Eyes Without a Face

by theycallmejub

Chapter 10: Falling Up

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Chapter X: Falling Up

Rushing, breaking, pitching, swirling, spiraling, crunching -- wood is shattering like glass, glass is splintering like wood, broken bones are poking through broken skin, agony-sharpened cries are stabbing the empty air and metal is screaming and twisting as only metal can scream and twist.


Hooves are crashing into faces. Across spines. Across necks. Rain is crashing on the head of the carriage. The head of the carriage is crashing into the sidewalk. Into the face of a looming edifice. The face of a looming edifice is crashing into hooves and across spines and across necks, and again, and again: looping, repeating, looping, repeating.


The head of the carriage is folding against the building’s face, then against the ground with a bursting thunderclap. The pegasus pony’s wings are folding in hooves, and then his neck is folding against the head of the carriage, and then the head of the carriage is folding against the ground, then against the building’s face with a bursting thunderclap.


Bones are snapping beneath stomping hooves made thoughtless by blinding fury, and against the face of a looming edifice, and against the walls, the ceiling and the floor of the spinning, plummeting carriage. The walls. The ceiling. The floor. The walls -- the ceiling -- the floor. The floor -- and then the ceiling -- and then the walls.

Snapping. Snapping.

Wings are snapping: popping out of place like doll heads plucked from plush shoulders. Necks are snapping: cracking with whip-like suddenness and spines are doing the same.

And splashing. The sky is splashing. Cries are splashing, silent and stillborn in breathless throats. Shards of destroyed glass are splashing, twinkling in the living night like lost stars. And blood. Blood and stranger fluids are splashing in my face and mouth, hot and sticky like seed spilling from the head of Discord’s throbbing erection as the chaos lord strokes himself to the sweet, prurient music of the miserable orgy; the ugly, loveless pornography of gruff grunts and mashing teeth and ruffling feathers; the chaotic scene playing itself out in a cushy universe made of fine wood and finer leather -- venturing aimlessly and with reckless abandon through a mad world -- a new uncharted continent -- a country or state or city upside-down, inverted, disordered: a falling ocean where the sky should be, a star speckled night where the ground should be, a gutted skyscraper, a twitching red smear, a pony lying on his stomach but staring up, an airborne carriage pulled straight down by corpses, then by ghosts, then by the pale horse himself -- and the distant unmistakable exploding, booming, booming, clop, clop, clop of pegasi kicking thunder out of rainclouds.

It is happening now. Fast and slow, and all at once, and in no particular order.

And somewhere between my grinning, whistling baton bludgeoning the yellow-horned unicorn into a twitching pile of red pulp on the wood floor, and my front hooves coming down on a pegasus pony’s back, and the audible pop of his wing and shoulder blade slipping out of alignment, and the carriage smashing into the face of a skyscraper, and my hook clawing into the naked neck of a streetlight, and the smattering of new blemishes dotting Manehattan’s hideous face -- somewhere between the beginning of it and the end of it, I am falling. Reaching up toward the endless heaven stretching itself wide overhead and screaming out the name of my goddess. Praying to her. Worshiping her. Loving her. Desperately, desperately needing her.

And to my surprise, and to my horror, she appears. The moon -- her ever-hanging, ever-vigilant third eye – blinks, and from the ether the goddess appears, weaving herself out of the stark nothing of an empty sky. Coming to me. Coming not in the shape of the smiling gentle-faced princess, but as she once was. As she truly is. She comes to me shrouded in darkness so pure, so void of light or life or meaning that it shines. She comes to me adorned in armor forged in lore and myth, fashioned from concepts; armor made of thoughts and feelings, of lessons taught to children through the telling of fairy tales and of timeless wisdom scrawled on leaflets of parchment by the ancients who came before Equestria, and in stone by the ancients before them.

