The Crimson Smile.

by Cookietheif

First published

A sweet mare first steps into ponyville as their new dentist. Leads to the entire town fearing that they may be eaten during the night by a demon that sleeps within her...

Brightsmile, the sweetest little mare who has become ponyville's newest dentist. But the day after she first arrives to the town she gains a taste for blood, even though she has a major fear of it, and it soon turns into a need for pony flesh... But being as weakhearted as she is. A voice from her mind that promises to do the deed for her and Bright will not remember what happened when it is in control. She believes this voice is her savior...But can it be her downfall?

Chapter 5 has been proof-read and edited by Ecstatic. Everypony give him a massive thanks!
Also the credit goes to Crimson Dash for help in the making of chapters 3 and 4 and the cover art as well!

The Begining of her Work

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(I ran through the story twice to get rid of as many mistakes as i could find. Sorry for any mistakes that you might notice. Thanks for reading!)

This is a story of a happy little pony, which went to a happy little town, and made it into a happy little hell…

Brightsmile’s coat shined in the light coming from the windows of the train. Her sparkling light blue eyes gazed around the station; the only thing whiter than her fur was her teeth in fact, And her cutie mark was, you guessed it, a huge, happy smile. She was a kind unicorn; the worst she has ever done was some pranks in her childhood.
Now she takes her first steps into Ponyville as a dentist. She looked around with an ever growing sense of nervousness and nearly had a heart attack when out of nowhere everypony’s favorite party pony, Pinkie Pie, popped up beside her.
“Hi there!” the fun pink pony exclaimed. After a moment Brightsmile’s heart finally slowed down and she looked at Pinkie Pie.
“Hello,” she said with her usual cheerfulness, “can you help me with something? I need to-” Brightsmile was about to finish her sentence… But Pinkie Pie interrupted.
“Of course I can help! My name is Pinkie Pie. What’s your name?” Brightsmile tilted her head a little, staring at the overly excited mare. “My name is Brightsmile. Dr. Brightsmile. I came because I heard there is a new dentist position opened here.”

...Pinkie’s happy mood stopped as she stared at Brightsmile with wide eyes… There was a moment of silence until Pinkie suddenly shouted, “you’ll never take me alive!!!” Before diving into a randomly placed barrel.
Brightsmile, now confused about what just happened, was about to go to Pinkie Pie’s hiding spot but a voice caught her attention.
“There you are! Sorry I’m late!” An elderly pony was running, or at least what was running to him, towards Bright. “Dr. White! I was starting to wonder where you were.”
Dr. White used to be the dentist of Ponyville. But now he is retiring, which is also why Brightsmile came here. Bright went to the old colt, mainly so he didn’t have to run much farther, “Sorry I’m so late, the train had a small delay.”
She flinched as the memory of the crazed blue mare refused to get off the train; turning anypony’s fur into odd colors as they went near. Bright shrugged the memory away as White began speaking. “It’s alright, I had an appointment anyways. Have you seen Pinkie Pie? She is a…”
“Overly excited pink pony that hates dentists?” Brightsmile interrupted. “Yeah. You can say I have.” Dr. White chuckled and nodded. “And she’ll be your first patient tomorrow. Come! I’ll take you on a tour of Ponyville then your new office.” And as they walk away; the barrel that hid the freaked out mare rolled in the opposite direction...

The day was ending when the worn out Brightsmile finally got to her new home. She explored a bit, and brushed her teeth of course, before she retired to her bedroom. “I might as well get some rest and get ready for tomorrow. It’ll be a long one.”
Before she could lie down there was a knock at the door. The surprised mare wondered who it could be. She quickly walked to the door and opened it “hello?” She was shocked to see Twilight Sparkle at the door, she has heard so much about Twilight and all of the things she has done for equestria!
“Hello! My name is Twilight sparkle. I just wanted to come by and welcome you to Ponyville, and to apologize about Pinkie Pie.” Twilight said cheerfully. Brightsmile took a second to get out of her shock to reply.
“Oh, why thank you! I’m honored to meet you. I’m Brightsmile.” She said with a happy smile. She stepped aside and gestured inside. “Would you like to come in?”
Twilight nodded and went inside “Was I interrupting anything?” She asked. Brightsmile held back a yawn and tried to reply quickly before another yawn came… “N-not at all!” Twilight looked at Bright with a questioning glance, but didn’t seem to notice. “I also came by to give you a quick heads up about Pinkie Pie.”
Bright went into the living room and gestured at a chair for Twilight to sit down before she answered “a heads up?” Twilight gave a small nod “She isn’t a big fan of going to the dentist, but I made an appointment for her to have a checkup. She hasn’t had one for over a year!”
Brightsmile’s eyes widened a bit, she couldn’t believe the news she just heard. “Oh my… that’s quite a while. How will we get her to the office? I doubt she’ll willingly go in.” She said, going into deep thought, how will they? She looked at twilight; she didn’t seem very sure as well. Suddenly an idea popped up.
“know any way to lure her in? I know it doesn’t sound very pleasant but she really needs a checkup…” Twilight seemed a little impressed. “I think I have an idea.” She said; coming closer to Brightsmile to come up with a plan.
After a while of planning Twilight left and Brightsmile went back to the bedroom and finally got into bed to get some sleep. But what little did she know… Tomorrow will mark as the beginning of her dark and devastating future…

It was now morning, and there was madness in Sugar Cube Corner. Pinkie Pie locked herself in her room, letting nopony inside. “Pinkie Pie, come on out! You can’t just stay in there forever!” Said an impatient Twilight Sparkle, “I can and I will!” Pinkie replied as she started boarding up the entire room.
Twilight sighed; hoping what she said next will help get her out of there. “But who else will make a party for Brightsmile?” Pinkie’s ears perked up. “Party? Oh shoot I forgot to throw her a party!” Twilight felt relieved that pinkie’s mood changed.
“That’s right! Come on we got to hurry and set it up. I was thinking we throw the party at the dentist’s office.” She said, any doubt slowly going away. Pinkie opened the door after taking all of the boards off the door; bouncing about with her usual excitement. “Oki doki loki! Let’s go go go!”
Without any hesitation she got her party gear, which means her party cannon as well, and ran off; leaving Twilight to chase her to the office. It was seemingly empty when they got there, and pinkie quickly went to work. But when Brightsmile came in the decorating stopped.
Bright looked around in amazement as her front office was almost completely changed into a party room! “Wow…” Was all she could say, but Pinkie wasn’t all too thrilled…
“Aww! It was supposed to be a surprise party! We didn’t even get the guests here!” She said with a small pout at the end. Brightsmile couldn’t help but to let out a small laugh. “Well you did great work anyways. But sadly I got to do my work now.”
She closed the door behind her and locked it. Pinkie’s head tilted a bit. What did she mean? “Huh?” Was all she said. There was a small silence after she asked that; but then Twilight broke it. “Sorry Pinkie. But the party will have to wait after the checkup. You should know how important seeing a dentist is. Your teeth could be rotten on the inside and you wouldn’t even know it! It’s for your own good.”
Pinkie by now went back into panic mode and tried to jump out a window. But luckily twilight sealed them with a spell. “It’s only a checkup, Pinkie” she said as she went to Pinkie, who face planted into the window, and rested a hoof on her shoulder “And after, we can throw the biggest welcoming party ever.” Twilight gave her an assuring smile.
Pinkie looked at Twilight and nodded “Pinkie promise?” she asked. Twilight cheerfully gave Pinkie Pie the Pinkie promise and looked at Brightsmile, Who was walking to them.
“Great. This way.” Bright said cheerfully as she walked into a room with a chair and all of her equipment inside. None of them would have thought that this checkup would end up opening a world of horror…

Pinkie Pie sat down at the chair, growing more nervous when it tilted back. Brightsmile on the other hand was calm and had a smile on her face. She levitated some of the tools up and made sure that she was prepared for the worst. “Ok Pinkie, open wide please.” She said warmly. Pinkie obeyed and opened her mouth. To Bright’s surprise, Pinkie Pie had very great teeth despite the fact that she eats almost nothing but sweets.
“They look very healthy so far.” Brightsmile said while she started looking closer at the teeth. Relief washed over Pinkie to hear that, but then her heart skipped a beat when she heard Brightsmile make a small gasp.
“Uh oh… I see a cavity. In the back of your top front tooth here” Bright said while shaking her head a bit. She tapped at the tooth with one of her tools. “I’ll need to drill it out and then fill the tooth.”
Pinkie didn’t like the sound of that, she bolted up. “No!” She exclaimed. Oh how much she regretted that action, she accidentally hit a tray where most of Brightsmile’s tools were on. They scattered everywhere, although most feel plainly on the ground.
One of them hit twilight...
The tool that was flung into her was a sharp pick like thing used to scrape off stuff on the teeth. The tool make a long cut on twilight’s cheek, and a small amount of blood flew towards Brightsmile…
Brightsmile always had a fear of blood. Even the smallest drop of it would make her freeze up as if she was a statue. She stood there with her mouth open wide in shock, and with that most of the blood went onto her tongue…
“Ow!” Exclaimed Twilight, quickly she put her hoof on the cut, cringing at the stinging sensation. Pinkie Pie gasped “Twilight! Are you ok?!”
Pinkie jump off of the chair and went to her friend. “I am so so so sorry! I-I didn’t mean to hurt you!” Twilight nodded and slowly put her hoof down. Luckily the cut wasn’t bleeding very much. “It’s ok Pinkie,”
She looked at Brightsmile with a worried glance. “Are you alright, Brightsmile?” She asked. Brightsmile didn’t answer… They don’t know it… But now their sweet, gentle, friendly dentist is now falling into the path of horror… Guilt… And madness…

Brightsmile was shaking uncontrollably and too frightened to speak. But in Brightsmile’s mind something else hidden in the fear… Yes, the blood frightened her. But the taste of it…
To her it was better than the finest dish ever made in equestria!
She had no clue why, or how, that the thing she was most afraid of tasted so good. Then the thought she could not believe would come up popped into her mind… “I wouldn’t mind having a little more…”
She almost gasped, if she wasn’t frozen stiff from the fright, from the thought of it. Drinking more blood?! That’s insane! But… It tasted so good. What’s the harm in having a little more?
Her train of thought soon crashed when Twilight nudged her. “Brightsmile!” She shouted. Bright shook her head and looked around her. She had forgotten what just happened and was just taking notice that Pinkie wasn’t on the table, and that Twilight had a very worried look on her face.
“I-I’m ok...” She said, even though she didn’t believe that herself. She quickly got a cloth and soaked it in water, quickly wiping the blood off of her and then handing it to twilight. “W-wait here while I get a Band-Aid.” Brightsmile quickly left the room and got a first aid kit. She got a Band-Aid and a small wipe that is soaked in alcohol and came back to Twilight, But then her fear of blood snapped back when she noticed a small drop of it just fell on the floor.
Twilight took notice when Brightsmile was a statue once more. “You… Have a fear on blood don’t you?” Twilight asked as she wiped the blood off the floor and took the wipe and bandage. She wiped the blood of her cheek and put the Band-Aid on.
Now Bright was able to let out a deep breath. “Yes…” she finally said. Pinkie was just standing there the entire time, guilt taking over her. Brightsmile rested a hoof on the pink pony’s shoulder. You didn’t mean to. I know you don’t want me to drill that tooth but it has to be done.” She said, hoping Pinkie will agree. Pinkie Pie gave a little nod and agreed. Twilight smiled as she remembered something.
“You know… there is still a party to throw.” She said and looked at Pinkie pie, who cheered right up.
“You're right!” The party pony exclaimed with a small hop, “Let’s get this party started!” Pinkie speed out of the room and got the party cannon to resume decorating, leaving Brightsmile and Twilight back in the room laughing.
But what Twilight and even Brightsmile didn’t know. Is that the small amount of blood lost today, shall turn into gallons…

The 3 mares had a great time for the rest of the day; the entire building was filled with ponies having fun in the party. Brightsmile met almost the entire town in just one night and made a couple of friends in the process. But now the day was ending and the guests were leaving.
“That was the best party I ever had; I can’t thank you both enough!” Said the extra cheery Brightsmile. “Anything for a new friend!” Pinkie said while still bouncing about. The fact that she had this much energy surprised Bright. But Twilight wasn’t so surprised.
“You’re welcome, Bright.” Twilight said with a yawn. “I best get going. It’s already a little late.” Brightsmile nodded. The white mare was trying to clean up the mess that some of the ponies left behind,
“Goodnight Twilight. And I’ll be seeing you tomorrow Pinkie.” Bright was slightly upset that she lost track of time, and that somepony spilt punch on the front desk, so she had to reschedule the appointment for tomorrow.
Twilight stopped at the door and looked back at the busy dentist doing a janitor’s job. “Um…Would you like some help?” The lavender mare asked; throwing a few plastic cups away.
“I got it; but thanks for asking.” Brightsmile said kindly. Part of her wanted to just be alone so she can confront the thoughts that were creeping back into her mind.
“Well ok. Good luck tomorrow!” Said Twilight as she started leaving. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was bothering Bright, but decided its but to ask her about it later.
Brightsmile sat down in a corner and sighed. Why does the taste of blood still linger even though she desperately tried to drown it with punch? She temporarily forgot all about it during the party. But as soon as the guests began to leave it slowly came back!
“I can’t just sit around thinking about it… It’s just wrong.” she got up and resumed cleaning. She managed to shake the thoughts away when she finished. All she wanted to do now was get home, get a real meal to eat, and rest. And that’s what she did. Well… Except the rest part.
It was around midnight and our bright white pony was tossing and turning in her covers. The thoughts were back, and bombarding her mind full force. She was scared now, not because of the wanting of more blood. Just the images of her drinking the stuff! All of the blood…
That is what she was scared of. Even if she had the chance to get the blood. The sight of blood alone filled her heart with fear. But then one thing filled her heart with more fear… But also excitement… Brightsmile offered putting Pinkie Pie asleep before she would get to work on the cavity and she took it! With Pinkie asleep she can have as much of the so scary, yet so good, liquid as she wants.
With that thought sleep finally washed over the poor, blood thirsty mare…

The day has finally come. After a quick breakfast and taking care of her shining teeth she went to the dentist’s office to open up. To her surprise… Pinkie was already inside!
“How did you get in here?!” The bright white mare said in shock. She had the entire place locked up! No way could she have gotten in!
“There was a window open!” Was the pink pony’s reply. She pointed at a clearly open window and was clearly forgotten.
Brightsmile stood there, staring at Pinkie Pie. How did she not notice that the window was wide open? And how did Pinkie notice it? This mare becomes stranger the more Bright knows about her!
But by now it was Pinkie Pie that broke the silence. “Well let’s start with putting me to sleep!” She bounced off with a strange pep that left Brightsmile slightly confused. She followed Pinkie and got the tools ready, now she was putting the hyper mare to sleep with an ever growing excitement…
Pinkie will be out long enough for her to drink as much as her heart desires! And… Drill the cavity of course. But first the blood will be taken. She knew that shouldn’t drink over half of the mare’s blood in her body, it would horrible if she killed the innocent pony.
She started by making a small cut on her leg, just where nopony will notice unless they were actually looking for it. She shivered in fear as small amount of blood came out of it. But almost instantly blood lust drove her forward… Slowly the sweet, kind, and pretty mare started drinking the vile red liquid. Enjoying the taste of it and savored it as long as she can. Then she put her lips around the small wound and sucked out more of the liquid of life. As she did, a brand new thought went up in her mind…
What about the flesh? If the blood could taste this good; why not the bloody flesh as well? Almost as if it was an evil instinct she softly bit down on the flesh of the sleeping mare but quickly knew better…
EAT the mare?! There would be no way she could get away with that! She would get caught and maybe even executed!
…Brightsmile backed away from the table. Horror filled her, not from the thought of being executed… But from the fact that she didn’t even think of eating a pony as a bad thing! She knew these thoughts were evil… But they felt so right at the same time! There was no way she could argue with the thoughts with the taste of the lovely blood still lingering on her tongue...
What can she do? As she pondered on it more vile thoughts began forming, but she shook them away before they could finish. This was not the time for her to think about it… She had a cavity to get rid of and a tooth to fill! Bright’s care about healthy, happy teeth drove the rest of the evil thoughts away. And she began working, taking a sip of the life liquid every now and then. Who can blame her?
The delicious blood was the mare’s new drug…

Once the dental work was done our dear, diluted dentist woke up the party pony up, keeping a smile on her face. “Had a nice nap?” Asked Brightsmile, acting like the dreaded thoughts and plans never happened...
Pinkie rubbed her knee before answering. “Yep! Although my knee was pinching like crazy.”
Brightsmile blinked, having no clue why, the cut was nowhere near the knee. “Strange… Do you know why it would hurt?” She asked, having no clue that the answer will give her a heart a long race…
“It must have been my Pinkie sense! My knee pinches when something scary is going to happen!” Pinkie pie responded while in deep thought. Brightsmile tilted her head. Pinkie sense? This pony always gets stranger to her by the second!
Something scary about to happen…
Brightsmile’s heart got the hint and began to race faster than it has ever done. It must have started pinching when Bright started drinking Pinkie Pie’s blood! Maybe when the cannibalistic thoughts became… Cannibal… Once again she started thinking of what the taste of flesh would be like… If blood tasted so good... What would a pony’s own flesh taste with it?
“Ow!” Pinkie yelped as she rubbed her knee once more. Brightsmile, whose thoughts were crushed by the outburst, jumped up and her heart decided take a tiny break. “You ok?” The frightened dentist asked. She helped her patient off the chair and walked her out to the front office.
“I’m ok, but something really scary must be coming! My knee just won’t stop!” Pinkie answered. The pink mare was stumped. What could be so scary that her special senses go crazy about? Little did Pinkie know… That it was all from the pretty, young dentist besides her.
“Well we won’t know until it comes. Your teeth are all clear now, I suggest laying off the sweets and many solid foods for a while. Your fillings need time to fully harden.” Said the cheery mare as she got a new tooth brush and dentist approved toothpaste, “here you go. For being great this appointment.”
Pinkie Pie gladly took then and started bouncing off cheerfully. “Thanks! See you later!” The party mare called back as she left. The rest of the day flew by after that. Brightsmile scheduled a few appointments for the next few days and did another drilling today, but this time she stopped herself from drinking the addictive blood.
By the end of the day our tired dentist locked everything up, and made perfectly sure that all of the windows were closed, and began going home. She breathed in the fresh, nice fall air. Such a nice night for rest…
To be ruined with her vile thoughts of flesh…

“Stop!” Begged the poor, mad mare… Her bed was bare from her tossing, turning, and kicking all of the sheets and pillows away. “Go away you vile creatures from within!”
The creature was her very mind, Demanding blood… And flesh… It was screaming for it. No matter how many lives will be taken for it to be satisfied.
“I won’t kill… I would never hurt a pony for their own flesh!” She was trapped in her very mind. No light, or escape, in the dark abyss of her thoughts… Until the answer come to her…
“I will do the deed for you… So you can suffer no more…”
Bright’s own blood ran cold… Where did that voice come from? She was all alone in her room. So how come she heard it as if the pony was right beside her? “W-who are you…?” The frightened mare dared to ask, the unstable pony knew what the answer must be… But she had to ask.
“You know who I am… I am your savior... I am your friend.” The voice answered, the sad, insane mare’s mind was truly corrupted… From the sweet yet at the same time bitter blood… “But unlike the ‘innocent’ you… I can silence the other voices. Set me free and I can satisfy those voices…”
The voice offered what Brightsmile wished for. A way to please the vile thoughts and she won’t really be the one who did it! Bright, in the midst of madness… Saw her angel. How can she pass it up? But under the halo… Are the voice’s horns…
“I’ll do anything to get rid of these thoughts! Please, make them go away…” Brightsmile begged. Suddenly her eyes widened as an unbearable pain exploded in her head... The pain made her body squirm. She was kicking around even more.
“AAAHHHH!!!” The poor mare feel off the bed and then silence came just as quickly as the pain came… Brightsmile’s body was motionless for a minute. Her breath was shallow, her heart was slow, and the entire world around her stood still… But, as if the moonlight had the power to raise the dead, Bright slowly came back up.
Swaying from side to side she made her way to the door, each step was becoming steadier though. “Finally… I have control…” The creature that was in Brightsmile is free, and it has a plan for Ponyville… One that will change it forever.
Dark aura, instead her Brightsmile’s wondrous white aura, flowed out her horn and covered her body. Then in a vile flash, the mare that sold herself to a demon was gone…

The shadows were hiding something… A demon that possessed a once gentle mare lurked in them. Slowly this creature moved in only the darkness, shunning herself from any light that wasn’t the moon’s. Soon she was at her destination, the home of a mare almost as white as Brightsmile.
The creature’s horn darkened with her dreaded aura and unlocked the door so she may enter Rarity’s home. But with a slightly different goal than the one she promised Bright. First the demon must create an identity for herself. One that will protect her host from being exposed, and that will make the blood of her victim’s blood run cold before she drains them of it…
“Hmm… I don’t think dinner will mind me borrowing some fabric. She won’t need it once the sun begins to rise.” The demon mused with a grin, getting to work. Taking as much black and red fabric as she could, making sure that she didn’t wake the sleeping mare upstairs.
Soon it was done… Her new outfit that was the demon’s true form… She was now as black as night, for the darkness was her only friend, crimson red on her hooves, muzzle, and horn to mimic the lovely liquid that she must have...
The entire head was cover thanks to a mask she also made. The mask had a see-through red cloth and a frayed edge near the mouth that lets her gorge down on her victims... Now that she had her true nature revealed… It was dinner time.
The demon of the night walked through the innocent house, taking an innocent knife, and found her innocent meal… Rarity was peacefully sleeping in her bed, not knowing that her time in life was up… The demon approached the bed, the knife being levitated by the vile aura, excitement raced the black organ the demon called a heart.
“Aww… Sleep well mare… Because you shall never wake from it…” The knife’s cool steel softly pressed up to Rarity’s throat… The creature grinned, revealing the bright teeth that were of her host’s, and… The demon didn’t slice… Her attention was focused at a new sound. What could it be?
A light downstairs came on… Somepony else was inside! The demon went downstairs silently. Knife ready, and as sharp as can be. She peeked out from a corner and saw who it was. A foal that was as white as Rarity… Sweetie belle, Rarity’s sister! She was getting a glass of water, trying to be quiet. But not quiet enough…
The monster saw this as a sick favor for Rarity. The demon took her fabric, so she’ll let Rarity live… And her sister will be taken instead. Silently, like a spirit gliding above the ground, the demon got behind the little foal. Her dark aura turned off the lights and at the same time, made a clean cut in the poor little victim’s neck with the knife.
The demon then took instant action, clamping the foal’s neck before she could make a scream, and drank the precious liquid of life. Sweetie belle struggled, thrashing her head about and kicking at the monster that was sucking on her wound.
“Get off of me! Help!!!” Was what she wished she could scream, but the hooves pressing her mouth shut would not budge at all. Each second Sweetie belle felt weaker… Her blood was leaving her fast, and going into her killer… Suddenly a new pain went through her body.
The creature BIT a chunk of flesh out of the half dead foal!
The fleshed clung tightly to the neck of her though. A pony’s teeth aren’t made to devour flesh so there a larger chunk of flesh was ripped out than intended. Sweetie belle let out the best muffled scream as she can, but it was all in vain… Her older sister was a heavy sleeper, only a marching band could wake her up in the middle of the night!
More blood came out of the much larger wound, and the foal could not take it… The amount of blood lost was far too great… Sweetie belle couldn’t hold herself up any longer and she fell limp. Her eyes glazed over and her final breath left her…
The demon stood there, staring at the body in victory. The flesh took a while to chew enough to shallow down, but the flavor made it worth everything. The creature looked at the crimson blood all over the corpse, the floor, and of the evil mare’s smile… Crimson smile… A perfect name for the demon that will devour any living thing.
The dark side of a poor, insane, bright white dentist…

Twilight is on the Case!

