A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan fic
Pony In The Mirror
I was brought out from sleep against my own accord. I felt numb. I'd woken up with a numb arm before, but this was different; even my fingers and toes were insensible. Opening my eyes, I pulled my hand up to my face. The room was dark, but I saw the faint outline of an unfamiliar appendage. Before I knew it, I had tumbled off my bed in a jittery panic and was lying down on my left side.
My legs and arms refused to behave like they were supposed to as I tried to get up. All I could do was stare fearfully into the near-complete darkness. Soon, my senses started to tell me more about my own body. No fingers, no toes, a furry hide, pointy ears, and hair along my neck. Then, I flicked a muscle that was at the end of my back. In disbelief, I did it again. My mind was quick to inform me that it was a tail.
For minutes, I lay motionlessly in complete dismay, the odd sensation of my form disquieting me. Every move I made reminded me of what I had become. Every thought in my head revolved around the same questions: 'How?' and 'Why?'
Frantically, I conjured an answer: lucid dreaming. It was the only explanation that made sense. A normal dream was a movie, and a lucid dream was a video game. With that concept in my mind, my apprehension diminished, and I became a tad happy. I was in a dream that was under my control. Maybe I wouldn't have called it a dream come true, but the possibility to experience myself as something non-human fascinated me.
Tugging and stretching my limbs, I got a feel for how they worked. After a brief moment of trying to pinch the correct nerve in my head, I successfully turned one ear. The other ear was wedged between my head and the floor and protested my command by sending me a flinch-worthy signal of minor discomfort. I had already discovered the proper muscle to control my tail, and I exercised it a few times in order to familiarize myself with it. As I was laying totally flat on my left side, I began to gingerly bend my body to get a feel for my coat. It wasn't rough, as I had expected, but soft, like a hairy but smooth fabric.
Knowing what I was infatuated with, I thought I knew what I had become—a pony.
Not aware of how soon I'd wake up, I decided to act. I pulled my left foreleg and raised my back so that I could place the limb underneath me. It didn’t go as planned, and I slipped back onto my side. Trying a different approach, I rolled over, folding my legs underneath me as I did so. Carefully yet steadily, I extended my forelegs in harmony, aligning my hooves to the floor as I levered myself to a sitting stance.
Although I couldn't see my hind legs, I was aware they were level on the floor on either side of me. I knew the posture I held was natural for a pony, but the nerve signals from all four of my new appendages were confusing.
Coming up onto all fours was trouble-free, although I did so nervously, and my legs were unsteady once I was standing. While waiting for my nerves to settle, I mused at the odd sensation of standing on hooves: it was almost as if I was hovering but somehow still touching the floor. I gently dragged a hoof and felt the weak friction hinder its movement. My mind tried to make sense of the feeling but only became more perplexed.
The only visible light came from the sun beyond my almost-sealed window, but a wall-mounted lamp that was above my bed tempted me. I contemplated briefly how to place myself perpendicular to the soft plateau to my left.
Slowly lifting one leg at a time, I began to turn myself. When my back refused to curve, it dawned on me I had only moved my forelegs. Taking another moment to focus, I trepidly sidestepped with my hind legs to the right until my back was straight again. With that checkpoint passed, I congratulated myself with a smile and braced myself for the next stage.
With my right forehoof on the bed, I pressed down to test how far the mattress would budge and then quickly raised my left foreleg onto it as well. Only then did I realize I'd have to somehow jump the rest of myself onto the bed as well.
Alarms rang in my head as I realized I was in a situation I didn't quite know how to solve. I dared not back away as I wasn't sure how to do so without stumbling into a slump. Pain would end my lucid dream, so my foremost worry was to avoid harming myself. Following a moment of decision making, I presumed I could push myself up onto the mattress.
I slid my forelegs forwards until they were level on the mattress and my chest and barrel rested on the fabric.
Pushing with my hind legs, I glided across the bed until I came to a halt when my forehooves touched the wall. The light switch was so close yet so far. If I had my real form, it could've been accomplished in a second. By now, several minutes have been wasted, and I was only halfway there.
I tried to lift my hind leg up onto the bed, but it refused to behave like a human leg. I wasn't exactly sure how equine anatomy worked, and I couldn’t persuade my new knee to land on the bed.
Realizing that I couldn't pull myself up to the bed, I was left with two options: jump up onto the bed, or attempt to wobble in the darkness to the ceiling-lamp switch. Of course, said switch was by the door. Both seemed impossible to reach, but I had no other alternatives.
