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Breath 3: Episode 2

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I kept still in the corner, thinking about my freak out. My head hurted like if it was being struck by hammers. I was confused, lost and scared...

This Holder thing...I wasn't prepared for it...I never heard about the Holders, and that's why I couldn't believe it...

It simply didn't make any sense at all. If I am actually a Holder, then holy shit, this town is good at faking stuff...But, it was more probable that the Holder story is just a lie, an attempt to fool me so I can have be betrayed and backstabbed...It actually did make sense. Celestia said the book was in a cave somewhere...

It was obvious they would, somehow, bring the whole thing down on my head, or leave me stuck there as they walk away laughing...

And that was what I decided to believe into...

The nervous ponies that looked at me nervously were just afraid that I was a newcomer...An odd one...

I inhaled and got up...I was determined to go back to Christingham and live the life I definitely shouldn't have left behind...

I just took a step forward, and then, I heard a familiar but unwanted voice...

"Hooooolder? Are you there?"

Twilight's voice passed through the window and echoed in my ears...

I hid under the window and hoped that they would say what they would do...

They did...

"Dash, you fly to his window and check his room, me and Rarity will go through the front door, Pinkie and Applejack go through the back and go to his room aid RD! We'll keep an eye on the main floor! We can't lose him!"

Since RD was coming to the window already, I ran to the door and closed it before she got there in time...

I heard voices from downstairs, and a bang from the back door...

"Sky? Are you there?"

"Come on, trust us!"

I realized I still had my trusty pistol with me...I wouldn't excitate in shooting any one of them in the middle of their eyes, since my trust torwards them didn't exist anymore...

I didn't care how the loss of another member of the Elements of Harmony would affect Equestria...

I slowly walked to the only stairwell that piece of crap building had and peeked...

Twlight and Rarity came from the door and walked past the stairwell, as they would keep an eye on the main floor...

I descended some steps slowly, but a bang from upstairs startled me, as RD kicked my door down...

I'm pretty sure she would turn my face into a pancake if I let her get a hold of me...

When I got to the last step, I went for the open doors quickly and hid outside...

I peeked out and saw Pinkie and Applejack coming, and Rainbow Dash going downstairs...

I vaulted over the railing next to me, put the pistol in my holster and ran away...

I felt water drip on me as I ran...it was starting to rain...

I guess Celestia wasn't too happy with our broken deal...

---

I have no idea how far I ran, but I was able to find an abandoned house, with spray tags all over it and the windows planked up...

I tried to open the door, but it just simply fell straight down...I examined the room before me. It had a dumpster on fire, an old red messed up armchair next to it and a radio on top of some whine boxes...

It was obvious it was one of those houses where any homeless pony could enter to stay for a few nights...Atleast that's what I thought...

I walked in...

"Erm...hello?"

I put the door back up again to it's original place. I didn't want to risk anything...

"Anypony home?"

The place was so silent, I could hear my own heart beating...

"Hello...?"

I sat on the armchair...

The only source of lighting I had was the flaming barrel in front of me...

I turned on the radio. I could only hear static...

I wacked it a little...

"Come on, you stupid piece of junk!"

And then, with some static, I could hear faintly the weather forecast...

"The weather is rainy today, but it will last for a few minutes only, so don't worry! But, it's believed it's going to be very foggy today after the rain, so foggy, you might even get lost! So, stay at home...It's also believed that in a couple of weeks, with the arrival of winter, Equestria is going to have a strong snowstorm that might leave the land buried in snow for a few months...Ponies are advised to not come out of their homes during the snowstorm in any form of way!"

After that, I turned it off. My plan, now, was to get to Christingham before the snowstorm...

I had only a few weeks, so I didn't have much time to lose...

"If they could atleast say in how many weeks this storm would start..."

I leaned back onto the chair, and sighed...

That day was insane...

CLICK-CLACK!

The noise that entered my right ear sent shivers down my spine...

"W-Who are you?!"

Sometimes I wonder why lady luck hates me so much...But, I feel it's pretty obvious...

"I SAID WHO ARE YOU?!"

The voice came from a mare...I could see part of her and part of her weapon to my right with the corner of my eye...

The poorly illuminated room couldn't allow me to get a good glimpse on her...

She got closer...

