Creature of the Night
The hinges on the door creaked as it swung open. A stark white unicorn exited the building, dabbing a rag at her eyes as she walked into the night. Dark red blood stained the corners of her mouth, and despite the attention she was giving to her face, she left her lips alone. The tears at her eyes were brought upon the horrible deed she had done to the pony inside the house. For an action like that, there would never be any redemption. She needed to exile herself. For everyponys sake. Rarity walked past a store averting her gaze away from the window. Her reflection wouldn’t have appeared regardless, but she didn’t look. She didn’t want to see the monster she had become.
“WAKE UP WAKE UP!” cried out a shrill voice. Rarity cracked one azure eye open to see her little sister bouncing up and down on her once-tidily made bed. “Come on, Rarity, you need to get up now! You slept in late and you’re always telling me how unbecoming that is for a young unicorn.”
Rarity rolled out of the bed, careful not to completely mess up the sheets any more than they’d already been. “Yes, I suppose I did sleep in far past the appropriate hour”. She glanced at her fancy grandfather clock. “One o’clock already? Why didn’t you wake me sooner, Sweetie?”
“You looked kinda tired, sis, weren’t you going on adventures with your friends yesterday?” she asked, hopping off the bed.
“Now that you mention it, Sweetie, I am feeling a tad lightheaded,” replied Rarity, putting a hoof to her brow. Yesterday had been rather trying for her.
“Do you want me to run your errands for you today? I can help you!” Sweetie Belle looked up at her sister hopefully with her light bottle-green eyes. While Rarity wanted to say yes and lie back down for just a little, she couldn’t do it. Not for these errands.
“Sorry, Sweetie Belle, I simply cannot allow you to do this for me today. Keep in mind I appreciate your thoughtful gesture.”
Her sister sighed, slowly trotting away in disappointment. Rarity winced. She didn’t want to make her sister feel too bad.
“You know what you could do for me though? Go to the Spa and tell the ponies at the front desk I won’t be attending for…health reasons”. She paused thoughtfully for a moment “And if they inquire further, make something up.”
“Will do!” exclaimed Sweetie Belle as she disappeared downstairs. Rarity leaned over to the window, shutting her blinds. The harsh sunlight was stinging her eyes. She had gone to bed with a splitting headache, spending the night in fitful bouts of sleeping, waking, tossing and turning. That little excursion of Twilight’s was not something she planned on repeating.
Rarity magically floated her red-trim sunhat (with matching glasses, of course) onto her head. She turned to look at her reflection in her stately bedroom mirror. Something had caught her eye, something on her coat. Carefully, she moved one of her purple curls aside and….
The hat flew off her head as she turned around in alarm. “Why would you sneak up on me like that? You gave me quite a shock just now!”
Sweetie Belle shuffled on her hooves. “I’m sorry, I just came back because I don’t know where the spa is in town. I didn’t mean to get you mad…”
“Mad? I’m just startled is all,” she said, a little more harshly than she’d liked. Rarity cleared her throat “Anyhow, you do know where Fluttershy’s cottage is, so head there instead. She should be home making lunch for her animal friends.”
“OK! Will do!” Sweetie Belle bounced downstairs and Rarity sighed in relief. Her stomach gave a low rumble causing Rarity to think for a bit on her plans for the day. She shoved open the window.
“Sweetie Beeellllle!” called out Rarity. Her sister stopped short, turning around to look up. “Tell Fluttershy that I’ll meet her for dinner at Seasonal Delights later!” The midday sunlight stung through her sunglasses, watering her eyes “Around sundown, okay?”
Her little sister nodded fiercely in response, galloping away with newfound energy in her mission. Rarity shut the blinds quickly retreating back into her room. She still felt incredibly drowsy. Right now, lying down for a spell would do wonders for her. Duty called, however, and Sugarcube Corner was first on her list of things to do for today.
She put her hat back on with care to avoid messing up her hair and trotted outside.
Rarity shoved the door to the bakery open with enormous effort. It was not even a ten-minute walk to Sugarcube Corner but the sweat pouring from her face and coat gave her the appearance that she ran ten miles. She was completely exhausted.
“Hiya Rarity!” bubbled Pinkie Pie bouncing into view, fluffy pink pompadour a sticky mess of sprinkles and sugar. “I bet I know what you’re here for! Oh, silly me! Of course you’re here for Sweetie Belle’s Super Secret Scrumptious BIRTHDAY CAKE!”
Rarity’s ears flattened against her head. Pinkie meant well but her voice was really grating on her nerves right now. She already wasn’t feeling quite right. “Yes, yes, yes. Hope you don’t mind me picking it up two days in advance but I don’t want to risk her stopping by with her friends and spoiling the surprise. You understand don’t you?”
“Oh, you bet Rarity. I can totally relate,” nodded Pinkie Pie with a sheepish smile on her face “Surprise parties are the absolute super-duper best parties to throw so I don’t wanna risk any sort of mishaps or crazy mistakes for sweet little Sweetie Belle!”
Rarity smiled warmly, placing some gold on the counter “Here are the bits for your trou-”
“’Course if you want I could help you with party planning you know I’m all about throwing the PERFECT parties for ponies, or not even ponies in particular! I’ve thrown parties for all sorts of partygoers!” continued Pinkie Pie sitting herself down in front of Rarity.
“That’s all well and good, Pinkie, but it’s more of a family affair with our parents coming into town. Mother and Father would be more keen-”
“Which would make it all the more A-MAZING if I helped you set up if you haven’t seen them for a while. Plus, if you totally want to make a good impression, then a little extra party pizzazz would be all the more stupendous, don’t’cha think?”
Rarity glared at the pink pony, staring right into her bright blue eyes. “While I appreciate the offer, and I do, my parents enjoy the more subdued celebrations over your more rambunctious-”
“BUT!” interrupted Pinkie staring vacantly back at her “If a party isn’t rambunctious then it’s not really much of a party, is it? You need a whole grab-bag of stuff, like balloons, streamers, music (but fun party music), sweets--”
“Pinkie Pie,” seethed Rarity, her eyelid twitching a little. Pinkie continued to ramble on still looking straight at her.
“--noisemakers, popcorn, clowns, lights, disco balls, silly string, punch bowls--”
Halfway through ‘birthday candles’ Pinkie shut her mouth. Rarity breathed a sigh of relief.
“THANK YOU! I apologize for being so blunt with you, but I’m feeling under-the-weather today and I’d like to return home for a bit and lie down”.
Pinkie said nothing. This irked Rarity. Her friend didn’t just stop talking.
“So I’m going to pay you now…” she continued putting some more bits on the counter in front of her. No response.
Rarity leaned over the counter. “Darling, you’re starting to worry me, say something!”
“Something,” parroted Pinkie Pie absently gazing ahead. She hadn’t blinked. Rarity glanced back to see if there was anything interesting happening to the light beige bakery wall. With nothing new to note, she turned to back to Pinkie who was still wearing her frozen mask of happiness.
