This takes place in the universe that Rust, Blackwing and many other authors stories have taken place.
You know about all those stories where the hero ends up in Equestria? You know the kinds of clichéd stories where the hero is a chosen one or some random guy picked off from home? There’s that moment right before their epic journey where they preach some self-proclaimed valuable piece of advice to every person reading? You know what I’m talking about. It’s that one piece of advice that seems completely worthless in real life? Yea, well it turns out that it’s a lot more useful than the average reader, which is you, will think. So, I will say that same advice that so many before me have said.
If some random dude comes up to you and asks if you want to go to Equestria, just say no.
Maybe I should start from the beginning.
Hello, the name’s Craig. I’m pretty screwed up in terms of mental and physical capabilities. When I was seven, I lost my arm when an apartment complex collapsed due to a resident’s unfortunate addiction to setting crap on fire! The building just tumbled on top of me and darkness fell. Despite all sense of reason saying otherwise, I survived. What happened?
Well, by good fortune, a street lamp managed to shield me from some of the collapsing building. Turns out it held open a small pocket of air for my body to squeeze through.
Well, by bad fortune, it turns out that the pocket hadn’t quiet stabilized yet. When I entered through, one of the more jagged pieces of cement came crashing down. I don’t know what happened next, my eyes were grazing at what my arm had become and my senses were focusing on the debilitating pain separating my arms from my shoulders. I was probably screaming, I don’t know, it all became one giant memory of pain. I must have passed out from shock before the rescue team found me.
When I come to, comforted by the bed and my eyes adjusting to the lights of a hospital, I noticed something. I couldn’t feel anything from my right side. I tried moving my right arm and when my eyes darted to my right side, I realized what had happened. They said it had to be done. The damage sustained was just too much to bear. It was either that, or risk the consequences of traumatic rhabdomyolysis or, in laymen’s terms, crush syndrome.
Two months had passed, I had walked past the entrance of the hospital with a brand spanking new plastic prosthetic arm. My parents weren’t exactly the ideal picture perfect example of caring parents. They did spend a minimum amount of money while I was in the hospital, but it wasn’t to save money for a better arm replacement nor was it them simply being frugal. It was all for that expensive vacation the two of them took while I was in the hospital.
Once the realization dawned on me, I fell into a depression. I couldn’t draw afterwards, at least not as well as before. I even tried to end my suffering a few times over the next few months. Unfortunately, I realized that trying to slit your wrists with a single arm was difficult to say the least, so was trying to hang yourself. Eventually I learned to overcome that depression and with it, I now carry a motto.
“If it can happen, it will.”
Discovering My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic when I was 14 was probably the best thing to ever happen to me, having been hooked onto it ever since. I’ve pretty much watched every episode about two to three times. The one episode that holds a special place in my heart was Luna Eclipsed just because of the premise of the episode. Luna being an outcast, the only thing I could do was sympathize with her plight and see myself in her. MLP, no matter how cliché it sounds, it changed my life.
After discovering it, my outlook on life had brightened, but there was still a shade of grey in there. After a while, I started reading some stories like Devil’s Due by All American, realizing just how much of a shithole our world was compared to the heaven that was Equestria. I’ve always wanted to live in a place like that. Just to get away from the hurt, pain, suffering and misery that being a one armed freak seems to entitle you to.
Anyways, a year after my discovery of MLP and my becoming a brony, I decided to celebrate.
I didn’t tell anyone I was a brony, not that I had anyone to tell. I decided to walk to the local cybercafé. You know, have some tea and rewatch, for the fifth time, some MLP episodes and parodies. It was a calm, peaceful afternoon, the birds outside were chirping, the tea tasted heavenly in my mouth and the sound of Twilicious ringing in my earphones brought a smile to my face. It all went to hell in a hand basket when the entrance ringed out.
A strange fellow, wearing a thick black leather jacket, a fedora and black dress pants, it seemed black was him. He went around the café asking people questions and was, with a will and a way, rejected as quickly as his sudden questions. Then the footsteps stomped closer to me. I tried to close the tabs with MLP on them but as fast as a one armed person couldn’t be, he reached me in a flash.
“How’s the show, Craig?” the man asked with a somewhat amused tone.
"How'd you know my name?" My eyebrows arched.
"I dunno, just took a random guess at it," retorted the man with a smug smirk.
"Right, and the show is just fine, I take it you’re a brony as well?"
The air echoed with his chuckle. A mad crackle hacked through the café. A low baritone voice, it was the kind of laugh that a villain would use as the hero falls into his trap.
"Yes, I suppose I am," he said with his fingers applying just the slight stroke to the small tuff of hair on his chin.
"I have a question for you, friend." He pressed onward, still creasing his chin beard with the slightest brush.
"You’re not my friend," I said with an irritated tone. I wasn’t his friend and I wasn’t making any plans on starting now.
"Doesn't matter, anyway the question is if you could go to Equestria, that wondrous land of joy, ponies and friendship that you've been watching for the past year would you?" the man said in a half serious, half indifferent tone that made it hard for me to take him seriously.
"Yes I would, wait how'd..."
"I know you watched the show for the past year?" He interrupted. That was annoying.
"Don't interrupt you again?" He interrupted again. I was starting to see red at that point.
"That?" he said with his face betraying the smuggest of smiles you could imagine only in your dreams. "And as for your previous question, that would be spoilers."
"Ok then, well yes, I would go to Equestria, given the chance." I chose to entertain this man’s delusions.
"Oh? No family you'd miss, no crush on a girl that would claw at your heart for not admitting your love or maybe, you swing the other door?"
I gave him the "are you fucking serious?" look.
"I suppose not," he looks at the watch on his wrist, "Oh well, look at the time, it's time for you to leave, Craig, or maybe I should say arrive..."
"What are you talking about?"
"The cafe is closing, you should probably head to your home," he replied as he started heading for the door.
I look at the clock at the other end of the cafe, it’s seven pm already? I just looked at the clock a moment before we started talking and it was five then. And what he did mean by arrive? I had no further interests in entertaining the delusions of a mad man. As the man latched onto the door handle of the entrance, his mouth echoed only a few ominous words.
"May want to go home and rest, who knows, it may be your last chance to have a good rest."
I left the cafe shortly after I had drained the last of my tea, its fragrant taste still pouring down my throat. My walk home was uneventful aside from the usual jeering of bullies shouting insults like ‘Five Finger Freddy’ and ‘Sideclops’ or asking stupid questions like "If someone tries to shake hands with you with their left hand do you just go in for a fist bump?" and other god awful insults and taunts that only the brain dead and moronically stupid would find funny.
I managed to reach my home around eight, when the sun had started setting under the mountains. My parents were soundly asleep on the couch snuggling each other with the T.V. still ablaze with the light of old home movies from before the accident. What showed was the flash of a five year old, walking around a playground as if the world around him was his. The one thing that struck out the out: that smile.
It was a smile that only looked at the present. It was a smile that didn’t care for the future or the past. It was simply content with just going down the slides.
I looked so happy back then.
I continued the march to my room and started checking up on Equestria Daily and FIMfiction to see what was new. Drowsiness had started to overcome me. My body wasn’t moving to the bed which I wanted, choosing to pursue its own agenda. Finally, with a thud, my body obeyed, with it meeting the bed, and letting the darkness of sleep take me away. Before sleep became my world, the words of the mad man echoed through my head:
"It's time for you to leave, Craig, or maybe I should say arrive…"
A/N edited by Proud Dust.