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Survivor Shy - Inside My Head by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Inside My Head by Mattatatta
Update! 28th December, 2012: Completely redrew Fluttershy and remade the animation, and improved the story excerpt below!


I was being chased in a land of shadows of purple night-light. Everywhere I ran, my pursuer was close behind, waiting for me to make a mistake so that it could catch me. Desperately, I swung around corners and weaved blindly in the dim light, never seeming to put any extra distance between me and the creature chasing me. I looked up to the sky, only to see it shrouded in purple and black haze, and further blocked off by solid forms of tree branches and other objects blending with the smothering hues of the mist. I could hear it gaining on me, it's own steps growing louder and louder, until I could swear I could hear it cackling in triumph to itself. I galloped faster than I ever thought my legs could manage, and darted down paths I barely registered. I made a mistake.

I ran into a wall, and frantically I looked around for a way around or over. I was in a cul-de-sac, and dead end, and the 'sky' was thicker with threatening shapes looming just above the low ceiling. The only way out was back the way I came, right into the path of my pursuer. On cue, its laughter crept up my spine and froze me where I stood. It had won, and now it was savouring the moment.

Slowly, I turned around, and stared into a mass of swirling smoke and shadows, and watched in terror as the sickly black and purple mist gave way to the silhouette of a tall pony chortling at me as cowered against the wall behind me. The laughter took on a more feminine tone as the silhouette turned into an Alicorn unlike one I had seen before. Her empty eye sockets narrowed into a look of satisfaction, staring straight through me as she approached - smoke and swirling appendages emanating from her.

In an otherworldly voice, she spoke to me. "You may have got away the first time, little Fluttershy. But I will have you yet!" She declared as a tendril slowly reached forward, carrying a large, purple orb. I stared at it, and watched the stone sphere crystallise into a clear ball. Inside I could see the tiny silhouettes of ponies hopelessly floating around, and as the shadow pony reached the orb closer to me, I felt it trying to pull me from very bones and ensnare me, too. The pony silhouette waved a second tendril over the orb, and the scene changed to show a silhouette of a Pegasus who beared my Cutie Mark. "One day, Fluttershy, I will get you," She hissed. "One day, you will give in to hopelessness, and then I will trap you forever."

The shadowy Alicorn motioned the orb away from me, and leant in towards me. I turned my head away to avoid looking into the void space where her eyes should have been. In a low, intimidating voice, she finally said: "But until then, feel free to run away - I very much enjoy this chase, and no matter how far you go, I'll always be right here." She tapped me on the side of my head, emphasising every syllable; "Inside your head."

My eyelids shot open as I was thrown out of the nightmare, yet the image of the Alicorn stayed in my vision much longer than it should have. My neck bolted upright and refused to move for a few moments while the dream faded away. Gradually, my breaths fell into a calmer rhythm, and I blinked out of my blank stare. I rose up onto my hooves and stretched my legs while taking deep, generous breaths, and I forced my tense wings open and waved them around to loosen them up. A simple, happy melody began to escape me as I started to hum, helping myself take my mind off what I had just seen.

My post-nightmare ritual was second nature to me, and had been since I was a tiny filly - when my parents taught me it. Back in those days, I was afraid to even sleep, I was terrified of possibly having a nightmare, and I would avoid sleeping for as long as I could manage. Eventually, my mother convinced me that getting up and taking a walk around my room and having some water would help me get over a nightmare quickly. Dad moved his chair into my room and, for a couple of weeks, would read me a story and sleep in his chair, just in case I woke up. I stopped being afraid of sleeping after that, and some nightmares suddenly ceased to frighten me anymore. I guess you could say that was the first fear I ever got over.

