything like that near her, so she couldn’t tell if it was some kind of visual effect, or if that strange liquid was truly on the ground somewhere.

Everything about this place made her uneasy and filled with dread, her very presence here made her feel like something very very bad was going to happen.

She tried to stand up, not even noticing she was on the ground until she tried to move. As soon as she did, some kind of pressure pushed her back down, like the very air itself suddenly gained weight and was stopping her. She grunted as she was back on the ground, her straight hair falling onto some of her face.

*Straight? Why is my hair straight? That only happens when I’m really upset, and that hasn’t happened since the whole thing with the yaks.*

Pinkie could feel that her mane and tail were completely straight, looking back at her body, realizing that it was more than just her hair that was different. The color of her coat was dulled, not to the point of gray, just a much darker shade of pink than usual. What surprised her the most was her cutie mark, while it had the same shape, there was absolutely no color. The blue and yellow balloons had turned dark gray, as if the color itself had been drained.

Her senses also felt off, even if she could see, hear, and smell again, she couldn’t feel anything she was touching. Not the ground she was laying on, or even her own hoof as she touched herself. Her entire sense of equilibrium was thrown off, if she were to try to stand right now, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to stay on her hooves or not.

One of the worst parts about this place was the sound, more specifically, the lack of it. There was no sound of the wind blowing, the trees creaking, or even the crows cawing. She couldn’t hear any other sounds of life in the forest, the only sound was her own heart beating and her breathing. Even as the ringing in her ears began to stop, she found herself missing it a bit as it was at least something else to listen to.

The silence was deafening, she felt almost desperate for there to be some kind of other sound.

She closed her eyes as she tried to recall the last thing she remembered, the only way to figure out how to get out of this creepy place was to know how she got in here.

*Let’s see….I remember talking to Fluttershy, and she asked me to come with her into The Everfree to get some plants because Harry was sick. My tail started twitching, meaning something was going to fall. As soon as it did, she walked under a rotting tree, one of the branches about to give out. I didn’t have time to warn her, so I pushed her out of the way. And then…*

Her thought process was interrupted as she opened her eyes again, by what sounded like distant...thudding? She couldn’t quite make it out, it was similar to a giant boulder falling off a cliff one after another. She slowly opened her eyes to try to tell where it was coming from, but it echoed throughout the entire forest, making it hard to tell.

As it got closer, she thought she could hear other sounds, but wasn’t sure what they were. One of them sounded like chimes hitting each other, but without the actual noise that came with it, and just the sound of them hitting together. These were lower pitched than that, like whatever was hitting together was extremely dense. There was also something akin to whistling, close to when sharp winds blow through a narrow tunnel. These just added to the mystery, Pinkie couldn’t think of what could possibly be making all these noises.

As the thudding got closer, she saw the trees were shaking in sync with each thud, more than they normally were. It also allowed her to more or less tell the direction of it, it was coming straight in front of her, somewhere deep within the darkness she was scared of. She wasn’t sure why, but as it got closer, the feeling of dread inside of her got stronger, until she could focus on nothing but it.

As soon as the source of the noise came into sight, she had immediately regretted her curiosity at what it was.

It was huge, it had to be the size of a hydra, if not larger. However, it wasn’t in the shape of any creature. In fact, it was pony shaped. It had no skin, no coat, no mane, not even a cutie mark. It was just the skeleton of a pony, the bones were pure white and nothing had rotted away, it looked like it was in extremely good condition. It didn’t have a horn or wings, so she guessed it was an earth pony. She now knew the sound of what she thought were chimes was actually it’s bones as it walked, the whistling was the wind going through it’s ribcage. It didn’t stop walking until it was a few feet in front of her, the thuds of it’s bare hooves hitting the ground strong enough to make her body bounce a little each time. It craned it’s neck downward until it was above her, having no eyes so it’s eye sockets were peering down at her, nothing but absolute darkness behind them. It’s mouth wasn’t in any kind of shape, a blank expression staring back at her.

Pinkie’s mind went empty as she stared at the skeleton pony in front of her, barely able to comprehend what she was looking at. Her ears lowered behind her head and her eyes shrank to pinpricks, her mouth slightly agape as she tried to speak, but no noise came out.

“Interesting, most vomit at the mere sight of me, I should not be surprised you wouldn’t be as fazed by my appearance as most.” It spoke, it’s voice distinctly masculine and deep.

It had no tongue and it’s mouth didn’t move, but she could tell it was speaking. It’s like it was talking directly into her mind. She closed her mouth as she tried to calm down, her mind functioning properly again as thousands of thoughts ran through her head. She had a very strong desire to get up and run away, but something deep inside her told her she wouldn’t get very far.

“W-what,” She swallowed nervously as she tried to speak, finding her throat was suddenly very dry. “Are you?”

It seemed to stare at her for a few moments, her question hanging in the air as it’s dark sockets stared directly into her very soul. “Death.”

“D-death? But…then shouldn’t you have a black coat and a scythe?” Pinkie asked, she tended to talk a lot when she was afraid or nervous, more than she did normally.

“No, those are the agents of death, what you ponies have come to calling Grim Reapers. I am impressed, not many even know of the myth of the Grim Reapers, I thought they were lost to time long ago.”

It was true not many knew the legend of The Grim Reapers, the only reason she knew was because of Twilight’s obsession with collecting books. Whenever she got bored, she’d walk in and grab a book that interested her. One of them was a very large book that held very nearly every myth and legend known to Equestria, she read it out of mindless interest. One of them was The Grim Reapers, skeleton ponies who had a black cloak and a large scythe, who only show up to reap somepony’s soul and sent them to the afterlife after they die.

“, they work for you? You’re Death itself?” Pinkie asked, still trying to work out in her mind how she got here and how she was going to get out.

“That is correct. The Reapers send the souls of recently deceased to the afterlife, leaving me to forward their souls to Tartarus or Nirvana. Normally, after the last bits of life have left them, they get sent directly there. In special cases, they get sent here instead. This place is known as Limbo, the void between the afterlife and the living world, a place where you are given a moment’s respite to think back on your life and gather your thoughts.”

“S-special case? Do you mean…” Her blood ran cold as she stopped breathing for a moment, her stomach dropped as she felt her heart cease beating as realization hit her like a train.“I’m dead?”

Death did not respond, his body remained unmoving as he stared at her. He didn’t need to say anything, his silence was answer enough.