"This is a game you’re playing isn’t?” quizzed Rarity, waving a hoof in front of her friends unblinking eyes. Still nothing.
There was a slight rustling of paper from somewhere in the room. Over on the counter behind Pinkie was a white square box wrapped in blue string. A small leaflet of paper emblazoned with Rarities cutie mark was flapping against it from the steady flow of the bakery’s ceiling fan.
“So this is the cake dear?” she said aloud when she walked over and opened it. Round white cake, pink purple frosting with ‘Happy Birthday Sweetie Belle’ written in chocolate icing along the top. Rarity made sure to count that all nine candles were there too. It looked marvelous. She was certain her sister would love it. Rarity gingerly folded it back up and turned around.
Pinkie Pie was right in front of her face, barely an inch away “WOWEE that was a SUPER neat trick Rarity how’d you do that?”
“Trick?” Rarity clutched at her chest. The confusion was diffusing her shock “What…trick, Pinkie… what are you talking about?”
Pinkie giggled “Your disappearing trick silly. You just did it! One minute I was talking to you then my eyes got all silly and my head started feeling like a muffin too long in the oven and then you were gone.”
“Nopey-dopey! I don’t even remember seeing your horn glowing either which is what really got me going. Does that mean anypony could learn that trick? OH! OH! Could you teach me how to do that?” asked Pinkie Pie eagerly. She leaned forward propping her head up with her elbows.
“Err, oh, I uhm…” Rarity picked through her head for some sort of explanation. She couldn’t find one but she did know somepony else’s. “It’s just a thing that happens from time to time. I’m afraid I have no real control over it,” Rarity forced a grin hoping that Pinkie would buy her excuse.
“Shoot! That would’ve been a super neat trick to learn too,” Pinkie dropped her head in disappointment. She brought it back up quick as a flash “OKAY! How about an after-birthday party? Does that sound good to you?”
Rarity dexterously slid the cake between the coils of her purple tail “Yes definitely, Pinkie Pie, I’ll give you full creative reign over Sweetie’s after-party to boot. Sound fair to you?”
The pink pony squealed in joy while zooming around the room before diving into her party box pulling out multicolored strings and brightly packaged plastic balloons. Rarity exited the shop wearing a rather silly grin on her face.
“Are you certain that there’s absolutely no seating available inside your restaurant? I cannot fathom eating outside in this uncomfortable weather!”
Rarity had been pleading with this stubborn waiter for nearly six agonizing minutes about the lack of seating inside her favorite restaurant. The maître’ d’ had been offering his sincerest apologies but there was no budging from this unicorn.
“Madame, please, we have been booked solid since seven PM. Seasonal Delights is currently accommodating a vacationing family of rams that quite honestly take up all of our indoor seating,” he said with all the sincerity he could muster. “Outdoor seating is apparently not your preference but I am afraid it is the only arrangements we can offer you.”
Rarity stamped her hooves for a bit to accentuate her displeasure before settling herself down at one of the outdoor tables. Had she not been feeling so sickly she would have raised a much bigger stink about this situation, especially since she was a regular customer. A waiter quickly poured a cup of iced water while depositing a basket filled with warm fluffy bread before darting away.
“Ooh, perhaps I should have visited the spa today…” Rarity moaned as she inspected a length of her dark violet curls. Her hair, coat and mane had lost its lustrous sheen over the past few hours and she could just feel the bags drooping under her eyes. “I’m going to need emergency beauty treatment after tonight...”
Rarity stared disapprovingly at the bread. She was so hungry that if not for her good manners she would have gobbled up the whole lot of bread right there. Tonight she had no appetite for it. Even though she was hungry. Starving. Her stomach rumbled in irritation.
“Um…I’m not late am I?” peeped a soft voice.
Rarity swiveled her head to see Fluttershy standing behind her, light pink mane silhouetted against the setting sun “If I’m late then I apologize. I ran out of carrots for Angel so I went to pick some and lost track of time…”
“Oh darling, don’t worry your cute little head about it! I wasn’t going to order without you. This is something I’ve been waiting to do all day,” smiled Rarity as Fluttershy took a seat across the small table “Actually, I should be the pony apologizing here for canceling our spa day get-together on such short notice.”
“I forgive you then,” chuckled Fluttershy, Rarity laughing alongside her. The waiter promptly arrived, asking for their meal choices for the evening.
“I would like a buttercup sunflower wrap, please, with a glass of strawberry juice,” requested Fluttershy meekly. The waiter took her menu. Rarity returned her menu as well.
“One double steamed French onion salad platter with diced celery and carrots, lightly tossed with chopped cauliflower extra croutons if you have them if not sprinkled with cheese and drown it in your house dressing.” Rarity snorted as the waiter flipped over the menu to the drinks side. “Surprise me,” she said flatly.
He took the menus while gingerly retreating into the restaurant. Fluttershy began buttering a slice of bread “So, uhm, how was your day?”
“It’s been absolutely dreadful, the worst day I’ve had in months. Absolutely everythings been horrid. I woke up late for breakfast, missed lunch, canceled my spa appointment with you, got trapped with Pinkie Pie for what felt like hours, and to top it all off I’ve been feeling sick and achy all day long,” belted Rarity dramatically putting a hoof to her face, she opened one eye “I’m sorry for venting on you like this, Fluttershy.”
Her yellow friend was slowly chewing her slice of bread. The thought of food sent her stomach back into pangs of hunger again. Fluttershy swallowed. “It’s okay. Sweetie Belle dropped by my cottage earlier, she told me you looked ill.”
“Looked? I know I look absolutely appalling DON’T SHAKE YOUR HEAD!” shrieked Rarity a little too loudly. Some other ponies were looking over in concern. “Sorry, I’m just frazzled today…”
Fluttershy put a hoof over her friend’s foreleg. Rarity shivered at her touch. “I’m really worried about you now. I mean, we all got into trouble yesterday with that trip to the Ursa’s cave Twilight took us on. I thought you were the only one that got away unscathed. Applejack got released this morning, by the way,”
“That’s good news. When I heard she got a concussion I was so upset,” she replied softly. “I wish I was there to help you girls. When the floor gave way I got lost in the tunnels and couldn’t find my way out. Something leapt at me in the darkness but I kicked it off. Don’t fuss, it was barely a scrape. I heard the mess upstairs, though. How many goblins were there?”
“There were a lot Rarity. Rainbow Dash said there were at least two-dozen. Whatever treasure the Ursa Major left behind must have been very valuable for all the goblins it attracted.”
The waiter returned with their orders ready. He placed Fluttershy’s humble order on the table after delivering Rarity’s extravagantly prepared salad. A bubbly liquid sloshed into her glass from a dark green bottle. Possibly champagne. It was clear that some strings were being pulled for her.
“Um…pardon me,” piped up Fluttershy to the retreating waiter “It seems you poured me some sort of grape drink. Could I have my strawberry juice please?”