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“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
-Edgar Allan Poe

Knock, knock, knock.
“Rarity!” The lavender unicorn called.
Twilight Sparkle was standing in front of Rarity’s door even though the sun itself was barely coming over the horizon and she knew Rarity was probably asleep.
But… Last night she had a dream and it seemed so real! Something went in Rarity’s room with a knife, but then found a smaller target back downstairs… And that’s where it found Sweetie Belle!
Twilight shivered from the memory of that horrid dream and knocked again; she had to make sure that Rarity and her little sister was ok.
“Alright, alright. I’m coming!” That was Rarity’s voice, and she didn’t sound so happy to be woken up this early. But what came next, is something twilight prayed that she would never come…
“SWEETIE BELLE!!!” Rarity let out a scream that ran anypony’s blood cold, “WHO COULD HAVE DONE THIS?!”
Twilight gasped and then busted down the door and ran into the kitchen where the screams were and then she saw the horrific site…
There was not much left of Rarity’s little sister. All that was left was her skeleton, almost all of her flesh was gone and a small pool of blood soaked the bones with its crimson beauty…
The site was all too much for both mares; they couldn’t help but to turn away and expel whatever they had in their guts… Poor little Sweetie Belle, never lived long enough to earn her cutie mark…

Twilight was doing her best to comfort her friend while detectives were examining what was left of her little sister. The site was burned into their minds and the sick feeling never went away.
Both were outside and were waiting to be questioned… But neither of them had answers. Just as much questions as the police did…
Who could have done this? Why was there nothing but some blood and bones left? Would... Would the thing that did this attack some other pony soon?
“I’ll make whoever did this pay…” Vowed Twilight, anger wrapped around her mind… She told rarity that she would be back and then she went to the bones. “Who would even do this…?” She thought.
Twilight knew her dream was more like a vision now, the scene of what happened to the poor foal through the killer’s eyes. But she couldn’t see the face of the killer. All that she knew is that the suspect was a unicorn for she saw the dark aura. But there are many unicorns in Ponyville!
Suddenly she realized something… How many ponies with dark aura did she know? The only one she knew was Princess Luna, but there is no way it was her! But then who else could it have been?
“I’ll just have to find out…” Twilight began to examine the kitchen, the detectives roped off where Sweetie Belle’s bones laid, but twilight could still clearly see them and what evidence they held…
Bite marks!
The killer gnawed on the bones… Just what sort of monster was that unicorn…? But this gave twilight an idea though. Brightsmile can help! The white-furred dentist could figure out who it might have been just by the marks alone!
Twilight decided that she’ll have a talk with Bright soon. But first, Twilight needed to look for more evidence…
The smart unicorn wandered out of the kitchen, glad that she did not have to look at the bones for a while, and easily noticed something that the detectives simply looked over…
The killer left all sorts of fabrics out of place! Twilight could only tell because she knew her friend well… Rarity always had her fabrics in certain places so she always knew where they were… But the killer messed with the fabrics and tossed them aside!
“This is making no sense… There seems to be no motive…” Twilight assumed. She examined the mess, putting what little pieces she had together, and decided that her best bit of evidence was those marks…
It took forever to convince the police to let twilight handle the case… But luck was on Twilight’s side. She helped the Ponyville police force many times. So of course she eventually got the case, and now she needs to get Brightsmile to see the bones.
She began to head to the dentist’s home, but she made a stop at her own home to have Spike a special letter. And then she was at the house that belonged to the bright white mare…

~10 minutes before Twilight was at Bright’s doorstep~

Light finally seeped into the dark room and shone on her pretty white pelt… She slept peacefully last night, as if the voices never once disturbed her.
Brightsmile woke up when the light washed onto her; she did not have the outfit that her demon wore… But there were some things that the creature left…
Blood was on her muzzle, and plenty of the flesh was caught between her lightly red teeth.
The sight of the blood was the only thing that stopped her from screaming… It was like the blood grasped her throat and prevented her from letting out as much as a squeak… Nor let her take in a breath…
She never moved as much as an inch, as if she was waiting for the blood to just go away… But then she felt some excitement… This blood means…
That special voice kept its promise!
Does this mean the voices will stop tormenting her now…? Is she free from the maddening voices that would keep her up at night…? But… This means that something horrible happened…
She… ate another pony… Who could it have been? Whose blood and flesh did she consume…?
Guilt started to swell within her chest… What she did was unforgivable… Nopony has been murdered in hundreds of years! But that wasn’t the worst part…
What if someone finds out that she was the murderer!
That thought was all Bright needed to get out of bed, and run to the bathroom so she can try to wash away the evidence… But the blood was persistent. She managed to get the flesh out of her teeth and got her precious smile to be whiter then snow, but the blood on her own muzzle, refused to go away so easily…
After a long while the stained fur was back to its former glory, and the dentist’s fears were washed away with the blood… (I’d say… 2 minutes of washing her face, and then 7 minutes of teeth cleaning lol.) But then, as if irony itself had this planned, something reawakened them…
Knock. Knock. Knock.
“They found me out!!!” Thoughts screamed in Brightsmile’s mind… It was all over, she could see herself at the gallows… A rope to her neck, and a lever opened the floor beneath her…

Brightsmile began her way to the door… She was secretly planning an escape route… A way to run to… To hide… But for once, luck came to her side. When she opened the door, ready to run away, she found that it was only the brilliant twilight!
She quickly tossed her thoughts aside. The only thing she had to do was give twilight no suspicion about what she did last night. That should be easy, right? As long as the guilt doesn’t get the best of her…
She noticed that Twilight wasn’t in good spirits… Could it have been someone she knew well that died? This wasn’t good… Guilt began to wrap its dreadful presence around Bright… She shrugged it off and began to speak before twilight could detect hesitation.
“Hello, Twilight. What can I do for you?” Bright spoke as calmly as she could, a single misstep could send her to the gallows. She could not mess even a single motion up…
The lavender mare cut straight to the chase… With each word, Brightsmile realized that luck has betrayed her…
“There was a murder… The victim was the little sister of one of my closest friends… All that was left of her was bones, with bite marks all over them. I need you to come with me and figure out who could have made those marks.”
Things can now only get worse for Brightsmile… Because those perfect little marks… Could only have come from her perfect little teeth…

Before her were the bones… Brightsmile was at the morgue, and now she was staring at the work of the demon within her…
Sweetie belle’s bones were plainly screaming who did this to her, but only Bright could hear who did it… And the answer only strengthened her guilt; she let something inside her kill a little child!
She nearly jumped out of own skin when a hoof rested on her shoulder. She looked at the colt that worked here; surprisingly the colt wasn’t bad looking for someone that would work at such a dreadful place…
“Not a pretty site, isn’t it?” He said with a gentle voice, he was right about that…
He went to the other side of the table and picked up the chart before continuing speaking, “normally I have a body to tell what did them in, but the bones are just enough in this case…”
Brightsmile’s sense of panic only grew in this case… He was absolutely right! Teeth are just like hoof prints… Each set are unique and could only belong to one pony, this was the end of her…
Tamper with the marks
The voice that caused this entire mess whispered throughout her mind, the feeling of grief and fear vanished as she heard the solution… All it would take to get out of this was if the perfect marks were perfect no longer.

Brightsmile backed away from the bones and let out a long sigh. Her sadness was only partly real, but it was enough to fool the other pony in the room.
“I’ll go through my records… But Dr. White would know who could have done this much more quickly. Do you think you can go find him?” She asked the colt, for some reason though… lying to him made the guilt slowly creep back…
The colt thought it over… And luckily didn’t see anything wrong with that. So he left to get the retired dentist, and at once Brightsmile got to work…
Brightsmile get some pictures of the teeth of some of the ponies of Ponyville. There was an old spell that she remembered from her first year in becoming a dentist; the spell allowed a dentist to create dentures made of just their magic.
Normally it is used for figuring the identities of bodies that were too messed up to identify by looks alone. But in this case, it will be used to cover up who killed sweetie belle…
She found a set of teeth from pictures that had a few similarities to her own and made a fake set of teeth that matched, and then defiled Sweetie Belle’s bones to ruin her bite marks…
She did this just in time. Once she finished getting rid of any evidence pointing to her, Dr. White came in and they attempted figuring out who did it… And luckily the new marks, mixed with the old ones, told them nothing…

~20 minutes after the results from Dr. White and Dr. Brightsmile~

Twilight was in a mix of sorrow… And rage… Her room was in ruin; when she heard that the marks led to a dead end she simply lost it…
“Now I’m back to square one!” She shouted as a book went across the room. She sat the edge of her bed, hooves covering her face, and tears began to run down her cheeks…
Was the killer really going to get away with this?
Yes things are looking bad for her… But has that stopped her before? She has helped save all of Equestria so many times. Will she let just one pony get away with a crime like this?
“No… I am not giving up… I said I will make the killer pay… And I will keep to my word…” She said; her confidence was slowly coming back to her, and just in time.
Outside she saw a flying carriage coming, and in it… Was Princess Luna! She must have gotten the letter that Twilight sent! She rushed outside to greet the princess, with Luna now here; the killer will be caught in no time.
Luna stepped out of the carriage once it landed and looked at her sister’s favorite student; she saw how much hope she had now that the Princess was here.
“Hello, Twilight Sparkle. It has been a while” Princess Luna said; she was glad to see Twilight, but she wished that the reason for seeing her was much more pleasant… But there was no helping it.
“It has, let’s go inside before somepony tries to listen in.” Twilight replied, she led the way inside her home and as soon as Luna was inside a barrier formed around the library.
Twilight quickly got to work on cleaning the library, levitating books left and right and setting them in their proper place, and she spoke while doing so.
“We don’t have almost any evidence that would tell us who the suspect could be. Other than the he or she is a unicorn that has black aura, and may be a… Cannibal” She gave a small shiver when she uttered that last word, the fact that there are ponies that eat their own kind was not a pleasant thought…
Luna thought about all of the possibilities… There is hardly anything that could help them! The only thing that showed any promise was the aura. Wait… The aura…
“We will test every unicorn in Ponyville and see which ones have the aura!” The Princess declared; this plan had to work!
Twilight placed the last book in its place and whipped around to the princess, why didn’t she think of that?! “That’s a great idea!” She said; there was no way a unicorn can change the color of their own aura. Soon Sweetie Belle will be avenged…
The word began to spread quickly through Ponyville; tonight there was going to be a meeting for all unicorns, teenager and up, at 6 O’clock. If you didn’t come on time, you will get a one way ticket to the police for questioning by Luna herself…
Twilight appointed almost the entire police force around the town hall, where the meeting will be, and she will personally observe the ponies taking the tests.
The tests were very simple. All you needed to do was levitate a few items and you passed. Unless your aura is dark of course…
Twilight had everything planned for tonight. If the suspect tried leaving, he or she will meet a large group of Luna’s own soldiers. There was no way of getting out unseen.
But something still felt off… Twilight felt that the plan would soon fall apart. But how could it? The plan is bound to work! …Right?

~5:55 P.M. Brightsmile’s office~

The sweet dentist was working on a teen Pegasus, her voices was silent while she worked on her patient. The Pegasus was brown with a black main and tail, and his cutie mark was a pencil, his name was Blitz.

Brightsmile was busy putting braces on him, but with each second that she was here also meant that she was a second closer to missing the meeting… They wouldn’t question her if she was just working right?
“It won’t take much longer, just relax” She said when Blitz began to fidget around. She was just tightening the braces when suddenly the pain began to burst inside her… Crimsonsmile was hungry…
Bright gave out a gasp as the dark aura wrapped around her horn and exiled the light aura, and the pain flared through her as she was losing control of her own body…
Blitz was freaking out by this of course. Forget braces, he needed to get out of here!!!
But… It was far too late to escape…
The drill that was always on the tray began to levitate off the tray; it gained a life of its own and a dark hunger with it as well…
It went down and forced itself into the throat of the Pegasus and began to drill into the flesh and soon his neck bone… All Blitz could do now was gurgle in pain and thrash about, but none of that would help him now…
Crimsonsmile pulled the drill out once she had control and began to suck on the hole, drinking the liquid of life out of the helpless brown Pegasus…
The weakening kicks made by Blitz only excited the demon… Eventually she stopped, for she had a new idea… The spell that ruined the marks on the bones… She could make use of that.
The creature closed her eyes and began to vision a new set of teeth… One that could shred any flesh they began to sink into… Make it easier to eat that oh so good red meat. And that is just what she got…
Crimsonsmile opened her eyes once her new set of teeth, they were nice, perfect fangs of a monster… And at once they sunk down into Blitz’s belly; taking large, greedy bites out of the almost dead Pegasus…
Blitz could barely feel the demon chowing down on him… Everything was blurry, all except the sound of his own flesh being torn apart and chewed by his dentist. But it didn’t matter anymore, because he was gone, nothing but a warm meal now…
Crimson let out a dreadful cackle as she even watched Blitz’s heart stop beating; she opened up his entire chest and stomach up and was chewing on his intestines as she watched the Pegasus pass.
It was a nice meal with a nice show! But now the show was over, for the party crashers were knocking on the front door.
“Buck!” The demon spat, she totally lost track of time! What is she going to do now?! She can’t just let Brightsmile take the fall just yet… So why not make her look like a victim?
The creature grinned as the idea came, as clear as day. She took the dead Pegasus’s heart by biting the tubes off but leaving long bits of the tubes still attached.
Then she tied most of the tubes together, and then she began to write on the wall by squeezing a little blood out of the heart and using the tube like the tip of a pen. And when she was done she looked at it with satisfaction.
She made quick work with picking up the corpse of blitz and had him in a sitting position on the floor, his back against the wall. Then she sat beside him and quickly started smearing more blood onto herself. She had to work fast. Because now she can hear somepony breaking down the front door!
Crimson got what was left of Blitz’s intestines and wrapped it around her own throat; she made him lean on her before she began to strangle herself. The instinct to survive fought hard, screaming at Crimson to stop now… But she had to do this for Brightsmile.
She quickly began to fade away from the lack of air… The intestines were soon loosened up when the demon didn’t have the strength to tighten them… Just in time as well…
The door was flung open as Luna came in to take Brightsmile in. But all she got was the most bone chilling, nightmarish sight in all of Equestria…

2 “Best Pals”

When Her Mind Finally Snaps...

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“Death may only be the beginning of a new adventure… Maybe our souls will fly free out of this world… And into a world that only you can truly feel safe in…”

~8:18 A.M.~

Brightsmile began to wake up from her cursed slumber… But her last memories snapped her fully awake quicker than any amount of coffee…
The voice killed Blitz… That much she did remember… When she had so much as a speck of control left she still remembered the drill, driving itself into the Pegasus’s throat…
The dark thoughts soon gave way when she realized where she was… And the strange soreness around her neck…

She was in the hospital

Why was she here?! She should be waking up at home, safe and sound! Why is she here?!
Well the answer came from a picture that was lying on the small counter besides her bed… A picture of 2 best friends… one leaning on the other, his own guts wrapped around the other bloody pony’s throat…
This picture made Brightsmile let out a melody of horror echo throughout the hospital… One that could even reach her “friend’s” ears…

~8:20 A.M. Sugercube Corner~

Pinkie Pie was getting ready. Not for a party, but for 2 funerals… Sweetie belle’s bones were released and so were Blitz’s body once it was searched and nothing came up…
Both were going to be buried today and there was simply no joy that was going to come from it… And this obviously affected Pinkie as well…
Even though she was still a bright pink and her hair was curly like always... Any hint of joy in her was gone…
The funerals were going to be at 9 O’ Clock this morning but she wanted to see if Brightsmile was ok first. Maybe she can come to? At least she could be there with a new friend…
She began her way to the hospital, saying hellos and such to anypony she passed by, keeping a smile on as much as she can.
But when she got there something told her that something was going on…

Maybe the broken window with a rope of sheets hanging out of it gave it away?

Pinkie went inside and casually walked up to the pony in the front desk, oblivious to the security guards searching around.
“Hi! May I see Brightsmile?” She asked, as if the answer wasn’t obvious enough…
“She isn’t here if you didn’t notice the broken window! We are currently looking for her at the time. Come back later.” The desk pony said with a huff. Seems like somepony woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning…
“Where could she be? Maybe she was late for work? Or maybe she really wanted to go to the funeral early…” Pinkie Pie thought… Nice one Pinkie…
Either way she needed to find her, but where to start? The dentist office was still roped off, so going on Pinkie’s second ‘brilliant’ idea, she headed to the cemetery.

When Pinkie was there, all she could find was the grave keeper finishing the graves up for the 2 recent victims and… Luna?
The grave keeper somehow took notice that Pinkie was there and glanced over at her. “Are you going to eve’s drop all day, Pinkie?” he said… Was that amusement in his tone?
By now Luna was looking at Pinkie Pie with a sad smile… “Hello Pinkie Pie, a little early don’t you think?” She asked as she began walking to her.
“I was looking for Brightsmile! She wasn’t in the hospital so I was looking for her. Have any of you seen her?” The party pony asked with an anxious bounce, the graveyard was obviously wasn’t where Brightsmile was…
Pinkie was starting to wonder if she was even ok now… What if the killer took her to finish what started last night? She needed to hurry!
It was the grave keeper whom spoke first; he got out of the hole he was making fairly quickly thanks to his webbed wings. But what threw Pinkie off more than the wings…

Was the fact that she has never met this pony before!

This colt was tall and strong, which fitted with his job, with dark fur and long webbed wings that were red at the tip… But what stood out the most was his bandana that covers where the right eye is and what it said on it.

“May your soul fly free…”

While she was lost with the strange colt’s features, she didn’t hear what he even said… “What?” She squeaked as she snapped out of it, a sense of embarrassment hanging over her now.
The strange colt let out a chuckle and began to repeat himself. “I think I saw a white mare run that way.”
He nodded to the direction of Bright’s own home and continued, “I believe she was coming from the hospital’s direction to. That would be here right?”
Luna was now looking concerned… She must be wondering why she would leave the hospital to… Then she finally spoke. “Pinkie, go check her home. I’ll go get Twilight, she can help us look if you don’t find Brightsmile there…”
And with that… The mares ran off in separate ways, even though Pinkie had some questions for the colt… And as for the grave keeper… He went back to his work for the soon coming caskets…

~8:45 A.M. Brightsmile’s home: Bathroom…~

The white mare was in her tub, soaking wet from washing her pelt countless times… No matter how much she scrubbed, she could feel the liquid of life still in her perfectly white fur…
“So much of it… So much…” She repeated for the hundredth time… It only an amazing amount of will power for her to leave the bath tub and dry off.
But with each second out of it…She felt as if a bucket of blood would only get dumped onto her any moment…
The house was dark… It was hard to see anything inside, but that was what she wanted… The outside world was her enemy, just waiting for her to come out to strike…
Once she was in her bedroom, her body took on a mind of its own… Almost by instinct she walked into the closet and looked… At a blank wall… But there was something about it that sparked a strange amount of interest… Why?
The mare ran her hoof down the wall and noticed something…

The wall was tipping over… Towards her!

Brightsmile let out a yelp as she jumped back just in time to avoid the fake wall falling on her, and with amazement she saw what the wall was hiding…
A spare room… That had a weird freezer, a frightening outfit hanging neatly on some hangers, and… A familiar white pony pelt hanging to dry… Crimsonsmile’s lair…
The Dentist went inside… Looking around the room of horror… With a crazed smile slowly forming… This was the true mark of the mare’s insanity…
She studied the pelt, how cute would it be if she made something out of that…? Hell, what about all of the victims? At least they’d be more than a meal. Sadly she didn’t have time to ponder about it…

Knock. Knock. Knock…

Somepony was at the door! Who?! Would they try to take Brightsmile back to the hospital? Never…

Pinkie was stepping inside… “Brightsmile? It’s your pal, Pinkie Pie!” She called out as walked into the bedroom. Foolish mistake…
Behind her the door closed and locked, the light that washed in from it was now banished... Now Pinkie was scared…
The pink pony tried to open the door in panic but it wouldn’t budge. The only thing that got her to turn around was the creek of the floorboards…

But once she turned… It was all over…

Something cool ran across her throat… But it was then replaced with hot pain and fresh blood…
Brightsmile tossed her knife aside and tackled the party pony down and began to drink down her own friend’s blood… Like a leech that luckily latched onto a fresh cut on somepony.
Blood was freely flowing out of her victim... Pinkie managed to kick Brightsmile off but right away she was back on the pink mare... The insane dentist was persistent...
"Stop! Please!" Pinkie gasped... But Bright didn't here her... And then a new pain went through Pinkie, Brightsmile changed her teeth and started biting her neck!
Pinkie tried to screem... But when she did, all she got in reply was a larger hole in her neck... Brightsmile just couldn't stop. She now know what flesh tasted like... And there was no words to describe how good it was...
The struggle didn't last long... Pinkie was losing too much blood too quickly... Not to mention the new holes that Bright made as she was devouring her friend alive... When it was over Brightsmile sat up and looked at her friends glazed eyes... A insane smile spreaded on the dentist's face...
A crimson smile of her own... She didn't need the demon anymore...

Some how... She managed to clean up and head to the cemetary before they even got the caskets over the graves. With a few destractions... Such as a tiiiny... Aka huge... Bush on fire... With that time Brightsmile got what she needed from the 2 peaceful corpses... And make a retreat back home...

Once she was home... She got to work with the collected peices from 3, poor, innocent victims... Crimsonsmile's outfit was good... But how about a dress that can look cute, yet could give anypony scars for life?! Well... that was exactly what she was making... But she needs more victims first... And a safe place to take future victims...
Everfree forest... A perfect place to take her meals to...! "But... Wasn't there a zebra that lived in the forest...?" She thought... A zebra... She began to wonder if they tasted any different...

Lets find out...

It was pretty dark in the forest... even though it was almost the afternoon! She made her way down the only path, straight to Zecora's house...
She was kind of suprised to find what she was looking for... Tribal decorations outside and she guessed inside as well... But what caught her eye was a huge cauldron in the middle of the house... That could be handy...
She made her way inside, looking about casually at the strange decorations and potions that covered the shelves... "Hello?" She called out, slightly hoping that she was home...
"Hello and welcome to my home, i must mark my place in this alchemical tome."
With a thunk of a book, Zecora walks out of a small room to the side. "What brings a pony from town? Usually this place gets them down."
"I heard you make potions... I was wondering if I could buy one from you." Brightsmile said with a growing nervousness... But at the same time... Excitement took a firm grip on her as well.
"I have potions of all kind, what do you have in mind?" As she said this she looked at the white pony with an inquisitive stare.
"I would like something that could help me with falling asleep... With whats been going on in town... Sleep has just been slipping out of my hooves" Brightsmile answered... She needed to think fast before the zebra got too suspicious...
"What has been happening in town? Last I heard they involved the crown." She asked as she looked around the shelves on the wall, sorting through jars of varying sizes and colors. So far so good... She suspected nothing as far as Bright could tell...
"There was a second murder..." She said with a shiver... But not out of fear... Of excitement, silently she levitated a staff for what she guessed was for rituals, high up in the air so Zecora can hopefully not see it. "In my office..."
Zecora turned with intensity, nearly knocking over a jar. "A murder in your office? Your blood must have been cold as ice. Are you sure you want this potion? You wouldn't be roused by even the most commotion. If a killer is that close, you don't want to be almost comatose."
Brightsmile held back a cackle from her worry... It wasn't her fault that she didn't know that the killer was her. "I-its either sleep, or staying up until I pass out in broad daylight..." Excitment almost phisically shook her to the core... Maybe she could try a bit out of Zecora... Maybe her pelt could go great with the dress...?
"Well in that case, I guess the consequences you'll have to face." She warned before continuing. "There's an ingredient I need for this potion to succeed, of your tears I need a single bead."
"A tear?" She echoed... Simple enough, right? She closed her eyes and began imagening the saddest moment of her life... When she was a foal and her father passed on... She could feel the tears forming already, a bead slowly began to slide down from her cheek.
Zecora quickly slid a jar up the side of the white mare's face, collecting the glimmering dot of liquid.
"Thank you for your assistance, now you may want to stay back some distance."
Brightsmile stepped back. this was not exactly going to plan... But the potion may serve it's purpose in the near future... Zecora tipped the jar, one single salty droplet forming on the rim. The tension broke and the drop fell into the cauldron with a small plop. Zecora quickly got down to the floor, hooves over her head for protection. The cauldron emitted a small explosion of green smoke.
The insane mare coughed and gagged when the smoke came, this was her chance... even though she couldn't see, the staff went down and blindly swung at Zecora's head...

But nothing...

The staff swung through the smoke, cutting a path through it clean to the ground, hitting it with a crisp smack. But Zecora was already up and walking towards her shelf with jars to hold potions in when she heard the sound. Her head turned with the speed of a cheetah. "What was that noise? Are you playing with some of my toys?"
Brightsmile went into panic... She bucking missed!!! Without hesitation she lounged at the zebra, no more tricks, this time she needed to do her best to overpower her prey... But this is Zecora...
She saw the wild-eyed white mare charging through the green cloud and was confused. "What's going on, you crazy mor- oof!" The white mare made contact and knocked zecora to the ground, but zecora acted fast and threw no moderate amount of dirt at the mare's eyes.
The mad dentist let out a yelp as her eyes began to sting, even though she was blinded she still let loose a barage of punches at Zecora. The battle for survival began... If Bright wins, she gets a meal and part of her dress... If not, the gallows awaited her...
Finally realising that the crazy mare wanted to harm her, Zecora put her back hooves to the white mare's chest, thrusting with all her might, lifting the crazy white pony into the air and a few feet away. Zecora stood up as fast as she could. A single tooth left her mouth as she spat a blob of blood and saliva to the floor. An enraged mood painted itself across her face.
Brightsmile watched the blood land on the floor with a smirk. "Aww. That was such a waste of good blood..." The dentist's horn began to glow and the staff levitated once more... "It looks you lost a tooth, I can fix it... But I'll have to put you asleep first!" With a cackle she swung the staff at the zebra, aiming for her head.
Zecora ducked as quickly as she could, the staff just grazing her mane. As soon as the staff passed her head, Zecora reared up on her front hooves and gave a powerful kick to one of her hanging jars, which shattered immediately and dropped a deep black smoky veil over the whole room. The smoke was darker than Luna's night without a moon. "If you don't leave my home, I'll have to knock you over your dome!"
Brightsmile gasped as her sight was denied... The bright white mare had to rely on her memory and swung at where Zecora once was. "We both know that only one is coming out of this! Just like the kid who died in my office..." She began to grin and listen...
The clouds of smoke swirled and Zecora knew another attempt was made at her. As silently as she could she made her way to a drawer on the opposite side of the room, close to her bed. The only noise that was made during the seemingly perpetual action was the sound of wood against wood as zecora slid the drawer open. As the noise was made, zecora knew another swing was coming and she lowered herself close to the ground.
And the swings did come... Just scraping her main once again... "I got to say, pony flesh is the finest dish there is!" The mad mare called... She was doing her best to push the Zebra into speaking, but she could only hope for it to work... "I wonder how zebra would taste! If you stand still maybe I could find out."
The voice of the white mare left zecora unaffected as she had dealt with annoying foals before, she was too wise to fall into such a trap. The zebra reached into the drawer after the blow went by and pulled out a small brown sack. Silently she retreated away from the drawer, toward the safety of the darkness.
Bright snarled as strained to hear. But it wasn't working... "Bucking come on out!" She demanded, this was going on far too long for her... "Whats the matter? Scared to become a zebra stew?!" She laughed. Brightsmile pounced into random areas, each time she did she slammed down the staff into the ground, hoping that it'd hit her target...
The swirls of the smoke were enough for the wise zebra to know where the crazy mare moved, each swirl seemingly more distressed than the last. Zecora knew she had one chance to end this with the white mare in prison and her still living, and that chance sat in the little brown bag in her hooves. She slowly undid the drawstring on the satchel and a green glow eminated from the opening of the bag.
The glow was just enough for Bright... She took the staff into her own hooves and lounged, her staff swung wide as she prayed for contact... And with extreeme luck, it did...
A solid hit made contact with a crack. Zecora went tumbling to the ground and the green powder sprayed across the ground from the bag. The zebra, though her face was throbbing in pain, smirked at the fact that her plan could still work. The green glow illuminating her face, she blew the dust into the air. It swirled and took shape, the shape of a timberwolf to be exact. The glowing green beast stood over Zecora, in a protective pose as she lifted herself from the ground and took more dust in her hoof.
The killer dentist let out a gasp as she stared at the wolf... She never saw what Zecora could do, this trick to her was like the real thing! "S-Stay back!" She demanded... She tried to bat the wolf away with her stick, but her fear only grew when nothing seemed to work...
The zebra stood, trying to shake the dizziness from the strike with the staff. The wolf growled at the white mare and assumed a position, ready to pounce. And in Brightsmile's eyes... Her fate is quickly sealing...
The panicng dentist had was running out of options... The time to end this was now... But how will she pull it off...? Well there was the potion besides her...
She ran behind the cauldron, panic gaving her strength, and she tipped the cauldron towards the tricky zebra... The potion splashed out of it and onto Zecora...
Zecora knew she had mere moments to act before the potion took effect. She dragged herself up to the shelves, scattering jars everywhere, shattering them on the ground. Her eyes locked on the one she needed, but they were already closing. She reached for the container but lost her strength, dropping to the floor in an unconscious heap.

It was over...

Brightsmile stood over her in victory, the smoke was gone... The dust stopped making the timber wolf... And now the fourth victim was laying before her...

Can anypony stop this bloodshed...?

Zecora's House of Torture

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"The way I see it… True peace can only be fulfilled once everyone can learn to ignore true human nature, death breathing down our necks, and the voices in our minds that haunt us…"


So much blood in a matter of days… 3 bloody murders, one of which Nopony even knows about yet. Pinkie’s body was not yet found, even though it was simply on Bright’s floor…

But that’s enough reminiscing about these fun past chapters, it’s time to go to Zecora’s house of torture.

Zecora was sleeping while her executioner was slowly nearing… The lovely blade of a knife was pressed lightly against her throat. Brightsmile grinned eagerly as she prepared to slit the zebra’s throat… But a rage, that didn’t belong to her, let itself known…

Her shadow rose up from the ground and shoved the crazed dentist into the wall… The room was filled with the dark voice, one that caused all of this horror.

