The Exile of Equestria

by EBecK

First published

A dark looking pony comes to Ponyville after being exiled from his previous home.

A dark coated unicorn with a dark talent called Darkbright Occolt arrives in Ponyville after being exiled from his previous hometown. He is immediately given looks of contempt upon his arrival, however, Twilight Sparkle takes a chance on becoming friends with him. She shows him around Ponyville and is introduced to Twilight's friends. Even after she learns of his dark talent to use his magic to create horrific illusions, she still offers him a friendly gesture. However, her friendly intentions are shaken when Darkbright commits an unforgivable act.

Cover image by: http://askcharmingshadow.tumblr.com/

Chapter 1

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The Exile of Equestria

Chapter 1


Fear. A simple word with a complicated effect: it brings hate, sadness, solitude, despair, misery, exile.

Exile.

Yet another word easy to recall but dreaded to utilize. It sets one aside from everyone else, as a walking shadow. Ignored, despised, loathed, even demonized. No one wants to feel any of these negative emotions, no one...but I had no choice. It was forced on me, and I was powerless to stop it. It poured onto my soul and made it drown in sorrow and dark despair, and I became exiled.

Exile.

The very word pierced my heart like a serrated blade and it wouldn’t stop torturing and teasing my very existed. It began with fear, a weapon I thought I had mastered, a double-edged sword which I thought I had control of...I was wrong and I was cut down by my own weapon, for it had fallen into the possession of all who hated me. To me, that seemed like all of Equestria itself.

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My name is Darkbright, Darkbright Occolt, a devious name, yes, and my appearance complimented it: I’m an average sized unicorn pony with long, blood-red mane, which covered one of my eyes, as if I was an emo pony. As if I cared how I looked. My tail is of the same ghastly color and bore an average style of three non-separated clusters of mane, pointed at the end, facing downward. To any other pony,
it was merely an often sight, to me, it seemed as if I was granted the devil’s pitchfork turned into what everypony sees as a tail. My eyes never went into a full round shape: they were only half of a normal eyeball, as if I had a consistent bored look. If anypony looked me in the eyes, I could swear I was seeing them shiver afterwards. They’re not to be blamed, my eyes bore a black color, combine this with the serious expression I seem to have plastered on my face and I think anypony wouldn’t want to stay and chat. My coat was black, pitch-black, and it’s not something I’m proud of. It comes of to others as a warning that I’m some kind of dark, mysterious creature that escaped from the depths of the Everfree Forest or Ghastly Gorge. My horn didn’t come off as friendly either, it was pointed and sharp, like the tip of a spear where staring at it head on might give the illusion that it jabbed the unfortunate foal in the eye. My cutie mark...oh, the cutie mark, a symbol of a pony’s talent, what others see in them, that one thing that they can do better than anypony else. For me, it was a symbol of fear. It stared directed back at it’s beholder with demonic, pupiless eyes. It gave a sick, wicked smile that showed a bottomless pit of a mouth with sharp teeth as the gate. It was a symbol of fear, for it was a symbol of my talent. Simply put, my talent is magic-based, however, not in a way one would expect from another pony. My talent was fear mongering, an ability to cast an illusion that rendered the unfortunate one scared to the point soul-crushing. A dark and despised ability, so much so that even I hated it. I was seen as a fear monger, a horror bringer, a terror master, a dread harvester, a scare tactician, a demon. I didn’t blame them, whenever my spell was cast, my dark horn would glow a cold transparent black, my pupils would dilate to the point where it seemed like I was wearing black contacts. Whoever was unlucky enough to make contact with my physical form or gave me a direct look in the the dark mirrors of my eyes, they would see a horrific image that would drive them to their knees. I was unaware of what horrors I created, whether it was a generic image for the sole purpose of frightening, or whether it utilizes a deep, dark fear within it’s prey is beyond my knowledge. Even with my less-than socializing appearance, and my dark gift, it was miraculously not enough to shun me out of every place in Equestria. That is, it wasn’t until that dreary day came around, where I committed an unforgivable sin.

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When I first came to Ponyville, I was immediately met with contemptible looks. However, no pony would dare judge me automatically, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t suspicious. Of course, I did not blame them; I could not blame them for being in the right. I just kept on walking. Some ponies simply paid no heed to me, others began whispering about who I was or if there was some problem with me. I think I heard one say “His cutie mark creeps me out.”

The first sign of a friendly gesture I got was from a bright purple unicorn with a neatly styled mane and tail of a darker shade of purple striped with two more colors of pink and lavender. I knew perfectly well who it was: the prodigy student of Princess Celestia, the most studious pony around, and a premium user of magic, so great that she was bestowed with the Element of Magic itself, Twilight Sparkle. But I didn’t care how popular she was, nor did I care how much of a friend she would be to me, eventually she would see me for my true ugly and like everypony else, she would shun me too. That’s what I thought to myself as she eagerly trotted to where I had stopped. When she was face to face with me, she almost immediately greeted me with cheerful attitude, “Hi there, I don’t believe I’ve seen you before, are you new here in Ponyville?”

I said nothing and looked away, possibly because I didn’t know how to response to a friendly greeting, for I was rarely given one.

Twilight’s happy face formed into a confused look, and she moved to a different approach, “My name is Twilight Sparkle,” she said, pointing her hoof to herself and smiling again, “what’s yours?”
I almost didn’t want to reply, but I debated against it and decided to at least give her my identity,
“Darkbright,” I replied still looking at the ground, my voice was deep, almost inaudible, it gave the expression that I was either creepy or just shy...though it’s usually the first, “Darkbright Occolt.” I said with an anticipation of a wide-eyed look.

I was close, Twilight gave yet another confused look, as if she was wondering who would give such a name to a pony. However, she did not query as to the origins of my name, instead she responded with, “Oh, well that is certainly a unique name if not a little, well...”

“Creepy?” I said in a tired tone.

“No, no.” the purple pony hastily replied, “Not creepy, just...special.”

Special? I thought, Yeah that’s a laugh. The things I believed to be special were the things that everypony found enjoyable; there was nothing enjoyable about me.

After a moment of awkward silence, Twilight spoke up, “Well, if you like, I can show you around Ponyville.”

I paused for moment, then gave my answer, “Sure, why not?” Why not indeed, I had nothing to lose, not even time, for it wasn’t of any value to anypony, including myself.

“Alright!” the excited filly exclaimed, clapping her hooves, “Then let’s get going!” she turned and began walking in the opposite direction and I followed a close distance behind. The first stop was a house in the form of a tree...or vice versa, but I didn’t really care. Twilight told me that it was the library and that she lived there. She also went on rambling about all the different books she had read and wanted to read and about how she was studying to get better at magic and so on. It nearly put me to sleep, she was yammering on as if she was writing her autobiography and she only stopped when I interrupted saying, “There’s more than just the library though, right?”

“Oh, right,” she replied blushing, apparently she got carried away. We moved on to a bakery called Sugarcube Corner, owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Cake with the help of a playful pink pony, Pinkie Pie. I knew who she was also, Element of Laughter, I knew everypony that wielded the mighty Elements of Harmony and I knew they resided in Ponyville. I just never met them personally, and for this particular pony, I don’t think I wanted to. When Twilight introduced me to her, she jumped of the handle.

“Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my GOSH!” her shout caught me off-guard as I backed up a step, but she sprung right in front of me, speaking at a rapid pace, “I’ve never ever ever ever ever ever EVER seen a pony like you before. Where ya from? Whadda ya like? Do you like cupcakes? I LOVE cupcakes! They’re sooooooo delicious, I could just eat ‘em all day! Why are ya spooky looking? Is it Nightmare Night already? Why do you only use one of your eyes? Why not both? I use both my eyes, that way I can see DOUBLE of every fun thing that I come across! What’s up with your cutie mark? Why is it a spooky face? Can it talk? Well, can it? Can it? Can it? CAN IT?” With each “can it” Pinkie Pie bounced on her hooves. I was flabbergasted, I did not know how to respond, or even it that NEEDED a response. Fortunately, I didn’t to, Twilight did,

“Uh, Pinkie, I think you’re confusing him.” the unicorn stated.

“Oh,” the now calm pony said, “sorry about that, guess I got a little excited.”

“A little?” I said in disbelief with an eyebrow raised.

“Alright, a lot excited,” Pinkie Pie confessed, “but I always get excited when I met somepony new. Why, when I met Twilight here for the first time, I was so excited, I didn’t think I would ever that excited, except for the time I went *gasp*, oh man that was exciting!”

I gave Twilight a confused look and she replied, “She gasped when she first saw me and apparently it was exciting for her.”

“Oh, I’m not confused about that,” I informed, “I’m confused as to whether or not she hit her head on a rock when she was a filly.”

“Nah,” the purple pony stated waving her hoof once at me in a gesture to dismiss my question, “she’s just being, well, Pinkie Pie. You’ll get used to it.”

“That’s unlikely.” I muttered under my breath, how could anypony get used to this party pony’s antics? After a while of Twilight and Pinkie Pie talking about stuff I wasn’t familiar with, Twilight finally said farewell to Pinkie and we continued her tour of Ponyville.

We now came upon a shop, a clothing shop, labeled Carousel Boutique. To be honest, I wanted to leave the instant I walked in the room: the clothing I saw were formal, colorful, and stylish, sure, but they weren’t meant for any colts. Even if this store did hold such clothes, I would still refute them with the utmost rebuttal. I’m not one to wear clothes, I mean, I’m a pony, not a fashion model. Why Twilight insisted on coming was baffling to me, until I realized she had yet another friend that runs the store. When we located this friend, I once again recognized her as the wielder of the Element of Generosity: Rarity.I began to notice a pattern in Twilight’s circle of friends as those who wielded an Element of Harmony. Still, I didn’t care who they are or what they did, I predicted that it would all be meaningless in the future, despite that I was never once given a gesture of friendship until now. Rarity was busy knitting some kind of costume on her sewing machine, but halted her work as soon as she saw her purple-coated friend. “Ah, Twilight, my dear, I wasn’t expecting you. Why the sudden arrival?”

Twilight gesture Rarity to my direction, “I’m showing a new resident here around Ponyville and it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t come here.”

I introduced myself to her, “I am Darkbright Occolt.”

Rarity took one long look at me, examining my whole being from top to bottom, forward to back, here to there, wherever her eyes could glance upon. When she finished, she made eye contact with me and said blatantly, “You’re,uh, kind of dark looking, aren’t you?”

I rolled my eyes at the obvious remark, “And?” Why did she even care?

“And,well, if you go around looking like...that...you won’t get a lot of complimentary looks, or any nice look for that matter.”

“And I’m supposed to care, why?” I said blankly

“Why? WHY?!” Rarity exclaimed, obviously shocked at my ignorance on the matter, “Because you simply MUST want to be respected by others and a good first impression is key to that.”

I wasn’t convinced. How could she possibly say something that she has no knowledge about? In fact, how DARE she say something like that, as if she knows what I wanted! But I kept my cool and replied calmly, “I just don’t see why anypony would need respect if they didn’t care whether or not they got it.”

Rarity could not believe her ears, my lack of self-preservation and self-esteem seemed to have flabbergasted her thoughts. She was stuttering for a bit, speaking gibberish and other things that made no logical sense, until finally she managed to say, “Why darling, were you living under a bridge your whole life? I’m terribly sorry, but I must insist on making you something at least moderately nice.”

“But I don’t want--” I started, but I was interrupted.

