Pony-On

"…where is everypony?" Came a soft voice from the darkness.

What are you looking at?

"Please. Somepony. Anypony there?"

Why don't you talk to yourself?

A bright pink mare trotted out of the shadows gently. Her face stained with sweat and tears, she looked around.

She spotted a mirror off to the side, her reflection staring back at her. She tried again, "Isn't there-?"

"Talk to me!" Her reflection screamed.

Pinkie shuttered awake, in a cold sweat. She gave her blank room a quick glance over, windows plastered to the edges with newspaper.

The only thing not covered, was a large square mirror at the end of her bed.

She blinked, and the reflection blinked back. "I want to…" Pinkie hesitated, "but..."

The little pony closed her eyes tightly. The pain in her forehead overwhelming her senses.

Visions of her cursed past tore across her closed off sight. She relaxed as the apparition passed, and opened her eyes slowly. Sadly.

"I don't think I can anymore."

Her eyes glared. Peering through the broken glass and the torn newspaper.

It made the pink pony's fur stand on end, that she was always watching.

Waiting.

Slowly driving her crazy.

But that time had come to her long ago. Her mental state shattered, she no longer knew reality from her dreams.

None of it was any comfort now anyway.

"Just…go away. Just leave like everypony else." She shrunk into herself, pulling her hooves around her. Cradling her.

She gasped out a sob, her head reeling and in her hooves, as the last contact with a pony rushed through her memory.

"Did…did you leave as well? I don't…remember anymore."

A building on fire. Ponies rushing back and forth for water, hoping. Praying they weren't too late.

"Is it almost out?" Asked the fire chief to a firepony exiting the house.

The pony shook her head. "Still blazing inside, sir."

The chief clenched his teeth. "Damn. A few more minutes and it won't matter what we do."

"We're doing all we can."

"Can a medical squad get up there?" He continued, hopeful.

A head shake in reply. Then, "Doubt it. The floor boards on the upper level are in bad shape. Brittle. If anypony is alive up there, they might just fall through themselves."

"This is the most haunted house in all Equestria."

Three mares stood in front of a broken down building. Charred remains laying abandoned on the uncut grass.

Hadn't been trimmed in years.

"Yeah, everypony who goes in there is said to die a few weeks later. Depends though, either killing themselves or…something else…unpony."

The filly in the middle gulped.

The two fillies had talked her into checking out a haunted house. But not if it meant the most haunted house in Equestria.

She took a step back. "Um, ah don't know if-"

"Aww, what's the matter? Chicken?" The filly with a tiara for a cutie-mark asked, interrupting her with a nudge.

"Too scared to look into a little ghosties home are we?" The other one, purple with a silver spoon cutie-mark, followed up, teasingly.

The yellow filly shook her head uneasily, backing away from the house more.

The pompous pony chuckled coldly. "Heh, I guess she is Silver Spoon. I knew we should have gotten Scootaloo to come."

The purple pony nodded. "So much easier to get under her skin with dares."

The filly stopped and pounded her hoof on the ground. "Ah'm not scared. I'll go see yer silly ghost house." She gulped again, looking up at the property.

"Oooh, look Diamond Tiara. Finally acting brave enough are we Applebloom?" She countered, rolling her eyes indignantly.

Applebloom exhaled dryly. "Let's jus' get this over with." She stepped forward, huffing, up to the others.

The two ponies looked and nodded to each other and trotted over onto the property, hopping slightly through the tall grass and overgrown weeds.

Applebloom ventured forward, to the tip of the fence line long gone since the fire, and stopped.

A wave of fear washed over her. She felt somepony staring at her from the second level window, and she shut her eyes tight.

Afraid to see. To breath.

Anxiety waned on her and she looked, her eyes open. Searching, unable to keep them shut any longer.

Nothing.

Nopony. Burnt curtains was all that she saw. Deep breath.

"Coming chicken?"

"Hold yer horses ah'ma comin'." She took one step over the line and felt dizzy. Disoriented.

She felt like if she took one more step, she would fall away completely from reality. The earth pony didn't like that idea.

But those two. They did it, and they were sophisticated types. She was a country filly, she could do anything they could do and more.

Another breath and she was on the property. All four hooves. In the building, looking around. It was disserted for a long time. And for good reason.

It stunk dreadfully.

"This is where they slept. The night before…she got killed." Silver Spoon smirked, lowering her voice grimly.

"Who's…she?" Applebloom whispered back, almost too softly.

The violet maned pony scoffed, as if everypony should know that. "The pony that lived here, duh. With her partner and their filly and alligator pet."

They seemed to have been here before, Applebloom assumed. Reasonably so, they lead her to a room plastered with drawings and photos.

"Her partner loved to take photos of them together. A little…over protective." Another smirk.

"Creepy I say. Look at this one. Her with another pony, taken from a bush." Silver Spoon pointed a hoof to the photo in the middle of the collage.

The red maned pony yawned, trying to sound unimpressed. "We done here yet? Ah've got better things ta do than look at old photos of dead ponies all day." She spoke the words, but didn't quite mean them. She was interested.

She tried to shake off the sick feeling she was now getting, just by being near the desk.

Like some outside force telling her to look into the book of photos in front of them. On the desk, to find out what really happened. Why.

Diamond Tiara stopped her, grinning. "Oh, but you can't leave yet. Not without seeing the places she killed them in."

"Murdered ya mean?" Applebloom responded bluntly, raising an eyebrow.

"Potato potato." Was her quick response.

The bathroom, cold and damp. Unused and forgotten.

Still it was filled with water, though moldy now, as it would seem. Nopony touched it to find out.

"Eww." Applebloom grimaced, placing a fore-hoof over her snout in disgust.

Silver Spoon stood beside her. She said, "Where she drowned the filly and the alligator. Screamed for their lives, all of them. Looks like nopony answered."

Applebloom closed her eyes, feeling dizzy and nauseous again.

A glimpse of the drowning. Hearing the sounds of spilling water and desperate shouting, and her eyes shot wide open again.

Her eyes relaxed, but uneasily.

She was still there. Inside the house with those two ponies.

Nopony answered.

The bedroom had a small closet, taped up for who knows what reason.

"This is where she stuffed her body," Silver Spoon began, leaning slightly on the door. "Before hanging herself. Tried to light the place on fire, but it never caught."

Diamond Tiara smirked. "I dare you to go up there."

Applebloom looked shocked. "Who me? No way! Ah'm not goin' up there." She took a step back, away from the mirror and the closet.

Diamond Tiara snickered, "Oh come on, we've all looked in there. It's empty except for old atticy stuff. The body was taken down years ago."

