Inspired by Pink Floyd’s album The Wall
Written by Rcw99
…we came in?”
There was silence drifting in and around me. It was a sort of deafening, permeating silence that eludes all but the most unlucky. I sat in that silence, in the frigid night air, feeling the phantom embrace of another pony beside me, warming my bones.
Soft spoken words slipped through my mind like the fleeting memories of a dream moments after you wake up, disturbing the silence. They were words of a different time, of a different place so far away I had trouble remembering if it were real or not.
‘I love you,’ those words said, ‘Everything will turn out alright, you’ll see...’
The silence slowly faded back in into the forefront, though it wasn’t quite as deafening as before. I felt soft, warm fur press up beside me, though I knew that there was nopony there. A pair of moist lips pressed against the side of my snout and the presence shifted away, causing the cold to seep back into my body. I raised a hoof to where the evanescent kiss touched my snout, absentmindedly stroking it.
A hoof suddenly tapped me on the shoulder and I twirled around to see my manager, a short, tan pegasus. He was saying something; I could see his lips move, but I couldn’t hear him through the silence’s roaring din. Still, I nodded in agreement to whatever he was saying and he patted me on the back before trotting away.
Abruptly brought back to reality, I looked around the hallway I was sitting in the middle of. The hallway was empty save for a few ponies hurrying back and forth, carrying boxes of equipment with them. I’m sure they had something to with the concert they were setting up for. My concert, I reminded myself. Pink Floyd, the world-renowned musician’s greatest hits tour across all of Equestria and several bordering countries. I was on my fifth performance and was already feeling drained.
I vaguely remembered somepony telling me that tonight’s show had sold out within days. So many ponies wanted to see me sing, to hear my songs. It was almost uplifting enough to drown my sorrows in. but not quite.
One of the roadies, tied up in a jumble of wires, nearly walked right into me, but sidestepped me at the last second. He glanced behind him, a scowl crossing his face and continued on his way. I sighed and stretched out a bit more, letting my gaze drift back to the floor. The roadies were probably pissed at me, for sitting right in the middle of one of the offstage corridors, but I made no move to get up. Damn them, they could move around me. Do them some good, I expect. They had perfectly good hooves. I didn’t care. I hadn’t cared for such a long time.
I ran a hoof through my frizzy brown mane and moaned, blinking my tired and old eyes. There had been rumors floating around, in trashy gossip rags, that I had lost my spirit. Rumors that I was just another spent rock star going through the motions, just to feel somewhat whole again, to try and relive some of those glory days and that my shows had lost their luster.
Was that true?
It might be.
I had been through so much, so fast, it was a wonder I managed to scrape my way out of the hole I had dug for myself. It was astounding I made it out at all, not to mention the fact I came out saner than when I fell in. Though, not to say those years before that moment of clarity hadn’t been good, despite what I may have believed at the time. My foalhood wasn’t all that different from other’s, even for that tumultuous time we grew up in.
The silence that had oppressed me earlier had all but dissipated by now and through the walls of the hall, muffled chanting reached my ears. “Pink! Floyd! Pink! Floyd! Pink! Floyd!” My name turned into a mantra that could only have been sung by my fans out in the stadium. It was nothing I hadn’t heard before at any other show I’d done, but something about it piqued my interest. I clambered to my hooves and walked unsteadily to the main stage.
I hesitated at the stage door for a moment before pushing past it. The level of noise that hit me almost sent me reeling back into the soundproof hallways, but I pressed past it and trotted into the wings of the stage. The stage itself was a hub of activity. All sorts of ponies of all sorts bustled to and fro making sure everything was set up for my concert.
The level of energy on the stage was greatly surpassed only by the audience out in the stadium. A heavy curtain separated me from the crowd that was roaring out my name in a vain attempt to get me out on stage sooner.
I peeked out from behind the drapes at the mass of ponies out in the field only to stare in amazement. The stadium was packed to the brim with ponies of every size, shape and color, who swayed back in forth in some unknown, yet communal melody. I could pick out one or two zebras and even a donkey packed into the crowd as well. The pegasi and griffons controlled the air, flitting back and forth above the heads of the crowd, some even lounging on clouds that drifted over the field. Harsh arena lighting spilled over the throng of bodies, accentuating their already harsh, vibrant coat colors to something that was almost unbearable to look at.
So many had turned out for the show tonight. My show, I chided myself again. Every single one of these ponies had shown up just to see me perform, as though they didn’t have anything better to do with their time. They all looked so carefree, so innocent, laughing and enjoying life as ponies nowadays did. Not like my generation. I never had a chance to live my life without threat of the return of war looming overhead.
As I gazed out over the mass of colorful ponies out beyond the stage, one mare in particular caught my attention. While the rest of the audience seemed preoccupied with the prospect of the show that was soon to start, this mare’s striking clear blue eyes were staring straight at me. A knowing grin was plastered on her face, as though she knew it was me peering through the curtains, though I knew nopony could’ve identified me.
This mare’s coat, though matted with sweat and dirt, was almost as pink as mine was. Pink just like mother’s was. The mare’s darker, curly pink mane hung limply at the sides of her head, weighted down with sweat, though it didn’t appear to bother her very much.
The mare blinked, her smile growing even wider, if that was possible, and waved in my direction. I gulped and took a step backwards, disappearing from view. Maybe she did see me. I peeked back around the curtain, but the mare had turned away and was chattering away excitedly to the ponies around her, nearly vibrating with energy. I could still see her bright blue eyes lingering in my mind, though. Eyes like that had never seen any disappointment, felt any pain or seen the darker side of life. They were innocent eyes.
My own dark and troubled eyes had been that light and airy in a long time.
“Pink! Oi, Pink!” A hoof grabbed my head and forcibly twisted me around to face its owner, my manager Short. “Pinky,” he sighed, “Oh Pink, wha’ am I gonna do with you?” His tan hoof griped me tightly as he led me away from the curtains. “You feelin’ alrigh’ to do this show, Pink? Celestia only knows wha’ goes on in your head nowadays…”
We stopped walking and he glanced at me, concern in his eyes. “You are alrigh’ ain’t you Pink? I’m askin’ as your oldes’ friend. We need ya tonigh’.”
I breathed in and met his gaze. “Yea I-“ My voice cracked. “Yea, I’m a-alright... Just… Thinkin’ ya know?”
“You think a lot, Pink. “ He smiled. “Just… You remember the set list and all?” I nodded. “Alrigh’y then. We’re on in a few, so get ready, mate.” He patted me on the back and trotted away, leaving me alone in the middle of the stage.
I glanced, almost longingly, back at the curtain that separated me from the rabble outside and shuffled offstage and picked up my sunglasses and leather coat, my only two pieces of clothing for this show, from a waiting stagehoof. I slipped on the jacket, which did little to counteract the cold night air; it was mostly just for show. I slid my sunglasses into the front pocket, just as the rest of my band mates began to file in, eager to begin the show.
A few of them glanced at me as they passed, varying degrees of emotions crossing their faces as they did. I didn’t know any of their names. Not anymore. These live shows involved so many different ponies that I could hardly keep track of them anymore. None of them were around when I first began to put out albums, back when it was only me and a few others who had all left this world.
I nodded absentmindedly at a few of them that met my gaze and fell in behind them, following them back to center stage. They took their positions by their instruments, checking that the roadies had set everything up right. We had a large cast of instruments for this show tonight. There were the usual repertoire of guitars, drums, keyboards, bass, but there was also an entire orchestra situated off to the left. There was going to be a lot of noise coming from this stage tonight.
I stood near the back and waited for the inevitable to begin. Everypony sounded off that they were ready and looked at me for confirmation to continue. I nodded and motioned for us to start the show.
Anypony not in the band scurried off the stage, leaving a startling lack of bodies where there were so many before. Short gave a quiet countdown and plunged the stage into darkness. The curtains parted, revealing the colorful crowd beyond, which almost instantaneously hushed down as the stadium lighting dimmed to a dull glow.
Of course, though we could see them, they couldn’t see us. Without lights, the stage and the band was obscured in blackness. Unicorn-produced smoke began to roll off the edge of the stage, covering the first few rows in a fog. I could make out a few ponies shifting and struggle to see through the sudden fog, hoping for a glimpse their idol, or even just the band. But I knew that they couldn’t be able to, just how I liked it. If it were up to me, I would perform the entire concert under the cover of darkness, an impenetrable barrier that separated me from everypony else. But it wasn’t up to me. Nothing was anymore.
Still, beyond the front rows, I could easily see the faces of ponies lit up by the dim light. They all looked so eager, so carefree, just like the pink mare from before. The younger generations were all like this, so innocent and pure. They hadn’t lived long enough to have their spirits crushed, and to be ripped to pieces by the uncaring hooves of fate.
They didn’t know. They lived their lives in the moment, and it was only until you were older do you realize you can’t do that. I almost envied them; it wasn’t fair.
Innocence is something that, once lost, you can never recover, no matter how much you struggle to make things right. Nothing could ever remove the scars of the past. Nopony could fill the gaping hole where you once held on to the fleeting grasp of hope.
