The name sounds ridiculous when you think about it. It’s ‘Equestrian’ without the ‘n’. Surely somepony must have noticed at some point that their country shares its name with their species.
Then again, why would they? Your standard human will never question the absurd nuances of the English language. Compared to that, ‘Equestria’ is absolutely fine.
Anyway: Equestria... or more specifically, Canterlot. It’s where I’m staying. Nice enough city, I suppose, considering that even the snootiest of the ponies that live here aren’t above shouting apologies and compliments up at my balcony. The garish level of cleanliness is a little unnerving, though.
I’ve been staying in the Canterlot Private Clinic for three days now – not counting the four days I spent unconscious - which makes it a full week since the Grand Galloping Gala. A full week since I was set free.
For those of you just joining me in my tale of how I came to be living in Equestria, I suppose it’s time for a recap. First of all, let me clear this up: I am human. I am a ‘Brony’. And I am very much sane – scarred psychologically, but sane nonetheless.
As I have discovered, this is my twenty-ninth day in the world of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Twenty two of those days were spent living in fear, enslaved as a musical performance by The Great and Powerful Trixie.
…Okay, maybe I should provide a little more detail than that.
Twenty nine days ago, (Go figure) I was at home, enjoying a nice lazy Saturday. I sat down to play the piano, and… well, the easiest way to say it is that I was… summoned.
That’s pretty much it. I lost control of my body, and my skin turned… albino-white, or something. I’m not exactly sure what happened, because I was back to normal colouring when I woke up, and never had a chance to find out.
Okay, exactly how it happened isn’t important. What’s important is that it did happen. To summarize, I was at home, I blacked out, and when I woke up, I was in this badly lit little cage.
And, as I said, it was Trixie that summoned me. She literally ripped me out of my own world – my own life – and into hers, and do you want to know why?
To play the piano.
To play the fucking piano.
Turns out, pianos are rather redundant in Equestria. Unicorns can’t perform the complex magical multitasking necessary. Griffins and Dragons can play, but both species only have four digits instead of the five required to properly manipulate the keys.
So, Trixie decides that the only logical solution to this lack of piano prowess is to kidnap a living human and force it into slavery. Brilliant.
Due to the lack of any magical spark within humans, (Or something like that. I don’t fully remember the whole lecture) Trixie was able to control me completely. I hope you can imagine what that’s like – having someone else in control of your own body – because I’m not going to explain it.
Using this ability, Trixie was able to force me to play the piano, and make me give regular performances in her travelling show. When I disobeyed, she beat me. When I tried to escape, she threw a lantern at me and set my hair on fire – a very, very traumatic experience.
Eventually, I gave up. I tried to hang myself with a length of piano wire – nearly succeeded too. But of course the fact that I am here right now shows that I didn’t quite manage.
Trixie found me before I could die, and cut me down. Turns out she needed me to play one more show, and then she was going to put me down herself and retire on the money I’d brought in. Isn’t that just completely… monstrous? To save someone from suicide so that they can do one more thing for you, and then kill them yourself?
To be honest, I don’t think monstrous quite cuts it. If there isn’t a word for that level of evilness, then there really should be.
Anyway, that one final show was at the Grand Galloping Gala. It would seem that over time my shows had become quite popular. I was quite the marvel of evolution. For those reasons, the Princesses of Equestria contracted Trixie to supply me so that I could play a concert at the Gala. Prestigious, I know.
And so, Trixie made me play at the Gala. A full hour long concert. If I had been in any frame of mind other than suicidal, I would have been overjoyed at actually playing a concert.
At the Gala, I decided to end my performance with a piece from the actual TV show; This Day Aria. A nice piece, and a reasonably soft ending for the concert. Mostly, I did it just to fuck with Twilight and Cadance, who were in the audience... A tiny little revenge for them getting entertainment out of my enslavement.
What I didn’t expect, was for that to prompt them to come visit me in my cage while Trixie was off being told how amazing she was.
That was when the ponies discovered that I wasn’t an animal, and I discovered that everypony had been told that I wasn’t intelligent. A truly horrifying revelation. All I had had to do was do something unquestionably sentient on-stage, like cry. If I had done that, then it would have all been finished.
Even now, I have no clue how Trixie managed to fool every, last, pony who attended my shows. I mean, I was playing a piano for Christ’s sake! How much more intelligence do you need to show?
Well actually, I think it had something to do with how humans were mythological for Equestrians – like how the Minotaur is mythological for humans.
So after I recovered from a completely undignified breakdown, Twilight, Rarity and Cadance decided that it was time I was set free. Of course, things didn’t exactly work out. Trixie found us.