“No! I can’t be dead...I just can’t!” Pinkie said as she tried to get up again, the same pressure from before pushing her back to the ground. She lowered her eyes to the ground, refusing to believe what she was hearing. “I still have so many parties to throw! I haven’t gotten married or had cutie patootie little foals! Hay, I haven’t even had my first coltfriend yet! I need to spend more time with my friends, and as The Element of Laughter, I still nee-” She stopped talking for a moment as she realized something, a small triumphant smirk coming onto her face as she looked back up at Death. “That’s right, I’m an Element of Harmony, you have to send me back! The other elements are useless without me, I need to be alive to save Equestria when it needs me!”

Though it’s face didn’t change, she couldn’t help but feel like what she had just said made it upset. The entire forest seemed to get more tense when she spoke, she didn’t even notice the wind stopped blowing.

“Are you familiar with the concept of equality?” It said in a monotone voice, she was sure if it had eyebrows, it’d be scowling at her right then.

“’s when everyone gets treated equally, no matter what race or species they are.” She said hesitantly, her confusion couldn’t be more obvious.

“And do you know what the most true form of equality is?”

Pinkie wasn’t sure what answer he was expecting, so she chose the safe one and just shook her head.

“I am the only true form of equality. Good, bad, right or wrong. Earth pony, pegasus, unicorn, or alicorn. Griffin, changeling, dragon, yak. These things do not matter, I do not care about who you are or what you’ve done. If your death would save others, or cause the downfall of a country. If you were a rich noble, a petty thief, or a commoner. None of these things make any real difference, how you lived your life is inconsequential. You all die the same, and are all treated the same when your life inevitably ends. The Reapers are merely escorts, they are just there to make sure nothing happens to your soul on it’s venture. I don't know the process of how it is determined where you will go, I am just sent the knowledge of where to take you. I am not the jury, the judge, or the executioner, I just am.”

It’s voice spoke with a very strict sternness, as if it were trying to put the very knowledge of what it was saying directly into her brain. Pinkie’s mind was going faster than it ever had before, trying to figure out if this was all just some dream or elaborate prank. This seemed too real to be a dream, and far too complex to be any kind of prank. Even so, there was something it said that bothered her, something that didn’t line up with what she knew.

“Alicorns? But...the princess’ are immortal, I thought they couldn’t die?” Pinkie asked in a panicked tone of voice, trying to think of any loophole she could. She couldn’t die yet, she was too young and there was still so much she needed to do and ponies she needed to make smile!

“They are ageless, yes, but not immortal. Their hearts will never give out from their bodies growing too old, but they can still very much so be killed. As long as there has been life, there has been death. I have been there before they were, and I will be there after. During all of eternity, something will kill them. When that day comes, I will be here to take them to the afterlife, treating them like any other I have escorted before. There is only one thing that will never fall into my grasps, and that is those entities born of concepts. The being you know as Discord is the very concept of chaos, concepts cannot die. This is why I as well cannot die, I was born from the very concept of Death, so I will always be.”

Pinkie began to hyperventilate as it’s words reverberated throughout her mind, forcing her to come to terms with the truth. She was dead, this was no prank or dream, this was reality. She could feel tears in the corners of her eyes, unable to stop her heartbeat from getting faster and get her breathing under control. If she wasn’t already dead, she’d be worried about having a heart attack.

“However, you are a special case even among special cases. You may be the most interesting pony that has ever existed, certainly the most unique.” It said as it further lowered it’s head, it’s neck creaking and cracking like a falling tree as it came face to face with her. “You were meant to die many years ago, and many times after that. Yet, you lived for so long. Preventing not only your own death multiple times, but the deaths of many others. Your ability to see into the future, even if just by a few seconds, is nothing that has ever existed before you. It is new, and when you are as old as I am, you do not see new often. This may be a once in an existence opportunity, so I am willing to give you an offer no one before you has ever gotten, not even the princess’ will get such treatment when they unavoidably pass. But you may not want it, and as disappointing as it would be for you to turn it down, I must still give you the choice.”

Pinkie’s breathing began to slow down, her ears flicking slightly like she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “A...choice?”

“As you know, there are special places reserved in Tartarus for certain individuals, like Tirek. I do not make these judgments, I simply carry them through. What most do not know, is the same applies to Nirvana. For you and your friends, who have saved your country and the lives of countless others multiple times, there are places reserved for you and them there, with very little you could do to get them taken away from you. If you choose this, I will take you there like the many before you, and you will have passed on.”

Pinkie hung on every word he said, remaining silent as she debated with herself at what to do. Yes, what he was saying sounded really nice. But it couldn’t have been better than being with her friends and throwing parties, there was no way. If there was another option that included her living again, she had to take it.

“What’s the other option?”

While it’s entire body stayed still, and it might have just been her imagination, she could have sworn she saw its mouth curve into a slight smile.

“I will make you into a Grim Reaper.

Chapter Two: Substitute Grim Reaper.

View Online

“You...can do that?” Pinkie whispered, finding herself unable to tear her gaze away from its eye sockets. It was now face to face with her, her entire vision obscured by it’s large skull.

“I am capable of it, yes, though the need to do so has never arisen before.”

She heard that same creaking and cracking noise as it lifted it’s head, it’s neck bending as it turned it’s to the left, turning its attention to the crows. She followed his stare, having almost forgotten about them. They remained deathly quiet, not even flapping their wings. They seemed to be watching her, waiting to see what she would do.

“I’m sure you have noticed these crows and realized that they shouldn’t be here, everything in this world should be dead. These are not crows, they are the Grim Reapers, just as curious about you as I am. Out of the many that have come here, you are the first I have offered a deal too, as it is usually the other way around. Mortals are incredibly desperate in the face of Death, they never realize that none of their worthless possessions they had in their lives are of any value to me.”

It turned its head to face her again, she found it difficult to look at anything other than its eye sockets. She thought if she looked deep enough into them, she’d be able to see the back of its skull, even with the minuscule amount of light there was. Instead, like the darkness outside of the land she was in, they were endless.

“Like I, The Grim Reapers have been there since the beginning, but their role is very different. I can not step into the living world, everything around me would decay and die. They can stay in the living world without any risk to themselves or others, so they are the ones who make sure the souls go to the afterlife, or to me if they are a special case like you. In smaller towns where there are very few deaths, such as the home you call Ponyville, there is only one Grim Reaper. In the much larger and more populated places, like Canterlot or Griffonstone, there are half a dozen.