"You dare continue to kill?!" Crimson raved, her fury remained untamed. "I am supposed to be doing that deed!!!" The reason for her rage to be so great… for it was so Brightsmile kept killing, she would have no use for her.

If that was to happen… The demon would have to find a new host who would give in to her words… It took her a hundred years just to find Brightsmile!

Brightsmile roared with rage of her own… The mad mare tried to attack her own shadow but to make no progress. "I don’t need you anymore! The memories of your last victim are still in my mind… You failed your promise!"

These words were only fuel for the monster's anger… "You dare shout at me…? Then I’ll have to punish you, you ungrateful tool!" She yelled in reply. Every shadow nearby started to wrap around her host… And the struggle for control began…

The now black mare scrambled around the room, screaming at her parasite. "Stop!" She demanded at her shadow, fighting to keep power over herself. “C-crimson… Our deal… is done!” the room became filled with blinding white…

And the shadow of dread withered away…

"I was hoping that you’d see things my way..." The victor said with a grin, followed with a wicked cackle. "Now, time to add some lovely decorations to this lovely little home and prepare dinner~"

The demented mare began to set up the cauldron for another batch of sleeping potions. And after that it’ll be full of water, carrots, potatoes, and her special, secret, ingredient…

Did you think Zecora is just going to sleep through this nightmare? Why would anyone let that happen? Well her time had come when the boiling water was ready…

Instead of just slitting her throat, the victorious Brightsmile slowly dug the knife into the flesh of her unconscious captive's chest and slowly began running it down. The helpless zebra’s scream rang throughout the forest and frighten even the most horrifying creatures of the dreaded forest…

She took her sweet time moving the blade through the flesh, she wasn't exactly an expert at skinning but she understood the basics. Zecora's throat was becoming too sore to continue her screams, but she always found the strength to continue when the blade was dug down deeper. Soon that process was done and now she began with separate the skin from the muscle.

The cannibal mare’s smile grew wider when she was nearly done skinning her bloody captive alive. The delicate flesh was cut off so easily, the blood came out so quickly, and the screams sounded so lovely as the painfully slow process was done.

“With that over, the grand finale can begin~” She whispered into her latest victims ear. Sadly she could only reply with an agonized whimper when another source of pain flared through her body.

Salt was sprinkled on her flesh once the pelt was removed.

“Perfect! You’re ready for the cauldron my dear!” The killer said with glee as Zecora was lifted… And dropped into hot cauldron with her hooves still bounded together. The pain was too great for the stripped one to hold in her breath, she couldn’t help but to scream which only led the boiling water to enter her mouth and force its way down her throat and lungs.

While she was busy drowning; the bringer of death left in search of more poor souls to steal. But who shall it be?

~ Rarity’s home. 12 P.M. ~

Lack of sleep finally made Rarity pass out earlier today...

Rarity hadn't slept as she usually did since sweetie's demise. She now slept lightly and was woken by the slightest of things. This night was like every other, her doors locked and bolted, and her windows the same.

She tossed and turned under her covers from the nightmares that plagued her mind; Luna tried to quell them, but it never worked.

"No" She mumbled in her uneasy slumber. "No, not sweetie, please, anything else, but not sweetie."

A voice made her eyes dart open.

"I guess I could take you as well." A mare with an evil cackle stood over her, smiling a dark, sharp-toothed smile. Rarity tried to scream, but no sound. Something was restricting her breathing; something magical.

The crazed killer looked down at the horrified face of sisterless unicorn. The strangled mare gasped for air that didn't come; her face was turning red and her eyes started to roll back into her skull.

Darkness overcame her...

She woke on a messy bed in a messy room that had shattered jars and other items on the floor her only source of light was the fire from a boiling cauldron. The startled mare forced air past her vocal cords in an attempted scream, but it was muffled and nearly inaudible.

A searing pain shot through her lips as the air was trapped and made her mouth expand outwards. Her mouth wouldn't open and she didn't know why.

She tried to move her hooves to feel for what was restraining her mouth, but they wouldn't budge either; this time she only had to move her head to see what the problem was.

Ropes were tied around her legs. The unicorn tried to use her magic to undo the knots. Nothing happened. Another attempted scream, another shockwave of pain. The fashion pony struggled against the bindings.

"Well well, did you enjoy your nap?" Brightsmile called out from somewhere. "Mph humph mrr!” Was the only reply. "What? Has seeing me put you at a loss for words?" The white dentist laughed, the laughter was drawing closer...

Rarity saw her ponynapper walk into the room from a door to her right, she watched the insane mare walk around the bed and then struggled against her bindings even more vigorously to try to get away.

"I couldn't help myself; I gave you a makeover when you were asleep! Do you want to see it?" Bright said with a disturbing smile. "Hrrrmmph mmrrppphh mrrmm." Came as a reply once again.

The insane white mare leaned her head in closer. "What was that? I can't understand you." The fashion designer took her chance and quickly, without warning, lunged her head forward, head butting the ponynapper

With a sharp yelled she pulled her head back and rubbed it with a hoof. "Ouch! That’s not nice, you know! I'm trying to show a bit of hospitality and you're just being mean." She said with a childish pout.

Is she being serious or just playing with her food?!

"Mrrphmmr!” The victim shouted even though the results never changed. "I still can't understand you. Oh! I still haven't showed you your makeover!" The deviant Brightsmile remembered quickly.

The mad dentist levitated a mirror to Rarity's face. The tied mare burst into tears. What she saw was a monstrosity, a horror that she never would have seen, even in her nightmares…

Makeup was sloppily speared on her face, mascara, eyeliner, and a little blush. There was medical thread going up and down her lips, sewing them shut; her mane was now just a stubbly shadow of what it used to be, and where there used to be an elegant slowly swirled bone protruding from her head was a stump. Bloodstains were around the little holes where the thread pierced through her fragile lips.

"Do you like it? I put a lot of effort into it." The mirror was levitated back to its shelf. Bright grinned darkly, looking at Rarity's face, which now had mascara running down it.

"Mmphrrmphhhmrr…!" said the hideous mare through sporadic breaths caused by her sobbing. Snot ran down from her muzzle and the tears reached her sewn lips, causing intense stinging pain that echoed throughout her whole face.

"What? You don't like it, do you? DO YOU!?" The mad mare screamed. Rarity continued to sob. She gave up trying to communicate her pleas for mercy through her locked lips. "I PUT SO MUCH INTO THAT! HOW CAN YOU BE SO RUDE?!"

Her face twisted into what could have easily been the purest form of rage. Her teeth sharpened, will be Rarity’s end be so near already? "WHAT CAN MAKE IT BETTER!? HUH? WHAT DO YOU THI-"

Suddenly, the cannibal’s face shifted from rage to what one would expect someone to look like when they had an idea; a devious, evil idea.

"You like gems, right?" She asked the mare whose sobbing was throwing her body into fits. "Well maybe I can make your makeover something more to your... liking."

Brightsmile looked through the drawers and shelves in search for some precious stones, ignoring the borderline-screaming and crying of Rarity. Finally she found a sapphire and an emerald in one of the drawers; both were about the size of a walnut, perfect for what she had in mind.

"Oh Rarity! I found something!" She called out cheerily. Rarity turned her head out of pure terror, still sobbing. "If you like gems so much, why don't I put some gems into your makeover!"

Bright happily trotted over to the still tied Rarity. Through tear soaked and blurry vision, Rarity made out two objects, one blue and one green, both levitated to her. "Well let's put them in!"

… Rarity felt something behind her eyes, deep in her eye sockets. Whatever it was it was putting pressure outwards, shoving her eyes toward the front of her head. She started to lash about wildly, now driven by an intense instinct for survival. She could feel the fleshy balls pushing against the front ridges of her eye sockets.

Was that mare.... could she be so insane? Why, of course she can be.

Rarity's eyeballs popped out of her skull. She tried another muffled scream; she didn’t care about the pain. The tears she was shedding stopped flowing from her eyes, because they were now pooling in the void where her blue eyes resided no more than a second ago.

Rarity could see the ceiling growing closer to her field of vision. Then she could see the whole room turn; Bright was controlling HER eyes! More screaming, more attempts at escape, but escape was now just a mere hope.

The insane white mare was now in full view of rarity's eyes, and her smile was so sick, so twisted. Her eyes were about an inch and a half away from her skull, still attached by the nerves that were screaming in pain and still showing Rarity what they saw.

"I wonder... How does it taste?” The unicorn of madness thought aloud.

No, she couldn't mean what it sounded like, there was no way a pony could be so sick, so twisted… Brightsmile grew closer to Rarity's vision. Closer.... Closer. Her mouth opened. Rarity could see her tonsils and teeth. She thrashed about wildly; the ropes now tore at her flesh.

One eye now showed Rarity the room about her, the other now showed the back of the insane mare's throat. The teeth sank into her optic nerve. Rarity's thrashing was now uncontrollable, the pain unbearable.

Rarity's only eye left turned and showed a monster chewing. Soon her chewing stopped and she swallowed. "Mmm... that was really good, pretty juicy to! I think I might want another!”

She advanced towards Rarity once again, forcing Rarity's one eye to focus on her movements; each step the heartless killer took made Rarity only more horrified. "Well how am I going to do with this one? Time to be a little more creative..." She said while sitting down and scratching her head with a hoof.

Rarity still thrashed about, tears soaking her face and snot now running down faster than it was before. "I know!" said Bright, pointing her hoof at the tied mare. "I don't think you're going to like it though." Her face was now the embodiment of insane pleasure.

"Now hold still, this is going to be a delicate procedure!" Rarity continued to flail her whole body around, causing the skin under the ropes that bound her to the bed to peel away; blood slowly trickled down her legs.

"I said hold STILL!" Bright forced Rarity to stop moving entirely with great effort, as the tied mare was using strength that not even bright imagined she had. "I told you, this procedure is delicate. Trust me, I'm a doctor... Well, I'm a dentist, but technically dentists are- sorry, I got sidetracked, now where were we?"

Rarity was entirely immobile, but that didn't mean she couldn't continue to pour salty tears from where her eyes once were; the space where her eyes once were was now filled with the stinging salty liquid, and it overflowed out, past her eyelids.

"Oh yeah, I was about to operate!"

Rarity attempted another muffled scream. "One... Two... THREE!" Bright ripped the ball of flesh from Rarity's skull, dragging most of the optic nerve out with it. Everything was black, but she could still feel every bit of agonizing pain.

The magic holding her still subsided and her thrashing didn't resume. What was the point? She was a dead mare. The end… has finally come.

"Don't you think this would go well with some cider?" Bright's voice still rang in Rarity's head although she couldn't see where it was coming from. The lack of vision only made the experience more terrifying.

That psychopath could be right next to her, ready to run a knife through her ribs or far away, making a cider cocktail from the orb that gave her the precious vision which she so needed.


A sound Rarity was all too familiar with, the sound of a martini glass being lightly set on a wooden table. This was too insane to be possible. Was she really making a drink from her flesh?

Rarity kept trying to convince herself that this whole experience was just a horrible nightmare, one that she would wake up from at any moment, but the searing pain all over her body kept reminding her that this was all real. Much too real.

The sound of Bright’s voice rang in Rarity's ears once more. "I still have to finish up your makeover, don't I?" Magic restrained the already tied mare once more.

What more could she do? What kinds of horrors could she possibly have left? Something cold pressed itself against her eye sockets. "Come on… Go in!" The pressure doubled and the two spherical objects lodged themselves into the spaces where the once beautiful blue eyes once resided, shooting the liquid that was pooled in them outward.

"There! Now you look so pretty! Those gems really accent the blood nicely. I wish you could see it!" The magic subsided and what seemed like an eternity of anguished pain passed by before Bright spoke once again.

"I have an idea! Let's do something in honor of... Pinkie was it? You know; the pink pony that was too crazy for her own good." Bright said without a second thought. How could SHE call Pinkie crazy?! This mare was so horrifyingly insane that she had no right to call Pinkie crazy…

"Well whatever her name was, let's do something that she would have enjoyed! Let's play a 'game'." Horror washed over Rarity. What could she possibly be thinking of?

The ropes binding Rarity to the bed loosened and slipped off of her legs. She immediately curled up to protect her vulnerable body and brought her hooves up to the objects that were lodged in her skull. They had hard edges and were cold.

She felt things like these all the time. They were gemstones. Her crying continued. "The rules of the game are: If you make it back to Pineville, you're free to go." Rarity was driven to raise from the bed by fear, pure unbridled terror.

Blindly she stumbled about the room as Bright watched, sipping her cocktail. It was funny, watching the white mare stumble about randomly. She sipped her drink once again, the blue eye in it staring at her blankly.

Bright watched as the white mare stumbled around, sliding a hoof along the wall in an effort to find the door. Bright silently chuckled to herself; if Rarity kept going she was bound to trigger the trap she had set at the front door.

A large sharpened log was controlled by a mechanism that, when the door opened, released the log and swung it at the door, impaling any who opened it.

Bright watched as the mare found the door. She watched as it swung open violently, releasing the mechanism. She watched in psychopathic anticipation as the log swung through the air.

Rarity turned her head toward the sound; A whooshing of air around something massive. Paralyzed by fear, she stood in place. A hard blow hit her side and lifted her body through the air. She felt it go all the way through her side.

The pain started to fade as she swung side to side, propelled by the object that was lodged in her side. Even though it seemed that her vision couldn't get darker, it somehow did. The pain was gone and so was she. Bright ran to the dead mare, hoping to save as much of the liquid as she could. The fear was no more, now the liquid of life was nothing more than the most forbidden drink she could ever get her hooves on.

~ Cutiemark Crusaders’ Clubhouse. 3 P.M. ~

Applebloom and Scootaloo were making plans… Not to find the marks they desperately wanted, but to put the killer to justice…

"It doesn’t make any sense!" Applebloom blurted out when she was making a list of possible suspects. And of course it was empty. "Nopony has the slightest clue about who could be doing this!"

"You know who might have a clue?” Scootaloo said with a sudden upbeat tone. The small earth pony gave herself a facehoof, "Don't say it...” Here we go again... "RAINBOW DASH!" Cried the little pegasus, jumping up and flapping her little wings.

"Scootaloo, that's the fourth time you've said Rainbow Dash. I don't think that she knows any more about who it could be than most of the other ponies around here." Applebloom had to point out once more.

"If she doesn't know any more than anypony else in town, I'm sure she would help us find out more." Her friend said, being taken aback; all the orange filly did was give a loud sigh. "Scootaloo, I'm being serious here. We need to find out who's behind all this."

"But I AM being serious! Rainbow Dash could help!" She stomped a hoof, can’t her friend ever listen?! "I'm being serious too!" The other filly nearly screamed.

And the bickering began…

"NUH-UH!" Started Applebloom

"YUH-HUH!" Retorted Scootaloo



“YUH-HUH!” “NUH-UH!” It seemed like this argument was going on for an hour until a third filly came to mind…

"Wait, Scootaloo. What would Sweetie Belle say if she saw us arguin' like this?" The farm filly realized. "You're right Applebloom. I'm sorry..." Sighed the little pegasus, a tear started to form in her eye.

"No, I'm sorry. You're right, Rainbow Dash would be a help here." A tear formed in Bloom’s eye as well. “Let’s go see her.” "Can we visit Sweetie on the way there? I really… *sniffle* miss her." A single droplet of water trickled down the brown filly’s face. "Me too, Scootaloo. Me too."

~ Sweetie Belle's grave ~

The two fillies stood in the rain, over the headstone that read, "Here lays Sweetie Belle, loved daughter, sister, and friend. R.I.P." Their eyes were full of tears as they held each other in a comforting embrace.

"Whoever did this has to pay" Sobbed Scootaloo. "And they will, Scoots. We're going to make sure of that." Replied her last friend.

Thunder rolled after a streak of lightning carved a path through the sky.

They held each other tighter. Secretly they were both afraid of lightning but here they didn't need to keep secrets from each other.

The rain stopped suddenly but they still heard the sound of water droplets showering down. Scootaloo looked around. The rain was still coming down in sheets but it stopped falling on them.

"What's going on down there?"

Scootaloo perked up in an instant. That voice belonged to somepony she knew all too well. "RAINBOW DASH!" She yelled, a warm feeling of hope filling her up.

Applebloom looked up too; the clouds were parted and sunlight poured down as the rain once did. The silhouette of a pegasus was looking down at the fillies through the hole.

The Pegasus flew down to the fillies’ side; her biggest fan rushed up to her and buried their face into her rainbow mane. Rainbow Dash returned the hug and inquired "What are you two doing out in the rain?"

Applebloom was the one who replied. "We're.... visiting Sweetie Belle." More shiny beads ran down her face. Scootaloo was doing the same, wetting Rainbow Dash's mane.

"I'm sorry. I... I..." The rainbow pegasus couldn't find words. But they weren’t needed. Applebloom ran up and joined Scootaloo in hugging Rainbow Dash. Scootaloo peeled her face away from her idol to ask a question.

"Will you help us find who did this? Please?"

"I don't think that's such a good idea, a few fillies trying to find a killer." Dash replied. "But whoever did this needs to pay!" Cried a still sniffling Applebloom. "They will, but you aren't the ones who will make it happen. I'm sorry but I have to put my hoof down here." Hopefully they can understand?

"Bu- but Rainbow Dash..." Scootaloo tried to convince the Rainbow Pegasus that they were able, but sobbing interrupted her speech; her face fell into the rainbow mane once more. Rainbow Dash tried to soothe the two by stroking their manes with her wing, but they continued to cry. Rainbow Dash did the only thing she could think of to soothe the two sobbing fillies.

With a small sigh she said, "I'll find the killer."

"You will?" Said Applebloom through sniffles. "Will you really catch who did this?" Scootaloo said as well. They’re eyes shined with their tears… And an overflowing feeling of hope and faith for Rainbow.

"It'll be easy. I'll have the killer behind bars before you can say 'Rainbow Dash is best pony'" She said confidently, and a smile to back up her words.

"Really? You would do that for us?" questioned Applebloom. "Well duh she would do it! She is only the best pegasus in all of Equestria!" Answered Scootaloo before hero could. “She wouldn’t let anypony down!”

"Yeah, I'll catch the killer. It'll be a snap."

"THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!" cried the fillies in unison, jumping up and down in excitement. Watch out killer, whoever you are, because the mighty Rainbow Dash will catch you!

"Now if you'll excuse me, I have some clouds to buck. Then I'll catch whoever it is." The rainbow pegasus soared off into the sky, stopping the rain and letting the sun shine down once again on the town of Ponyville.

~ Ponyville ~

The ground was still wet and muddy from the downpour earlier. Rainbow Dash trotted along the streets asking ponies if they knew anything about the killer; she was always met with the same reply.

"I don't want to think about that."

"I'm sorry. I would help if I could, but I can't."

It went this way for almost all day, but soon enough she found the information she wanted. She spotted a hooded cloak that was all too familiar.

"Hey Zecora!" Shouted Rainbow Dash. "I think you have the wrong pony, sorry." Said the figure as she turned towards the cyan pegasus. The mare in the hood had a white mane with pale blue eyes.

"Oh, sorry." The pegasus rubbed the back of her head, blushing from embarrassment. "Well anyways, you... umm... you wouldn't happen to know anything about the killer, would you?"

She got her head closer to Rainbow's and whispered "Last I heard he was hiding in the Everfree forest." There was something in the mare’s voice that sounded off… was there a bit of laughter in it?

"Where'd you hear that?" She asked quickly, just who is this mare?

"From a friend of mine that said they saw some weird pony lurking in there. She said that she was taking a stroll through the forest over there one day,” The hooded unicorn then pointed at the only entrance to the Everfree forest and continued.

“And she saw a strange pony just off the path. She said that when it turned to look at her she ran for her life. I can't blame her for running with all that's been going on."

"Did she give you any details about what she saw? A color? Maybe a size?" Interrogated Rainbow Dash.

"All she said was that it was a big red stallion. Sorry I can't talk about it anymore, but that's all I know and I really must go. My friend is waiting for me." Said the strange mare with a slight impatience in her voice.

Well… That was it Rainbow guessed. "Thanks, ummm... what's your name?"

"It’s Brightsmile, and you're welcome." Bright turned and started to walk down the road again and Rainbow Dash flew past bright white unicorn on her way to the Everfree to search for a killer. Bright chuckled to herself.

Will everything be this easy?

Before she could retreat to the dead zebra’s house she went to grab a few more essential pieces for her entertainment tonight…

But what could it be?

~ Everfree Forest ~

"I'm never going to find him in this forest. I could've already passed by him and not known." Our heroic mare was getting irritated at the fact that she couldn't find the killer; it was over 3 hours since she started her search with flying over the forest!

"IF YOU'RE OUT THERE GIVE YOURSELF UP! IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME! … *Sigh* … That was a horrible idea." she mumbled to herself.

The colorful pegasus landed on a tree to think about her situation.

A while passed before she had a good idea. Ask Zecora for help; she knew the forest better than anypony else. Her brightest idea all day it seems.

She began her way to Zecora’s once she found the right path and once she saw the house things seemed… Off. Very off.

The windows were broken and the decorations that stood in front of her home were all destroyed as well… What would do this? She peered through what used to be a window and darkness peered back.

A faint bit of light came from the faint bit of fire still burning bits of wood left under Zecora’s cauldron. Although the house was still very dark our hero could still see the familiar zebra’s pelt.

“Zecora?” Rainbow Dash cautiously entered the zebra’s home through the window, trying to examine the room better. Her something cracked under her hoof, the sound of glass breaking echoed throughout the house.

The sound opened the gates to Rainbow Dash’s hell…

The sound of breaking glass filled the room and objects punctured through Rainbow’s flesh from the back. Glass is falling from the roof! If they are coming from the roof then they won’t land in the same spot twice…

Huddled close to the wall, Rainbow Dash started taking out as much glass as she can. The pain nearly made her scream as loud as she did when they fell on her. What is Zecora thinking?!

The rainbow mare got up once the glass stopped falling and lounged for Zecora, knocking her over. “What are you think…ing?” What she thought was Zecora was only a mannequin that belonged to Rarity with that had a realistic zebra pelt on it… What is that doing here?!

Candles around the room suddenly came to life and an uncontrollable laughter filled the room. “Looking for somepony?” A familiar white mare entered from another room, tears were filling her eyes from laughing so much.

The stunned mare stood there in disbelief. “Brightsmile… You’re behind this?! And where is Zecora?!” She demanded. She seemed fine on the outside besides the gashes from all of the glass, but in reality she had trouble even keeping her eyes open…

“Who knows? Maybe we should ask Rarity!” Brightsmile stepped aside; And Rainbow almost immediately expelled what contents she had in her belly.

The gems shone brightly in Rarity’s eye sockets and the string dangled freely from her lips as well. It looked like our mad mare had been in the middle of skinning off her friends precious pelt…

“You… Y-You’re a monster…!” Rainbow Dash managed to gasp out. Her courage is out of the window, her fear was screaming at her to run, but the wretched sight before her kept her rooted where she was.

Brightsmile thought about that for a second. She didn’t think that word would have been thrown out. “A monster huh? Now let’s ask Zecora this time!” With a dark grin she went the cauldron.

“N-No… You’re bluffing!” Gasped the petrified pegasus; there was no way that this psychopath would put Zecora in there…

A leg bone, surrounded with Bright’s brilliant white aura, rose from the water. Most of the meat came off when it was cooked but there was still some delicious flesh still on it.

The crazed cannibal peeled off the meat and tossed the bone to Rainbow Dash…

Laughter filled the room when Rainbow fell backwards, screaming when the bone collided with her forehead. It didn’t hurt, but who wouldn’t scream if their friend’s bones were chucked at them?

With jokes hopefully aside, something that is severely doubted, the crazed cannibal advanced towards the cowering cyan mare. “Awh… You look so cute when you’re scared...”

…A moment of awkwardness went by…

“A-Anyways! It’s time for you to join you’re friends here.” Bright levitated a small bag to her. In it, a familiar green powder inside. “We can do this the easy way, or the fun way~” She chimed; a sadistic smile began to spread across her face.

Step after step, the maddening mare advanced. Buck it; Rainbow Dash did not sign up to be a meal! She got up, knowing that she could always outfly the crazy white mare in front of her. But… Something inside her, a voice of reason, broke away from the fear.

“Would you really let Scootaloo… No, would you let Ponyville down like this? Yes this is the most frightening thing to ever witness… But will you throw away your loyalty to Ponyville and run away to let this continue?”

That’s right. The mare, bound to her honor, gave her word that she would catch this killer, and that is going to happen tonight! With newfound courage and strength she stood her ground. Just as the overconfident Brightsmile got in range Rainbow Dash lunged forwards and delivered a mighty blow to her head.

“That was for Sweetie Belle!” Before the mad dentist could recover the courageous one turned and bucked Bright into the nearest wall, “That was for Blitz…” Brightsmile tried reaching for the bag of powder that she dropped, but her leg nearly broke when Rainbow suddenly stomps on it.

Zecora’s name was choked out; the rage was being drenched by the sorrow of lives that ended because of Brightsmile. The cyan colored mare raised her hoof and delivered a punch that broke Bright’s jaw and made her fall back down. The white dentist, doing her best not to scream out in pain, weakly tried crawling away.

Such a pitiful sight...

Dash grabbed her by the mane and got her on her hooves only to punch her down once again and took hold of her horn, what good is a unicorn without their horn? She tried ripping the horn right out of her skull. But her sudden power was gone, vision began fading.

“What… Did you do… To me?” Rainbow Dash tried to get ahold of herself, but Brightsmile saw her chance. With whatever strength the heartless killer had left she threw the cyan mare off and huddled up into the darkest corner in the far side of the room. Rainbow Dash, feeling the effect of the sleeping potion from the glass, made an effort to give chase.

The wretched white unicorn counted down the steps needed in her mind. “7. 6… 5…” Her teeth clenched tighter on the thin rope. The rope was connected to some bent nails in the roof that held a net in place. The net had other shards of glass, of course dipped in the sleeping potion, with it. Who knew making fake nets back at her hometown would come in handy?

“2…1!” Down went the final trap, the glass pierced through the flesh, the potion mixed with the blood, and the weakened pegasus collapsed. Brightsmile won another battle, and won herself a deeper pit in Tartarus…

~ 1-2 hours later ~

Brightsmile woke up from the effects of the sleeping potion; the cause of it entering her body was from the broken glass that she fell on from fighting Rainbow Dash. Thanks to that crazy strong cyan pony she might have fractures in her right front leg and in her jaw.

Speaking of Rainbow Dash; Brightsmile remembered tying her up to the best of her ability before passing out. She checked up on the defeated pegasus and found her still asleep, wings tied shut, the same fate for her mouth, and each of her legs tied together.

Brightsmile found herself staring at dash for a… awkwardly long time.

“O-Ok Bright that’s enough looking!” She said to herself, after the pain crept back in and snapped her out of the trance. This shouldn’t be happening! She began pacing back and forth.

