Challenge #01076-B344: An Unsettling Necessity


[AN: This prompt was NEARLY spoiled by the CMC getting their Cutie Marks. Almost]

Mayor Mare had let them use an abandoned shop as their Cutie Mark Crusader headquarters. Now that there was help for ponies who wanted to get or understand their marks, there was business.

And very rarely, it came from parents worried about their foals.

Gloomy Doom was a black filly with an equally dark mane. She was one of the few pony fans of Princess Luna. She loved monsters and darkness and thunderstorms. In brief, she was not your usual happy pony.

But that was no reason to withhold help.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders tried to adjust to Gloomy Doom's world. She was naturally awake in the night, so they tried night-time activities. Stargazing, caring for night-time animals, patrolling the streets of Whinnyston to guard them, even night deliveries.

Nothing took.

Not until they found a squirrel, mortally wounded from an encounter with an eagle.

The Crusaders suggested all kinds of things for the poor creature, but Gloomy Doom did not turn her unicorn magic to such things. She murmured a few words and the squirrel quietly breathed its last.

"YOU KILLED IT!" Sweetie Belle shrieked.

"I helped it go," corrected Gloomy Doom. "Quietly and without pain. Extending its life would have been cruel." She dug a small grave with her own hooves and buried the squirrel with an acorn. "Life must end, just as sure as it begins. The best I can do is see that it ends gracefully." She gently patted the tiny grave. "New life will rise, in turn."

Certainly, they were a little afraid, but Gloomy Doom had a sense of what was meant to live and what had reached the end of its pace. Some, she healed, others, she 'helped go'. Always, without pain.

The Crusaders tried witchery, an ancient form of Unicorn magic, but that didn't take, either.

But it was when Gloomy Doom's pet lizard passed on that something very strange occurred. Instead of easing it onwards, she simply removed the pain. No grave was dug. And the lizard continued to move around. It ate out of habit more than need, and its flesh rotted away. Yet it kept moving, and snapping at flies.

"I know. I'm soppy. I love Stretch more than anything and I don't want to say goodbye. So I'm using some magic to keep him with me.

And that was how the Cutie Mark Crusaders learned what Necromancy was.

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