I trotted around the large Throne Room, and stopped at my saddlebags to take long drink from my canteen. I replaced the cap and hung the canteen strap from my neck, and looked out of one of the windows. It was still night, and even though I was sure I had slept for several hours, I couldn't tell how long it was until dawn - nothing seemed right in the sky. Even the stars seemed to be changing formation each time I looked up at them

A chilled breeze came through the room, and I sat beside my saddlebags and considered trying to go back to sleep. I stared out the window again, slightly expecting to see that the stars had arranged themselves into an answer, and gazed upon the vast space sprinkled with twinkling, peaceful glimmers.

I had to get to Canterlot, and I had to prepare myself for the trip. I knew that the spare canteen in my saddlebags was empty, and I shook the canteen I was carrying to hear the water sloshing around inside, and noted that I was running of water in that one, too. On cue, my stomach grumbled, and as I took an apple out of my saddlebags, I checked to make sure I had enough food to go on and that I had enough medical supplies for emergencies. My hasty gathering of supplies before fleeing my home had given me enough food for a few days, I had some painkillers and cold medicine, and I still had a roll of bandage that I hadn't used yet. I gave finding Zecora's hut a thought, but I decided against it. I had spent far too long getting as far as Ponyville, and I had to reach Canterlot as soon as possible, my friends needed me and they would be worried about me, I couldn't keep them waiting any longer than I had to.

I took a large bite out of my apple, the echo in the Throne Room making my ear twitch, and I carried my thoughts over to the route I would take to Canterlot. Flying straight up the mountain was out of the question. While the weather in Canterlot was pleasant, with only strong gusts around the city being a minor concern for airship pilots and Pegasi alike, the winds further beneath city could be surprisingly strong as it raced around the hills and through the valleys Canterlot overlooked. And with the weather becoming as unpredictable as it was, the winds would no doubt be much harsher.

There were two other options, the road that allowed carriages and wagons to reach Canterlot, or the rail road from Ponyville to the city. On the one hoof, the rail road was quicker - even on hoof, but it also travelled up the side of the mountain that would be worst hit by strong winds. On the other hoof, the road was the safest route available, but was also the longest one to take.

It wasn't a hard decision to make; safety first. I would take the road.

My mind made up, I finished off the last few bites of my apple, and tossed the core out the window. I put my saddlebags on, and lit my lantern to guide me back to the front door of the Castle. I wasn't going to sleep, and I wasn't going to wait for dawn. I needed to get a head start to find water, and to get to the foot of the mountain Canterlot wrapped itself around as soon as possible.

I slowly opened the giant door and peered outside, checking to see if the coast was clear. After narrowly avoiding the Timberwolves earlier, I was wary of them still being nearby, lying in wait. I shone my lantern outside, and to my relief, no pairs of eyes reflected the light back to me. I blew the lantern out and left it on the floor in case I had to come back, and slipped outside between the two ancient doors, closing them behind me with a rumbling clunk.

Wasting no time, I unfurled my wings and fluttered into the air, safely above the trees. Now that I knew I wasn't being followed by the Diamond Dogs, and wasn't trapped under the thick brush of the trees, I felt it was safe to fly out of Everfree. I planned to head for Canterlot and make a stop for water near a river along the way.

Regardless of the nightmare I had, I wasn't going to let myself fall into hopelessness. I promised myself that I wouldn't let my friends down, I owed it to them to be brave and to not give up. The nightmares could be as terrible as my mind could conjure up for all I cared, because, like I had learned when I was a filly, nightmares couldn't hurt me.


=~=


Survivor Shy Gallery: [link]

FimFiction: [link]

My Tumblr (Because reasons): [link]


Updated this piece for the upcoming chapter of Survivor Shy on Fimfiction. I feel that I must update older pieces because I've improved pretty dramatically over the past year that anything older than four months is in great danger of not being up to my standards anymore. And since I must put my best foot forward with the fanfic's presentation, really old artwork cannot be allowed to be in the fic in the state that I left them.