"I-I-I-I'm n-not afraid of k-killing you!"

Dumb of her, she put the shotgun right next to my head. What I did next was harsh, but neccessary...

I hit her in the side of the neck with a hit of the right side of my hoof, grabbed her weapon from both sides with my hooves and hit the back of it in her muzzle...

Now, I had her weapon with me...I kept it pointed to her head, as she agonized for her muzzle...

"MY NO-HO-HOSE!"

Darkness covered her face, but I could see she had a gray coat, and her cutie mark were bubbles...

I took a few step backwards on my hind legs and I pulled the flaming barrel to me. The light of it illuminated her head...

She had her face covered with her hooves, but her mane was yellow...and she was sobbing...

Still, her crying wasn't enough to break my heart...

Call me a sociopath, a "Mister Not Sensitive". But, I didn't trust anypony from that town after I chose believing it was all a trap...

"P-P-Please...D-Don't shoot..." She said among her tears...She revealed her face to me and...The first thing I noticed is that she had yellow crossed eyes...

"Why shouldn't I?"

"I-I-I'm sorry!"

"Who are you? Were you sent by the Elements of Harmony?"

"W-W-What a-are you talking about?"

"WERE YOU SENT BY THEM?!" I brought the weapon closer to her...

"N-N-N-NO!"

"WHO ARE YOU, THEN?!"

"I'M-I'M JUST AN EX-MAILPONY TRYING TO SURVIVE!"

"WHAT'S YOUR NAME?!"

"D-DERPY!"

"Derpy..." I wondered what kind of name was that... "You better explain yourself..."

"I-I just...I just saw you come in a-and I thought you were here to kill m-me!"

"And for what reason?"

"I...I thought you were a Red Heat mercenary sent by...by...him!"

"Him?"

"It's...It's a long story..."

"Tell me about it..."

"I...I don't want to..."

"TELL ME ABOUT IT!"

"Okay, okay! Just...Don't pull the trigger..." She sighed... "I...I am an ex-mailpony...I used to deliver mails until this new techinology came...You know, telephones, e-mails and such...I lost my job because of this stupid stuff and...my roommate, who was also my 'lover'...He beat me up for it in front of my daughter, even though the fault wasn't mine!"

"Mmmhmm..."

"My daughter is from another stallion, though, just pointing that out...He was way better..."

"Move on..."

"Okay...My 'boyfriend' simply forced me living with him...I didn't love him and he obviously didn't love me, even though he kept lying and saying he did love me...That's because he thought I was a retard, but I'm...I'm not...I'm not a retard...I...I..." More tears started to come out of her eyes, "I...I lost three babies because of him and I almost lost my only daughter once...I got a big cut in the shoulder for saving her from him...It-It was worth it, though!"

I looked to her shoulders, and on the left one, she had a big scar...

"How did you lose those babies?"

"He...He saw me like a...a...you know, a...pleasure object, let's leave it like that...and...he...what he did was...I...I got pregnant from triplets, and I tried to hide it from him, but he found out pretty soon...He threw me on the ground and stomped my belly...Right on the womb...I had to make a surgery to get foals out... and...and...SHOOT ME!"

Suddenly, she grabs the shotgun's barrels and places them on her forehead...

"Just...end it already..."

At that point, though, I had already calmed myself a little...And my heart was now broken in two...

I remembered my family's story...You know, father sees wife as a sex object, tries to kill son and wife...

The only difference is that he killed his foals. Except that foal she mentioned from another father...

I think I never felt so bad for a pony like I did at that moment...

You can call me bipolar from how I went from angry and heartless to sensitive and with a broken heart...

And...The way she told me her story was so sincere, that I doubt it could be a lie...

"Wow...just...wow..."

"W-W-Why didn't you pull the trigger yet...?"

My eyes gazed to the ground as I dropped the shotgun and kneeled...

"W-Wha-...?"

"Congratulations..." I put a hoof on her shoulder with a scar... "You have broken my stone heart..."

"Huh...?"

It wasn't common making me feel bad for one after I got thirty years old. I lacked empathy and rarely did something for somepony just because I wanted to help...

But, something in her words were enough to shatter the stone wall that stood around my heart...I don't know if it was her story, or her voice filled with grief and despair...