Ponies today were much too sheltered, too privileged. None of these stallions and mares watching the stage with eager anticipation had lived through those days of my foalhood, when war ran rampant throughout Equestria. Sure, they learned about it in their schools, but they could never understand how it mercilessly ripped away everything I, and this nation, loved. They wouldn’t ever know.
It wasn’t fair.
I scowled, and in the back of my mind I heard a stallion muttering a count-in to the first song. I knew I should probably be getting ready to begin the show, but I couldn’t bring myself to it. That musical spark hadn’t been there all night. I wasn’t in the mood to do this, but I would try my hardest anyway.
As the stallion’s voice hit two, the orchestra behind me began to swell for the intro to the song. Amateurs. They couldn’t even start on the correct number; they jumped the gun by a full two seconds and probably threw off the rest of the band’s timing. I couldn’t even trust these ‘professionals’ to perform properly. Though, to be fair, there wasn’t much I trusted in these days. Believing in something always led to shattered promises.
I shook my head, clearing my head in anticipation for the crescendo that would lead to our eventual reveal. The spotlights would flash on, chasing away the pleasant darkness, presenting us to the crowd. The throng would then cheer madly, despite being blinded by the spotlights. It was the same at every show I did. No deviation. No changes.
Unsteadily, I strode out into center stage, still under the cover of blackness, the band stepping forward with me, like clock-work. Hastily, I pressed my sunglasses on my snout, covering up my slate gray eyes. I knew the rest of the band was doing likewise behind me, though for a much different reason. They used their shades as protection against the harsh stage lighting our shows called for, but for me they dulled the bright colors of the world. The vibrant blue, green, yellow or white colors of ponies were too sunny, too cheerful for me to stand. Their contented faces, smiling and cheering at me only chipped away at my soul, leaving it even emptier than before. I suppose it was a cruel twist of fate that my own coat was one of the brightest shades of pink imaginable and I had to live with the daily reminder of the lighter side of life, knowing full well that I could never live there again.
Behind me, the orchestra became a soft whisper and stopped altogether. The crowd also hushed in anticipation for what was to come next. For a moment, the entire world was steeped in silence and I felt my breath hitch in my chest. Unsteadily, I stood up on my hindlegs, flailing my forelegs out. The pose was difficult to hold and not at all natural for a pony body, but I endured it purely because I knew if I didn’t do it, Short would chew me out later.
I shut my eyes, swaying slightly and allowed myself a small smile. Just a small one. It was then the drums behind me began to pound, the organ blared, the guitarist struck a chord and our barrage of sound began. The lights surged on, revealing the stage and the band, and the crowd erupted as the concert truly began.
Everything had to look seamless for the crowd. If I was to do this, it was going to be perfect. Nothing out of place. Nothing hidden. They couldn’t see how much was wrong with me. They couldn’t understand. If there was even the tiniest of cracks in my wall, everything would fall apart.
Pyrotechnics erupted around the edge of the stage, momentarily drowning out the crowd’s cheering. Sparks skidded across the stage, alighting around my hooves as the band around me thundered into the opening song, like a sort of musical exodus.
I gazed out over the crowd in those few seconds, looking over the mass of color. The griffons and pegasi flittered about in the air, whopping in delight, weaving around the jets of fireworks in the air. The earth-bound creatures’ reactions were similar, as was to be expected, though they were too tightly packed together to do much moving. My stomach churned at the frivolousness of it all. It was sickening to see their fucking faces, so full of wonderment. These foals wouldn’t be able to handle pain or anguish, not like I had.
It was almost unfair to them, wasn’t it? Having such relaxed lives was almost a sin.
I frowned and fell forward, my front two hooves landing squarely on the wood stage with a thud. I flinched inwardly at the discordant sound and strode forward to the microphone. I sensed a few of my band mates following suit, coming center stage. The audience was still roaring their approval, not even a minute into the song yet, and not even to the first verse. Pathetic.
I grasped the mic with one hoof, reviewing the lyrics in my head. I paused, scanning the crowd from behind my glasses, my eyes hidden from the world. Emotions concealed from the masses. There would always be a division between me and the fans. They would never know the life I led, and I could never hope to know theirs. A chasm separated us, and all they could do is gaze longingly across and hope that they catch a glimpse of what they believed was the good life.
Idiotic fuckers. They didn’t understand anything. So many of these foals wanted to make it big and I knew that all of them would never achieve their dreams; it was a lost cause. They would struggle through their entire lives just to try and make it into the limelight only to discover none of it was what it cracked up to be.
There were some days my limbs felt heavier than lead, the painful memories were too much and I couldn’t get out of bed. Those days, I would break down, sobbing my eyes out like I was some helpless, senile bastard. I would lay there in my bedroom, hardly moving, even to eat, for the rest of the day wallowing in my self-pity.
None of it was what it cracked up to be.
A flash of pink in the front row caught my eyes. The mare from earlier was not four feet away, staring into me with her large, blue, unwavering eyes, her face split in a wide smile. I flinched away from her gaze and shut my eyes again, drowning out the harsh colors of the crowd of ponies.
Why did these ponies care about me? They only loved me because they liked the music I had produced years ago. If I hadn’t created music, if I never had done anything with myself, if I ended up on the side of the road without a bit to my name, if I ended up going insane, they would never love me like they do now. They wouldn’t even give me the time of day if not for the fact I made it big, and they would go on with their lives and cling to a different star. It was repulsive the way they followed public opinion like a mindless herd of sheep. In my day, we had to make our own way. We had nothing to cling to for hope but our own aspirations.
So why did I care for these fans of mine? Why did I continue to perform for these bastards day after day after day? It wasn’t a question I knew the answer to. What would happen if I just stopped everything, if I stopped the show? What would happen if I showed these ignorant little shits the dark side of life for once? I didn’t care if they couldn’t handle it! These ponies probably haven’t seen an honest day of work in their lives, let alone know anything about the cesspool of a world they really live in.
I could tell them, show them, something that would open their minds and maybe dull their vibrant colors a bit. I could take them down a notch and bring some real misery into their lives. I could strip away their innocence.
But could I?
My gaze drifted to the ground as I silently argued back and forth with myself. My days were filled with concerts, singing and pandering to a crowd of ponies that went to sleep with their minds at ease and a smile on their muzzles. My nights were restless and whatever sleep I got was plagued with dreams filled with twisted memories of my past. The ponies in the crowd were a sea of color and joy that flocked to this show to see the dull, faded, lifeless pony they loved perform songs composed before they were even born.
A wave of resentment washed over me. There was no way I could continue to do this. I didn’t care about these fans, I realized with a small amount of satisfaction. I owed nothing to these idiots or anypony else.
There was nothing holding me back from walking offstage right then, but I stopped myself. I still felt as though this audience needed to know something, anything, which would blacken their clean souls. I felt the need to educate them on the subject. It was for their benefit, really, I suppose.
I looked back up at the crowd, at their smiling faces, and felt my anger begin to boil even more. Oh yes, they would hear me out, whether they wanted to or not.
Soon enough, the point in the song where I should have begun singing came and went, and I still was standing there, clasping the microphone. I noticed my band mate's concerned glances in my direction as they began to improvise some music, hoping that I would sing soon and continue the song. I wasn’t about to.
Truly, I had lost all interest in my music long ago. It had taken me until now to realize it. My soul wasn’t in it any longer and that realization filled me with both terror and excitement. My entire life was filled with music; it was my special talent, after all. To lose my faith in my calling was frightening, but brought about a certain thrill of rebellion and freedom that most ponies would never experience.
We ponies lived in a society of monotony and compliance, where a pony would do only one job their entire lives, their special talent, the mark of which was obscenely emblazoned on their flanks for all the world to see. A cake cutie mark? You get to be a baker. Oh, you wanted to work in construction for a living? Who would employ a construction worker with a cake for a cutie mark over one with a saw or some nails? When you got down to the semantics of cutie marks, it didn’t make much sense. We lived in a society where a pony’s life was forever determined by a single point in their foalhood, before they even matured. It seemed like we lived free lives, but in reality, we were slaves to our own pre-determined destiny.
And even then, some cutie marks were more mysterious than others. I glanced at my own cutie mark of a half-red, half-white record with two hammers crossed in an x in front of it. I always knew that the record on my flank was for the music I created when I was younger, but the meaning of the hammers was mystifying. I had spent many a night since the mark appeared pondering what those hammers represented, to little avail. The most obvious meaning being the building a name for myself and my eventual construction of the conceptual wall that eventually divided me from everypony I loved. Though, despite it all, my cutie mark did make for a nice logo.
Maybe the hammers symbolized the eventual shattering of my faith in my musical talent. Was my own disinterest in my special talent already determined from so long ago?
I could hear murmurings of confusion break out all throughout the crowd, bringing my attention back to the present. The audience could sense that something was not quite right with the performance, that the lead singer obviously wasn’t performing the song. I could see their multi-colored faces scrunch up in a mix of disappointment and bewilderment as they realized that something in their perfect lives wasn’t going to plan for once. I chuckled at the sight, only to have the microphone broadcast my gruff laugh throughout the stadium.