“Terribly sorry madame. A thousand apologies. The kitchen is quite a mess right now. Our esteemed guests from out of town are quite…rowdy. I shall revisit momentarily with your correct drink.” The waiter picked up her glass, trotting to the restaurant door.
“Looks delicious, doesn’t it Rarity?” offered Fluttershy, taking a bite of her toasted wrap.
“Yes. It’s my absolute favorite dish,” said Rarity brightly, using her horn to levitate her fork. She poked it through a particularly crisp piece of lettuce covered in dressing and taking a bite…
Rarity nearly spat it out her mouth. It tasted horrible. The expression on her face must have been very noticeable. Fluttershy looked up at her with worry in her big teal eyes.
“Um… how is your salad? Rarity?”
“It’s quite alright dear it’s…delectable,” lied Rarity through gritted teeth. It felt like she was chewing glass. Dirty glass. “Oh would you look at that sky? The sun’s finally setting.”
Fluttershy turned her head to glance at the horizon giving Rarity the opportunity to turn and spit the slightly chewed leaf on to the floor. She looked up to see the waiter.
“If anything is not to your liking, please let us know so we can provide the best possible service,” said the waiter with obvious disgust in his voice. He turned to Fluttershy, placing the glass on the table “Here is your drink, Madame.”
Rarity’s heart stopped. Her eyes longingly followed the ruby red glass of juice to the table. It looked delicious. The dying sun caught the glass in the light, illuminating it like a glittering jewel. Fluttershy gave it a sip, and nodded approvingly to the maître d'.
“Waiter! May I have a glass of that? Please?” begged Rarity with her eyes still fixated on Fluttershy’s cup.
The waiter said something like yes and poured her a fresh glass of juice from the beaker. He was a bit taken aback when she immediately guzzled it down.
“Another…if you would be so kind,”
The waiter poured her another glass, and when she drank that poured her one more. Breaking dishes and a heated argument suddenly erupted from inside the restaurant.
“Those accursed rams,” he spat setting the beaker down “Pardon me ladies.”
Fluttershy put a hoof to her mouth as she watched the waiter step inside the restaurant. She turned back to Rarity who was fervently pouring another drink.
“Wow…you really, um, like that a lot, don’t you?” Fluttershy said uneasily as Rarity downed that glass in four seconds flat “What about your salad is it-?”
“It isn’t enough!” she fumed smashing the glass into pieces onto the ground. Fluttershy gasped as Rarity threw her head in her hooves, screaming into them in frustration.
“You… you aren’t okay at all are you Rarity?” whispered Fluttershy sliding her wrap to the side. She leaned forwards across the table. Rarity abruptly pulled her face up from her hooves.
“Ladies’ room!” she cried bolting into the restaurant, past the small lobby, past the waiter, past the bar, past the bar-fight, though the bathroom door and into the stall where her insides painted the porcelain bowl crimson. She vomited, tapping the handle. She saw the several cups of strawberry juice swirl down that hole. There wasn’t much in her stomach to lose, so she exited the lavatory in a daze. She blinked and found herself seated in front of Fluttershy once more.
“You didn’t, um, I suppose you don’t feel any better from the bathroom?” asked Fluttershy. At this point Rarity didn’t even feel the energy to speak. She only lowered her head in a half-hearted attempt at a nod. The food she loved sat untouched in front of her, taunting her. She couldn’t bring herself to eat it.
“You should get bed rest immediately if you’re getting sick to your stomach!” exclaimed Fluttershy “Or even a doctor, if it’s getting this bad.”
“Nononono! I couldn’t possibly bother a physician at this hour,” said Rarity, pulling a grin onto her face. Fluttershy gave her a look, prompting her to strain her face wider. She really didn’t want to go to the doctor’s.
Fluttershy peered at Rarity intensely, finally pulling her head back. “Your teeth seem to have gotten messed up. Are you sure you didn’t get injured yesterday?”
“What’s wrong with my teeth?” asked Rarity fretfully, using her tongue to slide over each tooth one by one feeling around for what her friend meant.
Fluttershy shifted in her seat “It looks to me like two of them are loose in your mouth. As if they’re just hanging there. I’m no dentist but you should, um, get that looked at immediately.”
Her teeth weren’t broken. Her canines had grown longer. As she slid her tongue back and forth she could feel the difference in length. It was startling.
“Take your meal to go, Madame?”
The two ponies turned to see their (quite disheveled-looking) waiter standing next to them. His waistcoat was torn and he wore a black eye with his matching black tie. “Unfortunately I’m going to insist on that we’re closing early for the evening. I cannot apologize enough so tonight’s meal is on us as well as for your next visit.” He deftly slid the salad into a styrofoam container and put it into a neat labeled baggie.
Fluttershy frowned “Well…okay then. That’s nice of you.” She got to her hooves, turning to Rarity “I still insist that you seek medical attention but I can’t make you go. Please get home immediately and get some bed-rest okay? Promise?”
“Yes,” Rarity took the doggie bag in her mouth. “I promise.”
The walk home wasn’t as bad as she thought. The cool night air actually made her feel better. Her stomach wasn’t doing flip-flops anymore but that ravenous hunger still gnawed at her insides. Rarity still felt incredibly drained despite her short day of not really doing anything.
She pushed open the door to her shop, magically holding the copper bell still so as not to wake anyone inside. Rarity trotted over to Opalescence’s porcelain food dish, filling it to the brim.
“Opaaal, here kitty kitty. Time for din-din…” whispered Rarity, looking around for her cat. There she was on the windowsill, curled in a tight white little ball. Rarity trotted over to her sleeping cat.
Rarity took a step backwards. The very awake Opalescence hissed at her loudly, backing into the window a little.
“What has gotten into you tonight?” tittered Rarity “I only go out and purchase the very best feline cuisine for you…”
Opal hissed again, darting from the windowsill, underneath a rack of clothing. Rarity shook her head as she set the cake and doggie bag on the counter before climbing upstairs. She looked around her bedroom, then the guest bedroom. Sweetie Belle was in neither. Rarity chewed her lip.
“I hope you’re not sleeping over somewhere,” she mumbled to herself. Rarity pushed open the door to her stitching room and smiled. Curled up near a patchwork quilt next to the window was her little sister. She walked over and inspected the blanket. It was a mish-mash of poorly-chosen colors with split seams cropping up in various spots on the quilt. There were three purple letters etched onto it, the first three of Rarity’s name. The ‘R’ was backwards, but that didn’t bother her that much.
She pulled the warm blanket over Sweetie Belle before snuggling up next to her. Rarity had to admire her little sister. They shared the same snow-white coat, but Sweetie had her mother’s fluffy hair and green eyes. In the pale moonlight her white coat was practically glowing. She tousled the curly purple locks in her hair before dragging her hoof down past her ears and jaw. With her hoof resting on her sister’s creamy neck, she could feel the steady rhythm of her pulse beating beneath the skin. Her own was quickening, too. Rarity gave her a little goodnight kiss on the nape. Then another. Her heart thumped rapidly in her chest as her hoof massaged her sisters’ throat on its own accord. She carefully opened her mouth before setting it around the base of Sweetie Belle’s neck.