Maybe both...

"You saved yourself..."

"But...I don't..I-I don't want to..."

"I know you don't want to live...And I don't want to kill you neither..."

After hearing my words, she tried to stick her hoof to the shotgun, so she could probably shoot herself. I didn't let her do it, by simply grabbing it and throwing it away...

"No! Give it to me!"

"I want to help you..."

"I-I don't need your help!" She struggled to get away, I hold her still...

Most of the time, I don't care for ponies I see crying on the street. I cared more for those who I know and I consider a friend, which I'll want to help in any means neccessary. But, that mare's story was touching...way too touching...

"I...I can make your life better..."

"I DON'T WANT A BETTER LIFE!"

"Calm down...Derpy, right? I know a place better than this shithole. I can help you get out of here!"

"...What place?"

"Christingham...It's a whole new Ponyville, trust me!"

"I...I heard it was poop..."

'Poop', there's something I haven't heard in a while...

"That's old news, it got rebuilt and now it's a better place to stay...My friend is taking care of it and she's trustable..."

"You sound like you're lying..."

"I'm not..."

"Why should I trust you?"

I bit my lip...

"What reasons do I have to betray you once we get there? You have nothing I could use..."

"You...You might just want to betray me so you can leave me in more misery..."

"I'd have to be a real sadist to do that..."

"I...wait...Wait a moment..."

Her eyes fixed themselves and she stared at me...looks like she finally had realised who was I...

Took her long enough...I wonder why she didn't notice me before...

"You...You're...Skyblack Graymane!"

I looked away...

"Do you really think I'll trust you?! I'm not as retarded as...as you think!"

She was smart...She delivered me a strong blow on my belly I fell backwards after losing my balance, coughing...

She ran for the shotgun. I had no choice but take cover in front of the sofa. I covered my ears, waiting for the thunderous noise the weapon would make, but, I heard a faint click...

"Oh come on!"

I peeked out...It looked like the thing had jammed...

"STUPID PIECE OF POO!"

I pulled out my pistol...

"Drop it!"

She threw it at me instead. I deflected it with my front leg. She ran back to where she came from, and dissapeared in the darkness...

I didn't follow her. I didn't know what tricks she could pull off if I went into it...

I looked backwards and I saw the flaming barrel...I had an idea...

I threw the barrel on the ground and kicked it torwards the darkness, being careful to not burn myself...

The flames illuminated the room, and I saw the mare leaning against the wall, holding a filly on her hooves...

"Y-Y-You...You wouldn't s-shoot a mare with a filly own it's hooves, would you?!"

What kind of mother uses her own daughter as some kind of shield?

"I don't even want to shoot a mare-"

"YOU'RE LYING! You think I don't know about you?! I know about your tricks, and I know what you want!"

"I was cursed by Zecora!"

"I don't...I don't care! You still did horrible things!"

"I never wanted to do that!"

"You...You...I just can't trust you..."

"Listen...I'm not a psychopath anymore..." I took a step forward, "I never actually was one...The curse made me kill...I never wanted to kill...I always suffered each time I discovered I killed a pony..."

"I...I just..."

"I know you can't trust me...I know you don't want to put your daughter in danger..." The filly looked away after I looked at her, "But, I promise you...I promise you that I will get you a better place..." I holstered my gun, "I just want to help..."

She gazed to the ground...

"Mommy...?" The filly said...

"Dinky..." She put her on the ground, "Stay behind me..."

The filly ran behind her as she slowly approached to me...

"So...What's your decision?"

"I...I need to think..."

"Okay...I'll...I'll wait for you..."

I walked to the armchair and sat on it...

---

(Derpy's perspective)

I sat on the ground, leaning torwards the wall, holding my head with my hooves...

"Mommy...I'm scared of him..."

"Mommy's scared too...but...We need to leave Ponyville...It's too hard to live in here with your stepfather hunting us..."

"Do you trust him?"

"Who?"

"That stallion..."

"Oh...I...I don't know...He sounds honest, but, I'm still scarred for what he did two years ago..."

"What did he do?"

"He...he did bad things to ponies...But, he didn't want to do it...He had been possessed by some evil thing..."

"What if he's still possessed?"

"He isn't anymore..."

"How do you know, mommy?"

