26 Butterflies

From Wattpad, rewritten by Lizzy_Barrera

"I brought cupcakes!" Pinkie dropped the picnic basket on the ground and jumped around Fluttershy in ecstatic joy. 

The yellow pegasus looked away bashfully. "Oh Pinkie, you didn't have to. You always make the best cupcakes, though." 

The pink party pony giggled and held up a white lemon-frosted treat. "It's the secret ingredients I use! Here,I made this just for you! I just know you're going to love it!"

Fluttershy smiled gently and took a shy sniff at the cupcake. "Mm, it looks delicious, Pinkie. I'll save it for later, if you don't mind. I want to savor every bite. Come…" Fluttershy turned around and walked inside.

Pinkie picked up the basket of cupcakes and followed, jumping around eagerly.. "Ooh, you said you wanted to show me something. What is it, what is it? Is it inside?" 

Fluttershy led the jumping pony into her cozy cottage. It was a wonderful, sunny day and the cottage was full of life as small critters ran in and out of windows, doors and holes, playing and frolicking in the warm summer air while birds were singing in the rafters. Pinkie spun around and around, almost falling over her own hooves in excitement. Fluttershy stopped in front of the stone oven.

Pinkie tilted her head. "The oven? You want to...bake?" 

Fluttershy chuckled softly. "Of course not, Pinkie. I knew I could count on you to bring something to eat, even if you didn't have to. Hold on…" The pegasus ruffled her feathery wings a little and pushed against the side of the heavy oven. With a slow, grating noise the oven slid to the side, revealing a secret trap door beneath. 

Pinkie stared with wide eyes. "Ooh...super secret sliderific spaces! What's down there? Is it-Ooh! A secret superhero lair! Are you a secret superhero?"

Fluttershy opened the trap door, revealing a flight of stairs. "I would make a terrible superhero, don't you think, Pinkie? Just imagine," the yellow pegasus lowered her head,ears as far back as they could go in a perfectly good imitation of her usual timid self, "'Um...e-excuse me mister mugger, I-I'm sorry...would you be so kind as to not beat up that old mare, you know, um, if you wouldn't mind'." 

Pinkie snorted and fell over on her side in laughter. "Oh Fluttershy, you're so silly!"

Fluttershy blushed and gestured for the stairs.

***

The two ponies walked down the old stairs. Fluttershy was leading the way. A musty, old smell wafted up at them from below. They came to a heavy wooden door. Fluttershy paused in front of it and turned to Pinkie. "I want to show you something, Pinkie. It is my most prized collection. I don't show it to many ponies, but I want to share it with you because you're...special," the yellow pegasus blushed again, "and it would make me so happy to know that you like it too." 

Pinkie gave Fluttershy a friendly pat on the mane. "Aww, Fluttershy. You know I will."

Fluttershy pushed the door open and allowed Pinkie to walk inside. Pinkie didn't notice Fluttershy locking the door behind them as she gazed down the dark, winding tunnel before her. "Wow, Fluttershy. It's...kinda dark down here."

Fluttershy walked up beside Pinkie and smiled at her. "Oh yes, it has to be. You don't want to disturb the little critters. Come on." 

Pinkie looked at Fluttershy as the yellow pegasus trotted along. "Critters?" Pinkie followed, her usual eagerness a little muted by the ambiance. 

Up ahead Fluttershy stopped and turned to Pinkie, looking expectantly at the pink pony. Pinkie trotted up to her and stopped, her eyes drawn to the alcoves on both sides. Big clusters of cocoons hung from the walls and ceiling of the recesses. Pinkie edged a little away from the silky conglomerations. 

"Don't be afraid. Not too long now and they'll break free of their protective shells and greet the day as beautiful butterflies. Isn't it wonderful?" 

Pinkie smiled a little uncertainly. "I like butterflies."

Fluttershy beamed happily. "I knew you'd understand. Come one, there's much more…"

Fluttershy led on down the tunnel and stopped at another set of alcoves where large gatherings of larvae were crawling all over each other. Some of them had begun to form cocoons. "Oh my, these are almost done feeding. Now they'll begin their slow metamorphosis. It's spectacular, don't you agree?"

Pinkie bit her lip and tried to stay exactly in the middle of the tunnel, as far away from the creepy crawlies as possible. "F-Feeding?"

Fluttershy nodded enthusiastically. "Of course, every living thing needs to feed. Come, I'll show you." 

Pinkie backed away a little. "Um, it's alright, we could go eat cupcakes outside and, uh...watch butterflies."

Fluttershy stopped and looked back at Pinkie with a hurt look. "Come on, Pinkie, I wanted this to be special."

Pinkie felt a stab of guilt. Fluttershy had decided to show Pinkie her secret passion, because she hoped Pinkie would understand and that she would like it too. Pinkie took a deep breath and continued on, trying to put on a smile for Fluttershy. She didn't want to let down a friend, even if it was a little creepy and filled with crawlies down here. They were just insects, nothing more. Once it was over they could go out and laugh in the sunshine and it would all be good fun. 