Unsure, the yellow filly shook her head. "Ah dunno. Seems awful dark in there."

She stared at the door, and it felt like it was glaring back at her. That feeling again. Being watched, but by an inanimate object it seemed. The same room.

Predator and prey.

The last of the tape was peeled off, leaving the closet in full view of the three.

"There you go. We got the tape for you, now just crawl in there for… a minute or two. Then you can say you did it, just like us." The dull pink filly smiled and tossed her mane back behind her head.

"Yeah, lucky me." Applebloom mumbled under her breath. A deep one again.

She crawled in slowly, feeling more and more bottled in as she felt her hooves along the platform. Until.

Slam.

Click.

The door. Closed shut and locked. She felt her way back to the entrance.

"Hey! Let me out!" Silence greeted her. Snickering and then…nothing.

She was terrified. She didn't even know what for, but the house was getting to her.

"You're not getting out until your minute is up." Diamond Tiara sneered through the keyhole.

Seconds ticked by, she heard slight moaning suddenly and looked up. The closet went up into the attic, the door wide open. No stairs, but it could easily be crawled into if fully grown.

Her mind was playing tricks on her, but she seemed more relaxed. Maybe things weren't so bad.

A deep throated moan, clicking ever so slightly. As if it weren't actually there.

Applebloom's eyes darted around in the darkness now. Wanting, or not wanting, to know where that noise was coming from. It shook her spine to listen to it, getting longer and louder.

She searched the darkness for something. Some source of light. She was panting and sweating profusely, desperate for escape.

Eyes developed in the shadows, and she became more aware. Less frantic, only occasional mumble sounds entering her ears.

Whispers of fear and discomfort. Sorrow.

Crackling noises, as though from a plastic bag dragged across the wood floor.

The moaning started up again, louder. Higher pitched whines and whimpers, trying to speak to her. Heavy breathing as if every breath was a labor, but still needed to be breathed.

Cracking of what felt like limbs, shoulders and arms, as the accompanying sounds shook the poor filly's body to its core.

She squeezed herself up against the door, hoping it would break under her weight.

All she got from the outside was, "Try to knock it down, the door's locked. You gotta be patient."

But the noises from inside almost drowned it out.

The crackling noises stopped, just above her head, as she heard every noise coming from around her.

She felt something drip on her from above. A liquid. Rank and decrepit.

As she sat motionless in the closet, the darkness seemed to slide downwards. In strands, of what looked like mane, creeping down from the ceiling.

Applebloom's eyes widened. A pair of bloodshot eyes stared at her. Lifeless. Sorrowful.

Dead.

She wanted to scream, but she couldn't make the sound.

"Come on Spoon, it's been two minutes already. Let her go. We've never done this before." Silver Spoon pleaded on the other side of the closet door.

Diamond Tiara hissed and rolled her eyes. She sighed. "Fine. Come on out princess."

She unlocked the door and a rippling thud entered their ears.

The pony lay limp on the wooden floor. Almost paralyzed, her eyes trained on the closet. Unmoving.

The two ponies looked at each other, confused and slightly concerned. They didn't want to hurt her.

"Applebloom?" A hoof reached her shoulder and the filly shook to life.

A cold chill seemed to run through her at the gentle touch and she crawled back.

The purple pony tried again as Diamond Tiara stood off to the side, unsure what to do. "Applebloom it's me. Silver Spoon? Remember?"

Applebloom slowly took her eyes off the closet and looked over at the filly. "S-Silver…Sp…" She responded eventually, stumbling over her words.

"Come on," The pink filly said quickly, "Let's get her out of here. It's starting to creep me out."

As they left the haunted house, two faded cyan eyes watched them leave. From the second level bedroom.

Another shiver went down Applebloom's spine, and she passed out.

"…no. Don't come closer. Stay back and put the flower down." Pinkie screamed.

She was staring out the window. No newspapers glued over it.

Nopony was there to be seen. Yet she didn't stop begging the emptiness to leave her alone.

A black pegasus with a dark blue mane strolled down the street, a package of roses in her saddle bags. She glanced back at them again and sighed. "Pfft. Roses. Why roses? I mean it's a good thought, but wouldn't chocolates be a little better for this?"

She paused suddenly in her stride to glance at the house on her right. Lawn still cut, no sign of fire. She breathed out slowly.

"I'll never understand you Splash." She shrugged. She grabbed them with her teeth and put the flowers down on the fence line. Standing them up carefully so they sat upright.

The mare stared at them a moment. Specialty and Splash had come here regularly ever since Pinkie's family's murder.

A wave of guilt washed over the pegasus. She shuddered slightly at the chill in the air.

Splash hadn't been able to make it this time. Something had come up at work. She told her she'd come later. Splash asked if Specialty would bring the gravesite something Pinkie had given her as a thank you, or something.

She shrugged again. "Don't have much to give you really. You did all that really…"

Specialty remembered something. She felt an eye over her shoulder and ignored it.

"Hey Pinks, you wanna hang out for a bit?" She asked the bouncing pink pony beside her.

Specialty turned away. She knew which memory it was. Not wanting to relive it.

"Sure," Pinkie nodded quickly, continuing to bounce erratically. "I've always got time for bestest friends."

A headache came over her, she felt weak.

"Hehe well alright. Know where Splash is?"

The brightly colored pony shook her head. "Nope. Probably at work."

Specialty groaned. "Working for the Weather Patrol. Doesn't that pony ever get time off?"

Pinkie shrugged. "She needs to work Specialty. Just like-"

"You and me and everypony," They finished in unison. A sigh, soft. Caring. "I know Pinkie, you say that every time I ask. The point is-"

"Which is a lot!" Pinkie said quickly, interrupting the black pony's speech.

She growled at the small mare. She tried again, "My point is-"

Specialty shuddered. Getting cold early, she thought.

"-she spends waaay too much time at work, not outside having fun."

Pinkie grinned. "Like you and me!"

The black pegasus chuckled. "Yeah, Pinks. Get it?"

"Got it!" Pinkie beamed, and Specialty grinned back.

"Good. Say, how's that thing going?"

"What thing?" The bright colored mare asked, confused. But then, "Oh! You mean that mark? Yeah, I had the doctor look at that." She nodded gently at the pegasus.

Specialty shook her head. "No, not that. I- Wait. What mark?"

"Oh, this one. On my rump." Pinkie giggled and gestured to her hindquarters. Sure enough a mark was present there. Why hadn't she seen it before?

"Like a tattoo?" The gold eyed mare asked, curious. She prodded the mark with a careful hoof. Looks like an eye, she thought.