"That's what Celestia said, but...I don't trust Celestia so much...She never attended to me when I asked for her help...Nopony respects me just because I'm a little stupid..."

"Mommy, you aren't stupid!"

"I am...Otherwise, they would never laugh at me..."

"Well...About the stallion..."

"I...I think we can risk it...He sounds honest..."

"Are you sure?"

"I am...It's either him or your stepfather..."

"Okay..."

She looked away...I picked her up and hugged her...

"Mommy loves you...I will protect you...If he does anything bad to you, I will rip his heart out and make him eat it..."

She giggled...

---

(Skyblack's perspective)

I heard the raindrops hit the roof. I loved rain, but it really chose a bad time to start falling...

"Mister Graymane..." I looked to Derpy while she looked at me and sighed, "We trust you..."

I nodded. "Glad to see somepony still trusts me in this town..."

"But...If you do anything to my daughter that she doesn't like, I'll rip your heart out!"

"Yeah!" The filly yelled...

"I won't harm your daughter in any possible way. I'll stay away from her..."

She nodded. "Good..."

"Alright..." I got off the armchair, but I looked backwards and saw the radio, "Can we take the radio?"

"Why?"

"To keep up with the news...?"

"Why do you need to keep up with them?"

"Well, Celestia and the Elements of Harmony are after me, so...I need to know what they're doing-"

"Why are they after you?"

"I'm a Holder, remember? They're after me because I ran away from a meeting that required me, because...I don't trust Celestia, honestly..."

"Oh...I don't trust her as well!" She slowly smiled...

"Well, there's something we got in common..."

"Well, take the radio. Just keep in mind it's batteries are running low..."

"We can find a pawn shop on the way and get some batteries from there, and maybe some other stuff..."

"Do you have the bits, though?"

"I do..." I pulled the sack out and shook it, "But, I think you'll have to go in and buy them for me, since this town is still kinda mad at me..."

"Okay..."

"Do you know a nearby pawn shop, though?"

"Oh, please! I'm an ex-mailpony, I know this town like the palm of my hoof!"

"Yeah! Like the palm of her hoof!" The filly shouted...

"Very well, then...You can take us there..."

"Then, follow me!"

She made a sign with her head to follow her. So I did, along with her daughter, which I tried to maintain distance from...

We walked out of the house falling apart. Derpy led me to a pawn shop. I handled her the bits and she walked in with her daughter...

I leaned on the wall with the radio on my hooves. Good thing the weather was cold and everypony was at home...

---

(Derpy's perspective)

The store wasn't big, it had all sorts of electronics available at the time. The TV on the wall had the news about the big snowstorm that was about to come...

Mr. Cake stood behind the balcony. Since Sugarcube Corner was closed down for the poison incident, he wasn't the same anymore.

Mrs. Cake's suicide also didn't help at all...

"Welcome, take what you need and come again..."

His tone of voice never changed since last month. It always was the emotionless depressed tone of voice...

"Erm...Do you have any batteries for my radio?"

He grabbed them from under the counter and just dropped them on it and said how much it would cost. I gave him the bits and grabbed the batteries. I was gonna head out, but, the news on the TV caught my attention...

"We're live here with Celestia, who's got an important message to us about the Holder!"

"Well, citzens, the Holder refused to help and he's now attemping to escape Ponyville! He did not seem to trust us and became paranoid. But, we need him on our side! We're on a hunt for him and we'll accept help from any of you, citzens of Ponyville! If you find him, call the Royal Guard immediatelly! And DO. NOT. HELP. HIM. ESCAPE! Trying to do so will render you terrible consequences! If you manage to capture him, do not be TOO agressive, and if he struggles and tries to escape, knock him out, but don't be too violent! We'll be counting on you! Good luck!"

After that, it went back to the regular news...

"MOMMY, CAN I HAVE A MP3?"

"Not now, Dinky..."

"Aw..."

I walked out with Dinky following me...

---

(Skyblack's perspective)

I kept staring at the cloudy sky, waiting for a single raindrop...

"Mister Graymane...?"

"Just call me Sky..."

"Oh...Well, Sky, I saw on the news that Celestia is hunting for you an-"

"I already know that..."

"I-I know but... She just put the whole town onto you..."

"What?"

