Broken, Yet Clinging, Of Threads And Feathers

by Rewan Demontay

First published

Trapped in a blurry statis, Chrysalis ponders memories of her past. Perhaps there is more to it than she knows.

Trapped in an unknown state, Chrysalis cannot do anything except remember her past. Thinking to pass the time, she aimlessly ponders her life's actions. Perhaps there is more to it than she knows.


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In the darkness, her actions bind her.

Despite light’s promised starkness, her nightmares blind her.

She harks to end the endless pain.

But nothing is done–it comes and washes again.

Chrysalis felt the suffocating reams of agony strike over and over and over and over and over. Never-ending memories of pain blurred together. The echo of her last true sensation was a frosty, bitter, shaking breath. Flashing images of the nameless who had wronged her echoed. What did she do to deserve this? All she’d ever done was protect… she could not recall. Nonetheless, a sense of necessary deeds for those whom she had loved and raised. No matter how vile. No matter how dangerous. No matter how wicked.

And yet…

As the shadows whipped her, Chrysalis couldn’t help but feel a small piecemeal of… something. The inky void slipped by, never-ending, always running past her thin frame. The word for the feeling escaped. It felt so foreign yet within grasp. That was the aptest description she could bequeath to it. Galloping, flying, swimming, through a murky swarm. Rippling stings surged her blood. Throbbing impalement beats alongside her heart. Surely such feelings must be natural, a result of her stressful desires, of an unjust enchantment. Curse her tormentors.

What was this?

An unnerving feeling of years wasting away slithered into her succumbing mind. Slowly, the gaps in memory begin to fill. She had been a conqueror. As this ceaseless wasteland swallowed her whole in the infinite, Chrysalis realized she’d been a leader. One for her hive. The changeling queen. That’s what she was. Or rather, who she had been. Panging cries ring out from her. What had happened to her? All she knew was here. It filled her existence. The deathly paleness of lost love wrapped her torso. And tightened.

That couldn’t be right.

A force unknown brought forth what she’d done in her long tenure. Decades passed in blips. She’d risen, chosen and matured by the previous queen, to keep a strict order and harmony in the species. Keep them safe, secure, and most importantly, a secret for the protection of all. No matter the cost. Chrysalis then saw her hive after her banishment, thriving amongst others. How had she done something wrong? No, she couldn’t have.

And yet, a twinning doubt subsisted.

The surface world above had changed. That much was true. Still, that was no excuse to change her behavior. The shadows and taking of lives, her control of love–their essence of survival, ensured the continued survival of their species. The void around her burned, seemingly years passing as she pondered. In sharp contrast to how she ruled, Chrysalis saw how they acted under their next leader. Her changelings living a life beyond pure survival.

Jealousy sparked at their unburdened existences.

Chrysalis wanted these to be planted subversion to subdue her into acceptance. However, in her heart, she knew whoever trapped her here did nothing of the sort. A feeling of anchored weightlessness tugged. For all her questionable actions, something showed that things could have been different. That she could have chosen differently, had she not been so entrenched in her ways. Chrysalis, strangely, found herself mulling her deservedness.

The ultimate consequences of her decisions were hammered down in a gasping explosion.

Deaths levied above the flooded banks in her mind. The poor guard protecting his princess. Snapped like a twig. In accordance, she felt the entity entrapping her, mangling her being in one thousand ways. Now she, too, knew the suffering she’d caused. Blood, blood, and blood blood blood. She faintly felt it all. The sparks, long snuffed, ignited the embers. In an instant, the sparks of her everything lit.

This… wasn’t right.

Cracks throttled through the shell of her being.

How long had she been here? Icy cold razed her sides. Cuts slashed through and through. Despair overcame. Nothing came to aid her wails. Chrysalis broke into a tumbling cry. She fell and she fell. In a downward spiral of body and mind. The sensations did not cease in spite of her newfound emotions. She couldn’t distinguish anything anymore. Why did she hurt so many? Why? She may have been keeping her species alive, but at what final cost?

Where were they all now?

The vaguest of notions passed by. Time crawled, shot and wounded. The truth of how long it’d been here, though hidden, felt tangible. Everything felt absolutely suffocating. The machinations of Chrysalis’s mind ticked. It’d been so long, so, so long. She was only alive because magic entrapped her. A thought hit. One that shattered her heart into oblivion once the fullest extent of it pooled the deepest recesses of her mind.

She might be the last changeling.

A name surfaced. Thorax. Hot tears spiked for no good reason. How was he now? Now, she reasoned, he must be ashen. Was this what others felt from her actions? Only now, her cruelty expounded, and stripped away, did Chrysalis realize. Her son. He’d been… a son, yes, a son to her. She felt it in her soul. So many lost to her. And yet she could not remember why or how she entered this ever-crescendoing harmony of torture. Blackness, forevermore, boded her future.