"Sort of," The little pony shrugged. "Nurse Redheart had never seen it before. I told her I had it since I married Dashie."

Specialty sighed again. Back on track now. As long as she got to her reason eventually, she could deal with Pinkie's rambling and questioning. "Yeah, that's kinda what I wanna talk about."

Pinkie raised an eyebrow quizzically, "You wanna talk about my rump and it's strangely appearing markings? Well okay, but I only have the one. Might run outa stuff to say about-"

"No," Specialty interrupted, facehoofing. "Don't you see what she's doing?"

She gave her another questioning look. "Dash? Of course I do. Training for the Wonderbolts. She's gonna be awesome once those silly ponies figure out what they're missing on their team."

"But don't you see how protective she is around you? Jealous maybe, of other ponies?"

"Huh? No." Unseeing as usual, when it counts. Still she seemed to know something about this.

"Usually she's right next to you, even when other friends are here." Specialty continued, trying to get Pinkie to believe her.

"She's being loyal." Honest enough. But her voice shakes on that last word.

The Pegasus groaned again, she remembered something she had seen a while back. "Dash has a camera right? What she take photos of?"

"Us. When we're together for the photo album. I kinda asked for one when we had Surprise." She shuttered slightly now. More careful with her words.

"Well-" No. This part.

Specialty shook her head vehemently, trying to get rid of the thought.

This was the memory she always hated getting, coming here.

"-I think she's taking pictures of you right now."

Her eyes shot open. Staring directly at the upper floor window.

It was Pinkie staring back at her. Sadly.

Desperately.

Frantic to understand, or, forget the impossible situation, Specialty blinked. The pink mare was gone when she opened her eyes again. But now a heat lingered in the air. Stifling and choking.

"That's it. I'm gonna see what the buck happened in this house." She stepped onto the property and kept walking, not stopping when she felt eyes on her.

She was never able to investigate the home before. First the Police, then Splash for Pinkie to sleep peacefully.

Only one time the black mare hadn't come on the trip to the house was weeks ago. Maybe a month. Splash hadn't said anything. Said not to worry.

She pushed forward, eager to see more.

Applebloom was still unconscious when they got to Sweet Apple Acres, the air thick around the two fillies as ponies resuscitated her.

"What'n tarnation happened to Applebloom?" Her older sister Applejack asked, questioning the fillies when Applebloom woke up.

"We…took her into the haunted house-" Silver Spoon started, but was interrupted.

"You did what now?" Applejack stormed at the two.

"The…most haunted home in Equestria. We thought it'd be fun." Diamond Tiara finished for the filly, not meeting eye contact with the orange mare.

"Fun is a rasclin' bull rodeo on a clear Saturday night. That ain't fun at all. Coulda scared Applebloom to death."

They apologized and Applejack sent them home.

"Ah'm fine Sis, honest."

"No ya ain't. Who knows what they coulda done to ya'll in that house."

"It wasn't them! It was…something else." She looked away, strangely embarrassed. A reflection in the mirror beside looked back. Hers.

"Well whatever it was, gotcha stiff as a board on a chilly afternoon when they gotcha back here."

Applebloom huffed and let her sister fix her up and tuck her into bed.

"Sure yer alright sugarcube?" She asked another time, a hoof on the bed beside her hind-legs.

Applebloom stared at the hoof a moment, feeling for the first time like her sister was worried. More than usual. She nodded, making careful eye contact with Applejack. "Yeah, think ah might just need some more sleep."

"Well alrighty then. Goodnight." The mare smiled gently at her and soon was walking out the door.

Applebloom smiled and called back, sleepily. "Night."

Something loud woke Pinkie up, a thud noise. As if glass had fallen.

She sat up, curious, into the darkness of her little room. The mirror had fallen on the floor.

The pony clicked her tongue, "Silly mirror," She got up and replaced it. Nodding at her reflection, and it nodded back.

She took a confident step back, smiling. Something she hadn't done or been able to do for some time.

A cold chill ran through the room, and Pinkie gulped thickly. Her smile faded.

It was coming.

No noise. In her mind she heard creaking noises from the house, as if the room itself was trying to choke her.

Only creaking sounds of old decaying house when she realised it was her imagination. It was dark, but Pinkie could still see it move. Everything was moving. Only one thing she cared about.

Pale pink and magenta. Lowering from the ceiling. Peeling off from it onto the floor.

Mane, stained with blood, dangled from the attic floorboard. She wanted to scream. Yell for help, but her voice wasn't there anymore. Only cracks of her voice and a pain in her throat.

Unable to speak, or even move. The strands of mane surrounded her on her level, deep, crackling sounds coming from within it.

Two blue eyes, faded and lifeless, crept out of the veil. Piercing Pinkie's soul, and fainted.

The door swung shut. Even in the light of day, the building still seemed dark. Stifling. Overtaken by shadows, darkness of the soul.

The steps were creaky, brittle. Couldn't support much. Ancient floorboards, Specialty thought.

She moved upward, deteremined to see what had killed her friend all those years ago. News had reported almost nothing on the case, saying it was a mystery even to them. She didn't believe that.

She knew Pinkie better than anypony and knew Dash pretty well too. All she needed was to find clues, and where she had been murdered.

A body bag, plastic and see through, had been found wrapped around the pink pony's body. Her throat slit and her body beaten.

Specialty thought, if they spoke of that so easily, what was stopping them from saying anything about the whole story?

A staircase, visions. Crawling along, moaning agonizingly for help.

The black mare opened the eyes she'd forgotten she'd closed. And kept moving.

The bathroom, where the pet and filly had been drowned. Gummy and Surprise. Made her sick, she found her way to the picture room.

Blood splattered over most photos, or faded from time. But one she could see quite clearly. The picture taken of her and Pinkie that day in the park.

She turned her head away. Disgusted to see it so well preserved. She took a step back, but a book lying on the desk in front of her caught her interest.

"Maybe this'll explain some things." She thought aloud, and turned the page.

A journal, she thought suddenly. Some years before, it seemed, when Dash and Pinkie were dating. Happy photos sprung up on a few pages, as she flipped through the book quickly.

One page stopped her, and she looked more closely at it.

An eye. Darkly scribbled into the page, maybe even through it. It took up the full width of the page. Right in the center. Reminded her of the mark on Pinkie's rump that day.

She kept flipping, pages becoming darker, stained with black ink and torn angrily. Cryptic writing skewed across the pages now. None she could understand. But one.

She stopped again and Specialty remembered. An eye in Ancient times meant suspicion and torment. Tortured sight.

Archaic writing to demons and spirits to bind them to this world. As devices to kill.

She turned the final page, badly torn through the center and black. And an eye pierced through her vision. And blinked. Blackness.