“This has to be a doctor and patient relationship! Plus she is… A she!” She threw cautious glances at Rainbow, whom was still out, “Plus she nearly beat me to death. But how will I get rid of her? She deserves a fun death like her friends…”

Zecora had plenty of strange stuff lying around; Bright didn’t think Zecora would mind her going through them. What stood out the most were strange plants in jars, and a book right beside them! Brightsmile levitated the book and skimmed through the pages…


“The flower of suffering: Pathos.” She read aloud, “A gorgeous white flower with light red spots on the petals. Because of its amazing scent some tried to make a perfume with it, but it paralyzed the user’s body and put them in a nightmare some never woke up from…”

Her perfect teeth slowly became as sharp as needles. “Perfect!”

The plan is made, the flower was obtained, and the waiting began. But the fallen hero can continue to slumber; because there were 2 other pieces of prey to play with…

~ Someplace in the same house... ~

Scootaloo’s eyes slowly opened, and a groan escaped from her throat. She tried to look around, but where ever she was it was far too dark to even see the hoof in front of her face. The little pegasus got up and felt around. Walls, Walls, the floor, and... "Oof!" She tripped over something soft, and alive!

"Watch where ya' going!" Wailed whatever was under the brown filly. It was Applebloom under her! The young earth pony managed to wiggle her way out from under her friend and then realization hit her as well. "Where am I? Why is it so dark?" The questions began spilling out.

"I don't know either. Are you ok?" Scoots got up and tried to see if her last friend was alright, but all she could she, even though she had enough time adjust to such darkness, was just a faint outline of the equally confused filly. Thankfully Applebloom said she was alright, and had already started searching for a way out of the room.

"I think I found a way ou- AH!" The farm pony was blinded as the door before her opened and light flooded into the room. Scootaloo was just as blinded, but she knew who must be at the door because she remembered the cackle the pony let out before, the strange white unicorn mare...

It was back at the club house after the two went back from the cemetery, and after the weird grave keeper gave them towels to dry up. They tried going back to the drawing board to see who could be a suspect, but once again they didn't know anypony who could have done it. So they randomly throw out names.

"Diamond Tiara?" was of course to escape one of their lips. "Nah, there’s no way she could pull something so scary..." True.

"That scary batpony that works in the cemetery?" It does kinda seemed right to them at first, but he was so nice and if he was it, why not eat them right there and then?

"Maybe it was that new pony in town?" Applebloom thought aloud. Scootaloo's eyebrow rose, "Who?" She asked. "I think her name was..."

"Brightsmile I think" The white unicorn was at the doorway. She took her hood down and studied the place, ignoring the gaping fillies stare. "But she was a victim from the second murder... But whatever did it, left her alive..." Finally she met the eyes of the little fillies with a small, shaky smile. "Sorry for intruding, but I was hoping you could help me..."

After a moment of hesitation Applebloom was the one to ask the question that was on both of their minds. "How did you find us here?" A question that was expected. "I saw you both coming from the cemetery, and I knew you both could help me with something. So I kind of... Followed you here."

"Why not go to Twilight? She could help you with whatever you wanted!" Scootaloo didn't hide her suspicion, smart girl, too bad that question was so easy to lie pass.

"Because I don't believe they can help me. Whoever the killer is, must be coming after me next and I don't want to be out in the open with just a few guards... But I know that I could trust sweet, innocent fillies who want that monster gone just as much as I do."

Her words sounded so honestly, her reasons why would make sense to plenty of these paranoid ponies, but what no pony could figure out yet was that this "harmless" dentist was now the biggest threat in Equestria...

"Well, what could we do for you? It’s not like we could just hide ya' in here." The orange philly asked, then she realized it was exactly the idea. "B-But this isn't even close to being as safe as your house with a bunch of guards!"

Brightsmile gave a small sigh before explaining, sounding worried as if her life was actually in danger... "But one of them can be the killer... Even if none of them are the one I'm sure this psycho knows where I would be staying... But here would be the last place he or she would look!"

The suspicion was finally killed. The unicorn was nothing more to them but a scared survivor that was looking for a safe place to hide. The remaining Cutiemark Crusaders knew that if Sweetie Belle was here... She would defiantly let this mare hide here. So they gave in to her plea.

"Alright, you can stay, but you got to help us figure out who is doing this!" Spoke the pegasus crusader. She wasn't sure if this was the best decision to make, but when she saw the dentist's eyes light up, it was all worth it.

"Thank you both, I'll do what I can to repay you for your kindness." Bright was shaking, as if she was ready to burst into tears. But in reality she was shaking in her excitement, and trying to hold back her maddening laughter...

"But first, let’s have a small drink." Three small bottles were levitated from under the cloak. Inside them were some strange liquid that gave suspicion rise from its grave. The silver tongue dentist saw it in their eyes, another lie come up in her mind thanks to the voices now on her side.

"I made these drinks so it cleans your teeth and taste great. Dentists do like great tasting things to you know. I was planning on saving these for emergencies, and I didn't have the time to brush my teeth so why not now?" With a sweet, pearly white smile she gave them each the drink.

Applebloom sniffed it, didn't smell bad, so she took a drink. "It’s kinda sweet!" She stated with a bit of joy. Well if its Scootaloo's friend likes it, that’s enough for her to try it too. "Wow, it is!"

Brightsmile laughed a little, amused about how they enjoyed it, but her bottle was still full. The laughter soon grew louder, louder than the laughing voices in her twisted mind. "It’s a real knockout!" The laughter began to scare the two foals. But then, when it was too late, they figure out the drink was not what it was said to be.

Their world turned black then, and here they are with the killer looking down on them once more.

"I see you're both awake! Did you both sleep well?" She grinned as she walked in, holding back laughter when Applebloom ran to her friend's side. "Look at you two... Such close friends, I wonder how long how that will last..."

"What are you talking about, you psycho!" Scootaloo dared to shout out. The mare of madness was all too glad to answer... "I'm going to let one of you out of her... After you kill your friend of course."

No... She has to lying... Right?

"You can't make us do that! Not in a million years!" One shouted. "Yeah, and Rainbow Dash will find you any minute to!" Both fillies cried out this time. Now they're getting bold.

Time to crush their dreams...

"Oh yeah, Rainbow Dash... Cyan colored with a rainbow mane right? She did find me earlier than expected. Plus she did put up the fiercest fight I've been in..." The bright white dentist smiled, the sharp teeth gleamed. "Sadly her best wasn't quite good enough..."

Scootaloo, Rainbow's biggest fan, took each word as a buck to the head. Lies... Everything she said had to be lies! Nopony could beat Rainbow Dash! ...Right...? "Y-You are lying! There is no way a stupid killer like you would EVER defeat her!"

It’s ironic really... Now that she's telling the truth, they don't even want to believe. It’s just pony nature maybe.

"I have proof... Just wait here~" Brightsmile shut the door and placed something in front of it. The little pegasus was on the brink of her insanity, her hero can't be dead... She just can't be! What if she is...? That would only leave Applebloom as the last of the ponies close to her in her life... And then she might be forced to kill her... Scoots would rather die than that...

Speaking of Applebloom... She hardly said a thing, and now she’s crying. The brown philly rested a hoof and Bloom's shoulder. "We'll get out of here... Let’s try to find an escape exit." ... No reply from her friend for what seemed like forever, until she managed to choke something horrid between sobs.

"We're in Zecora's house... I-I... *Hiccup* Saw her cauldron and things just behind Brightsmile... I thought that cloak she had looked familiar..."

Hope was stomped on, kicked around, and was stabbed in the back... But there was still a bit of life in it to destroy... The door opened and the defeated cyan mare was thrown onto the ground before the defeated little fillies. She was still asleep, not to wake up just yet...

"Just kill me..." Scootaloo broke the everlasting silence. There is no hope is surviving this... Rainbow Dash was going to get killed, and if Bloom dies that would leave the little brown foal with absolutely nothing... Applebloom still has family, she has more to live for. The choice is obvious...

"Ah, ah, ah~" The captivator saw this coming... Time to bring out what’s left of her weaponry. A couple dental records.

"Scootaloo... Only one visit to the dentist's office? Your teeth are probably full of cavities and you don’t even know it!" She stared at the sheet of paper with disgust. But the real reason she was reviewing it was that it held some very important information...

"So you're an orphan? It says that your one appointment was from the Ponyville orphanage right here. Don't you still go there? Don't you got some new parents or something?" Her vile grin grew widen when she saw that her words hit every nerve in the parentless filly’s body... "I guess nopony really loved you enough to even get a checkup every now and then~"

"SHUT THE BUCK UP!!!" Without the slightest hesitation Scootaloo went for this psychotic bitch. This dentist needs to die, now!

She was merely levitated and thrown back to the end of the room.

"But you idolize Rainbow Dash quite a bit... So I'll make this deal even sweater. If you win I'll let her live and not die the way I planned for! Now for Applebloom..." She started reading through her file.

"That’s more like it. You've been slipping though I see. At least your brother and sister are way more diligent with their cleaning~" Her gaze slide to the little earth pony this time. She was up and almost ready to attack foolishly just like her little pegasus friend.

"You leave my family alone, you deceiving, sick in the head, good for nothin'!" Was screamed at the top of Bloom's lungs. Her anger made her shake even more than she did when she cowering in fear.

"I will... As long as you win!" This was her plan... If one lost. Whatever they held dear will lose with them... Brightsmile, the empress of insanity, took the unconscious mare out of the room with her magic and made some candles from the main room levitate into the room they are in now. The door closed. "If either of you give up. Both Rainbow Dash and Applebloom's family die. So begin, my dears~"

Applebloom wished to protest, there must be some way out of this... Before a single idea could even begin to form, the hoof of her friend connected to Bloom's head. The fight has started, and now their friendship must be put to an end...

With ears in both of their eyes, and a stronger reason to live with them, began their barrage of blows to each other’s bodies. They seemed pretty evenly matched, but with years of apple bucking on her side. The match of strength favored the small earth pony as she turned and, with all of her might, sent the pegasus crashing into the wall with a buck that had the power to make an apple tree bare...

Scootaloo couldn't get up, it seems like she reached her limit just after 2 minutes of fighting... Far too soon for Bright's liking. "I'm very disappointed, little orphan. But I guess Rainbow Da-" The groan behind the dentist made her turn and open to door to see the cyan pony waking up already. "Well. I guess I can play with you before one of the other toys wake up..."

The two beaten down crusaders where levitated into separate corners in the room and the crazed captor began to exit the room. "This is the end of round 1. When I get back you can finish it then... And orphan." She glanced back at the little pegasus, whom was trying to drag her body towards the door.

"I won't kill Rainbow Dash yet... But I will let her screams become a reminder of what’s at stake~"

Vines that were found in the forest today on the unicorn's way back was levitate into the room and tied the two up. "Just to make sure you don't try anything in my absence~" Mad laughter echoed throughout the room until the door closed... Brightsmile's attention was now focused on the older pegasus as she began to struggle against her bindings.

"Look at the result of your failure. All because you didn't kill me one of those 2 are going to die..." The unstable unicorn levitated her adversary into the wall and kept her there and stared at her with a sudden deep anger.

"You make me sick, really. Those fillies really looked up to you and yet you were standing around, ready to piss all over the ground just because I showed you a few new victims... If you just fought sooner you could have killed me..."

Rainbow Dash looked at her with utter sadness... She was right, she let every pony down, and now it’s time to pay... Before that the dentist continued, "When I was little nopony stood up for me when bullies just beat me down... It took a bucking monster to finally put that to an end! At least it fulfilled the promises it made... All you are is a fake hero!" Her right hoof made contact to bounded mare's cheek.

"Ow!" It... Was regretful move.

The rope around Rainbow's muzzle was removed, but the expected screaming or begging never exited her lips for the longest moment in Equestria. "So what if I die... Twilight will find out everything and you'll get what you'll get what’s coming ten times over..." The words came out cracked and was followed with tears.

"Twilight?" The white mare cackled and let her captive drop to the ground. "She is just a clueless mare who is just chasing nothing but a shadow... I'm just a missing victim in her eyes." A wonderful white flower with petals covered in red spots was brought in front of the bounded pegasus.

"Eat it..."

The defiant cyan mare turned her head away from it, no way will she take anything this wacko offers. Magic forced her mouth open and shove the flower into her mouth. "Eat it before I reconsider sparing you or Applejack..." Snarled the white mare with a dark soul. Reluctantly Rainbow Dash did as she was told and eat it... It tasted alight... But it left a bitter after taste.

"Sweet dreams, I'll let you know if you're little Scootaloo dies~" Uncontrollable laughter was all the famous pegasus could hear until she plummeted into a world of utter darkness.

She was falling... falling... The ground was nowhere to be seen, crash. She’s in a dead forest now, dead trees dotted the grey landscape; dead leaves were sent flying when she landed. The cyan pony got up, with shock that the ropes that kept her restricted were gone. "Hello? Anypony here?" She called out, but not even a breeze blew to answer her.

This world, was void of all life except for the colorful intruder...

The lonely mare traveled the forsaken land to find nothing as much as a living plant or animal. Soon there was something that the pegasus recognizes, and it made her fly to it with blazing speed. It was the ruins of the Sweet Apple Acres. The barn, the house, everything around it was nothing but ruins of rotted wood and dried blood splattered everywhere.

"Applejack!" Rainbow Dash entered the house from the front door, minus the door. The smell from the house almost made her vomit and faint; the entire place was wrecked with torn furniture and blood painted all around the house. "Is anypony here...?" Slowly she advanced and followed a path of blood trail into the kitchen, and the house came to life with screams.

Poor Granny was a rotted corpse, missing its eyes and most of her flesh has fallen off and laid in a disgusting puddle on the ground. She was nailed to the table, 2 legs broken so it was tilted to face a pair of other corpses. Applejack and her brother laid beside each other, Eyes both gone as well. AJ had about every knife in the kitchen stabbed into her chest and skull.

Her brother on the other hoof was missing his tongue and his legs were all bent in awkward angles. What finished him off was that his head was backwards... Granny was nailed to a table and starved to death, watching her dead grandchildren decay in her final hours...

Brightsmile... You sadistic mastermind....

Tears were forming a puddle at Dash’s hooves, anger and horror make her body shake. How could that unicorn do something so horrible...? "I'll make you pay for this..." Vowed the pegasus... Sadly she doesn't know what’s really going on, but this did make her realize one thing. Where is Applebloom and Scootaloo? To the Everfree Forest it is she went.

Zecora's wretched house stood, frozen in time it seemed. She went through the window, same as last time, but this time she made sure no more traps were waiting just to take her by surprise once again. Once she was in the smell of rotten flesh hit her nostrils once again. "Oh no..." She gasped as she went for the source of it, but a flash of light came between her and the room the two fillies fought in.

"There you are my dear!" The cause of all suffering... Brightsmile stood in front of Rainbow Dash, sipping a drink from a martini glass with an eyeball substitute of an olive. The eye was green around the pupil... AJ had green eyes... "I was wondering when you would 'drop' in."

"You sick monster!" With her strongest punch the pegasus went for the monstrous dentist, but she was gone... "We must stop meeting like this, all we do is fight, fight, fight. Can't we just kiss and make up?" ...Again, the dentist must bring awkwardness in times where it doesn't belong...

Vines snaked through the windows and lashed out for the pegasus, but the swift mare got inside the room before they could get her. Now she was stuck in the room, outside the mad dentist and the vines awaited. Inside, something much worse...

Applebloom was hanged on the wall next to the door, from her chest to her pelvis she was cut open and her organs floated out of the gaping hole...

"Why didn't you save us, Rainbow Dash? I cried for you when Scootaloo was beating me to death... Did you at least save my family...?" The little corpse spoke, but it’s impossible. Her organs are floating around the room! How are they floating about in the first place...?

"I did it all for you." The voice was from the little victor... Scootaloo was right behind her idol, smiling the same way Brightsmile did when she finally killed all on her own. Tears of blood ran down her cheeks and her teeth were filed to resemble the dentist's. As the older Pegasus turned to face the bloody, still living philly, the entire scenery changed...

They were out deeper in the Everfree Forest, far from the house of torture.

"Scootaloo...?" The sense of reality is defiantly gone... What is going on with Dash's biggest fan? Also... Where did she go? "Scootaloo?!" She disappeared! "I've always wanted to be you..." Her voice echoed out... "But I can't even fly yet... Maybe you can help with that!" The blade of a knife dug into her wings this world may not be real, but the pain sure was!

"Stop!" Rainbow Dash tried shaking off the little pegasus on her back, rolling on the ground, bashing her back into trees, but nothing. All she could do was scream from the terrible pain from the knife digging into the wing's bone. She tried her best but it wasn't quite enough to shake off the mad filly.


The bones were snapped off, the remaining flesh was ripped off as the wings were taken and the brown foal jumped off what used to be her hero. With a truly mad cackle the once sweet Scootaloo, without hesitation, took her own wings and ripped them off of her back. "Do you think I will be able to fly using your wings?" The little one cackled like the heartless killer as the impossible began.

The last crusader placed Dash's wings on her back and it began fusing with the stubs that used to be her wings!

"Scootaloo... Why are you doing this? This isn't you!" The wingless one demanded. This world, and everything happening in it, brought forth a fountain of tears from the forsakened mare. "You are acting just like that monster... You are not Brightsmile! Please just stop!"

Laughter... The words didn't faze the young pegasus, she came closer with her knives. "Hey, Rainbow Dash! Do you mind if I borrow you're cutiemark to?" Not good... The cyan pegasus began backing up, there’s a wall of trees too close together to pass. She tried going right, more trees, left? Same thing...

Fear, regret, and a rising anger filled Rainbow Dash. "No... Please Scootaloo. Don't do it! You little monster!!!"

This is more amusing than Brightsmile would imagine! For about four minutes the cyan pegasus has been wiggling around and screaming bloody murder! Such a lovely scene... "Don't do it! You little monster!!!"

Well isn't that great? She's dreaming of her little fan, and hating her guts! This gives our deadly dentist a great idea. With a new plan at hand she went into the room with the fillies still tied up, Applebloom was still crying and the other was shaking so much she just might loosen the vines.

This was so exciting, the mare of madness began speaking like an announcer. "Now my dears. It’s time for round 2! Just remember what’s at stake, or did I go too easy on Rainbow Dash?" The vines became undone, and the fight was forced to resume...

Tears, blood, and blows flew around. The earth pony attempted bucking her friend but this time she was prepared, sidestepping and ramming herself into the orange one's ribs. The pegasus crusader took her chance and got on top of her friend. "I'm so sorry..." Scootaloo whispered as she started landing punches endlessly onto her dear friend.

The punches were weakening... Did the orphan has the will to kill her last friend? If not both Rainbow and AJ will be killed... Sorry Scoots...

Applebloom managed to get her powerful hind legs under the other philly's belly and kick her off and get on her instead. "No... I'm the sorry one..." It was her turn to bringing a mad barrage of punches. The little foal didn't fight back, she laid like a lifeless lump of flesh as her friend continued beating her to death... Until a knife slid to her side, and a voice screamed in her mind.

"Use it! It won't hurt your friend if she is stabbed in the head... DO IT FOR RAINBOW DASH!" ...Her body acted on its own for survival. Scootaloo took a hold of the knife and buried the blade deep in her skull...

Applebloom's punches ended, blood gushed from the wound and landed on victor's cheek, she pushed the body off of her and took out the knife... There was only one Cutiemark Crusader left alive now... Rainbow Dash will be spared from her agony...

Oh if only things would go as planned...

"Scootaloo!!!" The cyan pegasus managed to loosen her bindings even in her unconscious state and get loose. She was stuck between real reality and her nightmare world, but all she saw of her fan was a twisted little monstrosity that took her wings and wore her cutiemarks ripping her sharp teeth into the flesh of her dead friend. "I... I HATE YOU!!!"

The little philly watched as what was once her hero charge at her, ready to bash her little skull in.Scootaloo raised the knife in defense and then Rainbow Dash's body crashed into hers... The knife was in Dash's chest, and in her heart...

"Scootaloo..." It wasn't until her dying second did Rainbow Dash was brought into reality... And she saw the little bloody Scootaloo under her with tears bursting from her eyes.

Now everypony that little orphan held dear to her is dead... She was cast into a world of dark, loneliness...

Brightsmile came up to the two and pulled Dash's lifeless body and... Gave it a deep French kiss?! Her eyes were closed, obviously enjoying it, but when she pulled away her muzzle was bloody and she was chewing on something. Rainbow Dash's tongue...

"I'll miss you, my little Dashie~" She said with a lovely crimson smile... Her attention was turned to the curled up philly. "So alone in this world... This cold, cruel world..."

The cyan mare's body was dropped to the ground and the white dentist rested her hoof on the little scared pegasus' shoulder, she tensed up. "I know how it's like having nopony to trust... Nopony to run to and believe me... If you wish to spend your freedom with me, I can help you forget what happened here someday. Maybe treat you like a daughter... Now let me see what they did to you..."

Scootaloo didn't care anymore, she let the out of her mind mare examine her body that was covered in bruises and gashes. What was most on her mind is what she offered... She offered to be a mother, but look at what she did to her! She made her kill her friend and her idol...

But she promised to make her forget... Can she really erase the most scaring memories in this orphan’s life...? "I just want to forget... Just forget... C-Can you do it...?" She sobbed. Her hooves were on her head as the sobs of Applebloom and the screams of Rainbow Dash echoed through her mind.

"You will, after this is all done…" The now motherly mare gave the little orphan a kiss on the cheek, and walked her out of the bloody room. It wasn't until now she didn't hide her limp, her right leg was killing her... "Let’s patch you up, and then we can have a nice, warm meal... Tomorrow we're going to leave this horrid place forever..."

"Ok..." This feeling was becoming rather nice, have an older pony care for her this much... She still didn't fully trust this evil mare's words... But what else can she do...? She has nothing left... But now she can receive a motherly figure... And maybe forget about all of this day..."Can I... Can I call you mom then...?"

"Of course, my precious daughter..." The new mother said with a warm smile... Once the foster daughter's wounds were treated they both had a rather great tasting bowl of soup. Scootaloo wasn't hungry but she forced it down with a small smile. After their meal they shared the bed for the night... A wonderful family was forged from the scars and blood...

Although Scootaloo had trouble finding peace in her sleep... The voices of her friend and idol stayed on her mind. "Why did you do it? She is going to kill my family now..." Applebloom's voice called out, almost as if she was whispering it into the filly's ear. "You're just like her now... A cold blooded killer..." Dash whispered in the other.

"No... I didn't mean to do it... I'm so sorry..."

~ Brightsmile's home... 9 P.M. ~

"Why do you do this, Brightsmile...?" Twilight's whisper rang out. By the side of princess Luna and her older sister Celestia, they witness the police officers remove the evidence from the ex-dentist's hidden room... Plus the party pony's body in a blood pool near the front door... "This doesn't make sense! She was so kind and considerate! She'd even freeze up at the sight of blood!"

The princess of the sun rested a wing on her student's shoulder, she has never seen such a sight in over a thousand years... "We will find her..." She said softly. Luna raised her voice raised to her old equestrian way, for all of the police and the ponies gathering to hear.

"Listen up our faithful subjects. We know you may be afraid, but we must have every pony help if she is to be found! Set up wanted posters, check each home, and report any information to my sister, Twilight, and myself. She must be brought to us alive, so she can receive her proper punishment..."

"Public execution!"

Hunt Her Down...

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"Run if you want. Hide if you'd like. But never think that you can escape fate and shake off what you deserve... One day your misdeeds will resurface in the most unpleasant of ways..." -Cookietheif

The morning after Brightsmile was found to be the killer of Sweetie Bell, Blitz, and Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle was up all night trying to use any spell she knew that could give at least some hint of where the dentist was hiding, but not a single one did the trick!

Thanks to her fruitless efforts, the library was running low on many of the magical reagents she needed for her spells, and so she ventured into the Everfree Forest, intent on gathering what she could and seeing Zecora for the rest.

"Why can't we just wait until that maniac is found?" Spike asked, while attempting to keep his nervous green eyes on every little movement. He'd much rather have gone and kept Rarity company, than wander into this blood-chilling forest for a few supplies.

Twilight sighed as she prepared to explain herself once again, yet in her mind realizing that he was no more scared then she herself was... "Because I need what's on the checklist to continue trying to find Brightsmile, Spike! Princess Celestia has her hooves tied organizing the Royal Guard, and Princess Luna is personally roaming through everypony's dreams in the hopes of finding her. It's left to us to reach her before she has the chance to hurt anypony else!"


"What was that?!" Spike yelled out in surprise, reflexively clinging to Twilight's leg in a startling instant, shaking and peering up at the trees with fear in his eyes. Twilight glanced upwards and smiled softly, "Don't worry Spike, it's just Owlowiscious, I asked him to search for any signs of Brightsmile in the forest.", Spike released Twilight gingerly and cleared his throat, "I-I knew that," he claimed, shifting from one clawed foot to the other self-consciously.

Owlowiscious didn't seem that amused though, with a flap of his wings, he glided down and flew down the path to Zecora's hut, offering a concerned hoot as he flashed by, leaving nothing but the terrible sense that something must be wrong...

Levitating Spike onto her back as she ran after her feathered friend, Twilight rapidly approached the remnants of the place that Zecora used to call home, looking even more devastated than when Rainbow Dash had found it... "Zecora!" The panting mare cried out, but to no response.

Bracing herself for the worst Twilight passed through where the front door used to be... And stared in shell-shocked dismay at the mess of glass and blood, where the peltless corpse of a unicorn lay with precious gems jammed into her eye sockets. "No..." Twilight whispered, her voice suddenly hoarse as she darted back outside and set Spike down.

"W-Wait here...", she stuttered, "I have to see if there are any other ponies that might still be alive.", she told him as she reentered the home. Ducking her head to give the corpse a dreaded closer examination, she found holes in the lips that had been sown shut before... And then she saw a lengthy lock of the victim's mane resting on the ground before her hooves, of the most beautiful shade of purple.

"Rarity!", she choked out, not wanting her voice to carry beyond the door to Spike, "Why did it have to be you...?"

An enraged Celestia, a mourning Luna, together with a miserable Twilight, and even the Batpony grave keeper came inside Zecora's hut, searching for any clue of where Brightsmile could possibly have gone, but had no luck of finding evidence of it.

Although they had all found the remains in the cauldron that must have been Zecora... "I haven't seen such twisted actions my entire life, we must hunt her down as soon as possible..." Celestia said coldly, her eyes seeming to blaze in direct connection with the Sun on viewing the dark works of the dentist... Even Twilight, far from the object of her wrath was beginning to shiver in fright from that gaze.

Moon Spirit, as the batpony had since introduced himself, went into yet another room and found a horror that made everypony's heart skip a beat...

"There's more blood and manes in here!" His voice echoed throughout the room, and when the others entered her presented the locks of manes with a grim expression, nothing had prepared him for this... Two of the locks were soft and fine, as if from young fillies, and the third was a lively rainbow color.

"I saw them in the cemetery just the other day... Right in front of Sweetie Belle's grave," said Moon Spirit, his voice just a whisper, as though he took the blame of all their deaths...

Luna came to his side and rested her wing on his shoulder, speaking softly to ease his sorrow, "You couldn't have known that this, that anything, would happen to them... Don't think that this is your fault.", Moon Spirit didn't speak, but nodded and looked at her gratefully, the guilt washing from his eyes. Something about the situation felt off to them though, where we the actual bodies, why just the manes?