“What?” Rarity suddenly leapt back, tripping over the quilt onto the floor. She crawled to the far corner of the room, furthest away from her sister. “What was-? What am I-? Did I just?”
The words weren’t there. Rarity turned to the door, making a beeline for her bed. She dived under the covers shaking at what she almost did. Biting her sister’s throat? What was that going to accomplish? What twisted impulse drove her to attempt that? She shuddered violently burying her face in the pillowcase.
“Just go to sleep, Rarity, you’ll figure this out in the morning,” she said into her downy pillow. Short seconds ticked into long minutes. Her usual methods of inducing sleep weren’t working. After the four hundredth leaping sheep she gave up counting to continue staring into her pillowcase. Her mind kept on drifting to Sweetie Belle curled up in the other room. Uncomfortable thoughts clouded her head. Rarity squirmed.
“I need to get out of here!” she exclaimed jumping to her bedroom door. She flew down the steps, not even bothering to check the door locks. “Doctor’s… probably closed… what am I going to do…”
Rarity stopped short at her doorway. The solution came to her clearly. If there was one pony that could help her at this hour, it would be Twilight Sparkle. A gigantic library must have the solution to whatever was happening to her. She rubbed her forehead before stepping outside.
Her hoof reached for the library door, then pulled away, before reaching for it again. This should have been an easy decision, but Rarity wasn’t sure whether to knock at this hour. She nervously pushed the door to discover that it was unlocked. With some trepidation, she entered the building. There was no breaking, so she didn’t feel too bad about entering.
“Okay Rarity, just wake her up and explain the whole thing,” she spoke aloud to herself. She ascended the staircase to Twilight’s room. Being extra careful, she stepped around Spike sleeping inside his thatched basket. She walked up to the bed. For some reason, Twilight slept with her pillow over her face.
Rarity poked the sleeping unicorn in the side “Pssst. Twilight. Wake up. I need your help.”
Twilight didn’t budge. Rarity frowned. “Twilight, get up,” she whispered poking her again. The purple unicorn murmured in her sleep, turning to her side. The pillow slid off her face. Rarity gasped.
There were a fair number of bandages on Twilights head. Those goblins really did a number on her while Rarity was separated. In her sleep one of them had scraped off, revealing a fresh wound on her neck with a scab missing. There was a small amount of blood oozing from it. Rarity’s eyes were focused on that. It pooled a little before trailing down her light purple coat and dripping onto the bed. Her stomach roared as her eyes danced around that trail of blood. Rarity felt whistling in her ears as her whole body tensed up. Tears welled at the corners of her eyes as the last ounce of her willpower fizzed away. She was so hungry. Desperately hungry. Drips of saliva pattered on the bedsheets as she descended her head, clamping her mouth around Twilights neck.
Fiery hot liquid poured into her mouth as her fangs broke the skin around Twilight’s throat. Rarity closed her eyes beginning to drink the blood seeping into her mouth. Her mind went blank as the thick pleasurable liquid began flowing down her throat. It tasted so good. So unbelievably good. Much better than the thin watery strawberry juice from before.
She began taking in greedier gulps, massaging Twilights neck with a hoof to encourage a stronger flow. Blood dribbled from the corners of her mouth as she swallowed more of her friend’s crimson juice. Her vigor was returning as bouts of fresh energy quivered through her entire body. Rarity moaned in delight, breathing through her nose in short pants. After long minutes, she released her mouth from the neck, throwing her head back in a satisfied sigh before slumping against the windowsill in hazy elation of finally fulfilling the relentless craving her body had been wracked with all day long.
Rarity sat there lost in that full feeling for a moment, rounded belly making quiet sloshing noises. She eventually cast her gaze back to the mattress. Twilight continued sleeping peacefully on the bed. She jumped up with a look of horror on her face.
“Oh no. No. No no no. What have I done?” exclaimed Rarity looking at her stained hooves in sudden panic. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. Why did I do that? I didn’t mean to! I didn’t want to!”
Her apologies meant nothing. Rarity knew what she’d done. She’d given in to the bloodlust, committing the deed that she’d nearly wrought upon her own kin not twenty minutes earlier. This was just as bad, if not worse. Drinking the blood from one of her best friends like some primordial beast. She rushed out of the library, her hooves noiselessly hitting the floor beneath her as more tears pooled at her eyes. She had no choice now but to run, she couldn’t put anypony else at risk. She couldn’t put her sister in jeopardy again.
Rarity exited the library. She made for the forest.
For the cave.
To be continued...
Creature of the Night II
“FOURTEEN! Your number is up!”
Spike jerked his head up from his chest, wiping away the drool at his mouth. That promise he made earlier to stay awake through the whole ordeal was broken and now he felt mad at his inability to keep his eyes open under such important circumstances. Hopping off his chair he toddled over to the window, slipping his small square ticket under the plastic barrier.
“Fourteen here. Can I please go see her now?” he pleaded looking up to Nurse Redheart with wide open eyes. Swiveling her head she delivered a short series of questions to a figure behind her before opening the door to let the little purple dragon down the hallway.
“How is she nurse? Have they fixed what’s wrong with her yet? What made her get so sick overnight? When did the doc-”
The nurse shushed him nicely as possible “I’m afraid I don’t have any of those answers for you Spike. I’m not really privy to that information. The doctor will more than likely have answers for you.” Pushing open the door she motioned for Spike to enter before letting it quietly swing shut.
The doctor standing over the bed looked just as weary as Spike. Toiling round the clock to figure out precisely what illness had stricken the young purple filly to warrant his appearance two hours before the crack of dawn. It was around brunch when he got his patient stabilized, and mid-afternoon when he pinpointed the disease addling the pony lying supine in the stretcher before him. He’d heard the barrage of questions delivered to his nurse from the hallway, so he immediately stopped him before that could start up again.
“Spike, I understand that you’re under a great deal of stress right now. So much so you were practically stumbling over your words this morning when you brought your friend all the way here under your own power.”
The little dragons green eyes lit up slightly. Adrenaline had been the savior of many situations that summoned inner strength to help a friend in need. Twilight Sparkle was much heavier than this baby dragon. He was certain that this was the first time he had to carry her around.
The doctor smiled and continued “I’m going to ask you to please recount the events leading up to the moment you left the library. After you do, I can likely confirm the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ parts to your questions. The ‘who’ and ‘why’ will be something far beyond my medical investigations. So…begin Spike, tell me what happened.”
Spike nodded, taking a deep breath as the events that conspired this morning flowed back from memory…
Spike stirred, not especially happy to slip out of his half-formed dream atop his mountain of multi-colored gems. He burrowed further into his blue blanket “Whaddya want Twi? It’s waaay too early….you know we aren’t changing any seasons today dont’cha?”