In the dead of night, Applebloom woke up. Sweat staining her face, she heard a thud from outside. The backyard.

The little filly jumped from her bed and crept slowly and quietly to the back door. Granny Smith sat stone still, out at the orchard. She seemed frozen.

"Granny, you okay?" No answer. She tried again, this time gently taking the older pony's hoof in her own and leading her carefully to bed.

She was mumbling unintelligibly as they reached the bedroom. Applebloom wanted to believe it was an old pony thing. But she whispered in words she couldn't understand. Had never even heard of before.

And as soon as she lay in bed and the filly took her hoof from Granny Smith's, the old mare shook slightly. She looked over at Applebloom in confusion.

"Little filly, what are you doing up? You should be asleep in bed."

Applebloom tried to make sense of this as they looked at each other. Didn't she just carry her up to bed? "You were sleep walkin' Granny. Ah heard you makin' noise downstairs and when ah got there you were ice cold."

"I- What?" Applebloom shrugged. Typical sleep walking. Don't remember doing it at all until they're told. But something here was slightly different with the mare. She seemed a little concerned that she had been seen sleep walking, or, sitting.

"It's alright Granny Smith, ah'll just head to bed now too. Sleepy and all from yesterday." She turned to leave.

"Goodnight then deary." Granny called from the bed, a little shakily. Tired she guessed.

"Night." And Applebloom closed the door softly.

When Pinkie awoke, she felt cold. Shivers running through her, and she was outside.

She was next to the fence line, and Pinkie got to her hooves. She remembered. This was when the flowers came.

She woke up the same way every time. The little pony trotted over and picked up the flowers from the outside. She couldn't step out of the property for some reason. But she could grab things and pull them in if she wanted.

Those flowers had become the only thing to remind her of her old life. Her friends. But now there had been something else with them.

A picture. Her and Specialty and Splash, smiling. Just talking.

She missed that. Being able to talk.

Pinkie sat down on the grass, cut and trim as though it had been done yesterday, and she hugged the photo to her chest. She closed her eyes.

When school started up again two days later, Applebloom wasn't there for class. Neither was Silver Spoon. Both called in sick by their guardians, and Diamond Tiara felt slightly sick herself.

She walked to Silver Spoon's home after, wanting to know what happened to her.

But as she walked, she looked around nervously. Over her shoulder and at other ponies walking by. She couldn't stay focused, something was watching her.

She reached the door and knocked. Nopony responded. She tried again, louder, and the door unlocked.

"Hey Silver Spoon," Diamond Tiara began, seeing the pony's bloodshot eyes for the first time. She grimaced slightly, "You never showed at school, you okay?"

She coughed, like it hurt to do so. "I'm not feeling too good, Diamond. I think it started when I got home from the haunted house."

The pink filly snorted, "Well, you did say you were feeling sick before that. Come on you'll be fine."

"No," Silver Spoon mumbled quickly, shivering from the different air outside. "I…I need to stay in here. Where it's safe."

Diamond Tiara raised an eyebrow, a little startled to hear her speak like that. "Safe from what?"

"... safe from her." She replied, and closed the door in the other filly's face.

The house had long since burnt itself out. Somepony had lit it on fire, and the fireponies rushed to the call. There was nopony inside, and only one on the outside. Hugging herself gently to calm herself down.

Two Detectives walked up to her, stopping to hold out their badges as she sat on her haunches behind the firewagon.

"Detective Whooves and Detective Derpy, we're here to ask about the fire. You started it?"

The lavender pony nodded slowly, looking from one Detective to the other. "Yes…I had no choice. It would've kept happening if nothing was done. She wanted me to burn it down."

"She?"

"Muffins!"

"Not now Detective. Who told you to burn it down?"

She shuddered, wrapping the towel tighter around her for warmth. But it didn't help her feel any less suspicious. If it was still looking at her. "The mare that lived here. With her marefriend and family, until…she was murdered. They all were. I studied the drawings and the symbols, and she said it was the only way…to stop it from happening again."

Her eyes relaxed, and she felt dizzy. Tired.

"What's your name?" Asked the male pony before she blacked out.

"…Twilight… Sparkle."

Specialty awoke from her sudden sleep and felt blankets over her. She was in bed. Her bed.

What the? She thought to herself, she felt a shiver run down her spine and suddenly didn't care as much why she had blankets covering her at all. Or why she was just a few moments ago inside a haunted house.

She wrapped her hooves around herself, comfortingly, and she felt something rub against her. Mumbling, she tore off the blankets and was met with the same book she took from the building.

How? How is it here? Did I even…leave…

She glanced around her room. Nope it was hers, but what about being in the home? Might have dreamt it, she thought.

But this was good. "I might not be able to understand it completely…but I know somepony that can help me out. Heh, might try and kill me for going in there and taking this though."

"You did WHAT?" The cerulean blue pegasus yelled into Specialty's ears for about the fifth time, she hadn't bothered to keep count after four and decided to just go with that anyway.

She mumbled in response for maybe the eleventh time and sat herself down on a fluffy cloud.

The black pegasus had reached the Weather Factory, early in the afternoon, deciding she needed some sleep before she bothered to get up. It might have been better to stay there.

"For the last time, I need you to get me a translator for this thing. I can get most of it, that the curse will last until somepony understands the pain of the victim first hoof, but there's this one symbol I just don't get. It's not like any that I've seen in the old writing."

"But…but you went inside the house! I told you that you shouldn't go in there, don't you know what happens to everypony?" The pegasus shuddered noticeably, Specialty tried to put it down on the weather current. But there wasn't much wind flowing up here. Just a warm breeze.

A sigh. "Yeah, yeah, I know Splash. They die. What's the big deal? I mean, I woke up in bed when I came to after passing out, it's like I wasn't even there." She waved a dismissive hoof and held up the torn book. "And I got this, where's the problem in that?"

"The problem? You'll be next! Nopony's ever survived longer than a month with this…thing!" Another shiver. Something was off about her, Specialty thought she knew what it was. Not very well hidden anyway.

Specialty shrugged, unconcerned. "Well when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. I'm gonna find out why this happened before that though, with or without your help."

With a slight huff, the black pegasus started walking for the entrance, or exit if you wanna be more accurate.

But then, "Wait!"

She stopped, but didn't turn around. A smirk spread across her face.

Splash hesitated, biting her lip. "…okay, I…know some things. I'll help." It was almost a whisper she couldn't hear, but it was there.

Specialty turned around, curious. "What do you mean, you know things?"

Pinkie sat at the desk of photos, a miserable look on her face. She couldn't stop it now. All the ponies she still knew had gone into the house. A shiver ran up her spine as she felt herself being watched again.