She managed to knock Cadance unconscious, and cast some sort of ‘ambient effect’ spell to flip the wagon. Twilight tried to stop the flip with her own magic, which resulted in the entire thing just ripping itself apart.
Things went bad very quickly after that. Twilight was rendered unconscious by a flying plank during the ‘explosion’, and Trixie managed to beat Rarity with her magic. When I tried to attack her, she gored me on her horn.
I was lucky that Trixie had no clue what constituted a killing wound for humans. She turned away to clean up things and make it look like I had escaped and killed the three mares before she could put me down, which gave me a chance to use a fragment of my cage to attack.
I broke her horn - Just like that. Shattered it with the metal bar. I even got my chance to kill her, but failed. I was bleeding out too fast and when I tried to finish her off, all I managed was to knock her unconscious. I suppose it’s for the best. I doubt I would be in this cushy private hospital if I’d murdered her when she was defenceless.
So I succumbed to my wound and blacked out, and then I woke up a full four days later in the Canterlot Private Clinic… and I’ve been staying here since, recovering from getting my stomach punctured.
Trixie’s being held in custody. There’s enough evidence against her to put her away for life, which is enough to make me happy. Even if she somehow gets out, she has no horn. She might as well be an earth-pony – minus the crazy strength levels and affinity with nature.
So, long story short: After three weeks of torture and all kinds of hell, I won.
Unfortunately, my victory didn’t come without a price. I don’t think I need to say that it will take quite a bit of therapy to get over this.
The heat is unbearable. My scalp doesn’t just feel like it is on fire, it is on fire.
Trixie is still holding me down, using each of her hooves to pin my own limbs, and her magic to immobilise me.
My head thrashes from left to right, desperately attempting to extinguish the flames eating away at the top of my head.
Oh god it hurts. It hurts so much.
Trixie’s face is still twisted in that snarl of rage. I can barely see her through my swollen eyes, which makes the sensation all the more terrifying.
“Stop it!” I shriek, managing to produce the words around my mouthful of blood. “Please!”
Of course, she doesn’t. She just stands on top of me, her face locked in that contorted mask of rage.
That face. That rage. How can she do this this to a creature that wants nothing more than freedom? What did I do to deserve this?
So I scream, thrashing and twitching against the magical restraints, until Trixie’s horn finally gives a little flash, extinguishing the flames on my head and plunging me into darkness.
My eyes snap awake as the nightmare ends.
It’s now day four since I woke up - Or day thirty since I arrived in Equestria - and like every morning since I was freed, I wake up with tears rolling down my face, and my hair grasped in my hands.
“Oh-god-oh-god-oh-god.” My voice comes out hoarse and strained, before I manage to take control of my emotions and stop the babble of words flooding out of my mouth.
I sit up in bed, breathing raggedly as my hands finally leave my hair alone and start to wipe the tears from my eyes.
I sniff loudly, aggressively kicking off the bed sheets and swinging my legs off of the mattress.
The assortment of cards on my bedside table have changed again. Somepony comes in here every night and swaps out the ones that are there with a new set. Slightly creepy, if you ask me – although touching, that there are so many that this pony has decided to use a system to deliver them all.
Deciding that the cards can wait, I slowly get to my feet.
The room is already lit, with generous helpings of sunlight seeping around the sides of the curtains. It gives that lovely dim ambient light that back on earth would have let me know that I’d overslept
Mumbling, I grab a bathrobe off of a wall mounted hook and put it on. Rarity delivered it on the afternoon of the day I woke up – which means that I had been measured in my sleep. If this had been earth, or any other TV show, I would have found that creepy. Honestly, it’s a little long in the sleeves, but it reaches my ankles and keeps me warm, so I’m not complaining.
I grab my walking stick from its nightly resting place. I can’t say that I still need it to move around, but it takes strain off of my gut and makes walking a lot easier.
I shuffle over to a table and chair in the corner of my room, still wiping and rubbing at my eyes. I need to clear the tears away before anypony sees then. When I woke up on the second day Twilight was already in the room. Apparently she’d been able to hear me thrashing in my sleep from down the hall. Needless to say, it took a lot of talking to get her to stop insisting she alert the staff.
On the table is my breakfast, already laid out. Whoever brings it in must get a front-row seat to me crying in my sleep. Lucky them.
“let’s see…” I sit down, picking up a knife and fork. “Oh, awesome.” As if in contradiction to my satisfaction, I take another sniff. Hopefully my nose will stop running soon.
Laid out on the plate is a delicious breakfast: two slices of toast – each one complimented with an egg – and two strips of fatless bacon.
