Chapter 1: False Image
The afternoon was quiet, as it always was in Ponyville. The trees swaying
gently in the breeze, the sun slowly dipping below the horizon. The two best of
friends, Grape Vine the Unicorn and Baysle Spice the Pegasus, had finally
arrived in Ponyville.
“Are we almost there?” Grape asked.
“Yup, We’re finally here, Ponyville! Our new Home.” Baysle responded excitedly.
At last, after months of preparation and planning, the pair had arrived to their final destination. They had made arrangements ahead of their trip to move into a house near the edge of Ponyville. All they needed now was to find their contact, who was to meet them near the center of town.
The two little ponies wandered throughout Ponyville to see where they would be spending the rest of their lives. Shortly after entering the town, the mares were greeted by the pony who would show them their new home.
“Hello!” said the little pony to the others. “My name is Twilight Sparkle. You must be the new residents, Baysle and Grape!” Twilight seemed very upbeat, “let me show you where you ladies will be living.” She led the two friends down many roads and turns. As they traveled, they passed a small cottage along the way, and saw a happy little yellow-cream colored pony with a long, pink mane, singing happily to the woodland creatures that surrounded her as she worked. She shyly glanced at the three ponies and then continued on with her work and her cheery singing.
“Who was that?” Grape asked timidly.
“She has a lovely voice and a beautiful cottage!”, Baysle quickly added.
“Why, that was Fluttershy. She’s the sweetest pony you’ll ever meet, but
she’s incredibly shy.” Twilight responded. “And yes, she does have a lovely
After a short distance more, they finally arrived at their new house, which was a
nice little cottage just like Fluttershy’s.
“It’s perfect!” Baysle exclaimed.
“It’s all that I imagined” Grape added in
“I hope you like it. After you get settled in, you should go meet the others in town, we’re always happy to have new ponies around. Well, I must be getting back to my studies, have a nice day!” And with that, Twilight waved and left.
The cottage was small and nestled near a small stream. It was beautifully
crafted out of wood and painted a faded red. A narrow walkway of cobblestone
showed the way to the door from outside the white picket fence. Beautiful flowers
lined the walkway to the front door. The house was surrounded by fragrant flowering shrubs and ivy crawled up one side of the cottage. This was the home of their dreams. A grin spread across both of their faces as they quickly entered the front door.
As a welcoming gift from the town, Baysle and Grape were supplied with basic necessities like food and toiletries, which was thoughtful of Ponyville, since they had packed lightly for their trip from Fillydelphia.
They eagerly began to unpack the items they brought for their new home. Baysle, who loved to prepare special meals, had packed a cookbook, an apron, some of her favorite fresh spices, an egg timer, a few utensils and a picture of her family from Fillydelphia. Grape’s saddlebag contents were very different from Baysle’s. She carried a journal to archive her botanical discoveries, a copy of “The Equestrian Wildlife Handbook”, a quill, an inkwell and her lucky star ruby necklace.
Their cottage had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a nice living area with a
cozy fireplace and a wonderful kitchen. Baysle instantly took interest in the kitchen, as she was a famous cook in Fillydelphia and knew exactly what needed to be done to get things in order. While Baysle was busy in the kitchen, Grape placed her handbook on the shelf. With the downstairs work completed, the two trotted upstairs to unpack the little that they had to make their rooms feel like home.
The mares slung their saddlebags onto their beds and unpacked each item one by one. They placed the items onto a small shelf and set the bags next to the door. Grape took off her star ruby necklace and gently placed it onto her night stand.
It had been a long and exciting day, but it was quickly nearing its end. Only a sliver of the sun remained, with only seconds until the sphere was gone. Baysle and Grape were both in there beds, drifting slowly to sleep. The tip of the sun collided with the horizon, emitting a green spark of light, lasting only a split second.
The night was very dark and every shadow was a deep black abyss. The trees were still, sound was nonexistent. Even the stars were dim in the heavens. The moon shined as a beacon of light in the darkness. Even though the night was pitch black, a small, but even thicker shadow could be barely seen as it shifted in the Everfree Forest. The shadow had no definite shape in which it rested. The shade moved smoothly through the trees as if on a mission, moving onwards towards the cottage and its occupants, that were fast asleep inside. Upon reaching the cottage, it easily slipped under the back door. It continued up the stairs, and then slithered into Grape’s bedroom. Pausing for a moment as if to glance at the sleeping pony, it then made its way to the night stand where the star ruby necklace rested. Hovering over the necklace the shadowy figure suddenly embed itself into the large precious gem and in doing so, the ruby cracked into pieces, leaving shards resting where the beautiful stone once sat.
