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The Only One Who Understands
This is an my little pony fanfic, but it is in no way childish. at all. its also about an elven ranger. bronys exist for a reason mlp is an intelligent, well written show. it dos get dark but there is nothing graphic, so no trigger warning.
i run from it, fast apporoaching, and stare around. where can i hide? i stare around at the forest and clutch my bleeding ear. oh, grat. now i look like a human. that creature tore it off and i cant seem to kill it. not the time, not the time. there! vines are hanging over something to the east, i cant tell what but ill be able to get thru it. i dive into it and see something green swirling in front of me. oh, great. its a portal. it could read to anything, a brutal death, a trap, imprisonment, torture. anything. and likely not good.and my ear smells of blood. just great. i wipe the blood off my hand onto my dress and turn, shielding my face with my arms. I'm ready for it. with my sword i can...
what on sylarna? no, no that cant be right. I'm in a garden... but instead of sharp, clear, defined lines its all rounded... its so confusing. and the grass on which i stand is solid, with only a few clumps of actual... strange grass. there are hedges and trimmed forms of horses in odd positions. i stare up at the night sky, and its purple. what?! clearly i had the wrong train of thought. this is way worse than lifelong imprisonment, or being eaten or something. that i can solve with my sword. i reach for it and realize I'm on all fours. oh, must have fallen. i stand and wobble, off balance. i must be in a different dimension which made me dizzy. i grab my sword, holding it makes me feel safe. this is bad. I'm the last ranger, without me it will reach them, the soldiers will have to fight but they arent trained to handle it. i have to get back. I'm still off balance. i walk over to a hedge and lean on it, glanceing at my hand... that is not there!
there is a teal cylinder wearing a green boot attached to my body! oh my goodness! i follow it to my teal body...my teal, weird shaped body. WHERE ON SYLARNA AM I?! WHAT AM I?! i dropp and stare around to my back, wearing my green cloak but no other clothes... and wings. why do i have wings? or fur? what is going on?! dont panic, dont panic you have been in far worse situations before. and you have wings, that's good, right... I HAVE WINGS?! I HAVE WINGS! NO! that is not ok! at why is the sky purple? why are the stars so big? the moon looks weird. where am i?! more importantly, what am i? i look beyond my wings(what?) to my- OH DEAR QUEEN OF ELVES WHAT IS THAT?! IS IT A TAIL? WHY DO I HAV A TAIL?! AHHHHH!!!!! I flinch and remove my cloak with the weird things that are now my arms, staring. just above my er, tail, is a picture of a bow with a nocked, pulled string and narrow entwined by a vine. why is that there?! no time to panic, no time... the elves needed me. i had to get back home. now, who knows what monsters live here, i need to make sure my ear doesn't bleed and clean it. i look around and see a stream. ok, how do i bandage it? there must be a leaf or something around here somewher-
a horse walks into view... no, a unicorn, no, a pegasus. its a white horse with a giant flowing mane going from pink to green to blue, muttring to itself. why is a horse talking? unicorns dont talk. Salyia(su-lee-uh) doesn't talk, my unicorn mount. there is something very wrong here. they pause as they see me and stare at me.
"who are you?" the white one just spoke? what?
"you can talk." it, or she by the voice, stares at me like i hit my head. why does she have an expression?
"uh... yes... you can too."
"well obviously. I'm an elf. you're a unicorn... or a pegasus? hm hard to say. well, since you can talk, kindly direct me to the portal out of here."
"excuse me? I am an alicorn Princess. you are just a random pegasus. what even is an elf... oh. is your ear ok? lets get you to a doctor. maybe when you hurt it you hit your head?"
"what? i do not need to see a doctor, thank you." doctors were awful! the last time i was caught and given to one he tortured me and tried to break me. ha. I'm a vault, he got nothing but a sting from my blade. "i did not hit my head, it was torn off by that monster chasing me."
"what monster? is tirek back? er.."