There is still the other 'followup' picture that went with the original upload of this, but I'm not updating that one because it isn't going to be used in the fic. The story excerpt from it is simply going to be adapted, rewrote, and worked into the chapter on its own.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsabera55:
Sabera55 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
Know whatd be a good idea? A COMIC XD! Idt be reaaly cool...and if u consider doing it, plz put some animations, like animated rain.
Reply
:icongamezonejack:
gamezonejack Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(Bangs on door and busted door open)me: shit man close the door
sam: got it help me block it in
Lucas: got it one two three. (Cupboard gets pushed on front of door)
Fluttershy: ummm hi
me: oh SHIT ( points pistol at Fluttershy) are you bit!
Fluttershy: what?
Me: are you bit!
Fluttershy: no
Me: oh thank god (lowers pistol) I'm a clerk not a executioner
Lucas: so how did you get here you look like a reject hush puppy horse edition.
Sam: yeah I mean I that a costume if so you must be pretty desperate for armor.
Fluttershy: what? That thing must of teleported me here.
Sam: what that fucker with the unicorn horn
Fluttershy:yeah
me: yeah same with us wew were in a city thenbthat thing put us here.
(Here's clunking)
Lucas: fuckers finally got up here.
Fluttershy: who?
Sam:the walkers
Fluttershy:who?
me: zombies
Fluttershy:what?
Lucas:things that eat you alive?
Fluttershy: oh.
me:yeah now ee got this thing fuck man
Reply
:iconsilverrattler:
SilverRattler Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What in equestria happened to AJ and Rarity? :C
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
We don't know. In this 'verse, all of the ponies vanished without a trace - except for Fluttershy.
Reply
:iconsilverrattler:
SilverRattler Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
well, then Fluttershy has some real messed up dreams.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I doubt I'd have peachy dreams after something like that happening
Reply
:iconcarcreator:
Carcreator Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is truly amazing! Both the artwork and the story. This is some of the best writing I've seen in a long time, and the shading on Fluttershy is truly amazing! You are very talented.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! I try my best with every picture I draw. Have you been following the story on FimFiction?
Reply
:iconcarcreator:
Carcreator Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No I haven't, I have to go read it now though. It seems intriguing.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope you enjoy it; you can find the fimfic link in the description if you need it.
Reply
:iconcarcreator:
Carcreator Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm reading you story now, and I had to tell you that it is one of the most well written, interesting stories I have ever seen! And your art accompaniment makes it even better! You have a real talent.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconcarcreator:
Carcreator Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome!
Reply
:iconcarcreator:
Carcreator Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! Ill be sure to check it out.
Reply
:icondreysantillan:
dreysantillan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
how to make an animatio like this what windows did you use just asking new here
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I use a program called GIMP to animate images. I use Sai to draw and make each frame, and then I export the images as PNG, import them into GIMP, and create the gif animation. You can find tutorials for making animations in gif that are better than me trying to explain the whole process
Reply
:icondreysantillan:
dreysantillan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
...uh website??
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reply
:icondreysantillan:
dreysantillan Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
thanks
Reply
:iconmegapatron:
MegaPatron Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Poor Flutters having these nightmares! D:
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nightmares suck, eh?
Reply
:icondetah-ramet:
Detah-Ramet Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Is it just me or does it look like FS is a bit...
cube-like?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just how she wound up looking after shading. I point the blame on the headband (which I also forgot to do the pattern on, AGAIN), and that I didn't make the curve for the roots of her mane rounder. I'll have to make note of that in future when drawing new pictures.