That’s right, bacon. It turns out that the palace has a griffon chef, employed to provide meals for the omnivorous griffin dignitaries and visitors. I was relieved to find out that I wouldn’t be switching to a vegan or a vegetarian diet – even more relieved when the Mane Six hadn’t reacted with disgust to the fact that humans are omnivores…
…Although I do think its best not to ask how they are getting bacon in a world where cows are sentient. I think pigs have been displayed as just being animals, but I’m not sure, and I'm not interested in finding out.
Pointedly pushing my nightmare and my moral worries aside, I hoe into the food, managing to rip it apart and devour it in three minutes, before sitting back with a cup of warm weak tea, made just the way I like it.
This place really is the best hospital in Equestria. Everything runs perfectly, and like clockwork. My breakfast is slightly colder than usual, which indicates that I’ve slept in a little more than usual, and my tea has somehow been prepared just the way I like it. I only had to say it once, and now I receive it spot on with every meal.
I have a sneaking – or more like a glaring – suspicion that either Twilight or a member of the royalty has something to do with the amazingly unfaultable, impeccable treatment I’ve been receiving. It’s like a drawn out apology for the suffering I’ve been put through at the hooves of Trixie – and I’m not complaining.
I have yet to speak to any of the three princesses, although Twilight has assured me that they are planning a visit.
On the note of Twilight; She’s been stopping by every day since I woke up – and by stopping by, I mean spending at least four hours talking to me, hanging around – I’ve even caught her simply staring at me manipulate objects with my hands. I normally give myself overly complex tasks when this happens. She wants to see what humans can do with five digits, and I’m happy to pass the time showing her.
So far, I’ve also received visits from Rarity, Pinkie, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack. It doesn’t really surprise me that Fluttershy hasn’t visited since I first woke up – considering how scared of me she seemed back then.
I still haven’t mentioned the show. I don’t know how the ponies would take it. If I have my way, not even Celestia will find out.
“Woah.” I mumble, suddenly realising that I’ve been zoned out for a good five minutes, just thinking. That’s been happening a lot lately. Being pulled back from the brink really makes one… contemplative.
I place my now empty tea cup on my plate. “And…” I rub my eyes one last time, making sure that I’ve gotten rid of the sleep-dust. “…The day begins.”
I push my plate back from the edge of the small table and stand up, finally taking time to glance at the clock on wall. Eight forty-three. Allowing ten minutes since I got up, I have indeed slept in a little later than usual. That said, this is nothing compared to back on earth. I slept in until quarter past eleven a few months ago.
Needless to say, I did nothing productive for that entire day.
The room is still lit in that same dim lighting, which is the darkest you can ever hope for a room to get on a sunny day like almost every day in Canterlot. I suppose it’s time to let some real light in.
I move over to the large set of curtains that dim the room, pulling them aside one at a time to reveal a pair of tall portrait windows framing a slender pair of glass double-doors that opens out onto a small balcony.
It’s quite nice, actually. I’ve previously spent a good three hours sitting on one of the two chairs outside, simply reading. The real problem is the distraction of the inevitable interruptions of intrigued pedestrians outside. The hospital is quite near one of Canterlot’s many shopping plazas, which means I normally get somepony trying to get my attention from down below.
Some other hospital patients are out on their balconies, looking out over Canterlot. They too show interest in the injured creature staying in room 213, but unlike the pedestrians they barely ever bother me.
I wrap my hand around the doorknob and open the right door, exposing me to the crisp mountain air.
As it turns out, doorknobs aren’t as redundant an invention for Equestrians as I thought. Unicorns use their magic, Pegasus can actually use their wings, and – somehow - I have also seen earth-ponies manipulating them. I’ll need to ask Twilight about that.
I step out onto the balcony, immediately feeling a little more awake as I’m hit by the cool morning air.
The view is always wonderful. I can see the city, part of the palace – and there’s Ponyville, off in the distance, sitting in its ‘peaceful’ valley.
I sit down in one of the two seats with a little groan, letting my walking-stick rest against the railing.
To be honest, even though I’ve left so much behind – by which I mean everything – I don’t want to go home. Returning to my own universe would be impossible. I would have to live with the knowledge that Equestria exists, and no-one would believe me. My family would think I was crazy.
Seriously, think about it. I’d be living on earth. I’d have to go to intense ‘There is no Equestria’ therapy. It would be just… terrible. On the other hand, I stay here, and get treated like this for god knows how long.
That said, how can I simply decided not to go back home? My mum, and my sister. They’ll both be… wrecked, I suppose. To be able to go back and not seems senselessly cruel.
Then again I’ve been gone for a month already. They’ll already be wrecked.
I suppose that in the long run, I’m conflicted. I want to stay here – forever, if that’s on the table – but I can’t simply decide to not go home, where my family and friends are.
If I’m lucky, I’ll never have to make that choice. Maybe they’ll never figure out how Trixie did it.