To never escape.

Who would she be otherwise? A kingdomless, subjectless queen. Nay, not a mother nor a monarch no more. Chrysalis screamed into the abyss. It struck her with violent blasts of energy in return. She curled and cried. This, now, was her home. Nothing. She’d become nothing. For ambition’s folly, she’d rejected everything in her life. And here she was, a trapped nobody. Cackled, sobbing laughs abounded. The pain increased tenfold. Deserved pain.

How she wished.

The symphony of nightmares rattled with rips.

To undo her sins.

Electricity arced, coursing through her with force.

Chrysalis welcomed the change. Relished the hurt. A distraction from her existential wondering. It creased into the deepest layers of her soul. Feel. Feel it. Feel like she’d never felt before. In her mortal days, she delivered such without second thought. Now it was her turn. Rejection turned to acceptance of fate. If this be her Tartarus, so be it. More streams of accepting tears. This, this was her home. A prison of aching questions and impossible possibilities.

A beautiful chaos of injuring order.

Breathing, contrary to its uselessness, constricted.

The walls seemed to move in.

Suddenly, it all morphed into a crushing, drowning.

Breathing in, Chrysalis did not deny.

Exhaling out it at the point of folding over,

She felt a surge of thoughtlessness. Being one with it all.

The infinite cosmos, the epitome of what she knew she deserved.


A tingle.

Opening her vision, a blinding white flashed.

Her eyes burned. She screamed again.

Chrysalis felt the cracking. Hardened surfaces encased in her second. Cold and bitter and unmoving, as she’d once been. Heat seared her body. Suffocating airlessness filled her nostrils. Whiteness bounced as all she could see. Innumerous lacerations burned as if they’d been in place forever. Slashes and burns long endured. Everything, a whirled of memories bursting above the black river’s ream.

Was this her death at last?

Blunt agony exploded. Yellow light flared.


The material containing her snapped into a sandy bruising. Chrysalis smashed snout onto a stony flooring. That much she could tell through her clearing vision. Fresh rays of heated sunlight tickled with intensity. Her lungs coughed urgently. Magical connections shot through every way point inside her. Sensation after sensation of her functions' activity. The nightmare was… over? Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet air greedily took advantage of her will to live.

The memories of how she became stone snapped back.

She vomited. Wretched disgust bellowed in her heart.

How was she ever so vicious?

Petrification had been a punishment worthy of her crimes.

Yet… here stood.

Unfrozen, moving in time.

Eyesight filtered raw, a mess of colors. Chrysalis stood up. Let the energies overwhelm her. Stretch her muscles. Mutated portions of her body moved briefly and minutely. Hide the grief and pain away. Questions formulated. Metal clanking, of heavy thudding boots, and the whistling of sharpened spears against the wind, abounded. A distinct, new feeling of magic synced with her system. This confused. Shrugging it off, Chrysalis flapped her… wings.

… wings…

She didn’t have wings before.

Chrysalis honed on the magic.

Pureness and jubilation pulsated.

Panicking, she willed it to fix her vision. Once restored, she shut the valve of magic right then and there. A gasp escaped as colors came to life. Standing before her stood the very purple, towering alicorn, who seemed as confused as she did. Based on her crown, bearing sun and moon, Chrysalis understood. She, now, ruled Equestria alone. Realization took hold. The regrets of her actions exploded. She’d remained stuck in her turmoil as time passed.

Chrysalis sank to her haunches. Tears fell. They were all dead. Every changeling she’d raised. She had nothing. Perhaps no one. Except… her former focus of hatred… This, ultimately, would be the twisted price of payment by fate. Her spine shuddered. Looking up, she saw concerned purple-pink eyes. A purple wing wrapped itself around Chrysalis's form. Bodily warmth caressed with comfort. Genuine connections sparkled within. Faint strings tugged in the changeling's mind.

Her last thread to the ancient world.

Twilight, too, must be long past those she’d known.

She stared at the ground, contemplating

Chrysalis flapped her wings. Her body felt different now. Taller, and sleeker. She could not fathom how she deserved this. She was a scum, non-pony. The keratin channeler of magic upon her forehead curled regally. Awareness of herself filled. The ethereal, poison-green mane and tail. It felt like a bliss compared to the nightmare void. That memory shook her. Fear ran. Another round of tears. The comfort of Twilight sitting next to her settled in.

The alicorn cared, in spite of her sins.

A thought occurred.

Maybe…this could be her home.

Cold silence slipped by. Gradually, Chrysalis attuned.

To her body, to her thoughts, to the world.

She spoke.


Chrysalis gazed pleadingly.

“Might-” she sniffled. “-you be… my friend-”

It took all her strength to ask.

“-and help me?”

The darkness inside strangled.

Twilight nodded.

“Yes, I will.”

And, Chrysalis, for the first time in eons, felt.

Felt peace amongst her grief.