“You don’t have to pay me anything for your first time here, it’s all on me.” the fashion designer said proudly. I now began to wonder whether this generosity element was really a gift, or just a curse, a very respectable, harmonious...annoyance of a curse. I finally agreed to allow her to make me something. She smiled and turned towards her supplies. At that moment, I swiftly turned towards the door and galloped out. Twilight followed me out, but Rarity was still inside sorting out the fabric. When I was a good distance away from the shop, I stopped and let Twilight catch up to me. She looked at me with a frustrated look, “What was that all about?”

I gave her a quick, slight grin, “I wasn’t gonna wear anything SHE made.”

“And why is that? I thought you said you’d let her make something for you.” the magical pony said annoyingly.

“Yeah, I did,” I confirmed, “but I didn’t say anything about WEARING the thing.”

Twilight put a hoof to her face and sighed, “Look, I’ll continue the tour for if you want, or you can go explore on your own.”

“Excuse me?” I asked. I was confused, why give me such a choice now?

“I’m getting the feeling you don’t want anything to do with anypony here, and if that’s the case, I’ll leave you alone to go and do what you want.” Twilight explained.

I will admit, I was impressed. To be able to deduce that through one act of abandonment, she was as smart as I had heard...or overheard. My first and immediate thought was to walk away, but something else inside me said not to leave. I was baffled; how did such a feeling rouse itself up from the depths of my emotions, when I’ve been so isolated from everypony else? This feeling was telling me not to disappoint Twilight Sparkle, a pony I’ve never met until minutes ago. It was unknown to me and I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say, didn’t know how to act. Yet I spoke something, “I want to continue your tour.” I said it blankly, expressionless, unconsciously and when I realized what I had just answered, I started asking myself why I said such a thing.

Twilight had a proud face on with a gleeful smile, “Okay then, let’s get on with it.” She resumed her walking and I resumed my trailing behind her.

During our little journey through Ponyville, I could hear a faint whistling. It didn’t sound like melodic whistling, more like high-pitch whistling, grower louder and deeper as if a jet was about to soar over our heads. I turned my gaze to the sky and saw a wide blue sky with puffs of white clouds, but nothing resembling the sound my ears had picked up. Twilight looked at me, then looked to the skies, seeing nothing interesting, then saying, “What are you looking at, Darkbright?”

“I’m not sure.” I replied, “I thought I heard something.”

“Like what?”

“Like a high-pitched whistling getting closer.”
Twilight looked around the area above her, she too could this sound, wondering what it was, but then suddenly, with a smile, she recognized it, “It’s Rainbow.”

I turned to her and raised an eyebrow, “It’s a what?”

Twilight shook her head, “Not what, who, hold on.” She began waving her hoof to the sky as the sound got closer and louder. Just instants later, I saw what looked like a rainbow-colored streak whoosh through the air, and then whooshed back here to the ground in front of us. What I thought was a rainbow on a sugar rush was really a rainbow-maned blue pegasus with a rainbow colored tail, which what probably caused the streak; it was actually a rainbow contrail. She spoke to Twilight with an almost boyish voice, “Hey Twilight, what’s up?”

Twilight pointed a hoof at me, “I want to introduce to a new face in Ponyville. His name is Darkbright Occolt.” She now introduced her blue-coated friend to me, “Darkbright, this is Rainbow Dash, Ponyville’s greatest flier.”

Rainbow Dash stood up tall, as if she was posing for a camera, one look told me that she might be a little full of herself. Nevertheless, I greeted her, “Yo.”

RD put a hoof under her chin and was rubbing it in thought. She hovered closer to until she close enough for me to feel her breath. She squinted at me directly in the face and I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable, so I spoke up, “You’re not checking me out, are you?”

The blue pegasus hovered backwards, taken aback by the question, “What?! No! How did you come to that conclusion?”

“With all due respect, when somepony gets that close, they’re usually about to kiss or something.” I answered with a mocking grin.

Rainbow Dash gave me a disgusted look and put all four of her hooves on the ground, “I just thought you looked a little strange is all. We don’t normally see any black-coated ponies around here, or any of Equestria for that matter.”

The coat color...why did I have to be so dark a color one could see their darkened reflection. It may have suited my personality and talents, but not so much my likes. “And you’re one to talk?” I asked, irritated by the subtle discrimination I seemed to have retrieved from the simple observation, “Last I checked, there aren’t a lot of rainbow-maned ponies either, yet that doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to anyone.”

Rainbow Dash merely rolled her eyes at my counter-analysis and decided to move to a different subject, “So, you know I’m awesome at flying, right? Now I have to ask, what are YOU good at? I can’t seem to understand what your cutie mark represents.”

Twilight eyes lit up, “Oh yeah, you haven’t told me your special talent yet. Please enlighten me.”

I was silent. Sure it was hard to get a clear exegesis of my cutie mark, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to explain it. However, they were waiting for my answer. Both the purple-furred unicorn and the rainbow-streaked pegasus locked their eyes and ears on me. My talent wasn’t something to be admired or idolized, even if it’s a bit less than harmonious than most talents. But the more and more eager the two fillies stared at me, the more backed into a corner I felt. So I decided to give them what they wanted, “Alright, if you truly wish to know, my talent is...fear mongering.”

Both Twilight and Rainbow Dash had a bewildered look on their faces, wondering if what I just said was true. Rainbow Dash giggle nervously, “Yeah, yeah very funny, but seriously, what’s your talent?”

I shot the blue-coated pony a cold, hard stare and said nothing, sending a silent message that stating how serious I was. Rainbow Dash bit her lower lip and waited for my answer, but I remained absolute in my stance. Twilight now painted a look of disbelief on her face, “Well, if it’s true,” she began, “what exactly do you do?”

I faced the unicorn and answered, “I know a spell, a dark spell, that allows me to create illusions with the mind of another pony. Horrific illusions that pour despair, sorrow, hatred, and of course fear into the soul of the unfortunate one. All I have to do is cast the spell, and then either make physical contact with them, or look them directly in the eyes. After that,..the rest is silence and sorrow.”

The two fillies I had just “enlightened” with what my ability was both had their jaws hanging from their faces as if they hadn’t been proper screwed in or something. After a while of dead air, RD finally spoke up, “Okay, well, I just remembered something I had to do somewhere...with somepony...sometime...right now! Nice talking with ya Twilight,bye!” And with that she shot back into the air and was gone almost instantly.

Twilight faced me with what seemed almost like a disappointed look, though I wasn’t too sure why. When she spoke, it started with a stutter, “I-I can’t believe that...you really...I mean...why?”

I was confused and irritated at the same time, why did I have what I had? Was that rhetorical? Why do you hold an Element of Harmony? I thought to myself , what point was there to asking such a question? I responded caustically, “Why are you so good with magic?”

Twilight tilted her head, “Huh?”

I continued my rant, “Why is the sky blue? Why are you purple? Why must you keep your mane and tail nice and straight?”

Twilight was lost, “Excuse me?”

I reached my point, my voice tone was raising “Why did you ask me that? How could I possibly answer that? Perhaps it was my destiny to carry such a power? Just because my talent is...unorthodox doesn’t mean you should question it’s existence. Is that clear?”

Twilight’s confused look shifted into an affronted one, but kept her calm saying with minor aggravation, “I’m sorry if I offended you or anything, but I didn’t know the topic was sensitive.

I shut eyes in annoyance, then reopened them and replied in a softer tone, “It’s not sensitive, I just find it pointless. Does my talent really bother you that much?”

Twilight averted her gaze to the side, pondering on what to say next, then finally she muttered loudly enough for me to hear, “I just found it to be, well, not something you’d find in a book. I mean, magic is supposed to be used to help everypony, not hurt. The magic I use is calm, full of harmony, and not anything destructive. But yours is...dark, disturbing, and corrupted. I’m not trying to offend you or anything, but that’s what it appears to be to me.”

I wasn’t offended, I understood where she was coming from, so I replied accordingly, “I know it’s not something every magical being would like to get to know, but I’m stuck with nonetheless. If you can’t accept me for who I am, you really shouldn’t be hanging around me.” It was at that moment I thought Twilight would want to break up the little tour she was doing.

The purple pony’s line of sight recalled itself back to my position and she returned with, “Only if you want to stop.”

Truthfully, I wanted to see how long this would go before she, like everypony else, would shut me out. So I retaliated with, “I’d like to continue, if you don’t mind.”

Twilight made a slight smile and renewed her walking with me following.

We now were heading away from the main part of the town and into rural area. As I walked along, I could see a line of picket fences barricading a plethora of apple trees. Everywhere I turned to look, I couldn’t help but notice an apple; whether green, red, or yellow, all my vision granted me was apples. Twilight could interpret my glancing around as confusion and decided to quell my curious mind, “One of my friends works here growing apple trees and harvesting them. Her family owns the entire orchard, so it’s only natural that she’d do her part.”

Although that may have satisfied my curiosity, I still couldn’t help but wonder who would want to work on a farm throughout their life? Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I assume. We were nearing the main barn when Twilight walk onto the orchard path towards a bright, orange coated earth pony wearing a cowboy hat. She was carrying two buckets, filled to the brim with apples. When she noticed Twilight and myself coming towards her, she stopped and waited until we came within speaking distance. Twilight began the introduction, “Hey Applejack, let me introduce you to Darkbright Occolt, a newcomer to Ponyville. Darkbright, this is Applejack.”

Before I could say anything, Applejack took my right hoof and began shaking it in a somewhat rough greeting, “Well howdy-do Mr. Darkbright, strange name ya got there, but hay, I ain’t one to judge too soon. I hope you find yerself at home in this here town of ours.” She stopped shaking my hoof , “So what brings ya to Ponyville?”

The reason I came to Ponyville wasn’t something as simple as moving from an old home, more like I was forced to leave what I thought was home. I chose my words carefully and replied deeply, “Things didn’t go so well at my previous abode.”

Applejack responded sympathetically, “Aw, well I’m mighty sorry to hear that, but it’s all downhill from here, right?”

“Right.” Yeah. I thought, All downhill into the dark abyss below.

Twilight then informed the workaholic pony that she was showing me around Ponyville and they spoke about things that are unbeknownst to me. Meanwhile, I was looking around the orchard and found myself wandering off into the mosh pit of apple trees. When I stopped to look where I was, I had gone deep into the middle of the orchard, however I was not lost for I could see the barn’s bell tower in the distances. Just as I was about to move towards the barn, I felt something hit my hind leg. I turned around and saw a small scooter with handlebars but with no driver. I looked towards the direction it came from and heard a faint rustling. I squinted in the direction of the sound as it came closer so that I could see who or what was responsible for the noise. As it drew closer and louder, I inhaled deeply preparing for the worse...only to find my concerns were not to be taken seriously, for I saw a small, orange pegasus with purple mane and a purple tail. Following behind her were two more small fillies: one was a short, white coated unicorn with bright lavender mane and a curled tail that match her mane’s style. The other was a bright yellow earth pony with a somewhat bright red name and tail. The orange one spotted the scooter and gasped in joy, “There it is! Finally!” She rolled it back to her friends, “Now I’m really ready to continue our journey to find out our true purposes.”

The yellow one spoke with a similar accent to Applejack’s, “That’s great, but I don’t think we’re cut out to be circus acrobats. I mean, how were we supposed to stand on top of each other while riding on a moving scooter?”

The orange one seemed let down, “I just thought it would be cool at the time. Oh well, guess we need to try something else then.”

“But what?” the white filly asked with a sweet sounding voice.

All three fillies were pondering the question, yet they didn’t seem to notice me standing right next to them, so I made my presence more noticeable to them, “Ahem.”

Simultaneously, they turned their heads to the source of the sound only to see me standing next to them, giving them a half-eyed stare.