She tried to ignore it, and looked down at the desk. Now it was bare of the notebook, where around it dust had collected for generations. It made her sneeze again and she rubbed her snout.

"Maybe…maybe it'll be different this time. Maybe she can help, understand this at least. I…just hope none of them join me here, there's…no real room for a party." She tried to make herself laugh, maybe a snicker from that whispered joke. Something to take her mind off…..

She felt sick suddenly. Sick to her stomach, but she knew nothing ever came out. Pinkie still gagged and choked on the nothing in her throat, and it made her feel so empty. Empty that her broken mind never even tried to make her believe anything anymore. There was no point in fighting it, she thought which pony could be feeling this way.

Her connection was strongly woven to them, it made her want to cry and wonder if she could still do such a thing.

The morning after Applebloom had arrived home was a blur. It was a blur because everything went by so quickly, unable for the little filly to keep track of what was happening.

"We got the cart?"

"Eyup."

"Apples?"

"Eyup."

"Lasso, Stetson, brother, granny, sister, barn, apple pies, apple cinnamon twists, caramel apples, and orchard full o' apples?" The orange mare pressed her nose against the large stallion's and waited for his response.

The red stallion recoiled slightly, looking around at something and then back to his sister. "….Eeeeyup."

"Well alright. We're all set then." Applejack nodded, and her Stetson nodded with her.

This was the Apple Family's annual Brother Sister rodeo, and Granny Smith had asked Applebloom to stay behind to watch the farm with her. Although a little hesitant to agree, the little filly eventually calmed down.

"Oh can't ah go? Ah'll be really good, ah promise!" The red maned pony begged, hopping along next to her sister.

"Now sugarcube, you already agreed to stayin' here for the weekend." The older mare said, patting her sister's head a few times.

Applebloom groaned in response. "Fine."

They loaded the carts and the saddle bags and said good-bye.

"Granny's still asleep in 'er bed there Applebloom. Mind if ya check up on her?" Applejack asked as she walked out into the fields of apples.

"No problem! Me and Granny Smith get on real well together." Applebloom waved them off and sighed with relief.

She walked back into the house, shuffling noises from upstairs alerting her senses. The little filly didn't know why, but she felt more on edge than usual. Something about the chilling air in the room.

It was different to outside, almost five degrees cooler.

"Hello?" Came her choked out voice, and she wondered why she was talking in such a way when she lived here.

Here. She looked around, and it looked different than usual. It didn't seem like the barn anymore.

"What the?" She asked the air.

Silence greeted her, as usual. She didn't know where she was, this was a completely different house.

More shuffling upstairs, and Applebloom looked up. "Surprise!" A crackling voice yelled from the staircase.

Not a happy sound by any means. Drowned out and scratchy. Suffocated.

"Who…who are you?" No answer. Just two pale eyes and a pale white body, sat almost motionless on the steps. Holding the railings tight in her hooves.

Applebloom blinked, and it was still there. She stepped forward trying to reach the stairs, and it slipped away. She almost didn't see it leave. "Wait!"

She climbed up the stairs and looked back down at the lower level. She was back in the barn, on the second level, next to Granny Smith's room.

Wondering what was going on, she pushed the door open and was hit by a rank odor. The room was a mess. Stuff everywhere, unorganized.

All that was tidy was the bed, tightly wrapped around the older mare. Like she needed it to be so tight to feel any source of comfort and warmth.

"Granny, you okay? This room's a mess. Even worse than mine!" She said, stepping over the cluttered jumble on the floor, to the bed.

She felt cold to touch, and she didn't respond as quickly as last night.

"Oh, Applebloom. There you are." It was a mumble, but an audible one. Something Applebloom was surprisingly grateful for hearing.

"Yep, ah did promise ta stay with ya this whole time they were away. Ah'm just checkin' to see if yer alright from last night."

Granny Smith nodded, softly. "Oh yes, I'm fine. But Applebloom…there's something I meant to ask you after you woke up from the blackout yesterday."

An uneasy silence filtered into the room, and suddenly, the little filly could hear thumping noises from the other room. The other room. That was her room.

Soft thudding against the wall. "Yeah Granny?"

"Did you go inside that house?"

"Okay, so instead of not telling me and getting all muddled up with your words. How about you just say what you know about this thing?"

"Well, you see, I-" A raised eyebrow as a reply, and Splash sighed. "I've done some investigating into the house…for those symbols before. I know what they mean, maybe."

"Maybe? How did you know about the symbols before I brought them here?" She knew the answer. It was written all over the pegasus' face, she just wanted to hear her admit it.

Splash gulped. "I…went into the house before."

"I thought so." Came the black mare's quick answer.

"How did-?"

"So when did you go? That day I wasn't there? That would make it a couple weeks back wouldn't it? You said ponies don't live that long after, is that why you're so shaken?"

"No I-"

"Or are you just worried because you think you're gonna die soon and you need my help to fix it? Think I can save you and make it all better?"

"I did it okay? I went in to find out what happened. I got fed up with the way the investigation was treated. Nopony did anything." Splash lowered her voice to a mere whisper. "I've been seeing things everywhere I go. I'm losing my mind and I know what needs to be done."

"Okay. Enlighten me." Specialty said smoothly, sitting down in front of the cerulean pegasus to hear her story. Possibly gonna be bored, she thought.

"I remember when you said it only wears off when somepony experiences the spirit's feelings first hoof. In the old writing, when somepony is killed in a rage, they won't be able to be free until somepony knows the fullest extent of that pony's pain. She's just been trying to get ponies to understand her this whole time, but they end up dying because it's too much or she goes too far. The ponies might not feel for her enough because they don't know her like we do, which means…"

"I'm gonna havta go back in and talk to Pinkie?" Specialty finished bluntly.

Splash nodded gently. "I've seen things I'd…really rather forget about her family. I've seen her filly, pale white and still soaked like she was just drowned. She makes noises like Gummy did, she loved to imitate his noises, and she's just everywhere. With her."

"Pinkie?" Specialty asked, raising an eyebrow.

"No, it's not her. Something else, a part of the curse controlling Pinkie."

"Wowww, this is very interesting. I'm gonna-" She started, and then everything blurred.

She was in the factory a second ago, turning around and now she was in the house again. Standing in front of a mirror, at the end of the bed.

Specialty tried to look around, to see where she was, but somehow she couldn't. Frozen, looking at the mirror.

She already knew where it would be, but it was surprisingly quiet inside the house, and she wondered what happened to ponies before her when they saw this stuff.