“I know that,” retorted his superior “Spike I feel…like being up so just roll yourself out of bed and brew some tea with breakfast like you usually do for me.”
This was his bedtime; breakfast was something Twilight ate during the morning when the sun went up. Her alarm being the warm streams of light pouring through the window. It was still pitch black outside. Spike didn’t budge.
“Fine,” he finally said jumping out of his comfy bed. “I’ll start cookin’ for ya. Come downstairs when you smell it okay?”
He heard a short happy sigh behind him as he begrudgingly descended downstairs “Thank you. You’re the best!”
Cooking was something he’d gotten good at fast working for Twilight. He had started out sloppy but soon he’d really gotten the hang of it thanks to practice coupled with helpful cookbooks. He wasn’t super creative like Pinkie Pie with her amazing ability to combine ingredients to produce sometimes weird, but mostly incredible dishes for her friends. Another reason he enjoyed cooking too was that great feeling of satisfaction knowing he made someone else happy. He whistled a little tune pouring the batter into the waffle maker before blowing green flame inside. In a matter of minutes he had a stack of blueberry-nutmeg waffles and a small cup of minty herbal tea set on the small table.
“Smells good Spike, oh I’m being so unsupportive it always smells delicious,” complimented Twilight slowly descending the stairs. “I bought some fresh refined quartz for you last weekend that I’d forgotten about. It’s in a baggie above the sink cupboard. Help yourself!”
Spike squealed a not very boyish squeal darting into the kitchen. He loved quartz, especially when it was refined. Gemstones were great but getting hold of good clean crispy quartz was impossible around Ponyville. Wolfing down two divots he turned back into the kitchen.
“Aw thanks so much Twilight this is really cool of you to….Twilight? Is something wrong with the food?”
The triple stack of waffles sat untouched, still steaming in front of her. Perhaps it was the dimness of early morning but to him Twilight didn’t look right to him. Mane and hair were rightfully frizzled from bed head but the fringe above her forehead was damp, glued to her brow with sweat. When she turned to look at him her purple eyes had lost their usual gleam too.
“Nothings wrong Spike I just don’t…feel like eating I guess,” she muttered weakly.
“Uh-uh. No way. My waffles are always awesome. ‘Sides you didn’t even take a bite yet so how would you even know?”
Twilight looked at him glumly, beads of sweat rolling off her nose and onto the table “I’m sorry. I thought I would be hungry as usual but I-”
“OH!” Spike bolted into the kitchen to a small drawer. “Dumb Spike, how could you forget the jam?” he mumbled grabbing at a jar. With a butter knife in hand he hopped back over to the table.
“Don’t panic Twilight! I’ve got this breakfast under control,” assured Spike slathering a fair amount of strawberry jam onto the toasted stack of waffles.
“I…I think that’s what was missing!” she said with a little smile growing on her face. “Thanks a billion Spike! You saved breakfast!”
He laughed taking a bite of the crunchy quartz, “Glad I could help!”
Quartz was really the tastiest mineral of them all, despite him not actually sampling every kind of crystal. It was something Spike ate slowly to savor that airy flavor. He was practically dainty compared to Twilight who was eagerly tearing into those waffles. Specks of gooey red jam flecked on the tablecloth, the glass of untouched tea and were even smattering on her face and hair. The quartz fell away from his mouth as he stared in abject wonder at how much energy Twilight was putting into eating those waffles.
“Wow….I uh. Do you want me to make more?” asked Spike watching Twilight drag her tongue around the plate, literally licking it clean.
Twilight furrowed her brow at him, taking Spike by surprise. That instant ‘yes’ he presumed did not happen, “I think I’m done…”
Collecting her plate and still full glass he toddled over to the sink. The nutmeg was something new he’d added today. He had to make some for Pinkie so she could see how good they were.
Spike dropped the plate into the sink and turned around. Twilight had a hoof shoved in her mouth. Her cheeks were swollen, eyes twitching.
“Are you feeling all right?” Spike asked at last, slowly walking back to the table.
Twilight shook her head feebly. She lurched forwards on the table; her cheeks swelling bigger before pulling her hoof away to vomit her breakfast onto the table.
Spike yelped, dashing over to the table to pull Twilights’ purple mane away from her face. She’d been sick like this twice before so he knew what to do when her stomach rebelled against her like this. The rest of her breakfast continued sliding out of her throat onto the table in a gooey pile of chunks and bile. Twilight heaved, coughing up spitttle as her retching slowed to a dribble.
“I’m…sorry,” apologized Twilight softly as Spike released his grip, letting her frizzy hair fall back into place. “I’m so so sorry I….”
“Hey, it’s no biggie! Really!” he said with a sincere smile. “It’s stuff that happens. I’m not mad at you and you’ve got nothin’ to be sorry about. It was probably too much nutmeg…”
Spike gave her a tight hug. Hugs always made him feel better when he was ill. Now pulling away from her he knew for sure it wasn’t his food that made her sick.
“Holy smokes Twilight! You’re burning up!” he placed a claw to her sweaty forehead, feeling a temperature high enough that he knew a thermometer would not necessitate a double-check.
“R-really?” she sputtered in response sitting back in her chair. “I don’t feel hot though I feel….cold.”
He jumped off the chair he’d been standing on, nudging her back up “C’mon, we’re going to pony general right now,” he said firmly, walking to the front door. He heard gentle hoofsteps behind him while opening the door.
“Let’s go I-TWILIGHT!” he shouted in shock. The unicorn had fainted halfway to the door, her head making a loud slamming sound on the library floor. “I gotcha Twilight. Please don’t be dead! We can get to the hospital! I’ll get ya to the hospital!
With strength he didn’t know he possessed he lifted the clammy unicorn above his head, resting her chest on his shoulder. Her legs were dragging beneath him and he was feeling the strain on his upper body but her shallow panting on his scales spurred him outside in a steady pace. Her eyes weren’t quite closed, but they were rolled up her head a little, unfocused. He had his own dead set on the squattish building in the distance. Taking a deep breath he started that long march to the hospital.
…and that’s everything that happened this morning Doc,” concluded Spike softly, twisting his tail in his claws. He’d replayed the event in his head a hundred times over. Speaking them out loud was more difficult than he imagined.
The doctor pulled his light-silver eyes away from the reference book he found earlier. No longer a hunch, he had to admit to himself and the little dragon exactly what had befallen young Twilight Sparkle. The evidence was simply overwhelming. He shot a grave stare at the sleeping filly on the stretcher before turning to Spike.
“I’m afraid that your friend here…is suffering from Porphyric Hemophilia,” he finally announced.
“That’s terrible! Oh gosh! Oh my gosh….what is that?”
Really he should have been expecting that response “It’s a blood disease. Highly contagious. Highly infectious. Caught in the early stages the virus can be stopped before it takes complete hold of the victim which-”
“So what’s that mean?” he interrupted again, leaning forwards on his chair. “She can be cured?”
