FimFiction Link - Short ID: 451193/beneath
Published: Oct '19
'Beneath' is a very short five thousand-word horror oneshot seemingly about Apple Bloom's nightly grapples with a nightmare that violates her in her sleep.
Even before the big twist, it doesn't exactly take a psychologist to realize what the monster is representing, but frankly I don't really care. This story is straight up horror. It doesn't matter that there aren't loud sounds and scary images jumping in your face like in a movie, the descriptions themselves are so revolting and vile, that I've nearly felt physically sick while reading them. It's disgusting, it's rage-inducing and I can't congratulate the author enough for accomplishing such a thing.
I would be lying if I said I 'enjoyed' this story, I don't think anyone, but those with the most depraved tastes would actually experience enjoyment out of it, but as a hobby reviewer I can certainly appreciate the craft it took to evoke such sheer shock and disgust. The creature's description leaves just enough to the imagination that your own mind starts working against yourself as you fill in the blanks with whatever horrible imagery you can come up with. This coupled with the fact that most people already have a heightened sense of empathy towards the suffering of little children and animals, makes for a truly horrendous experience.
Spoilers: And then comes the double whammy as you realize the monster isn't even the most horrifying thing in the fic. I admit I feel by the time Apple Bloom decides to strike back and murder Big Mac, the story has already peaked and this part isn't as strong as the beginning, but it certainly didn't take away from the weight of the story. Hell, if anything the imaginary monster comforting Apple Bloom was a nice way of conveying just how broken she has become. After all, she doesn't only have to cope with the fact that her own brother has raped her several times behind their family's back, but also that she caused his death, even if it was in self-defense. And then there are the questions the story doesn't even bother to tackle, but creep naturally into the readers' minds: How will the family deal with this revelation? What will happen to the farm without its strongest worker? Will she ever be able to get rid of her trauma and thus the monster? Will it continue to torment her, perhaps doubly so, now that she is also ridden by the guilt of murder?
Overall: 10/10 This story is not for the faint of heart. Due to how effective it was in the delivery of its intended emotions despite its short length I have to give it a perfect score. Honestly, if you are easy to upset or cannot stomach the themes of rape and abuse I recommend you avoid this story, because the author pulls no punches. Otherwise, if you're ready for some artful suffering, this story is a horror masterpiece and you will not be disappointed.