>The world is strange this morning; there is only the rhythmic hoof steps, the faded sounds of voices, and pure blackness.
>No sensation, no feeling, just complete and total numbness within the broadness of oblivion.
>You know nothing, really, just that something is wrong.
>What it is or was is an enigma shrouded in another level of uncertainty and, truth be told, it feels pointless to try and think about this situation you are in; your thoughts are slow and sticky like sap, heavy like pounds of sand.
>Eventually, the pace of which certain thoughts form begin to quicken, their nebulous ideas forming into solid concepts like the birth of stars in the vastness of space.
>Slowly, your consciousness attempts to regain its wits.
>Yes, you remember now.
>You are Anonymous, and another of your five rivers of sensation begins to flow once more; the gift of touch and feeling become known to you again, beginning to communicate with your awareness.
>You’re cognisant enough now to draw a comparison of yourself to a computer being booted, to a machine coming to life.
>But still, something is wrong.
>It isn’t a good sensation.
>It makes you want to be numb again.
>Yes, that is it.
>It increases so unbearably, so alarmingly.
>You try to wince, but your limbs are so heavy that you don’t know if you’re even trying to lift them or if you are restrained by chains from a wall.
>And your throat…it’s so dry that you can feel a burning in the back of your mouth.
>Even moving your mouth makes the hardened skin of your lips split.
>The pain, the sensations, the wrongness you feel— your thoughts are fast.
>Where are you? Is something in your arm?
>Oh, God, there’s more pain — a dull but agonizing pain throughout your body!
>You open your eyes, awakened and alarmed, but a pain unlike the others settles you down with its own abruptness, one that you can’t help but to become immediately apathetic for yourself...for you remain a prisoner in both the world of the awake and to the dungeon that you reside in.
>Yes, those are indeed chains on your arms, chains connected to the ages-old stone wall.
>And beyond the bars that confine you to this small, cold, room of stone and damp darkness stands a pony.
>A very familiar poy.
>For a moment, you forget about the pain and sores and bruises as your heart begins to smoulder with resentment.
“Cadance,” you say to her, the name hissing off your tongue, tinged in venom.
>You grunt, trying to pick your bruised and beaten body off the cold floor of your dungeon.
>The strength of anger makes it easier.
>You know she sees it in your eyes, but her face remains neutral as she pretends to feel nothing by it.
>“I’m sorry, Anonymous. I...did not know how difficult this would be for you. I didn’t know that—”
>“I know,” says Cadance. She hangs her head low. “Yes, I know. I won’t deny that what I did was traitorous to you. But...I’m so sorry. I...I never could have thought that...I...”
>You want to spit at her, but your mouth is so dry that it is impossible.
>Yet somehow, despite your dehydration, your body still retains enough liquids for your eyes to water.
“You said you loved me, Cadance. I know it was wrong for us to not tell Shining Armor about us, I know it wasn’t morally correct, but for you to lie and send me here to rot? To cover your own fucking hide like that!? God, I...I cared about you! I trusted you! And what do you do you bitch? What do you fucking do when your poor dipshit cuck of a husband and his guards walk into the room and see us fucking like animals? You scream: ‘Help! Help! He’s raping me! Help!’”
>You roll your eyes, scoffing, ignoring the tear crawling down your cheek.
“You make a whole story about me, this horrible monster who tried to rape you out of nowhere, all because you don’t want to be revealed as the cheating fucking whore you are. You’re sick, Cadance. You’re so fucking wrong.”
>“Anon, you don’t understand,” says Cadance.
>Her voice has been calm, not rising at all.
>But it is solemn.
>It is not proud, not victimized— it is a professional’s voice, the speech of someone keener than others.
>She walks with a slow, melancholic confidence up against the bars.
