No Rod For Maud 2018

by forbloodysummer

Chapter 1: Technically The Main Chapter

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The floor was littered with cards and letters, many bearing hearts or pictures of her, when she opened the front door. Much like the previous four days. Maud lingered dispassionately on the doorstep for a moment, sighing internally, before stepping inside, closing the door behind her, setting her bags down and heading towards the kitchen to get a bin bag.

But once she was halfway across the front hall and the envelopes had thinned out, she noticed something new. A trail of bloody hoofprints stretched into her home, leading from the front door into the next room. Maud stared down at them, needing a moment to process, while concern, confusion and fear unsuccessfully tried to find their way onto her face.

Anything could be waiting for her around the corner where the hoofprints led, which she didn’t want to face alone. She reached into the front of her dress and pulled out Boulder, already feeling safer with him there. She’d turned to him for comfort and support in tough times before, and he’d never let her down. Confident that Boulder could protect her, she slowly followed the bloody trail with him in her outstretched hoof.

A moan came from the next room, and Maud paused for a second, flicking her eyes to each side to check she was at least alone in the corridor before continuing. Rounding the corner, she stopped to take in the scene.


He was lying on his side in the middle of the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood, as he clutched his bloodied forelegs against his body between his hindlegs. Maud felt her stomach lurch. How could this be real? She’d never seen so much blood, even with some of the injuries various family members had sustained working on the farm. It was like something out of a nightmare.

She felt dazed, and part of her wanted to curl up and rock back and forth on the floor, like Pinkie and Marble used to when they were upset as foals. But obviously she needed to help Mudbriar, so she forced herself to keep it together enough to walk over to him, mechanically putting one leg in front of another without feeling.

She knelt down beside him, looking him over and wondering what she could possibly do to help. She had no idea how to treat injuries, as Marble used to handle all that back at home, and Maud had been on her own since and trusted herself to be careful. Where should she even begin just with talking to Mudbriar about it? Nothing she’d experienced had prepared her for how to handle something like this.

Knowing that she had to say something, she looked once more over Mudbriar clutching the gaping wound where his genitals used to be, but the sight was too disorienting for her to think straight. So her talking happened by itself, without her brain having much to do with it or showing much emotion.

“I see you’ve met Limestone, then.”

Mudbriar looked up at her, his normally-stoic face contorted with pain.

“Is she the jealous one?”


Maud had mentioned her sisters to him before, but after how things had gone with him meeting Pinkie, she was in no hurry to introduce him to the other two. She’d thought it might be bad, but not this bad.

“She didn’t do this to me; I did.”

Staring into Mudbriar’s eyes, Maud couldn’t quite fathom what she’d just heard. She held his gaze, hoping it would reveal something more to her, but nothing came.

“You did this to yourself?”

Mudbriar ground out a particularly pained “Nyes.”

His conciseness was normally something she appreciated, but this felt like a situation where an explanation shouldn’t have to be chased. Maud would have sighed again if she wasn’t so worried. Scared, in fact. But also even more confused than before, and in that bafflement she said a single, flat word.


When Mudbriar answered, it wasn’t far from his usual steady voice, but he drew in deep breaths between phrases, like it was taking serious effort to keep it that way.

“I saw all the letters you were receiving, from stallions who castrated themselves to prove their love for you. And I thought, if I wanted to claim the same, then I ought really to do the same. If that is how love is expressed, then that was what I needed to do.”

How could he have got it so wrong? Maud continued to stare at Mudbriar. She knew him; she liked him, and she’d trusted his decision-making abilities. The cards and notes through her door from stallions around Equestria starting a movement over her had been surprising, but this shocked her far more. Her face stayed blank as disappointment and heartbreak were added to the confusion and concern already warring within her.

“They did that to themselves to demonstrate that, without me, they’d never love again,” she said. She’d read enough of the letters at first to understand the reasoning that led to them, even if the beliefs were nonsensical. “But, since you have me, you need to keep loving. So it’s the worst thing you could do.”

Mudbriar looked down, his eyes going side to side. He looked to be so focused on thinking it over that he wasn’t feeling the pain as much in that moment.