As my laugh echoed around the stage and audience and into the night above, I smiled a wide and crazy smile. These worthless sacks of shit that dared to call themselves ponies, with their happy demeanors and bright colors and guiltless faces ignited a fire in my belly. I hated them with every fiber of my being. I wanted to see their faces as I filled their heads with tales of woes and miseries and sins and made them realize that the cheerful world they lived in was a lie.
I considered it my duty to tell them, to poison their young minds the same way my generation’s was ruined by war. It was the least I could do for them.
This thought coursed through my mind, filling my body with a vigor I hadn’t felt in years. I gazed out over the crowd, my muzzle still split in a wide grin. My band behind me slowly ground to a halt as it became evident that I was not going to be singing. Oh, but by Celestia, I was going to be doing so much more than singing. I would make this crowd realize that everything wasn’t sunshine and friendship in the land of Equestria.
“So, what?!” I bellowed into the microphone, my face distorted in rage, “What, you shitheads thought you’d like ta’ come ta’ this show?!” My voice resonated in the suddenly silent stadium. The crowd had gone mute, shocked into silence by my sudden outburst. Even the rest of the band had completely quieted down, unsure whether or not to go on. I grinned madly as I feel the crowd’s anxiety and confusion start to grow as they realized their night wasn’t going to plan. The emptiness inside my own soul felt a bit fuller as those innocent, clean ponies own souls were beginning to darken.
My eyes were drawn to the pink mare once again. Her unwavering eyes were starting to tremble in confusion as she continued to gaze at my rapidly deteriorating form. I turned my attention back to the rest of the crowd. “So you all want ta’ feel this warm thrill of confusion?!” A hoarse, half-scream, half-laugh escaped my lips. “Ha! You wanted ta’ feel this space cadet glow?!”
I could only imagine what I looked like to these guiltless minds as I began to prance around the stage, my face twisted in madness. A few of them might even consider me a tad… insane. I laughed at the thought. I think I went insane a long, long time ago. The dam inside my head only chose this moment to finally break open.
I moved closer to the edge of the stage and the front few rows scuttled backwards in fright, nearly crushing those behind them. I could already see the pegasus and griffons taking to the air, leaving the stadium for good. Cowards. Weaklings, the lot of them. They couldn’t even take some unscheduled shouting and degradation.
“Tell me!” I shouted out over the crowd, “is something eluding you, dear sunshines?!” I glanced at the mare again, an almost predatory sneer plastered on my face. She shook visibly as my eyes fell upon her and her frizzy mane quivered with her. “Is this not what you fuckers expected to see?! What, did you expect a show tonight!? Heeha! That time has long passed, my sunshines!”
I could see the ponies at the very back of the stadium began to dart for the exits, nearly trampling their fellow ponies in the process. It was almost beautiful. I could see and feel their confusion and fear. They couldn’t wrap their tiny little heads around why their idol was yelling at them.
Fight or flight. So they ran rather than face any sort of difficulty.
I spit into the audience in disgust, showering the front rows and continued yelling, my mannerisms growing even more erratic. “Fuck you all!” I roared as I paced around the edge of the stage. “Fuck all of ya! None of you know anything about what it’s like to really live! If you wanna find out what’s behind these cold eyes,” I ripped my glasses off of my face and flung them into the audience, “Then you’ll just have to claw your way through this disguise!”
I reared up on my hind legs, whinnying, and chucked the microphone at the pink earth pony mare in the front row. It hit her snout with a force that sent her staggering backwards into the ponies behind her. I grinned a maniac’s grin and snorted at her pain. She looked at me for a moment, one of her hooves rubbing her rapidly bruising face, her blue eyes growing damp as tears rose to the surface. She glanced around for a means of escaping the area, but there were still ponies packed in around her. They couldn’t even run away properly. It was sad really, this generation.
I felt a hoof on my shoulder and twisted around to find my manager and the rest of the band behind me. Nearly all of them flinched when they saw my expression, when they saw all the pain and suffering etched into my face. Short, my oldest friend, the only one who might understand my pain, cautiously approached me. “Pink…” he began, “Why don’t you calm down a little, alright? This has gone far enough. We can still patch this whole thing up, if you jus’… don’t fuck this thing up anymore.”
He forced a smile onto his face that faded just as quick as I didn’t respond. He didn’t care about me apparently. I thought he might, but… He just wanted his pay and to downplay whatever bad press this concert would bring. I had hoped he would… But he didn’t care, just like everypony else. He belonged with the other fuckers out in the audience.
I glanced behind him at the other nameless faces that made up my band, all of them looking on in worry. They didn’t care either. Nopony ever cared about me.
Short took a hesitant step forward, reaching out with one of his hooves. “Pink, I-” He stopped. “Come on Pinky, buddy, let’s go…” He tried to grab me, but I sidestepped him, a scowl forming on my face. He lunged forward in another attempt to trap me but I leapt away from his reach.
“Fuck you too!” I yelled at him as he continued to try and catch me. “You’re no better than the rest of these bastards!” I gestured at the crowd that still remained in the stadium. I danced around him and shoved him, sending him careening off of the stage.
In my anger, I knocked over one of the many speakers scattered on the stage, sending sparks scattering across the wooden floorboards and a high-pitched feedback whine shooting through the ears of anypony in range. I smiled at the damage I was causing and slammed another speaker into the ground, causing smoke to start spiral out from its inner workings.
As I turned away, I could hear whatever stagehooves remained shouting in alarm as the speaker burst into flames. I could feel the eyes of everypony in the stadium, my former band mates included, on me as I continued my frenzied breakdown. I dodged another attempt by somepony to subdue me and shunted them to the ground. I heard something snap and a howl of pain broke through the cacophony of noise being produced by the panicky audience members.
I cackled and twirled about the stage, grabbing some poor roadie and spinning him around. “Turn on the lights!” I ordered him, “Let’s set up this show! Ha!” I flung the roadie away from me and rose up on my hindlegs, flailing my forehooves wide. “Get those cameras started! Roll the sound effects!” I landed back on the stage, evading another effort to stop me. “Action! Hheeehhahahaha!”
I lunged forward suddenly, thrusting myself into the face of the pink mare who was still trapped at the front. For a moment ice blue and dark gray eyes stared at each other, pink fur melded together, and dark brown and bubbly pink manes brushed together.
And then it was broken as she scrambled away, desperately wanting to escape. She tried to force her way through the tightly packed crowd, but to no avail. Not so lucky today. Luck, ha! Luck never occurred in the real world. These ponies in this crowd knew nothing, so it was only customary I told them everything.
“Ha!” I screeched at the crowd, “This is my story, sunshines!
This is the story of Pink Floyd!”
Based off the song “In the Flesh?” by Pink Floyd.
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
“’Go on witout me, Sky. I… I got cooties. I’m done for…’
’No! Come on Lieutenant! You can-‘
‘Vrrooomm! Screech! ‘Captain Sky, are you still here?’
‘Oi, Ace, I'm ovah ‘ere!’
‘Oh, thank Celestia, Captain! Quick, we’ve got to go! The icky mares are coming this way!’
‘Really? Shit! I can’t-‘“
“Pinkerton Floyd!” I froze, as did the actions of Captain Sky and Ace. “What did you just say, young colt?! Where did you hear a word like that?!” My mommy’s shrill voice echoed around our house. Ears flat against my head, I fearfully peeked over my shoulder, looking for the mare who had yelled at me.
I opened my mouth to try and answer, but before I could, I was scooped up by hooves much larger than me. I dropped my action figures on the floor as mommy carried me over to the couch and set me down, sitting beside me. She looked at me, her face stern. “Pink,” she whispered, “Pink, where’d you hear that word?”
I couldn’t meet her questioning gaze. I knew I was in trouble. Mommy only used my full name when I did something really bad. I stared past her, finding extreme interest in a stain on the cushions of the couch. I didn’t want to get in any trouble, especially considering I didn’t even know why mommy was angry. I glanced back up at the pink mare in front of me, and began fumbling with my hooves, thinking of something to say. “What word are you talking about mommy?” I asked her, finally having decided on something to say.
She looked at me for a moment and then her expression softened. “Ooh, Pink,” she cooed, “You don’t even know what you did was wrong… I’m sorry I yelled at you, sunshine.” She smiled. “You’re not in any trouble.” She patted my head reassuringly.
I blinked. “Okay,” I said simply. She wasn’t mad at me so that was good enough for me. I scooted to the edge of the couch and climbed back down to the floor to continue playing, but mommy picked me back up again and put me back beside her.
“Not so fast, Pink,” she said, ignoring my wail of protest, “I still want to know where you heard that word.”
I looked back up at her. “What word?”
Mommy sighed, visibly deflating. “Where did you hear…shit…?” she whispered, hesitant to say it in front of me.
“Oh… Well I heard that from you one day, mommy!” I happily exclaimed.
Her face scrunched up in surprise. “Ohh….” She trailed off.