Opting for the closer goal, I constructed a sequence in my head: I'd coil my hind legs, launch my back end off the floor, and then immediately twist my body sideways while pulling up my rear limbs. Simultaneously, I'd do my best to draw my forelegs to a vertical stance and elevate myself into the air. It would not be graceful, but I'd be one step closer to my goal. I rehearsed the plan a couple of times in my mind and silently counted to three.
It was all over in a second, and I was back where I started—in my bed, my left flank resting on the haphazardly folded blanket I had kicked off myself during my scrambling.
Rising up onto my hooves would prove to be difficult, I surmised, as the bed was soft and would be a less stable support for me than the solid floor. However, now I faced another problem: I had to actually touch the switch to turn on the lamp. With hands, it'd be easy to run my fingers along the cord and locate the switch. But in this new form, my alternatives were to fumble for it with either my hoof or my mouth.
I oriented myself to a prone position, but knowing how unreliable the bed was as a stable surface, I was unwilling to stand up. With my head placed against the wall, I began to shunt myself forward with my hind legs. It was strange to feel the fur tickling the side of my head—so unlike the prickly stubble I was used to. Before I could delve deeper into studying the differences, however, my cheek met the elusive cord.
Clamping my teeth on the bitter-flavored plastic cord, I began my search for the switch. Bliss coursed in my veins when I found the little protruding part that would bring forth illumination to the dimmed dreamscape.
As a precaution, I closed my eyes to shield my vision from the soon-to-come brightness. With the piece of plastic in my teeth, I gently dropped my head and felt the switch move in response. My eyes opened a few seconds later, and I released the cord to examine myself in the new light.
My coat color was a plain white—I was fine with that—but twitching the muscle at my croup, I became miffed to see twin lines of bright pink adorning my bronze-brown tail.
As much as I tried to concentrate on visualizing another color in its place, they remained pink. This obviously meant I had the same color in my mane. Although I was grateful for being self-aware in a dream, I mentally filed a nasty complaint at my subconscious for the poor color choice.
Dismissing the embarrassing fact of my hair colors, I began to think on what to do next. Reaching the bed had been a time-consuming mission, but I wasn't about to stay there and call it a day. Traces of the cord's taste still lingered in my mouth as I planned how to get off my bed and back onto the floor, although the mere thought made me nervous.
Exercising the utmost care, I shifted on my bed to bring my forelegs to the edge of the mattress. Slipping my forelegs over the soft cliff and down onto the floor, I transferred my weight to my forehooves. Realizing it might not be so hard to get off the bed after all, my nervousness decreased to a minor alertness. Little by little, I started to pull myself off the furniture.
Following a few more seconds of observing my hind legs slide off the bed and come down onto the floor individually, I was again on all four hooves.
It was strange to see the beige lit room from the height of about one meter. I felt short, like a child with four hooved legs and a tail. I scanned my humble bedroom in mild bewilderment.
Behind me was the bed, and in front of me was my black armchair. In front of the chair and placed up against the blinded window was a brown, wooden desk with a big LCD television on it. The wall before me was lined with white cabinets. Opposite of the window was the exit door. To the right of the exit was a basic bureau with assorted papers, magazines, and cables messily scattered over it. Looking back at the desk, I saw an old office chair and my brand new laptop perpendicular to the TV.
A thought occurred to me as I was contemplating my next objective: this dream was unusually real. I saw details around the room that matched exactly how it had been the last evening: the pile of games on the desk, the carelessly thrown magazine on the bureau, and my clothes on the armchair's backrest.
Nothing was out of place.
Lifting a hoof, I stomped the floor, producing a muted thud. My eyebrows arched in thought as I noticed I was able to feel the minor sensation of the impact. It was not pain, but a slight discomfort. ‘How convincing can a dream be?’ I pondered, recalling several normal dreams that had fooled me into taking their surreal absurdity for granted.
With a new wariness, I kept myself vigilant for any traces of my subconscious trying to trick me. I was a detective on the hunt to expose all the forgeries and errors in the vivid dreamscape.
To reach the door would most likely be an easier task than my last mission; all I had to do was to master my quadrupedal form. As I glanced back at my hind legs, I stopped to stare at my flank. How I'd failed to pay attention until now was lost to me. I was briefly disappointed when I saw no cutie mark, though I soon smirked at myself; ‘Blank flank,’ I thought.
Setting out to reach the hallway beyond my room proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated on four hooves, and I struggled to keep my balance. A crippled starfish could have outpaced me, but I kept on tottering resolutely until my face met the door.