On her hooves are shoes made of bright sorrow collected from the wet eyes of ponies who have known great loss, and on her chest is a breastplate made of the pride that swells in the hearts of great conquerors, and atop her immaculate head sits a crown made of absence. Of lack and want and vivid nonexistence. She comes to me in this form. Her old and true form. She comes clad in the trappings of the day-killer. The animate nightmare. The shadow casting shadows. The Mare in the Moon.

“Nightmare Moon!” I call to her, shutting my eyes against the sheer incomprehensibility of her divine image even as I beg her to spare my life. To deliver me from my cowardice and forgive me for my transgressions. My many, many wrongdoings.

I pray. The moon goddess gives her answer. Her eyes are apathy. Her voice is fear. Her judgment is decisive. I am weighed. Measured. Found wanting. Forsaken. I’m to fall with the others. I’m to go and meet the sidewalk. Give myself to the city’s assuaging embrace. To Manehattan.

Manehattan. Ugly as sin, Manehattan. All corners and rough edges, Manehattan. The hateful old mule. The dilapidated city. Home to criminals and horrors, to things that flee and things that chase and things that fall, to looming edifices and great crystalline sheets of sparkling glass. Twinkling glass. Twinkling reflections. My refection. Staring back at me from Daisy’s perfect spring-green mirrors. From Sparkle’s lavender abysses. From the diamond dog’s collar adorned with precious stones. Manehattan. Manehattan.

And in those last few defining moments, it is not the memory of my murdered friends or even of Redheart that comfort me as I face the inevitable end. I go with thoughts of her. The city. In the very end I remember what old Storm Chaser once told me about the intimacy we share with our lovers and with our enemies. That there is a longing for, a love for, a closeness and a oneness we share with our enemies that we will never know with our lovers. It’s always been about me and her. Me and the city.

My city. My Manehattan.


I call to her.

Manehattan! Manehattan!

I go to her.

Manehattan! Help me! Save me! Catch me. I am falling. Your enemy is falling. Your friend is falling. Your vigilante is falling; your mangy thing with hungry eyes is falling; your alicorn is falling -- your star-crossed lover, your stepdaughter -- she is falling and she does not want to die.

The city welcomes me back with outstretched forelegs. The color falls away. The light. I hear only the faint outline of sounds, the whisper of shrieking ponies, falling rubble; the carriage meeting the city’s face and becoming nothing; the pegasi meeting the city’s face and becoming nothing, flying apart in big pieces and smalls pieces, in wood and metal and gore. I feel the phantom tug of my cord going taut as the hook claws into the bare neck of a streetlight and a mean-faced, mocking pain shoot up and down my right foreleg as the cord jerks, dislocating my shoulder with a shocking pop. And I taste Discord's spunk still fresh and salty on my lips and I try to spit it out, and if I cried out as any of it was happening, I didn't hear it. When I finally come to my senses, I find myself dangling from the neck of a streetlight, and I find the long black carriage in pieces beneath me, and the pair of pegasi who were drawing it in pieces beneath me, and Celestia’s ball of fire slowly peeking its head up over the Manehattan skyline.

When I get back to ground; when I feel her ugly face against the bottom of my hooves, I know in my heart we will be enemies again. I will resume plotting her demise and she mine, and neither of us would want it any other way. But for at least a fleeting moment we are once again able acknowledge each other.

I look down at her and she up at me. A red hue spreads itself thin across her ugly face. She is blushing. I suppose I am too.

She blushes and then laughs. Hot and haughty. Long and hot and haughty. She looks up, flush-faced, head thrown back, body convulsing with seizure-like fervor. Laughing. Laughing out loud. I let her enjoy it. Let her have her fun. Then I join her. We laugh together. At each other. With each other. We laugh until our eyes water. Until we’re clutching our sides and kicking our hind legs like ecstatic children, intoxicated by the sheer insane, hateful craziness of it all.

Next Chapter: Daughters Without a Father, Part 1 Estimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 20 Minutes
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Eyes Without a Face

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