“You’re mad at me aren’t you!?” I squeaked, “Mommy,” Tears began to well up in the corners of my eyes as I looked into mommy’s dark green ones. “I just… I heard you say it one day and… and I just thought th- that it sounded fun! And… And… Don’t be angry mommy! I-I…” I leapt into her lap, hugging her tightly and broke into tears.
Mommy croaked in surprise, fumbling for a response. “Oh…” she started, “Um, Pink, sunshine, don’t worry. You didn’t know any better.” She stroked my mane reassuringly. “Just promise me you won’t say it anymore, all right? It’s not a nice word.” She pulled me away from her shoulders and wiped away the tears streaking my face. “Mama was wrong in saying it, okay?” She set me back down on the couch beside her, watching me with concern. “Alright Pink?” she repeated.
I rubbed my eyes, itchy from my tears and was relieved that she wasn’t mad. “Oh-Okay mommy…” I sniffled and looked back up at her. “So you’re not gonna punish me by not letting me go to school tomorrow or something…?”
She chuckled and ruffled my mane. “Of course I’ll let you go, silly. I wouldn’t want you to miss you first day of big-colt school, after all.” She smiled and gave me another hug. “Oh, I’ll just know you’ll love school, Pink. It’s a great place! You’ll make all sorts of friends and learn so many things!” She nudged me playfully, her eyes bright with mirth.
I flung my arms around her in a joyful hug. “Thanks mommy! I just know school’s gonna be so amazing!”
“Yup, you’ll be a big colt tomorrow.” She chuckled. “Now go on and play with your toys, Pink.” I grinned at her and slid off the couch and returned to Captain Sky and Ace. “And remember,” continued mommy, “no more bad words, alright?”
I silently nodded at her words and wobbled back over to my toys and sat down. I picked up Ace and looked at him. He was a smaller, more crudely made doll than Sky was. Captain Sky was a white unicorn, standing proud and tall, in shining gold armor, just like a real captain in the army did. Ace, however, was a small blue pegasus, that only barely passed as a pony; it had four limbs, wings and a head, but it definitely wasn’t as nice as the professionally made Sky. But despite their differences, I loved both equally.
Well… maybe Ace a bit more than Sky, but that was only because mommy told me that daddy had made him for me before he had to go away, stitch by stitch.
I didn’t remember daddy very much, but mommy told me about him sometimes, and he seemed very nice. My eyes wandered to a picture hanging on the wall of the two of them, laughing at some unknown joke. Daddy was a blue pegasus just like Ace was, except that daddy was wearing some brown glasses in the picture. Whenever I asked mommy where he was she told me that he had to leave to do something important and brave just after I was born. I didn’t really understand all of the words she said, but I think daddy got some shiny gold armor just like Sky’s.
I sat there for few moments, studying the picture of the two of them, but then a thought crossed my mind. Turning, I looked at mommy, who was still on the couch, reading the newspaper now. “Mommy,” I asked her, “do you think daddy will still love me when he gets back?”
Her eyes peeked over the top of the paper, wide with shock. Quickly setting aside the paper, she scurried down to the floor and sat next to me. Her earlier, joyful expression was gone, replaced with worry and confusion. My ears flattened against my head. I guess that wasn’t a nice question.
“Pink…” Her eyes wavered and glistened. “Baby… Oh, of course he’ll love you…” She stroked my mane, trying to alleviate her own sadness more so than mine. She took a deep shuddering breath and dabbed at her own eyes. “Wha-What would make you… think he wouldn’t love you, Pink? He loves us both, so, so…” She scooted closer, wrapping me in a hug. I let myself be embraced, unsure what to do or why she was being so emotional.
After a few moments, she let me go, but still held me in her forelegs. “Oh, Pink…” she whined, her voice full of anguish, “Oh Pink, babe. Sunshine, he’ll love you with all his heart, don’t ever forget that…. He’ll be so proud when he gets back and sees what a strong, young colt you are!” She chuckled. “He’s just gone for a while… I-I miss him every day, and he misses us too… Oh, Pink…” She squeezed me again, tighter this time, her assurances degrading into incoherent moans.
We sat on the floor for a while, rocking back and forth as she held me, though I think it was for more her benefit than mine. Occasionally, I heard whimpers of words like ‘why,’ ‘sorry,’ ‘love’ or ‘Pink’ but the rest of her mumblings were too disconnected for my young mind to pick up.
I was completely at odds with the situation all the while. Mommy had never acted so… strange before. I didn’t understand what was going on, much less what I should be doing. I had obviously said something very wrong. Maybe I had said another bad word and didn’t know it? Something was obviously wrong with mommy; she wasn’t right.
Tentatively, I hugged her back, our pink coats meshing together, and she glanced up at my face, her eyes glistening with tears on the verge of breaking loose. My gray eyes looked into her green ones and the tips of her mouth lifted slightly, forming the beginnings of a smile. She planted a kiss of the bridge of my muzzle and looked away again, quiet sobs racking her body.
I frowned. This still wasn’t right. Mommy was supposed to be happy, not… like this! I glanced around the room, looking for anything that might help her or make her feel better. Eventually, my eyes fell on her cutie mark and an idea formed in my head.
I blinked. “Mommy… what does your cutie mark mean?” I felt her grip on me slacken at the question. She wiped her face and glanced down at me, confusion dancing in her eyes. She held my gaze a few seconds longer than before.
“Pink… What are you-”
A knock sounded from the door, cutting her off mid-sentence. She broke away from me, patting my head rather forcefully. “Stay right there, sunshine. Mama’s gonna find out who’s at the door, okay?” She took a deep breath, steadying herself and smoothed down her mane and coat in an effort to look more presentable. She smiled, calling out sweetly “Just a second!” to the visitor and trotted over to the door, flinging it open, greeting the new arrival.
I quickly lost interest with my mommy was doing and went back to playing with Ace and Sky. Before I had been interrupted several minutes ago, they were being chased by a horse of nasty, icky mares with cooties and things. I could only imagine the horror if they were caught; make-overs, dress-up, tea parties and Celestia only knows what other girly things they would force on the stallions.
A few seconds of silence passed by in relative peacefulness, but before I could really get into playing with Ace and Sky again, a wail of complete and utter despair came from the other room. It was a spine chilling, hair-raising moan of hopelessness and misery that echoed around my ears for a few moments, something I could probably never forget.
It was the cry of a mare as most everything she knew and loved was stripped away from her in an instant.
My concentration broken again, I looked over at the door to see what the commotion was. Two white unicorns in golden armor were standing in the doorway, looking at everything in the house but mommy, who had backed up against the far wall, a look of grief on her face.
I was confused for a moment. The two stallions didn’t look all that threatening, so I wasn’t sure why mommy was so scared. It was… Come to think of it, Captain Sky looked a lot like the unicorns at the door. I glanced down at the doll in my hoof and then back at the adults. The unicorns were holding a cardboard box out to mommy, who didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with it. The stallions both looked nervous and noticeably upset, though not as much as mommy. One was shaking and kept his eyes firmly planted on the ground as if trying to ignore mommy’s wails.
I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but I had more interesting and pressing matters to attend to anyway. I held Sky up to the unicorns, comparing them side-by-side. They were practically a perfect match, though Sky filled out his armor much better than the visitors did. They almost looked too young, too small and scrawny to be fit in the golden breastplate and helmet.
Still, there were two very real unicorns from the military standing just inside my house. I never imagined I would see a soldier up close, let alone have two visit my house. “Wow…” I clutched Sky to my chest in awe at the soldiers.
I glanced down and Ace’s small, black button eyes caught my attention. They were filled with sadness, as if the doll was alive, though I knew it wasn’t. I scooped Ace off the floor as well and held him just as tight as Sky. The blue pegasus doll was already beginning to show signs of wear and age, despite his relative newness. It was beginning to fray around his stitches, bits of cotton poking out in a few places. His coat was starting to fade to a light pink from the dark blue it was originally. Even one of his wings was beginning to tear away from his body. I always played with him more than I did Sky, but the unicorn was professionally made, so I was sure that made a difference in their durability. There was this air of familiarity about Ace that comforted me more than the white unicorn did. But I hugged both dolls anyway, grinning madly.
I looked back at mommy and the unicorns that looked like Sky. Mommy had finally taken the box and was gazing at the top of it, her eyes empty except for tears that dripped down her face. On top of the box, there was a battered looking cap and a bent pair of glasses.
The stallions were muttering something to her, trying to calm her down. Curious, and despite mommy’s orders, I slunk closer, ears attentive, hoping to hear what the strange ponies were talking about.
As I approached, mommy collapsed to the floor, breaking into hysterics and embraced the hat from the top of the box. The box itself fell to the floor with a soft whump. The unicorns began speaking louder, trying to be heard over my mommy’s incessant cries. My ears perked up as whispers of their conversation reached me.
“We’re so very sorry ma’am, we can’t…”
“…knew him well. He was a good stallion, I’m told. This was a terrible…”
“…wasn’t anything left to bury…”
“Please accept this letter of condolence from the Princess herself…”
“…this war is hard on all of us…”
“…should be receiving your first check in…”
Mommy was still sobbing on the floor, deaf to the soldiers’ words, so the two of them eventually gave up on trying to talk to her and spoke quietly between themselves. Eventually, one of them cautiously stepped fully into the house and snuck over to mommy who was still bawling into the hat. He awkwardly bent down and smiled at mommy and she collapsed into his arms, sobbing into his shoulder. He looked surprised for a moment, but then relaxed, patting her reassuringly on the back.