Putting my teeth on the handle, I tilted my head until the latch clacked, then pulled my head back and the door opened. Alas, my celebration was short-lived as I had failed to take into account my proximity to the tall rectangle and was now an obstruction in its opening path. Swallowing my steel-flavored saliva, I looked over at my trailing end, watching it retreat before I remembered my forelegs. Trying to rouse my forelegs into action, one of my hind legs slipped, and my stability began to falter. I nearly panicked before regaining my balance.
If I had collapsed, I would've most likely injured myself and brought my unique dream to an end. I screwed my eyes shut for a second and wordlessly chided myself. At least the door was now slightly ajar, presenting me with a new opportunity beyond.
With a nudge of my muzzle, the door gently swung open, the handle bumping the wall with a dull thud. I immediately set my eyes on the next goal: the bathroom door opposite my bedroom.
It was another door I'd have to pull open, although I was now wiser from my recent hurdle and possessed a great confidence that I'd solve this puzzle with flying colors.
The trip to the door was short but not without a few missteps, though I was getting the hang of my four-hoof drive configuration. The only mirror in my humble apartment was beyond the very door I stared at.
Another taste of steel later, the door was open. I felt proud as I reversed from the door without incident. Stepping over the small threshold to the bathroom, I swung my head to the left, nudging the light switch. The lamps flickered indecisively for a second before agreeing to produce their fluorescent light.
It was a small bathroom, walled and floored with white tile, with a toilet and sink. There was a shower along the left wall, and on the right was a washing machine.
Finishing my cursory glance of the familiar space, I realized the floor, while not terribly grimy, was specked with snaking smudges. I looked down at my hooves and imagined all the kinds of residue that would adhere to them and eventually find their way into my food. As quick as I was to grimace, I was just as quick to discard the thought since I assumed I wouldn't have to eat during my dream.
Above the sink was the mirror, although from my current location, I was unable to catch my own reflection. As I was planning how to place my forelegs on the sink and crane my neck to peer at myself, a small nagging thought that had remained at the back of my head strode forth.
It told me something ridiculous, something that I wanted to scoff at and shoo away. Frustratingly, it was insistent and soon twisted my confident smile into a concerned frown. I cast my eyes at my tail, which it flashed its bronze and bright pink back at me. I turned my head away from the sight, and a chill traveled up my spine.
Hesitantly, I conjured a sentence and delivered it to my vocal chords, the air in my lungs nabbing it as the sentence was granted permission to leave.
“I am having a lucid dream.”
Immediately, a strange feeling of nervousness emerged in me, and moisture seeped onto my skin. As great fun as a lucid dream could be, this was already the second issue that irked me. I concentrated my mind on altering the imaginary reality and sent another wave of air through my mouth.
“I am not—”
I stopped mid-sentence as I realized the statement would be a lie. A mere moment ago, I was eager to see my own mirror image, but now, I'd come to resent the thought. I silently cursed at my own subconscious for dropping a joke like this on me. Or rather, in me.
Retreating back out to the hallway, I unthinkingly lowered myself to a sitting position. I glowered at the far wall of the bathroom for no cause but to have a target for my eyes while my mind seethed turbulently.
The unpleasant thought stood inside my mind, a smug expression on its hypothetical visage.
I brought a hoof to my forehead and grimaced, releasing an aggravated groan that did nothing to help overcome the current issue.
However, considering I was in a dream that could end at any second, I did my best to relax rather than waste precious time on furious idling. Gathering some courage and tranquility, I decided to continue my quest.
A few timid but determined steps later, I was at the sink. The mirror above it was mocking me with its mere presence; I gave it a stern stare in hopes of scaring it into submission. Lunging upwards, I slammed my forelegs down on the sink edges.
Glaring down at the steel and pale porcelain, the last of my reservations slowly spiraled into the drain. Putting on the most daunting expression I could muster, I lifted my head to confront the reflective glass.
A messy forelock of bronze and pink surrounded a jutting keratin spire, below which the reflection of a pair of green eyes on a white canvas gave an intimidating but ineffective stare.
For a moment, we were interlocked in a silent but eventless battle.
“Oh, really funny, ha-ha!” the unicorn eventually taunted me, causing me to wince. My eyes screwed shut, and my lips withdrew to expose my teeth, though I soon reopened my eyes to see my opponent had a mutual expression.
An inexplicable sensation of defeat and acceptance sank into me, and my rival appeared to resign with a sigh.
“I guess it has to be like this, then,” she said dejectedly. Sadly, I had to concur.