"Could they still be alive? It's obvious she didn't feel the need to move or hide bodies before..." Twilight said thoughtfully, there was some logic to it, it could be the reason they had found only manes. "The blood could just be from her injuring them to weaken, even thwart escape attempts as well!" As each pony pondered the idea, they agreed it seemed logical, why other reason could there be?

As ponies with body bags came to collect the remains of Rarity and Zecora, Celestia alone took to the air to check Rainbow Dash's home, and soldiers went to Scootaloo's foster family for any potential clues. Luna and Moon Spirit left for Rarity's, and finally Twilight was alone, sobbing into her mane as she got her thoughts in order; Intent on seeing if Applejack was okay, and equally intent on letting her known what had happened too.

This wasn't even to mention how she would tell Spike about Rarity's fate, he had been left right outside and had yet to be told just who the unicorn lying in the main room had been.

Spike was pacing back and forth near the door, the darkest possibilities swirling inside his brain, had he continued his pace he may have even made an indent in his well-worn path... The situation was far too much for a baby dragon, for anypony...

"Spike..." The unicorn -Twilight-, derailed his morbid train of thoughts and his head snapped to her, "Did you find out who that pony was? I-Is it...?" His voice trailed off, truly unable to finish his worst assumptions, and how could Twilight tell him?! His heart would never heal if he heard her say; "It, it was Rarity, Spike... I'm so sorry."

So Twilight lied, she felt she had to do what was best for his wellbeing, "It was just a mare who was visiting Ponyville... Celestia promised to find out who she was, and if she had any connection to Brightsmile, family perhaps..."

Relief washed over her poor assistant, while Spike felt bad for the "visitor", at least it wasn't the fashionable mare that he loved so much... Guilt clung to Twilight more than even the haunting memories the dentist had burned into everypony's minds with her unforgiving deeds. But there was nothing else she could do, he'd have to find out one day, but now was not the time.

"Let's go visit Applejack, I need to tell her something important..." She trailed off as she lowered herself so that the assistant she so blatantly misled could climb on her book, and off they both went towards Sweet Apple Acres.

They didn't talk much on the way, aside from a few questions that Spike had about what else they found in Zecora's home. "You'll find out when I tell Applejack... Okay Spike?", was her saddened answer, the evidence they had found was far too much for anypony to tell more than once...

When they finally reached the Apple's home, it was obviously empty; Big Macintosh could be heard searching their endless fields, calling for Applebloom... No sign of Granny Smith, and just ahead, the mare who bore the Element of Honesty was just coming out of the barn.

"Not even a sign of her..." Applejack sighed, head hanging until she saw the unicorn a few yards away, hope rising in her heart, "Twilight!" She yelled, closing the gap between them quickly. "Please tell me you've seen Applebloom! She's been missing since yesterday!"

"I may have an idea... You'd better get Big Mac and Granny together for this though..."

The worried Apple family sat inside, starting intently at Twilight as she began to tell them about they had all found, still refusing to reveal the true identity of the unicorn for Spike, and she almost broke down in tears again as she told them her theory of the missing ponies.

"A unicorn's body was found in Zecora's home, and Zecora herself... She, she, her remains were found in her cauldron... The graveskeeper found three locks of mane... Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, and Applebloom are assumed to have been ponynapped by Brightsmile for reasons we don't know yet, I'm so sorry." Twilight forced out past the choke in her throat, barely able to look at the brimming eyes of the family seated around the table.

Granny Smith burst out into years, and Big Macintosh shut his eyes as he rested a hoof on her shoulder in a vain attempt to provide comfort... Applejack merely stared at Twilight, tears still welling up in her eyes as questions began forcing their way out of her throat. "How do you know they're still alive...?" Yet Twilight only sighed and shook her head.

"I don't know if I'm right, but the last bodies were just left for everypony to see, why would she start taking corpses now? Why not take R-, the unicorn's body along with Zecora's?" She pointed out, biting her bottom lip and glancing at Spike, he hadn't seemed to notice her slip, but Applejack certainly had...

"Spike, mind staying here for a while? Twilight and I are gonna check on Fluttershy, and Granny needs some company while we're gone..." Applejack forced out with a small, albeit shaky, smile. Spike readily agreed, and with that the two young mares left.

"Rarity is dead?!!"

They were finally outside - and more importantly out of earshot - heading to Fluttershy's cottage when the question exploded from Applejack's mouth. Twilight's head hung low, almost scraping her horn against the rocks in the road as she answered. "Yes... I couldn't tell Spike! Not that it was her! Imagine how he would react if he heard the truth! You didn't see exactly what Brightsmile did to her!" She cringed at the memory of the gemstones gleaming inside her friend's eye sockets... Not even Twilight fully knew what tortures the demented dentist had done to her friend Rarity.

"Lyin' is still wrong, Twi..." Was all her friend said, but Applejack couldn't blame her for wanting to keep Spike safe from the devastating truth, and the walk was quite silent after that.

Once they were at Fluttershy's home, they noticed that Fluttershy, Element of Kindness, had turned her previously lovely little cottage into a massive fortress... Every window was boarded up, and only peep holes allowed any method of seeing inside or out. The door seemed to have gained a few more locks as well...

"Isn't this going a little too far?" Applejack thought aloud, and for the love of Celestia was that an understatement. Twilight tried knocking on the door and calling Fluttershy's name, nothing... The next time they both knocked, getting worried, and with a clatter of deadbolts and chairs, the door opened as far as the fastened metal chains would let it.

"O-Oh! It's just you two..." Said the cracked but quiet voice of Fluttershy, her normally bright coat was pale and the redness around her eyes told them that she had been crying recently... "Hey Fluttershy, do you mind if we come in?" Twilight's question panicked the shy mare to an even greater extent and she nearly slammed the door shut. "I-I'm sorry, b-but now isn't a good time! M-Maybe later! Sorry!"

Dumbfounded, Applejack and Twilight Sparkle stood in front of Fluttershy's house for a while, wondering if they should try to get her attention again, but the idea was put aside for now; They needed to put their heads together and figure out where Brightsmile could be... So they left to see what, if anything, Celestia and Luna had found.

They never felt the victorious stare that Brightsmile gave them from inside the cottage.


...An hour before Twilight's discovery in Zecora's home...

Scootaloo was beginning to stir. When her eyes finally opened she was surprised to find herself, not at Zecora's home - but on Brightsmile's back as she limped through the forest, using her magic to pull something behind her... It was a last-minute make-shift sled that she could drag along several familiar look pelts, and the lifeless bodies of Rainbow Dash and Applebloom...

The little pegasus buried her muzzle into Brightsmile's fur and closed her eyes tightly. In reality they were just corpses, but in her mind they staring at her, asking why had she killed them, cursing her name without end...

"You are just a heartless killer..." Is what pierced her heart the most. Brightsmile looked back at her adopted little daughter as they come to a stop. "Are you okay...?" She asked, honest worry in her eyes.

Scootaloo shook her head, on the verge of tears already. "I can still hear them! Feel them staring at me, and they won't stop!" She cried into her new - her only - mother's pelt, and the dentist couldn't help but smile a little... It was a perfect time to bring the pegasus into the wonderful world of madness.

"I have the cure for that..."

Something lightly touched the filly's side, the handle of the knife that been used to kill them... "If their bodies still speak to you, cut off their tongues... Drive the blade into their heads! I promise it'll keep them quiet..." Brightsmile's soothing words were just enough to make the unstable foal take the knife and slide off her back.

"You don't have the guts to do it! You just let me run into that knife, you're barely a killer! You're a PATHETIC coward!!!" Howled Dash's corpse, "You'll be hanging just like that crazy, mare-loving, freak of a moth-" The blade silenced her as it sank nearly to the hilt inside her skull. "SHUT UP!!!" Scootaloo's eyes were tightly closed... And they opened slowly as something amazing happened...

Absolute Silence...

"Hahaha... Sh-She stopped talking, mom... She finally stopped!" She began jumping about, her undersized wings flapping wildly at the prospect of finally being free of her dead idol's voice. "You disgust me, Scoots..." Applebloom's voice still lingered... "Sweetie Belle and I can't believe we were your friends..." The words merely bounced off the foal, she pulled the cure from Rainbow Dash's head and placed into Applebloom's now, a crazed smile plastered on her face.

"When you meet her in Tartarus, tell her I said hi!" Scootaloo cackled, so much like her mother now... Smile growing wider, and yet tears streamed down her face as well. Just to make sure they'd never speak again they both received several more thrusts of the blade into their heads... And Applebloom's tongue was slowly sawed off, the knife having gotten rather dull by now.

The proud mother slowly approached her laughing daughter and choked out her words. She was so proud, "How does it feel to be free from them?" The knife was dropped, and they shared a long hug. "It feels great! I couldn't have wanted a better mother!" Ah... Such a touching moment, a bond forged with spilt blood and pure madness.

Nothing was more beautiful...

Brightsmile was searching for a new place to hide, staying in any one place may be a bad idea, and that's when she remembered seeing a cozy looking cottage not far from the forest. "Sweetie, do you know who lives near the forest?" She asked Scootaloo once they passed the entrance, the morning sun was starting to creep over the horizon, and some other ponies were already up!

"Fluttershy, she's a pegasus that takes care of the animals around Ponyville." Scootaloo, her ever faithful daughter answered. Smiling slightly as she rested her head on the unicorn's back, "She's a nice pony..." A grin formed on Brightsmile's face as she started towards Fluttershy's home. "Then I hope she doesn't mind us paying her a visit then..."

Fluttershy was feeding her chickens out in the coop, eyes darting frantically left and right whenever she noticed the slightly movement. With some maniac out there, she hadn't felt safe outside at all, but she still needed to take care of her animal friends each day. "There you go, sorry I didn't come feed you all sooner... I thought I saw somepony outside my door earlier." She said to them with a shaky smile, her voice as gentle as ever.

When each animal's needs were met, she finally went inside and began locking herself in. All of her precautions were worth a staggering amount of bits, but she thought it worth it if it can keep any killers out.

Unfortunately not even all the locks in Equestria could have stopped the ability of teleportation...

"Well well, you really are a nice pony... I'd feel bad if I have to hurt you..." A mysterious force choked the startled pegasus before she could even draw breath to scream, and a dark cackle filled the room as Fluttershy was lifted into the air through Brightsmile's magic.

She turned the mare around so they could face each other before speaking again. "Although it would be a little fun..." The twisted dentist's teeth began to sharpen and glisten with what little light poured inside the room. Fluttershy tried to struggle, to get free of the magical force that was cutting off her oxygen supply, but to no avail.

The world was starting to fade to black, until she dropped onto the ground and precious air began rushing back into her lungs. The scared mare tried to get to her hooves and run, but her attacked simply knocked her back down with a hard shove and began fastening her limbs together with rope. "I knew keeping these would come in handy! A mare's intuition is never wrong, right?" Dark ominous laughter filled the house.

A giggle came from the far end of the room, Scootaloo was holding Angel Bunny... With a knife to his neck. "S-Scootaloo? What are you doing?!" Fluttershy cried out, slightly louder than her usual tone. "Just playing with Angel, do you think he'll cuter with a little shave?" The edge of the gleaming blade neared his delicate skin...

"No! Please!" The crying pegasus begged. "I-I'll do anything, just please don't hurt him!" Bingo... "Then you won't mind if we crash her for a while?" The sinister dentist jumped in. She lowered her head and whispered into her captive's ear. "I was asked not to kill you... But if you try contacting for help in any single way, I'll slaughter every animal I can find in front of your pretty little eyes, then slowly end your miserable life..." Sharpened teeth slowly brushed against her ear, "Understand?"

"I-I understand..." Fluttershy sobbed, her body shaking uncontrollably... Angel Bunny was released and ran to the sobbing mare. "Since that's settled, why don't we begin making a dress? After that I'll start up a nice hot bath." Brightsmile was heading upstairs, her daughter following just behind. Before Scootaloo was out of the bond mare's sight, she gave Fluttershy a small, sad smile... "Sorry..." Then she followed her mother upstairs.

Brightsmile, her white coat gleaming, was laying out the pelts and putting the bodies face-up along the floor, turned to Scootaloo. "I'll teach you how to skin off pelts, I had to do it when I was little... Then we'll begin making a wonderful dress just for you!" She brought out a new knife that was from the kitchen below, and handed the hilt to her daughter. While she kept the duller one. "We'll make the first cut..."

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* "Fluttershy?"

"Twilight!" Brightsmile hissed, already galloping downstairs and peeping through one of the few gaps between the boards. She was with some orange earthpony... She assumed it was Applejack. "For the love of Celestia, why are they here?!" She thought, now her heart was pounding quicker than it ever had before.

The ropes still bound Fluttershy, all except for one that Angel Bunny had managed to gnaw off; and when undone it had instead wrapped itself around the little rabbit now. "Answer the door and get them to leave!" The demented dentist hissed quietly. "If you even try to hint to them that I'm here, I'll eat your little pet alive!"

*Knock knock knock knock knock knock*

A series of rapid thuds hit the door, as both Twilight and Applejack knocked.

Fluttershy started undoing the locks and bolts, removed the chair, and almost as an afterthought wiped her tears away before opening the door as far as possible with the fastening chains. "O-Oh! It's just you two..." She tried to sound normal, but she knew she wasn't pulling it off. "Hey Fluttershy, do you mind if we come in?"

Brightsmile swore to Tartarus under her breath, and sensually brushed Fluttershy's flank with the flat end of her knife. Twilight's question, and the chilled feeling of the knife, made her jump as she slammed the door. "I-I'm sorry, b-but now isn't a good time! M-Maybe later! Sorry!"

The fearful mare received a pat on her head, as the floating knife neared her neck... And Angel Bunny finally struggled out of his ropes as Brightsmile stared through the gap. "Will they try to come inside anyway? Will they suspect I'm here...? No, no they're actually leaving..."

"Fools" She finished with a sharp-toothed smile, the knife soon put away as she continued to stare outside. "Soon Applejack, you and your family will be seeing Applebloom very... Ow!!!" She yelped out as Angel jumped on her and began sinking his teeth and claws deep into her back. "You filthy little rodent!" It was hard to concentrate her magic on him when he keep moving around, continuing to bite her in several places... So she resorted to dropping her body onto the ground and tried crushing the pest by rolling on top of it.

Angel jumped off of Brightsmile even as she made the attempt, and sprung for her again, ignoring Fluttershy as she pled for him to stop before he got hurt... But then a flash of brown fur collided into him. "Leave my mom alone!" Scootaloo screeched and managed to pin his little body down with a hoof. Angel, naturally stubborn as he always was, ignored her demand and clawed the filly's leg. "Ow! Buck it!" The leg was lifted, but before he could go for another attack, he was pinned to the floor with a white aura.

"Scootaloo! I know it hurts but you really shouldn't curse..." Her mother scolded, but she had already forgiven the filly, those claws and buck teeth really did leave a bad sting. The rabbit was levitated into the air, as the aura began to constrict around his neck... "No! Stop that!" Fluttershy's voice cracked again as she begged. The yellow mare stepping boldly towards the dentist, but before she could even put a hoof near her the demented unicorn shot her a blood thirsty leer that froze the pegasus in place...

"Stop what...?" A dark smile formed as a sudden crack echoed inside the cottage walls, "That?" The constriction had broken Angel's neck, killing him instantly.

"A-Angel!!!" She stopped over his lifeless body and sobbed. Brightsmile was ready to just drive her knife into the mare's spine, but her daughter seemed to read her mind. "Sh-She didn't tell him to do it... Please don't hurt her..." She begged quietly... Brightsmile thought about killing the crying pegasus anyway, but when she saw her daughter's pleading eyes the thought melted away...

"Fine..." The twisted mother sighed, climbing the stairs to the bathroom to search for disinfectant. Her voice echoed out of the small enclosed room. "Maybe I should make us something to eat before the skinning... I'm starving." The thought of food made Scootaloo's belly almost roar in reply, she had nearly forgotten that they never ate anything this morning...

Fluttershy was tied up once more, for insurance that she wasn't going to try and get help. The fridge was raided and the two maniacs began eating some flower-topped hay sandwiches, which neither thought was nearly as good as raw flesh... Angel didn't really have enough on his bones for a filling meal however. Brightsmile was deep in thought, looking at her new daughter... "She is still afraid to kill a pony, and if I let too many live then things will become very difficult... Maybe we should start small?" She thought to herself.

Scootaloo was trying to offer some food to Fluttershy, deep down in what was still her sanity, she felt guilty for what she had put the kind pegasus through... This wasn't a good sign to the dentist, what if this sanity grew and took her daughter away from her? If only Crimson's maddening influence were still around... But that's enough about that now-worthless shadow, they had dresses to make!

Scootaloo was going to have a dress made the ponies she had killed... So the other were being used for a dress for Brightsmile... Unless she went back to where this 'tragedy' had all begun, in her home where the other pelts were hidden; if Twilight hadn't found them of course... Then again, Pinkie Pie's body had been left right there in the living room, they must have torn the place apart and found them. Where would they hold the pelts? Probably not in the morgue.

Perhaps in the police evidence room, not even Twilight was fool enough to believe this wasn't an investigation. To the station it was, then!

"I'm going out for a while, please keep our generous host tied up unless there's somepony she needs to shoo off." With a kiss on Scootaloo's head, Brightsmile began heading out. "And if I don't come back... Just know that I love you." With the help of her magic, all of the locks, bolts, and even chains unlocked and she took a step outside, taking a deep breath of the fresh air.

"Wh-Where are you going?" Scootaloo was immediately behind her adopted mother, tone overflowing with worry. Was she going to kill Applejack now? Would she try to kill Twilight in the process? Brightsmile looked down lovingly at the filly, giving her a soft hug. "I'm just going to get a few things... Don't worry sweetie." She cooed softly.

A large smile gradually grew on the little pegasus' face as Scootaloo hugged Brightsmile back. "Be back soon!" She wished her with luck.

The journey into Ponyville was pure insanity, in a manner of speaking... Guards and skittish ponies, not mention Celestia herself, burning with rage incarnate, were everywhere. "Go search her home again! If that monster had one room hidden, they may be more somewhere else!" She ordered a couple of Guards, the Voice swaying even the buildings in it's wake. If anypony game in reach of the princess, they risked singing the fur off their manes... Strange heat was radiating off of her, and her glare seemed capable of setting anypony on fire!

Brightsmile was stuck under a bridge and starting to second-guess her decision, maybe she should wait until nightfall to get the pelts... But then she realized she had no more time to wait; Soldiers were crossing the bridge listened as attentively as Brightsmile herself to their Commander. "Later this afternoon, we're scheduled to check on Fluttershy's cottage, if she is not home we have to break in. But first we've been ordered to see if Sweet Apple Acres is clear." The rest voiced their understanding and moved off... "BUCK!" Brightsmile seethed inwardly...

The plan now was to rush to the cottage and kill Fluttershy, hopefully she'd be able to escape with Scootaloo before the Guards found them... Although this time she may have nowhere to go, every home was being checked daily; and that may mean that Zecora's hut was too dangerous to return to. Unless something happens in town and each patrol is ordered to return... Her teeth sharpened, and in a small flash she edged closer to the police department...

Finally! The back door was just a foot away from the deadly mare, it was locked but it didn't matter... With one last teleportation she was inside at last, panting heavily and leaning against a wall. Brightsmile was nearly at her limit with the teleportation spells, how would she get back to her daughter once she gets the pelts? "Hopefully luck is still on my side", she thought.

Nopony knew she was inside yet, and with the structure nopony would know unless they took a right down this short hallway at the very back... This area of the building was where the holding cells for temporary prisoners were, and up front was where the officers would take reports and file paperwork. Between these two sections was the entrance to the evidence room, filled with boxes of material from whatever crimes had taken place in Ponyville... The pelts might be bagged and put in one of these boxes, perhaps in a safe place for the severity of her crime?

Luck wasn't nearly so gracious to her, two cells housed ponies that had done some small crimes, and then there were three officers; one in the back guarding them, and two at the front desk to file paperwork and be available for anypony with a crime to report... Five ponies that only needed a single chance to shout for help and the entire town would be onto her. Brightsmile was shaking once she had glanced out of her hallway to see where each pony was stationed, not in her usual excitement, but because she was truly afraid.

She quickly made a mental estimate of how much energy she had left for magic, perhaps one more teleportation spell at the most... Maybe enough to levitate a few objects around for a short amount of time. No way she could finish them all off without alerting anypony outside... "Voices, all you do is babble in my head at night, mind being useful?!" She hissed quietly to herself, and then the whispers made her ears perk... A plan was being explained, and a dark smile rapidly formed across her face...

One of the officer's pens fell off his desk while he was buried nose-deep in paperwork and rolled across the floor towards the far back... His desk, unlike the other officers, was stationed in the cell-block itself so that he could keep a constant eye on the prisoners if need be. The officer himself, a grey earthpony stallion with an orange mane, facial hair, and tail, sighed as he followed the pen once he realized where it rolled. "Now how'd you get all the way back here?" He muttered... As he picked it up, a white blur collided into him, forcing him over.

"Make any sudden sounds and this cop dies!' The two prisoners and the downed officer stared fearfully into the wretched mare's gaping jaws. Her lips had peeled back to growl like a beast, displaying her deadly teeth; her voice was just quiet enough so the ponies up front couldn't overhear that was happening. "Unless you want your throat ripped out, you'll open the cells and stuff both prisoners in them."

The request was strange, but the officer cautiously stood up and did as he was told... He may have possessed the power to take her on, but he didn't know how exhausted she was, and the razor sharp teeth were a great motivation to do whatever she said... The mare cackled. "Good boy!" She took a letter opener he had on his desk, one recently used to slice open a letter from his sister in Manehattan.

The other officers rushed to the cell-block once they heard the strange cackle... By this time their partner had the letter opener pressed to his throat. "Oh no! You've caught me!" Brightsmile said with deranged laughter, just a brief moment before she continued. "But I'm not the one who's going in the cell, you are... Now!" She pointed at the single cell that now housed both prisoners... They weren't sure if they should do as the mad unicorn said, so she slowly began digging the letter opener into the third officer's neck, causing a few drops of blood to leak out... "I killed a filly, don't you dare think I won't cut his throat unless you do what I say!"

With that rather grisly ultimatum, they gave into her demands and entered the cell, Brightsmile's white aura grasped the cell door and latched it closed behind them. "Now, handsome..." The blade began to twist, making him wince and take a sharp inhalation through his gritted teeth. "Can you show me where my little trophies are? You know, the pelts I was keeping..." Her smile was getting ever so wider, and the blade moved away from his neck just enough for her tongue to harvest blood from the dripping wound.

The officer began shaking uncontrollably in her merciless grip. "I-It's in the evidence room in the vault in preparation to be moved to Canterlot... Th-The combination is 17, 3, and 22." He spoke extremely fast, but despite his nervous staccato, she still managed to get the numbers... And the letter opener served a new purpose, it cut his throat wide open, yet Brightsmile didn't let him fall to the floor... She shoved her muzzle deep into the gash in his throat, and she let his blood pour down her throat before she dashed into the evidence room... Leaving him thrashing on the ground trying to cover his wound with rapidly weakening gestures.

"Yes! Did you miss me, pretties?" The merciless mare said with foreboding glee, she had her pelts, her witnesses, and her plan to draw the search parties away... Brightsmile walked back towards the cells, towards the officers crying for their dead partner; And the other ponies cowering in fear, expecting a similar fate. "Tell Celestia if she wants me, she really needs to scan her town a little more thoroughly..." Brightsmile said in a mocking singsong, before ducking out the back a few scant minutes before ponies began flowing in through the front...

With her pelts draped across her back, and a feeling of victory overflowing her heart, the catcalls of the misled fools behind her made her hooves feel light as air as she made her escape back to Fluttershy's cottage.

And yet, something far too frightening for even the psychotic Brightsmile to have accounted for chose that moment to throw a flaming wrench into her plans...

"BRIGHTSMILE!!!" reverberated Celestia's Royal Equestrian voice from behind the dentist, making Luna sound very much like a screaming Fluttershy in comparison as the ground began to shake, and as the temperature of the air began to rise dramatically throughout the town.

Brightsmile's eyes widened in abject fear as she noticed that the very ponies - whose incompetence had been aiding her brilliant escape - were rapidly closing in opposite an ever-advancing wall of deadly flame... The desperate murderer ran from the crowd, coming nearer to the only group of buildings yet to be cut off by Celestia's rage, the very essence of the Solar Princess defying Brightsmile to turn her face.

Her final escape route nearly cut off the advancing fire, Brightsmile winced from the sweat burning off her coat, she nearly stumbled from the heated agony... Catching herself on willpower alone, she made a desperate leap through the flames as they closed to admit nothing more than a pinprick of light, scorching the tip of her tail before she finally fell.

Sprawled in a heap on the unforgiving ground, Brightsmile slowly got up and grinned, for not only was she intact; but her priceless pelts had survived the ordeal as well... But that smile quickly died away as she realized that somepony inside the cordoned ring of fire was still looking for her...

"Where the buck are you?!" Fire cascaded across Celestia, engulfing the adored princess in a flowing river of flame... Her barely distinguishable features reminding everypony that even here was something to fear... Eventually the fire seemed to cool, and metamorphosed into an amber-colored set of armor, causing Celestia's appearance to resemble a far more terrifying version of the Nightmare Moon; An anger-filled transition that promised to continue until Brightsmile was no more than a small pile of ash to pay for her crimes.

When it became obvious to all that she wasn't in the ring with the Princess, Celestia flapped her wings and burned through clouds; scattering rain and flaming embers alike across the town below, before reaching a higher vantage point and scanning the land below.

Brightsmile had been reduced to nothing more than a terrified mare, sprinting away towards the river as fast as her legs would carry her; she nearly screamed in pain shooting from her frontal right leg, convinced that her fear had been numbing a fracture sustained in her earlier fall...

Hiding under the bridge as she had done before, she dipped her front hooves in the water and tried to calm down, her heart threatening to burst out of her chest from the speed of her pulse. "Oh buck, oh buck, by the flipping Moonlight, buck!" Brightsmile thought desperately, her life flashing through her mind so fast that she nearly bit her town as she whinnied softly, "I'm dead, I am so dead! I'm not going to be anything but cheap charcoal soon!"

Celestia's shadow flashed over the ground past the bridge, a trail of flames following her with an audible crack like a whip... "If she doesn't burn down the entire town first!" Brightsmile nearly screamed in pure fright, before managing to clasp her muzzle shut in time... The renewed pain from her fracture causing Brightsmile to barely avoid the same fate her silence sought to escape.

Something alighted on the bridge with an ethereal gust that quelled the fires the moment the wood creaked under the additional weight, "Sister! Stop this madness, please!" Luna's anguished voice coming nigh-directly over Brightsmile's head... She wasn't yet sure if she should sigh in relief and stay hidden, or attempt another escape; unlikely as the prospect seemed to her.

Interrupting her thoughts was Luna's continuing voice, "Burning down everything, everypony! 'Tia, everypony in sight won't catch her! Please just calm down..."