"The whole town apparently is after you, she just said it on the news that she needs help from her citzens..."

"So now she wants me dead?"

"No, she ordered you to be captured and taken to the Royal Guard, but..." She sighed, "After you've done, I don't think the town will listen to you...A pony can just kill you and say you had some sort of accident or that you killed yourself..."

And so my fear became real...

She took the radio from my hooves...

"Wha-"

"I...I don't know if...I'm scared of being seen with you now, because...I'm gonna get killed if I..."

"What will be Celestia's punishment?"

"I don't know! She didn't say it, but...It can't be worse than being stomped to death by a bunch of angry ponies that saw me with you, can't it?"

"I have no idea..."

"Mommy, I don't want to be stomped to death!" The kid yelled...

"Calm down, Dinky..." Derpy glimpsed at her and then looked back to me, "I...I can't go with you..."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes...I don't want to be strapped to plank and be skinned alive..."

"I see..."

"I-I'm sorry for wasting your bits!" She took a step back...

"I don't care for money anymore..."

"O-Oh...W-Well, I-I'm sorry for everything!" She grabbed her daughter and held her with one hoof and the radio with the other one...

"I should be the one sorry for almost killing you..."

"I-I...B-BYE!"

She flew away...I hoped she could see where she was going in the cloudy and kind of foggy weather...

I understood her fear...No one knows who could be watching us at that exact moment...

I even felt kinda relieved that she flew away instead of coming with me...I didn't want to put yet another innocent pony into trouble...

And I was back in my lonely path to Christingham...

---

Christingham was a few miles west from Ponyville. It would be a long walk from here to there...

On my way, I've noticed that the streets were more populated now...It doesn't take a Twilight Sparkle level of genius to know for what reason they were outside now...

I used the fog, objects and alleys in my favor...

After some time, my stomach started to growl. I haven't eaten anything the whole day...

I would have to deal with that for a while...

---

(Derpy's perspective)

I landed next to home, and we were about to walk in, until my daughter's stomach rumbled...

"Mommy, I'm hungry!"

"Don't worry, dear, I'll-OH!" I had Skyblack's sack of bits attached to my waist, I pulled it and held it in front of me, "I forgot to return it to him!"

"Mommy, come on! We're gonna go after him, right?"

"Well, he said he doesn't care about money, so..."

We looked at eachother and giggled. I left the radio in my house and we walked to the convenience store just around the corner...

The whole time, I had the odd sensation of being watched...

We arrived at the convenience store with Bon-Bon's voice already welcoming us...

"Oh, hello, Derpy!"

Bon-Bon had a golden heart. When she was a spa worker and worked with Lyra, she always gave me a discount when I visited it, and there were times I didn't even have to pay, which were mostly when my abusive boyfriend beat me up and banned me from my own house with Dinky until he found me and told me to go back home. She also even let me live in her house for a few days after I gave birth to my dead triplets...

But, then, the spa caught on fire. It was said to be accidental, but I don't believe that...I'm sure it was arson, and I'm sure it was my boyfriend that did it...

Lyra, sadly, was struck violently in the head by a piece of debris during the fire and entered a coma. Bon-Bon never stopped hoping that she would wake up one day...But, the chances were she would never wake up from her sleep...

"Hi, Bon-Bon...Dinky is hungry, and-"

"Oh, I'll get what remained from lunch!"

Bon-Bon gave us what she left on her plate after lunch everyday, but, that day, it was going to be different...

"Bon-Bon, I have bits..."

"Wha-?!"

I shook the bits in front of her...

Suddenly, she just comes, grabs my head pulls me near her...

"Who did you rob?!"

I pushed her away...

"Gee, I robbed no one! Calm yourself!"

"Then where did you get those bits?"

"I...I found them on the street!"

"Derpy..."

"...Okay, okay, a friend gave them to me!"

"Gave?"

"Okay...He told me to buy something for him and he forgot to take the sack back, so, uuuh, yeah..."

She looked at me, concerned...

"So you stole them from him?"

"He said he didn't care about bits!"

"What kind of pony doesn't care about bits?"

"I...I dunno...He's weird..."

"MOM, I'M HUNGRY!" Dinky jumped up and down...

"Calm down, Dinky, mommy's going to get your food..."