I turned my attention to the box that had fallen to the floor, spilling its contents everywhere. I inched closer so that I could see the objects with greater detail. The thing nearest to me was a medal of some kind; a small, purple-colored, metal heart. I picked it up and turned it over in my hooves, feeling its cold, untarnished surface. I wasn’t sure what it was so I set it aside and went through the other objects.
There was a canteen, a few papers with big words I didn’t understand, a folded Equestrian flag and many other things that didn’t interest me. My eyes skimmed over the rest of the items before settling on a photo. I picked it up and looked at it. A young pink mare and an equally young blue pegasus stared out back at me, smiling at the photographer.
I only recognized one pony in it. The pink mare was mommy.
Meanwhile, the young unicorn was still trying to comfort mommy, though he yielded no results. Her cries drowned out any attempts her made of trying to quiet her down and she held him in a tight grip, refusing to let go. His partner watched from the doorway, concerned, yet slightly amused by the scene in front of him.
By now, my interest had been piqued enough for me to want to know what was happening. I crept over to the three, unnoticed by any of them. I could tell by his face that the one unicorn had no idea how to help mommy, just like I didn’t. His hooves hovered over her body, shaking with indecision as if he was unsure what to do with them. I’m sure he didn’t wasn’t my mommy sobbing into his shoulder.
He didn’t see me approach but as I did, I could hear the faintest whispers of his voice as he spoke to her. “Shh…” he murmured, “It’s all alright, don’t worry…”
Hesitantly breaking my silence, I spoke as well, “He-hey, Mr. Unicorn…” I stumbled over my words. “Wha-w-what happened…?”
At the sound of my voice, the stallion froze and slowly turned around. Seeing me, his face drained of color, if that was even possible, and his hooves pushed mommy away from him. He quickly stood up and backed away from me, shaking his head vigorously, as if he was terrified at the very sight of me. “Oh sweet Celestia, they have a foal!” he cried out in distress, “Oh, no… She has a foal; he had a foal… oh... Oh Goddess…”
Tripping over his own hooves, he half ran, half fell over to the door and to his partner who was trying to look everywhere but me. “Oh Goddess!” exclaimed the first unicorn, still panicking, “I-I can’t do this anymore! Every day it’s the same damn thing with every widow we visit!” He covered his mouth with his hoof, biting back his tears. “I never- I didn’t sign up for this! To tell these mares that… That their spouse is never coming home and all they have to remember them by is his possessions and a fucking medal! It’s… It’s bullshit! I… I can’t… Oooohhh…” He whimpered for a moment, glancing at me again, his eyes wide, and shoved past his partner, leaving the house.
I sat there in shock, bewildered at what just happened. I looked at mommy who was still lying on the floor, stroking the hat and then looked at the lone unicorn standing at the door. He matched my gaze, his eyes clouded with gloom. He sighed and glanced down at the ground, hiding his face with his helmet. He muttered under his breath, “Dammit…”
When he looked back up, his eyes were resolute and a smile danced on his face. He gulped audibly. “We’re-We’re sorry, ma’am, for the bad news… We’ll…. We’ll leave you alone now…” He turned to leave, grasping the door in his magic and cast one forlorn look over his shoulder and shut the door, leaving the foyer in darkness.
The clicking of the door’s latch echoed in my ears for a moment before leaving me in silence, save for the whimpers of mommy. She had curled up into a ball where she had landed after the stallion had pushed her away to. She was still crying into the hat.
Today wasn’t a good day so far. It hadn’t gone right at all.
I heard some yelling come from outside; the voices of the two guards.
Things weren’t right for anypony.
“Mommy… Mommy, what happened…?” I crept closer to her, wishing that I knew what I could do to fix this. She ignored my question, oblivious to the world around her. She sat there, stock still, numb and unmoving, unable to do anything but clutch the hat.
My own young mind was reeling, trying to process what had just happened Mommy wasn’t her normal happy self today. I didn’t know what was wrong.
I looked at her struggling to think of anything to do, something to say, but my mind blanked. And I sat there, watching her, unable to do anything. Things were wrong. So very wrong. Even I could see that. But everything had happened to fast that I couldn’t think straight. Finally, my mind drifted to a question I had asked before, before the unicorns showed up, before mommy became all strange again.
I couldn’t think of anything else. “Mommy…” I tugged at her leg. She looked at me, her eyes red and puffy, and her coat matted and tousled by the stream of tears. “Mommy,” I continued, “you never told me what your cutie mark means…?”
He eyes came into focus as I asked the question, like she had just realized that I was there. I almost was scared her appearance; she didn’t look anything like the mommy I normally saw, but I knew it was her. A bit of mascara ran down from her eyes, making her eyes look sunken and dark. Her normally flat, bluish gray hair was beginning to unfurl in places. Her eyes themselves looked empty and devoid of life.
Just a little over ten minutes ago, we’d been sitting on the floor, without a care in the world, but now all of that was turned upside down.
And she just continued to look at me. Her eyes were seeing me, but her mind wasn’t registering that I was there. She looked confused, as if she wasn’t sure if she had heard something or not, so I repeated my question.
Her eyes widened in realization and she truly looked at me. Her lips rose in a feeble smile, before falling again. “Pink…” A sigh escaped her mouth and her eyes shimmered with water again. She lifted me into her lap and gripped me tightly. We were silent for a moment, only a small sob occasionally escaping her lungs.
“Pink, I…” She broke off, a moan stopping her from talking further. For a moment, green eyes met gray eyes and she stroked my mane, running her hooves through my hair. She smiled. “What my cutie mark means, Pink, is that I will always love you. I… I will always take ca-care of you and I will never ever let you out of my sight.” She paused again, planting a kiss on my snout. “I won’t let anything bad happen to you, my sunshine. I won’t let anypony hurt you. Mama’s gonna keep you right here, safe and warm… I love you so much, Pink. I love you… Everything will be alright, don’t worry…” She lapsed back into tears once more and clutched me tight.
I hugged her back, because that seemed to work last time.
“I love you too mommy…”
Based on “The Thin Ice” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Just a Memory
The normally pristine Equestrian countryside was in ruins. The area was dying a slow, painful death as chains of war squeezed the very last drops of life from it. The lush green grass had withered long ago, leaving a swatch of monotone brown, scarred by battle. Large, majestic trees had been cut down for resources, and in some areas burned to the ground, leaving patches of soot and ash where there once was life. The air was thick with smoke and disease. A sense of death hung over the entire field. Nothing moved. Silence in its most devastating form. It was a field of death.
On opposite sides of the battlefield were deep trenches dug into the ground, disfiguring the landscape. Ramparts and barriers were placed around them, made from the bodies of slain trees, as if they would help to fend off attackers. Behind both trenches and barricades was a small grouping of tents that had long seen better days. They were battered and worn by numerous days in service, becoming a permanent monument to death.
In between the trenches was a pock-marked, desolate no-pony’s land. Large puddles of deep red blood pooled in the bare dirt. The expanse of red was broken up by the multitudes of ponies, long since dead, haphazardly piled on one another. Coats of white, blue, yellow, green and black, soiled by grime and dried blood, created a crude rainbow, offsetting the seriousness of the scene. Their bodies littered the area, their comrades unable to drag them back to camp for burial. They were turned a blind eye to, forgotten by the world. Unknown by their friends and family.
Some of them had been lucky. Some of them had died quick, painless deaths. A shot through the head. A bolt of lightning from a unicorn to the eyes. A quick stomp to the ribcage. But others were not so fortunate. Some clutched at stumps that once had limbs attached, a look of anguish still on their faces. Some were just a still smoldering husk of what used to be a pony, caught aflame in the midst of battle. Some blindly groped at their fellow soldiers as one last comfort as they bled to death from gut shot. Here, the only sound was the buzzing of flies as they alighted on their feast. They were the only ones who cared for the fallen.
In stark contrast, the trenches were teeming with life. Stallions dressed in gore stained, rusted armor ran to and fro through the maze, like an overturned anthill. The smell of fear permeated the air, overwhelming the death around them. The trenches themselves were flooded with bilge water. Most everypony had come down with hoof rot, causing most to give up walking for the rest of their lives. Monstrous rats ran rampant through the ditches, spreading disease and eating what little provisions were left. The soldiers were gaunt and bitter, stripped by the horrors of war. What forces allowed them to live while all five colts in their unit were shelled, ending their lives and dreams? Celestia? That name seemed like the whispers of a good dream. They had no hope anymore. Nothing to live for but their enforced participation in the battle.
Their thoughts and actions had long since degraded into only simple movements, shattered by war. They moved as automatons, sheep, unable to do anything but what they were told. Their usually plump bodies were racked by hunger, reduced to shadows. Their days were blistering and agonizing, and the nights were icy and unforgiving. Both minds and bodies were quickly withering into nothingness.