The orange filly raised an eyebrow at me, “Did you need something?”

“Who you are would be a start.” I informed blankly.

“You know it’s polite if you introduce yourself first, right?” the white filly stated.

“But doesn’t that mean that we should introduce ourselves first? The yellow accent-holding one asked, “Y’know being polite an’ all?”

The orange one thought about that for a minute then said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” she then turned to me, “I’m Scootaloo.”

“Name’s Applebloom.” the yellow one said.

“And I’m Sweetie Belle.” the white filly sweetly noted.

Now all three of them exclaimed together, “And together we’re...THE CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS!”

I was a bit caught off guard by the sudden exclamation of the name of whatever group they had formed. Firstly, I had no idea what that meant, nor did I know whether or not I should continue speaking with them, or let them go about their ways. But one thing I did know was that they had given me their names and I thought it only fair to give mine.

“It’s, uh, nice to meet you.” I said nervously, “I’m Darkbright. Darkbright Occolt.”

Sweetie Belle tilted her head, “Darkbright? What kind of a name is that for a parent to give to their kid?”

I had wondered that myself I don’t recall any memories of my folks, maybe they too shunned me out. But my lack of knowledge made my pursuing of this wonderment meaningless for the time being. I responded with, “Don’t know, maybe that’s what they thought of when they first saw my appearance.”

“Well, ya do have kind of a dark looking coat, ya know.” Applebloom stated bluntly.

“Yeah, I know.” I acknowledged, “I guess I’m not the friendly looking type, huh?”

“What do you mean?” Scootaloo asked, “I think it’s pretty cool to find someone with your...uh...unique style. There aren’t many black coated ponies around Equestria.”

“Actually,” Sweetie Belle corrected, “There aren’t ANY black coated ponies in Equestria.”

“Except me.” I muttered softly.

“By the way,” Applebloom began, “I couldn’t help but wonder how exactly you got your cutie mark.” She pointed to the creepy symbol that stuck to my flank, “I mean, it’s just weird outlines of angry eyes and a mouth with sharp teeth colored orange, what does THAT represent?”

I didn’t want to tell them; I wasn’t sure how they’d take it. So all I said was, “It represents something you don’t want to try. Don’t you have something you’re doing?”

“Yeah yeah,” Scootaloo said swiftly, “but we wanna hear what your talent is. It sounds mysterious, like a lost talent.”

“Or a secret talent.” Applebloom suggested.

“Or a talent you keep locked in that special cupboard with all the super rare jewels.” Sweetie Belle said proudly.

Persistent fillies. I thought, I needed to get their mind off this subject, but how? I saw the scooter they had been chasing earlier, still as can been, facing a hill that drops in elevation. I had a plan. Using my magic, I gave the scooter a small nudge. It twitched forward a bit and gravity did the rest. Soon, it was picking up speed and zooming down the hill. “You might want to catch that scooter of yours if yo don’t want t lose it.”

The three fillies all turned to see the scooter make it’s daring escape. They immediately jumped up and started after the scooter once again. “Sorry, Darkbright gotta run.” Scootaloo said quickly and in seconds, all of them had disappeared as quickly as they appeared. With that, I headed back to the barn.

When I returned to Twilight and Applejack, they had not yet noticed I was gone. Must have been an intriguing conversation. I thought. The instant I stopped next to Twilight, she turned to me and said, “Well, ready to go? I have one more place to show you before I have to get back to my studying.”

“Yeah, I am.” I replied blankly. I saw no point in bringing up my encounter with the proclaimed “Cutie Mark Crusaders.” Where would a young filly learn such a word as “crusader” anyway? Again, no point.

We we’re still outside the main town when we came upon a cottage, it looked like something out of a fairy tale. The woodlands, the creek, the wild animals, it was all there. I wondered who would want to live in such a...sincere-looking place. Twilight knocked on the door and in about three seconds, there was an answer. I saw a bright yellow pegasus with long, pink mane and a neatly styled tail. She had butterflies for a cutie mark, so I took her to be some kind of peace loving pony. This was proven true when she spoke to Twilight with soft, kind voice full of fragility and sincerity, “Yes Twilight?”

“I just wanting to introduce you to a new pony,” Twilight motioned to me and the soft-hearted pegasus look at me, then quickly backed away a little into the house. “Don’t worry,” Twilight comforted, “he may look a little scary, but he’s not all bad, right?” she asked me, pushing for a specific answer.

“Yeah,” I replied reluctantly, “the name’s Darkbright Occolt. And you are?”

The frighten pony peered her head out and mumbled, “I-I’m Fluttershy.”

“Excuse me?” I asked. How could one possibly hear her soft tone?

“M-My name is Fluttershy.” she tried to say.

I said nothing, but my face said, “Seriously?” this pony was being a little too paranoid for my tastes in friends.

“Her name is Fluttershy.” Twilight told me, “And if haven’t already guessed, she’s a little shy.”

“A little?” I asked sarcastically, “So are we done now?”

Twilight looked a bit offended by my sudden change in attitude, “Well, yeah I guess if that’s what you wa--”

“Then I’m gone.” I interrupted and dashed off back to town.

Fluttershy, now out in the open, bore a sad look, “He seemed a little upset.”

“Well,” Twilight rolled her eyes, “he is a bit stubborn. It’s almost like he didn’t even care for my help.”

“He must really feel bad.” Fluttershy said drearily, “I’m gonna go see if I can help him feel better.” She then spread her wings and flew out the door in my direction.

“Fluttershy! What if--” Twilight was too late to get her message to Fluttershy. The purple-furred unicorn groaned and went off after the pegasus.

When I had gotten to the central plaza, I saw a rainbow-maned pony standing there looking right at me. She had a less-than-friendly look in her eyes. She stopped me in my path, saying she wanting a word with me.

“What is it, then?” I asked, curious as to what exactly she wanted.

“Now listen here,” Rainbow Dash commanded rather scruffily, “I don’t want you causing any trouble, so you might as well just steer clear from everypony who doesn’t wanna talk to you first.”

She stopped me to order me around? I don’t think so. “And who are you to tell me who I can or can’t talk to, hmm?”

“I’m the fastest pony in all of Ponyville,” RD boasted, “so if you even think of trying anything, I’ll know.”

I still wasn’t convinced, “And that justifies your actions, how?”

“Look,” the blue pegasus said sharply, “I don’t think your talent is anything to be admired. In fact, I think it’s something to just keep away from, you know?”

“Of course it’s something to keep away from!” I snapped, “It’s fear, and just because it is, doesn’t mean I’m gonna cut myself off from everything, you understand?”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened at my sudden remark, but quickly regained her composure, “You know something, I think you’re just trying to get attention.”

“Excuse me?”

“I think you’re just making stuff up, I’ve seen it before, bunch of light shows and smokescreens. If anyone should be getting attention, it’s me.”

Was she serious? I wasn’t about to be called a fraud! “You better watch it, foal! My abilities are no hoax, they are something to be feared.”

Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes at me, “Prove it.”

I snickered, I knew she was goading me, but she was about to see the consequences of her actions, “Gladly.” I snarled. I shut my eyes and focused. My horn glowed a transparent black color and I felt a rush of cold power flow through my body. I pointed my face to the ground and opened my eyes; my vision was fading to black, but not pitch black. What I saw was the same bit of ground but covered in a fog of shadows. It was as if I was wearing sunglasses; my eyes had dilated to the point of become full black. There was chill throughout my entire body, all I had to do now was look the foalish pegasus in the eyes and she would be overwhelmed by her own fear and despair. I grinned wickedly and spoke in a voice that was followed by a deep echo, “Prepare yourself!” I wasn’t too sure what Rainbow Dash was feeling at the moment, but I could still see her hooves, meaning she had not moved, which suggested to me that she wanted to see this through to the end...and she would. I began to raise my head.

Suddenly I stopped, I thought I heard something. So I listened, still in magical focus. I heard it again: a voice, calling out to me. It was soft, a little high-pitched and was getting louder. It was Fluttershy. I saw her hooves land right next to me, but I dare not look up, or else...

“I’m sorry for earlier,” Fluttershy said kindly, “but I thought that you looked upset over something and I just wanted to say that it’s okay. If you ever need to talk, you can just come to me.” Her left hoof lifted off the ground towards my direction.

No! She mustn’t! I thought desperately and then blurted out, “Fluttershy! Stop! Don’t touch--!” My warning was too slow. I felt her hoof gently tap the back of my neck and the chill I felt rushed to that very point. I felt all the darkness, sadness, anger, and fear leave my body and pour itself into the poor pony’s soul. I heard a gasp, followed shortly by a bloodcurdling screech, so loud that I had to flop my ears down to keep myself from being deafened. I felt my magic fade and my vision returned to normal. I stood up and immediately turned to Fluttershy. She was on the ground, curled up in a little half-ball shape with her front hooves over her eyes, weeping bitterly.
In a matter of moments, everypony in the vicinity came rushing over to see what the commotion was. There they saw the petrified pegasus, crying in a puddle of her own tears. I took one look at Rainbow Dash; her jaw was dropped, she was speechless. Well, I thought, on one side I proved my point, but was it really worth it?

One pony in the crowd looked in Dash’s direction, “Hey, what happened RD?”

The fast flier closed her mouth and tried to explain, “I-I’m not sure. I mean, one second she was up, talking to Darkbright, then the next...” My name was all they needed to hear, for I got a crowd of angry glares.

Another pony shouted, “What did you do to her?!”

“I...I...” I tried to speak, but couldn’t for some reason. Before I tried again, I heard hooves in the distance, rapidly getting closer. I looked behind the crowd of equines and saw Twilight rushing over. In seconds, she pushed through the crowd and knelt down next to her timid, now frightened, friend.

“Fluttershy,” she said, trying to calm the pegasus, “what happened?”

Fluttershy tried to explained, but all she could get out was more sobs, her throat was becoming scratchy from all the crying she doing. Finally, she managed to say, “Nnnnnngg...I don’t know...I was trying to comfort Darkbright, and when I touched him I saw...I...I saw...ghh...gnnnnhhh...” Fluttershy resumed her crying from having to recall such a horrific memory.

I was unsure of what she saw; I cannot see what the illusion I created was, or whether it used one of her own personal fears against her, but I did know that it was pretty effective. Twilight hearing my name must have put the same thought in her head, though she didn’t want to believe it. She turned to me with a disappointed look in her eyes. When she asked me if I was responsible for this, I could feel her sadness. I wasn’t entirely sure as to why though. I decided not to keep her waiting, “I...might have had something to do with it.” I replied, almost nervously.

“Might have had?” Twilight asked in disbelief, “What do you mean by that?”

“I mean that...it wasn’t meant for her.” I replied, suddenly realizing that was a mistake.

“Wasn’t meant for her?!” Twilight’s tone was raising, “Then who was it meant for?!”

I casually pointed to Rainbow Dash, who then shrugged, smiling innocently.

Twilight rolled her eyes, “Rainbow, what did you do?”

“Well, uh, I kinda called him a show-off and said that he wasn’t the real deal.” RD scratched the back of her head nervously. Twilight temporarily shut her eyes in irritation. Probably wasn’t the first time she acted before she thought. I thought to myself. The frustrated unicorn turned back in my direction,

“What Rainbow did was wrong, but it was you who made a bad decision.” Twilight lectured, “I think you need to apologize.”

“Apologize?” I asked in disbelief. For what? An accident? “Why?”

“Why?!” Twilight responded in shock, “For causing poor Fluttershy such pain.” Fluttershy was still crying, though not as hard as earlier.

“That was an accident. I shouldn’t have to apologize for that!”