"Is this…what scares ponies?" She asked her reflection, and the reflection asked her the same thing.

Another vision. One she hadn't seen before when standing outside.

It was on the train, from the point of view of a lavender unicorn.

Somepony mumbling in her direction from the left side of her. He was facing her, but seemed to be talking passed her. To somepony next to her, but there wasn't.

The old earth pony was covering and uncovering his eyes, saying, "Where am I? Where am I? Here I am!" He kept saying it, and it became incoherent to her ears.

She saw a reflection in the window of the train, a pale white pegasus. Staring at her from the seat next to her.

Specialty shut her eyes tight. A migrane coming over her, and when she opened them, she was still there.

The migrane still lingered, she held her head in her hooves.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Just a headache."

Familiar voices entered her mind, but she couldn't place them. They sounded so similar to…

"Think I need some sleep, I'll see ya later."

The headache stopped, as quickly as it had come. She opened her eyes, and a flood of visions hit her.

Clenching her teeth in agony, she relived Pinkie's life with Dash. From her point of view, she began to understand it wasn't that Dash had killed her.

The curse drove them all crazy. And in a twisted way, thanks to the curse, they thought it would be better to pass away. The picture from behind the bush came up again, it was Dash pulling a prank on Pinkie.

When the pink mare looked, a spring-loaded pie splattered across her face. Pinkie lapping up the remains, while she and the cyan pegasus broke out in fits of laughter.

No more vision, and she was in her bed again. How had she forgotten that part of the memory?

Specialty shrugged, pulling her covers over her. "This whole thing might be weird, but at least it saves me the effort of going anywhere."

She chuckled lightly, and sank deep in the blankets.

Diamond Tiara sat at the table outside a restaurant. She seemed to be waiting for somepony, an untouched hay sandwich on the table in front of her.

"Ugh, what's taking her so long?" She huffed and looked around.

Just then a white pony with a double candy-cane cutie-mark trotted up to her.

"Hey Diamond Tiara." The filly said happily.

"Yeah, yeah. Let's get this over with. Do you have my homework Twist?"

The earth pony nodded. "Yep, I've got it right here. I thought I was supposed to teach you though."

Diamond Tiara smirked. "Oh, but you are. Helping me to see how gullible you are." Whispering that last part under her breath.

Just then, something scaly brushed her hoof, and the fancy pony jumped slightly.

"What was that?" She asked, looking down intently at her hooves.

"What was what?"

The pink filly turned back up, defensively. "N-nothing. I didn't say anything."

"Well I hope you do well on that test for school tomorrow." Twist said, trotting in the opposite direction she came.

"Yeah, I will." Tiara sneered, but it was a distracted sneer. A self-conscious one. More like a grimace.

She felt watched again. This was closer than ever though.

Something brushed her hind-leg again, and she looked under the table.

A pale white pony with faded violet eyes sat under it, her hooves wrapped tightly around herself as if trying to keep warm.

Those piercing eyes staring into hers blankly made her skin crawl, and she jumped out of her seat.

She made for the exit as soon as possible, not caring who saw her jumping like that anymore. Those sightings were getting more frequent and no less spooky.

Diamond Tiara needed to know what happened to Silver Spoon so far.

A day passed by at Sweet Apple Acres. Her brother and sister were due back in two days, but she wanted them back right now.

She needed them. Granny Smith was asleep upstairs again, though not before she told her about the house.

As she retold what she saw in the closet, the old mare began to shake and shiver.

"Granny, you okay?" She asked her, interrupting her explanation worriedly.

"…I've gone inside that house, when I was younger mind you. It's followed me ever since."

"The mare?" She asked again. A head shake.

"The house."

That's what she had heard, before Granny Smith was unconscious in her bed. Applebloom remembered exhaling deeply, realising she had been holding her breath as her granny answered her question.

"What's happenin' to me?"

She briefly wondered what could be happening to the two other fillies.

Granny had gone in there too? She thought.

Just then, she heard rattling sounds. Slight. Hesitant almost.

The bed upstairs shuttering against the floor boards.

"Granny." Applebloom whispered. She ran up the stairs and swung the door open.

Her eyes widened, staring into pale violet eyes.

The apparition hissed loudly, whining. It made Applebloom close her eyes and cover her ears in agony.

When she opened them, a shadow hung down from the ceiling and over the bed. Pitch black and fuzzy, the darkness only greeted the little filly with moaning sounds as it lowered itself down onto the bed.

Granny Smith stared fixated and trembling back as the ghostly being brought her fore-hooves closer, eyes covered completely by her ethereal black mane.

No words were exchanged. She couldn't even bring herself to think, as she looked at this impossibility. This horrible thing that couldn't be happening to her, or to her granny.

It never looked at her, but the memory of those eyes became plastered on her mind, whether she closed her eyes or kept them open. The moans, she remembered.

Deep, crackling. Hollow.

"I told you already why I did it. The killings would have kept happening if I didn't burn it down." Twilight Sparkle sat in a hospital bed, surrounded by the two detectives and a few doctors.

"What killings? What are you talking about?"

"Ugh, well of course you wouldn't know. Almost nopony, but who has been in there ever knows anything about it. A family was brutally murdered there and now, the cursed house is killing ponies the family knew."

"Hmm, well, we will look into this, just try to get some sleep-"

"You look terrible!" Detective Whooves pushed the cross-eyed detective out of the way, smiling weakly.

"No offence." Twilight huffed and the detectives left.

"You need rest now, alright?" The nurse touched her hoof, and the lavender mare shuttered slightly.

"Okay."

Two days after she had not gotten any better. She still saw those visions and the family of ponies everywhere when alone.

The detectives had come back, and asked her to come watch a video with her for some reason. She had agreed, hoping that being with somepony would protect her from the ghostly forces chasing her.

"Well, this is what we have. It's not really anything, I don't know what it is. But maybe you will know."

He pressed play on the tape, and it came up as a police pony was doing the rounds in the hospital late at night.

"This pony must have gone into the house as well, because he…well, I have to go. I'll just be a minute, keep watching it."

She nodded, albeit hesitantly, but she kept watching.

He was checking rooms, flashing light in them as he patrolled. It seemed to be rather boring to the unicorn and she stopped paying it any attention.

But a shadow on the video suddenly caught her eye. She looked back and he arrived at a particular room, standing perfectly still.

She felt oddly watched now, but she couldn't bring herself to look away.

A shadow crept out from the floor of the room. Slowly, it extended out and covered the police pony's legs.

It enveloped his whole lower body, but her never said anything. Never shouted for help.

Twilight wanted to shout out, get somepony to help him. He started walking into the room as the camera became fuzzy. But it didn't blur completely.