Yeah right. Of course they’ll figure it out.
“Hey! Piano Man!”
I look down over the edge of the balcony, sighting two stallions down in the square below. The first visitors of the day.
I really don’t feel like dealing with them at the moment. I’m going through the gloomy part of the morning, (The point between the ‘Fuck everything that has ever existed’ stage and the ‘Well I suppose it’s time to actually start doing things’ stage) which isn’t helped by my chronic Monday syndrome. I would much rather be left alone to my musings.
I wave weakly, managing to put a small smile on my face. There’s no sense in randomly alienating ponies who simply want to say hello.
“Morning.” I call back half-heartedly.
The two stallions wave back enthusiastically, and then thankfully keep moving. That’s a relief.
I would be perfectly content to simply sit out here on the balcony and think some more, but I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be receiving a visit from a certain lavender mare before too long.
Much in the same manner as the hospital itself, Twilight also runs like clockwork. She begins her visits at exact times – although the length of the visits themselves can be of any length. I have no idea how much havoc I must have wreaked on her meticulous scheduling.
And so, I drag myself to my feet, using the walking-stick as a helpful prop. This thing is so handy. I wish I’d used one back on earth. It would have made being lazy so much easier.
I re-enter my room, pulling the door shut behind me to trap in the temperature-regulated air of the hospital inside, and walk over to my bed.
The clock reads eight fifty five. I must have zoned out for a while out on the balcony as well. That’s been happening a lot lately. Anyway, the time means that I have five minutes until Twilight comes around.
With that in mind, I start to make my bed, slowly pulling up the sheets and arranging them so that it doesn’t look too crinkled. My life has become slightly monotonous lately, but I’m not complaining. It’s much better than how it was before. I don’t even need to make my bed. An orderly comes by during the day and remakes it anyway, but I like having something to do.
A sudden knock at the door surprises me, and I look up at the clock. Nope. I didn’t zone out this time. It still hasn’t hit nine.
“Uhh… come in?”
The door opens, revealing Doctor Maneworthy.
“Good morning.” He begins cheerily, the greeting seeming somewhat muted by the fact that I still haven’t actually given out my name yet.
“Morning, Doctor.” I respond sullenly, sitting down on my half-made bed. “I wasn’t expecting you so early.”
“Miss Sparkle sent me. She’s in a meeting with the princesses, and she asked me to bring you over.”
‘I’m seeing the Princesses?’
I give a little snort. Not in an offensive tone, but more in an amused way.
“I hardly think that I need a doctor to escort me.”
“You’re my only patient in the hospital.” Maneworthy shrugs good-naturedly. “And it’s your first time out of the ward. I think I’d rather take you myself than just send one of the nurses.”
I respond with my own shrug.
“It doesn’t really matter to me. I feel fine.”
“And that’s good to hear.” The Doctor takes a look at the chart at the foot of my bed. I have no clue why. It isn’t like it’s changed since the last time I saw him. “But precautions are always necessary.”
I nod in agreement. I’m not even sure why I was even debating the point.
I don’t mind Maneworthy. For somepony who’s main interest is seeing me getting better and then gone, (like all doctors) he’s surprisingly good company.
Acknowledging my nod with one of his own, Maneworthy pushes forward. “I trust you received the clothes from Miss Rarity?”
“Yes.” I reply simply, looking over at a set of drawers resting against one wall. “Remind me to thank her. I can’t imagine how long all those must have taken.”
“A very generous mare.” Maneworthy agrees.
The clothes Rarity has provided are actually very nice. They aren’t all as flashy and stylish as I had worried. It must have wounded her to include plain clothing without abstract designs or ritzy finishes and trimmings, but she did. That said, there are also two tuxedos that look almost identical to the actual ones back on earth.
You have to give her credit. A few measurements and she can produce a metric tonne of clothing that fit a species she hadn’t even seen until a week and a half ago.
“Uh… Well.” I turn back to Maneworthy. “I need to… uhh, you know. Get changed.”
“Of course.” Maneworthy replies, suddenly perking up as he realised his slight slip-up.
That was another interesting note about Equestrians. Even rarity had a hard time understanding why it was so important that humans wear clothes every waking moment. (I should add that I was explaining why I wouldn’t get out of bed, and not demanding that she provide me with clothes.)
The doctor backs out, closing the door behind him, and I turn to my drawers. I refuse to put on something as ridiculous as a tuxedo, but I do need to dress smart for the Princesses. This is a big morning. I’m meeting the people paying for my care, and we’ll probably be discussing my future here in Equestria.
As I open the drawers, I can’t help but let out a small groan. There are so many clothes. How am I going to select a set that’s appropriate?
Generosity is great, but Rarity really needs to tone it down a little. Seriously.