“You were gonna use your dark magic anyway, right? So it’s only natural you would have to apologize.”

“It’s not like I wanted to get Fluttershy!” I snapped back, “She got in the way!” Another mistake.

“Got in the way?!” Twilight couldn’t believe her ears, “So she was just some obstacle getting in the way of you and your pathetic goal?!”

I was angry now, “I never said that! She was caught by accident! She was the one who touched me, not the other way around!”

Twilight was getting angry as well, “Oh, so it’s her fault now?!”

Jeez, Twilight, you sure know how to take words and twist them up, huh? “That also not what I said!”

“Then what are you trying to say?” Twilight asked expectantly.

Now I was stuck, what was I trying to say? Forgive and forget? No. So I picked something out of the air, “I’m saying that I shouldn’t have to say sorry for something that wasn’t truly my fault.”

“Even if it wasn’t,” Twilight said, softer than her previous remark, “you were the catalyst behind it all, so you still need to apologize.”

She just wasn’t getting it. When was she gonna learn that it was all one big misunderstanding? I walked up closer to Twilight, keeping a blank half-eyed stare in her direction. I stopped when our snouts were touching and gave my response in strong, deep, and “that’s final” voice, “I will...not...apologize.”

I backed away from Twilight, who was in shock from my answer. She turned towards the ground with a saddened half-stare in her eyes, then lifted the look in my direction. Her voice was soft in a sad way and she spoke in utter disappointment, “Then...you shouldn’t even be here.”

“Excuse me?” I asked bewildered by her statement.

“You shouldn’t be here,” the purple coated pony stated again with the same sad tone, “you shouldn’t be here in Ponyville if you can’t get along.”

She wanted me gone, as did the other ponies, who would occasionally give outbursts about how I don’t belong here, or that I should be banished, and so on. I knew it was coming, and yet...I wasn’t expecting it.

“I shouldn’t be here?” my voice had lowered it’s tone to a more soothing one, “What are you trying to say, Twilight?”

Twilight turned towards the ground again, then answered my question without even looking at me, “I’m saying you should leave, don’t return, and find some other friends who can tolerate you like this.” Every word she spoke was like a blow to both our hearts. Why it was affecting me so greatly; I had no idea. The last time I was exiled, I felt indifferent, but now, I felt terrible. But why?

Twilight continued her response, “Your magic is something nopony here would like to be around. In fact, in my opinion, it shouldn’t even exist. Magic is something used to help others, not hurt them.”

I was annoyed, she would question the existence of my abilities again?! This was not gonna end like that! “How dare you?!” Twilight’s head jolted up at the sudden change of tone, I resumed my rant, “How dare you question the existence of my power? If you can ask me such a thing, then let me ask you this: why is your magic so neat and tidy? Why do you hold the Element of Magic within you?” I knew exactly where to strike next: “Why did Princess Celestia make you her student?”

Twilight’s eyes lit at the sound of her mentor’s name, “What did you say?”

I smirked, “I said why did Princess Celestia make you her personal disciple? Why you? Why not somepony else? You think your so clever, so smart. You’re the grade A student, always studies whenever she gets the chance. Yet you go around doubting the talents of another pony, even though it’s clear that I was to bear this curse in a gift? Let me tell you something, Twi, you’re not that smart, you’re not that clever, and you CAN’T expect to be able to answer every question you think up.” I lowered my voice tone and gave my darkest stare, preparing myself for what I was about to say next. I wanted to draw back the bowstring to it fullest, “Perhaps Princess Celestia made a mistake in making you her star pupil.”

Twilight gasped and put and front hoof to her mouth. The background ponies all let out an “oohhh.” My arrow had pierced her soul and she was suffering from the aftershock. I expected her to snap back at me but much to my surprise, she turned away from me, faced her fallen friend, who was still in tears, but had stopped making noise. The unicorn’s head drooped, her tail followed shortly. I saw her mouth move, but couldn’t make out the words, so I prompted her to speak, “Beg pardon?”

I now heard a faint whisper, still too quiet to hear what she was saying, so I prompted again, “You need to speak up Twi, I don’t have super hearing you kn--”

“JUST GO!!!” I was almost knocked over by the scream, but retained my balance. Twilight looked at me with an angry face, tears were in her eyes and I was speechless. She was angry, but not the same angry; this anger was fueled by sadness. Anger fueled by more anger will beget a rather violent argument, however anger fueled by sadness will beget an emotional argument, which is stronger than any physically abusive argument. Whether she was sad from my previous insult, or whether it was the accident, or worse, both, she was angry and sad, which made her emotionally dangerous. She turned back to her previous direction and spoke again, softer, “Just go! Just go and never come back!”

A new feeling roused up inside me, it was guilt. I felt guilty for what I had just said, I want to apologize, I wanted to make Twilight feel better. But why her? Why not the previous town? Was it because Twilight had shown me a gesture of friendship? It must be! She shared the magic of friendship with me and I threw in her face. I felt awful. I went closer to her a lifted my right hoof. “Twilight I’m--” I touched her tail lightly, which then slapped my hoof away and I was force to pull it back.

Twilight turned around again with the same sad/angry look, “Leave now! If you don’t I’ll...I’ll...I’ll...I’LL DESTROY YOU!”

Now it was my turn to be shocked. I never expected Twilight to say such a threat, or any threat for that matter. Apparently, she didn’t expect it either. She quickly turned back around and I could hear sobbing. Fluttershy had stopped, and the only other pony who shed tears was...Twilight. She sniffled and tear were falling from her eye sockets to the ground like a waterfall. I wanted to say something, but I felt as if she meant what she said with that threat. I had actually FEARED for my life. I slowly turned in the opposite direction and began my trek out of Ponyville. Twilight’s sobs were getting weaker and weaker until I could hear them no more.

A few minutes had passed and I was looking at the ground the whole time while walking. I looked up and turned my head to look behind me. I saw Ponyville in the distance, the central plaza where the incident occured was long out of sight. I turned back forward and kept on walking. I didn’t know where I was going, I just followed the ground wherever there was ground. After what seemed like a decent amount of time, I stopped and look up. I could see a cave not too far from me. Looking even higher, I saw huge walls of rock on both sides. It was like I was at the bottom of a canyon...or a gorge...Ghastly Gorge. Fitting, I thought, a ghastly place for a ghastly pony. The sky was beginning to turn dark, so I entered the cave. When I reached the back of the cave, I realized that it was a short cave, far back enough to keep shelter well, but not too far to the point where the cave entrance wasn’t visible. I curled myself up in a ball, all four of my hooves seem to point at one spot on the ground. My tail curled up over part of my hooves and pointed to the exact same spot. I lowered my head down and curled that towards the spot and tried to sleep. I couldn’t. It wasn’t that easy anymore. For the first time in my life, I felt as if I let somepony down. My vision was starting to fade again, but not in fogs of shadows, more in a fuzzy, liquid-like way. I put a hoof up to my eye and felt something moist. Tears? Really? I was crying? My throat became scratchy, my lips were quivering, and my vocal cords couldn’t help but sob. I close my eyes because I didn’t want to look at everything through tears. I kept on sobbing quietly until my voice grew tired.

For the first time in my life...I had cried myself to sleep.


END OF CHAPTER

Chapter 2

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The Exile of Equestria


Chapter 2


Run. That was all I could think about, all I could do, nothing else mattered, all I had to do was run. Run and don’t stop running, for if I did...I was doomed.

I was running blind, through darkness. Cold, spine-chilling, hair-raising darkness. I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was run. I was being chased by dark figures, silhouettes of ponies with blazing red eyes. They wanted me gone, they wanted me consumed. They wanted me to perish by the very fear they had been materialized from. Then, the inevitable happened; I stumbled and fell. I could not get up, something was holding me down. Some incorporeal force that I could not comprehend to its fullest; fear. I gazed helplessly at the otherworldly creatures that slowly moved towards me. It was then I saw a familiar shape; a unicorn with neatly brushed mane...Twilight. She was among the shadowy figures as a being of darkness herself. Same dark form, same shining red eyes, same fear. She along with the others now came closer to me, pressing down on my body. I could feel the crushing pressure of several hooves and I seemed to be sinking into the ground, into the abyss, into oblivion. Lower and lower I went, and the last thing I saw was the many black hooves that crowded around what would soon be my grave. And then...I awoke.

I gasped, lifting my head up and viewed my surroundings; I was in a cave, an exit was not too far off, and I was sweating profusely. My breathing became heavy, I was shivering in the cold dampness of what I called home. I prepared to get up and stand, but when all four of my legs went straight, they began shaking. I was still engulfed in fear and I needed to quell it. I slowed my breathing and closed my eyes in an attempt to regain my composure. After a few moments, most of the shivering and shaking had been calmed and I started towards the exit. When I exited, I noticed that it was night; the stars were out, acting as pictures for their canvas in the skies. The moon was full and bright, playing its role as the sun in the night. The rock walls that hid my cave from passersby still stood tall and firm, even with the occasional rock slides that broke the silence of the quiet dusk. However, these meant nothing to me, I just wanted to sleep without being haunted by the nightmare that plagued my mind. It was just one dream, the same over and over; I’m being chased by shadows of ponies and eventually swallowed up. What did this mean? Having a bad dream once merely says your mind is pulling its cruel pranks, however, having that same dream multiple times shows a possible future through the use of augury. I kept pondering to myself what exactly this all meant as I walked along the rocky path at the bottom of Ghastly Gorge.

Within my head, I was forced to recall the painful moments of what had occurred in Ponyville; I came there foolishly hoping for a change of lifestyle, yet I was given one. That one pony, who gave me not a nasty look, but sign of friendship. Twilight Sparkle, the only pony in my life that ever introduced herself to me and asked for my name. I was confused, yes, but as time passed I began to understand a bit more why she wanted my friendship. She didn’t care that I was different, nor did she give up when my abilities weren’t to her complete liking. She pressed on, determined to be my friend. When I first saw her friend, Fluttershy, she too was scared of me. So I ran off, I thought she was just like everypony else; too afraid to even give me direct eye contact. I later discovered that to be a mistake. I was goaded into casting my dark spell because of some naive remark, and the unfortunate shy pegasus just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, talking to the wrong pony. She was caught in the web of fear I had woven, the pure innocent filly now forced to feel the drowning pressure of all the despair and anger I had poured on her. It was too much. I remember her crying, so bitterly that one couldn’t help but feel sympathy towards her and at the same time, one couldn’t help but feel infuriated at the cold-blooded monster that had done such a thing. That kind of attention was not new to me. What was new was the sadness and anger Twilight showed me. I had refused to give my apologies for I thought it was pointless. There was an argument, one thing led to another and I ended up hurting Twilight as well, but not through a spell, through a verbal assault. She was heartbroken, she only wanted to be my friend and I threw in the trash while she was watching. She couldn’t help but cry at that, she felt the same anger the others had and she wanted me gone...or else she would see to it herself. I felt fear for the first time in a long time, and once again, I was exiled.

I now walk alone, with only shadows that keep me company. I didn’t know where I was going. I never knew were I was going. I just go where my legs take me. The only pass time I had was kicking a rock in front me, moving it forward with every kick. My thoughts were filled to the brim with wonders of what the nightmare was saying. Was Twilight really going be my end? Am I forced to walk alone for as long as I lived? Does my sheer existence serve any purpose? What can I do? I was lost. Lost without a shred of hope. I became nervous, trying to expect something to happen, but nothing did. My nervousness turned into paranoia. It was almost like I wanted something to happen, I needed something to happen, I wanted some change in my life that made some kind of difference to what I was plunged into when I was born.