As the sun disappeared below the horizon, a chill swept the camp. The battered soldiers huddled together, sharing what meager warmth the other provided, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the next day would end their suffering. For better or for worse.
Their families seemed like a distant dream. A fantasy they had thought up one day to distract themselves from the life of death and destruction. What was beyond their bleak ditches and battle lines? Some say they remembered a colorful world filled with love. Love? There was no love here. All there was was all-consuming war. What were they fighting for? Who were they fighting for? Nopony was sure anymore. The days and nights blurred both past and present experiences. Who’s to say this isn’t just a dream? A nightmare?
But even here, in this hub of life surrounded by so much destruction, death still seeped in. Ponies were stacked irregularly in mounds outside the small shack used as an infirmary. There was no time left for their burials, and nopony had enough heart left to mourn them. The deaths had long since become desensitized to the remaining soldiers. A part of their lives.
Moans of pain and torture came from the small hovel used as a sickbay. The stench of the vomit, blood and piss of the infirm billowed from the shack, adding to the already miserable atmosphere of the camp. Inside, ponies of all shapes and sizes were packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling in bunks. Several beds had three or more ponies to them, all with horrific injuries. The amount of injuries far outnumbered the skills of the medics and their supplies. This many months into battle, with supplies in such short supply, the only they could do to numb the pain was get their patients drunk.
The more serious patients rested there, numbed to their pain in their drunken stupor. Their wounds were left to fester in the heat, the doctors unable to clean them, as water stocks ran lower and lower. The most unforgiving wounds were wrapped with soiled bandages; as fresh gauze had run out months ago. The patient’s eyes were glassed over in a mixture of pain and alcohol. None of the doctors expected anypony to pull through. Once you were injured, there wasn’t any hope. Sure, there were smiles, friendly pats on backs and promises that they’d try to save you. And maybe for a few days you were hopeful. Maybe fresh supplies would come in and their promises would hold true. But deep down, you know that there was nothing they could do. And as the days pass with no change, and with wounds only getting worse, those lingering hopes are shattered. You gave yourself in to the pain, accepting it, and it becomes your life sentence. Soon after that, the delirium sets in, and the days fly by in a haze, with alcohol as the only relaxation.
Amidst these troubles was a lean, blue pegasus. A guard, stationed within the walls surrounding camp, keeping a look out for the enemy. That was his job, his post. To protect the lives of the ponies behind him. He rested against a beam, his uniform drawn close to his body as protection against Luna’s brutal night. His eyes drifted lazily across the horizon, half-heartedly keeping watch. His thoughts wandered, thinking of home, and the distant memory it was. Thinking of the two pink ponies that he would see once he got home. But for now, his only company was a bone dry canteen, emptied countless hours ago in the heat of day. His weapon left back in the camp, because he knew he wouldn’t need it that day. Blinking drowsily, he shivered and clutched his uniform closer to stave off the cold. He breathed out, his breath visible in the frigid night. Closing his eyes again, he drifted off to sleep, dreaming of home. Of love. Perhaps some of the longest rest he’d gotten since his draft.
The pegasus awoke with a start, seemingly seconds later. Startled, he grasped for a weapon he should’ve had. His hooves fell on his canteen. Something seemed off about the night, but what it was, he couldn’t place. The moon was several hours higher in the sky, casting eerie shadows across the already unnerving landscape. Suddenly alert, he scanned the battlefield, watching for signs of movement. Guiltily, he thought about his weapon, sitting in his barracks. Clutching his canteen, he unsteadily stood up, joints creaking in the cold. Nothing seemed to be disturbed anywhere on the field. The enemy wasn’t marching across in attack. A fire wasn’t raging through the area, fuelled by the dry conditions. But then why had he woken up?
Suddenly, he saw it. A plume of smoke rose on the horizon, stretching into the inky black sky. Seconds later, a thundering boom shook him, the barricades, and the camp. Stars were blotted out as a large shape moved in front of them. A shrill whistle of something flying through the air filled the night. The shape in the sky glinted in the moonlight, revealing its metal outer casing. The blue stallion’s eyes shot wide open as he realized what was happening. Scrambling, he grabbed his canteen and dashed back through the battlements towards the camp intent on raising the alarm as he went. Only that never happened.
Before he made it five steps, the loud shriek of the shell abruptly stopped, blowing apart the ramparts where it landed. A bellow of pain filled the now silent night. A cry of agony. But also a cry of regret and grief at dreams unfulfilled. A cry of sadness. A cry of relief. Just as sudden as it began, that too fell to a halt. An end.
On the other side of the camp, a small canteen, still smoking, fell to the ground with a thud, burying itself in the mud. Seconds later, a hat fluttered down beside it.
My eyes shot open in alarm, and unceremoniously, I fell to the floor in a tangle of sheets. I quelled a yelp before it could form in my throat. Caught up in the thrills of my dream, I hastily checked my body, making sure everything was still there. Partway to my head, I froze. Sluggishly, my brain caught up with my actions, recognizing what happened night after night. My hoof gently fell to the floor next to me, landing with a soft thwump.
As the last vestiges of sleep cleared my mind, I sat up. Mindlessly, I pawed at the covers twisted around me, my heart’s beating slowly returning to normal. It was the middle of the night. A night just like any other. Moonlight shone through my shutters casting slits of light to fall across the floor, illuminating the room. The only other source of light in my rooms was a small analog clock, enchanted to glow during the night. I glanced towards it. 3:26. One of the longest rests I’d had in a while.
Grunting, I fell backwards to lie on the cold wood floor. I counted the cracks in the ceiling. The cracks in the walls. I knew this ceiling, these walls. How many nights had I lain here, on either floor or bed, and stared, watching the ceiling? Too many nights. With a groan, I rubbed my eyes, driving away the last of my dream. The dream. The only dream I ever had anymore. It clung to my mind, replaying the same scene over and over every night. Every night I get to see my father die. Every night I wake up, feeling the same.
I felt drained. Emotionally and physically. These constant nightmares bore their marks on my body. My youthful eyes had dark, deep shadows under them. My coat had lost its sheen, and I found it increasingly harder to stay awake during school hours. Most days now, after coming home from school, I would immediately collapse in bed, hoping I would fall asleep. Not a night had gone by for over a year now that I've gotten a full night’s sleep. Not a night that I didn't think of father.
Shivering, I pulled the twisted mass of blankets closer. My body was drenched in sweat, even more susceptible to the frigid night. It had been over a year since the nightmares started. A year since I had truly realized father wasn’t coming back home.
The first hundred times I woke screaming, crying out for the embrace of mother. But after that, I grew used to the nightly terrors. The sudden jolt of waking up still contained the same shock as before, but I quickly learned not to make any noise. Not to wake mother. Too many times I found myself lying on the floor, having fallen out of bed in the middle of the night. Most nights I woke up already crying, tears streaking my face. I quickly realized the worst dreams were always the ones that found me on the floor.
There was a crack starting in the northeast corner of the ceiling running all the way to the middle of the room. Paint flaked around it, creating crude looking shapes. Crude looking shadows. A crack ran from the south west corner to halfway down the east wall, connecting with a crack from a few feet down, flowing down the wall and into the left side of the window I laid beneath. The paint around that window peeled as well. A crack ran down from the bottom of it, heading right, before stopping just before the floor.
Things hadn’t been the same since father had died. When I was young, I was oblivious to it. To mother’s strife and sadness. I remembered being taken by mother to a wall. A very large wall with names. She stood there for a few hours, staring at it. Tears fell freely from her face, bunching together on the ground. I sat in the grass, playing imaginary games with dolls. When we left, mother had left flowers. A bouquet of red and white. As we walked away, I remember glancing backwards towards the flowers. As we grew more distant, the red and white of the flowers began to blur into pink. I've never returned to that wall.
But as I grew, I began to understand father was never to return to us. To return to me. In a span of a year, I realized how much foals depend on both their parents. Father was never there to push my swing, or to catch me on the slide. He was never there to play ball or to read stories. He was never there to love me.
Of course, mother loved and supported me as well, but even she wasn’t there all the time. Suddenly a single parent, she had her own issues to work out. She was forced to work more than usual, taking up jobs as a secretary and as a book salespony. But even then, she always took time to keep me safe. To love me. Even now, at this early hour, she was probably already getting ready for work, leaving me to depart for school myself.
Still on the floor, I pushed my head up to get a good look at the clock. 5:50. Had so much time passed? Had I spent over two, almost three, hours on the floor? I looked towards the window. Beams of sunlight shone in as the sun crested the horizon. The day was starting. I guess mother would’ve left a while ago.
Groggily, I sat up again, joints stiff from resting on the floor. Another sleepless night. I’d come to expect these nights though. The ones where I slept peacefully were the surprises.
Painstakingly, I untangled myself from the knot of sheets I was wrapped in and stood up. I stretched, joints cracking and popping as sunlight warmed my aching body. Stifling a yawn, I leaned on my window and looked out. Outside, the streets were already alive with the bustle and hustle of ponies going about their lives. Serenely, I observed the same thing I saw every day. Stallions going to work in expensive suits. Foals talking animatedly among themselves. Taxi drivers pulling their carriages, looking for customers. A father and son walking side by side.