A few minutes after the pony had walked in, a black shadow formed in the center of the hallway. Haunting the hall and Twilight's mind, it started to grow.

It didn't seem to move, it had no hind-legs and it was standing upright with its fore-hooves hanging loose, but it came nearer and nearer to the camera.

And Twilight wanted desperately to run, to escape from seeing this horrible thing, but her hooves wouldn't move.

Static and moaning could be heard over the video, and she began to think that this was actually happening now. It became louder and more high-pitched as the image looked straight at the camera with blackness.

Blackness enveloped the entire view of the camera, and two pale cyan eyes opened from behind them.

Twilight's heart beat hard against her chest, and she ran. Out of the room and into the hallway, trying to find her way back to her room.

She felt watched from every direction and she stopped at the elevator, hitting the button and climbing inside.

It started to move, and Twilight relaxed a little.

As the elevator moved up the floors of the hospital, through the glass a white pegasus stared into it at the unicorn.

Every level the elevator went, the pegasus seemed to get closer and closer, never staring anywhere but directly at Twilight.

The unicorn was looking the other way, panting heavily and trying to calm herself down.

As she reached her floor, the faded violet-eyed pegasus no longer stared at her from the hallways of each floor and Twilight walked quickly out.

The hallway around her seemed to warp suddenly, as she walked. The air became more dense and squeezing, causing her heart to beat faster.

She tried to teleport back into her room where doctors were waiting for her, but her horn didn't light up. Closing her eyes to make the magic work and then, nothing.

Twilight opened her eyes at the sound of soft moaning. Agonizing to hear, her eyes met with pale cyan at the end of the hall.

The shadowy figure seeming to come up from the ground, the lights began to flicker. And the entity seemed to move with the burning out light, nearer and nearer to the lavender unicorn.

Panicked, Twilight almost didn't know what to do. She didn't do anything. And then, she was running.

Down hallways and sections of unfinished hospital rooms, until she stopped and focused.

"Come on, come on." She focused on her horn and it started to glow.

She teleported finally, and she found herself on top of the hospital building.

More crackling of bones and louder moaning. She mumbled in desperation. "No, not here. I didn't want to come here."

She looked around for the spirit, but the roof was empty. Her eyes widened as low guttural noises came from behind her.

The detectives gathered outside the hospital, looking for the unicorn in all directions.

"Didn't I tell you to watch her?"

"My muffins were ready." A face-hoof.

"Well she couldn't have gotten far." A thudding noise from behind them, and they turned around.

Collapsed on the ground, was the lavender mare. She seemed to have a dulled coat color, and laying on top of her, was the pale pink ghost pony.

It stared back at detective Whooves. Just him with piercing cyan eyes.

Pinkie was sleeping and running. Running for her life from something she couldn't and didn't want to see.

She gasped and sat up, wide awake in her bed. "Splash!" She screamed.

She had been reliving her time with Dash before all this, when another vision came to her.

A vision of a pony falling down a flight of stairs, a shadow lingering over her.

Headaches drowned out every other thought on her mind, and she looked around.

Looking up at the staircase, a door, the door to her room, opened. Crackling bones and shuffling on the floor above her, like a plastic bag being dragged, filled her ears.

But before she could react, think of what was happening, she was back in bed.

Pinkie looked at the reflection in the mirror desperately.

"Can't…can't you just leave me alone?" She whispered, with no response from the mirror.

Suddenly, her covers started to move. Upwards.

There seemed to be something growing up from under the sheets.

Pinkie's eyes widened, unable to keep herself calm. She raised the sheets above her head, and saw pale cyan eyes the size of plates staring back at her.

There was no mane to cover them, and the apparition's fore-hooves on top of the little pony's stomach. Pinning her down.

Pinkie gasped, and was dragged under sheets. She blacked out.

Splash made her way down the street, trying to stay calm and wary if anything strange happened.

She remembered what she told Specialty, that she needed to see all of what Pinkie had seen to break the curse.

The black pegasus had the migraine before Splash could tell her the most important part of releasing the spirit.

The demon of the house will try to stay in or take over another body, and the only way to free it is with a blood dept.

A cryptic message down that pony's fore-leg, as a pact of their release. To sustain them if they should ever need.

Splash looked around, suddenly feeling trapped by an unseen force.

Her head began to ache, and she held it tight in her hooves. Her head throbbing in pain from the tension.

When the aching stopped, she saw the house again. She was in the closet to the attic.

Looking into it with a small light fixture flickering from the ceiling, she saw a fore-hoof.

Decrepit and bloody, hanging out of the blackness.

Another one and Splash felt like screaming for her life, but her voice was gone. Pain in her throat lingering to replace it.

The fore-legs began to move forward, and the cerulean pegasus saw the faded magenta mane come out from the darkness surrounding the room.

Two eyes and bone chilling moans caused her heart to pump viciously, and she fell from the closet.

Getting the feeling back in her legs, Splash ran for the stairs. To freedom from this nightmare.

She didn't look back, couldn't or she'd be frozen again. Unable to move as the creature stared back at her.

The pegasus reached the stairs and heard the heavy, sad breathing of the pink pony.

It was heart-wrenching what she must have went through, and Splash tripped over her hooves.

She fell, back to the floor at the bottom level. Nothing moved.

She didn't, but out of the blurriness that was now her vision, was the pink phantom slowly creepy down the steps for her.

A day had gone by since the weekend and Scootaloo and Sweetie-belle were worried.

Applebloom had never taken this much of a break from, if she ever did.

They made for the barn and found the door unlocked. It wasn't too suspicious, but Applejack usually had it closed at this time.

The two ponies climbed the steps, getting cold feelings around them suddenly.

"Why's it so cold in here?" Scootaloo whispered, looking around at the railings.

"I don't know, but it's giving me the creeps."

They opened the door to Applebloom's room and found her holding herself in a corner of the room.

"Applebloom? What's wrong, you look awful."

No reply. She just shuttered and held herself tighter.

"Applebloom, what's going on? You look like you've seen a ghost."

At that, the yellow filly's eyes shot open.

It took her." She said, trembling terribly.

"What took who?" Something in Applebloom's eyes made them believe she was serious immediately.

"The house…it took Granny Smith."

She pointed at the wall, indicating the other room.

"Huh?" They both looked at each other.

Applebloom placed her hooves on the back of her head. "I don't know what it did. It just stared at her and…"

She started to mumble, and Sweetie Belle moved forward to hug her.

Scootaloo looked down at the unusual display and headed for the room.

Granny Smith lay very still, her eyes and mouth wide open in horror.

She still stared up at where had once been the spirit.