“Why is it so boring here?!” I screamed, kicking the rock as hard as I could, which hit the rocky side of the gorge. The echos of my voice faded into silence, and I was left standing alone with no response. I bowed my head in disappointment and continued my trek. Suddenly, I heard a noise; an echo. It sounded like a high-pitch screech. I turned around and stared off into the distance, trying to locate the source of the strange sound that penetrated my eardrums. For a second, I heard nothing, but my my patience was rewarded when I heard another sound. This time, it sounded like wind blowing through the gorge, but it came in short bursts. As the sound moved closer and closer, I felt my legs begin to wobble again. Was fear taking a hold of me in its chains again? But why? I kept my vision on the dark distance of the gorge and finally saw a figure. It was a avian of some sort, a bird who flew nearer and nearer to my position. If it’s just a bird, I thought to myself, why am I so afraid? I knew now that the short bursts of wind came from the flapping of this bird’s wings, but what fear does such a thing induce? The flying creature was now with my line of sight and the questions of why my fear had taken its grip on me were answered. This was no ordinary bird, it was a GIANT of a bird. It now hovered over me, each flap of its wings felt like a temporary hurricane had hit me. All of it’s feathers were of a light brown color, and it had a huge, curved, yellow beak like that of a giant eagle. It’s eyes were of a strange tan color and it’s wingspan measured up to longer than the distance it would take to go from one end of Ponyville to its opposite end. It’s talons were deadly sharp and big enough to take hold of a two story building with ease. This beast of a bird was unlike any other flying creature, it was...

“A roc!” I exclaimed, a bird of prey that had apparently made its nest in the gorge and my echoing had disturbed its rest. The roc looked down upon me from above and gave another screech. I covered my ears, for it was loud enough to make a pony lose its hearing sense. I was unsure about what to do next to resolve this dilemma, so I did the first thing that came to mind; I ran. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. The roc made yet another ear-piercing wail and flew right after me. If I was anywhere besides a narrow gorge, that bird would have caught up to me, but the walls on the sides decreased its speed and maneuverability substantially. My small form could easy slip in and out of the tight spaces that the rocks and walls presented me with. The bird, however, had to go above the gorge, then back down into it without hitting the walls or losing its sight on its prey, me. I was unaware of the time I had spent running and I didn’t even feel tired fro doing so. However, both senses returned to me when I saw what was in the closing distance; the end of the gorge. Not stopping, I jumped onto a ledge, then proceeded to move to an adjacent ledge, repeating the process over and over until I finally reached a spot where I was unable to locate a path. The top of the wall was too high up for me to jump to it. I heard the roc coming closer and I attempted to teleport up to the exit of the gorge, but my fear had shakened my focus and I was unable to complete the spell. Nevertheless, I kept trying and trying until I was worn out. Then, the expected happened, the roc now set its sights on me, hovering near the edge of the ledge I stood on, waiting for the right moment to strike. The fear in me stirred ferociously and my whole body was shivering. That gave me an idea. I prepared myself for the spell that had brought me so much suffering, so much anger, so much fear. I was going to take all of that and raze it into the mind of the beast that stopped me in my path. Tired and exhausted, I put all my effort into casting the fear mongering spell, my vision faded into clouds of darkness and I listened for the bird’s battle cry. My head lowered, and I was ready. The atrocious avian gave a loud screech and dived to my position. My head snapped up and I looked the thing directly in the eyes. I felt all the fear that I had bottled up, all the anger I had created, all the sorrow I had produced and threw on my foe. The roc drew back, with a wailing cry and I felt triumphant that my spell had hit. However, the roc was now blinded by its own fear, running into the rock walls, causing an avalanche of boulders to slide down the canyons. I turned my attention upward and saw a barrage of boulders come at me, picking up speed. I dodged several of and barely missed one that nearly scrapped my face off. I then felt a CRASH behind me and saw that it was yet another close call with a stray rock. As I moved towards the wall, I was pulled back, as if I were chained to the floor. I might as well have been, that last boulder had trapped my tail, rendering me immobile. The fear I thought I had rid myself of returned as I saw the roc become less reckless and shedding its shroud of fear. It shook its head and retain its focus on me, angry that I had gotten the better of it for that moment. It flew back a few inches, raisin its talon in preparation for a strike. I was scared for my life, thinking about how this was to be my doom. Yet, when the roc flashed its talon with lightning speed, my instincts told me to duck, so I did. I dropped my body to the ground, and the talon narrowly missed my head and even swiped the boulder that was my trap off of me. But still, I yelped in pain. I knew I had felt its talon scratch my skin, but where? When I attempted to get up, I felt my right hind side limp back down, causing me to lose my balance and fall to the floor. I looked behind and saw a wound on my right flank. It was one big scratch that had split the cutie mark I bore in half with a diagonal slash. I clutched my flank, attempted to ease my immense pain. However, I didn’t think it would matter; the roc positioned itself for another attack, raising its talon once more. This is it. I thought depressingly, I’ve nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and I’m paralyzed with this wound’s pain. This really is the end for me. It probably should’ve been long ago since the day I came into existence. The enormous creature let out another screech and I close my eyes, still clutching my flank, waiting for the inevitable to happen, just like my dream predicted...

Suddenly, I heard a loud BOOM, followed by a second screech coming from the roc. It was a yelp of pain. I opened my eyes to see what the commotion was. The talon it had raised was emitting smoke from a burn wound. I then realized that the skies were darker with storm clouds, and a thunderous storm had come. The roc must’ve been struck by a stray bolt of lightning. However, this theory proved ineffective as another bolt zapped the roc’s head, confusing it. The roc now focused it’s attention on the ledge above, as did I. There I saw a pony, an alicorn, whose mane was flowing and bore the colors of the night sky. She was taller that most ponies and wore a dark blue coat with a crescent moon in a black sky as a cutie mark. I recognized her as the sister of the ruler of Equestria, Princess Luna.

She stood bold in the presence of the bird that wanted her as dinner, showing no signs of fear or cowardice. In fact, she spoke to the creature with a blasting volume and a regal tone, “Begone fowl thing! Thou shalt do no further harm to this colt!” The roc screeched again at Luna, who then proceeded to strike it with another bolt of lightning, “Begone!” she commanded, “Or thou shalt feel my wrath!” Multiple hits of lightning finally got the message to the now less than intimidating bird, which flew back towards the other side of the gorge.

I watched the princess of the night standing triumphantly as the roc flew off. I blinked once and saw now that she had disappeared. Bewildered, I darted around the area to see where she went to and then, “What is thy name?” My sight instantly looked in front of me and there I saw Princess Luna in all her glory looking down on me with a serious look. I tried to get up, but the pain brought me down once again, “Do not attempt to rise,” Luna ordered, “unless thou delights in creating his own pain?”

I knew she was being sarcastic, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I looked up to her and replied, “My name is Darkbright Occolt. You are Princess Luna, correct?”

“Thou speaketh the truth,” Luna answered softer than before, but still maintained her regal tone, “We have heard the cries of the beast known as the roc and came here with the utmost haste to see what hath riled it up.”

I turned my gaze to the ground, “I think that might have been my fault.” I said remorsefully., “But I was unaware that there was such a beast here.”

“Few know of this creature’s existence,” Luna stated, “We intended to keep it that way for the safety of everypony.”

“I won’t tell, if that’s what you’re implying.” I said quickly.

“That would be most excellent.” Luna said smiling, then going back to serious, “Now about your injury...” Luna stepped over to my side where I was holding my flank, “Please remove your hooves so as we may get a better look.”

I reluctantly and slowly moved my hooves out of the way. Even the slightest breeze may my side twitch. Luna examined it for a moment, then softly put her hoof on it, sending a spark of pain to my flank, “Nnnnh, that doesn’t feel pleasant, Your Highness.”

“Forgive us,” Luna apologized, still examining the wound, “but we needed to know how bad it was. Any feeling of pain at the slightest touch indicates this wound must be treated immediately.”

“Can’t you use some kind of magic to heal it?” I asked blatantly.

“Magic cannot be a solution to every conflict,” Luna replied, “this wound is far too deep for our magic to be effective, however, we can treat it.” Her horn glowed a nightly blue and she touched my flank with it. I felt a short, but sharp pain, followed by a relaxing feeling. My eyes began to droop and my vision began to fade. Before I knew it, I was in a deep sleep.

When I awoke, it was to the smell of smoke. I opened my eyes and raised my head. I was lying on a bed of grass,next to a fire and Princess Luna was on her stomach, legs bent, sitting upright. She saw me awake from my slumber and asked, “Didst thou have a nice rest?”

“Yeah.” I replied drearily. It occurred to me that I didn’t have that nightmare when I went to sleep. Perhaps Luna’s magic calmed my nerves? Speaking of which, I turned to examine my injury; it had been bandaged up, leaving my wound and what was left of my cutie mark unseen.

Luna continued her conversation with me, “What is thou doing in Ghastly Gorge in the first place?”

Once again, my eye contact fell to the floor, “Because I have nowhere else to go.”

Luna raised an eyebrow, “What is thou saying? Surely, thou must have a home to return to?”

I shook my head, “No. I don’t.”

Luna now looked shocked, “Thou surely jests! Thou art pulling my leg, aren’t thee?”

I looked her in the eyes and slowly shook my head again. Luna had a baffling look on her face for a moment, then calmed her expression into a saddened one. Just then, her eyes lit up and she looked at me curiously, “Might thou be the one Twilight Sparkle mentioned?”

Now, my eyes lit up and my ears perked up at the sound of the name I just heard, “What do you mean?” I asked eagerly.

“Twilight Sparkle sends my sister, Celestia, letters. Reports on what she has learned on friendship. However, her most recent one was somewhat...distraught.”

“What was her most recent one?” I asked, curious to know what she might have said about me.

Luna smiled and her horn glowed. From out of nowhere, a scroll appeared. “Why don’t thou see for thyself?”

I took the scroll with my own magic and opened it. I was eager to read what she had written, yet at the same time, I felt as if this was an invasion of privacy. But, if Princess Luna approved it, I guess it isn’t much of a concern. As I began to read the letter, I could almost hear Twilight’s voice echo through each word:

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today, I met somepony whom you wouldn’t expect to get a lot of friendly looks. He had a black coat and dark red mane. He was feared by everypony he walked past, not one of them tried to extend an invitation of friendship. Kind of reminds you of your sister’s incident on Nightmare Night, doesn’t it?

I stopped and looked up to Princess Luna, “You were feared once?”

“Yes, we were.” Luna replied blankly, “Everypony thought we were still Nightmare Moon. We thought we would never be loved, until Twilight Sparkle helped us overcome that obstacle. She helped us use our previous form to scare others in a playful manner instead of a cruel manner, for the sake of the celebration.”

So she was feared as someone she was but isn’t now. I thought, However, I’m feared for who I truly am. I don’t think the same solution is going to work. I kept on reading:

I showed him around Ponyville and introduced to my friends, yet he still seemed upset about something. I later learned that he had a dark power; he could use his magic to create illusions that produced fear! Can you believe that?! He even had the cutie mark for it. Anyway, even knowing this, I still wanted to be friends with him. But after I finished showing him around, he ran off and I followed after him. When I got to where he was, he was met by an angry crowd of ponies. I was worried, so I hurried as quickly as I could and found my friend Fluttershy crying on the ground. When I asked what happened, she mentioned that pony’s name. I didn’t want to believe, but the more he kept on the defensive, the more convinced I became that he was responsible for this. He wouldn’t even apologize because he thinks that he shouldn’t have to over what he called an accident. We argued for a bit, but the catalyst behind it was he went as far as to question my relationship with you as my mentor. I told to leave and never return and he eventually did. I know this was supposed to be a report on friendship, but I think that some ponies just aren’t capable of making friends. I’m still kind of in tears right now, but all I wanted was to be his friend. Apparently, he just wants to be alone. I can’t believe what took place today really happened, I wished I could just forget about him and act like we never met, but I can’t. I can’t stop thinking about him; about how he goes through life alone with nopony to talk to, I almost feel sorry for him. But he can’t see the error of his ways, so that just makes him a lost cause. I’m sorry for this report, Princess Celesta, but I just needed to say something to you.