The next morning was a beautiful one. The trees calm, the morning air fresh, everything seemed perfect. Grape awoke with a good feeling inside of her, that is until she looked at her nightstand. Grape stared at the shattered remains of her precious necklace. The little pony began to sob loudly as she looked at the remains of her mother’s necklace. Baysle awoke to the sobbing and rushed to Grape’s room.
“Grape? What’s wrong?” Baysle walked in, and sat on the bed next to her
“My...My mother’s necklace... It’s broken...” She responded through weeps.
“Oh my gosh! How did it break?” Baysle took hold of the shattered ruby, and
looked at it thoroughly.
“I don’t know... That was my mother’s necklace.. the only thing I had to remember her by. The only tangible memory of her.” Grape was crying even harder.
Oh my... I’m so sorry, Grape. I really am.” Baysle said as she put the ruby
fragments back down.
Try as she could, Grape just couldn’t get the thought of the broken keepsake out of her head. She sat in the corner of the living area sulking over the loss of her beloved necklace. Seeing that her friend was not doing well, Baysle offer a suggestion;“Grape, it’s a beautiful day, why don’t you go for a walk in the woods and catalog the wildlife. It’s always helped you clear your thoughts in the past, why not give it a try.” Grape thought for a moment and decided her friend was right. She grabbed her journal, quill, and inkwell, went upstairs to retrieve the broken necklace and set out to Everfree Forest to clear her mind.
Grape was enjoying the scenery as she galloped down the path to Everfree Forest, observing the different types of plants, and birds as she ran past. Coming to a clearing, the pensive pony sat down and drew pictures of the flora and fauna then named them with what she remembered from her handbook. She then decided to continue to gallop down the path. The breeze felt good on her face, the sun was warm on her back as she picked up speed galloping faster and faster.
“Wait! Don’t go in there! It’s far too-” Fluttershy called after Grape as she galloped past her cottage, but Grape ignored her. She couldn’t make out what Fluttershy was saying, and to stop and go back would mean that the inner peace that she was feeling would quickly end.
Fluttershy’s voice trailed off and quickly disappeared. Eventually Grape’s
gallop broke down to a light trot and then to a halt as she stumbled to the ground
exhausted, and she started to cry. After a while Grape’s crying stopped and she
listened to the quietness of the forest. She enjoyed every second of its tranquility. Grape looked around at the grass and the trees then laid down to rest. She wiped what was left of her tears off of her nose and continued to observe her surroundings.
“Peaceful... Just peaceful...” She mumbled to herself as she watched the birds fly overhead and the sun still rising over the horizon. She remembered the necklace again and reached into her pack to retrieve it. She held it up to the light observing the spot where the large stone once rested. But, there was something different about the necklace. Not just because of the missing stone, but there was something, different. There was a strange feeling about the necklace, one of gloom or a feeling of darkness. She put the necklace on, and she began to feel a shadow of sadness lurk over her again. She tried to focus on the tranquility of the forest, it helped a little bit, but she still couldn’t forget the shattered ruby and this strange dark feeling emanating from the necklace.
There was a stream not far from where Grape sat in deep thought. The sound of the flowing stream at first remained unnoticed by Grape, but as her head began to clear again, she slowly gained interest in finding the stream. She quietly headed towards the sound and by the time she got to the stream she nearly fell in, because her mind was still elsewhere. Below her the stream had cut a pool out of the bank from years of erosion. Unlike the fast moving stream that ran past it, the pool was almost lifeless, with an appearance of shimmering glass. Grape gazed deeply into the shifting glass-like fluid. A lingering tear flowed down her face and dripped off her nose and into the water, sending rings of ripples that faded quickly.
Something caught her eye. Her reflection... seemed...different? She paused for a moment to look into her reflection's eyes. They seemed familiar, but they felt foreign. It was like a twin, a look alike, but it was a different pony staring back at her. Grape leaned in closer.
“H..Hello?” Grape carefully asked.
“Hello” the twin mouthed back simultaneously.
“I must be seeing things I guess...” Grape muttered.
There was no movement from the twin, only a mimicked gloomy expression. Grape Vine rubbed her eyes in disbelief, then stared back into the liquid.
“Welcome...” the twin mouthed. The twin gave an evil, toothy grin that showed her razor sharp teeth.
The image rippled, then faded. The currents gained slight momentum and the crystal clear water began to cloud with pale silt. Grape flinched and fell onto her side, hitting her head on a large stone. She gasped as her vision blurred, propelling her into a deep, unwanted sleep.
Author’s note: This is chapter one. Its supposed to be an introduction to the
story. The [GrimDark] wont really start until the second chapter. i would categorize this first chapter as [Sad].
Contributions: FlashZD is my editor for this story as well as my mane support. Without FlashZD I wouldn’t have released this fan fiction.