Long ago, in an abandoned barn nestled in a meadow, there lived a small fluffy herd. And in that herd, there was a little unicorn foal named Jingle. His fluff was soft and white as cotton, and his curly mane looked almost like a cloud.
But his most distinguishing feature was the bell he wore around his neck, from which he got his name. His mother had given it to him so that if he were to get lost or run into trouble, she would always be able to find him.
Jingle was an adventurous young foal, who loved to run and play in the meadow, whether with his friends or by himself. He was by far the most energetic of all the foals in the herd, and loved to explore.
Jingle’s mother, a white earthie, absolutely adored her son. He was her only foal, and was the last thing she had to remember her special friend, who’d taken forever sleep just days before their son’s birth.
Due to this, she was extremely protective of little Jingle.
One sunny spring day, Jingle was playing in the field under the watchful eye of his mother. She called him to her and he lovingly nuzzled her, to which she did the same before trying to get him to focus his attention on what she was about to tell him.
“Wisten to Mummah an’ ‘membah wha’ Mummah say,” she begins, “Mummah nu wan 'ou to pway outside fencie.”
“Why nu?” Jingle asks. He’d never really paid any mind to the fence surrounding the old pasture.
“Jingwe, it am bewy scawy out dewe! If hewd stay hewe, hewd safe,” his mother replies.
Sensing her son is still unconvinced, the mare continues, “Wook. 'Ou see dat big pointy pwace?” She motions to a rocky mountain, its ominous appearance a stark contrast to the lively spring colors around it. “Big, meanie munstah wibe dewe! Munstah num fwuffies an’ gibe fowebah sweepies!”
Jingle scoffed nonchalantly, “Munstah am dummeh! Fwuffies too smaww fo’ be nummies, an’ fwuff too hawd to num!”
Jingle’s mother sighed, “Bu’ munstah stiww num fwuffies. An’ eben gib fwuffies fowebah sweepies bu’ nu num.”
“If munstah come hewe, Jingwe teww munstah dat am dummeh!” Jingle retorted.
“'Ou nu teww munstah anyfingies! 'Ou stay faw 'way fwom munstah!” his mother sternly replied.
In gentler but still serious tone, she continued, “Pwomise Mummah 'ou stay 'way fwom munstah.”
Jingle still wasn’t scared of his mother’s warning, but he loved his mother and promised nonetheless before running off to play some more.
Soon enough, spring turned into summer which turned into fall. Jingle, his mother, and their herd continued living their lives ideally, content with the safety provided to them by the fence and the gate of the barn which they were sure only they could pass under.
But one night, all of that would change.
The little herd were cuddled up in scattered fluffpiles. Jingle slept by his mother’s side, nestling himself in the warm of her fluff, as she looked at him contently before drifting to sleep herself.
Suddenly, the loud sound of splintering wood outside rang across the barn, causing several fluffies to bolt upright. Then, the gate to the barn shot open, and a shadowy figure leapt upon one of the mares and killed her instantly.
One fluffy uttered a single word upon the sight: “Munstah!”
And indeed, it was the monster from the mountain: a seeker. And seekers were born to do one thing and one thing only.
As the fluffies scattered in a panic, the seeker scanned the area for his next target. He zeroed in on Jingle, who’d just woken up to find his mother gone and with no clue as to what was happening.
Upon seeing the seeker, the colt froze like a deer in the headlights, as the seeker prepared to strike.
“Jingwe!” Jingle’s mother cried out as she realized what was about to happen. Without a second thought, the mare ran to her son and leapt on top of him, shielding him with her body.
The sound of ripping and tearing rang out throughout the barn before everything suddenly went silent.
Jingle crawled out from under his mother and looked around groggily, “Wha’ happen? Munstah am gone now?”
He then smiled softly and nuzzled his head into his mother’s fluff, “Fwuffies wucky nu fowebah sweepies, wight?”
Assuming she didn’t hear him, he repeated himself, “Wight, Mummah?”
But he still received no answer. Confused, Jingle crawled over to look at his mother’s face.
The colt felt in his gut that something was wrong. His mother wasn’t lying the way she normally did, and her head was twisted at a strange angle.
“Wha’ wong, Mummah? Wakies.”
Still getting no answer, Jingle began to gently shake his mother’s foreleg. “Wakies!”
“Did munstah gib Mummah huwties?” he asked, becoming more concerned.
“WAKIES! MUMMAH, WAKIES!” he repeated, shaking his mother’s leg more frantically.
Upon realizing what had happened, Jingle burst into tears. “NU! NU GO FOWEBAH SWEEPIES, MUMMAH!”
Frantically, he looked around for the rest of his herd in a desperate attempt to find help for his mother, but was met with even more horror; every single one of them was dead. The stallions, the mares, even the other foals. They all laid just as lifeless as Jingle’s mother, and the sight and scent of blood was overwhelming.
The colt turned back to his mother, sobbing harder and harder until his sorrow was at such a climax that something inside him broke. “NU DIE, MUMMAH! NU DIE!”
And Jingle cried until he could cry no longer. “Huuhuuu… It nu faiw…”
Jingle couldn’t understand why the seeker had killed his mother — or any of his herd, for that matter. They didn’t do anything wrong. And yet the seeker still killed them, and left Jingle all alone in the world.
That which broke inside Jingle remained broken, and something else inside him began to harden.
He trodded out of the barn’s entrance, marching along the field until he stopped at the now-broken fence. He looked out at the mountain on the horizon, its shadowy visage almost taunting him.
At once, the little unicorn was filled with anger and determination. Furrowing his brow, he readied himself and shot out towards the mountain.