It is more convenient for them to stay in the world of the living than to come back here every time they escort a soul, so when they are not reaping, they live fake lives among you. They place themselves into your memories to make you believe they have always been there, in your many adventures, you have come across them and not even realized it.”

Pinkie’s eyes rapidly blinked in surprise, the revelation that she’d met Grim Reapers, and that one of them was among the people she knew so well in Ponyville, left her a bit flabbergasted. She closed her eyes, both to stop herself from staring into the endless void that was the inside of its skull, and to try to think of who could possibly be one.

No matter how hard she tried to think, there wasn’t anyone that came to mind who she thought spent their free time reaping souls. She knew all of their birthdays, friends, hobbies, and even their favorite foods, none of them seemed like their lives were a lie.

“If...and this is a big if...I do agree to become a Grim Reaper, what would I do?” Pinkie asked hesitantly as she opened her eyes to look up at Death, her mind more focused on how she could get out of this than actually becoming one. Normal ponies wouldn’t be able to get out of something like this, but Pinkie was far from a normal pony.

“You would take up the position of Grim Reaper in Ponyville, you would be a substitute, in a sense. Over the course of your life, as an Element of Harmony, you have saved many. Only ten of these, however, are ones you have saved with your gift, not counting those you have saved while using it to protect yourself. These actions have upset the balance of life and death, sending ripples and changing many things. Some are alive that shouldn’t be, lives have been altered when they were meant to stay stagnant.

To fix the mistakes you have made, you will remain a Reaper until you have escorted ten souls. Afterwards, you will return to your normal life, having no memory of your time as an agent of death. You will retain your gift of premonition, while I am capable of taking it away, I have decided you may keep it. However,”

Something about its voice got...darker, it was hard to explain. Usually, while it’s voice was absurdly deep and masculine, it kept a static tone of neutrality. It suddenly became more threatening, like it was trying to give her a warning.

Pinkie didn’t think she could be more scared than she already was, when it spoke in that tone, she was suddenly very glad she was already on the ground, or her shaking hooves wouldn’t have been able to keep her standing.

“Accepting my offer would mean I have saved your life, usually something I would be unable to do, but with you things are much more...pliable. It would also be well within my jurisdiction to end your life whenever I will it, even after you have finished your service. You may continue to use your ‘Pinkie Sense’ to save your own life, but if you intervene and save the life of one who’s meant to die, I will end you.”

A very strong wind came from it and blew towards her, pushing her hair behind her head flowing behind her. Her eyes widened in fear as her entire body quivered, her every sense was quickly overwhelmed by pure terror, finding herself unable to even speak. She was just barely able to hold her bladder, almost peeing herself like a foal.

“While your memories may be altered after you’ve escorted the tenth soul, the intense consternation I have instilled into you will remain, flaring up if you ever attempt to save another with your ability. Your very existence should be considered an abomination, I will no longer allow you to interfere the way you have been.”

Its voice reverted back to the same authoritative tone as before, the strong gust of wind suddenly stopping as her hair fell back into her face. She lowered her eyes onto the ground, unable to focus her vision anymore as everything became blurry with her tears. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was speaking directly into her mind, she was sure she wouldn’t be able to hear it over her own heartbeat.

It remained still and silent as she tried to calm herself down, this was the second time she had started hyperventilating with the last thirty minutes.

“You...want kill ten ponies?” She barely managed to stutter out, her voice raspy as she was still out of breath.

She heard a very light creaking noise, like a very old door being slowly opened. She glanced up at it to see what that was, noticing it had tilted its head ever so slightly to the left, like it was confused a bit by what it said. She heard another creaking noise as it straightened its head again, not once turning its leer away from her.

“I’m not sure if it is you that is mistaken, or the myths about them your kind has created. Grim Reaper’s do not kill, not even those that are meant to die. They simply watch and wait for nature to take its course, bringing the souls where they need to be. You will do the same, watch, wait, and escort, that is all you will be doing unless told otherwise.”

“You...want watch ponies die when I could save them?” Pinkie asked, disbelief written all over her face as she tried to wipe the tears. She thought back to all the times she had saved ponies lives with her Pinkie Sense, she had thought the number was larger than ten, but it was telling her it wasn’t.

She couldn’t remember when exactly it started, and she never questioned how she got it either. She thought it was a blessing she had been born with, that she was meant to save lives with her ability. But had she really been doing something terrible? Something that was threatening the very balance of life and death itself?

*Is what it said true? Am abomination?*

“Your sense of reality appears to be a bit warped, I should have expected this, you are able to do things no one else has ever had before. Watching others die and being unable to save them is what is considered normal, there are some that are not meant to be saved. You defy this, saving those that should not be saved. If you do not set things right, the world may change its course, the very harmony you have tried so hard to establish will turn into entropy. I may not care about your lives, but my role is to ensure balance among life and death, without balance, I would cease to have a purpose.”

Pinkie listened to his words intently, something about what he was saying was bothering her. Her head suddenly raised to face Death, making a slight gasp as something clicked in her mind.

“Wait, you said before that I was meant to die years ago, and many times after that. Does that’ve been trying to kill me?”

She watched as it’s jaw lowered slightly, in what she perceived as a...frown? “You do not listen very well. Like I said before, I do not bestow Death directly, merely manage it. The thing that has been trying to kill you has been the very universe itself, attempting to reestablish the scales you have tipped. Every ‘accident’ you have prevented with your clairvoyance has been exactly that, but every attempt seemed to make things worse. It soon became desperate, the longer you stayed alive, the more lives you saved and more problems you caused. Today, the universe won, you were finally stopped. If it eases you, I am impressed you lived as long as you did.”

“And...what,” Pinkie’s voice cracked as she spoke, the revelation that the universe itself had been trying to kill her was...staggering to say the least. “Is stopping that from happening again once I’m done.”

“I am. In every sense of the term, you are already dead, the mistake of you living is fixed. But, if you accept my offer and restore the balance you upset, you will be...forgiven. Your existence will be reset, and you will be able to live your life the way you want. As long as you do not try to save others like you have been, that is.”

Pinkie’s mouth opened and closed as she tried to think of what to say, her mind boggled as she was having a minor existential crisis. If everything he was saying was true, and she didn’t think he had a reason to lie, then that meant not only was her living a danger to the ponies she cared about, but the entire universe.

Had she really been a mistake? Was her..dying really for the better? She didn’t really know, but something was telling her that it wasn’t. The smiling faces of her friends, all the people’s lives she’d changed for the better, all the times she’s saved all of Equestria.

It couldn’t have been a mistake for her to live, she refused to believe that.