Pinkie tried not to look at the inhabitants she knew would be in the next alcoves. She tried to smile and pretend to find it all greatly fascinating while keeping her eyes on the floor. But the pegasus insisted on making Pinkie look. Pinkie glanced at the alcove on her left, trying to shut off her mind...it should be easy, he did it so often, but she couldn't stop staring now. Her eyes had locked themselves upon something that was sticking out. Pinkie's voice broke, a pathetic muffled scream was all that came out of her mouth at the sight of the bloody hoof, flesh peeled off to the bone. She stumbled back, wide eyes moving back and forth between the gruesome objects and the yellow pegasus. 

Fluttershy gave her a broken look, her large cyan eyes pleading at her. "I thought you'd like my collection. I thought you'd understand." Pinkie shrank and cowered before the pegasus, unable to turn away from her gaze. "I thought you were my friend, Pinkie." 

The party pony felt her heart sink, her mind crash...she looked down in shame, "I-I'm sorry Fluttershy…" She heard herself say, and saw herself almost as if in a dream standing and following the other pony.

Fluttershy beamed happily. "I knew you'd understand. Oh, I have so much to show you. You'll love it, and it'll be so special!"

***

Pinkie's mind reeled in horror as the two ponies continued through the tunnel. Every step she wanted to turn around and run, to find somepony, anypony else...to find sunlight and safety. But her legs did not answer and her eyes gazed involuntarily at the gruesome scene as they paused at another pair of alcoves. Little white grubs crawling all over the remains of a minty unicorn, burrowing in and out of the rotting flesh hanging from her bones. Nothing remained to identify the unicorn, but Pinkie couldn't help being reminded of the sweet, nightly tunes of a lyre. When had she last heard it? It seemed like long ago now that she thought about it. 

Fluttershy's voice barely registered in Pinkie's shrieking mind. "Isn't it wonderful...all this new life springing from the old, one big cycle. It's just...just beautiful!" It was sickening. Pinkie's stomach churning and she felt the bitter taste of acid as she threw up on the floor. Fluttershy continued on undeterred, her voice more eager than ever. "Come on Pinkie,you'll LOVE this! I know you will! This...this is my latest masterpiece. It's...it's absolutely stunning. It was meant for you, as a special gift." 

Pinkie Pie stumbled, her mind trying to regain control of her legs. She had to flee, she had to get out whatever it took! Slowly she turned around and found herself running. She could barely see in the darkness but her legs carried her like the wind past the alcoves of horror back towards the stairs. The door came at her from the darkness and she scrambled at it to no avail. Crying she threw herself against the barrier. She wanted to get out. This wasn't funny, this wasn't beautiful!

She heard the little clip-clop as the yellow pegasus landed behind her. She fell down and hid her face under her hooves, closing her eyes tightly. "No! I don't want to see! Let me go, I don't need to see! It's wonderful, it's...beautiful...I'll say anything, just let me go. I don't need to see!"

Fluttershy stuck her hoof against the stone floor. I'm disappointed, Pinkie. I show you my most treasured work, my greatest collection, and you-" Pinkie felt herself unwillingly turning to face the pegasus. She didn't want to, she wanted to get out, she never wanted to see a butterfly again in all her life. Her eyes met Fluttershy's and her heart shrank. "You hurt me deeply, Pinkie. But I know you didn't mean to. Now come, when you see my latest work I know you'll understand." 

One more Pinkie felt herself following, unable to resist. Once more past the vistas of rotting, crawling flesh. Fluttershy paused up ahead, waiting patiently. Her deep cyan eyes were shining through the darkness. Pinkie couldn't escape their command. She wanted to close hers, she didn't want to look, but with every step she got closer to Fluttershy, closer to whatever horror the pegasus considered her latest masterpiece. A gift? Pinkie stopped in front of FLuttershy. Her mind fought against the compulsion to look up at the alcove, yet inch by inch her head turned as if pulled by an invisible force.

Pinkie sat down heavily with a silent shriek of agony. No, this wasn't real. It couldn't be...Fluttershy smiled at her. "I know you were very close, so I wanted her to be here for you. She was dear to me too, you know. Sometimes I was a little jealous, but now I'm just so happy for you." 

Pinkie couldn't take her eyes away. She felt her heart break into a thousand little pieces. "No...not, not my Dashie!" The pale blue pegasus with the rainbow striped mane stared back at Pinkie with empty eyes, a look of complete and indescribable terror and agony written across her once beautiful face.

"She truly is a wonder, isn't she? Not a Wonderbolt, sadly enough, but she could never leave you anyway. It was a perfect explanation for her disappearance, of course, and easy enough for me to write those letters she sent you." 

Pinkie recalled the acceptance letter from the Wonderbolts...the letters from Rainbow Dash that followed, so proud and full of joy...and the promise that they would soon be together again. She cried, it was too much to bear. She looked up at her beloved Rainbow.

A gasp escaped her as the pegasus' face and wings twitched in the darkness. "She's...she's alive!" She cried and jumped up. For a fleeting moment all she could think about was getting her Dashie down and out of there. She'd save her, she'd...do something. 

Fluttershy's voice didn't reach her. "Ooh, I think the little ones are about to come out. This is absolutely perfect!" Pinkie stopped right in front of Rainbow Dash's body as the first larvae burst from the pegasus' empty eyes in a flow of blood and yellow pus. The entire body was writhing with life, little worms visible under the skin. Pinkie merely screamed...and screamed...and screamed!

***

Pinkie woke to a bright light above her. A scream immediately escaped her mouth, carried over from what she desperately hoped was a nightmare. It had to be a nightmare, it just had to. "Please let it be a nightmare!"  She knew it wasn't. It had been too real. She had to get out, had to get away, it was the only thought on her mind. She tried to move, but realized she couldn't feel her hind legs. Fluttershy's voice sounded somewhere behind her.

"I'm so very sorry, but I couldn't have you running away again. Rainbow Dash was even worse...pegasus ponies can be so difficult. I had to sever her spine above her wings you know. I don't like doing that,it takes some of the experience away. I would prefer not having to sever your spine at all, but you were a naughty pony out there, Pinkie. Don't worry though, you still have your upper body." 

Pinkie struggled. She could see her legs, but there was no feeling, no response. She cried. "Please…" her voice broke and tears streamed down her face. 

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Fluttershy came up beside her, smiling. "You're about to experience a wonderful transformation, Pinkie. Something very few ponies get to experience in life." She held up a scalpel, carefully checking the blade. "Most ponies never think about death. They're sheltered from it by a culture which abhors it and tries to hide it's wonders. I saw the light myself only a year ago, when I was trotting through the forest." 

Pinkie continued to struggle and plead. She didn't really listen to Fluttershy but the yellow pegasus continued anyway as she considered Pinkie Pie's body. "I came across the body of a pony who had died - of what I could not tell - but she was lying there in the forest. And I noticed how all the little crawlies of the forest floor ahd invaded her corpse. I realized that death really means. A transformation, Pinkie. Most ponies die and are buried, and they never get to experience that transformation, and nopony else sees the transformation either because it all happens down in the grave. I wanted to bring the beauty of the transformation of death to the surface. I wanted ponies to experience it. Can't you see? One day everyone will see and marvel too!"

Pinkie cried as Fluttershy stood above her, holding the scalpel. "I don't want to experience it! I don't! Please, Fluttershy! Please let me go! It's not fun...please…"

Fluttershy's deep eyes met hers. Pinkie felt powerless, hopeless under their gaze. "Hush, Pinkie. I've chosen the Pink-spotted Swallowtail for you. I hope you will agree that it fits you well. It's such a lovely butterfly. It was very difficult to find in these parts, but I did it for you. I really think it's perfect for you." 

Pinkie wanted to scream, but all she could do was helplessly cry as the yellow pegasus placed the sharp blade of the scalpel against her tummy. "Now don't worry, you won't feel much. Doctor Fluttershy knows what she's doing." The pegasus smiled, her cyan eyes never straying far from Pinkie's as the blade cut cleanly through her skin and flesh. Pinkie breathed heavily as she watched, unable to turn away. She couldn't feel much, the blade was extremely sharp, but terror gripped her mind and tore at her very being.

Fluttershy smiled, her deep eyes holding Pinkie paralyzed in place. "I'm going to plant the eggs in your intestines. It's warm and cozy there, with plenty of digested material for them to grow big and strong. Think of it as having hundreds, thousands maybe, of little children...isn't it wonderful? And Rainbow will be there with you. Oh, isn't it perfect? I'm so happy for both of you!" The yellow pegasus was practically glowing with twisted glee as she clapped her hooves.

Fluttershy expertly opened up Pinkie's stomach, exposing the intestines. She had done it many times now, first on small animals. She knew where and how to cut. Pinkie Pie had passed out. They usually did. Fluttershy smiled and hummed a little tune as she carefully dug her hooves into Pinkie Pie's warm, bloody innards, finding the perfect spot to place the eggs before stitching the party pony back up.

***

Pinkie woke with a shriek. Her throat felt like sand. She had been screaming and crying so long. She was hanging from strong chains, her legs dangling uselessly beneath her like a weight of lead. It was dark, but across the tunnel from her; she could make out Rainbow Dash's decaying body. The pegasus' face was a living colony of crawling larvae now, blood and pus flowing from her mouth and eyes like streams of red and yellow. Pinkie felt her stomach turn violently as she threw up over herself. She couldn't watch.

"Dashie…" Her voice was but a whisper. She coughed and looked down at the line of stitches grazing her stomach. She could feel them inside her, crawling, burrowing slowly through her guts...or was it just her imagination? Soon it would be all too real…

Pinkie Pie cried quietly in the dark. "I'm sorry Dashie...I'm sorry I never told you that...that I love you!"

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