Your faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle



Lost cause.

That signaled to me that Twilight thinks I’m incapable of making...and she was right. Yet still, I felt absolutely horrible, a quivering in my stomach, the feeling of letting her down reared its ugly head again and I felt like crying once more. I sniffled and tried to release my tears, but I couldn’t. The feeling of wanting to cry, but being unable to do so made me want to cry even more, but I couldn’t. All I could do was sob. I let out a wail and began to sob loudly, my throat became scratchy and my voice was failing me. I took deep inhales every so often to catch my breath, then continued my weeping. Princess Luna held a sad, sympathetic look, “Thou must let it all out, for it is unhealthy to keep such powerful emotions inside.”

I was in the midst of sobbing dryly when I got another feeling; a feeling of wanting comfort. I needed some kind of something to stop my unpleasant weeping, but the only one within my vicinity was...

“P-Princess...?” was all I managed for now, but I got Luna’s attention.

“Yes, Darkbright?” she asked.

I sniffled, then sniffled again still sobbing without tears, it felt so terrible, “I-I-I...I need a hug.”

Princess Luna nodded and she scooted over to me, put one of her front hooves around me and held me close. I rested my head against her soft coat and pulled my body closer to hers. Luna close her eyes and I felt her neck touch mine. Finally, I could feel a liquid pour from my sockets. I was now crying with tears, which made me feel a bit more comfortable, but my sobbing did not desist. We continued to hold our current position until I had finally calmed down. I wiped my eyes with my front hoof and spoke clearly now, “Thanks for that, I just feel awful about disappointing her like that.”

Luna released me and replied, “Then why not make amends and apologize?”

“Because...because...”I stuttered, “because she...threatened to destroy should I return.”

“WHAT?!” Luna was shocked, this couldn’t be he same Twilight Sparkle, could it? “‘Tis a lie! Thou must be remembering it wrong!”

I shook my head solemnly, “I wish I was, but I’m not. Plus, something that serious isn’t hard to forget.”

Luna sighed, “Thou dost have a point. But didst thou really do something that horrible?”

“Of course I did.” I replied regrettably, “I did something I wouldn’t fess up to; I hurt her friend and now she hates me for it.”

“But dost thou hate her?”

“What do you mean?”

“Dost thou hate her for hating you?” Luna explained, “Or dost thou accept this?”

“I...I...”

Luna raised her head, “Or maybe thou art afraid?”

I blinked in surprise, “Afraid? Of what?”

“Of Twilight Sparkle’s threat.”

I was silent. Was I afraid of her threat? Of course I was. If I wasn’t, why did I have to run? Why couldn’t I have had to stand up for myself? It was one simple thing that has been with me ever since I left; fear. I knew now that it was the same fear I used that prevented me from returning. I spent so much time inducing fear into the souls of others, I never took the time to conquer my own fears and thus I was vulnerable to them, which caused me to run...to be exiled.

“I know what I must do now. Thank you for your wisdom, Your Highness.”

Luna smiled, “We are pleased that you have found a solution, but you must rest now, for it is dangerous at nightfall.” So I did.

When I awoke, I felt the grass tickle my hooves, but it wasn’t the flat grass used in my bed; it was sprouted grass from the ground. I looked up and saw that I was sleeping in the base of a tree trunk. Princess Luna must have taken me out of Ghastly Gorge. I exited the tree and squinted my eyes when the sunlight hit me. In the distance, I saw a town; it was Ponyville. I was far enough so nopony could see me, but close enough so that I could walk there. I stood up and looked behind me. My wounded flank was still in a bandage, but I felt little pain. I had bigger focuses: I needed to redeem myself, I needed to mend my ways, I needed to conquer my fears.

Although I was unsure how I would repair my relationship with Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, or any other pony, I knew that I would find the answer in due time. Fear was my talent, and I was set up to master it.

Chapter 3

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The Exile of Equestria

Chapter 3

My journey back to Ponyville seemed like an eternity away. Even though the way back wasn’t that long, my legs felt weighed down, getting heavier with every step I take towards the town. But I kept on walking; I wasn’t about to let the very fear I utilized overwhelm me, even though my stomach felt queasy as I got closer. As I nervously continued towards Ponyville, I ran through my head what I was to do when I got there:

The first thing I need to do, I thought, is to do what I should’ve done before. It was then I recalled poor Fluttershy and her terrified expression. She had nothing to do with what had happened and still I blamed her. I blamed her for simply getting involved, bearing good intentions. I was truly a monster. It was no surprise to me that Twilight acted the way she did, the anger and sadness that blurred her vision, while trying desperately to maintain her composure and then breaking down as if her heart was glass and my mere words shattered it into a million pieces. These thoughts made the queasy feeling in my stomach worse, I felt like hurling. Before I knew it, I now stood at the entrance to Ponyville. I glared deeply into the town, wondering what reactions await me inside; was I going to be attacked? Is everypony going to hide? Or will I be confronted by Twilight once more and scolded even further? The mere thoughts once more made my stomach growl like a hungry tiger. It felt awful, so much that I had to put my front hoof to my stomach in an attempt to quell the sickening feeling. I inhaled deeply and entered Ponyville for the second time, something I didn’t think would be possible for me to accomplish. Strangely, the town was barren, void of life. There was not a single pony in sight. The shops were closed, lights were off, windows shut, perhaps they are hiding? I shook my head, ignoring the predicament, and went onward. I was nearing the other edge of Ponyville, where the Everfree Forest was simply a matter of yards away. However, the forest was not my destination; it was the cottage that sat near the edge of the dark woods. It was Fluttershy’s cottage. I crossed the small bridge over the creek, walked up the small hill, and stopped at the cottage door. I lifted my hoof to knock, but hesitated. I began to wonder how Fluttershy would act upon seeing me; I predicted that she would want nothing to do with me after what my Fear Monger spell did to her. Nevertheless, I had to try. Reluctantly, I knocked on the door three times. A few minutes passed by, and there was no answer. My head began to sink, she was probably hiding from me as well, it’s only natural she wouldn’t want to speak with me. Suddenly, as I began to turn away, I heard a creak coming from the door. I looked to the door to see that it was being opened, but by whom? Or by what? I peeked inside a bit and saw nopony in the area. I was confused, if Fluttershy didn’t open the door, then who--

I then felt a rapid thumping on my front hoof and I looked down to see what the cause was It was a rabbit, a white rabbit. At least, I thought it was a rabbit. The expressions it gave aren’t ones that anypony would expect to come from a rabbit. The furry creature motioned me to come inside and when I didn’t budge, he gave me an irritated look crossing his tiny arms, and rapidly thumping the floor with his foot. Baffled, I entered the cottage and saw a variety of animal cages holding an even greater variety of creatures. It looked like the inside of a pet shop, without all the price tags or the cash register. The white rabbit pointed at a door, it looked like the entrance to a closet. Still a bit bewildered, I moved towards the mysterious door, put a hoof up, touched the knob, turned it slowly, and peered inside. Upon looking, I heard a high-pitched screech, short but loud, I stumbled away from the door and it creaked open. The rabbit went into the closet and then came back out a few seconds later, motioning to whatever was in the closet to reveal themselves. I saw a silhouette of a pony, then a figure, and finally a recognizable face. It was Fluttershy, she stepped out of the closet with a relatively sad look on her face. Then again, she always did seem to look sad, however, one could tell whether or not she was, in fact, sad. The only thing I didn’t know is why. Fluttershy, still looking depressed, turned her attention to me, but said nothing. I was waiting for a comment, and when I didn’t get one, I finally spoke up, “Hey.”

Fluttershy didn’t respond at first, mainly because she didn’t know how to, until I heard her say softly, “Hi.”

The greetings didn’t go over that well, but I didn’t care. I came here for a reason and I was going to see it through. I cleared my throat and said seriously, “Fluttershy, I need to tell you something.”

Fluttershy’s head lifted up a little in curiosity, “Yes?”

I gulped, this wasn’t easy for me to do, for I never had to apologize for anything because nopony would give me the chance to, or I would refuse, “I...I just wanted to apologize.”

Fluttershy looked confused, “Whatever for?”

Was she serious? Didn’t she know what happened to her? I replied with a confused look, “Whatever for? For what happened to you, back at the plaza. Don’t you remember?”

Fluttershy looked at the floor, “Yes, but I really don’t want to. Besides,” Fluttershy’s look lightened up a bit, “it wasn’t your fault.”

Now I was bewildered, “What do you mean?”

“Well,” Fluttershy glanced away, “you didn’t mean to do what you did, right? So I really can’t blame you.”

I shook my head in disbelief, “But I was the one who cast the spell. It was my fault that you saw...what you saw. How could you possibly say it wasn’t my fault?!” My voice tone raised.

Fluttershy drew back a little, intimidated by my harsh tone, “I...I just meant...that...I don’t want to blame you for what happened. I don’t want to blame anypony.”

I was stunned, she was just trying to be kind, and I thought she was attempting to comfort me through false sympathy. What have I become? I sighed and responded quietly, “Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.”

Fluttershy gave a small smile, “It’s okay. To be honest though, I really shouldn’t be speaking with you right now.”

I raised an eyebrow, “What are you talking about?”

“W-Well,” Fluttershy stuttered, “Twilight told me that if I saw you again, I was supposed to ignore you, but I didn’t like seeing you leave all sad and lonely. I would’ve gone after you, but I couldn’t get over my fears. That’s why I hid in he closet; I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose Twilight’s trust, but I wanted to help you so much. I was sitting in the closet just thinking about it, until Angel led you to me.”

Angel? That must’ve been the name of the rabbit. Strange name for a strange rabbit, I thought, I guess that works. “Right.” I replied, then suddenly realized, “Wait, Twilight said to stay away from me?”

Fluttershy looked sad again, “Oh, yes, she seemed very upset over what had happened. She even said she never wanted to see you ever again.”

I wasn’t surprised. Of course she’d think that, still, it hurt me to know that she did think that about me. “She never wanted to see me again?” I asked in falsified disbelief.

“Oh yes, I did think that was a bit harsh. I even said so to Twilight, but she didn’t listen. She said that she wanted you gone. Out of her life and out of her mind.”

The more Fluttershy spoke about this, the more depressed I became. To know the Twilight despises me with such loathe, it just makes me sad. “But wait,” I said, realizing yet another strange thing in Fluttershy’s story, “I left Ponyville and you saw me do so, why would Twilight say she wanted me gone when I was already gone.”

Fluttershy lowered her head deep, saying nothing. I asked again, and kept doing so until Fluttershy finally surrendered, “She said she wanted you gone, but not gone as in leave the town, gone as in...well...gone...for good.”

My eyes widened and I was shocked, Twilight’s threat to destroy held water?! Really?! I continued to internally asked myself questions, and Fluttershy continued, “You probably noticed that nopony was out today, right?”

Come to think of it, that did baffle me. Did Fluttershy know the cause? “And?” I asked eagerly.