Exhaling the deep breath he’d been holding in the doctor said “No. The virus has been replicating inside of her for too long. The antidote would be useless against her. There’s nothing I can do to cure her. I’m sorry Spike.”
He trotted past the little dragon, who was trying to hold in his sniffles. Opening the nearby closet he dug around the back looking for a pair of heavy magical restraints he’d found stowed in there when he first took over the clinic. He’d never thought he’d need them now. Finding them, he tugged them out of the closet, dragging them over to the bedside.
“Spike?” he questioned the dragon still quietly sitting with his tail clutched in his claws. Tears were openly streaming down his face now.
“Spike,” repeated the doctor “I’m not being…entirely clear with you on Twilights condition. She isn’t going to die.”
His response was a hiccup, the little dragon turned towards him. "W-what?"
“Twilight Sparkle will not be dying anytime soon,” continued the doctor. He took his patients limp hoof, tying one chain to her and locking it to a latch on the floor.
“I d-d-don’t understand doc…”
Saying this aloud was going to be troubling. It was unheard of around Equestria this day and age. He motioned to Spike to come closer to the bedside, pointing a hoof to her neck.
“Sometime between last night and this morning your friend was feasted upon by a vampire,” he finally said, admitting the words he thought he’d never had to utter. “A direct bite and subsequent draining of the neck spurs the transformation from normal Equine to vampire twice as quickly as a contact wound.”
“V-vampires?” stuttered Spike brushing aside Twilights mane. There were two small holes on her neck he’d missed earlier. They blended into her coat very well. “I thought v-vampires were an old mare’s-”
“-tale yes I know,” finished the doctor turning his attention to her other purple hoof. “It’s not. It’s the result of prolonged exposure to a blood disease. A disease like any other. A disease thought extinct here centuries ago.”
He clasped Twilights other hoof in chain, latching it to the other side of the floor. Very carefully he slipped a small matching pewter cap over the length of her horn. “Growing allergies to garlic, silver, sunlight, cold sweats, fatigue during the day, aversion to solid food, forced bodily rejection of ingested food…it all fits. Your young friend isn’t under any sedatives. She’s in a deep sleep because that’s how vampires are. They slumber during daylight hours and are typically active from dusk till dawn.”
Movies and books always taught Spike that vampires were a myth. Something grouped alongside zombies or aliens. Now this doctor was telling him that Twilight was bitten by one, and was well on her way to becoming one too? He was speechless. The doctor resumed speaking.
“What I can do in the meantime is keep her here. I can’t tell you how she’ll act when she wakes up at dusk. By that time she shall be fully transformed under the effects of vampirism. These engraved chains will hold her for…I don’t know how long. I’m aware that she’s a quite powerful unicorn. With the added strengths of vampirism coupled with her need to satiate her bloodlust I fear she will be quite difficult to stop if she does choose to escape.”
Spike leaned forward on the bed. Twilight was sleeping so peacefully, chest rising and falling in a steady rhythm under the plain white bedsheets. Yet the doctor had clasped the slim unicorn in special enchanted chains. He took out a pen, slipping it under Twilights upper lips and pulled them upwards.
“Holy guacamole! She….she has fangs,” whispered Spike when he saw the curved teeth growing from her upper jaw. The doctor removed his pen; Spike could still see the white tips of the long fangs poking out from her mouth.
“Now…for the hard questions,” the doctor faced Spike with a notepad out. “Do you have the slightest idea how this could have happened?”
“Uh……….no, not really.”
“Dig up any graves recently?”
“Experiment with any black magic?”
“Not in that library nope.”
“Perform untested alchemy of any kind?”
“Not sure what that is so no.”
“Survey any dark cool roosting grounds such as a cellar, mine, cave or quarry?”
Spike stopped shaking his head there. “Did you say cave?”
The Ursas den was as intimidating as Rarity remembered, being so large while at the same time reminding her how closed in she was. Exile was something she’d always pictured as something far up north near the Appalachians huddled in a log cabin where she would drink unfiltered spring water and eat minty pine flavored meals. Despite wanting to change course she found herself drawn back to the cave. There would hopefully be answers here as to what was happening to her and why she was doing the things she’d done.
“If any of you goblins are still here you can expect no sympathy for me!” she said aloud to nobody in particular. Saying it did boost her confidence a little. Perhaps she could find a way to return this situation she’d been swallowed up in to normalcy. She had been trotting through the cave for hours now being way beyond the outer den where the star bears had rested. For being a dark cave with no sunlight peeking there was no worries about bumping into things. She was navigating quite well for herself, taking note of broken stalactites or odd crops of rock to ensure that if need be there would be a way to escape. No aching was felt from her shoulders or legs either despite the long walk. Raritys’ trip through the winding tunnels of this cave had expended her energy reserves though. Twenty minutes ago she was feeling peckish. Now her stomach was growling loudly every few steps.
“Mmm…what a way to go,” she mused to herself, “starvation….alone and forgotten in some musty old cave on the outskirts of town. Well I suppose you do deserve it Rarity, you shall waste away as an anonymous monster.”
With a very theatrical motion she slumped forwards onto the ground, not even minding the dirt she was stirring up. Pointless now was the idea of keeping up appearances if her only witnesses to death were the brown bats snoozing above her. Shutting her eyes she let her head slide to the cold cave floor, waiting in the silence for her slow demise to come for her.
“What’s that?” her ears perked up. There was an unfamiliar sound echoing far up ahead. She strained to listen. It repeated! A little softer but there was a clinking noise. Rarity stood on shaky legs then went to continue further down the tunnel, trying to keep her breathing in check.
The room the tunnel led to was not like any previous one. It looked to have been slightly excavated, the vaulted ceiling being larger and dome shaped in appearance. Luminescent mushrooms grew from patches of soil in various spots, casting long green shadows. Several large boulders were clumped in the far rear of the room near a clear pool of water that had it’s source dripping down into it with quiet plinking noises. Rarity took all this in before her eyes narrowed to the animal in the center of the room.
It was a ram. One of the rams she’d passed by on her mad dash to the bathroom yesterday evening in the restaurant. Its stubby legs were bound in rusted iron chain.
“Oh my stars! Are you okay sir? What am I saying of course you’re not okay let me get you out of there!” she exclaimed running over to him. The ram muffled a response, beady amber eyes bulging out his pugnacious face. Rarity removed the gag from his mouth.
“Up yours lady!” he bleated angrily. He attempted a sort of head butt before falling forwards off his hooves. The fat ram rolled a little before ending upside down.
Rarity was less than pleased at his attitude “Excuse me, but I am attempting a rescue. Assuming you want to be ‘hog-tied’ in this ghastly environment then by all means if you continue this rudeness-”
The ram spat in her face. Rarity recoiled, the saliva dripping down her cheek. Shaking with fury she wiped it off with her hooves. “WHAT is your PROBLEM!?”