Which meant there was only one option left for Pinkie: Buy time. When she died, she should have been with Fluttershy. And if she knew Fluttershy as well as she thought she did, she would have gone immediately to Twilight. Twilight was panicking, but was surely reading through every book she had and even talking to the princess’, there was no way Twilight would just let her friend die in an accident like that.

If there was one person in all of Equestria that could save her, it would be Twilight.

“What if...I just don’t make a decision?” She whispered, a bit worried that just asking that would make him upset. She let her eyes drop again, something inside of her was telling her to stop looking at it.

“You can do that if you like, but, well.” It lowered its head again, hovering just a few inches above Pinkie. While she heard it move, she didn’t dare bring her head up to face it. “Would you like to know the most horrible thing I can do?”

There was something almost...sadistic about the way Death asked her that, if it was trying to make her more afraid of it, it was doing a good job. She shook her head back and forth, not even sure if she could bring herself to talk if she tried.

“I have complete control over this world, every aspect changes according to my whim. Which includes time. The moment you died and came here, everything outside paused, frozen like a picture until I am done with you. While my job is to escort you to the afterlife, there is no time limit on such a thing. If your soul has made it this far, it means you have been successfully escorted, and there is no danger.

I can keep you here as long as I like, we could sit here and talk about anything until the end of time, and not a single second would pass in the living world. Do you think you’d be the first to try to stay here for as long as possible, believing your connections from your life can save you? You have powerful friends, but nothing is more powerful, or more certain, than Death.”

Pinkie was absolutely terrified at that possibility, the mere thought of just staying here and talking with this creature for hours was unimaginable. She would be bored out of her mind, nothing to do and nothing to talk to but Death itself. Not only that, but now she was out of options, not even buying time could save her.

She was stuck between dying, or being forced to become the underling of Death. She was so afraid and filled with dread, that she was barely able to stop herself from throwing up.

“Are you...evil?” Pinkie asked herself more than it, feeling bile threatening to come out of her mouth from the back of her throat.

“I have told you before, but I do not mind repeating myself. I am not good, I am not evil, I just am.”

She tried to stop herself from shaking, desperate to think of any way out of this she could.

“What if instead of becoming a Grim Reaper, I-” She raised her head, realizing just how close she was to it. It’s skull was inches away, just barely not touching her. She was forced to look deeper into its eye sockets than she had before, a sudden smell filling her nostrils, the putrid stench of Death unlike anything else she had smelled before.

That pushed her over the edge, she was unable to hold it in her stomach anymore. She retched out the contents of her stomach, the disgusting taste of puke almost as bad as the smell. She gagged as it landed on the ground under her, noticing that instead of the food she ate earlier that day, it resembled blood.

She wasn’t sure why this time when she was face to face with him, she suddenly smelt what she did. But she had a feeling it was intentional.

“You seem to misunderstand the situation, allow me to clarify for you: Your very existence has upset the balance of life and death, your saving of those who have meant to die only made things worse. You have died, but instead of taking you directly to the afterlife like I’m supposed to, I am offering you a chance at redemption. I’m doing this because you are unique and I find your abilities interesting, that is all. And yet you are abusing my generosity, trying to find another way to get out of this, like you believe you are above consequences.”

She barely heard it raise its head, the rancid smell finally vanishing from her nose. She couldn’t bring herself to look up at it, wiping her mouth with her hoof and trying to get the taste out.

“This is not a negotiation, you have two options. Accepting your fate and dying, or becoming a Grim Reaper and redeeming yourself, and returning to the life you lived. I believe I have indulged you enough, I am usually patient, but your arrogance has run it thin. I want your answer now.”

Pinkie didn’t want to give Death an answer, she didn’t like her options. She didn’t want to die, even if it was telling the truth and her existence was a bad thing, that didn’t mean she wanted to die.

Being a Grim Reaper didn’t sound a lot better.

Her entire purpose in life was to make others happy, she was good at it and loved doing it! But doing this meant she would have to take people to the afterlife, and she couldn’t save them anymore. She’d have to watch as she died, knowing she could have done something to help them.

Instead, she’d have to help them pass on. As miserable as it sounded, it didn’t appear she’d have another choice.

“I’ it, I’ll become a Grim Reaper.” Pinkie said with a sob, she was completely defeated and disheartened, there was nothing else she could do.

“Very well, you will wake up in your body soon. A few hours will have passed after the time of your death, you will awaken alive and well, as if nothing had happened to you. I normally wouldn’t answer questions, but since you will be the first pony turned into a Grim Reaper, I will answer any you have.”

“Well, I do have a few, but…” Pinkie slowly got to her hooves, expecting the same pressure from before to knock her down again. She was a bit surprised when it didn’t. While her legs were still shaky from how afraid she was, she still managed to stand. “Will I be able to tell my friends about this?”

“You will not, while you will be a substitute, you will have to follow the same rules. You can do as you like normally, but you must keep it a secret from your friends. The only one you may talk about it to is The Grim Reaper you will be taking over for. If you try to tell anyone, you will be dead before the words Grim can leave your mouth.”

“Got it. So, are you going to teach me how to be one before I get sent back?”

“I cannot, I do not have the knowledge to do so. When we were made, we had the innate directive on what to do. I know how to guide souls to the afterlife, they know how to reap souls and bring them to me. The one who will be teaching you is the Reaper that inhabits Ponyville, it is someone you know very well. When their identity is revealed to you, I believe you will find it…”

It turned its head to the right, looking at a crow that was sitting by itself on a branch. As it did, it’s jaw unhinged a little, making a noise that she wasn’t sure was coming from it or directly into her mind. It sounded sort of like wheezing, it was short and it quickly closed i’s jaw again, turning to face her.

*Was it just...laughing?*


Pinkie brought her hoof up to her chin, closing her eyes thoughtfully as she tried to figure out who he was talking about. “Can I…” She murmured as she opened her eyes, lowering her hoof back down to the ground. “Have a hint? She asked with a sheepish smile.

“I shall give you a hint, and then I will send you back to the world of the living, you have spent long enough here. When you wake up, you are to go to your room in Sugarcube Corner as soon as possible, they will be waiting for you there.”

It lowered its head as her entire body began to tingle, the moonlight beginning to dim as her vision darkened. Soon she could not see anything, losing her senses again and unable to hear her own heartbeat.

“It is not a pony they are pretending to be.”