Bon-Bon looked at me, frowning...

"You better not put me in trouble for this..."

I dropped the bits on the counter...

"Dinky, what do you want to eat?"

"Oh! Oh! Chocolate! Loads of chocolate!"

"You heard her..." I said to Bon-Bon...

---

In my bag, I could see five small boxes filled with candies...

"I can't wait to eat all of those!"

"Just promise you're gonna leave some for mommy!"

We were just arriving home...Until we saw a red mare with a yellow mane in front of it...She was wearing a black vest with a flashlight and ammo, and she had a holster in her waist...

"Dinky, stop..."

"What's wrong?"

"Over there..."

I pointed to her. The mercenary kept looking around, but not to us, luckily...

"L-Let's not go home now..."

"What? Why?"

"She's a bad mare...She's there to kill us..."

"Oh gosh..."

We started to make our way back from where we came from...

I felt being watched...The fog was also starting to get denser...

---

(Skyblack's perspective)

I couldn't see a thing. I had no idea where I was going. Forwards, backwards, left or right...

I just saw fog all over the place...

Eventually, I bumped onto a fence. I started to following it to the left, since it's where I thought I was going in the first place...

I could also hear some other ponies complaining in the distance...

Eventually, I crossed the road and ended up in an alley...

Now, I was completely lost...

Except...I heard a scream coming from a mare...

The voice was familiar...

---

(Derpy's perspective)

"YOU FUCKING BITCH! YOU THINK YOU COULD JUST RUN AWAY FROM ME?! YOU THINK YOU COULD JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?!"

My rampant 'lover' shouted as he pinned me to the ground and tried to stick a knife in my throat...

"MOM, I'LL GET HELP!"

Dinky couldn't fight him, after all she was just a filly. She had to get help from someone as strong as him...

---

(Skyblack's perspective)

In the fog, I heard a stallion yell obscenities as a mare screamed. Suddenly, from the fog, a filly comes running and bumps into me...

She gasped...

"MISTER! YOU HAVE TO HELP MY MOMMY!"

"What happened?"

"HE'S GONNA KILL HER!"

"Who?!"

"COME WITH MEEEEEEE!"

Her yell almost killed my old ears...

I got up, pulled my pistol and followed her, to where I saw this dark blue stallion with a golden mane trying to stick a knife in Derpy's throat...

Why the hell were they there?

"FREEZE!"

I always imagine myself as a Royal Guard detective while saying that...

He looks up while kneeling over her...

"Who the fuck are you?!"

"Just drop the knife..."

He glimpses at Derpy and at me...

"Okay..."

He dropped the knife on her head, making her scream...

By instinct, I accidentally fired my gun...

The thing almost flew from my hooves...It's been long since I've fired a weapon...

Anyway, the bullet hit him in right in the middle of his chest, making him scream and tumble backwards...

Derpy took the opportunity to crawl away from there, as I approached the stallion...

The bullet hole was bleeding intensely as he spit blood from his mouth...

"Y-You f-fucker...GET ME A HOSPITAL!"

"I'll get you a room in hell, you cowardly prick..."

"F-Fuck y-"

I shot him in the head just before he finished his sentence...

"Sorry, my hoof twitched..."

Rivers of blood descended through his nostrils, as a puddle of blood formed behind his head...

I walked to Derpy, holstering my weapon...

"Are you alright?" She had just a small cut in her forehead...

"H-How did you find me?!"

"I got lost in this foggy hell and well...Found you..."

"Oh my..." She looked behind me, to the corpse..."You didn't..."

"I did..."

"You...You're insane!"

"That's what many think..."

"No, you...You didn't just kill my bad boyfriend! You killed an important Red Heat customer! They're gonna be more than pissed if-"

"Boss, we heard a loud bang, are you there?"

A stallion asked somewhere in the fog...

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh..." A tear fell from her eye...

"Let's get out of here..."

I helped her up and we're about to run away...

"Mommy, the chocolate!"

"Forget it, Dinky!"

"But-"

"COME ON, KID!" I kept looking to where the voice came from...

She grabbed the four boxes and put them under her left front leg, mounted on her mother as the same ran away...

I followed her through the fog...

Episode 3.



Written by Jacket Mike.
Content available under the CC-BY-NC license.

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