I shan't edit this any more. If I keep going back to everything and fixing every little thing I mess up on, I won't get anything done.
Reply
:icondetah-ramet:
Detah-Ramet Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Honestly i was more looking at the body and hair, mostly how the the curves seem so sharp, and the edges seem far flatter than usual. Still, this aside, the picture is definitely interesting.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, even though I think you're just sparing my feelings lol since the style is flawed. I simply need to practice these types of poses and perspectives more often
Reply
:icondetah-ramet:
Detah-Ramet Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Why would I spare your feelings?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good question, why would anyone on the internet spare one's feelings?
Reply
:icondetah-ramet:
Detah-Ramet Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Exactly. Just look at 4chan!
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eh, 4chan ain't as hateful as it used to be.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Ah, that fleeting moment when you realize the alicorn in question has less to do with Celestia than with the friggin' Slendermane. :D Priceless.
No matter, I will hold onto my highly improbable theory until there's more solid proof for or against it. :P

I would have totally missed Rarity in the orb (again!) if it weren't for neonignition's comment. And I wonder: why her? Could have been anyone in that orb, but you hardly ever do something not on purpose. Then again, Rarity and Fluttershy seemed to share a special bond in season 1. ;) Not much left of it now, though (at least canon-wise). But they were shipped together to death! :D
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I might make Rarity's appearance in the orb a plot point in the "endgame" scenes, now that you and some others seem to wonder why she appears in the gif.

The truth, though, is that I randomly chose her all those months ago when I first made this gif. Still, I could use Rarity's appearance to provoke a string of actions leading up to the climax of the entire story. Hmm...

The Alicorn isn't meant to be a rip of Slendermane. The tendrils, in my mind, don't originate from the Alicorn, but the smoke that she too is tethered to. The presence of tendrils is the result of the Alicorn actually being a shape-shifting entity that defaults to the appearance of purple smoke. So any form it does assume it will partially break at its own convenience for maximum intimidation and utility.

In fact, when writing this scene, and rewriting it, I imagined Fluttershy's pursuer to be much more like the Dahaka from the game Prince of Persia Warrior Within. A beast that even the free-running, time-spazzing, acro-combatic badass Prince is afraid of. The chase Fluttershy ends up in is pretty much a direct reference to the opening scene of the game. So aside from the character that the Alicorn actually is, and what elements I draw from that to define them, I also referenced the Dahaka for the added fear factor, as well as the general freakiness that Slenderman owes his frightful appearance to.
Reply
:iconboofadoof:
boofadoof Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
love the new paragraph format
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, if you haven't already, you should check out the fic on FimFiction, that's where the whole story is going to be eventually told
Reply
:icondeep-fried-love:
Deep-Fried-Love Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Anyone else see rarity in the orb?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You are correct, there's also Fluttershy in the foreground of the orb
Reply
:icondeep-fried-love:
Deep-Fried-Love Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw her too my internet has been dumb lately and it showed me it by about a frame per 10 seconds
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol, that happens sometimes, the gif usually plays normally once each frame has been rendered once - unless the computer is the culprit and not the internet.

At least I didn't hide anything in the frames, no, I hid something in plain sight. It's been there since the first iteration of this pic was submitted back in August :S Maybe nobody cares
Reply
:icondeep-fried-love:
Deep-Fried-Love Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I liked it!
Reply
:iconfirestormpony11:
FireStormPony11 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
i did
Reply
:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
When is doubt, GIGGLE, GIGGLE FOR YOUR LIFE!
Reply
:iconch31nr34k5h0n:
ch31nr34k5h0n Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Respect and love man. S'all I can say about this.
Without flipping hay..
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For a moment, I thought I saw... Nightmare Moon.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And again, and again, and again, and aga- oh wait, it loops.
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep.
Reply
:iconcursedroses:
cursedroses Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
IS it like the shadow of Nightmare Moon? Or is that somehow one of Discords tricks? Or is it... the Queen of the Changelings?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My lips are sealed lol
Reply
:iconluigi-iz-da-bomb:
Luigi-iz-da-bomb Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
All I could think of when I saw the title was the line in Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. "The lunatics are in my head..."
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, nightmares tend to be pure lunacy...
Reply
:iconflippyfangirl4life:
FlippyFangirl4Life Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well... In that case....

"I'm going to have nightmares for WEEKS."
Reply
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