That was the last thing Pinkie heard before everything went dark again, like when she first went there. For what felt like forever, she lost all of her senses, feeling nothing but darkness again. She could feel, see, or hear nothing but darkness, not even able to form a single thought.

Also like last time, all of her senses came back at once. She couldn’t hear anything but the intense ringing in her ears and her own loud heartbeat, she could smell something like firewood burning and feel her back was against something soft.

Her eyes fluttered open and closed a few times, before fully opening them and her body shooting up. She looked down at her hooves, her hair that was still straight fell down. She checked her cutie mark and saw that the colors were back, though the rest of her coat was still a bit dull. She looked around her environment, trying to see where she woke up at.

She shouldn’t have been surprised she was in Fluttershy’s living room, but it didn’t make sense why Fluttershy would bring her dead body back here instead of Twilight’s castle. She was laying on the couch, the entire room was dark except for the fire coming from the chimney she had. She looked out the window and saw that it was dark outside, it seemed Death was right, it had been a few hours.

She heard something coming down the stairs, looking over there and seeing it was Fluttershy herself. The second Fluttershy saw that Pinkie was awake, she flew over to her and embraced her at speeds Rainbow Dash would be proud of, hugging her with a surprisingly strong grip and sobbing.

“Pinkie! I was so worried about you! When I saw that tree branch land on you I thought you were dead, but you were still alive and only had a few scrapes and bruises! I called my animal friends and had you brought back here and I did everything I could for you, but you’ve been asleep for hours and I was so afraid you wouldn’t wake up! I’m so sorry I asked you to come out here to help me, I should have gotten them myself and-”

“It’s ok Fluttershy, really.” Pinkie said as she hugged Fluttershy back, her voice as soft as she could manage.

She knew that Fluttershy tended to go on rants when she was really worried about her friends, it’s just how she was. Pinkie was a bit confused at first why she hadn’t gone to get Twilight, until she heard what she had said.

Death had told her that the tree branch killed her, and that she was completely dead. But what Fluttershy was telling made it seem like she was just knocked unconscious, and now she was mostly fine. She was almost inclined to believe that was all a dream, but she knew it wasn’t. Death must have just made it seem like she was still alive in case she had accepted becoming a Grim Reaper, if she hadn’t she would have just died on this couch.

That didn’t matter right now, she was alive.

“I’m alive Fluttershy, I’m alive!” Pinkie suddenly exclaimed, like she was saying it just as much to herself as Fluttershy.

She jumped off the couch as her hair poofed up, a wide smile stretching on her face as she held Fluttershy by the hooves, spinning her around like she was dancing.

“Pinkie, I’m happy you’re alive too, but can you put me down?” Fluttershy asked, the feeling of suddenly being flung around was making her stomach feel a bit unsettled.

“Yeppers!” Pinkie said as she suddenly stopped spinning, slowly putting Fluttershy back on the ground.

Her face quickly went from happy to serious, grabbing Fluttershy by the shoulders and pulling her closer, a look of sheer panic on her face.

“Quick, how long have I been asleep?”

“Um...Five or six hours, I think?” Fluttershy responded hesitantly, not understanding the sudden urgency.

Pinkie’s mouth opened dramatically wide, letting out a loud gasp that even Rarity would be impressed by. Without saying a single word, she shot out of Fluttershy’s house like a rocket, leaving a smoke trail behind her as the door was shot open.

Fluttershy was left looking at the open door, her mouth open slightly as she couldn’t have been more confused. She brought her hoof up to her mouth, letting out a slight chuckle.

“Well, at least she’s ok.”


It was a bit later than Pinkie had expected, on her way to Sugarcube Corner, there was barely anyone out. She was a bit disappointed by that, she kind of wanted to talk to other ponies and just enjoy being a live, the Grim Reaper could wait a few more minutes.

Since there was no one around, she spent her trip back thinking about what Death told her. While at first it sounded useful, it didn’t help narrow it down very much. There were lots of other species it could be, especially with The School of Friendship allowing so many. Changelings, Hippogriffs, hay, it could even be Spike!

As crazy as all that sounded, she just couldn’t think any of them were a Grim Reaper. It didn’t help that by the way Death was talking, she’d find it funny who it was. Or, he at least would find it funny.

*Cranky maybe? I’d find that a little funny that he would be one, but I’m not sure if Death counts him as a pony or not.*

Even when she got to Sugarcube Corner, she still couldn’t think of who it could be. She saw that The Cakes were already asleep and it had been shut down for the day, she felt a bit guilty that she probably made them worried, but there was little more she could do than apologize to them.

When she got into her room, she had slightly expected that they’d be waiting in her room, ominously sitting on her bed or something. That didn’t seem to be the case, her room didn’t seem to have any new additions to it or anything, if a little dark. She turned the lights on and began to look, searching everywhere from behind her bed to under her pillows. She was tempted to search in her secret party basement, but something was telling her they weren’t down there.

“Hello? Are you in here Mr. Grim Reaper? Or Miss, whatever you identify as.”

Pinkie asked in no specific direction, she wasn’t actually expecting to get a response.

“I identify as Mr, my pronouns are he/him. Though technically I’m an ‘it’, we don’t really have genders.”

The voice was a bit husky and masculine, though she honestly didn’t recognize the voice at all. She looked around her room, trying to see where it came from, there wasn’t anywhere in the room she couldn’t see into, and there wasn’t anyone else in there except for her.

Well, almost anyone but her.

She slowly looked towards her bed, where Gummy sat. He had been in there since she came into the room, but she hadn’t paid him any attention. As soon as she laid eyes on him, his began to change. Instead of one eye looking to the right and one looking to the left, they were both looking straight at her, a somewhat serious expression on his face.

“No…”Pinkie whispered to herself.

She watched in horror as Gummy’s body slowly got bigger, his scales slowly fading from green to white, and the shape of them changing from scales to bone.

“No way.” She said as she turned her entire body to face him, unable to believe what she was seeing or look away.

There was a sickening crunching noise as Gummy’s body got bigger, it was gross to listen to and sounded like it’d be extremely painful. Soon Gummy was the size of a pony, his eyes gone and he no longer resembled the alligator he was moments before.

NO BUCKING WAY!” Pinkie swore as she slammed her hooves against the ground, her jaw hanging open as she watched in disbelief.

Gummy now looked much like what the books said Grim Reaper’s looked like: In the shape and skeleton of a pony, but without eyes, a coat, tail, mane, or a cutie mark. It had a large black coat, she wasn’t sure where it came from. It covered his entire body except for it’s skull, the hood was pulled back and she could see his face, though without any skin or anything it was hard to tell what kind of expression he was making.