"oh... never mind. describe the monster, please. and you need to see a doctor."
"Absolutely not! if you try to capture me ill kill you and him, just like the last one."
"do you know who i am?"
"do you know who i am?"
"I am Steller Moonleaf of the elves, the last ranger." that might not know of her here... in this.. world? it was like another world.
"Princess Celestia. if you threaten us again i will have you thrown in the dungeons."
i laughed darkly. "I've been in many dungeons. if you try it you will regret it." she looked puzzled yet angry. how could a horse have an expression?"
"how? there are no other dungeons. and i don't know what an elf is, you are simply a pegasus. "
"what? no I'm not. and i don't know how you aren't aware of elves, but we are humanlike beings with magic and connections to nature and the forest, very good with nature and bows and such."
"human... like the creatures in the other... how do you know what a human is?"
"uhh because we've been on and off at war for centurys. now, where are the humans here i need to speak to them."
"we dont have... humans."
"well than who rules you?"
"um... i do."
"that's ridiculous. horses cant govern themselves."
"enough. you need to see a doctor for your headwound."
"its just my ear. whats the big deal?"
"what? your injured. that will never grow back."
"uh yeah, so? losing irraplacible body tissue is normal in battle. compared to some veterans(may they rest in peace) I'm healthy as a baby. and i dont have as many scars as most, the ones i do have are from torture. I'm the last because I'm the stealthiest."
"what is torture? scars are not normal or acceptable."
"you dont know what torture is? if i tied you down and started hurting you, either as punishment or to get information usually, that's torture."
"why would anyone hurt another pony?"
"to get information, in my cases. I've done it a couple times before. its not pleasnt, but in war i dont have much choice."
"you hit your head really bad. I'm taking you to a doctor."
"are you kidding?"
"come with me."
"to a doctor?"
"iv been to doctors before. they all tortured me and i killed all of them."
"you killed ponys?"
"they arent ponys. and yes, of course i did. thy would have killed m and i had a duty to my people."
"doesn't it hurt you?"
"of course. every life I've had to take, every wound I've had to inflict weighs on me every moment of every day. their faces haunt my dreams. but i had to kill them or they would have killed everyone i care about. its just how war works." why was i pouring out my heart to a random horse in what was probably a different world?
"i cant. and i have to get back or they will fall."
"i sort of understand you."
"i have to do things for the ponys of Equestria that i wish i didn't have to. nopony understands me, not even my sister. i am utterly alone. i have to fight wars they dont know exist. i just dont have to kill."
i saw a deep, deep pain in her eyes, hidden always by a smile. i could see it, her cheeks sagged, lost without a false, convincing smile. her voice was sweet, soothing, melodios. but at the moment it was sad, bitter, loyal, loving. a protector. like me. "doesn't matter anyway." she looked at me, confused. "self-pity. it doesn't help. half of the people i pour out my blood and soul for dont know i exist. feeling bad doesn't fix it, it just makes me weak. and if I'm weak, then all the elves are weak."
she picked up as if she had been saying everything i said, and i mouthed her words. "but you think it will feel good, and you just sink deeper, and deeper."
"and then you look around and see where you are and you think maybe if i tell someone they can help. and then they say-" we spoke in unison "-'but you have such an amazing job, it must b so fun. its so perfect. and your so good at it." i dropped off.
"but that just send you spiralling into a dark place where you feel ingrateful and wrong but your still hurting and confused and they just cant see the scars."
"they only see the scars outside. they dont see what its like every single day. thinking what could you have don better, how could you have avoided having to kill,"
"how you could have prevented those monsters getting thru so your student has to face them."
"and then the city guard get the praise, for occasionally killing the few that slip thru my fingers, and they ridicule me and say i could have stopped the crisis in the first place-"
"but they dont see the battle you fight every day, and even the days you dont fight the monsters outside, you fight the monsters inside." i nod and our words diverge.