A lump formed in my throat as my eyes followed the father and son as they walked down the sidewalk. I could see the love in both their eyes as they walked by. My ears fell as sadness formed in the pit of my stomach. I shivered again, despite the pleasant warmth shining through the window.
I never had that. I never had a father to look up to. To hold when I was scared. Never had somepony to sweep me off my feet when I was feeling sad and get a piggy-back ride from. Never had a father to love. I missed out on my foalhood. All because of a war. A war that still hasn’t been resolved, years later.
As I watched them, I felt myself growing angry. Angry at what, I wasn’t sure, but fury bubbled up from the recesses of my mind and took over. Anger at the war for taking my father away. Anger at myself. Anger at other foals for having fathers while I had none. Angry at Equestria for treating his death as just another casualty. Gritting my teeth, I snorted in disgust and turned away, unable to watch anymore. The thoughts were too painful.
Irritated, I stomped to the other side of the room, and began to dress for school. We all had a uniform we were forced to wear. A gray tweed jacket, shorts, and a small red bowtie. The clothes itched and chafed my coat to no end, but there wasn’t much I could do. In the middle of flinging on my clothes, I caught a glimpse of myself in my mirror. Freezing partway with my trousers on, I stared at my reflection.
A vile looking ghost looked back at me. My bright gray eyes looked dull and were sunk into my skull, casting shadows over my sockets. My coat was pale and disheveled, as was my brown colored mane. My face was twisted into a fearful looking snarl. I looked like a demon.
On this wall, cracks ran up from the floor, products of faulty construction. They rose up, disappearing behind the dresser, and reappeared out the top. This wall was covered with wallpaper depicting rose vines twisting and curling around ornate lattice. It was ugly as hell, but mother thought it looked nice, so it stayed. As it were, most of the stuff has peeled off on its own, large strips unstuck from the wall. It was faded and a numerous air pockets had formed under the paper, giving the roses an eerie look.
Closing my eyes, I leaned on my dresser, holding my head in my hooves. My nightmares were taking their toll on me. Things weren’t as simple as they were just a few years ago, when I was still a baby foal. I opened my eyes again and glanced forward. My gaze fell on the doll my father made for me many moons ago. Ace. I'm not sure when I realized that Ace was a crude puppet of my father, but when I had, the doll was already far past its prime. The years had not been kind to it.
His formally blue coat had faded to a dull pink, tainted by some unknown process. Only a few splotches of blue remained on the doll. One of his wings had fallen off, the stitching unraveling long ago, and lost forever. His previously lush mane and tail had begun to fall out, leaving bald patches in places. I had once thought about having him restored, but decided against it. Time may destroy his appearance, but it couldn’t take away the memories he held. He was a wreck, but it was the only thing of father’s he’d left for me.
Smiling, I picked him up and gave him a quick hug and went back to dressing. Despite being a young schoolcolt now, Ace always comforted me. I suppose it was the fact father made him for me. He and a few photos in the album were the only things I had to remember the blue pegasus by. Other than that, all that remained of father’s was the box of possessions we received from the army.
To most ponies, the objects in the box would seem to be junk. A razor. Scraps of bloodied fabric. A few bent, misshapen coins. A charred canteen. A watch. Cracked reading glasses. To us, though, they were all that remained of father. All that remained of a stallion I never knew.
As I finished dressing, I examined myself in the mirror, grooming myself. The school was meticulous about appearances. I wasn’t looking for their punishment today. I ran a hoof through my mane, satisfied, and turned to leave. At the door, I stopped and checked the calendar I had hanging on the wall for the date.
My eyes narrowed as I saw the date. It was three years to the day since the soldiers informed us of father’s death. It was the day that lost me my father. Familiar feelings set in as the memory filled my head once more. This was never a good day for me. I could only imagine how mother must feel. I snarled in a mix of anger, confusion and fear. Emotions ran rampant through my head, setting my blood to a boil in fury. Quickly, I turned and thrust my backhooves into the wall, as hard as I could, leaving a deep imprint. I kicked it again for good measure.
For a moment, I stood there, panting, surveying the damage I did to my wall. I exhaled, letting go of tension I didn't know I had. That felt good. It was good release for my feelings. I’d explain to mother later why I had kicked my wall. She’d understand. It was the anniversary, after all. Today was just a passing phase. Just one of my turns. Smiling slightly to myself, I swept my gaze once more over my untidy room, and trotted downstairs to go to school.
At the impact site, my kick left even more cracks in the walls of my room. They radiated out from the center reaching all the way down to the baseboard, splintering even that. At the bottom of the wall, the plaster had begun to fall off, weakened by the cracks. Slowly, it crumbled off, revealing the brick wall behind. Revealing the very foundations.
Based on “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Within Inches of Their Lives
“Mister Floyd! Doodlin’ in class, are we…?” A ruler smacked down hard on my desk. Several of the ponies around me jolted awake at the noise. Quickly, I shuffled my book under some papers, hoping to avoid embarrassment. I looked up at our teacher, a griffon, and grinned sheepishly.
“Sir…?” I put on my most innocent looking expression.
He held his hand out, clearly not fooled and gestured towards the book I’d hidden. “Let’s ‘ave it, laddie.”
I sighed shifted the papers off of my book. It was a small book, a journal really. Bound in black leather and dog-eared with use. Nothing special on its own. But it was its contents I treasured. With a heavy heart I placed my book in his outstretched claw.
Sir’s beak widened in amusement. “Excellent choice, laddie. Now let’s see what we ‘ave ‘ere.”
Sir had been our teacher for the past four years. He was a thinly built, middle-aged griffon. His sparse black and brown feathers had lost much of their sheen they had in younger years. Small, beady eyes stared out from behind the small reading glasses sitting precariously on his beak.
In contrast to the years we knew him, we knew next to nothing about Sir. He hailed from a small, northern territory of Equestria where he grew up in a small village. Many years later, he still spoke in a lilting accent common to the area.
Sir wasn’t even his real name. The day he came in, four years ago, he told us to refer to him as Sir. That was the end of the discussion. That was the end of a lot of things for us. Our individuality. Our freedom. But it was also the start of something for us. That day was the start of our own personal hell, commandeered by Sir.
He demanded perfection from day one. Any deviation from his plans ended in immediate and painful retribution. Many of the students believed he had been in the army before teaching. No one knew for sure, and we never asked, but one thing for certain was that he did not care for us. Over the years he owned many rulers, all of which had forcibly connected with his students. Very rarely did a week pass by when a student wouldn’t come home with bruised wrists or withers.
But over time he became worse, if that was even possible. At first he was just strict, commanding a military-like conduct from us. But then he seemed to grow angrier and more dissatisfied each day. Soon, he began to revel in causing our misfortune. He would go out of his way to hurt us, to crush our hopes. To hurt us anyway he could.
He would pick on each one of us individually, taking our ambitions and crushing them underfoot. Many days he would send most of the fillies into hysterics, as wells as a few of the colts. Our free will was slowly withering away. And the worst part of it was there was nothing we could do about it.
However, his worst came out when the war started. After Equestria found every usable stallion, they turned to the foals. There was a mad rush to produce hard working citizens for the war effort, and of course, we became the unlucky targets. As tension within the nation grew, Sir grew more and more strict. Any sort of artistic or creative thinking was quickly quelled. Talking and laughing were frowned upon. We soon learned to appear to conform to this. We didn't sing. We didn’t draw. We rarely talked. Our school became even more a prison. Its walls barred us inside for ten hours. Our teacher, the solitary guard.
We quickly took any satisfaction we could out of anything we could do to defy Sir. Small acts of rebellion. It was the one thing we could do to alleviate the pain. We drew and wrote vulgar things on our desks and the blackboard. We hid his rulers and anything else he could hit us with. We talked just a bit too loud. And, in my case, I wrote poetry in the middle of class.
Sir skimmed through my little black book, perusing its contents. After the first few pages, his eyes widened. “Poems! Little Pink was writin’ poems everypony!” He held my book high, showing it to the class. Stifled, forced laughter broke out all over the classroom. They knew to laugh, lest he grow even angrier. A few shot me worried glances out of the corners of their eyes. “Mister Floyd fancies ‘imself a poet!” His beak clacked together in a cruel sort of laugh.
“Now, let’s see ‘ere…” He flipped through the book, pages rustling, looking to humiliate me further. He stopped on a page near the end, his eyes lighting up in satisfaction. “Oh ho! Now this ‘ere page looks right nice.” I slunk further in my seat as he continued degrading me. He had no reason to be doing this. He enjoyed this. He enjoyed hurting his students. Physically and mentally.
“Now, this bit’s crossed out, but I think that it serves a good example. So…” His brow knitted in confusion as he attempted to read my chicken scratch writing. Despite myself, I felt just a bit happier knowing he was struggling with my letters. It was a small satisfaction, though.