It was obvious even to Brightsmile that Luna was afraid of her sister, not as afraid as everyone was of her, of course... But if nopony spoke it seemed that Celestia just may leave nothing left of the entire countryside and the town with-in it...

Another set of hooves echoed on the bridge above her, the radiant heat seeped through the stone and even caused the weather-proofing tar to drip below, hissing where it met grass and water alike, it was reasonable to assume that Celestia was now facing opposite Luna.

"This insanity hath progressed for far too long, sister, and should destroying Ponyville be part and parcel with finding the beast, then so be it!" Came a dread intonation that echoed even in the still air, barely recognizable as Celestia, the sentence only punctuated by a single hoof-stamp that cracked the stone supports of the bridge they stood on.

There was a moment of equally heavy silence, the fright hanging with heart-stopping in the air until Luna began to reply, "Your anger is getting the better of you! You told me this isn't how a Princess should act, should carry herself! Do you not see how the citizens of Ponyville look upon you?"

Curiosity managed to repel fear, if only briefly, and Brightsmile peered from the one of the more-intact edges of the bridge to see the ponies back in the town... All of whom were fearful, and not just because of her latest murder, they were gazing at Celestia with fear stamped over all their faces. Twilight and Applejack were among them... Twilight as pale as the blue-maned unicorn beside them, with tears streaming down her cheeks and her entire body shaking too much to even look away.

Celestia hung her head in an expression of soul-breaking shame, each stare from the townponies piercing her heart as an arrow, "What have I done?" She whispered, all the flames that still danced off her form throughout the town dying away, the air becoming chilly in the sudden absence. Forcing herself to choke out the words loud enough for her subjects to hear, she continued, "Effective immediately.. I-I resign from this investigation... I cannot afford to let my anger to control me in a similar manner again. I offer you all my deepest apologies..."

With those words, Celestia flew off towards Canterlot, her tears dancing in suspension on the winds instead of her flames.

Eventually everypony began to repair everything that had been touched by the fire, Luna herself oversaw the freeing of the imprisoned officers and their wards... Even leaving to bring the grim news to the dead stallion's family herself... And Brightsmile finally took the chance to make it back to the relatively safe confines of Fluttershy's home.

Her limp was getting worse with every passing step she took; when she finally reached the cottage the sun had already begun setting on the horizon. Brightsmile banged on the door with a sluggishness borne of pain and exhaustion and weakly called out for Scootaloo, after what she experienced she was almost content to collapse on the hard ground, never to wake again.

With a welcome clatter, the locks, deadbolts, and chains were removed as the chair slid away across the floor... But instead of her worried daughter, Brightsmile was pulled inside to be brought face-to-face with a wretched blast from her recent past...

Pinkie Pie stood before the weakened unicorn, her bright-pink mane as voluminous as ever, with her tail wrapping around her hind-legs with a fascination that almost drained the gleam off the cleaver she supported in her left hoof. "Hiya!!!" She greeted Brightsmile with a truly chilling grin, before the cleaver threw itself at Brightsmile's throat of its own volition, missing by a mere inch as she scrambled backwards.

"N-no! You're supposed to be dead!" She screamed, the effort alone causing agony in her dried throat... And then she blinked, only to notice that Pinkie was inexplicably gone, "Gone?" She thought, only now seeing that Scootaloo was alone at the door, staring at her with confusion and worry.

"Wh-What's the matter, mom?" Scootaloo stuttered out, her nerves still a wreck, having barely opened the door before her mother screamed incoherently... As if a ghost had been standing in her place, "You've been gone all day, what happened?"

Brightsmile, her mind reeling from the horror she'd been experience, didn't even seem to hear Scootaloo at first, so busy was she at scanning the area - making sure that pink menace was conclusively gone. "I'll... I-I'm fine, sweetie... Just ran into some trouble," Brightsmile picked herself up from where'd she been huddling on the floor, gasping from the sudden pain that shot up her right leg. "Buck it!" She swore under her breath, seeing no way she could possibly carry on with her leg in its current condition.

Coming inside and laying on the couch, Brightsmile's eyes felt heavy and there was little energy in her body now that she was safe. "What happened while I was gone?" She asked, having already noticed that Fluttershy wasn't tied up on the floor anymore...

Scootaloo looked downwards at the floor, "She said she h-had to use the bathroom... A-And then she tried to go out the window...' Brightsmile felt her already taxed heart skip a bear or two, "WHAT?!" She tried vaulting off the couch only to collapse back onto its cushions, as Scootaloo quickly spilled her story, while trying to get her mother to settle back down.

"B-But I managed to stop her from leaving," Scootaloo was shaking now, the memory of what had happened cascading through her helpless mind. "I got inside as she took out the last the board... When she tried flying out of the window I, I-I..." Her voice was cracking as tears began forming in her eyes, blurring her vision. "I-I threw the knife," she choked back a sniffle. "It stuck into her wing... She fell and, and her head hit the edge of the bathtub... Fluttershy wasn't moving after that, mommy."

Scootaloo buried her muzzle into her mother's fur and began crying in earnest... But she began to smile a little, she didn't like seeing her daughter cry, but she did exactly what Brightsmile would have wanted her to do... "There's no need to cry, sweetie..." She uttered softly in her precious filly's ear, "You did the right thing... If she had escaped, both of us would have been caught... You wouldn't want that happen, would you?"

The unstable pegasus didn't try to speak, but instead shook her head firmly... Brightsmile began softly humming a lullaby in Scootaloo's ear as she settled the filly on the couch beside her. Eventually her eyes began to close, and she was quickly sound asleep. "My lovely little pony..." Brightsmile thought, as she softly kissed Scootaloo's head, "I could never ask for a better child..."

A new voice began to echo throughout the cottage, one that only Brightsmile could hear... "You know," hissed the voice, " That white coat of yours is really rather bland! You need some color, dearest..." Rarity was hovering over Brightsmile, with gemstones set in her eye sockets, thread dangling from her lips, a fractured horn and a horrifying makeover... Just like when she died, only one feature differentiated from Brightsmile's memory, her teeth were even more jagged then hers when she was about to kill...

"And maybe some blood... Yours, to be precise, would add a nice touch to it!"

The deceased unicorn dove at the terrified mare, and her deadly teeth sunk painfully into Brightsmile's neck, without leaving any wound... And Rarity was gone, leaving Brightsmile to shake uncontrollably and keep her eyes, forced shut in her fright of seeing Rarity at all, tightly closed... "This can't be happening, this can't be happening..." She repeated to herself, a mantra pierced by her own hyperventilation, "She's dead... She's dead... And there's no way she could be back..." Brightsmile opened her eyes...

After a few minutes, the horrified mare broke from her petrified state and decided to go upstairs... But as she opened the door to the living room the odor of rotting flesh hit her, and she cringed backwards from the smell. "Buck me... I should have collected their pelts back at Zecora's..." She muttered, lighting a candle near the door as she began skinning the corpses in silence. Her eyes kept darting to the left and right as she kept thinking she had heard something... "It's just your mind screwing you over... Idiot!' She hissed to herself, "I've still got Fluttershy after these two as well... Hopefully I can snack on her at least a little..."

Whispers started to flood the room, but Brightsmile wasn't afraid this time, the whispers came from the voices in her mind that she had long-since grown used to across the past few days... Some even encouraged her to go on, but some were impossible understand no matter they were saying... And there was one that kept insisting she'll die some horrible death, the most clear of them all, but the most underwhelmed as well.

"If Celestia doesn't kill you... We will."

Brightsmile froze, that voice... Wasn't from her mind, the mare turned and almost screamed as the spirit of Blitz hovered nearby to haunt her... Blood was constantly flowing out of his throat, and his belly was split wide, allowing his half-eaten organs to dangle free and sway in an unfelt breeze. "If you survive tonight, then we'll back tomorrow, and if you don't after that..." Blitz leaned forward until only a few inches separated him from Brightsmile, his tattered mane brushing across her face as she tried to back up past the wall. "Then we'll be back the day afterwards... And the day after that, and the day after that..." And he was gone, vanished like the others.

...Then he flared into sight in front of her, his cold muzzle pressed against hers, "UNTIL YOU FINALLY DIE!" he screeched, before fading from view again.

Brightsmile tried to scream, but she couldn't seem to draw the breath, for nothing escaped from her throat... Her heart was pounding so fast it rattled in her chest on the verge of failure, and the world became a dark void... She collapsed onto the unforgiving floor and blacked out from the sheer terror.


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Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

-Macbeth, scene V.

It was a silent night in the Everfree Forest... The coat of our killer glared out in contrast to a darkened land, wholly without mercy to her every need as she desperately searched for a place to hide once more. "Somewhere not far from the entrance... It'd be bothersome to walk for long, only to snatch a pony and come straight back~", Brightsmile grinned, the sing-song tone of her words clashing with the peace of the trees...

But her chipper attitude swiftly faded as she leaned against a tree, sharp pain still radiating from her fractured foreleg. "Speaking of, I shouldn't even be walking in the first place," she growled, the sound temporarily quieting the nightlife around as she strode carelessly onward, cursing Celestia with her every thought.

"Hey Rarity, hey Pinkie Pie!" Blitz said, poking his head from behind a nearby tree, the two deceased mares keeping pace beside Brightsmile, all of them bearing the features at the time of their death. "She looks rather tired... Think she could use a nap?" He grinned at their killer, no longer walking but shaking with fear and trying her best not to scream. "Oh, oh, oh! I've got just the thing!" Pinkie said, with a cleaver in hoof that still seemed intent on gleaming in the abject darkness.

"Well... Red is her color." Rarity claimed again, twisting the remnants of her mane with a sick expression and managing to appear as sharp as ever.

Brightsmile closed her eyes tightly with a deep sigh, "You're just illusions, just illusions! My mind is messing with me..." She chanted to herself, opening her eyes once more to see if her tormentors were gone... But once she did, she received a shallow cut on her cheek, the ghostly images around were very much real.

She ran, her mind accepting no other action even as her right leg, the fractured bone grinding and tearing her flesh with every step refused to be strained further, sent breaking waves of pain across her entire body... Only the importance of her own life fueled her onward stride, not daring to look backwards, not even to sate her soul-grasping panic.

Her deceased victims let her get a head start, reasoning among themselves that it only added more fun to their hunt, to their torment of her that they never wished to end.

But they weren't the only ones hunting that night, the wind began to pick up, and in the distance the howl of Timberwolves and other creatures of the Everfree echoed through the air... Even the trees twisted themselves unnaturally to reach for Brightsmile, the horror she inflicted awakening a desire to rid their land of her existence... But she was just of out their reach, running as if the very souls of the dead were behind her, "Go back to Tartarus where you belong!" She screamed, the tread of hooffalls sounding from only a few feet behind her outstretched tail.

"You will never have a place to hide!" Blitz called out, his voice in eerie unison with another, this dreaded voice in her mind that spoke of her downfall... The maddened mare pushed futilely at her exhaustion to run still faster, but achieved nothing more than a stumble as, without any warning, a diminutive figure stepped in her path...

With a silver flash and the patter of blood against the dirt, Brightsmile let out a startled, pain filled scream as she plowed into the ground and toppled on her side. "Oops!" Sweetie Belle said, the precocious tone completely lost on the petrified mare at her side, her neck still bore a wide gash, and she was missing a massive amount of flesh from her side... Flesh that Crimson has bit before the foal bled to death on the floor. "Did I do that?" She asked innocently, with a smile that hammered innocence and sunshine into Brightsmile's tattered mind.

"Y-You shouldn't be able to do this!" She choked out through gritted teeth, as Sweetie raised her knife in both hooves, the same one that had ended the filly's life, when all this began... But her pain, her exhaustion, and the voices of her victims spoke otherwise; Rarity approached with the other pursuers beside her, "Oh but we can, darling." She said with a crooked smile, Zecora, Brightsmile noticed vaguely, stood behind her with an expression more serious than the others.

"And now you must pay for the actions that scarred the most." They intoned, the synchronization speaking far more to Brightsmile's terror than even their presence had.

Even though she was injured still, Brightsmile managed to lift herself back to her hooves... But the spirits formed a ring around her; only a single gap presented a hope, one that was quickly banished as the murdered officer stood in its place. "It is time to end this," he announced grimly, and they all began to close in on her.

Brightsmile felt the overpowering need to think quickly, time was running out and she attempted a teleport in frantic uncertainty... Only to feel her disconnected body be rebounded by an unknown source and leave her trapped in the enclosing ring.

Time for plan B, Brightsmile thought, glancing at Sweetie Belle as assumptions pieced themselves together in her mind... The filly was rather short, jumping over her shouldn't be much of a problem, but Rarity had seen the issue before even she did, taking place beside her sister and placing the handle of Sweetie Belle's knife in her own mouth. "Nice try," she muttered through her clenched teeth.

Any moment they'd pounce her, bearing her down to the solid ground of the forest, beating her to death or slitting her throat as she had done to too many of them... Brightsmile closed her eyes tightly and waited, resigned, for the worst to happen.

Goodbye Scootaloo, she thought as the cool touch of a blade rested along the side of her neck...

...A blinding light washed over the clearing and the took the attention of every one of the spirits gathered there, after what seemed to stretch on for an eternity but had elapsed in a few short seconds, the light rapidly dimmed out until it was gone... But none of those gathered were in a simple clearing any longer, instead each pony stood at the edge of a deep fissure, behind the forest, and beyond the gaping earth stood the ruins of Equestria's old capital.

Everypony, including Brightsmile herself, had confusion written all across their faces... But it wasn't long before the dark-hearted mare grinned and swatted the knife away from her throat.

Pushing through the corporeal dead while they were still too stunned to give notice, she started to cross an old bridge that connected the sides of the chasm together, certain that the fortress before her would guarantee safety.

A quarter of the way was all the grace period she received, Rarity and the others snapped out of their stupor and began to give chase... For all their supposed injures, only Brightsmile's broken leg turned to the disadvantage of physical effort... Even as she was halfway across the bridge they were nearly upon, she hissed to herself; "Dammit Brightsmile! Hurry up!" Nearly tripping over a small gap in the planks that would have been there years ago, the bridge swayed side-to-side with the increasing struggles of the ponies upon it, it's ropes groaning in contest and threatening to snap.

Nearly to the other side, Brightsmile was running with all of her might, the sweat pouring down her body an ever constant risk to her tripping again as her leg didn't so much protest, but delivered her agony that wished for nothing but death... The great doors of the castle were opened wide, as if to invite her in, and something was calling her name... Though the voice was familiar, she doubted her ability to place the pony it belonged to, even should she have the concentration to afford it...

And it didn't matter; Brightsmile could feel the presence of strong magic flowing from inside the building, promising protection to all who entered there... If only she could get inside.

"Hold it!!!"

Pinkie Pie came out of nowhere, as she always had in life, and collided with the fleeing Brightsmile, sending them both tumbling inside the structure... Pinkie may have Brightsmile pinned to floor, but she's inside the castle now! Brightsmile almost laughed in an assurance, she expected the spirits of her victims to just go away... But after a pause she realized they were all around her, and Pinkie pulled the same cleaver out from her cotton candy mane... Had she just imagined the magical presence, the promise of protection? She seethed to imagine that after her effort, her life would end now.

Here Pinkie Pie paused, looking down thoughtfully at the mare beneath her, "We don't work for Tartarus, silly!" She said with a grin that quickly turned menacing, swinging the cleaver downwards like a gavel-wielding judge to condemn Brightsmile to death... And there was no more sound, Brightsmile's world seemed to fade out as she accepted her fate and closed her eyes against the sharp edge about to be buried between them... And with a gust of wind across whatever the blade had left of her face, she knew it was done.

Yet all she felt was the absence of blood, vengeance, even pain itself, Brightsmile opened her eyes to see the blade, though in her skull, had made no contact with it... Though otherwise lethal, neither it nor Rarity's bite left any physical damage at all! And it was now that each and every one of the dead ponies began to slowly fade away.

"No... No!" Pinkie Pie yelled, pulling her weapon back and striking at Brightsmile again, who began laughing in her mad triumph, making absolutely no progress in her murderous gestures... "Y-You... You have to die!" She cried, "You have to die before you take any more of my friends! I don't want any more of my friends dead..." Tears ran down her translucent cheeks, "Please, Bright... Stop this..."

They were gone.

Brightsmile sat up with a start, and found herself back in Fluttershy's cottage with a pulsing mass of a headache, "It... It was all a dream?" She thought aloud, her only response the smell of rotting flesh and the stinging from her leg... There was a gash in it, in the exact same place that Sweetie Belle had cut her in the dream, and even though she had slept all night, Brightsmile felt like she had ran to Canterlot and back...

...And if it wasn't a dream, then could that castle really exist? There was only way to find out, she supposed.

"Back to the Everfree it is!" Brightsmile cheered, a new fire burning in her eyes.

Scootaloo was high above the clouds, the wind flowing through her mane as she zipped past any birds that happened to be flying this high, and she didn't have a care in the world... In fact, riding on Rainbow Dash's back was the greatest thing in it! She held on tight as her larger-than-life idol dove down into Ponyville with the air screaming through her feathers, pulling up a mere foot above the ground and startling everypony as she swerved out of their path at the last possible second.

After many moments of flying like this, minutes or hours lost in an adrenaline induced blur, they decided to rest at Fluttershy's cottage, alighting next to the coop that had built for the chickens she cared for. "That was great!" Scootaloo said happily as she sat up on Dash's back, taking extra care not to put pressure on her wings, but she didn't respond immediately, her attention fixated on the coop, "Hey..." She said shortly, "I dare you to try and call one of 'Shy's chickens to us."

It was one of the strangest dares she'd heard, true... But there was no way Scootaloo was going back down from anything Rainbow Dash asked of her! So sliding off her back, Scootaloo began clucking wildly to see if any of the chickens would leave their nests, "Here chicken, chicken, chicken!" She called when her previous attempt failed, stomping her hoof and pouting a little as she swung the gate open, "Come on! Get out of there!"

"That's not how you call a chicken..." An eerily familiar voice informed her, "This is how you call a chicken."

Applebloom practically sauntered out of the wooden building, placing one hoof slowly in front of the other... Her tongue was missing and she had several gaping holes bored into her skull. "Scòòtàlòò~!" She called out to her mortified friend, placing an unnaturally high emphasis on each vowel, speaking as articulately as Rarity despite her bodily damage.

Scootaloo was shaking now, barely managing to back up from the awful specter of her dead friend, her eyes wide and her pupils’ mere pinpricks... Now her memories were flooding back, Applebloom and Rainbow Dash were dead, and she'd been the one to kill them.

"Rainbow... Wouldn't she be?" Scootaloo realized, turning around to a sight that ripped a scream from her throat and chilled her from ear to hoof, Rainbow Dash was in the same state as Applebloom herself, but with an extra wound caving in her chest. "Why, Scoots?" She asked coldly, her hoof whisking through the air to collide with Scootaloo's head, knocking her to the ground. "WHY WOULD YOU AGREE TO BE BRIGHTSMILE'S DAUGHTER?!" She screamed, shaking the remains of her head and clenching her eyes closed.

Scootaloo curled up into a tight ball, shaking uncontrollably as she closed her eyes, trying to hide from their presence much like certain creatures buried their heads in the sand. "Y-you're not real! You can't be real! I'm just having another nightmare, that's all!" She claimed hysterically, "Wake up, wake up, wake up-wake-up!" She babbled to herself as she was suddenly pulled into a tight embrace, Rainbow Dash was hugging her, tears streaming down her cheeks, "I'm so sorry," she sobbed, and Scootaloo gasped... Could she be, just maybe, coming out of this horrible world she seemed forced to wander?

Shaking her head slowly, Scootaloo poured out tears of her own, dripping from her face to the ground below, "No..." She sniffled, "I'm sorry... It's my fault that you and Appleboom died!" She confessed, feeling another presence press against her as Applebloom joined in the group hug, crying herself as they all held on tightly... Bringing a warmth that burned away all of her fears, her growing guilt and shame.

It was such a happy reunion, and to her shock it was nothing but short-lived, as two knives pierced her sides, digging beneath her ribcage, tearing her flesh and causing blood to spill out over them all...

"Then come join us," The specters said in a horrifying unified monotone, "We'll forgive you..." They promised, the blades driving deeper towards her lungs, and Scootaloo began coughing up blood as she tried to speak, her eyes wider than ever before as she choked... And any remaining hope was shattered as Rainbow Dash spit venomously in her face, her words burning with rage in shocking contrast to her earlier tears, "Goodbye, you traitorous little-!"

...The world washed out in a blinding white, and the spirits of the ponies that Scootaloo had once held dear to her heart vanished, but her wounds remained... It was the most agonizing torment she had ever felt, incomparably worse even than her brush with death at Applebloom's own hooves. Once again she curled into a small, pitiful, weeping ball of guilt and pain, her shame erasing any trace of self-esteem she once had... She should have died that night, beaten to death by her fellow Crusader, she shouldn't have adopted Brightsmile as her mother, just maybe...

"Scootaloo?" A familiar voiced asked, piercing her thoughts as she felt a warm pelt pressing against hers, and a purple wing resting itself over her shaking body.

Princess Luna!

"Princess... Luna, why does this hurt...?" Scootaloo wheezed, a pool of blood rapidly spilling across the invisible floor, "Why isn't this just like any other dream?" On hearing this, Luna's eyes widened, what she had thought was merely a nightmare was, in fact, frighteningly more real than she had expected... Her horn began radiate with her aura, encompassing the wounds of the broken filly at her hooves; gradually healing the ravaged flesh to nothing more than two fresh scars with the help of her powerful magic.

"There have always been rare, extremely rare, cases... When what happens to inside a dream is real," Luna explained hesitantly as the healing process was nearing its end, "But only the spirits of ponies that dare wander in another's dream may inflict such... Suffering." Luna didn't want to believe it, but she knew that this meant nothing less than that both Rainbow Dash and Applebloom were dead, and were haunting the dreams of their surviving sister... Friend. Confidant. Ally. Bosom-Buddy. Gal-Pal. Comforter. Chum-of-Chums. Home-Girl. Amigo...

"...I killed them."

Those words struck the Princess, carrying with them the same shock as her banishment had, all those years ago, and she flinched from them as she would any physical blow... "I had to fight Applebloom," Scootaloo spoke into the heavy silence, every word tearing itself from her throat with the subtlety of twisted metal, "If-if we hadn't fought, th-then Applejack would have been run to ground by Brightsmile... And Rainbow Dash was already caught... Just waiting to be killed too, I killed her Luna! I killed my best friend!" She buried her muzzle into the softness of Luna's fur, trying desperately to hide her face in her weaving mane, as she continued to choke out word after chilling word.

"A-an-d... And then Rainbow Dash broke, she went crazy and tackled me... And the same kn-kn-The same knife I used on Applebloom went right in her chest... And she died on top of me..."

Princess Luna was stunned speechless for what felt like countless moments, all of her own horrors rising up as her mind processed the equally horrific experience that this young foal had endured. "It'll be okay, little one..." She said, in an attempt to soothe the heart-wrackingly sobbing pegasus, "I'll stop Brightsmile, this I do promise you... And when I return I will aid you in coping with all that she has made you do, but I must know where she is hiding now."

Scootaloo looked up, her eyes burning with the faintest spark of hope, a fragile reality that she could hardly bring herself to believe, this could be only chance to make things right! Maybe... Maybe if she told Luna everything, Rainbow Dash and Applebloom would forgive her as well.

These was a downside to this idea, as there was to everything though, after it was all said and done; Nothing, and certainly not this, could ever bring any of them back... And she would be all alone once more and thrown back into an orphanage, a lonely parentless filly, a 'worthless parasite' that nopony ever cared about.

"I-if I tell you... Would you help me find a family...? Somepony to love? I never want to be in that orphanage again... And everypony I cared about is... is..." She choked to a halt, her eyes sparkling with barely-suppressed hope and tears as she reached out a shaking hoof out towards Luna, staring into the Princess' eyes as well as her own blurry vision would allow.

Luna stared back in no small measure of shock and uncertainty, she hadn't thought she would have to make such clear deals with the filly, and she... She barely knew her subjects yet again, but as she took a fortifying breath, she made the only decision she could, "I'll raise you myself if it means that you'll tell, Scootaloo."

Scootaloo leaped up from her prone position, her overflowing joy washing the dreamscape in shifting vibrant colors, washing away her lingering guilt as she threw her legs around Luna and hugged her tightly, "Thank you!" She gushed, even repeated happily, "We're at..." She started to say, the guilt crashing back around her as quickly as it was forgotten, causing her to cling to Luna all the more... "We're at Fluttershy's house."

And though neither of them had noticed, there was a third pony in this void, a shadow of one to be precise, "Not for long..." It growled, vibrating the nothingness like glass windows on a train.

Luna, growing quite tired of being startled, turned quickly to look in the direction of the voice... But there was nothing there. "Down here," the voice growled, and she looked at Scootaloo, but it wasn't her... A shadow now stood in her approximate shape, shifting in a manner similar to her mane, as if on of the whims of an invisible wind. "I sent it away to brood on its crimes, the oh so delicious failure, so that we may speak in private." She, or at least seemed feminine, said... Moving away from Luna, she took on another shape, that of an Earthpony mare.

"Who are you?" Luna asked, standing up and turning again towards the invader, "And how do you know that Brightsmile is leaving?" She asked, the shadow grinning in response, exposing row after row of unnaturally sharpened teeth. The void became a room, and the room soon filled with images of Brightsmile, sowing strips of pony pelts together. "This was only a short time ago..." The shadow paused, her smile turning malicious, "And Lu-Na," she said, as if making a mockery of the name the Princess had reclaimed, "You may call me Crimson..." She continued, her dark visage growing frightful to behold. "She won't be there much longer after she's finished, but luckily for your precious little ponies, I know her new destination~".

"Where is she going?" Luna snapped, the bloody portrayal before just heightening her anxiety, the humming dentist vanishing from view as the world became white once more... She knew that this shadow was too well-informed, to not be involved... "As well," she hedged, "Before I banished Scootaloo's nightmare, I observed the spirits within acting differently than they had when still yet alive, have you been behind that as well?"

Crimson became a shapeless entity, her flowing shadow thrusting the entire dream they were in into darkness, "I may have had some influence in their behavior... Though not as much on Rainbow Dash, you may thank Brightsmile for that... Pity you had to go and get in my way," she sighed, echoing through the abyss, "Oh well. Before I reveal her destination, you must abide by a few rules..."

Luna frowned suspiciously, her own experience with the standards of evil beings leaving her to assume she wouldn't like these rules at all... "And what would they be?" She asked, cautiously accepting the only solution she could see, Crimson may be planning something dark and foul, but if this was the only recourse in finding the killer herself, so be it.

"Rule one~" Crimson chimed, mocking a songbird with her tone, taking the form of Celestia... The ordinarily white coat extremely dull, on the point of grey to blend into the unspeakable darkness they stood in, their observance of the other not impaired in the slightest.

"Your sister must not have any part in any of this, just imagine what she would do if she had Brightsmile right where she wanted her... At the mercy, or lack of, of her hooves."

The sound of fire roaring rose from the very depths beneath their feet, and the illusionary screams of Brightsmile herself chased hard on its hooves, but neither fire nor mare could be seen. "I would much rather see the ungrateful whelp die in front of everypony in the whole of Equestria!" She finished with a smirk, but Luna was calm and collected... Showing no sign of anger, or indeed any emotion that Crimson so desperately wanted to see.

"Rule two," the demon growled, "Only two ponies may accompany you... It would hardly be fair if there were so many fresh bodies going against one mare~" She said, shifting into the form of a Royal Guard, the monochromatic color making it impossible to tell which sister the guard would have answered to, mocking a salute towards Luna... Who was shaking in rage that this villain dare act so high and mighty before a Princess, she was royalty that should be groveled before! And she despaired that anything should keep her from banishing this bodiless being, vital information to stay these horrible murders caused her to still her rage, however barely.

"Is that all?" Luna asked, keeping most of her composure even as irritation escaped with her voice, and Crimson took again the form of an ordinary mare and stepped within inches of the taller Luna. "Nopony else may ever know of our talk... Not even the two you'll be taking with you. Do we have a deal, your highness?" Crimson offered, silence passing as Luna thought it over, nothing about this felt right, but little often did, and she couldn't let this chance get away! "We have a deal." She said quietly.

"Gather the two ponies, then!" Crimson exclaimed, leaning in to whisper more softly in Luna's ear, "And once you, mmm, possess them," she said in a tone that could almost be called seductive. "Then shoo them along to Fluttershy's, that poor thing, and return to the library... I wish to meet you there, alone once more~" Crimson finished, vanishing without a trace, for Luna to open eyes in the waking world... She was, remarkably, laying in Twilight's bed, with the librarian passed out downstairs, a mess of books lying open around her.

"TWILIGHT!" She shouted, coming on the verge of using her full Royal Canterlot voice; A loud surprised squeal alerted Luna that Twilight was indeed awake now. "I KNOW WHERE SHE'S BEEN HIDING!"

6:34 A.M. Fluttershy's Cottage, Ponyville Outskirts, Equestria.

Scootaloo bolted upright on the couch, a cold sweat breaking out as her eyes, widened in alarm, darted around the room... After a moment of equal parts calming down and waking up, she realized that she was back on the couch, instead of the featureless void where Luna had been... "Shcoodaloo?" Came a garbled noise from the stairs that might have once resembled her name, causing her to glance around again and sight Brightsmile on the lower steps, a toothbrush in her mouth that she was just removing.

"Are you alright?" Brightsmile asked, a worry glowing in her eyes that unsettled the newly-apologetic Scootaloo, and seemed entirely at odds with the patchwork of bandages that covered her 'mother', from the splint on her right foreleg to the side of her face.

"Y-Yeah... I just had a really bad dream," she replied, the half-truth coming more easily than she could have hoped. "Why do you have those bandages...? And the splint?" She asked, remembering that Brightsmile had been consistently limping since the night she'd offered to take the Pegasus under her proverbial wing... And feeling brave - or perhaps reckless - enough, to feign concern, almost feeling as if Rainbow Dash would have approved.

"W-well my leg got fractured," Brightsmile said with a pained wince, not really wanting to discuss the circumstances, "It was just a small accident a few nights ago," she trailed off into silence as her mind sought a distraction - whether for herself or from Scootaloo's questions, she wasn't sure...

"Here," she said suddenly, levitating a toothbrush, still in its package, over to Scootaloo. "Fortunately, Fluttershy bought a few of these recently, I bet they were for her filthy animals," Brightsmile said, changing the subject with a snicker of maddened laughter. "Speaking of which, turns out she wasn't quite dead..." A dark smile spread rapidly across her face with that revelation, a bound and unconscious Fluttershy dragged roughly down the stairs, the white aura carrying her at odds with a large gash in her head that seeped fresh blood from this newest round of abuse.

Scootaloo's eyes had resumed their previously wide expression, utterly speechless as she watched the steady rise and fall of Fluttershy's chest, proof that she truly was still alive. "But for how long..." She thought despairingly, sadness not so much flashing in her eyes as stabbing into them, "I'm so sorry, Fluttershy..." She lamented in her mind, her thoughts cut short as Brightsmile began climbing back up the stairs, calling over her shoulder, "Brush up and pack anything you want... We're leaving soon," she finished, vanishing out of sight.

"Leaving?!" Scootaloo thought desperately, Luna was supposed to be here at any moment! "C-Can't we stay a while longer?" She asked, dashing upstairs to her temporary mother. "No, remember that yesterday more guards should have been here... And today I'm absolutely certain that more will come, luckily your mother knows exactly where to go~" She sung affectionally, as if she'd nuzzle Scootaloo if she weren't so busy preparing something that was wrapped in several fresh bed sheets. "It's a surprise," she added abruptly, before Scootaloo could even think to ask.

Scootaloo slowly walked into the upstairs bathroom, deep in thought as she let her own hooves choose how to guide her inside. "What if they got away before anypony else came?" She mused with a scowl, supposing - or at least hoping that she could meet up with Luna when next she slept... Scootaloo took out the stolen toothbrush and lathered the bristles with toothpaste after wetting them under the faucet, tasting nothing but guilt as she scrubbed her mouth clean. "But... What if I'm attacked by Rainbow and Applebloom again," she thought with a groan, "And if Fluttershy dies today, will she try and kill me too?"

Glancing towards the bathtub, her current activity briefly forgotten, she noticed a dried puddle of blood where Fluttershy had hit head... The guilt not just content to sit in her mouth but boiling at her insides, eating away at her heart and leaving with a pounding headache that threatened her with physical collapse... It was becoming harder and harder for her to believe that she ever would, ever could have done such a thing... Even to the point of enjoying it. "It'll be fine, Scoots." She insisted to herself, returning her focus to brushing, "You're making up for it now," if only she could dare to listen to herself ever again.

After some time, or perhaps only a little while... Brightsmile was finding it difficult to discern how long had actually passed without the sun - or more preferably a clock, to guide her... But she finally had a makeshift sled harnessed to her, whatever she'd gathered in the sheet secured to it, directly beside an equally well-secured Fluttershy, her muzzle and her wings both viciously tied shut. The former just to prevent even the smallest of moans, the latter not to keep her from escaping, as she was also fastened to the sled, but more to aggravate the wound she'd suffered there.

"All ready, sweetie?" Brightsmile asked Scootaloo with a confident smile, one that only grew more certain as she gave her a small nod, she didn't really want to leave... But it would only raise Brightsmile's suspicion is she tried and insist that they stay.

The moon slowly dipped beneath the horizon, to be quickly replaced by the sun peeking over the mountains across from the vanished night as Scootaloo and the chillingly clever killer that she hated herself for ever associating with began their trek... Only a few steps passing until Brightsmile paused to look at the fenced off Chicken coop, one of them standing outside staring at them in the morning light. "Hmm... I wonder," she said, a corner of her mouth upturned in a sharp-toothed grin as she levitated the animal towards her, making sure Fluttershy was watching as she suddenly snapped it's neck. "What does chicken taste like?"

Tossing the Chicken onto the sled next to a sobbing Fluttershy, the only noise she could make her breath hitching in her throat, Brightsmile resumed walking without even a backwards glance... leaving Scootaloo to give her an apologetic glance, one Fluttershy couldn't see through all her tears... "Where are we going now?" She asked Brightsmile, who grinned even wider than before. "I... Remembered," she said after a brief hesitation, her earlier pretense of surprise forgotten, "...There used to be a castle deep in the Everfree Forest, large enough to hide us, and nopony will think to look for us there..."

"Even if they do think to look there..." Brightsmile thought deviantly, "I will have quite the surprise for them..."

6:45 A.M. Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville, Equestria.

"She made Scootaloo do what?!" Twilight shrieked, her tail nearly standing on end as she performed a close approximation of the Royal Canterlot Voice, not fazing Luna in the slightly as she glanced down and continued to explain.

"She was... Unable of informing us - me," she went on, barely catching herself as her own distress caused her own speech to slip even further, "...Unable to inform me of what occurred immediately after the two of them died... What knowledge I do possess indicates that Brightsmile and Scootaloo are temporarily residing in Fluttershy's cottage... I want you to make all haste there now, I believe the pair may have already left - Events have undoubtedly left her with a tendency to move, much as she fled from Ponyville just days ago. You will be accompanied by some of our sister's guards, an elite unit trained by your brother himself we were told. And Spike?" The Princess looked towards the baby dragon, his hands clenched in a desperate and questionably effective attempt to the sides of his head in the hopes of missing the dire story she had been telling.

"A-Are you done yet?" He called out, managing to look pale despite his scales - a state that revealed his question was entirely unnecessary, doubly so as they were all sitting downstairs facing each other... Both mares simply nodded in response and he ventured to remove his hands, for whatever good they had done... And then Luna pressed on, making haste in her instructions. "I require you to go with Twilight Sparkle and document everything that ye," she started, clearing her throat, "That you both discover... But if you should find... Anything that may be too much for you to handle, please leave the... The particulars of such an occurrence to Twilight, then." She finished as diplomatically as she could, genuinely wishing to spare the dragon any further horrors... And feeling no pleasure as Spike gave her a weak nod in response, and completely sympathizing at his grimace towards whatever they may find inside.

"I'll send Applejack over... I think you should be the one to tell her about Applebloom," Luna said softly, both ponies' expressions saddening, and Spike's quickly following when he realized exactly what the Princess had meant... Following both Twilight and Luna dutifully out of the library, they watched outside as the Night Guard began to leave Ponyville - only a few temporarily delayed as they gave brief reports directly to Luna, and the Royal Guard reported in to start their patrols.

"General Eaglewing!" Luna bellowed through the still air as she caught sight of a large Pegasus in golden armor flying overhead, causing him to stop midflight and drop like a stone to land beside her. "Yes, your Highness?" He asked, after giving her a salute.

"Take yourself and two of your best officers and escort Twilight Sparkle and Spike to Fluttershy's cottage, we have reason to believe that Brightsmile may still be located inside... Or that her trail may still be fresh if she has fled."

The General's eyes widened slightly, but he nevertheless gave a quick bow of his head. "As you wish, your Highness," he said, quickly motioning over two of the guards that were checking residences at random... Luna barely acknowledged his acquiescence as she strode off at a brisk pace, the longer she took, the longer still she would have to wait to speak with Crimson back at the library... Her select retinue of the Night Guard falling respectfully behind her as she set hoof on the path to Sweet Apple Acres.

"Nothing out of the ordinary.”

"We're sorry, but we couldn't find her..."

"We'll be sure to look harder tonight!"

Luna couldn't help but sigh to herself as the Bat-pony to her right read off a scroll containing the individual reports that her Night Guard had left with him... They were all variations on the same, and not able to stand another word she dismissed them both with a wave of a hoof, sending them home to rest and try once more when the moon once again rested in the sky. "At least there's time for that..." She thought with another sigh, she herself struggling to sleep after she raised the moon, and wake before setting it... It wasn't the only thing that felt unnatural to her, and with her sister back at Canterlot she was cutting even her own restless nights short in a bid to stay up as long as possible.

She could see the entrance to the Acres now, berating herself as she realized that a few minutes more lost in thought, and she'd have been over the next rise and out of sight completely... Somepony was leaving, Applejack pulling a cart laden with apples towards town, her head was low and her bloodshot eyes and frazzled eyes told the Princess that she'd been doing more crying than sleeping lately... Less sleep than she herself, Applejack did not even notice Luna standing in front of her until she very nearly collided into her.

"Oh... Howdy there Princess," Applejack drawled, not even tipping her hat as was her custom, and only lifting her gaze slowly to lock eyes with Luna. "What brings you here?" She asked, causing Luna to purse her lips for a second, thanking her stars that Twilight had agreed to deliver the horrid news in her stead... Luna most certainly did not wish to be around when the deed was done... "Greetings, Applejack. I require you to make all haste to Fluttershy's cottage and meet Twilight there."

Applejack's exhaustion burned away like a match in an open flame at the thought of yet another friend's demise. "H-Has something happened to 'Shy?" She hesitantly asked, feeling her heart seem to shatter past the hope she thought she'd already lost, but Luna could only heave her lungs in a heavy sigh and give a very un-Princess-like shrug. "Twilight has something to tell you when you arrive... After both of you are finished there I need both of you to return to the library so we can discuss this investigation further."

With nothing more left to be said, Luna and Applejack parted ways, the cart left abandoned in front of their homestead as Applejack herself set a quick pace in her need to see if Fluttershy was safe and sound... Leaving the Princess to drag her hooves back towards the library, dreading the being she was sure awaited her. "Nopony deserves this..." She said quietly to herself as she approached the tree-turned-home. "Brightsmile is tearing... Is tearing my little ponies apart," She thought ferociously, the terminology feeling completely natural to her in that moment. "Dealing more damage to them than any blade could hope to achieve... T-To myself as well, if it wasn't for them I-"

Once she stepped hoof inside the Library, her musings were cut short by a deep and familiar growl, "Twilight and Applejack... I should have seen that coming." Sitting in a chair was Crimson, clothed in the dark outfit that she had made before claiming her first victim. "You like it?" She asked, positioning herself with a deep-throated purr as if she was a show mare attempting seduction, "I figured Rarity wouldn't mind if I borrowed some fabric..." She said, her grin distorting her face and exposing a mouthful of gleaming ever-sharp teeth.

Luna stood in a mixture of shock and anger, especially at being foalishly surprised once again, but only for the barest moment as she quickly gained her composure and shut the door with finality behind her. "An outfit that reflects your blackened bloodthirsty heart... It cannot be said that such a choice serves no purpose for a monstrosity such as you, Six-Two-Six." Luna said, taking a seat opposite the demonic being. "Now... Where may I find Brightsmile?" She asked, doing her best not to flatten her eyes as Crimson cackled harshly at Luna's response, seeming to take no offense whatsoever...

Suddenly, her laughter transformed into a blood-curdling scream of rage - sounding more like a bat out of Tartarus, too harsh for anything but experimental magic, than her mockingly cultured attitude had suggested... Seeming to ripple instantly from her reclined position as she snapped her teeth closed an inch away from Luna's neck, causing the Princess to tilt her chair deliberately backward and come free of it, her wings flaring to catch herself as she settled to the ground. "Go back to the place you once called a capital, where you lived a thousand winters ago.." Crimson called out, her body gone but her voice a slowly fading echo throughout the room. "She will be inside there."

"But I must warn you, I highly doubt that all of you will make it out alive~" Crimson delivered with a final maddening cackle, the last thing Luna heard before her mocking falsetto voice faded completely.

"HURGH!" Came a horrible, gut-wrenching sound as Spike stood outside, violently expelling the gems he had snacked on while riding on Twilight's back here, she was upstairs levitating the rotting corpse of Applebloom down to a panicking guard on the ground... Trying valiantly not to lose the contents of her own breakfast as her control flickered, and sent the body dropping with a nauseatingly moist sound on the guard just as he opened the door and stepped inside...

...Shuddering as it slid off and fell to the ground, he jumped backwards, inadvertently clearing the way for the General, who drew a sword from its sheath using mouth and rushed inside - the upstairs having been unorthodoxically cleared first and sealed off by Twilight herself, "Brightsmile! You are-!" He shouted through gritted teeth, dropping his sword in the empty room with a gag. "... For the love of Celestia... Somepony please tell me I'm imagining this..."

Everypony else entered the room, Twilight dismissing her magic barrier to walk tentatively down the stairs as they gathered to see what had disturbed Eaglewing so, not one of them running out to join Spike as they stared in abject horror - Rainbow Dash's corpse, missing it's pelt but for a few tufts of fur, was quite literally everywhere... Organs covered the couch, cabinets, and floor... Intestines were pierced through with nails to drip fluids onto the floor from the ceiling, and her limbs were shredded and thrown like confetti seemingly across the floor, most of her bones and both her wings missing and her head impaled like a trophy on a bedpost.

"BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!" Was carved onto the wall, red staining the interior of each letter, a femur resting in a kitchen sink filled to the brim with blood making it quite clear where it came from - the only sound the buzzing of flies around it for a moment.

Twilight started backing towards the door, her hooves tracking blood as she didn't watch quite where she stepped before turning around and running as if Brightsmile herself was hot on her hooves... Guiding herself subconsciously towards the exit, her mind in utter panic, denial, a dictionary of synonyms trying to protect her conscious mind from the horror as all she could think about was home...

...Going there, being there - not to be brave in her closet but to hide with a teddy bear all the same, not one for prayer but perhaps to pray to somepony - anypony that might hear her... That... That this twisted dentist would never find her inside, but just before she could leave, her last best friend got in her way. "Whoa!!!"

She was going too fast, the familiar voice hammering a name associated with it past her flight response, as she herself hammered into Applejack and sent them both tumbling head over hooves outside. "Oof!" Applejack grunted as she hit the ground, looking up at the unicorn clinging atop her, shaking uncontrollably - even crying. "Twi... What's happened?" She asked her friend as she slowly untangled herself and stood up, Twilight shaking her head as she wiped her tears away. "Let's head back to the library... Y-You do not want to stay here..." She choked out, shivering from fear and wiping away another round of tears.

Their walk back was silent, not even Spike ventured anything to break the disturbing tension that left them all feeling like the world was about to shatter... All the madness in existence seemed turned against them for a change, and no blue boxes suddenly appeared to 'make things' alright... Applejack's mind was buzzing with far too many questions, "What was inside that made Twi lose it? What did Luna want her to tell me? Does she know what happened to my sister?" All ran through her thoughts, and she shivered the worst at that last one... She had no idea what she'd do if her little sister was gone, and once in the library they found Luna sitting with three cups of tea waiting for them. "Have you told Applejack yet?" She asked, glancing nervously at the pony in question.

Twilight rubbed the back of her leg while steadfastly looking down... "I couldn't. I couldn't tell her there... Wh-What Brightsmile did was just... Was just. Not even the guards could handle what was - what was... What was up there!" She exclaimed, swaying slightly as the sick feeling came back full force, along with the same fear, sorrow, and hatred that had been growing since this whole nightmare had begun...

"Just what is this thing that you're supposed to tell me, Twi?" Applejack asked with an audible and growing concern.

"I-It's about Applebloom... Luna found Scootaloo in a dream, and... She told her that Applebloom is... Is gone... I-I'm sorry..."

Whatever remained of Applejack's hope, that small flickering flame that maybe her sister was alive that had kept her going died, flashed out of existence as surely as if it'd been frozen in carbonite... Her legs gave out and she collapsed against the floor as tears instantly obscured her vision... Her attempts to avoid breaking down completely failing as rapidly as her limbs, as she openly sobbed into the fur of her two friends as they rapidly grasped her in a warm embrace, comforting the crying mess she'd become.

"We'll find her..." Luna murmured past Applejack's mane, "I want you and Twilight to follow me... I think I know where she is now, she won't escape!" She said, fire lightning in her eyes as surely as it burned in her tone... Before the Sun set in the West, she would see Brightsmile hang!

Luna stood up suddenly and gestured for the others to do the same. "I know this may be hard to accept, but crying will solve nary a task, if you don't want your sibling's death to be in vain then you must come with me."

Applejack and Twilight looked up at the Princess, her imposing figure stirring their own determination as they wiped away their tears and nodded together. "I'll have my revenge soon..." Applejack promised herself as Luna looked towards Spike, who was bravely pretending that he wasn't crying at the moment either.

"Spike, I require you to remain here for your own safety... If we do not returned by the break of dawn tomorrow, inform my sister of the events that have transpired..." She told him seriously, as she ushered Applejack and Twilight, the requisite two other ponies out the door and started running towards the Everfree, her determination causing her mane to temporarily abandon its ethereal ripple and instead sway in the natural wind.

8:10 A.M. Abandoned Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, Everfree Forest.

"...Finally! We're here!" Brightsmile said, making huffing noises between each noise as she fought to catch her breath and looked up at the crumbling castle in triumph... It had taken quite the walk, especially burdened as she was, to reach this place... But it was worth it! "What do you think of new home, sweetie?" She asked Scootaloo, turning her around to spot her daughter not far behind, Scootaloo looking back at her with a nervous grin. "Nopony can hope to find us here..." She replied simply.

"Exactly! Let's go settle in... I've got another surprise for you when we do," she said, levitating the sled up the stairs as they entered the old structure... Fluttershy had finally stopped crying half-way through the trip here, now she was just silent, defeated, and above all scared... All she did was stare at Brightsmile with pleading eyes, which she ignored but Scootaloo found herself unable to, glancing into them again and again.

"What are you going to do with Fluttershy?" Scootaloo asked, forcing her voice into nonchalance and failing again to look away from Fluttershy's miserable stare... Her supposed mother grinning as she limped ahead through one of the many halls, somehow knowing her destination despite never having set hoof here in the waking world. "I may keep her around for a while... But I can't say for how long, "Brightsmile mused idly, before stopping abruptly and holding a hoof out to stop Scootaloo from taking another step forward. “Wait," she intoned.

Brightsmile, for reasons known only to her deranged mind, pushed herself and Scootaloo against the wall and made them walk, sides brushing against it, until they reached a spiral staircase that led to one of the Princesses' old rooms... Inside was a large comfortable and utterly white bed with elegantly carved bedposts, rotting bookshelves lining the wall and sagging under their weight as they spilled over onto a dusty floor, and equally dusty furniture.

Brightsmile set the sled down with a sigh of relief, her magic breezing the bed clean of the self-same dust that had been collecting for centuries and out a sagging window frame across the room before placing Fluttershy on the bed, still bound just as securely. "I hope you're cozy~ Because it won't last long," she teased with a menacing grin.

Scootaloo laid her ears back, thoughts of what horrible the black-hearted Brightsmile would do flooded into her mind... And every attempt to banish them merely made them come back stronger. "Do you have to hurt her...?" She asked softly, causing Brightsmile to pause, Scootaloo's growing concern was starting to unnerve her... Hadn't she made progress in changing her behavior? "Of course not dear... I don't intend to, but I so very much want to," she replied, her manic grin growing wider.

Lowering her head to meet Scootaloo's gaze, she spoke in a soft sibilant hiss. "Didn't you enjoy silencing Rainbow Dash and Applebloom, even when they were already dead? Didn't you enjoy holding that knife to that rodent's throat? You didn't have to do any of that stuff... But you still wanted to, why must it matter what I do now?" She queried... And she had a point, Scootaloo had enjoyed doing that... But... But not anymore, and this was Fluttershy... Still alive, hurt and scared...

"She was always so nice..." Scootaloo tried, attempting to reason even if it was the death of them both, "...I-I don't want to see her hurting more than she already is."

With a heavy sigh, Brightsmile broke eye contact and looked at Fluttershy before speaking again. "Alright... You won't have to worry about seeing her suffer, but I think it's best if she isn't in this part of the castle with us for long... Now if you'll excuse me, I have something to finish!" She said, her ever-present grin returning full-force as she vanished with her mysterious bundle of sheets in a flash of light, leaving the heartbroken Scootaloo and the injured Fluttershy alone... "At least she promised not to hurt you," she offered quietly.

Sitting silently at the foot of Celestia's old bed, she kicked up a small cloud of dust off the floor. "Fluttershy...?" Scootaloo said, looking at the bound mare, and feeling something other than pain when Fluttershy returned her gaze. "I'm sorry for everything I did... A-And I can't help but feel so horribly eternally guilty... S-She... Brightsmile made me do something horrible, and then she... Let? Let me think she could help me now... But I realized that staying with her will only make everything worse... For everypony."

Scootaloo untied Fluttershy's muzzle, and released the ropes binding her injured wing and shoulder to relieve the pain, and give her a chance at speaking before Brightsmile returned. "Could you forgive me?" She asked desperately.

Fluttershy was silent for a moment, their eyes, filled with so much mutual sorrow, boring into each other's for the longest of moments, and she finally spoke... "I do... But right now I need to be set free, if that's alright..."

Scootaloo shook her head suddenly, "Brightsmile will try and hunt you down if you leave! Pl-Plus she promised that she wouldn't hurt you anymore..." She explained, sadness breaching into her tone, but slowly gaining a positive edge as cheer overcame her. "But we'll get some help soon! Luna knows that I'm with Brightsmile... And tonight I can tell her exactly where we are."

Fluttershy felt her rekindled hope flare to life inside, she was going to be saved! And Brightsmile would be caught... And this whole horrible thing would all end, she pulled Scootaloo to her side with her only free wing, ignoring the stabbing pain it sent through her as she gave an affectionate nuzzle. "Oh thank you, Scootaloo," she whispered, neither of them noticing the door opening as Brightsmile stepped back inside, her mouth open as if about to speak... But slowly shutting it as Fluttershy continued.

"I should have known that you weren't all that bad..." She said, smiling softly as she buried her still-present heartache beneath the kindness that had earned her an Element, causing Brightsmile's eyes to flicker with flames of deranged anger, "So that's why Scootaloo is suddenly acting so strangely!" She seethed mentally, storming closer in a range and grabbing Fluttershy by the neck, staring Scootaloo into silence as she opened her mouth to speak. "Fluttershy and I need to have a talk," she said icily, vanishing with a pop and leaving her alone.

"AAAAHHHH!!!" Fluttershy screamed, as the rusty remnant of broken cell bars tore through her wings and embedded into the stone wall behind... Brightsmile had brought them to the dungeon, crumbling mortar, collapses walls, and the same metal lodged in her wings betraying it's state of poor repair. "What makes you think you can try and take my daughter away from me?!" Brightsmile screaming, her magic holding Fluttershy immobile as she drove a sharper pair of iron bars through each leg, leaving her dangling a foot above the ground.

Brightsmile's nostrils flared in danger, Fluttershy's presence had been changing Scootaloo... And in a way that might cause her to turn against Brightsmile herself... Before she had left to retrieve the pelts of her victim, the foal had been becoming so much like her mother... But now she was changing back into the filly she had been before... And it had to be Fluttershy's doing!

"I-I wasn't! I promise! P-Please just let me go... I-I won't tell anypony where you are!" Fluttershy pleaded.

"You seemed so Tartarus-bent on escaping and telling Celestia back at the cottage... Why should I believe you now?" Brightsmile hissed, levitating another bar and pressing it lightly against Fluttershy's chest as she continued begging for mercy... Pleas that fell on deaf ears, leaving her nothing to do but close her eyes tightly as it began digging into her skin... Fluttershy just prayed to Celestia that this would kill her quickly, she didn't want to die slowly like her other friends must have...

"INTRUDERS!!!" Somepony screeched, causing Brightsmile to nearly jump out of her fur and twist around to see who shouted, the bar clattering forgotten against the floor... But there was nopony there. "Luna, Twilight... And some other mare," another voice said, and Brightsmile calmed down for a moment... It was all just in her head, surely they... She stopped in midsentence, the import of their words striking home and inducing utter panic, galloping out of the dungeon and coming to a hallway not from the entrance, the pain from her fractured leg momentarily absent...

Her breaths were coming in large gasps by the time she finally came to a halt, she could hear other voices - real ones, coming from the direction of the stairs that led into the main hall... Luna, Twilight... And a Southern accent, the third had to be Applejack to guess, causing her to smirk darkly to herself. "I did say I'd kill her," she muttered, "And with Twilight and Luna gone as well, nopony will be able to stop me... Let's see what you've got, Twilight Sparkle..."