“He knows what’s coming,” boomed an unseen voice.
Rarity screamed, looking for the source of the voice. Cold laughter echoed off the walls.
“Be still unicorn. Does your stomach not ache from your journey? Does your throat not crack from being so dry?” the deep voice continued, echoing all around her.
“Wha-What do you want from me! Who is that?!” Rarity replied with her azure eyes still darting around the bleak room, “Also my bodily functions are my own business thank you very much!” It was impossible to pinpoint exactly where it was coming from.
“It’s what you want. What you need. Do not deny what your body demands,” said the voice, taking a much smoother tone, “If you drop from exhaustion how could you find time to learn about what’s happening to you?”
Tongue caught in her throat she glanced back to the ram struggling on the ground behind her.
“So please, drink your fill so that we may talk. Our silence will resume until you are finished,” concluded the voice. All the hushed chatter going on behind the rocks vanished instantly. It was just chain scraping against rock and the pounding heartbeat in her ears now.
Rarity trotted back over to the ram who was once again gagged somehow. She locked eyes with him “I’m sorry I have to do this to you. This…is something I must clear up.”
So Rarity moved closer. The ram redoubled his struggling.
“Please don’t make this any more difficult. If there was any other option I would take it,” her mouth was beginning to water. The word ‘drink’ echoed in her mind over and over again. The ram was twisting wildly now, looking at her in a mixture of boiling rage and fear.
“Stop fidgeting so much will you,” she commanded. The ram went limp. His head rolled backwards, neck fully displayed. Less remorse was felt for what she was about to do now. Partly because she had no ties to this victim. Mostly because he had spat in her face. Descending her head, she opened her mouth widely to clamp down on his large neck. The thick hot liquid flowed in her mouth and Rarity began to drink deeply, her mind again going blank as she gave herself up to the pleasurable taste of his blood gushing into her mouth.
Up high, behind the three largest boulders, the owner of the booming voice was cracking a smile.
“You see that Morsemere? How quickly he was subdued? The look of ecstasy crossing her lips as she feeds? Of the six that entered this pony was the true prize. Ravishing beauty, intelligence, willing to reason, willing to feast,” he licked his lips, “At first I thought her suitable. I know she will make a perfect queen.”
Morsemere peered over the rock. The white pony remained fixated at the throat of the fat ram he had stolen from the tail end of its herd last night.
“She’s not completely turned Jo’sun,” he finally said, “Your queen has fed only twice now according to Valerie.”
“I have in mind already the third meal for her,” he grinned with confidence in his voice, “in due time she will be fully turned, as would the first victim she fed upon. I expect to see her soon enough as well.” Rarity had removed her mouth from the ram, sitting patiently on the ground as instructed.
“Come Morsemere. Let us go entertain our guest.”
“Your yankin’ my tail here Spike. Vampires? Ya’ll can’t think of a less, I dunno, impossible di-agnosis?”
Applejack was sitting in the lobby of pony general with Pinkie Pie and Spike. The doctor had prescribed her bed rest if she wanted the throbbing in her head to go away so she’d taken the day off work. Now here she was stuck in the hospital again being told her friend was turning into some kind of fantastical monster.
“It’s all true! The doctor said so! I saw proof!”
“Proof?” snorted Applejack “I’d take any ‘proof’ from that ol’ quack with a grain of salt. I came ‘round here after a chili eatin’ contest once ‘cause I had stomach problems,” she gave Pinkie a knowing look, who turned away to hide her giggling, “he gone an’ said I was three months preggers. What a load a’ hooey!”
Pinkie Pie patted Spike on the head “Don’t feel bad Spike. Applejack here is just being a grumpy grump pants because she got her head hurt. I believe you completely!”
Applejack just sighed in defeat. No sense in stirring up a senseless argument with Pinkie now. “Ya’ll told Rainbow Dash to get the other two right?” she asked absentmindedly rubbing at her eyes.
“Dashie should be here any minute! Or longer because sometimes Fluttershy is a bit of a slowpony,” she replied propping a hoof under her chin.
The door to the infirmary swung open with a bang as a multicolored blur sped through. A not so blurry yellow-pink pony drifted in right behind her.
“Criminy Dash, can’t ya avoid makin’ your grand entrances for just a day? It’s really none too difficult to jus’ open the door with your hoof,” scolded Applejack as Dash pulled herself off the mess of chairs she’d crashed into.
“Keep your hat on AJ. Nopony got hurt,” buffered Dash removing a very splintered piece of chair from her left wing.
“Um, actually Rainbow Dash, I would say you and Applejack were the most hurt…” interjected Fluttershy before hiding behind her pink hair.
As bad as Applejacks concussion was it was Rainbow Dash who had ended up looking the worst off. She had many blue bandages covering her face, forelegs and chest. Dash had valiantly charged the goblins head-on. Punching, kicking, tossing them in the air and generally raising all hell inside the cave. Two black eyes weren’t something that could be bandaged but Dash wore them proudly, boasting to everyone who’d listen about how she took on an entire goblin horde.
“Before you ask I went to check Raritys place. She’s not home and I’m not gonna go check every store in town cuz she might be shopping,” Dash casually flipped her hair away from her face, “So we’ll poke around later for her.”
Applejack frowned again; she was doing that a lot lately “Well I can’t hold it against ya’ll for goin’ outta your way to check the Boutique. Although she really should be ‘round town somewhere…girl doesn’t exactly blend with the crowd ya know.”
“Attention everypony!” cried out Nurse Redheart from the counter. “Could you all please walk through the door in an orderly fashion? The doctor will see you now. Your friend is awake.”
The doctor shifted on his hooves “You know very well that has to be kept on ice for preservation reasons. I’m sorry, but that’s the best I can do for you.”
“Try to do better for me.”
“You’re aware it’s not easy to just get this for you right?”
“This is hard to get in the town hospital? That’s a good one.”
There were hoofsteps behind him in the hallway. He was relived a little, knowing that he wouldn’t be alone in the room with the unicorn. Even with his back turned he could feel her gaze boring into him. The door swung open and a small troop of ponies filed inside, lining up next to each other across the room.
“Hiya there!” bubbled Pinkie Pie “How ya feeling Twilight?”
Twilight was quietly sipping from a little blue cup in her stretcher “Hungry.”
“Ya’ll…definitely don’t look yourself today sugarcube,” Applejack said with mild concern in her voice, “Didja hear your diagnosis ye-”
“What’s wrong with your coat? Also why are you in shackles?” interrupted Dash not waiting for Applejack to finish.
That was the most striking visual change for Twilight since Spike had last seen her a few hours ago. Her once grape purple coat had paled into a much lighter shade of lavender. If not for the stripes in her hair she could have passed as a spitting image of her own mother. Spikes eyes were focusing on Twilights mouth. Every few words she spoke he could see her white vampire fangs poking past her lips.