He continued in his lilting accent. “’So, you think you can tell heaven from hell?’” He peered down at me over his glasses, his beak twisting into a wry smirk. “’Tell’ and hell,’ laddie? Truly, you are ingenious.” Once again, the class broke into another round of laughter. He waited for them to quiet down before continuing. “Now this part looks fresh…” He cleared his throat again, his beak snapping together. “’How I wish, how I wish you were ‘ere. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year, running over the same old ground. What ‘ave we found? The same old fears. Wish you were ‘ere.”
He snapped my book shut with an almost feral look in his eyes. “Well, Mister Pink.” He leaned in close to me, plumage tickling my snout. “Missing somepony are we? Hmm?”
He poked my forehead with a talon, trying to incite a remark. Ignoring him, I stared a hole through my desk. I knew if I responded it would only give him more to go off on. I didn't want to give him the pleasure.
But it was true. I longed for my father, the stallion who’ll never be in my life. The emotions were still raw in my mind. Writing about him helped alleviate the pain my heart felt. That poem in particular was the culmination of the past few weeks of work. Sir’s voiced butchered it, stressing the wrong syllables, not to mention his horrid accent. I hated him.
But I still didn’t react to his prompts. We learned to not respond to his goads. Under his scrutiny, we sat obedient and straight-faced. We developed the finest poker faces. Created walls to conceal our true emotions. Any bit of response from us Sir would leap at. He would jab at us, scrabbling for a handhold to latch onto. His abuses were a daily occurrence we all learned to deal with. It took all of our willpower to not crack in front of him.
Outside of school, though, was a different story. That was when the tears began to flow. The younger fillies and colts would sob into the older one’s shoulders looking for comfort they could only find from us. We knew their families couldn’t provide the consolation these foals needed. They didn't have the time, energy or understanding needed. They were caught up in the war. Just as the war changed our schools, it changed the rest of Equestria as well. No longer could you find smiles and laughter on every corner. It sucked the life from this country. The war tore so much of our lives away.
My interest in poetry had started just a few months ago to express my feelings. Feelings over father. Feelings about my school turned prison. I poured my thoughts into my black book during class, silently defying our tormenter. Later in the day, during lunch, I’d stand and read before small groups of my friends. They adored it. They were convinced writing poetry would be my special talent. I wasn’t so sure. I loved it, and the thrill of disobeying Sir, but just poetry never seemed right. Like a certain aspect was missing. It seemed too low-key for my tastes.
But now, today, after months of secretly flouting my disregard for rules, Sir finally caught me. It was to happen eventually, I knew, but that didn't let what was to come fall any easier. Many nights after waking up from my nightmares, I’d lie awake, wondering what would happen when Sir discovered the art I loved so.
Abruptly, the griffon gripped my snout, yanking my face up to look at his. He leaned in closer, his clammy beak brushing against my snout. This was much too close for comfort. Panicking, I tried to break out of his grasp. His grip only tightened, keeping me under his power. I couldn’t see my classmates, so I could only wonder what their reactions were. His sky blue eyes squinted as he spoke. “Now listen ‘ere, laddie. Equestria is at war right now. She doesn’t need any bleedin’ ‘earts and artists. She doesn’t need any free-thinkers and lovers. And she certainly doesn’t need any poets.” He hissed the last words at me. With a grunt, he shoved me away from him.
He twisted around, and began to gear up for a tirade. With a flourish, he turned and began to address the whole class. I glanced around me. My peers were stock still in fright, unwilling to be on the receiving end of Sir’s anger as I was. I couldn’t blame them. Sorely, I rubbed my snout. It felt raw. I winced. I could only visualize what scars Sir’s talons would leave on my face.
But Sir remained oblivious to his student’s fear. He began ranting, growing steadily louder and louder as he vented. The skin beneath his feathers grew livid. “What Equestria needs is doers! We need workers and soldiers! And what we don’t need is you foals.” He paused and gestured at wildly at us. “You foals to grow up thinkin’ you’re special! BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT!”
He stopped and looked at us, and we in turn, continued to watch him. His feathers were ruffled and disheveled more than usual. He pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. He continued in a much calmer, quieter voice. “This war isn’t gonna be won with lily-livered scholars. We’re gonna win with fighters and ponies to make provisions for said fighters! I can tell you all our enemy is NOT sittin’ back, painting landscapes! They’re-they’re..!” His voice sputtered into silence. When he began again, his voice had dropped to a whisper. “There are rumors they’re forcing young’uns to fight. Younger than you all.”
He paused and turned back towards the board, his voice regaining its usual authority. “We need troops, and you sad bunch o’ miscreants are our future…And it’s my job to teach you all the basics to live.” He hesitated again and cast us all a forlorn glance. A glimpse of sadness crossed his face. “And maybe, just maybe, when we win, you all can live your lives how you want.” He shook his head, and a hint of anger returned to his voice. He turned back towards the board. “But that is not today! And, at present I need-”
His outburst was cut off by a small, dainty giggle.
In a flash, he was facing us again. His brows knitted in annoyance. He dryly chuckled. “Now, who thinks I’m funny?”
The silence in the classroom was overwhelming. Nopony moved a muscle.
“None of you, eh? Not you, lassie?” He pointed a clawed talon at a small, mousy mare who squeaked in fright and shook her head. “No?” A twisted grin grew on his face. “No. Of course not. Well…I guess we’ll just have to find out who then…”
With that, his wings flared out, increasing his already imposing visage. Shadows played across his face. He grinned a smile of someone dangerously close to snapping. Like a predator, he began to stalk up and down the rows eyeing each student looking for the source of the disruption. He tapped his ruler on each desk, watching for a reaction. Each foal sat at attention, unwilling to be mistaken for the troublemaker.
All but me. I was slumped in my chair, watching my desk with such scrutiny, you’d think it was trying to run away. I knew it wasn’t me. I knew he knew it wasn’t me, though I’m sure he’d like it if it was. His walk slowed as he passed me. The clacking of his claws on the wood floor was the only sound in the classroom. I didn't meet his gaze, but I could feel his eyes on me. Watching for any sign of rebellion.
The moment seemed to stretch into several. Neither of us moved. I held my breath, not daring Seemingly satisfied, he continued walking, lightly tapping me on the snout with his ruler. At that instant another snicker came from the far side of the room. From a small unicorn filly with a luscious green colored coat and a glorious flame colored mane.
The filly’s name was Rêves. The object of every young colt’s dreams. At the beginning of the year, she and her family had moved from the distant country of Fançie. Almost immediately, she turned heads as she walked down the hallway. Hearts melted when she smiled. The room always seemed a little brighter with her presence. Many a time, already taken colts were slapped across their faces by their marefriends when their eyes wandered over her figure. Her exotic form was welcome change from the monotony of Equestria’s girls. Not that any of the colts said that out loud, of course.
I can only say I felt the same as well. I, along with every colt in school pined for her like a dog longs for a bone. But I was set apart from the rest because I knew she was far out of my league. I watched as time and time again, she shot down every colt’s attempt for her hoof. Every single one, but me. Because I had never asked.
I knew that she wasn’t fastidious. She didn't see herself as anything special. As anything unique. She simply had no interest in love. And I seemed to be the only one able to see through the haze of lust to see that.
And now she was laughing at my pain. I certainly had no chance with her. My heart sank.
Sir spun around with surprising agility, smirking in triumph. “Oi you!” Rêves’ royal blue eyes widened in realization of her mistake. Her hooves flew to her mouth in attempt to stifle her laugh. That or maybe she intended to choke herself before our professor could punish her. You could almost feel the waves of fear rolling off of her. But Sir interpreted her emotions as an escape attempt. “Yes, you! Sit still, lassie!” With a quiet satisfaction, our teacher rushed over to her, and leaned in close. His grin widened. “Now, missie, what seems to be so funny?” The filly shrunk away, trembling. A small squeak was the only response he got.
“I’m sorry. What was that, lassie?” His voice dropped to one of pure unbridled anger, all pretentions of kindness gone. Fire to match the colors of the Rêves’ hair shone in his eyes. His hand darted out and grasped her hoof before she could flinch away. Another whimper from the unicorn.
Whomp! His other hand came down, wielding the ruler. Whomp!
I snorted in disgust. Who was he to maim such beauty?! I could see the colt’s faces around distort with the same anger.
The aging griffon threw her hoof back at her with a sneer of repulsion. Gingerly, she clutched at the bruised joint, which already seemed to be turning a nasty color. Sir stalked back to the front before turning to us, half screeching. “Now. There. Won’t. Be. Anymore. Interruptions. Will. There?” He punctuated each word with a whack of the ruler.
His voice fell away as I concentrated on Rêves. Right now, I only had eyes for her. I was the reason she was injured. How could I be so stupid as to let Sir smack me like that! If only I had moved, maybe she wouldn’t have laughed at my misfortune. I felt guilty, despite knowing that it truly wasn’t my fault.
I stared at her, my eyes wide. She was still inspecting her injury. Suddenly she glanced up, as if feeling my gaze. My eyes met hers for a split second. Blue and gray watched each other for a moment. Slowly, I mouthed an apology. ