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Nightmare Night 02: Yours

By twilightgamenight
Created: 18th December 2020 10:34:26 PM

  1. >Vampires exist.
  2. >The supernatural is real.
  3. >It's a testament to how fucked up your life has been that it has taken so long for that realization to really hit.
  4. >Your steps falter for a second as the thought strikes you, nearly tripping up the girl hanging from your arm.
  5. >Still, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem very important.
  6. >For all you know, it isn't. No one else seems to know, not even the one that was there with you. Or more accurately, she doesn't seem to care. Those are other things. Things not you, and you're all she cares about.
  7. >Rarity's attitude would be flattering, if it didn't terrify you.
  8. >"What is on your mind, darling?" she asks, tugging on your arm. "You look a little lost."
  9. >She would be the perfect girlfriend, if she hadn't...
  10. "Nothing important."
  11. >"I highly doubt that."
  12. >She pouts slightly, but doesn't press the issue. Nor is she trying to guilt you into opening up; you had that conversation yesterday.
  13. >No, she's not being passive-aggressive; she actually *does* care.
  14. >Everything about you is important to her, even your stray musings.
  15. >Perfect girlfriend.
  16. >You're not too surprised. With not even - not ever - a stray hair out of place, everything about the girl practically screams perfection. Only it's not screamed, more like... smugly whispered.
  17. >Everything, that is, except her choice in boyfriend.
  18. >That still puzzles you.
  19. >What makes you so special?
  20. >What makes you worth... worth killing for...?
  21. >Someone died because of you, because she accidentally stepped between you and Rarity.
  22. >A sudden gust of wind makes the trees above you dance and sending orange and red leaves tumbling gently to the ground.
  23. >Out of the corner of your eye, you watch the shadows and sunlight play across your new girlfriend's face.
  24. >This could have been Fluttershy hanging on your arm as you stroll down the sidewalk.
  25. >Instinctively, you reach over and pluck a fallen leaf from Rarity's hair.
  26. >It just looks so out of place on her, even if its pale orange did look stunning set against the purple curls.
  27. >"Oh! Thank you."
  28. "No problem."
  29. >Would have looked better on Fluttershy, but you'll never get a chance to see that. She was a vampire; she would have burned in this light.
  30. >You still hear her screams.
  31. >Another gust of wind makes Rarity squeeze your arm tightly.
  32. >"A little chilly, isn't it, darling?"
  33. "Yeah."
  34. >The cold front had come in yesterday morning, shortly after the girls had left your place. Actually, it was part of the reason they had left so quickly, without questioning Fluttershy's absence too much. Everyone wanted to beat the heavy rain home.
  35. >Besides, the girls all knew that Fluttershy had wanted to leave the night before. Twilight seemed pretty sure she must have slipped out in the middle of the night and walked home. It had taken some talking on her part, but eventually she convinced the others. Something about her probably needing to get home to her animals before the storm hit. It made perfect sense, really.
  36. >You hadn't corrected them.
  37. >But when Fluttershy hadn't shown up for school the next day - today - they began to worry.
  38. >When she didn't answer her phone, they began to panic.
  39. >Except AJ - she seemed furious. After a moment of shock, you realized that was natural; different people show fear in different ways, after all.
  40. >It has been two days since anyone had seen Fluttershy, and now you are walking towards her home, arm-in-arm with the girl who made that happen.
  41. >The others had been visibly relieved when Rarity had suggested the two of you look in on their friend. At first, you had been confused, but after some thought, it all made sense. It'll give her a chance to hide Fluttershy's disappearance for a little longer, after all.
  42. >But no, that wasn’t why, Rarity had explained patiently when you brought it up.
  43. >”Someone needs to look after her animals,” she had said softly. “It’s the right thing to do.”
  44. >You had difficulty arguing with that. How could you?
  45. >Her reason is far more pure and innocent than yours.
  46. >From the way she frowned, you suspect that it had never even occurred to her, nor would it have.
  47. >For the first time, she actually looks disappointed in you.
  48. >Just yesterday morning, you helplessly watched as Rarity cracked open Fluttershy’s ribcage and drove a stake through her heart, and you’re starting to wonder if you might not be the sane one in this relationship.
  49. >If it can even be called a relationship, that is.
  50. >How can you possibly date a monster like her?
  51. >You glance over at her again – and she smiles.
  52. >What a stupid question to ask yourself; you’re dating her because you don’t know what else to do.
  53. >Kill her? Turn her in? Confess to everyone else that you simply watched as she butchered their friend?
  54. >You don’t have the heart to tell them that; you’re not a brave enough man to fight back against Rarity, even though you’re not sure she wouldn’t slash her own throat for you if you said the word.
  55. >She’d do it, and you’re pretty sure she’d do it with a smile.
  56. >Anything to please you.
  57. >But you can’t – you just can’t – you can’t be the cause of another death, even if she deserves it.
  58. >You’re not even sure of that, anymore.
  59. >She did save your life, after all, and she was the first of the girls to think of Fluttershy’s pets.
  60. >And the date last night, coerced though it was…
  61. >Well, you haven’t been on many, but you think it went pretty smoothly.
  62. >Some of your friends had even asked about it earlier today. You have no idea how they had known, but Rarity was right – simply publicly going out someplace was enough for word to get around.
  63. >You had told them it was alright, that no one died.
  64. >They laughed at your joke, and you hated yourself even more, because you actually had been joking.
  65. >It was your standard, humble go-to joke. It was never supposed to be an actual relevant response.
  66. >Anyway, the truth was it went better than alright.
  67. >It’s just guesswork on your part, but you doubt many first dates end with watching the sun come up.
  68. >You’re hoping Nightmare Night was all your imagination, that you will knock on Fluttershy’s door and she’ll be there, sick as hell, but alive.
  69. >Because…
  70. >You glance over at Rarity again.
  71. >”Almost there, darling,” she says, misreading your look. “It’s just at the end of the block.”
  72. >… you’re starting to like this.
  73. “So, will her parents be there?”
  74. >”I do not believe so,” Rarity answers, before starring off into the sky. “You know, in all the time I have known my friends, I do not believe I have ever met any of their parents.”
  75. >Yeah, you know the feeling. Sometimes, you wonder if you’re living in one of those Chinese cartoons where everyone is in middle school and has their own apartment.
  76. >Still, once you reach the house, you motion for Rarity to knock on the door. If someone is home, they probably know of her, even if she hasn’t met them.
  77. >She doesn’t question it, immediately releasing your arm and skipping ahead two steps to rap daintily, eschewing the doorbell.
  78. >”Too noisy,” you can imagine her saying. “It just lacks that essential human touch.”
  79. >After a minute, Rarity knocks again, slightly harder.
  80. >There still isn’t any response.
  81. “We might as well go, I guess.”
  82. >You both know she won’t be answering the door.
  83. >”But the animals,” Rarity whines softly. “We cannot just –“
  84. >Right.
  85. >You step up beside her and pound the door with you fist.
  86. >Nothing.
  87. >Not even barking.
  88. >Well, you don’t know if she actually has a dog, but you expect to hear something.
  89. >From what you’ve heard, there should be dozens of critters scampering around. At least one of them should react to the noise.
  90. “Well, what now?”
  91. >Maybe there’s a spare key hidden in one of the bushes. If not, maybe you can rely on some good Hollywood staples. You take a step back and look to both sides of the house. The fence is low enough to climb without too much difficulty, and you might get lucky with an unsecured back door. Fluttershy seemed like the kind of trusting soul to leave her… front… door... totally… unlocked.
  92. >”Shall we?” Rarity asks, waving a hand towards the open door.
  93. >Deep down, you knew that would happen as soon as you started looking for a more complicated solution, and so you feel no embarrassment at all as you walk through the doorway.
  94. >The smell immediately hits you, sending you back out the door gagging.
  95. >You had expected something – the usual pet smells – but not this.
  96. >Not the sickly sweet stench of rotting flesh.
  97. “I think we’re too late.”
  98. >You cover your mouth with your arm as you speak, trying to keep the smell out.
  99. >It doesn’t work.
  100. >You can *taste* it.
  101. >”Nonsense, it has not even been two –“
  102. >Rarity’s attempt to enter the house fares no better than yours, leaving her retching as she retreats to the street.
  103. >”Impossible,” she gasps. “Whatever is in there smells like it has been dead for days!”
  104. “Weeks.”
  105. >A little over a month, you suspect.
  106. >With a heavy heart, you walk back into the house.
  107. >You can’t just leave.
  108. >She deserves better than this.
  109. >You have a fairly good idea what you will find inside, and it shouldn't be how Fluttershy is remembered.
  110. >"Anon! Wait!"
  111. “I have to do this, Rarity.”
  112. >You don’t want to. In fact, between the stench and your nerves, it’s a wonder you don’t run screaming all the way to your own home, but you can’t. You can’t let anyone find out what Fluttershy did.
  113. >You owe her that much, at least.
  114. >There isn’t much time to spare. The wind does nothing to sweep away the stench; it simply *spreads* it.
  115. >A few of the neighbors are starting to look suspiciously towards the house. One even cuts the motor on his lawnmower and approaches slowly.
  116. >Everyone knows something is wrong.
  117. "There... might be someone inside that needs help!"
  118. >Someone is going to call the police. In fact, one of the onlookers pulling her phone from her purse right now.
  119. >You can't let them find her victim.
  120. >Fluttershy wasn't herself; it wasn't her fault.
  121. >"Don't touch anything!" Rarity calls out as you charge in. "Please!"
  122. >You immediately bash your shin against something thin and wiry.
  123. >"What was that!?"
  124. "Don't know!"
  125. >The house is pitch black. With all of the lights off and curtains pulled tightly shut, the only illumination is the afternoon sun shining through the open doorway.
  126. >It's just barely enough for you to find what's left of the light switch. More of a hole in the wall, really.
  127. >Common sense tells you not to touch the bare wires, and for once you listen.
  128. >"Anon!?"
  129. "I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING! THE LIGHTS ARE BUSTED, SO I'M GOING TO TRY FOR A WINDOW!"
  130. >After a few more bruises, you stumble into a wall. You follow it, feeling blindly for a curtain or other hint of a window. It’s only a few feet before you feel cloth.
  131. >You pull at it - nothing. It doesn’t give. Fumbling around the edge, it’s not hard to figure out why.
  132. >Grabbing on with both hands, you heave with all your strength, tearing the curtain free from the wall in a hail of staples, nails, and torn duct tape.
  133. "... the hell...?"
  134. >The tape you knew about, but the rest seems a little excessive just to keep the light out, even for a vampire.
  135. >"ANON!?"
  136. "Found it!"
  137. >The light pours in, revealing shredded furniture and - from the outline - what you assume are cages beneath heavy cloth.
  138. >Her pets.
  139. >That would explain the lack of noise. If she covered the cages, they're probably all sleeping.
  140. >Or does that only work on birds?
  141. >Whatever. It's not important right now.
  142. >You shrug mentally and look around the room. Empty tubes of sunscreen have been thrown haphazardly in one corner and a wide-brimmed hat hangs from a hook by the door. Stains mar the carpet and discarded clothes litter the floor, enough to remind you of your bedroom.
  143. >Aren't girls supposed to be cleaner than this?
  144. >But no body, no sign of the person she killed.
  145. >You have to go further in.
  146. >The stench – and the destruction – grow more and more prevalent the deeper you go. Light fixtures have been torn from the ceilings, piles of filthy clothes and sheets cover the floor. The kitchen walls are covered in rotting food – it looks like the entire contents of the refrigerator had been hurled about by a localized tornado.
  147. >You tear down the curtains as you go to give yourself enough light to see, but it slows you down.
  148. >Sirens are wailing in the distance; your time is running out.
  149. >You don’t even know what you’ll do with the body once you find it, but that’s fine. You’ll figure it out then.
  150. >There are only a couple more rooms to search – the first is an immaculate bedroom, clearly untouch for weeks. There’s one window high on the wall, the curtains pulled open and sunlight streaming through.
  151. >Her parents’ room, you assume.
  152. >The last, then, must be Fluttershy’s.
  153. >It would… it would make sense for the body to be there, as much as the idea disgusts and pains you. Considering how you felt when she was feeding on you, though, it’s probably the first place you should have looked.
  154. >You shudder just thinking about what you might find, about what she might have done.
  155. >Slowly, you push open the door and look inside.
  156. >Nothing is as you expected.
  157. >No body, no blood. The bed is made, the clothes are all out of sight – presumably neatly put away.
  158. >To say it’s not as you expected isn’t quite accurate – more like, it’s exactly how you would have expected Fluttershy’s bedroom to look like, not what you were assuming it to be after seeing the rest of the house.
  159. >The only thing that really stands out is a small pink book set on the pillow.
  160. >Her diary.
  161. >What else would it be?
  162. >Hesitantly, you reach for the book.
  163. >You shouldn’t, but all of the answers will be there. You just know it.
  164. >Who turned her into a monster, who she killed… how she actually felt about you… things you need to know.
  165. >Your hand is hovering over the cover for who knows how long. You have to know.
  166. >”Please don’t.”
  167. >FUCK!
  168. >You nearly jump out of your skin as you whirl around.
  169. >”I’d really rather you didn’t read that,” Fluttershy mumbles softly, her eyes avoiding yours. “It’s… personal… you know…?”
  170. “You’re alive!?”
  171. >You’re so happy, you could almost cry.
  172. >This is impossible, but –
  173. >She shakes her head sadly, and you have the feeling she’s sad for *you*.
  174. >Fluttershy shifts uncomfortably at your silence – her eyes flicker up to meet yours.
  175. >She’s been crying. She still is.
  176. >”Please,” she begs, just like she had begged you to let her die with dignity, “please don’t read it.”
  177. “Of course I won’t.”
  178. >The sirens are cut off suddenly and Fluttershy’s head snaps around to stare at the window.
  179. >You have to get out of here.
  180. >”You have to get out of here,” the girl mumbles, looking back to the floor. “The police will ask you a lot of awkward questions if they find you here.”
  181. >The window is the obvious escape route – and you’re halfway to it when you realize how pointless that would be.
  182. “People saw me come in, so they’ll be asking awkward questions anyway.”
  183. >”But –“
  184. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. You’re alive!”
  185. >You hug her – and touch nothing.
  186. >”No,” she sobs quietly. “I’m not.”
  187. >You reach for Fluttershy’s hand but she steps back again. A faint halo shines around her head and shoulders as the light from the window shimmers off errant strands of hair.
  188. "Look, just because you're a vampire, that doesn't mean -"
  189. >She's standing in the sunlight.
  190. >"I'm dead, Anon," Fluttershy mumbles, smiling sadly. "But it's okay, I don't really mind."
  191. "Bullshit!"
  192. >"I deserved it."
  193. "No one deserves what happened to you."
  194. >"I did."
  195. "No, you didn't!"
  196. >"I did!" she screams at you, doubling over crying. "I'm a murderer!"
  197. "Then where's the body!?"
  198. >You refuse to believe it.
  199. >"They're everywhere," she cries, falling to her knees. "I couldn't... I was just so hungry..."
  200. >The words resonate with an unformed suspicion that's been tugging at the corners of your mind.
  201. "No."
  202. >"I didn't want to!"
  203. >You glance back over your shoulder - there's a cage under a stained brown and tan tablecloth just outside the room.
  204. >A pair of deep voices are coming closer; you don't have much time left.
  205. "No, I don't believe it."
  206. >Slowly, you walk over to the cage.
  207. >You try to move faster, but your feet refuse.
  208. >The knowledge of what you will find weighs them down, but you can't *not* look.
  209. "I refuse to believe it."
  210. >There's always a chance you're wrong.
  211. >You *hope* you're wrong.
  212. >Hesitantly, you grab a corner of the cloth and lift it up to peer inside.
  213. >"I killed them all!" Fluttershy moans. "Every single one."
  214. >It’s not enough for you to see anything.
  215. >There's no other choice. You have to prove yourself wrong.
  216. >With a swift yank, you jerk the cloth off the twisted and bent cage.
  217. >You were right.
  218. "It... it wasn't your fault, Fluttershy."
  219. >She doesn't respond.
  220. "It wasn't your fault."
  221. >Only silence answers.
  222. >You turn back to the girl, but she isn't there anymore.
  223. >”HEY, KID! YOU STILL IN HERE!?”
  224. >A flashlight flashes across the hall, catching your legs in its beam.
  225. >Shit.
  226. >”Kid, I’m gonna need you to come outside with me and stop disturbing the evidence,” another voice growls as a second flashlight shines blindingly in your eyes, “You don’t want us thinking you had anything to do with your friend’s disappearance, do you?”
  227. “But, she’s -”
  228. >”Don’t argue,” the first barks. “Your girlfriend’s pretty worried about you, so let’s just get you outside, okay?”
  229. >But –
  230. >You look back towards Fluttershy’s room – no, she’s gone. Used her vampiric powers to disappear, or maybe just slipped out the window. You should have, too, when you had the chance.
  231. >”Don’t do anything stupid, kid. I know you’re scared.”
  232. >How does he know that?
  233. >It’s just not possible that he knows what happened to Fluttershy.
  234. >”I mean, your friend is missing and some creep killed all of her pets. I’d be freaking out, too, but if we’re going to help her, we need you to stay calm, okay?”
  235. “Help her?”
  236. >”Yeah. Just come outside.”
  237. >You nod slowly.
  238. >The lights back away and you follow them, trying hard not to think about how much they remind you of will-o-the-wisps.
  239. >They reveal themselves to be two fairly plain looking officers as they pass by one of the windows you had uncovered earlier.
  240. >That isn’t any less terrifying.
  241. >One stays by the door as the other escorts you down to the street, where a crowd has started to gather, despite the smell.
  242. >”Don’t go too far,” the cop warns as Rarity slides up beside you. “We’re gonna have to ask you some questions, maybe take some fingerprints to eliminate you as a suspect.”
  243. >”I *told* him not to go in,” Rarity sighs, grabbing your arm tightly. “I am sorry if it complicates things.”
  244. >”Nah, I get it,” he says with a shrug. “He’s just worried about his friend. I know better, and I would have done the same. Still, it’s a good thing you called us when you did.”
  245. >Rarity called them?
  246. >Why!?
  247. >He tips his head in thanks.
  248. >”I’ll be right back to get your statements. Just have to secure the scene –“
  249. >The policeman looks back towards the house.
  250. >”There’s no one else in there, right?”
  251. “No.”
  252. >You’ve bought her enough time to escape.
  253. >”Okay, good. I’ll be back as soon as we have a couple more units to help out. Don’t worry, son, we’ll find your friend and bring her home safe.”
  254. “But –“
  255. >He’s already leaving and either doesn’t hear you, or *pretends* not to hear you.
  256. >Despite that, you wait until he’s back to the house before asking Rarity the burning question on your mind.
  257. “*You* called them!?”
  258. >”Because I was worried about you, darling,” she answers, staring devotedly up at you through her lashes.
  259. “I kind of thought you’d be scared of them.”
  260. >”Why?” she laughs quietly.
  261. “Because she’s dead and you know it, Rarity!”
  262. >”Be that as it may, I still do not find a single valid reason to feel concerned in their presence,” your girlfriend mumbles. “It is not as if I have done anything wrong.”
  263. >Rarity flinches away at your angry glare.
  264. >It seems impossible, but her face seems paler than normal.
  265. >”I… I haven’t!”
  266. >You want to scream at her, but this isn’t the time or the place. More neighbors and passerbys have gathered, drawn by the crowd and flashing lights. A few already look at you with suspicion.
  267. >It would be easy enough to slip away and go home – the cops didn’t ask to see any ID or anything, so they don’t know who you are, and the crowd isn’t so dense that you can’t move away.
  268. >But you stay – and you grab Rarity’s wrist to make sure she does, too.
  269. >An unnecessary precaution, you realize; she wouldn’t leave your side for anything.
  270. >You stay because of something one of them said.
  271. >They want to help Fluttershy.
  272.  
  273. >The questioning didn’t last long, just long enough to convince you that there was nothing they could do.
  274. >You didn’t tell them everything – you didn’t have a chance.
  275. >All they wanted to know was your name, address, when you had seen Fluttershy last… mundane SHIT like that.
  276. >They didn’t have a clue what they were dealing with, but how could they?
  277. >You are an idiot for thinking there was anything they could actually do.
  278. >Their promises to find your friend brought only a sneer to your lips.
  279. >”Just what did those brutes mean when they said dear Fluttershy was missing?” Rarity snarls, clutching your arm tightly as the two of you walk away from the scene. “Have you misplaced her, Anonymous?”
  280. >You honestly don’t know.
  281. >She squeezes your arm tightly – almost painfully – when you don’t answer.
  282. >”Well, Anon? Have you?”
  283. >Despite everything that’s happened, she still cares about her friend.
  284. “I don’t know.
  285. >”You don’t know!?” Rarity hisses angrily. “How? I never once imagined that you could be so careless! She is our friend, and –”
  286. “Wait, Rarity, I…”
  287. >You look back at Fluttershy’s house as it disappears into the distance.
  288. “… I saw something in there.”
  289. >”What?”
  290. >That’s a very good question.
  291. “I’m not sure, okay?”
  292. >”Fine,” she huffs. “I trust you will tell me when the time is right.”
  293. “Of course.”
  294. >That perks her up instantly. Good, you’re a fan of not having your throat slit.
  295. >”Well, until then,” she sighs, “be a gentleman and walk a lady home?”
  296. “Not spending the night at my place?”
  297. >”I couldn’t dare!” Rarity gasps, pressing a hand over her heart. “That would just be mortifying!”
  298. >You’re trying not to take it personally – and it’s not like you really want her there – but –
  299. >”On a school night? I am afraid there is just no way!”
  300. “It was a school night last night.”
  301. >”Yes, well,” she mumbles before coughing politely. Rarity turns away slightly, but not enough to hide her blush. “Extenuating circumstances and all that.”
  302. >Apparently, first dates rank higher than setting a good example for her sister.
  303. >”After all, I had been waiting years for that moment.”
  304. >You don’t know how to respond to that, and the rest of the walk passes in uncomfortable silence. Uncomfortable for you, that is; Rarity seems happy just being at your side.
  305.  >Good thing it’s not *too* far to Rarity’s place. Doubly good because you are dead on your feet.
  306. >Constant stress has that kind of effect on people, plus you’ve had next to no sleep and are probably still running about a pint low.
  307. >You probably would have snapped by now, if you had the energy to do so.
  308. >Rarity’s father – a massive bull of a man with a moustache that could put a broom to shame – waves as you approach, but doesn’t stick around to say hello. He saunters into the backyard with some lawn equipment, though you’d swear he had been in the process of putting it away.
  309. >Rarity giggles softly as soon as he is gone and pulls herself up , standing on her tiptoes to kiss your lips.
  310. >Ah, apparently some fathers understand that discretion is the better part of parenting.
  311. >”Do check on her for me, won’t you?”
  312. “I was planning on it.”
  313. >”Of course you were,” she mumbles, smiling happily.
  314. >The girl gives you another light peck before slipping through the front door.
  315. >No goodbyes, because you are always together in your hearts. That was another little thing the two of you had discussed yesterday.
  316. >You have to backtrack to get home – you could pass right by Fluttershy’s place, except you can see and hear the mess from a block away.
  317. >As much as you’d like to see if she’s still around, you know she won’t be found there, and swing left to detour around her place.
  318. >The sun has nearly dropped below the rooftops by the time you get home. As usual, the driveway is empty and no one is home.
  319. >At one point in your life, that made you feel something.
  320. >Now it’s just routine.
  321. >Poor you, always alone. No friends, no girlfriends, no family…
  322. >Except… not now. Not exactly.
  323. >Her friends are your friends, after all.
  324. >You go through the door and head straight to your bedroom without delay.
  325. >There’s something you need to check on.
  326. >It’s still there, sitting on top of your dresser.
  327. >Damn.
  328. >You had been hoping… you don’t know what you had been hoping for, but you had been hoping for something.
  329. >The little urn is untouched, though it’s not really an urn. You don’t know *what* it is, except that Rarity felt it was suitably ornate to hold Fluttershy’s ashes.
  330. >Purchasing it was the very first thing you and Rarity had done on your date. She had insisted.
  331. >But, just being here doesn’t mean a damn thing.
  332. >Cautiously, you lift the lid –
  333. >Still full.
  334. “Dammit.”
  335. >Your heart sinks, as do you – your legs give out, dropping you to the floor.
  336. >Both hands cradle your head as you rock back and forth.
  337. “dammitDammitDAMMIT!”
  338. >You’re not crying – there’s no reason to. There was never any reason to have hope. If you had stopped to think earlier, you would have realized you were just imagining her.
  339. >She’s dead.
  340. >You watched her die.
  341. >Her ashes are in what’s probably a fucking sugar bowl set on top of your motherfucking dresser.
  342. >Beyond your initial reaction, you can’t even feel sad.
  343. >You can’t feel anything, beyond pissed at yourself.
  344. >What the fuck were you even hoping for?
  345. >She’s dead!
  346. >Thinking back, she was standing in the fucking sunlight when you were talking to her!
  347. >Fluttershy is dead, and unless she’s a fucking ghost –
  348. >”Is… is that me…?”
  349. “what…?”
  350. >”Is that *me*?” Fluttershy repeats softly.
  351. >Slowly, you raise your head, your eyes traveling up her long legs to see the girl standing by your dresser. She’s bent over, looking at the urn-thing curiously, with liquid beading up in the corner of her eye.
  352. “Yes.”
  353. >The tear falls, slowly sliding down her cheek.
  354. >It’s red.
  355. “What are you…?”
  356. >”Dead,” she sighs, reaching out to brush a hand across the urn.
  357. “I know, I watched it happen.”
  358. >”I’m sorry,” she mumbles, clutching herself with both arms. “Of course you know that.”
  359. “I tried to save you!”
  360. >You think you might be crying now.
  361. “I swear, I tried!”
  362. >”I know,” the girl sobs, leaning against the dresser for support. “It’s not your fault.”
  363. “But I –“
  364. >”You weren’t the one that killed me, Anon!” she screams, tears flowing freely from her eyes. “Anyway, I deserved it!”
  365. “No –“
  366. >”I didn’t even bury them!” Fluttershy sobs, dropping to her knees beside you. “I killed them all, and I didn’t even bury them! I couldn’t! I couldn’t bear to see my friends like that!”
  367. >Oh.
  368. “Is that why you smashed the lights?”
  369. >”Yes.”
  370. >She slumps against your shoulder.
  371. “But it didn’t help, did it?”
  372. >”It didn’t help at all,” she cries. Her tears are starting to turn pink. “I could still see everything, because of this… this curse!”
  373. “So you covered them up?”
  374. >”Mhm,” she moans, nodding slightly. “I couldn’t bear to see them like that, every single one of them staring up at me…”
  375. >Fluttershy looks up, her eyes glowing bright red.
  376. >Involuntarily, you shudder.
  377. >”No! Wait!” she pleads. “Please don’t! I’m not hungry!”
  378. >Cautiously, you reach out to her, trying to hug her again.
  379. >Your arms pass right through.
  380. “What…?”
  381. >”I think… I think I’m a ghost…”
  382. "But..."
  383. >It makes sense.
  384. >Vampires exist, so why not ghosts?
  385. >"I'm so tired, Anon," Fluttershy whispers, leaning against you gently.
  386. >You might not be able to touch her, but you can definitely feel her.
  387. >"But I can't rest yet."
  388. >Of course not. Ghosts have unfinished business.
  389. "How can I help?"
  390. >Anything - you'd do anything for her.
  391. >"Can you forgive me?" she mumbles into your shoulder.
  392. "For what?"
  393. >You're the one that let her die.
  394. >"I nearly killed you, Anon. I would have, if Rarity hadn't stopped me."
  395. "No, you wouldn't have."
  396. >You try to brush her crimson tears away, but your thumb doesn't quite manage to touch anything.
  397. >"Thank her for me."
  398. "But she -"
  399. >"And stop blaming yourself, Anon," she whispers. "Please."
  400. "You're asking the impossible."
  401. >"Then do the impossible," Fluttershy pleads, grabbing your hands with hers. "I'm begging you, Anon. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for me."
  402. >You don't have the strength to argue, nor do you have the heart to refuse her.
  403. >She smiles sadly as you nod.
  404. "I'll try."
  405. >It's all you can promise.
  406. >"That's all I can ask."
  407. >She stares into your eyes, hoping to see something there, some sign that you can find a way to do that. Your gaze flickers away for a second – for just one second – and she is at the other end of the room.
  408. >”You need to get some sleep,” the ghost says, flipping off the lights. “We don’t need to talk now; it can wait until the morning.”
  409. >Briefly, you contemplate food, homework, all the other things you have to do – the thoughts flash through your mind like a man’s life before he dies.
  410. >Sleep does sound good.
  411. >She isn’t the only one who hasn’t been able to rest; you don’t know how you haven’t keeled over yet.
  412. >Not just from exhaustion, but because… what are you supposed to do…?
  413. >As you strip down and crawl into bed, you notice the brown stain on your pillow.
  414. >Right, you haven’t even changed your sheets.
  415. >Your hand goes to your neck, but the wound has already healed.
  416. >You can’t even make yourself turn the pillow over before laying your head down.
  417. >It doesn’t matter.
  418. >You’re just so –
  419. >A chill runs up your spine as something presses against your back.
  420. “Goodnight, Fluttershy.”
  421. >”Goodnight, Anon.”
  422. >It feels nice, not being alone.
  423.  
  424. >She’s gone again.
  425. >It’s the first thing you notice when you wake.
  426. >The second is the smell of breakfast cooking.
  427. >How can a ghost make breakfast for you?
  428. >”Are you awake, darling?”
  429. >Fuck.
  430. >Rarity slowly pushes open the door to your room and peaks inside.
  431. >”Oh dear, you have not even *begun* preparing for the day, have you?”
  432. “Why are you here?”
  433. >”Well, Sweetie Belle woke up quite early this morning to make breakfast for the family,” the girl answers with a crooked smirk. “As someone who values her own life, I felt it prudent to slip away.”
  434. >That… maybe answers your question, but not what you meant to ask.
  435. “*How* are you here?”
  436. >You sit up, letting the sheet fall from your bare torso.
  437. “I mean, like…”
  438. >”In your house, you mean?” Rarity giggles, blushing slightly. “A lady *must* have her secrets, Anon. You know this.”
  439. >Tonight, you change the locks.
  440. >”And speaking of secrets, are you ready to tell me yours?”
  441. >Her head tilts to one side and she smiles.
  442. >”What did you see yesterday?”
  443. “What…?”
  444. >… the fuck is she talking about?
  445. >”You know, darling, whatever it was you saw in Fluttershy’s home.”
  446. >Oh.
  447. >You should have known better than to tell her as much as you had; there was no way that would not come back to haunt you.
  448. “Nothing important.”
  449. >”Are you sure?” Rarity pouts, pushing out her lower lip. “Very well, it can wait until later. I *do* have to get the bacon out of the oven, anyway. Breakfast is nearly ready, so please get yourself ready for the day as soon as possible.”
  450. >Oven…?
  451. >She slips out before you can wrap your mind around that little piece of insanity.
  452. >You have to see this, if only to see what kind of blaspheme your new girlfriend is committing now.
  453. >Getting dressed doesn’t take long – it’s not as if you have to coordinate your clothes or anything like that.
  454. >All you have to do to find a matching outfit is grab a random t-shirt and a random pair of jeans.
  455. >You take one last look at your bed before slouching out towards the kitchen, but it’s still empty.
  456. >If you hadn’t felt Fluttershy nestled against you last night, you might suspect you had imagined it. But you know what you felt. You know what happened.
  457. >Your eyes rest on her urn for a moment.
  458. “See you soon.”
  459. >Hopefully.
  460. >You shut the door behind you and shuffle into the kitchen, still more than half-asleep.
  461. >”There you are, darling,” Rarity smiles, pulling off a pair of oven mitts. “I was just about to go looking for you.”
  462. >She sighs and looks down at the tray on the counter.
  463. >”I *had* hoped for a leisurely breakfast, but I am not sure if that is still possible.”
  464. “What time is it, anyway?”
  465. >”Just after seven.”
  466. >She doesn’t even look at a clock or check her phone.
  467. >Definetly feels earlier.
  468. >Like… maybe three or four?
  469. >Luckily, you had the presence of mind – or the muscle memory – to slip your phone into your pocket; you check it when she turns her back to you.
  470. >Damn.
  471. >7:03
  472. >”I am afraid I could not find your press or splatter guard,” she says apologetically, twisting to hand you a plate full of bacon and english muffins. “I *would* have fried it, but…”
  473. >She spins to show off her outfit – the blue cloth of her blouse is almost as pale as her skin.
  474. >Yeah, okay.
  475. >You get it.
  476. >You’re surprised she managed to get dressed without staining that thing.
  477. >Well, not her - *she* wouldn’t – but anyone else, would have wrecked the hell out of it by now.
  478. >”It’s impolite to stare,” Rarity teases, picking up a plate for herself, “even though it is quite understandable.”
  479. “Oh, sorry.”
  480. >”Don’t apologize.”
  481. >She giggles and holds out a strip of bacon for you to try.
  482. >”I do so hope you like this,” she whispers as you take a bite. “I could not quite find all of the spices, so I had to experiment a tad.”
  483. >It’s not as dry as you expected, with more than a hint of –
  484. “Rosemary?”
  485. >Honestly, you don’t have a clue, but usually it’s a safe bet.
  486. >”Mhm!”
  487. >Rarity pops the remainder of the strip into her mouth and licks her fingers clean.
  488. >”Also basil and cracked black pepper,” she adds after a few seconds. “I am afraid I may have used up the last of the pepper. You don’t mind, do you?”
  489. “Not at all!”
  490. >You have no idea what she’s talking about, but whatever sin she has committed is forgiven. This is fucking tasty.
  491. >She leads you into the dining room – where she already has two glasses of juice waiting.
  492. >You had juice?
  493. >It’s scary that Rarity knows your kitchen better than you do.
  494. >”So, you never did say, but how *is* our friend? You *did* check on her, right?”
  495. >You glance up at the smiling girl sitting opposite you and have to revise that thought – everything about her is scary.
  496. “Still on my dresser.”
  497. >”Well, *that* is a relief,” she sighs, “though we absolutely *must* find someplace more dignified.”
  498. >Rarity continues to nonchalantly nibble on her bacon as if she hadn’t just brought up hiding Fluttershy’s remains.
  499. >”The poor thing deserves better,” your girlfriend adds after finishing off that piece. “Perhaps we could look into that this afternoon.”
  500. “Maybe.”
  501. >”Did you have something else planned, darling?”
  502. >You *could* tell her about Fluttershy’s ghost – you could also save everyone some time and just shoot yourself.
  503. >As methods of suicide go, it would be far more direct.
  504. “No, not really.”
  505. >Rarity frowns slightly – she can hear the lack of enthusiasm in your tone.
  506. >”Well, I guess we do not have to do that tonight,” she mutters. “Let us just play it by ear, then?”
  507. “Sure.”
  508. >Rarity’s eyes twitch and she looks away, pretending to stare out the window and watch the birds.
  509. >”We can do whatever you want, Anon,” your girlfriend mumbles quietly. “Really. I don’t mind.”
  510. “Do we have to do anything?”
  511. >”I… but… no…”
  512. >Her head turns back towards you, just enough for you to see her hopeful – yet hopeless – smile.
  513. >”We can just stay in, if you want…?”
  514. >She doesn’t touch her plate again – after a few minutes of silence, she stands and wanders away to do the dishes.
  515. >The drive to school passes almost wordlessly – you almost decided to walk, but you take so long finishing up both her and your breakfasts that you don’t have the time.
  516. >Rarity keeps glancing in your direction the entire trip.
  517. >She wants to say something, but thinks the better of it every time – she’s too scared of your disapproval to speak.
  518. >Some cruel, bitter part of your soul rejoices when you realize that.
  519. >The rest of it nearly breaks you with guilt when you get out of her car and she clutches at your arm as if hanging on for life itself.
  520. >The hallways of Canterlot High are strangely silent – but not empty – you notice it immediately as the two of you enter through the front doors. Students stand together in small groups, whispering and… crying…?
  521. >You’re instantly on edge, your previous spiteful attitude forgotten in a heartbeat.
  522. >”Oh, Anon,” Rarity gasps quietly, “has something happened?”
  523. “I don’t know.”
  524. >You look around, trying to see anyone you know – anyone you can ask.
  525. >Classes are about to start any minute now; there shouldn’t be this many students out in the hall.
  526. >You don’t notice the girl with straight, pink hair shuffling towards you until she has grabbed onto the front of your shirt with both hands.
  527. >”Anon…” she cries softly, “… she’s missing….”
  528. “What?”
  529. >”Fluttershy is missing,” Pinkie Pie repeats, looking up at you with wet eyes. “The police say she never made it home Sunday morning.”
  530. >The bell rings and students begin moving off towards their rooms, but not Pinkie.
  531. >”We have to help look for her, Anon,” she sniffles. “We *have* to!”
  532. >”Of course we will,” Rarity cuts in, gently – but firmly – prying her friend’s hands from your shirt, “but right now we need to get to class.”
  533. >”But… but…”
  534. >”There is not a thing we can do right now, I am afraid,” your girlfriend tells her softly.
  535. >Of course not.
  536. >Fluttershy is dead and you both know it.
  537. >“We must give the police time to work,” Rarity continues,  tenderly leading the other girl away from you. “No doubt they will be organizing a search by the time our classes end.”
  538. >Ah.
  539. >She’s doing this to give her friend hope.
  540. >You’re not sure if that is kind or cruel. Oh, the intent is clear – Rarity would *never* do anything to hurt her friends, but you’ve seen how that works out in practice.
  541. “Rarity –“
  542. >Her head snaps up, eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights.
  543. >It might just be your imagination, but you think she trembles slightly.
  544. “– thanks for breakfast. See you later?”
  545. >Someone needs to keep an eye on her.
  546. >Your girlfriend nods eagerly.
  547. >It seems unlikely she would try anything at school, but apparently everything you knew about her was a lie.
  548. >Except that she is perfect.
  549. >Insane, of course, but executed to perfection.
  550. >You don’t see her again until lunch, though it doesn’t feel like that much time passes. Most of your classes fly by in a blur. You’re not alone in that regard, as few of your classmates seem to be paying much attention to the teachers – nor do many of the teachers seem to be paying much attention to their classes.
  551. >That’s to be expected, you guess. Everyone is worried about their friend – and she seems to have been friends with more people than you suspected.
  552. >The oblivious few continue on with their day as usual – and in different circumstances, you probably would have been one of them – but you can’t help but notice the drastic change in the school, not when it’s so close to you.
  553. >Not when she came to *you*.
  554. >In your heart, you know Fluttershy hasn’t approach any of her other friends, not even whoever put the flower at her usual place in the lunchroom. You know it because the guilt is physically painful.
  555. >None of them were there when she died. Not even Rarity, you’re beginning to suspect. Not entirely.
  556. >And not a one sees her sitting beside them.
  557. >Just you.
  558. >Fluttershy smiles as you approach the table, as does Rarity. The other four girls continue to stare into the distance or pick idly at their food.
  559. >”Hey, Anon,” Dash mutters as you sit down opposite her. “You’re gonna help, right?”
  560. “Absolutely.”
  561. >You know what she’s asking about.
  562. >”With the search,” Fluttershy explains dejectedly from the other end of the table. “I want to tell them not to bother, but…”
  563. >She drifts off, staring at the table.
  564. >You know what she means.
  565. >”Not that there’s really any point,” Dash sneers. “I mean, I’ll find her right away, but I guess you all can keep me company or something.”
  566. >She tries to laugh at her own bravado, but it falls flat.
  567. >”Fluttershy probably just got distracted by some poor injured animal and got lost,” Twilight suggests, trying her best to sound upbeat. If she really believes that – “I’m sure of it!”
  568. >”That *did* happen once,” the ghost mumbles, kicking her feet out awkwardly.
  569. “That happened once before, right?”
  570. >You’d overheard some of your classmates laughing about it last year.
  571. >”Yeah, but it was only for an hour or so,” AJ growls, glaring angrily at Twilight. “We shoulda started lookin’ for her as soon as we woke up an’ noticed she was missin’! Ah mean, what if she really is lost!? Get too far out in the woods and there ain’t no real shelter –“
  572. >”It’s not *that* cold yet,” Dash sighs. “There’s no way she froze or anything.”
  573. >”Ain’t what Ah meant,” the other girl snarls back. “She’d *burn* out there, what with – what with her fair skin n’ all. Right, Twilight?”
  574. >The egghead nods quickly.
  575. >”Absolutely!” she chuckles nervously. “Didn’t you ever notice how much sunscreen Fluttershy would go through in a day?”
  576. >Rainbow Dash’s head lolls to the side and she blinks.
  577. >”Um. No.”
  578. >”Oh. Well, she did.”
  579. >You glance over towards Fluttershy, but she shakes her head. Ah, you didn’t think so.
  580. >”But what about food!” Pinkie cries, shoving her tray away, the meal untouched. “It’s been two whole days!”
  581. >”It takes far longer than two days for a person to starve,” Twilight snaps back with a roll of her eyes.
  582. >”Ah don’t think that’d be a problem, anyhow,” Applejack adds, leaning forward aggressively. “After all, if she *did* go chasin’ after a wounded animal –“
  583. >Her mouth snaps shut without warning and she sits back.
  584. >”Nevermind.”
  585. >”Um, Anon,” Fluttershy whispers loudly, trying to catch your attention. You don’t know why she had to whisper – it’s not as if anyone else can hear her. “I might be wrong, but I think they know I was a vampire.”
  586. “No fucking way.”
  587. >”I agree,” Rarity says, nodding at your side. “Though the language might be a tad uncalled for…”
  588. >Right.
  589. >Shit.
  590. >Fuck.
  591. >Fluttershy winces in sympathetic embarrassment.
  592. >The others may not be able to hear her, but they can hear you just fine. You have to be careful or people might start thinking you’re crazy.
  593. >”… but there is no possible way she would do what you are implying,” your girlfriend finishes with a frown. “Never. Not ever.”
  594. >”Ah said ‘nevermind,’ alright?”
  595. >The table falls silent, the girls refusing to meet each others’ eyes.
  596. >Normally you had to pop in some earbuds and crank the volume to the max to drown out their conversation – and you usually sat in the far corner.
  597. >Even yesterday – the first time you joined them, at Rarity’s insistence – that been chatty. Worried about their friend, but talkative nonetheless.
  598. >It terrifies you, almost as much as the thought that they know Fluttershy was a vampire, because if they know that… then there’s no telling what else they know.
  599. >”Trixie is going to help,” Pinkie finally mumbles just before the quiet becomes utterly unbearable. “She told Mrs. Harshwhinny she had to skip class because of club activities.”
  600. >Club activities?
  601. >This school has clubs?
  602. >Have you really been living your whole life in a fucking chinese cartoon and never realized it?
  603. >”And just how is *that* going to help?” Rarity sighs. “We all know –“
  604. >”She’s the head of the Occult Studies Club,” Twilight adds. “So it’s not.”
  605. >Fluttershy’s eyes flare open.
  606. >”Oh, I had no idea,” she mumbles just loud enough for you to hear. “Maybe… maybe she could see me, too…?”
  607. >”But -!”
  608. >”Pinkie, ain’t no Ouija board or shiny rocks gonna help,” AJ sneers. “Sometimes, Ah think you’re almost as big an idiot as she is!”
  609. >”Well, at least she’s out there doing *something!*” Rainbow Dash shouts as Pinkie cringes and shrinks in on herself. With an angry grunt, the athlete shoves the cowgirl, nearly pitching her from her seat. “And we’re just sitting around doing NOTHING!”
  610. >She brings a fist down hard enough to rattle the table.
  611. >”Doin’ something pointless ain’t gonna do no good, but Ah can’t really disagree. She’s our friend, and we oughta feel ashamed we didn’t do nothin’ sooner!”
  612. >”Shit, even Scoots is running around asking everyone when they last saw Fluttershy!”
  613. >”An’ Apple Bloom,” AJ adds. “She was askin’ all kinds of questions ‘bout the party. Guess those girls are playin’ junior detective.”
  614. >Fluttershy twitches, disappearing for a heartbeat and reappearing at your side.
  615. >”I… I appreciate the effort, but should they be doing that?” the ghost whispers in your ear. “I mean, what if they find out what really happened?”
  616. >You were thinking the exact same thing.
  617. “That sounds like a really bad idea, AJ.”
  618. >”Why?” she snarls back. “Beats sittin’ around worryin’!”
  619. “Because… because what if the person who took Fluttershy finds out your sister is looking for him?”
  620. >Wrong thing to say – her eyes narrow at the mention of a threat to her family.
  621. >”An’ just what does *that* mean, Anon?”
  622. >It means Rarity’s eyes are trembling slightly.
  623. >You didn’t pay attention to the warning signs last time; you won’t let that happen again.
  624. >She looks away from her friend and smiles at you as your hand squeezes hers.
  625. “All I mean is… is…
  626. >”What he means is it could be dangerous,” Twilight cuts in. “She didn’t just get lost and we all know it, don’t we?”
  627. >She pauses just long enough for her friends to nod.
  628. >”Someone *took* our friend away.”
  629. >She glances in your direction.
  630. >”I think she knows,” Fluttershy hisses through clenched teeth. “I hope I’m wrong, but I think she knows!”
  631. >”Anon –“
  632. >She knows!
  633. >” – saw firsthand what happened to Fluttershy’s pets,” Twilight continues, “and the state of her house. Is what they’re saying true?”
  634. >Oh.
  635. “Um... what *are* they saying…?”
  636. >And who are “they”?
  637. >”That the place was a wreck and everything had been killed,” Dash answers. “But that’s total bullshit. There’s no way –“
  638. “It’s true.”
  639. >The athlete’s jaw hangs open.
  640. >”And we all know that Fluttershy could never do such a thing,” Twilight adds, making the poor ghost cringe. You expect her to start crying, but she has no tears left. “So obviously it had to be someone else.”
  641. >”Well, this town ain’t exactly crawlin’ with murderhobos, so Ah ain’t sure who you think did it –“
  642. >”I don’t!” Twilight snaps back quickly. “I don’t have a clue, and that’s why I’m advocating that we show a little caution, Applejack!”
  643. >”Yeah, fine, makes sense,” Dash snarls, “but they don’t have to be careful of us. It’s not like one of us did anything wrong!”
  644. >Twilight pales and looks away.
  645. >”Of course not,” she answers after a slight – but troubling – hesitation. “Just… word might get around…”
  646. >There’s a gentle, but insistent pressure on your shoulder, drawing your attention back to Fluttershy.
  647. >”She knows!” the ghost hisses, squeezing your shoulder painfully. “I don’t know how, but she does!”
  648. >You were starting to think the same thing, but it’s impossible.
  649. >Isn’t it?
  650. “Excuse me, Rarity, but I need to go take care of something.”
  651. >Like ask a ghost why she’s so paranoid without making all of your friends think you’re crazy.
  652. >You release her hand and step away from the table – so of course she immediately stands and tries to follow. You shake your head.
  653. “I’ll be right back.”
  654. >She doesn’t look convinced, you so lean over and whisper the next word into her ear.
  655. “Restroom.”
  656. >”Oh, certainly!” she laughs, sitting back down. “Take your time!”
  657. >You’re out the cafeteria and down the hall when Principal Celestia walks through the doors followed by a horde of faculty. Looks like there’s going to be some kind of announcement.
  658. >Briefly, you consider heading back, but Fluttershy is following two steps behind you.
  659. >You can always ask about the announcement later, but you might not get another chance alone with the ghost.
  660. >”You aren’t *really* going to the restroom, are you?” she whines. “Because I can’t go in there.”
  661. “No.”
  662. >Well, you *had*, but not now.
  663. “We need to talk.”
  664. >”I know,” she mumbles. “You think I’m being paranoid.”
  665. >Yes, but you can’t admit that now.
  666. “No, I just need to know why you think they know. I mean, I don’t want…”
  667. >What don’t you want?
  668. >Her memory to be tarnished?
  669. >No one will believe the vampire thing, and it’s not like it’ll be any worse for her if everyone knows you let her die.
  670. >It’ll be you in deep shit, not her.
  671. >”I’m worried about you, Anon,” Fluttershy’s ghost whimpers, dipping her head and letting her hair fall over her eyes. “You shouldn’t feel guilty about what happened, but you do. My friends shouldn’t blame you, but…”
  672. >She looks up, staring at you pleadingly through strands of pink hair.
  673. “… but they might.”
  674. >You sigh.
  675. >A quick glance up and down the hall shows it to be empty – everyone is probably in the cafeteria for the announcement.
  676. >Should be safe to talk here.
  677. “They should.”
  678. >”No, they shouldn’t!” Fluttershy tries to hammer her fists against your chest in frustration, but you feel nothing. “It wasn’t your fault!”
  679. “So I’m supposed to throw Rarity under the bus and blame it all on her? She may have done it, but I *let* her –“
  680. >”NO!” she screams, the sheer volume and force of the outburst nearly knocking you to the ground. “Just… just let everyone forget me and live happily with her…”
  681. “She’s crazy!”
  682. >”She *saved* your life, Anon,” Fluttershy insists, resting her head against your chest, “and she loves you.”
  683. “But you –“
  684. >”I don’t think I did,” she admits with a sigh. “I was just so hungry.”
  685. >She sighs again, longer and deeper this time.
  686. >”I can’t be here right now. Go be with your girlfriend, Anon.”
  687. >She steps *through* you – and is gone by the time you turn around.
  688. >Though you don’t want to admit it to yourself, she has a point. It’s not like you really loved her, either.
  689. >Probably not, anyway, but a crush and guilt can be a powerful combination.
  690. >You slump against the wall, sliding down to the floor as your legs lose the strength to hold you up.
  691. >Dammit, you’re still weak from the blood loss. Shouldn’t be surprised, really; from the book Rarity checked, you’re lucky you’re not dead.
  692. >You sit there, your back to the beige wall, until the bell rings to send everyone back to class.
  693. >No one comes through the doors, not immediately, nor when the next bell rings three minutes later.
  694. >Shit.
  695. >You better go back
  696. >With effort, you pull yourself up and shamble back into the cafeteria.
  697. >No one notices you enter – all eyes are on the Principal Celestia and the small group of faculty and students standing beside her.
  698. >” – and so any students wishing to help out can speak to myself or one of the others. Those of you who are not may return to your classes now.”
  699. >A sudden crowd of bodies suddenly materializes as every student practically jumps out of their chairs, some dashing for the door, others heading the other way. You slip between the surging waves of people to find a nearly empty table waiting for you – only Rarity and your backpack are still there.
  700. >”I am afraid you missed a very special announcement,” Rarity sighs, standing and holding your backpack out to you. “The others went on ahead to talk to the principal about joining the search.”
  701. “For Fluttershy?”
  702. >”Indeed,” your girlfriend answers, shouldering her own backpack and following after her friends. “We should catch up to them; I am starting to worry that there will not be enough busses for everyone who wants to join in.”
  703. >A good chunk of your fellow students do seem to be standing around instead of going back to their classes. How many actually want to help and how many are just trying to avoid school is anyone’s guess, but Rarity grabs your hand and pulls you along through the mob.
  704. “Wait!”
  705. >You jerk her back roughly.
  706. >”What is it, darling?”
  707. >You lean over to whisper into her ear. No one else can hear, but you have to know.
  708. “Why?”
  709. >”Why?”
  710. “Do you think it would look suspicious if we didn’t help?”
  711. >She pulls away slightly and blinks in surprise.
  712. >”It is the right thing to do. Why wouldn’t we?”
  713. “Because –“
  714. >You look around – there are too many people nearby. Too many ears that can hear everything you say, no matter how careful you try to be.
  715. “Because I’m worried about your clothes, Rarity. They’ll get ruined.”
  716. >Probably true.
  717. >”Oh!” she gasps, looking down at the pale blue cloth. “That did not even occur to me, but it is not really important compared to everything else.”
  718. >Rarity darts forward and kisses your cheek.
  719. >”Do not worry, darling, I will change into my gym clothes before we leave for the forest.”
  720. “Oh, okay then.”
  721. >Why does she always have to have a reasonable response for everything?
  722. >Isn’t she the insane one?
  723. >Rarity continues on, pulling your stumbling body behind her. You don’t resist; it wouldn’t do any good – even if this is a pointless waste of time you don’t know what else to do.
  724. >She catches up to her friends quickly and you just… go with the flow. Write down your name on a sheet of paper when she pushes a pen into your hand, line up with her friends, shuffling along to the buses.
  725. >”Wait… A-anon, right?”
  726. >A hand comes down on your shoulder, pulling you out of the line and away from your “friends”.
  727. “Oh, Vice Principal –“
  728. >This is awkward.
  729. >Uncomfortable.
  730. >Weird.
  731. >”You look like you are in a bit of a daze, Anon,” Vice Principal Luna says, looking down at you with concern. “Is everything okay?”
  732. >Ignoring the murdered girl, vampires, ghosts, insane surprise girlfriend, and your general shit life before all that then –
  733. “Yeah.”
  734. >She doesn’t need to know any of that.
  735. >”Are you sure you can do this?” the woman asks as Rarity and the others watch. “You appear to be in shock.”
  736. “M’fine.”
  737. >”I know it must have been horrible, seeing your friend’s home wrecked like that. There are councilors available if you need someone to talk to…”
  738. >She drifts off, obviously considering amending her wording.
  739. >Clearly, she thinks you do.
  740. “No, really, I’m fine.”
  741. >Talking to someone sounds like the worst possible thing, because what if you do…? You’re not entirely sure you would stop.
  742. >”We don’t know what we will find out there,” the woman sighs, trying to bodily steer you away from the bus. “Why don’t you –“
  743. >”He’s just worried,” Rarity explains to Luna, gently pulling you away from her. “We all are.”
  744. >Wait, when did she change?
  745. >The vice-principal looks like she wants to argue – but something in your girlfriend’s eyes stops her.
  746. >”Very well,” Luna snarls. “Anon, we are here if you need us.”
  747. >She stalks away stiffly, leaving you and the others free to get on the bus.
  748. >You file in slowly – it’s packed, as are the other two parked at the curb.
  749. >”What the hell…?” you hear Dash grumble. “Why are there so many people?”
  750. >”Because Fluttershy is missing?” AJ snarls back. “Do we gotta look for your brain, too?”
  751. >”No, smartass, I mean why SO MANY!?” She throws herself into a seat, scooting over reluctantly to make room for the other girl. “She’s just lost or something.”
  752. >Dash almost sounds like she believes it.
  753. >”Weren’t you listening?” an unfamiliar voice asks from the seat in front of the athlete. “No, of course not. Not *you.*”
  754. >”Shut it, Sunset.”
  755. >”Principal Celestia was practically begging for help.”
  756. >”I said SHUT UP!”
  757. >”Look – “ the new girl pops up, resting her crossed arms on the back of her seat to stare at the other girl. “She was my friend too, okay? You don’t have to be such a bitch about this.”
  758. >Rarity sighs theatrically as she slides into the seat behind Rainbow Dash, dragging you down with her.
  759. >”That’s fine, just pretend I don’t exist, Rarity,” the red-and-yellow haired girl sneers. “I’m used to it now.”
  760. >”Just go away,” Dash snarls at the girl. “We’re not so desperate that we need *your* help!”
  761. >”She was my friend!”
  762. >”STOP SAYING THAT LIKE SHE’S DEAD! SHE’S NOT!”
  763. >You shudder slightly – slightly only because Rarity is holding you so tightly. If she wasn’t… you don’t know.
  764. >Twilight sighs as she sits down.
  765. >”Don’t do this Dash, not now.”
  766. >”But –!”
  767. >”The first 48 hours are the most important, and we squandered those,” the girl explains with a hollow voice. “Apparently the police got some kind of lead, and they need all the help they can get.”
  768. >”But… fine.”
  769. >Dash slumps in her seat, preferring to stare at the floor than even acknowledge the existence of the girl in front of her.
  770. >You lean over towards Rarity to whisper in her ear.
  771. ”Twilight doesn’t sound very hopeful, does she?”
  772. >”She is quite the genius,” your girlfriend whispers back. “She knows better than any of us…”
  773. >Rarity trails off, biting her lip as if to stop the rest of that from coming out.
  774. >”She knows what the odds are that Fluttershy will be found alive,” she corrects after a moment, tears gathering in the corner of her eye.
  775. >The bus ride passes in silence – you must have zoned out for a bit because you could swear you had just left the school when the bus rolls to a halt outside Everfree Park.
  776. >You chuckle at the big wooden sign next to the ranger’s hut – no one calls it that. Wouldn’t want to confuse it with any of the *real* parks in the city. Everyone just calls it the forest, because it’s not exactly the kind of place anyone would want to picnic at.
  777. >Too much undergrowth, too many wild animals.
  778. >You’ve been here *once* in your entire life, and most people agree that once is enough.
  779. >There are so few visitors annual that there’s been talk of shutting down the ranger station.
  780. >Whatever false lead led the police here, you can’t really fault them. If you *were* going to hide a body – and not in a sugarbowl on your dresser – it would be here.
  781. >No one would ever find it.
  782. >The students file off the buses – and you, with only minor prompting from Rarity. You hadn’t noticed it from the bus, but the place is crawling with police and search dogs and all kinds of other people, most of them probably volunteers.
  783. >You have to stand and listen to someone whose name and title you missed talk about something you don’t quite catch.
  784. >Doesn’t matter, since you’re basically just along for the ride. You put in just enough effort to keep Rarity smiling and nothing more.
  785. >”Well, he said we need to stay in groups,” Pinkie mumbles once he’s done talking, “but couldn’t we cover more ground if we split up?”
  786. >”An’ why do we gotta cover an area they’ve already searched?” AJ snarls. “What’s the point of *that*?”
  787. >”Because the first group might have missed something,” the girl – Sunset? – answers with a sigh.
  788. >”And they don’t want any of us getting lost,” Twilight adds with a little shiver. “I don’t want that to happen, either, so I’m okay with this. I don’t want to lose any more friends.”
  789. >She tries to step towards Sunset, but the other girl shuffles backwards.
  790. >”Wait, I –“
  791. >”Don’t worry,” Sunset says, quickly turning and walking away. “You made it plenty clear I was never your friend.”
  792. >”But…” Twilight hesitates, glancing in your direction for only a heartbeat “… but what if I need you…?”
  793. >”Too late, Sparkle. Too little, too late.”
Anon EQG Mane 6 Rarity Fluttershy Vampire Incomplete Supernatural Dark NSFW

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