Like the black cloak, a large black scythe appeared out of nowhere. It had a handle on the black snath, just big enough for a hoof to fit in, which is exactly how Gummy was holding it up. It was a bit taller than him, the very top of it almost touching the roof. The blade also looked extremely sharp, sharp enough to slice off her head in a single swoop.

GUMMY, YOU’RE THE GRIM REAPER?!” Pinkie yelled as she pointed at him, glad she had soundproofed her room long ago, or she would have woken up The Cakes.

“Gummy the Grim here,” Gummy said as his teeth chattered, the sound of his jaw moving was the exact sound she heard from Death as his bones hit together. “I’ll be your Reaper.”

Chapter Three: First Day (Night) On The Job.

View Online

“B-but I...what, w-hen, how...WHAT?!” Pinkie exclaimed as she slammed her hooves against the floorboard for the second time that night in five minutes, both to emphasize what she was saying, and because she was farcically frustrated.

Gummy let out a hollow chuckle as his teeth clacked against each other again, hopping off the bed and landing with surprisingly no noise, except for the sound of the top of the scythe barely scraping against the roof.

“Yeah, yeah, you got your questions, I got the answer sheet. No reason for us to be staying in your room and talking like you and your friends do at your sleepovers, let’s trot and talk!” Gummy declared as he raised his hoof in the air, turning around and walking towards the door, carrying the large scythe in his other hoof with relative ease.

Gummy, her toothless pet alligator who couldn’t talk and couldn’t even look straight, was a Grim Reaper, the mythological agents of Death. Not just that, but he was a snarky one too, who didn’t seem to take anything seriously and did everything at his pace in his own way.

Twilight would probably be having an aneurysm right now.

Out of sheer bafflement and a near incapability to think coherently at the moment, she picked her jaw up off the floor and followed him to the door. She remained silent and kept her gaze on him, doing her best to organize her thoughts, what questions to ask and in what order to ask them.

It wasn’t until she saw Gummy’s skeletal hoof reach for the doorknob did she realize something.

“Wait!” She said with a loud gasp.

He, *It? Gummy did mention he identified as Mr even though they don’t have genders, I’m just going to keep referring to him as a stallion.* stopped as soon as his hoof touched it, glancing over his shoulder at her, the endless void behind his eye sockets reminding her of her encounter with Death.

Intentionally or not, she was intimidated, stumbling back from Gummy as she found herself now much more afraid than curious. “Um...shouldn’t we be more careful than just strolling around Ponyville? I mean, I know it’s late, but that doesn’t mean no one will see or hear us. After all, no one is supposed to know I’m a Grim Reaper, right?”

Hearing her own voice, she would have easily mistaken it for Fluttershy; it had been a long, long time since she’d spoken that meekly. She wasn’t even sure why she was so afraid, as long as she didn’t break any of the conditions she agreed to, she should be fine. It’s not like he would actually hurt her, he was still Gummy after all.

“Hm, I mean, yeah you’re right, but it’s not like I’m being careless. Like this no one can see or hear me, I basically don’t exist anymore. We wouldn’t just be going anywhere either. There’s a destination in mind, Death chose to wake you up when he did rather than right when you got squished by that tree like a rotten apple after all.”

He turned around and walked up to her, without any skin or muscles it was impossible to tell what he was thinking, not a single expression giving away anything. “Anyway, just transform into a...oh, I see the problem now. Us Grim Reapers can kind of it, like breathing, you know? You’re the first pony made Grim Reaper ever, teaching you how to transform would be like teaching a plant how to photosynthesize.”

He placed his hoof on his chin thoughtfully, walking in a circle around her like a rich pony investigating a statue before they bought it. When he made a full circle he got closer to her, his face inches away from hers, luckily he didn’t give off that putrid stench of decay like his boss did.

She had the urge to get as far away from him as she could, but her gut was telling her that was a bad idea. Instead, she tried her best to avoid making eye contact with where his eyes should be to the best of her ability, smiling sheepishly and feeling herself sweating slightly.

“Boop!” He suddenly said, whispering it to himself almost inaudibly as he poked the tip of her muzzle with his hoof.

It was cold and stiff, but otherwise felt like a normal hoof. She wrinkled her nose a bit and crossed her eyes, trying to look down at it and see if anything changed.

“What was that for?”

“Oh, that? To make sure you were properly Grimmfied, a term I just came up with, trademark pending. If you were a normal pony, you would have dropped dead on the spot, physical contact from a Reaper tends to have that effect.”

Pinkie felt a shiver down her back, suddenly very thankful she could feel and hear her own heart beat.

“That could have killed me? WHY WOULD YOU EVEN TEST THAT, DOES MY LIFE NOT MATTER TO YOU?!” She screamed in his face, or lack thereof, her terror of him temporarily forgotten.

“Don’t worry bout it, sweetheart. If you would have died, Death would have just brought you back and fixed whatever was wrong. At worst, I would have been scolded. Your contract with him is still active, you aren’t allowed to die until it’s complete or broken.”

After saying this Gummy lowered his head, hiding most of his skull beneath the hood. He made some sort of gesture with his hoof Pinkie didn’t recognize, he remained that way and stayed silent for half a minute or so.

“Hm, this would be a lot easier if you were a changeling, but don’t let anybody say Gummy The Grim Reaper doesn’t like a challenge.” he said as he raised his head to look at her again, lowering his hoof onto the ground silently. “Alright, we’re gonna try this the good ole’ changeling way. Close your eyes and imagine yourself transforming like I did, but, well, minus the getting larger since you aren’t an alligator.”

She was about to ask him about that, but decided against it and to save it for later. Pinkie followed his instructions and closed her eyes, imaging her skin and muscles fading away, the skeleton pony beneath being revealed. She felt a strange feeling overcome her, similar to when she’d move closer to a fire to get warm, but instead of a wave of warmth, it was more similar to numbing cold.

It spread from her hooves to the rest of her body in a near instant, she opened her eyes whenever it got to the end of her tail, raising her hoof to her face and seeing it was a skeleton hoof just like his!

She ran to the bathroom to see her reflection in the mirror, revealing that she had indeed turned into a Grim Reaper. Her frame was over all a bit thinner than Gummy’s since she was a mare, but otherwise she was identical to him. She even had the large, black robe that covered her entire body except her skull and the tip of her hooves; the only thing she was missing was the oversized scythe.

