Fluttershy tells an old school morality tale to the CMC and scares the crap out of them. Enjoy!
Now listen up, this is a true story.
Once, there was a young alicorn maiden who lived on the edge of the Everfree Forest. She was very beautiful and beloved by all, but she was considered to be very odd by other ponies. For the young maiden loved the Everfree with all her heart. She tended to the forest day and night, and knew every tree and animal as if they were her own children. The other ponies warned her about the dangers of the Everfree, how things never appeared as they seemed, but she did not listen. She laughed, saying that she was in no more danger from the manticores than from the moss. The ponies who heard her shook their heads, worried for her safety but unable to do anything to stop her foolishness.
And the Everfree heard her too.
The years passed. The young maiden grew older, but still appeared as radiant as when she was young. Her life was much the same as it had been, perfect in every way, but something had changed. The ponies that had lived near the Everfree had long since moved away or passed on, leaving her so very lonely. The alicorn found herself wishing to talk to anypony, wishing upon each errant star for affection and companionship.
And it was on one night, much like this one, when she heard a knock at the door.
The maiden had no idea who it could be, but she was desperate for company and that can make a pony do foolish things. Without thinking, she opened the door.
Standing at the shadowed doorway was a pony, a handsome stallion to be exact. He smiled at her, and she felt a warmth in her chest that she hadn’t felt before. Blushing, she asked…
[i]‘What is your name good sir?’[/i] He replied, never losing that smile from his face.
[i]‘My name is Creeper Moss.’[/i] She laughed gaily at his words.
[i]‘Isn’t that a strange name for a pony?’[/i] He chuckled in kind with her.
[i]‘It is indeed strange, but it is my name. May I come in fair maiden, for I am cold and weary from my travel.’[/i]
The young alicorn could scarcely keep from shouting for joy at his words. Surely the heavens smiled upon her, to bring such a stallion to her door!
[i]‘Indeed you may good sir.’[/i] The stallion’s smile grew deeper before he stepped in, the dim firelight playing across his coat. The maiden gasped, for the stallion had the most unusual coat and mane she had ever seen! He was green, from hooves to head, and his mane looked like a full head of moss! He winked at her shocked expression.
[i]‘Now you can see why I am called Creeper Moss. But please young maiden, may I have something to eat, for I am tired and thirsty from my travels.’[/i]
She fetched him some bread and water from her stores, placing them on a plate in front of the fire. She could not keep her eyes off of him. The warm feeling in her chest hadn’t gone away yet and she felt a tightness of breath she never had before. For the young maiden had fallen in love with this stallion, deeply and madly, her desperate heart hoping he could return her love. She watched with adoration as he nipped at the bread and sipped at the water.
Eventually, he noticed her staring and looked back at her. They stared deeply into each other’s eyes for a moment before he asked…
[i]‘Young maiden, I have never before felt in my travel what I feel for you right now. May I kiss you?’[/i]
And so, they kissed into the long night. The young maiden felt love and affection burst in her heart as all the lonely years and worries fell away from her mind. She knew that she loved him and he loved her.
But this is not a happy story.
When the maiden awoke next day, the stallion was gone. There was only a bed of moss where he had laid next to her throughout the night. She grew concerned, but brushed it aside. Surely he had just gone to fetch wood for the fire and would be back within the hour. Coughing slightly, she began her daily chores.
Hours passed and still the stallion did not return. The maiden grew worried. Maybe he had lost his way or had fallen into the river and been swept away. But still, she waited, confident in his return. She turned back to her chores, her cough growing worse.
Night fell and with it, the maiden’s hopes. She despaired of ever seeing her love again, crying out for him into the dark, as she coughed and coughed. Then she felt a prickling in her chest and the stallion’s voice whispering in her ear.
[i]‘Fear not young maiden. For I am the Creepermoss of the Everfree and I never left you and you shall never leave me.’[/i]
The maiden coughed again, the most horrid, painful cough she had yet. Near retching, she brought her hooves to her mouth to stop the pain. Eventually the cough subsided and she drew her hooves away, before staring at them in terror.
They were covered in blood and moss.
She began panicking, but it was too late. She coughed and coughed bloody moss, her love’s sweet voice whispering in her ear, until she died.
And that girls is why we don’t trust strangers… girls? GIRLS! Oh dear, I hope Applejack and Rarity aren’t too upset with me for frightening the girls.
Norse Pony’s comments: Ooh, personified forests, fulfilled wishes, and dire consequences? I likey. I liked the overall tone of this, the sort of sense of inevitable inevitability you infused in the text. Things are going to end badly for our alicorn, we know that, but we don’t know exactly how. And then… we learn how. Good stuff.