“Well,” The timid pony continued, “She told everypony not to go outside except for essentials. She wanted this to go for a week, because she figured that’s how long it would take you to...well...you know.”

Not one word or phrase in that explanation came off as satisfactory to me. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to believe. But what choice did I have? It was impossible to fully deny the truth. To think Twilight expected me to be dead within the week just...just...stuck a knife in my heart. My chest actually felt like it had just been stabbed with something, for I felt a sharp pain coming from my heart. My stomach was swirling in a vortex of sadness and regret. My lips began to quiver and my eyes began to well up with tears. One of my hooves clutched my chest,,whilst the other one held my stomach,but there was nothing to wipe my tears away. I coughed, trying to speak, but failed. I coughed again, and again until my coughing morphed into sobbing. I had thought I was over Twilight’s opinion of me, but the more I thought, the more sad I became. But why? I never cried this much before. Why was now different? I already knew why, however, Twilight was the only pony who ever wanted to be my friend. Now she felt betrayed. I knew this already, what I didn’t know is why I was still crying over it. My strength was failing me, I grew more frail with every tear I shed, Fluttershy gasped and ran over to me, “Oh no, no.” she said sympathetically, shaking her head, “Please don’t cry, Darkbright. I don’t like seeing you sad.” she reached out with both her front hooves and embraced me.

Still clutching myself, I kept on sobbing. I had to get Twilight to forgive me, otherwise this emotional agony won’t desist. Fluttershy and myself held our embrace until I was calm. I sniffled and wiped my eyes. The uncomfortable feelings in me had passed, but I knew they weren’t gone. The only way to get rid of them for good was to repair the damage done to Twilight’s soul. Fluttershy tilted her head “Better?”

I nodded, though that in itself wasn’t the complete truth, “Yeah, I think.”

The bright-colored pegasus smiled slightly, but immediately changed into a gasp, which startled me a bit, “Darkbright.” she said, shocked from the sight of something.

“What?” I asked.

“Y-You’ve been hurt.” she replied sadly, pointing at my wounded flank.

I glanced at the injury, then back at Fluttershy, and answered “Yeah, I had an accident.”

“An accident?” she gasped, “What accident?”

“It was--” I stopped, remembering what Princess Luna had told me; that nopony else knew about the roc in the gorge. I had promised her that I’d keep it that way, “It was...my own fault. I tripped on a steep hill and scratched my flank on a rock.” Scratched it on a rock, scratched by a roc, not much difference there, I thought.

“Oh my, how awful.” Fluttershy said with a sympathetic look, “Mind if I take a look?”

I shrugged, “I guess, I mean, it doesn’t hurt anymore.” I felt the bandages roll off as Fluttershy unraveled them with her teeth. When they had been removed, I felt a breeze on my side that had been covered. Fluttershy gasped once again, appalled by the scar my attacker had left. It was a diagonal scar that had split the horrific visage of my cutie mark in half. Only one eye on it was visible and half of the other eye was all that remained. The spiked teeth now looked like steps starting from the top of a pointed tooth, getting shorter until it disappeared in the scar. Fluttershy couldn’t believe her eyes as she gazed upon the gash, trying to comprehend how a simple rock could’ve done that much damage. “It was a fairly big rock.” I added. A fairly big roc indeed, I thought to myself.

Fluttershy stopped marveling over my wound, turned back to meet my eyes and said astonishingly, “That must’ve hurt a lot.”

“Yeah, it did.” I replied almost blankly.

“Are you sure you don’t need any assistance with it?” the shy pony asked concernedly.

“I’m positive, Fluttershy. Besides, it’s already healed.” I pointed out.

“Oh.” Fluttershy said disappointed, “Well, what did you plan on doing now?”

I stayed silent for a moment. I knew what I was going to do, but I didn’t know how I was to go about doing it. Nevertheless, I gave a response, “I’m going to see Twilight.” I said that deeply and seriously, as if it meant great importance to me.

Fluttershy became a little shaky, “A-Are you sure? I mean, Twilight doesn’t want--”

I cut her off, “She doesn’t know what she wants. Anger and sadness have blinded her judgment and rationale. I need her to see that I am not afraid of whatever anger-fueled scheme she has. You can’t fight anger with anger, it will just add fuel to the fire. I know she might not be willing to speak with me, but I think...she’s just as sad as I am.”

Fluttershy said nothing, she just looked at me expressionless and then blinked. As I began towards the door, Fluttershy stopped me, “Wait, before you leave, I need to tell you something: I know Twilight says she doesn’t want to see you, but earlier today, the library’s window was open and I could hear somepony crying. When I went to take a look, I saw Twilight in a corner and I just knew she was the one that was crying. I wanted to go help her, but I figured I should just stay out of the affairs that don’t concern me. That was right of me, right?” she asked, now unsure whether her actions were true.

“It does concern you,” I began, “but why tell me now?”

“Well because...um...you see--”

“Twilight told you to keep quiet about it?”

“Eeep!” Fluttershy squealed, “How did you know? I never said that she saw me.”

“Because why else would you keep a secret unless one of your friends told you?” I asked rhetorically.

“Oh, you’ve got a point.” Fluttershy sulked, lowering her head, “I guess I’m not very good at keeping them secret, huh?”

“Trust me,” I said comfortingly, “it’s for the best that you told me.”

“Okay.” Fluttershy smiled, “Happy to be able to help.”

“Well, I’d better get going.” I stated finitely as I moved to the exit once again, this time I walked outside and heard Fluttershy say good-bye.

As I walked through the empty roads of Ponyville, I spotted the library. Before I knew it, I was at the entrance. I stared at the door, it tempted me to open it, like it knew the fear still existed inside me. I inhaled deeply and then exhaled it all out so I could relieve myself of at least some of the pressure that weighed me down. I put my hoof to the door, turned the handle, and pushed. The door opened effortlessly, and my sight was greeted by books galore. Even though the library was pristine and neatly kept and I care, the moment I entered, I felt as if this place wasn’t too popular with the other ponies. I can’t even remember the last time I read a book. My eyes darted around the building; there wasn’t any sign of Twilight in the vicinity. Odd, I would’ve assumed she’d be married to this place or something. As I continued to wonder where she might be, I heard the front door open. I quickly turned to the noise and the first thing I saw was a lavender hoof step through, followed by another lavender hoof, and then a whole pony figure. There was no doubt about it; it was Twilight Sparkle. She had apparently come back from some kind of errand and had just gotten back. She entered the building and closed the door behind, “Spike?” she shouted, “Are you here?” When she didn’t get a response, she turned away from the door and finally she noticed me, standing in the middle of the room. She had a bewildered look on her face, but only for a split second, for that face mutated into a face of anger, of hate. Even so, I didn’t budge, I kept a cold, serious look planted on my visage. Both of us were having our own little staring contest, until finally, Twilight spoke, her voice sounded irritated, “And just what do you think YOU’RE doing back here? I thought I told you to leave and never return.”

Her voice itself put a dent in my soul, but I remained resolute, “As I can remember, you are not leading pony of this town, therefore I am free to walk where I please.”

Twilight’s eyes squinted in anger, “Then take your free-walking flank somewhere else.” It was on “flank” that she noticed the scar I bore, “Mind explaining that?” she pointed at the scar.

I knew my promise to Luna, “I fell down a hill and scratched it on rock.”

Twilight scoffed, “Sure, or maybe you were injured while being chased out of another town?”

I shut my eyes in frustration, but calmed myself down, “No, it is as I say.” Or not. “Listen, I just want to have a word with you.”

“Well I don’t want anything to do with you!” the lavender unicorn snapped, “Not after what you did!”

“And I am sincerely sorry for that, but you must understand my reason--” I began, but was interrupted by Twilight’s rant.

“Furthermore, poor Fluttershy can’t come out of her own cottage because of you, nopony can! Because you did something so cruel to somepony so innocent. I...I just can’t forgive you!” her voice was beginning to break.

She’s lying, I thought, but it’s unintentional. Her own anger is getting the better of her. “Twilight,” I started calmly, “you need to calm down and listen. Lying won’t get us anywhere.” That set something off inside her, some flare of some kind.

“Lying?! LYING?! How dare you accuse me of lying! Why would I lie?!”

I knew the exact answer to that, “I never accused you of lying, I merely said lying wouldn’t help. Not once did I say you spoke a lie.”

Twilight’s face turned beet red, she knew I was right. She then said loudly stuttering, “W-Well, why would bring it up then?”

I replied, still remaining calm, “Because what you are saying isn’t the complete truth.”

Twilight snapped, “NOW you accuse me of lying?!”

I shook my head slowly, “Not on purpose. You told Fluttershy and everypony in town to stay indoors until the week passed, because that’s when you thought I would perish, correct?”

Twilight jolted her glare to the ground and mumbled loudly, “Fluttershy told you?”

“That’s correct and what’s more is that she didn’t hate me for causing her the fear she felt.”

Twilight’s head snapped back up again, “That’s a lie! She was so sad, she was still in tears when I brought her home. There’s no way she couldn’t have hated you.”

I raised an eyebrow, “Oh really? Is Fluttershy really the type to hold a grudge?”

Twilight was speechless, “W-Well--”

I resumed my argument, “And did you, as her close friend, ever once sat down to talk with her about how she felt about me?”

“N-No, but--”

“And why is that you failed to mentioned Rainbow Dash provoking me in your letter to Princess Celestia?”

“Because I didn’t think--” she stopped short, realizing what I just said, “WHAT?! YOU READ MY LETTER?! Those are supposed to be for the princess’ eyes only! How in Equestria did you get your evil little hooves on it?!”

I shut my eyes once more, “Princess Luna gave it to me.”

Twilight let out a small gasp, her voice was a bit calmer now “You met Princess Luna?”

I nodded, “Correct, she is the one who showed me your letter. And since you said it was for princess eyes only, don’t you think the PRINCESS has the right to use it as an example for a similar occurrence?”

Twilight was stunned, “I guess...”

“Your letter hurt me bad, Twilight.” I confessed, “If that’s what you wanted, well, you succeeded. I couldn’t even shed tears at first because I was so heartbroken. You wanted revenge, well you got it. You struck fear into my soul with your threat as well as despair with your angry, yet sad, feelings. You even got me severely injured as a bonus and distorted the terror-striking visage that acts as a symbol for the catalyst of your hate.” I motioned my scarred flank to her. “Now I must ask, can you ever forgive this foal for being a complete...monster?”

Twilight didn’t know what to do; she was mad because I was being stubborn in not apologizing, but now here I am, confessing everything. This sudden change in mood was overwhelming for both me and Twilight. “I...” she began nervously, “I don’t know what to say.”

“Then let me make it simpler for you.” I stated, “Do you want me gone for good? Out of existence? Because if that’s the case, you can show me to the nearest deadly drop and I will give you want you want.”

Twilight eyes lit up, she was shocked that I even suggested that, “W-Wait, no! I mean, I thought Equestria would be better off without you, but...now that you’re here saying...this. I want to forgive you, but something tells me I shouldn’t.”

I sighed and tried a different course, “How did you and Princess Luna become friends? What was the situation behind her fear-inducing conundrum?”

Twilight was suspicious, “Why?”

“Don’t you think that me and her share similar problems then and now?” I asked.

“Well, yeah, I suppose.”

“And didn’t she strike fear into those around her wherever she walked.”

“Yeah, but she didn’t want to.” Twilight explained, “Everypony thought she was Nightmare Moon and didn’t give her a chance. When I spoke up to her about the friendly nature of Ponyville, she was not convinced at first, but the more I showed how to have a good time with friends, the more open she became. Although, there was still some fear left and she didn’t like that, so she gave up and became somepony to be feared than somepony to be loved like she wanted.”

