I am Death.
That’s what the newspapers call me, at any rate. Not the cheeriest of names, I suppose, but I understand why they chose it. I am a force unstoppable. I come in the depths of night, silently and without warning, to bring judgment, to bring justice. I wear a costume of the purest black, with a flowing cape and hood that masks my face. Black is in this season, after all, and it’s such a slimming color. Besides, it’s not as though I could wear one of those old Mare Do Well costumes, now, could I?
Certainly not. Mare Do Well’s look is so last season. Though I will admit, that’s where it all began. With stupid, blasted Mare Do Well.
It was only I who had never gotten a chance to play the hero, an opportunity to save the day. They never even asked. Just assumed I wouldn’t be interested. That I wouldn’t be able to contribute.
They meant well—they always mean well—but they were wrong. Oh, but they were wrong.
I slip from alley to alley under the cover of night, my ears perked and alert. During the day, there’s precious little for a hero to do in Ponyville besides fishing foals out of wells and walking little old mares across the street. But it’s an entirely different story after the sun goes down. I have not been out and about for a full hour before I hear the muted whimper from somewhere not too far away.
I’m there in a flash, giving my long cape a large swish as I arrive on the scene. Dramatic entrances are important—they give one gravitas and, more importantly, they announce that one has the upper hoof. Immediately, three large stallions glance up from the end of the alleyway, their eyes glinting in what little light there is. Between them is a younger stallion, little more than a colt, cowering on the ground with a black eye and covered in bruises.
“It’s her,” one of the larger stallions whispers, in a shaking voice. “It’s Death.”
One of the stallions grabs a nearby trashcan and hurls it directly at me, but I snatch it out of the air with a burst of telekinetic magic. I toss it right back at the stallion who threw it, as easily as I might toss a bolt of fabric across a room, and it hits him right in the chest. As he slumps to the ground, the second stallion charges me, his head held low. I merely smile behind my mask. At the last second, just as he lunges, I twirl on my heel and side-step him. It takes him a few steps to come to a stop, given his momentum. When he finally is able to turn around, I make sure he’s greeted by my very best uppercut.
That leaves the third stallion, the one who whispered my name. Slowly, carefully, I advance upon him. I make sure to hold my shoulders straight and high, to make myself as impressive and intimidating as possible. Appearances may not be everything but, contrary to what my dearly beloved friends seem to believe, they do mean something. Appearances matter.
The smaller stallion watches with wide eyes while the larger stallion begins backing away. He doesn’t go far, though, before he bumps into a brick wall that marks the end of the alley.
“P-please.” His shoulders are hunched, trembling. He doesn’t look quite so large anymore. “Please don’t hurt me. Please, if you let me go, I’ll do anything—promise!”
I’m still smiling. “Oh, really? Anything?”
“Anything! Money, jewels, you name it!”
“Would you like to know what I truly desire?” Deliberately I position myself between him and the young stallion who’s still lying on the ground. “Let me tell you what I would like … I would like for you to run. I want for you to run, far away from here, and never raise a hoof to anypony ever again.”
He just stands there and blinks at me in silence.
“Was I unclear? Go. Now.”
And just like that, the spell is broken, and he dashes past me, running for all that he’s worth. He passes both of his prone, groaning compatriots before he disappears into the streets beyond the alley. I don’t pay him the least bit of mind, though, as I have more important matters to attend to.
Turning around, I see that the small, young stallion is still watching me intently. I lean down a bit and use a much gentled voice when I ask, “Are you badly injured, dear? Do you require medical attention?”
“I … uh …” He nervously licks his lips before slowly shaking his head. “N-no. No, I don’t think so.”
“Are you quite certain?”
He pulls himself to his hooves. He staggers a bit but quickly regains his balance. “I think … I think I’ll be okay.” He reaches out toward me with a forehoof but then yanks it back. “I just wanted to … um … that is … thank you. Thank you so much, Death.”
I simply give him a nod before, with one last swish of my cape, I take my leave. There are other alleys, after all, and other things that might go bump in the night.
I am Death.
That’s what the newspapers call me, at any rate. Not the cheeriest names, I suppose, but I understand why they chose it. I am a force unstoppable. I come in the depths of night, silently and without warning, to bring justice, to bring judgment. But to be honest, if the choice had been left to me, I would have selected a different name. Because to my own mind …
… I am Hope.
Comments by Kyronea:
Ahaha! Nice twist on the prompt, DB! Superhero Rarity…normally, I do not like superheroes, because I despise vigilantism given that in real life it causes far more harm than it ever does good. In this case, however, Rarity shows us how a superhero can actually do some good, saving this poor downtrodden stallion from a horrid beating. The terrors of the night make me wonder what kind of crime rate Ponyville really has…Rarity might have quite a lot of good to do. And I just love the final part of this story, the way it repeats the start, and how she concludes at the end that she is not Death, but Hope. It’s beautiful, this is. How you do it, I don’t know, but please never stop writing, DB.