8:25 A.M. Abandoned Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, Everfree Forest.

"Alright," Twilight said, levitating a large book titled 'The Art of Adventuring: Avoiding a Total-Party-Kill, and ten thousand other helpful tips for DM's and players alike,' in front of her as they walked, "Let's stick together so Brightsmile can't pick us off, it says so right here," she motioned vaguely before the book snapped out of existence as she turned her mind back to the physical world as much as she possibly could. "Luna, you know this place best, so you should be the Meatshi- I mean, group leader, and take the front... Applejack, will be center and I will cover the rear." She dictated, smiling to herself as they all agreed to yet another of her admittedly brilliant plans and they walked inside together... Little knowing that the mare they came to capture was lying in wait, and planning best on how to seal all of their fates.

Moving along the same hallway that Brightsmile had taken when she first entered, Luna's every sense was on high alert... She was aware of all the traps that might still remain active after all these years, but what came next was never planned... A cackle echoed throughout the castle and dislodged dust from the walls, the same walls that rapidly shifted around them... Separating each of the three ponies by walls springing up in their way, and they all called out in surprise.

"Is everypony alright?!" Twilight shouted, pressing an ear against the wall that was now in front of her, Applejack being the first to respond. "I'm just dandy, Sugarcube... There's a new hallway to me right... I'll just have to go and see where it leads."

"I am unharmed as well," Luna called out next, "But I do not that separating is-" She said, falling silent suddenly... "Luna?!" Twilight called out, paling as she assumed the worst in the sudden silence.

"...I believe I can hear her, I shall proceed with caution, and instruct you both to do the same," Luna finally responded, and left Twilight sitting in silence again.

Pressing her ear back to the wall as Applejack's voice erupted through it, mixed with shock, horror, and most frighteningly anger, "Brightsmile!!!" Twilight struggled to discern the exact direction as Applejack's galloping hooves echoed across the enclosed space, about to teleport out towards her friend until a growl sounded behind her. "No cheating..." It warned, causing her to bolt around in time to catch a vanishing glimpse of a shadow whisping around the nearest corner as she gave chase.

Turning the corner suddenly, Twilight skidded to a stop and illuminated the entire room with her horn, "Show yourself!" She challenged, eyes darting to each shadowed corner, dark crevice, every pile of rubble that anypony - even Pinkie Pie - might hope to conceal herself with, but finding nothing... Nothing except voices that started to rise from the depths of the castle, most inaudible, but a few clearer ones that had no desire to hear whispering in her ears, painting in absolute detail with their words how they wanted to her die, every single excruciating moment exhaustingly described... And even should she survive they promised her a horrible fate.

"The eyes are not the windows to the soul, they are the doors," one whispered, and the voices began to cascade in on her sanity like a waterfall.

"For if you stare into an abyss, the abyss also stares into you... How doth one hunt a monster without becoming a monster oneself, Twilight Sparkle? Look at you... All grown up, and still incapable of protecting herself or the ones she loved most..."

"And tell us, how is Celestia doing these days? Nearly burned you and your own town to ash didn't she? That's rather inspiring if you ask me, I like a mare who thinks big."

All these things and more she heard, flattening herself against a wall in horror as her mind flashed through spell after spell, snapping her defenses into place and chasing out every notion pouring into her mind...

"You heard them, didn't you?" Brightsmile called, her voice ringing out eerily in the closest to horrifying demented glee that could provide emphasis for. "Try hearing them forever... Every single night since I first checked-up on Pinkie, first it was about your blood... Oh Celestia was it amazing, it was like a dozen rollercoasters, so frightening but so amazing... Taking you to highs you've never felt before... And after that it was meat, you have never tasted anything that could compare to the taste of flesh!" She called, the voices renewing their assault on Twilight's mind with things more horrible than she could imagine.

Grabbing her ears with her hooves, a vain attempt to block out the voices that now echoed inside her own head, she snapped her eyes left and right again, then left and through a complicated series of moves that left her with an insatiable desire for something named 'Konami'.

"Stop this Brightsmile! These voices aren't real... J-Just surrender and maybe we can solve this!" She pleaded, trying to get a grip on herself, even going so far as to cast the memory spell... And in a moment where she felt like she'd actually succeeded against those awful voices - a moment too brief to tell for sure, a crack sounded against her skull and she fell to the floor... Her fading vision catching sight of Brightsmile as she was knocked out cold.

"It's far too late for you to help me," Brightsmile mocked, standing over Twilight with a mad grin as she dropped a large piece of stone. "Don't worry... I won't kill you yet... I want to save you for last, I want to savor you... It's your blood that got me started... Maybe you won't even die, imagine that Twilight," she said, dragging her latest victim to the old throne room, hiding her out of sight behind it for later, "That's right," she said, picking up another rock and smashing it brutally against her horn, shattering half of it to pieces.

"Imagine if I just... Bled you regularly for the rest of your life," she said with another bout of maddened laughter, leaving Twilight unsecured in utter confidence, for a Unicorn is nothing without their horn... And without it Brightsmile no longer considered her a threat.

"Time to fulfill my promise," Brightsmile chuckled softly to herself as she stepped determinedly through the halls, "It's time for Applejack to see her sister..."

"Where..." Applejack said, panting heavily, "Did she go?" She was absolutely lost in this maze of hallways... Every so often she would catch of glimpse of something moving in her shadow, but would turn around and see nothing... "Where in tarnation are you?!" She screamed out in frustration, giving a sigh and lowering her head almost completely to the ground when all that returned to her were echoes. "Great... I'm lost, tired... And I lost her," she moaned.

As if on cue, she caught a glimpse of white down the hallway to her left, "Hold it right there!" She hollered as she gave yet another blind chase... Right, left, right again... Left again... Over a strange series of markings in the floor that spelled out 'B, A, B, A'... Only to nearly collide face-first with a dead-end... And no Brightsmile! "Dang it!" She exclaimed, stomping a hoof down in frustration as she turned around, only to see a bright flash of magic come at her, knocking her into the wall and leaving her to fall onto the floor, unmoving.

Brightsmile cackled derisively as she practically pranced up to the mare on the floor, doing a series of hops along faded chalk markings, "Five Six, pick up sticks," she chanted as she landed on the last number, right next to Applejack's head, "You're number six, Applejack, I wonder if outsmarting Luna will be this easy... Twilight was hardly a challenge either, for an egghe-" She started to taunt, before being cut short by a blow to the jaw, Applejack suddenly back on her hooves. "If you did anything to Twilight, so help me I'll end all of this right now!"

Brightsmile stumbled a few feet back, resting a hoof lightly on her jaw. "She hits harder than Rainbow Dash!" She thought angrily, her horn glowing as magic wrapped it's way around Applejack and slammed her back into the wall. "I haven't done anything to her yet," Brightsmile lied, barely concealing a wince from the pain that talking sent spiking to her head. "But the same couldn't be said for Fluttershy," she chuckled, teleporting them to the dungeon in a flash.

"Oof!" Applejack let out, as she dropped onto the cold stone of another place that her clearing vision marked as a prison of some sort. "Applejack...?" A soft and weakened voice called her name.

"Fluttershy?" She questioned back, hardly daring to believe her ears, or her eyes as she looked upon her tortured friend in horror... The blood from her wounds staining her fur and gathering in a massive puddle beneath her, the few patches not soaked in red revealing how pale she was... Aside from a still-present redness around her eyes from crying to the point of dehydration, Applejack would have been hard-pressed to say Fluttershy was alive at all, if not for her speaking in the first place.

"Such a pleasant little reunion," Brightsmile said, rolling her eyes as she grabbed Applejack by her mane and slammed her face into the ground, causing several teeth to skitter across the floor. "But it's time you join your other friends..." She snarled, lunging with her teeth directly for Applejack's neck, only to take another hit under the jaw as Applejack thrust her head backwards and her hat - along with Brightsmile herself, were knocked several paces away. "Not today, partner," she said, resolution set in her eyes and a confident smirk on her face. "You planned this all along, huh? Knew we were coming, and had a trap set up for us... Looks like the follow-through had a few holes in it."

"Actually, I didn't have the slightest idea... I assumed you fools simply sprung that on your own, but if you want to put up a fight..." Brightsmile said, growling, "Then I might as well enjoy this," materializing her still blood-stained knife and taking hold of it in a hoof... Preparing herself for a head-on attack before realizing that Applejack knew better, already pitching stones into the air and bucking them at rocketing speeds with her hind legs... One hitting the knife and disarming her, the other striking her horn and stunning her long enough for Applejack to barrel into her.

Hitting the wall in a daze, Brightsmile slumped against the ground and looked up blearily at her victorious opponent, Applejack holding a rather large chunk of stone in her hooves, eyes burning with a desire for vengeance as she lifted it over her head, ready to bring it down and end this horror forever... And she found she couldn't, literally couldn't... Her legs were as unwilling to move as the stone in her grasp as her conscience took war to necessity.

But then the chance was lost, Applejack found herself caught up in Brightsmile's magical grasp once again, and thrown into Fluttershy... The two bars pinning her left in leg into place piercing through Applejack's chest, immediately causing her to choke up a large amount of blood as she slowly looked down at the bars... "I'm coming... Applebloom," she muttered, the world fading out, though not quickly enough to stop Brightsmile from picking the knife back up, intent on releasing the anger from being beaten down once again.

Applejack survived fourteen repeated stab wounds before she died in front of a sobbing and screaming Fluttershy, Brightsmile not even pausing in her vicious thrusts as she savored every drop of spilled blood her tongue could reach... Grinning as the sweet moisture poured down her throat. "Applejack! No!" Fluttershy screamed, unable to tie her eyes away from the brutality being inflicted before her eyes, wishing to cover her eyes as Brightsmile began laughing madly in triumph as she pulled Applejack's body away from Fluttershy, letting it drop to the floor with a thud.

"Don't worry..." She said, her grin made all the more disturbing by the blood coating her teeth and face as she looked up at Fluttershy, sobbing anew at the sight before her as Brightsmile exposed all her frighteningly sharp teeth. "It's your turn now..." She soothed, the incongruity causing Fluttershy to struggle all the more as Brightsmile attacked her lower legs, tearing massive chunks of fur and flesh away, while avoiding the wildly kicking hooves caused by her struggling. "Hold still!" she growled, ignoring the renewed agonized screams as she went in for another bite.

"T-Twilight!!! Help!!!" Fluttershy screamed out in pain, only to receive a horrifyingly deep bite into her side, what of her intestines that Brightsmile hadn't ripped free falling out of her body and onto the floor with a disturbing slurping noise... Her entire esophagus elongating as her stomach threatened to rip free and every gag reflex she had triggered at the same time. "AHHHH!!!" She screamed, loud and with a piercing frequency enough to reach Scootaloo's ears, who had curled herself into a ball trying in vain to block them out, tears streaming from her eyes... Fluttershy would lead Luna to Brightsmile if she kept this up, and so she did what any good cannibal would do... She spat a piece of Fluttershy into her own mouth and watched her expression change to further horror as the taste slicked across her tongue...

And then she tore deeply into Fluttershy's throat with her teeth, severing her windpipe entirely and even nicking her spine.

Fluttershy's cries were immediately reduced to fading gurgling and choking sounds, and Brightsmile relished the taste of her blood as it gushed down Fluttershy's throat and into hers... Her muzzle, once white as snow, was splashed with a dark shade of crimson atop that which had already dried to black from the liquid that she had been constantly indulging herself in... And the world around Fluttershy consisted of nothing but a fading red void.

The pain of her body was dying with her, all Fluttershy felt was a sense of surreal shock as her body seized up, chemicals rushing through her as her body both prepared to death and tried futilely to save her... Her brain dumping everything into her conscious mind as it was literally burned out cell by cell, flashing through her life from her earliest members of foalhood, to the last time all her friends were there together, happy and smiling... And she wasn't afraid of dying anymore, she could admit it was happening... And it was fine with her, she had friends waiting on the other side to stay with forever... And this was a rather happy thought to go out on, or at least that's what she thought, clinging to it desperately as her eyes glazed over, her body started to lose most of warmth... And she was gone.

Brightsmile, painted completely now in blood without a trace of her original color showing any longer, pulled away from Fluttershy's corpse when the blood stopped flowing and looked at her hooves with a strange smile... "I can't believe I was scared of it," she remarked, remembering her early days in Ponyville... Before this wonderful thing had ever happened to her, and wondered how she'd ever wanted it otherwise. "Soon, I'll coat the very halls with all of their blood, and as it dries all the doors will be painted black..." She laughed, limping along the corridors as she hummed to herself, Luna shouldn't be hard to find... Especially since they were looking for each other, and a recurring question to came mind... One that made her super nervous-cited and curious at the same time. "I wonder... Does Alicorn taste better than normal ponies?"

Brightsmile cackled darkly, her voice reverberating in a manner that only Crimson's had previously at the thought of ripping Luna apart... But she wondered where the fun was in just that, she was planning on killing royalty... She should make things so much more interesting, so she spun a teleportation spell and popped into existence in a room not far from the one Scootaloo was in... A room that held the solution to her problem, she took it and made a dash towards her daughter...

8:45 A.M. Abandoned Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, Everfree Forest.

Luna found herself in the old library, she'd been constantly chasing varied sources of maddening laughter, most so loud that she couldn't hear the unbearable screaming of Fluttershy, but never once catching a glimpse of what was giving off the wretched sound. "Where are you...?" She muttered, her eyes scanning across the countless shelves... Her recent experiences of unpleasant surprises had kept her turning around regularly, but doing so now she spotted not Brightsmile, to her surprise... But a grinning shadow. "What are you doing here?" Luna asked harshly, her eyes narrowing as her adrenaline-fueled senses snapped to high-alert, looking for any tricks, any traps...

Crimson stalked closer, the short distance between them vanishing in an instance as she peeled her lips back to bare her teeth. "You were right to suspect me... Brightsmile's demise was never my main goal... You were, Princess," she grinned with a wink, dispersing into a formless being and wrapping herself around Luna as she tried to flee. "You will be mine!" Crimson laughed in mad victory.

Luna began struggling as soon as the icy coldness touched her heart and the darkness came into contact with her fur, "Get off of me!" She demanded, her voice causing entire shelves to collapse and priceless books to fall around them... Her willpower was strong, but this psychotic influence proved to be the stronger... She had been tempted into darkness before, but she realized that such a thing was nothing like insanity, Luna collapsed to the floor as her midnight pelt began to darken and her horn began to painfully extend... The transformation was intent on turning into a far more sinister version of what was her Nightmare Moon counterpart...

A new voice entered the room, eerie and laden with darkness, much like Crimson's... But it held millennia more years of anger and wisdom... "She," it said with a simple and chilling simplicity, the weight of power behind it's words, "Is ours," it said as the voice coalesced with a new shadowed form, seeping from the cracks in the very structure of the room and latching hold of the Princess as well... Two painful screams, and one may have been her own, radiated throughout the library... And in a battle that felt like an eternity but in reality could only have been mere seconds, Crimson was expelled forcibly from Luna... For the second time she had lost the struggle of controlling a body, and she disappeared into thin air. "I won't forget this!!!" She vowed, revenge implicit in every syllable as her disembodied voice vanished completely.

Luna climbed shakily to her feet, the second shadow has left as well, leaving her there fighting for balance and painfully gasping for each breath in turn... She glanced around hoping that both of the foul presences were truly gone. "Could... Could that have been?" She thought, but it was impossible... It had to be. "No, that part of me can... Can no longer exist, but if so... What was it? Is it stuck in my mind... Or where did it go?" She mused aloud... If it was what she believed it to be, why was she no longer changing into a monster as when Crimson had begun to take control?

Luna shook her head savagely, banishing the questions from her mind... Their importance was paramount, but not immediate... She was here for herself, to kill Brightsmile, for Twilight and Applejack and Fluttershy and Scootaloo... And any other matters would simply have to be dealt with afterward.

Luna managed to return to the entrance with little trouble... Twilight and Applejack were nowhere to be seen. "Twilight? Applejack?" She called out, to no response... She was starting to worry, and then she noticed drops of blood dotting the floor, a trail that hadn't been there earlier but was cause for concern more than relief... She followed it cautiously towards the throne room, careful not to activate another booby trap like that triggered on their arrival... "If Brightsmile thinks tricks of my own design can stop a Princess raised inside these walls, then she underestimates me..." Luna said softly, as she stepped into the old throne room, to be confronted by a seemingly innocent giggle.

"Well of course not, Luna..." Brightsmile said, a truly horrific sight as she sat in Celestia's chair, Scootaloo looking dwarfed as she fidgeted in Luna's... "But I know your end is near," she grinned... Luna had seen Brightsmile's work before, but this was...

This was her most horrifying.

Brightsmile was wearing stockings, striped black and white and made from Zecora's pelt... Pinkie Pie's pelt was tied in an "X" across her chest, holding the still-whole sternum of another pony against her fur, covering her entire front section... Rarity's pelt sewn together as a cape that covered her back and sides, around her neck hung an array of manes and teeth worn like a pashmina... Even to the extent that she'd hastily added Applejack's and Fluttershy's to the vulgar collection.

Scootaloo stood up, her eyes filled with despairing sadness once more, "Luna..." She called out softly, her voice breaking... She was in a dress as well, Applebloom's pelt had been sewn against Rainbow Dash's... The former crossing across her chest like a tabard - complete with bloodstained tools in sewn pockets - and the latter draped across her back, designed to look as if Scootaloo actually possessed wings and a cutie mark not her own... To add insult to injury, Applebloom's bow had been undone and now served as a sash.

"Do you like it?" Brightsmile asked, the crazed smile returned full force, her entire face still stained by the blood of her recent victims. "If Rarity were still alive, I think she would have loved it! I mean, couldn't have finished it without her!" She began to cackle, her throat growing increasingly raspy from all the abuse it had been suffering, turning towards Luna to throw more barbs her way. "How does it feel to know what you failed so many subjects? That they died such horrible deaths and neither you, nor your wretched sister could stop me?"

Luna stood her ground - if anything stepping closer... The words stung, but the fact that the ponies she'd failed were being worn as trophies was hardest to bear... But it wasn't a complete failure yet... She could still bring an end to this! "Brightsmile, I hereby place you under arrest... If you resist, I will be forced to end your life immediately..." She uttered calmly, far calmer than she actually was, and yet still far calmer than she thought was possible in such a situation...

Brightsmile stepped down from the throne and stopped about five feet away from Luna, "If I surrender, my fate will still remain the same... So why not risk death in the most delightful way possible?" She sneered, taking out a knife from a sheath sewn into the stocking on her broken leg... The knife itself was made out of a rib, and the handle tied with a familiar rainbow mane, a purple sword knot attached along the back of the handle.

"So be it..." The Princess said grimly, her horn radiating with magic as she charged, firing a large radius of seething energy at another pony for the first time in a millennia, but Brightsmile vanished just before it hit.

"Did you honestly believe that I would fight you head on?" She laughed at Luna, her voice slightly muffled from where she stood behind the throne, stepping out suddenly with Twilight Sparkle levitated a few inches in front of her, conscious now both with her four legs tied solidly together.

Pressing the tip of her bone knife against Twilight's chest as well, pressing just hard enough to break the skin and let a small amount of blood trickle down across the blade, she laughed again. "It is you who will surrender," Brightsmile said, her laugh turning into a growl. "Or else this shattered pony, the last... Will die in front of your eyes," She sneered, leaving Luna caught in checkmate as she wracked her brain for a solution... The knife pressing ever deeper into Twilight as the seconds passed without one, leaving Twilight with nothing to do but grit her teeth and struggle backwards...

Luna lowered her head slightly, "Alright..." She said softly, "You win, just... Please release her."

Brightsmile's heart was pounding in excitement, pure unadulterated glee stretching her features... While Scootaloo's nearly stopped, actually skipping a beat, Luna was just going to give up...? Just like that? After all she'd do- She was suddenly interrupted as a voice other than her sounded in her thoughts... "Scootaloo," it said, leaving her to blink in confusion. "It's Luna," it - Luna, clarified... "I need you to get that knife away from Brightsmile if we're to have any hope in saving Twilight and stopping her," to which Scootaloo nodded certainly as Brightsmile caught her attention again.

"Sweetie, I need to take care of Luna's horn... We don't want any tricks from her," she said confidentially.

Scootaloo shakily took out her knife and gazed in trepidation at it... So much harm brought by such a simple thing, and she was responsible. "M-Mom," she stuttered, "I don't think I can do it," she said, dropping the knife and taking a brief moment to inwardly rejoice as Brightsmile's jaw dropped... "I mean... That knife is still dull, I don't think I could even make a little cut with it," she added, causing Brightsmile's blackened heart to start beating again.

"O-Of course! Here you are," she said with a small amount of nervous laughter, levitating the dull knife into her own hoof and giving Scootaloo the sharp one... A blade she instantly returned by stabbing it deep into Brightsmile's left foreleg. "That's for making me kill my friend and sister!' Scootaloo screamed, the shocked Brightsmile letting out an agonized scream of her own as Scootaloo struck again, sawing through a tendon with her second blow as she dropped both the knife and Twilight.

"Scootaloo?! What are you doing?!" She cried out, before yanking the knife painfully out of her leg, causing another deep scream to tear itself from her throat. "You... Would betray your mother?"

Brightsmile staggered back to her hooves, putting extra pressure on the fractured leg in an attempt to compensate for her ravaged left, only bringing more than pain than she had in the other to begin with... "Buck!" She cursed, staggering backwards from the other ponies, which were advancing on her - Twilight included as she was freed from her bounds by Luna's own magic. "It's over, Brightsmile," they all said at once

"Ha... Haha, hahaha!" Brightsmile began to laugh hysterically, "Or so you think," she said, strange whispers guiding her actions as she reached a fumbling hoof behind Celestia's throne, making contact with a lever that had been previously hidden by magic but revealed over the centuries since... She herself was utterly unaware of what such a device would do, but the voices provided reassurance, and as she eagerly pulled it, the castle itself seemed to groan and hiss...

Spores began to fill the castle around them, spewing forth in the form of a fog that proceeded to coat the floor and hang thick in the air. "Wh-What is this?" Twilight asked, panic in her voice as she watched them spread across the floor around her hooves. "I don't know myself..." Luna answered cautiously, never taking her eyes off the grinning Brightsmile as she responded, "'Tia must have kept this trap installed here... In case of emergencies."

Luna quickly began charging her horn to unleash a devastating bolt of magic... If these spores were intended to have a negative or dangerous effect on them, then she had to this quickly she reasoned, destructive energies leaping from her horn towards Brightsmile... Only to collide with the spores which shimmered strangely as the spell collided with them, a thunderclap of sound echoing across the enclosed space as a massive wave of overloaded magic that sent Luna, Twilight, and Scootaloo flying across the throne room... Twilight slammed against the ground hard enough to knock the wind from her lungs, Scootaloo sent rolling a few feet behind her until she fetched up against a mound of rubble, knocked out cold.

Luna herself took the worst of the damage, hitting the wall with enough force to cause large gaping cracks in the aged stone that almost made it fall apart atop her... She was unconscious as well, her horn completely blackened with char. And even though all of the spores in the room were gone, they were quickly being replaced as more travelled through the hallways and even arouse from the floor below.

"Hahahaha!!!" Brightsmile laughed again, the mad howling sound strangely muffled in the smog. "And now nopony can stop me!" She said, her grin widening as she took up her knife once more and limped slowly towards Twilight just as she was struggling to rise. "I hope you made peace with yourself, Twili-..." She started to say, coming short as somepony coalesced into being in front of her... Somepony she'd been certain couldn't possibly follow her here... "Applejack!" Brightsmile gasped in disbelief, her eyes glued to the holes in her chest, belatedly realizing that the spirit must be trapped within the castle, spores clinging to her ethereal body as she moved closer...

"I'm not the only one," Applejack said, her accent none the weaker for being recently deceased, "Remember them?" She asked, nodding towards something directly behind Brightsmile... Leaving her hesitant to turn around even as she slowly did so, her heart skipping a beat before picking up in pace faster than ever before... Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy... All her past victims, "No... No, no-no-no! Y-You can't possibly be here!" She shouted in complete horror, limping away from those in front and as well as the one in behind.

"Well we are..." Rarity said, approaching Brightsmile in sync with all the others. Twilight herself was finally standing, staring at her friends and all the others who hadn't yet passed on. "Wait..." She managed to get out, her voice stopping them - all of them, as they turned to face her... "We d-don't need to kill her, even if you're not..." swallowing audibly as she spoke, "...Not alive, what made us the bearers of harmony was not what we were on the outside..." She finished, her sentence hanging in the air as a stiff breeze blew in through a gaping hole in the wall, magical essence itself pouring into the room and sizzling as it made contact with the spores...

"If our Elements could transform Luna from Nightmare Moon, and thaw Sunset Shimmer's frozen heart, we can do the same for Brightsmile!"

A series of loud cracking sounds heralded the arrival of the Elements, clinging to each one of their deceased owners, the spores dulling their radiance as they were clung to in turn, the rest moving up from the ground and depositing themselves around Twilight and what little was left of her horn... A new series of hissing and cracking sounding as they were pushed back when both she and her friends began to levitate upwards, reforming elsewhere on her body...

"W-Wait!" Brightsmile called out, panicked as she was pinned against the wall, her breaths coming fast and shallow as she continued. "If use that much power the spores will kill us all! Look at what damage it dealt to Luna alone!" But none of them listened, only Twilight giving any indication she had heard as she glanced briefly where Luna and Scootaloo lay as they disappeared in a strong flash of magic.

Brightsmile turned towards the hallway to flee, only to be sent skidding backwards as the dead officer blocked her path, knowing that if she attempted to teleport it would backfire... "Buck!" She raged in her mind.

The room began glowing, filling with loud cracks and sparks of energy as the light came into random contact with the spores... "Stop..." Brightsmile pleaded, as a rainbow began to form between the separate Elements, pouring into the focus set in Twilight's crown. "S-Stop!" She called again, desperation cracking her voice as the room brightened tenfold, causing the very foundations of the castle to shake. "STOP!!!"

The spectrum of rainbow-hued explosion would have been visible even as far away as Canterlot, the castle itself was nothing but rubble as the stone and mortar were blown into their constituent parts and almost completely vaporized before reaching ground again... Nothing remained save for Twilight, an unconscious Brightsmile completely stripped of her grotesque dress... And a confused tangle of physically manifested ponies, staring at themselves and each other as the sound of their newly renewed hearts beat in their ears... A broken sort of silence save for Sweetie Belle and Applebloom clinging to their respective sisters, all four crying tears of joy as everypony else gathered for a large hug.

A pained groan cut short their happy moments, they all had momentarily forgotten about Brightsmile herself... "What should we do with her?" Fluttershy asked, cringing backwards behind Applejack at even such an oblique reference to their respective murderer. "She must have been changed now... The Elements of Harmony dispel the darkness that resides in our hearts..."

"I think," Twilight said softly, gazing upwards at her own rejuvenated horn thoughtfully, walking towards the limp form of Brightsmile... "That Celestia should be the one who passes judgment on her," she finished, looking down at her with a practiced neutral expression.

"But with some precautions first... Just in case."