“And did you give up on her?” I asked.

“Of course not! I thought up a plan to get her to become friends. She used the fear that everypony had of her and turned it into something fun for the occasion. Since then, everypony has been more open to her.”

“Now where did you or I go wrong?” I asked in contrast with Twilight’s story.

Twilight pondered this, then answered, “I think we both misunderstood the other. I thought you were nothing but a monster and you thought I never wanted to see you again. But in reality, both of us missed each other. You told me that my negative feelings towards you hurt you bad. Well, my own negative feelings hurt me too; they caused me to regret what I had done. With both of us assuming the worst of the other, neither of us had the courage to speak up. That is, until you showed up again.”

“So,” I started hopefully, “forgive me?”

Twilight smiled, “Of course I forgive you, Darkbright.”

Now I smiled, not one of wickedness, one of happiness. I had never felt so much pressure be lifted from my heart and soul. I couldn’t help myself, I leaped over to Twilight and hugged her tightly. She returned the embrace, but a little bit more softer than me. We both let go of the other and Twilight spoke first, “So, what now?”

My smile faded, “I’m not sure. I’ve never had any friends before. My life isn’t a happy story.”

Twilight looked worried now, “Do you want to talk about it? Maybe I, as your friend, can help you solve your troubles?”

I smirked, “If you feel you can, but it’s quite a tale.”

Twilight sat down on her haunches, “I’ve got plenty of time.”

“Very well.” I began my life story with: “I’m not sure who my parents were; they hardly revealed themselves to me because I was...different.”

Twilight gasped, “That’s terrible!”

“And it’s only beginning,” I assured, “this will explain the reason for my recent, and foolish, actions. Now where was I? Ah, yes. I wasn’t welcome as a normal colt to anypony where I lived...”


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“I was born in a city called Bittsburgh; it was a fairly average place, with fairly average ponies. Well, mostly fairly average. I was the only exception. I was told that when I was born, it was a dark night and the moon didn’t give off any light. I knew they were trying to scare me into hating myself, but it was working. A few years after my birth, I attended elementary school. There was not one time where I didn’t see anypony looking at me, whispering behind my back about my black coat, or red mane. My mane was brushed back, so that both my eyes had visibility. I was fine in the classroom; it was obligatory that the teachers and staff see to the well-being of their students. The only excuse they had for not watching me was when I was at recess. I was teased and bullied by a variety of ponies; they made fun of my mane, my coat, and those with cutie marks wouldn’t stop calling me “Blank Flank.” Too naive to be concerned about, yes, but I was just a young colt back then. Even my name, Darkbright Occolt, wasn’t something my parents gave me, I had to name myself when I was able to speak, I don’t know why my parents refused to name me. Probably because they hated me too. One day, at recess, I was being poked and prodded with sticks that the bullies had found.They came off as a few average looking horses; two of them had light-brown coats and dark brown mane, though one of their manes were longer than the other's. The third one, the leader, had a dark brown coat and beige mane, which cover both his eyes as if he were a dog. All three of them had cutie marks, but I found that to be of little importance at the time. I didn’t like their physical abuse obviously, so I yelled for the teacher...and didn’t get a response. I felt crestfallen, I put my hooves over my head, but they kept on poking me; my face, my stomach, my thighs, my flank, my legs, everywhere. I could feel something prodding me somewhere. I have had enough. I screamed and began to cry, my hooves over my eyes, curled up in a fetal position, and finally they stopped their torment and began to tease me verbally:

‘What’s wrong, baby, are you crying?’ one of them taunted. Their voices were grunt.

‘Waaaa,’ another one said mockingly, ‘I want my mommy! Oh wait, I don’t have a real mommy, she and daddy left me because they didn’t love me, waaaa!’

‘Let’s go, guys.’ a third one suggested, ‘This is a waste of our valuable time.’ The others agreed, and began to walk off.

Through my tears, I felt angry and shouted to them, ‘Your times not valuable!’ It was a mistake.

They instantly galloped back to me, and one of them hoof-punched me in the gut. I clutched my stomach in pain and cried even louder. ‘That’s what you get for opening your mouth, freak.’ one of them retorted and walked away.

‘Weirdo.’ another one said, walking away as well.

‘Blank Flank.’ the third one taunted, walking away also and stomping on my tail hard. I yelped and my tail curled between my hind legs and it touched my hooves that clutched my stomach. I just laid there, crying, nopony came to my aid, even after recess was over, I couldn’t move. I was in too much pain. When I was finally able to stand and walk, it was almost nightfall. I trotted back to my home, and my parents were furious. I can’t remember exactly what they said, but I was sent to my room for breaking curfew. I hated my life. I wanted some way to make it better.

After a few more years, I was more grown up now, almost about your age Twilight, I was looking for work, but nopony was hiring, so I went out on a walk. It was then I saw someponies that I didn’t want to see; the three bullies from elementary school; they all had jobs, they all lived a luxurious life, they all saw me walking and they blocked my path.

‘Well, if isn’t Bittsburgh’s Outcast.’ one of them said sarcastically.

‘You’re in our way!’ another exclaimed, ‘Move!’

Every time I moved, they always blocked me and accused me of blocking them. This went for a short time, until one of them grab me by the mane with their teeth, threw me against a wall, and a second one helped hold me there. Both of them held my front hooves to the wall. My smooth stomach was exposed as I was forced to stand on my hind legs.The third one walked up slowly, ‘Listen, Darkbright, this is our town and we can’t have somepony like you wandering around here, you know?’

‘This isn’t your town!’ I snapped, ‘Your just a bully who can’t even spell his own name right!’ A mistake. It got me a punch to the stomach. I coughed and felt a twisting pain in my abdomen.

‘You will speak when I tell you to!’ the attacker commanded, ‘Got that?’

‘Sorry,’ I said wheezing, the fight still in me, ‘I don’t speak stupid.’

The gruff pony growled, went over to a nearby garbage pile, and took a old 2x4 in his mouth that was half-drenched in garbage fluid. The wielder of wood motioned his head down and my front hooves were forced to touch the ground by the two accomplices. They then forced my front body to bend and my hind side was the only thing up. My whole body struggle to get out of the grip, but it was useless.The wood bearer raised his weapon, targeting my shivering flanks, then swung the thing at my flanks and hit them twice on each side, hard. I screeched in pain, the liquid on the wood didn’t make it any better. Every time I felt the wood hit my flesh, a burning pain ignited on my abused hind side. After the ruthless beating, I was forced back up to the wall. It became harder to stand now that my flanks were swelling. My hind legs shivered, trying to find the strength to stand strong. The leader dropped the wood and spoke again, ‘You get punished if you talk to your superior like that.’

I was not about to let this scum have his way, ‘The only thing you’re superior of is these two clowns here.’ I don’t learn from my mistakes, that remark got me kicked between my hind legs. I grimaced and felt my legs cross each other as if I needed to use the restroom. The relentless assaulter continued to speak, ‘I can go on all day, Darkbright, just make sure you leave town, alright?’

I felt angry, angry and powerless, I didn’t want to be powerless. I didn’t want to be his punching bag. I wanted him to scream in despair, to cry out in fear, to wallow in sorrow and darkness. I wanted him...to fear me. I’m not sure how to explain the next part, but I felt some anger and hatred turn into power. I felt my body fill to the tip of my horn with all the despair and agony these three had caused me. I felt...good.

‘Hey!’ the leader of the group said, ‘Are you listening? Or do I need to remind you again?’

‘Oh, I’m listening,’ I replied wickedly, ‘but I might need a reminder.’

‘Huh? Why is that?’ the lead pony asked.

‘I need a reminder,’ I grinned evilly, ‘of why I didn’t do this in the first place.’

All three of the bullies looked confused, ‘Do what?’ the leader inquired.

‘Do...THIS!’ I saw my vision go black as I looked into the eyes of my attacker. I felt all the negative feelings leave me, and drown the souls of the one I gazed upon and the two holding me down. Before I knew it, I was released, I heard shrieks of fear come from their mouths, and then, I was done. My vision returned to normal and the first thing I saw was the tough-talking leader pony now shivering on the ground. I looked behind me to see that the other two shared the same fate. I couldn’t help myself; I laughed. It was a bit of a snicker at first, but gradually transformed into a chuckle, then a laugh, then a cackle, and finally, I was laughing so cruelly and so evilly that it gives me the creeps recalling it.This feeling of cruel joy seemed to nullify the pain previously inflicted on me. I put a hoof to my mane and brought one side over my right eye. I then resumed my laughing spree. Just then, I saw my flank shine, but with a dark light. That’s when my cutie mark that you see now appeared. I could’ve sworn I heard a dark, deep and faint laughing when it appeared, but I didn’t care. I was having too much fun. Unfortunately, my laughs were heard throughout Bittsburgh and once they discover the cause, well, you can probably guess what happened; they exiled me, because my powers were dark. The only thing I did as I walked away from my hometown was look back to my parents, who wouldn’t even look back at me. It tore me apart. I taught myself to care less about anypony and their troubles. I lived in the Everfree Forest for about a week and a half. I knew which leaves were edible and which ones weren’t. After that, I continued my path of an exile, until I found another town: Ponyville. The rest is history.'

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“And that’s my life in a nutshell.” I ended.

Twilight’s mouth was hanging open; she was speechless.She said nothing for a while and then managed, “That’s so sad. Your childhood was terrible and your own parents hated you?” She hopped up and embraced me, as if I was sad. “I feel so horrible for treating you the way I did.”

“Don’t dwell on it.” I pushed her off, “I’m used to it.”

“Oh my, wait til everypony hears about this.”

I shook my head, “We’re not telling them, yet.”

Twilight looked at me curiously, “Why not?”

I didn’t return the eye contact, instead I was stuck in a 50-yard stare, I then replied deeply, “I still need to do something.”

“Like what?” the lavender pony said curiously once more.

“Now that you and I are friends, I need to fix another relationship. One I’ve had since the day I was brought into this world. Even if it was tainted, it just needs a good polishing.”

Twilight wondered what I was talking about, the suddenly realized, “Your parents. Back in Bittsburgh.”

I nodded, though I wasn’t sure how to find my parents, I was going to, even if it took me my whole life’s time.

“I’ll go with you.” Twilight announced.

I shook my head shockingly, “No way! It’s too dangerous. Plus, it’s my problem, I need to be the one to deal with it.”

Twilight wasn’t convinced, “Darkbright, I’m your friend, and friends help friends in need with their problems. I insist that you take me with you.”

She sounded confident. More confident than me. She was my friend, and I wasn’t going to let anypony say anything different, “All right, you can come, but I’m leaving in a few moments.”

Twilight jumped up, rushed to her bedside, and got her bags. She began to pack a variety of things that seem pointless to me, but if Twilight’s bringing them, I had no objections. After she was done packing, she took her quill and some parchment, wrote something, and stuck it to the door. I read the notice:

“Out on an errand. Will back be soon.”

I turned to Twilight, who then clarified, “If I told everypony exactly where I was going and with whom, they might come after me, or at least Rainbow Dash would, and I’d rather not get her involved, if you know what I mean.”

I snickered, “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.” RD wasn’t the negotiating type and that could be dangerous where we were going. Twilight and I started walking away from Ponyville and headed in the direction of my hometown, the town that saw me as an outcast, the town where my parents shunned me, the town where my dark abilities came to existence, the town where I became an exile. I was going back, but I had nothing to fear. With Twilight, my new and first friend, I felt like I could accomplish anything, overcome any obstacle, and see through any task to it’s ultimate goal.