“This is...kind of cool.” Pinkie said to herself, seeing her mouth move without muscle and skin or anything put goosebumps on her skin.

*Or it would, if I had any! On the plus side, I’m going to be able to make so many puns!*

“Right? You’ll get used to it over time, but it is pretty cool. Come on, we have a decent amount of time, but I’d rather not push it. By the way, you won’t be getting your scythe quite yet, we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

She went back into the other room with Gummy, a lot less bothered by his appearance now that she looked the same, and that she couldn’t die. Without being stopped this time, he opened the door to Pinkie’s room, she followed him and they began walking down the stairs to the kitchen.

She was tempted to run into The Cake’s bedroom and make silly faces at them since they couldn’t see her, but then remembered that she didn’t have a face. However, that did lead her to thinking about all the pranks she could do now! Being invisible and no one could hear her? Perfect! She just felt a little bad she couldn’t do it with Rainbow Dash, which reminded her that she was going to have to be careful not to touch anyone when she was like that.

She was so excited at the ideas she had for pranks she found herself bouncing down the stairs like she usually did, just because she was a Grim Reaper now, didn’t mean she couldn’t make it fun!

“I see, and hear, that you’ve got your groove back. That’s nice. Go ahead and ask me all your burning questions, I’m sure you got plenty.” He remarked dreadfully.

She abruptly stopped her bouncing, having gotten so excited about the prospect of pranks she could pull, she had almost forgotten about her current predicament. She scowled, or at least made the effort of scowling without a face.

“Alright, buster, I’m onto you! Where’s the real Gummy? The one I picked up in The Everfree Forest. That’s what happened, right? You swooped in, kidnapped and hid him somewhere and you’ve been impersonating him. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, but that’s Chrysalis' schtick, and she did it way better than you.”

She got in front of him and poked his chest, or where his chest would be, with her hoof, halting him as she made her accusation. He tilted his head to the left slightly like he was amused, before clacking his teeth together again as he let out that signature, empty laugh of his.

“Babe, I am the real Gummy. My style is my own and I don’t like copying others, unlike a certain swiss-cheese now statue bug.” Pinkie couldn’t help but to snort at that one, which was weird to hear without any skin or anything.

He pushed her to the side with little effort, continuing to walk out of Sugarcube Corner as she begrudgingly followed him.

“Think about it: Do you really believe a toothless alligator would survive a day in there? The answer is as brief as it’s life span: no. Assuming the mother wouldn’t just straight up eat it so it wouldn’t have to waste resources and time on keeping it alive, it would be abandoned and gobbled up faster than a stray jelly bean in a candy shop by a foal.

No, I was strategically placed so you would find me when I replaced the previous Grim Reaper of this town, something that happens every century or so because it gets boring staying in the same place with the same ponies all the time. Don’t really know why Death chose to make me a toothless alligator instead of a pony or something, I guess he does have a sense of humor every now and again, as strange as it is.”

She listened intently to his explanation, trying to detect any change in his voice that might have given away any lies. While it was distinctly snide, it was monotone in the sense that that’s all it was, staying static no matter what he was saying or how long he was talking.

She didn’t think he had any reason to lie to her, in fact, she was preeeetttyyy sure he wasn’t allowed to lie to her. Pinkie couldn’t say for sure, now that she wasn’t quite literally staring Death in the face and overwrought with crippling terror, she was realizing that there were probably a lot of things she should have asked while she could. There were still some things she was vague about that she really should have known more of before agreeing to things, but it was too late now and all she could do is ask her pet alligator now Grim Reaper after the fact.

She began following Gummy on the streets of Ponyville again, stopping abruptly again as the full realization of his words hit her. If she still had skin and blood, she would have been blushing furiously.

“B-but...all those t-times you watched me take a bath! Wait, all those times you took bathes with me! And, watched me get changed and-”

She was interrupted by a chuckle that didn’t quite leave his throat, which made her question how he even made those noises without having vocal cords, she now understood a bit better how others felt when they witnessed her Pinkie Sense.

“Oh, don’t get your panties that you don’t wear in a twist.” He said with a dismissive wave of his hoof, not bothering to stop when Pinkie did and just continued walking. “I couldn’t give a timberwolf’s thorned flank about any of that stuff. Grim Reapers both can’t and don’t have the right parts for reproductive functions, we can’t die so there’s no need for it. Now stop stopping! It’s annoying.”

She recoiled a bit, surprised out how loudly he raised his voice. She quickly caught up to him, keeping along with his pace and glancing under his hood every now and again. She couldn’t see very much of his face, but the little she could was impossible to read. She had always been pretty good at understanding ponies and getting a rough idea of what they were thinking by just looking at them, she’d have to be so she could make them happy!

However, she couldn’t get a read on Gummy, and it wasn’t just because he literally couldn’t make facial expressions. It was also his body language, more specifically, the lack of it. His body was completely stiff, no gestures as he spoke, no shifting his body in any way, nothing.

It was like Maud but amplified, it was...kind of scary.

“ long do you think I’ll be doing this for? Death said I’ll need to escort at least ten ponies, but he didn’t really say how long that would be.”

“Hard to say. For a town beside the most dangerous forest in Equestria and housing all six Bearers of Harmony, which has made it a target on many occasions, there’s a lack of actual death. Before you ask, yes, I do mean natural deaths. Not just sickness or old age, even if a monster comes out of the forest and tears some poor pony apart. if they were meant to die, it’s natural.”

He turned his head towards her slightly as if to glare at her, and while he actually couldn’t due to a lack of eyebrows and eyes, it still got the message across. “He already gave you the spiel about the whole ‘those who were meant to die and balance of the universe’ thing, so I won’t nag you about it, I’m sure you know better than to try to prevent anyone else’s demise from here on out, eh?”

He teasfully bumped his flank against hers, which made muffled clunking noises as their bones collided, a sound she was still struggling to get used to.

“Anyway, to answer the million bit question; I don’t really know. Like I mentioned, people don’t die around here as often as they should, something that will be stabilized now that you won’t be going around saving them like some off-brand Mysterious Mare-Do-Well. Could be months, years even. On the plus side, you won’t age until then since you’re a Reaper now, so hopefully we’ll have it done before others start to notice that little detail.”

She felt her heart sink at the reality of Gummy’s words, if she even still had one. She didn’t think it would be that long! Sure there were benefits, like the pranking she could do and the fact that she won’t have to worry about developing wrinkles anytime soon. That isn’t outweighed by the fact that she was going to have to wake up every morning, asking herself if she was going to have to watch someone she knew die and escort them to the afterlife, when she knew she could have saved them.