"i can feel her in me. my sister once had a horrid transformation into nightmare moon, and i could do something like that. i dont know what her name is, but shes waiting, feeding on the demons in my head, growing stronger by the day. fighting for power. shes the greatest monster i fight."
"i wouldn't transform per se, but a part of me wants to show them what its like, make them feel the pain i take for them. i want to turn on them, celestia. i want to turn on them and mak them suffer like a suffer." why was i telling this random horse princess my deepest secret? tars beaded just inside my eye. i hadn't cried in a long while i wouldn't start now.
"thank you for telling me." she looked me right in the eye and i knew she knew just how much it meant that i told her that. i cleared my throat.
"so how do i get home?"
"er, right. you need your ear fixed."
"you are not taking me to a doctor."
"i dont know what doctors are to you, but they heal ponys when their sicker or hurt."
"thank you, but no. i can clean it myself." i rinsed it in the stream, watching the blood float off and down. i had seen that before. celestia joined me and i know she know what i was thinking. the bodies. thrown into the water so thy would was away and not be found. she didn't kill, she would have a different idea, but at core it would be the same. blood, washing down a river. problems washing down a river. more guilt, flowing into you. more pain, flowing into you.
i glanced around. hm, nothing. i pulled out my sword and cut off my... tail. th princess looked shocked, but i didn't trust myself to speak to her. i felt something in the back of my throat, behind my eyes. tears. i couldn't stand another connection, couldn't risk caring. couldn't risk crying.
"i have a portal to a world with humans."
"are there elves?"
"i dont belive so."
"does everything look like it does here?"
"what do you mean?"
"see that tree? in my world only trees in drawings look like that."
"that's not it than."
"what will you do?"
"i dont know. without me my darkest dreams would come to- um, without me they'll die. i have to get back." she looks sad. I'm sad inside. th one creature who understands me... no. i cannot feel sad. i cant care! esspecally because shes not an elf. i cant get home. i have no idea what to do and everything rides on me. someone knows how important it is to get back. i turn as sh whispers something i just cant take.
"sometimes i also want to succumb to it. I'm tired. i dont want to be their perfect princess anymore. i want to rest. i want to become something else. but i cant. i, we, must be strong." i nod, doing everything i can to not cry. a single tear braks thru my defenses, slithering down my cheek. a crack in the damm. i blow. tear pour down my face, every time i took a life, every time i had no choice, all the bitterness, all the hate, washing down my cheeks. i didn't try to hold it in. if anyone deserved to cry, just once, i did. it took a special kind of courage. not the kind that runs into war. she stared, she saw everything, laid out so plainly on my cheeks. but not plainly. only she could understand. she let out a tear, and then another, and then many. we rested our faces on each other, our tears mingling(not romantic. seriously, very much so. besides, steller has a high chance of death because i like to kill characters). it felt good to cry. to drop it. to just let it out. but when we slowly stopped, all the rage, all the pain, all the guilt and memories and murders flooded back into me. no peace for the protector.
i stood up, awkwardly, as did she. we looked away, not really sure what to do. i glanced around and... it was a portal! exactly like the one i came from! i could go back! i could go back.... i had to...
"that portal leads back." my voice was flat.
"indeed." her horn glowed, and the sun rose. i stared at her, not sure what to say.
"don't forget your sword."
"thank you." was this really how i was going to leave her? the only person who actually knew what i had to do? i ran to her and hugged her tightly, looking her in the eyes. this time, my voice was full of emotion, of everything left unsaid.
"thank you." for understanding. thank you for caring. thank you for crying with me. thank you for knowing. thank you for everything you do. thank you for telling me. so many more thankyous that didn't have time for. she stared me in the eyes and nodded.
i picked up my sword and sighed, then walked thru the portal, feeling it close behind me. my hair was shorter, my ear had stopped bleeding. my eyes were dry. my heart's scars bled anew though, and my heart still cried. and now, nobody and nopony understood me. just like it should be.