“But how could I measure up to someone who did that?”

“Yesterday I would have said by a good few inches.”

No, it was the wrong time for jokes. She wasn’t sure Mudbriar got it, anyway. She might store that one away for her standup routine, though.

“I mean that how could I think of myself as a worthy boyfriend for you when others would make greater sacrifices for you?”

Hadn’t Mudbriar been to university, just like her? Studying for the wood-based equivalent of a rocktorate? So why, when he’d been through all that and gained the life experience, did he still think like a teenager? She could understand it if losing so much blood had messed with his thinking, but this was what had led him to his injury, not happened because of it. Had she overestimated his maturity all along?

“They make sacrifices because they have nothing else to offer,” she said. It was the sort of mindset that belonged in those ‘young adult’ books Marble enjoyed. “That’s why I’m with you instead of them in the first place.”

Or so she’d thought. Boulder got her. Starlight got her. Even though she couldn’t be more different, Pinkie got her. And she’d thought she and Mudbriar had the closest connection of all. But his actions suggested he didn’t have the slightest idea how she thought.

“If sacrifice were truly the most important, most attractive thing in a relationship,” she continued, “we’d all be dating our own parents.” Before the inevitable protest, she added, “The incest taboo pales in comparison to the amount parents sacrifice for their foals.”

She wasn’t sure if Mudbriar’s grimace was at the thought or the physical pain, but the second seemed more likely with how his usual reserve mirrored her own. She hadn’t met his parents yet – perhaps now she never would, she wondered absently – but she guessed he was imagining them in that instant.

“Technically,” he said after a moment, “those relationships would be one-sided, as the foals would not have sacrificed nearly as much.”

That’s what you took away from that argument? Mudbriar was attacking the specifics of the example rather than the underlying principle it was illustrating?

Maud made sure her disdain showed with her flat expression, her voice completely devoid of good humour. “Nothing about those relationships would be healthy.”

No reaction came from Mudbriar regarding conceding the point, though he did let out a plaintive whine as he shifted his body so he could lie his head down on the floor while still holding his groin.

Once he was settled in his new position and had managed to get his breath back from how it must have exacerbated the pain, he said, “I believe the idea is that whoever sacrifices the most will win your heart.”

Seeking reassurance before answering, Maud glanced down to Boulder still sitting in her hoof. At once, she felt the warmth of him backing her up. His support let her know she’d been wrong to doubt herself. She’d never be alone while she had him.

“But hearts aren’t won, Mudbriar. Using those terms, hearts are given away. To a pony of the owner’s choosing, not those ponies’ deciding or as a prize for whoever wins a competition.”

Maud knew more about rocks than she did about ponies. Maybe the same was true in reverse, too. Maybe rocks – one in particular – knew more about her than other ponies did.

And rocks never needed medical attention. They were self-sufficient, and independent, and low-maintenance. Strong. Dependable. Everything that Maud could admire in another.

By contrast, Mudbriar just stared at her, like he couldn’t quite understand what she meant enough to respond. After blinking a few times, his eyes drifted closed.

The comparison between rocks and ponies reminded Maud that some ponies were professionally educated and qualified in knowing about other ponies, much as she was about rocks. And they would be the best people to help Mudbriar.

“Come on, boy,” she said to Boulder, “let’s go get help.” She gathered herself up off the floor, letting Mudbriar sleep there peacefully, and headed back out towards the front door, trying to remember the route to Ponyville General. The doctors there had made it their business to understand how ponies work: some focusing on how their flesh functioned, some their minds.

Not Maud, though. She cared more about rocks.

Maud and Boulder live happily ever after.

Mudbriar dies of blood loss.

As a eunuch.

Author's Notes:

Most of us have worked out (or read on the MLP wiki) that Maud Pie is a pun on mud pie, a dessert from Mississippi.

The more observant may have noticed that Mudbriar's cutie mark shows a visual representation of his name and twists it to show that he's a stick in the mud.

Put the two puns together, though, and he's a stick in the Maud.

That's why he had to die :trollestia:

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