“I heard my diagnosis,” Twilight said flatly with her eyes on Applejack, they dragged over to Dash, “There’s nothing wrong with my coat Rainbow Dash.”
“Well sorry geez Twi I’m just askin’ ya don’t gotta be so snappy about it,” replied Dash irritably, ruffling her feathers.
“So…ummm,” Spike was feeling nervous. Twilight was alive! He should be happy even if she was a vampire. He was forgetting his question. Pinkie already asked how she was feeling. Twilight continued sipping from her cup, “sooo….what do you think of the situation you’re in?”
The room was filled with the loud sound of a straw sucking air. The blue cup was empty. Twilight turned to the doctor.
“May I have some more please?” she asked with feigned politeness. The doctor took the cup in silence, being sure to not look into those reddening eyes as he left the room. The pupils had begun to narrow into thin slits.
Rainbow Dash was through with this nonsense, “Alright, somepony give me answers right now because aside from Twilight acting weird she looks fine to me.”
Spike started explaining but Twilight waved a dismissive hoof at him, clearing her throat loudly, “Last night while I was asleep in my library a vampire stopped by and had me for dinner-"
“A vampire!?” interrupted Dash again, “What a load of horse-”
SHHHHHHHHHH went the voices in the room. Twilight continued:
“-when I woke up I was sick from the virus and woozy from loss of blood. I was achy, tired and I threw up my breakfast before fainting. Spike took me to this hospital where due to a completely inexcusable lack of knowledge regarding my condition the disease festered inside of me until I passed the point of no return. Now…I am a vampire.”
The door behind them creaked open on squeaky hinges. The doctor returned, holding the blue cup gingerly by the handle in his mouth. The two Pegasi flinched, suddenly aware of exactly what was in that blue cup. He walked over to Twilight placing it in front of her. She took one look inside and leered at him.
“This cup is half-empty.”
“Don’t be so pessimistic, it’s half-full. A little more so I believe.”
“I don’t want a half-full cup,” she specified, “Give me a full cup.”
“Afraid I can’t have that since we’re running low on reserves.”
“So you go run up some donations. I am hungry,” hissed Twilight pointing a hoof at him, chains clanking noisily at the sudden movement.
The doctor didn’t move, “You won’t be getting any more missy. Not tonight.”
“Why deny me it anyway?! I don’t care if it’s cold anymore! It’s making your patient feel better!” she protested, her voice rising in volume.
“That…is why I am cutting you off,” he said quietly.
Twilight’s face contorted in anger. Throwing her head back she screamed, pulling hard at the restraints clasped to her hooves. The chains creaked and squealed from the pressure. The floorboards around the latches splintered, bits of wood flying upwards. Her friends gasped at the outburst and the doctor herded them out of the room.
“Land sakes! Did ya’ll see them chains splinterin’ like they were nothin’? I can’t believe what I just saw!” stammered Applejack out in the lobby. They were all shaken up from what they’ve seen of Twilight.
“They’ll hold I can promise you that,” assured the doctor wheeling out some cups of cold water. Applejack downed hers at once, “They’re engraved pewter so they won’t burn her skin. The latches themselves are actually hooked into a vein of granite under the hospital,” he was trying very hard to sound sure of himself.
“How do ya fix her doc?” asked Dash tensely. She felt her wings finally settling back down against her sides as the shock slowly wore off.
Unbecoming of the situation he sat on the floor “Twilight Sparkle is beyond fixing now. The most I can do now is stave off her bodily desire for fresh blood. If the situation worsens we’ll have no choice but to put her down with that silver stake pinning the calendar to the wall over there.”
Fluttershy gasped louder than the others “That can’t happen! Is there any other way!?”
“Medically there is no way for any living doctor to reverse this. I doubt even Princess Celestia or her sister could intervene to reverse this condition,” he said hanging his head.
Nobody spoke for a few minutes. Spike had begun sniffling again, trying hard to not cry out loud. Even the usually upbeat attitude Pinkie Pie wore had sunk below her crestfallen face.
“Figuratively speaking there should be another way to revert her back to the way she was....”
“WHAT?!” shouted Applejack “What’s it then? If ya’ll know any way to fix ‘er then spit it out Doc!”
They all ganged up on him waiting for the answer. He stumbled backwards to one of the wooden chairs, mild claustrophobia clouding his thoughts.
“As I said it isn’t a medical solution that could fix her condition. This is just completely hypothetical thinking that I’m recalling from childhood stories. Something you may not be aware of.”
“It’s something to go on right? So tell us already!” pressured Dash, wings flaring open in frustration.
“Myth has it that destroying the vampire that infected its victim would essentially cure the sufferer of its curse. The one who infected the one before would cure those two and so on and so forth. This is of course complete hearsay that isn’t backed up by any sort of scientific fact to go on.”
“Good enough for me!” cried Applejack in glee, “Alls we gotta do is hunt down that nasty stinkin’ vampire an’ shove that stake through ‘em and we’ll have good ol’ Twilight back to her usual self in no time!”
Pinkie Pie jumped up in joy, “That’s a super-iffic idea! We just got to get our little rumps moving to that cave! So what are we waitin’ for girls!?”
“Applejack you are in no condition to be adventuring with your recent cranial damages. Please stay here in the clinic with me to keep your friend company,” insisted the Doctor removing her hat to inspect the white bandages around her head.
“…...fine. I’ll stay here then. I suppose wrasslin’ with them goblins was enough for this pony,” she admitted begrudgingly grabbing at her hat, “ya’ll go an’ fetch my brother then after we get Rarity. I’m sure that he’ll be more than willin’ to help take out any bloodsuckin’ freaks in that cave.”
“Um….girls….I think that I should tell you something that I just remembered…” whispered Fluttershy, the words barely brushing past her lips “about Rarity.”
“What about sugurcube? If ya know where she is in town we can get her prissy little behind to go with ya’ll to the cave,” said Applejack with some irritation in her voice. The doctor was removing her bandages to replace them with a fresh set.
“I was just remembering that when we had dinner at Seasonal Delights yesterday evening that Rarity wasn’t, um, feeling too well,” she eeked out, turquoise eyes shaking.
By now the doctor had halted his mechanical movements wrapping the fresh bandages around Applejacks head. He looked at Fluttershy intently “Did she tell you how she was feeling?”
Fluttershy bowed her head, frightened now at the plausible scenario she was putting forth, “Rarity was telling me that she had woken up late after a restless nights sleep, then about how the heat was doing awful things to her hair, making her achy and tired. So when we got our food she um…didn’t eat much of it all. Instead she had about six full glasses of strawberry juice before she, um….ran to the bathroom to throw it up.”
Identical looks of genuine shock were plastered across the faces of each pony in the room. The doctor leaned forwards in his chair, “Do you recall anything else from the dinner?”
Now she was slumping to the floor, “Yes…Rarity said when she got separated from us in the cave…something leapt at her in the darkness,” Fluttershy gulped.
“…something that left barely a scrape on her neck.”
To be concluded...