Diamond Tiara ran to the other fillies home, her heart thumping in her chest.

She got there and knocked hard on the door. She hadn't seen Silver Spoon in some time, being too afraid to go back there. She didn't know why, but her house started creeping her out days ago.

The door opened wide after a few minutes and Silver Spoon stood in front of her. She looked horrible; she wore a hood over her head and seemed overcome by the light of outside.

"Silver Spoon, you look awful! What happened to you?"

"…nothing. I'm just…not feeling well, I told you. Now just leave me alone." She tried to close the door, but Diamond Tiara stopped it with her hoof.

They stared at each other for a moment, and then, "You'll be next, you know."

The pink filly froze, and took her hoof from the door. It closed.

Silver Spoon locked the door and went back into her bed room. She plastered more newspaper over the windows, the old ones seeming to have holes scratched into them. Eye holes.

She sank into her bed and clenched her hooves around herself in safety. Scratching noises immediately started up again, and Silver Spoon looked to the windows.

Eyes stared through the newly made holes in the windows at the small earth pony. She covered herself in blankets and tried to relax, but she couldn't.

Something was moving around under them. Silver Spoon clenched the blankets in her hooves and tried not to look. All the noises seemed to get louder in her ears and she felt choked again, unable to say anything.

She felt sick to her stomach suddenly, coughing up some stomach fluids into a bucket beside her bed.

Still the noises continued, and the sheets kept rising up from the bed.

She couldn't take it anymore; she needed to know what was under the sheets.

The filly lifted up the blankets, only for her eyes to meet cyan ones in return. Wide in horror, she screamed and was pulled under the covers.

A chill went up Specialty's spine as she stood outside the house. Her eyes trained on the upstairs window, the window to Pinkie's room.

"Alright, I guess it's time I talked to ghost Pinkie." She started into the house and closed the door behind her.

She immediately felt choked, as if water was entering her mouth at an alarming rate without it being open. Specialty fell to the ground and coughed up a lung of water.

Her throat burned now, and she shook her mane. "What the buck was that?" She exclaimed, looking around the house.

Calming herself down, the black pegasus started up the stairs. A vision overtook her sight again and she saw a blurry scene unfold.

Somepony was trying to crawl down the steps she was stepping up. The pony was in a clear plastic bag full of blood, and her throat seemed cut. She was gasping and moaning for air, and then, Specialty could see again.

She stepped to the final step and started hearing thumping noises. She thought they would be Pinkie doing something to scare her.

They were coming from her room, she imagined. "Huh, let's see what's so scary about you spirit."

Specialty walked forward, and reached for the door.

Diamond Tiara lay in her room, by her open closet. She was afraid to go anywhere else.

What Silver Spoon had said freaked her out, and she ran home from her house. This didn't bring much comfort from her hearing things though.

She wondered how the purple filly stood living in her house for that long without going completely stir crazy.

Her breathing was rough, still slowing down from the run. But she could hear the noises. The low, hollow breathing and shaking in the moans as they became louder.

She didn't know what to do anymore, she was terrified to the extent she couldn't even think to think of running from what was behind her.

Out of the closet the apparition came crawling. It grabbed the filly and tore her into the shadow of the closet, the pony screaming at the top of her lungs. And the door never moved.

The door lay open, and Specialty stood in the doorway. Her mouth was slightly open, although she wouldn't like to admit it to anypony.

Sitting at the wall facing left of the house, was the ghost of Surprise. She was pushing to objects back and forth from the ceiling. They were the hung up bodies of Rainbow Dash and Applebloom.

The pale pegasus looked over at her for a second, and then she went back to knocking the limp bodies against the wall.

"Huh. Wrong room." Specialty spoke into the room, and closed the door with an uninterested expression on her face.

She trotted back down to the first floor and was about to check another room, when something caught her eye. She felt watched again.

A mirror to the right of the staircase held her attention, and the black pegasus moved in front of it.

She thought she saw Pinkie Pie, faded and discolored a moment ago, walk past in the place of her own reflection.

But there she was, her own self staring confusedly back at her.

She huffed at the mirror. It had never been down here before, she thought. Not the first time she was in here.

All of a sudden the vision of being on the train came back to her.

The old pony playing peek-a-boo with Surprise, the reflection in the glass of the train, the final piece to understand and help Pinkie out of this.

With a little hesitance on her part, Specialty raised her hooves to her face and covered them, the reflection doing the same.

What she saw in the mirror now made her gasp. Looking back at her, was the reflection of a very terrified looking Pinkie.

Her hooves over her face, but not her enormous scared cyan eyes.

Specialty stumbled back and the door upstairs opened slowly. Breathing, shuffling, and moaning sounds of pain entered the pegasus' ears, and she watched a hoof touch on the top step.

Another fore-hoof touching and she could see into the eyes of the pink mare, her throat slit and seeming to still pour with blood.

She crawled down the steps in the plastic bag the curse-controlled Dash had stuffed her in before beating her and looked at Specialty. Eyes almost beseeching. Pleading for release.

The black mare kneeled down to look at eye level with the pony she once knew as full of life and bouncy and saw the sorrow written in her eyes.

"Please Specialty," She whispered hoarsely (thank you), her throat no longer bleeding and her lower body replaced by a misty residue, "Save me and you and…everypony from this."

Her voice shook on every word, and Specialty didn't know what to say.

"Burn the house down, kill me again, I don't care. I just don't want to hurt anymore ponies."

A gulp. Calm and collected. Prepared. "Pinkie, I know what to do. But you're gonna havta trust me, okay?"

Pinkie nodded. "Always." A smile, always good to see.

"I'm going to bind you to me, Pinks. Using a spell from the old writing."

"What? No, you can't, don't you know what it'll do to you?" Her eyes were wide again with fright. Afraid of what would happen to Specialty if she agreed.

Specialty had spent a few nights reading over the scrolls of the old spells and found the one she needed, but it was a costly one to make. She didn't really care what it cost.

"Look Pinkie, I understand what'll happen to me and you if we do this. But you gotta admit it's better than being alone."

They stared at each other a minute, waiting for the other to keep talking.

After another moment, "Okay, just be careful."

A smile back. "Always Pinkie." Specialty began chanting in the old language and placed a fore-hoof over her fore-leg.

A deep scar, in the shape of an eye and a few other old symbols, appeared on her fore-leg, showing her payment and regard to obeying the seal of blood.

Specialty clenched her teeth in agony and stopped on the last word of the curse to look at Pinkie.

The pony smiled and rested a comforting hoof on her shoulder.

The black pegasus shook her head, a strange glint in her eye as she smiled, and spoke the final word, "Seal."