It didn’t help that she wasn’t going to be able to talk to any of her friends about it. There was a certain loneliness in not being able to talk about something this important with the ponies she was closest to, and she didn’t deal well with loneliness. It reminded her of the rock farm, and those were days she’d rather keep far away from her thoughts.

Pinkie stayed eerily silent as she followed Gummy through the quiet streets of Ponyville, her head hung down low and her hooves were scraping against ground, she was slower than before but was still keeping up with him. He picked up on her demeanor, but decided not to say anything.

The air between them was tense as there was not even the sound of their hooves touching the ground with each step, the fact that nothing she did made any sound at all just felt innately wrong to her. There were so many things about this whole thing she was going to have to adjust to, the good and the bad.

All of it seemed trivial to the fact that she was going to have to get used to accompanying the dead.

They both remained like that for a few minutes, every now and again Pinkie would draw a breath and open her mouth to ask a question, then she’d close it and shake her head. Everything she’d been told so far answered most of her questions, directly or indirectly, most of the questions she had were on the smaller details. There were a couple she had left she would have to ask Death personally, and doubted Gummy would know.

There was one burning question that she needed to ask, one she had primed for whoever ended up being The Grim Reaper.

The second Death told her that it was someone she knew, she tried to figure out who it could have been, who’d been lying to her about their friendship from the beginning. Not only had they been watching her this entire time, but their entire lives had been a lie, all their relationships with everyone in Ponyville had just been a cover.

The Reaper being her pet was quite a shock, but they didn’t change her burning need to ask the question that’s been at the forefront of her mind.

“Gummy, did our relationship mean anything to you? Do you...actually care about me?”

This time, it was Gummy who stopped, she got a few steps ahead before noticing and stopping herself. She observed her surroundings to see where they were, it was hard to see much with how dark it was out, but she had a rough idea of where they were. Somewhere on the outskirts of Ponyville, opposite to the side where The Everfree Forest was. Some of the lights were on in the nearby houses, but nobody was actually out as far as she could tell.

She turned around to face Gummy, he was staring off in the distance somewhere, not at anything in particular. She was just guessing since there was nothing to give it away, but it appeared he was thinking deeply about something.

“When dear ole’ daddy Death told you you were the first of your kind, he was omitting some details, something you’ll come to realize he does often because he thinks it makes things ‘interesting’. You are the first who’s had your ability, yes, but not the first a Grim Reaper has been ‘bestowed the privilege of observing’. You could say Life and Death have had many...conflicts, along with a few other conceptual entities. Us underlings get caught in between sometimes and have to make sure nothing goes wrong with certain individuals, as in they don’t die before they’re supposed to or anything. You won’t have to worry about any of that stuff, it’s way above your head. But…”

His head dropped as he raised his hoof, turning it back and forth and examining it like he was looking for something.

“Grim Reapers aren’t supposed to get attached or have personalities, if we start caring about things, our job get’s a lot more complicated. Even so, living a double life like we do, sometimes the personality we pretend to be...bleeds into us and becomes less fake. After a while, traits from those personalities become a part of us and we resemble ghosts of all the people we were pretending to be, rather than the emotionless machines of death like mythology suggests. I shouldn’t have to explain to you the kinds of problems that comes with that, and how lucky you are that you won’t have to worry about it.

Due to the after effects of having Reapers being forced to have lived so many lives, and many being driven mad by it, Death had to intervene. Now, every time a Reaper replaces another in watching a town, we get reset, so to speak. We become blank sets, starting from zero like when we were created, no memories of who we were and just with the knowledge we get with being a Grim Reaper. In my case though…”

He lowered his hoof and began walking again, bumping into Pinkie and twirling the scythe with ease. “I don’t feel anything for you, any of your friends, or anyone in Ponyville. However, I can’t deny the effect you’ve had on my development. There’s not exactly a lot of personality in a mindless alligator, so I more or less took after you, kind of like imprinting in a weird way. Luckily just the parts where you joke about everything and don’t take anything seriously, rather than the more idiotic part of you that I’m honestly surprised doesn’t annoy more people; you can be so insensitive and immature at times.”

She couldn’t bring herself to look at Gummy. His words were cold and held no emotion at all, it sort of reminded her of whenever Twilight would rant about something and occasionally state things that would hurt someone’s feelings without even thinking about it.

She was reminded of her birthday, when she thought that Rainbow and the others didn’t like her or want to be her friend anymore. Except this wasn’t a misunderstanding, Gummy was telling her to her face that he didn’t care about her and that their relationship was nothing more than a farce.

Somehow, Pinkie felt like this was a friendship problem they wouldn’t be able to fix.

Hearing those words from him was like a stab in the heart, if she had her mane right now, it likely would have been completely straight. But, she didn’t have time for a mental breakdown at the moment. The turnips, rocks, and buckets would have to wait.

She trudged toward him, trying to get her mind off what he said.

“Can least tell me where we’re going? You’ve kept saying we need to be somewhere, but not why.” She asked in a solemn tone.

“Isn’t that obvious? We’re going to escort your first soul! Huge coincidence that someone’s dying the same night you get coronated into reaperhood, you can’t sense when someone’s going to die quite yet, you’ll get the hang of it.

As for where, well, that’ll spoil the surprise! A surprise party isn’t a surprise party without the surprise, now is it? You haven’t been here in a while, but I’m sure you’ll recognize it soon.”

He moved his lower jaw back and forth, something about it was almost teasing her. Her blood ran cold as soon as he said it, or it would have if she had any. Her mind raced with the possibilities of who he could have been talking about, she was friends with everyone in Ponyville, and none of them seemed like they were anywhere near dying!

Dread filled her entire core and only got worse with each step they took down a dirt path, she knew she should be shaking, but the lack of muscles made her still stiff and steady. She wanted to ask Gummy more, but she both didn’t think he’d actually answer, and she wasn’t sure she could bring herself to ask properly.

The silence was so tense she couldn’t think about anything else, the complete darkness of The Whitetail Woods and the sounds of the night didn’t help. She knew that she shouldn’t have been worried now that she couldn’t die, but fear wasn’t exactly a rational emotion.

There was a light in the distance as they turned the corner, coming from a small shack at the end of the dirt path in the woods, the realization of who lived there stopped her in her tracks. How did it not register with her before? There was only one person she knew who could be living there, and now that she was here, she regretted not coming to visit more.