WISH: Chapter One
It was almost four in the morning when the police were called to Sweet Apple Acres. They were briefed before they arrived on the scene, but it wasn't enough to prepare them for what they would find. Then again, how could anypony prepare for it.
As the carriages drove past the field of apple trees and various crops, all bathed in peaceful moonlight, they saw the crowds formed outside the fence, all trying hard to get a glance at the farmhouseno, not the housethe barn. They moved back as the carriage came to a stop, and Lieutenant Wesson jumped out onto the dirt road. The crowd exchanged looks with him; they were terrified. Wesson knew this place, knew the victim. Not personally, but she was definitely a celebrity in Ponyville, so there was definitely an extra somber feel in the air.
Reaching into his saddlebag to pull out the cigarette he was saving, he spotted another officer already on the scene, one of his own men, a young gray stallion with a mustache and an unfortunate lazy eye, who met him half way as he walked calmly down the path. "Lieutenant Wesson, sir."
"Smith." Wesson addressed him, nodding and putting the cigarette to his mouth. Smith, like an obedient servant to his superior, was ready with a light for it, and as he fired the end of the cigarette, he began to explain.
"Old mare called it in. I was the first one herenothing's been touched, not even by the family."
"Good." He released the smoke into the air in a strong blow, "Take me to it."
Smith nodded and lead the Lieutenant toward the barn. The crowd began muttering down the way and shifted to try and see something, anything. Vultures.
As they both walked into the barn, they were met with a wooden stool which was tipped over on it's side, and carefully avoided it as they moved in towards the center of the barn, where she hung.
Tied to the rafter was a large chain, and at the end of it was Applejack. The thick metal was wrapped multiple times around her throat, which had caused the mare's neck to elongate from the break. A suicide, obviously, but her expression was one of wretched anguish. Her tongue protruded out of her mouth and her popped out eyes were red and glazed over, staring right at you but seeing nothing. There was something else behind them, something fearful and panicked. But there wasn't a scratch on her, no signs she had been forced in the noose.
"The sister found her?"
"Where is she?"
"She's in the house, with her family. She's in shock."
"I'm sure. Can I see them?"
"Of course, follow me."
Leaving the barn, and nodding to give the okay to the forensic team to cut her down, both ponies entered the farmhouse, and followed the sound of the sobbing. The Apple family was huddled in the kitchen. Granny Smith had her arms wrapped around Applebloom, who stared blankly at the floor, tears pouring out of her eyes, completely unresponsive. Granny Smith was crying delicately, her handkerchief dabbing against her face, and Big Macintosh sat at the far end of the room, silent as usual.
"Mrs. Smith." Wesson said flatly, removing his hat and pressing it to his chest, "I'm very sorry about your granddaughter, my wife was actually a friend of hers. May I ask you some questions, please?" Granny nodded and shut her eyes, still petting the catatonic Applebloom.
"How did the filly find Applejack?"
Granny cleared her throat, knowing her little granddaughter wouldn't be able to speak, "W-well...I think...'round midnight or so, Applebloom woke me up, told me Applejack wasn't in 'er bed. Takes me awhile to get outta bed, and she was already out the door. Didn't wake Big Mac fer nothin'. A few minutes go by, I finally get down the steps, when..." she paused, "when I hear the screamin'." Her eyes closed again, tears falling.
"I see." He made sure Smith was writing this down, and turned back to them, "Mrs. Smith, do you think Applejack had any...reason to do what she did? Depression? Mental health pro--"
"No." Big Macintosh spoke, his voice cold. "AJ weren't nopony ta' hang 'erself. She had no reason. No reason!" Granny Smith looked at him, jaw clenching.
"I understand." Wesson said. "Could there be anyway that somepony could have done this to her? Any enemies or--"
Suddenly, screaming filled the air like gunfire, and both officers scrambled out of the kitchen and ran outside to see what the commotion was. It was coming from the barn.
As they struggled to get past the mob of frightened ponies, they caught a glimpse of it. Applejack was still hung up, swinging back and forth rapidly, as her innards spilled out from a freshly carved out hole in her stomach.
"What...what the hell happened?!" Wesson shouted, eyes darting across the room. "Who did this!?" He was furious now and stomped his hoof on the dirt. But everypony looked at him, completely dumbstruct and in shock. "Answer me!"
"They didn't." Smith said quietly, and Wesson turned to see he was looking at the body, eyes as wide as saucers and jaw clenched. Wesson looked back, and froze.
The hole was growing. The flesh was being cut by an unseen force right in front of them. The flesh broke apart and clotted, dead blood dripped out as much as it could, as the hole slowly moved up, then around, and back down, in a defined circle. Then the chest cracked, rib bones broke, as the cut continued at the top, chunks of flesh and bones falling and the limp corpse rocking violently against the impact.
"...Impossible." Wesson breathed.
It was shaped like an apple.