>“The Crystal Empire’s renaissance is due to Shining Armor and I’s love for each other. If it wasn’t for our marriage, the love the crystal ponies believe we share, then it would never have become the power it is today. If word got out that my love for Shiny was fake, that I was truly in love with the alien guest Princess Celestia put under our watch, the entire empire would fall apart, just like it was when the Empire first reappeared: powerless, hopeless, decayed. If I didn’t act like you were raping me, then—!”
“You could have handled it hundreds of other ways,” you say tersely at her. “Do you know what they’ve done to me because of you? They’ve beaten me, tortured me, paraded me around the empire for people to throw shit at me, call me a monster, a rapist, a creature with no love in his heart. They haven’t torn my skin off. But it’ll get there. I know it will.”
>“No,” says Cadance. “I made sure they won’t. Nothing that will lead to suffering such as that. But you’ll suffer as you are forever, I’m afraid. I’m sorry.”
>You sigh, drawing your eyes away from her.
>It hurts too much to look at her.
“You did this to me. You ruined everything. I finally had a life I was happy with. I had friends. I had a castle. I had you…God, I loved you so much…”
>“And I love you too, Anon, I just—”
“NO!” you scream, wrecking your parched vocal chords in the process, but you cannot stop yourself.
>You scream through the tears, spewing fire and hate from your heart.
“If you really fucking loved me, you’d do everything to keep this shit from happening to me! You’d say something, make some excuse, anything but this! Anything! How could you do this to me? I /loved/ you, Cadance! I told you things I’d never tell anyone else, did things for you I wouldn’t for even some of my closest friends and family, and what do you do!? God, aren’t you the Princess of Love!? Shouldn’t you know how this works!? If you were in here, I’d make you suffer the way you deserve to. I’d cut you open from that tight little asshole of yours and all the way up to your stomach, then to your mouth, all so I could peel your skin off your fucking flesh and use your skin as my cumrag. And I’d listen to you scream those ungodly screams until your throat is only able to make those broken croaks and cracks and wheezes, the ones that sound like you when I’m giving you the best sex of your disgusting, meaningless, life.”
>Cadance does not react.
>She simply stands her ground.
>But then, you see her close her eyes.
>A tear squeezes out from one of them.
>“I’m so sorry,” she says. “I’m so, so sorry.”
“You deserve to be hanged.”
>“Anonymous...I...I understand your feelings. I know what it feels to be feared, to be feared for being different. I know what it is like for those to call you ‘monster.’ I know this just as I know you love me. But I promise you, Anonymous; it brings me no joy to see you like this. I am as certain of this as I am certain that you love me.”
“Love you!?” you laugh. “You think I seriously still love you!?”
>“No, Anonymous, I don’t think you do,” says Cadance. “I /know/ you do.”
>You sneer at her.
>There is no possible way you could love her, not after all you’ve been through, after how she threw you under the bus, left you to a life of torture and dungeons and misery.
>But the feelings you had before this happened, back when it was just you, her, and nopony else wise enough to know of your love-making with her, your secret dates, the love that bloomed when Shining Armor was off attending his duties…
>Yes, those were the days of love’s resplendent vibrance.
>It started off so simple; Cadance was alone, broke a chair in one of her favorite dining rooms within her castle.
>You, having nothing better to do, offered to fix it for her.
>And then, she asked if she could watch as you worked.
>Jokes became common between the two of you, then eventually a strong friendship was built.
>But it was on the first anniversary of her marriage with Shining Armor that things became more.
>It’s surreal that it was once your reality, that the mare who has imprisoned you, ruined you, was the same one you adored.
>The warmth of such treasured memories cause you to sigh.
“I remember seeing the look on your face that night. The sorrow in your eyes could kill. It was the most downtrodden I’d ever seen someone.”
>She too remembers the warmth.
> You can see it in her eyes, in the twinkling of her tears.
>“I worked hard on that meal for him,” she says. “I wanted it to be as romantic as possible. I didn’t ask the staff to prepare the table or to light the candles. I wanted to do it myself. For him. I wanted to feel his love the moment he walked into the room and saw me there, smiling, dressed up all for him. And then I would finally get to taste that sweet, succulent love I’d been starved of.”
“And then, three hours later, I came into the room instead,” you say.
>Cadance chuckles gently, wiping a tear away from her pink cheek.
>“Yeah. You came in and told me he and the troops went out to investigate potential Changeling activity.”
>She sniffles her nose, much unlike a princess ought to.
>But formalities did not fit the air of the dank dungeon.
>“That was the first time you saw me cry, wasn’t it?” she asks.
“I was about to walk off to leave you be, you know. But...God, I just couldn’t.”
>You walk closer to the front of your dungeon, closer to the bars, closer to Cadance.
“I had to make you happy. I couldn’t let my friend just stew in her own sadness. I had to cheer you up.”
>“And then the wine was poured,” laughs Cadance, “and you stumbled while carrying me to bed, the two of us laughing like a couple of old kooks... Then you /fell/ into my bed, giggling with me, laughing at everything and anything and nothing! And then, suddenly, our laughter just stopped when we realized you were right on top of me. And the candle grew dim...And we kissed. Oh, Anon, it was magical...Just as if we’d always been meant to be together.”
>You nod in agreement with her.
“It’s like I felt love for the first time,” you admit.
>Your grasping the bars between you and her.
>You’re staring at her with tears streaming down your face.
“Cadance...do you really love me?”
>Her posture changes.
>How, you cannot tell, but she looks away from you with a look of unfortunate contemplation and a small frown.
>A small moment of silence reigns.
>“Yes,” she finally answers. “Yes. I...I love you more than you can even comprehend.”
>Her frown turns into a hateful grimace, her eyes sharp with loathing and contempt, her upper lip curled back revealing her teeth.
>“I love you so much, it makes me sick.”
>You cock your head at hearing this.
“What was that?”
>“Oh, you heard me correctly my dearest Anonymous. I said I love you. I love you so much that it makes me /sick/. It makes me want to kill you. It makes me want to hear you scream in a pitch so high from the thousands of pains I am capable of giving you. But I can’t. Because, unlike others who I’ve ‘loved’ before— you’re different.”
>You step back away from the bars, away from Cadance.
>Her speech pattern is completely different, her consonants sterner and vowels slower, her tone of voice an elixir of petulant superiority and malicious intent.
>And she stands differently, too.
>Her tall, lithe elegant figure that you were so used to seeing with its great posture, was now slinky and snake-like, leaning her head and moving her neck around like a snake, her eyes just as inquisitive as one.
“Cadance, what’s are y—”
>“I don’t love you, Anon,” says Cadance, interupting you.
>Suddenly, her eyes change their color into blues and greens as a whole new iris forms around her pre-existing one, her pupils narrowing into slits as her sclera turns to the color like that inside a rotting lime.
>Meanwhile, a ring of neon-green flames engulf her entire figure. Her silhouette changes and stretches — her mane lengthening, her height increasing — until finally, Princess Cadance is no more.
>“But /I/ do. I love you oh-so much...”
>Queen Chrysalis stands before you.
>She smiles with the devil’s own grin.
>“Oh, God, no...Please, no...”
>You fall to your knees, the realization infecting you with dread and horror.
“No, you can’t be...”
>“Oh, but I am, my love!”
>The changeling queen’s crooked, misshapen horn flashes with the same neon flame, and she disappears, only for another flash to appear past the bars that separated the two of you.
>She walks slowly towards you in your own dungeon chamber, her face coy and predatory as you stay on the floor, broken.
>“Yes, that’s right, human; I’ve had you wrapped around the horn from the very beginning. You couldn’t have honestly believed that Princess Cadance would dare be disloyal to her /idiot/ of a husband, could you?”
“Oh, God…No, God, please…”
>“Oh, spare yourself, human. Whatever deity you worship can’t hear you. And if he could, why would he have you meet me? You think it was a mere coincidence that Shining Armor went to investigate changeling activity on his own anniversary? That it was just kismet for you and his blushing bride to fall in love? Don’t be so thoughtless. This is just part of the plan. You were the moth, I was the flame. You the fly, I the web. You’ve been snared, Anonymous. You are my prey, my amusement, my entertainment.”
>She stands before you, taller than you seeing as you’re on your knees.
>You look up, staring at her with hollow eyes.
“You mean...none of it was real?”
>The coyness leaves her smile.
>Then, her smile leaves her.
>She stares at you, frowning, just like she had but a mere moment ago, back when you asked if she loved you.
>And then, you see it: the same twinkling in her eyes.
>“No,” she says softly. “Not...all of it.”
“But how? Why? Why are you doing this?”
>“To infiltrate the Crystal Empire. After my invasion failed, I decided not to entirely eschew my earlier plans of domination, but rather to...adapt them. If you think about it, I wasn’t far from victory’s embrace. And if I played my cards right, I could infiltrate this Crystal Empire, one of the nation’s most thriving powerhouses of influence and — most importantly, of course — LOVE. Oh, those foolish crystal ponies love so much! They love their royals, love their Crystal Heart...Oh, it is simply...intoxicating. And by replacing Princess Cadance yet again, I’ve set the royal guard on a wild changeling chase, the foolish Shining Armor included!”
>“But...why me?” you ask. “What did I do? If you could just eat the love and adoration of the crystal ponies, why bother with me?”
>“Changelings are very interesting creatures, Anonymous. As are you, might I add. I needed your love for me. It was a delicacy. It still is. But...it is more than food. It...changes. I wasn’t lying when I said I love you. I love you so much, it makes me sick, because the chemistry of romance in your primate brain is much different from the average pony’s. It...makes a changeling feel things, things a changeling should never feel...”
“Like...love itself?” you ask.
>Queen Chrysalis puts her hole-riddled hoof against your cheek.
>Her gaze softens upon looking at you.
>“Yes. I love you, Anonymous. I need you.”
“Then please,” you say, cupping her cheek as well, “do me one favor, will you?”
>She sits down, pulling you into an embrace, her face so close you can feel her aphrodisiac-breath.
>“Yes, my love?” she says.
>You lean closer to her ear.
“Kill me,” you whisper. “Please, Cadance. I want to die.”
>She kisses you.
>It makes your heart race, your blood rush to your length as her tongue dances and coils with yours as you both moan.
>When you part for air, her predatory grin returns.
>“No,” she says.
>“I love you far too much. And love from a creature like me is not like that of other lovers. For a creature such as I, love from me is but a selfish thing.”
“Then...what are you going to do with me?”
>“I need to rebuild my hive, Anonymous. I will show you a world where pleasure and pain and ecstasy melt into euphoria of orgasmic, reproductive bliss. You will birth my young. It will break you, though you’ll still have your spirit— it’ll just be mine to cherish — but no more than you’ve been mine since I first claimed you in the royal bedchambers. ANd for now, until I’ve enough drones to pose as the guards meant to torture you, you must remain down here and suffer. But don’t worry, my love. Soon, you will be mine. And all will be pure pleasure as we slowly control this whole empire.”
>You hang your head low.
“I love you, Cadance,” you sob, and resign yourself to your fate.
And fuck love.
I can't believe I wrote this in about a day. Usually I would refine something like this for a while before posting it. Perhaps that is why I still feel a bit dissatisfied. It's sloppy. It's rushed. I really needed to pace myself. Hell, it would probably be hard to do this even if I /did/ take my time; there's a lot there about the nature of love and how we follow its elusive allure.
I always wanted to write a story about Changelings, though. They've always terrified me, so to see what they've become after season 5 of the show makes me rather sad. To be honest, I don't even consider anything after season 5 to be canon. It feels more like "G4.5" if that makes any sense. I have no idea what that would make the new up-coming "Pony Life" though. But fuck that too.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you read my other works that I feel are better. Have a good day, my friend. Even assholes should have good days.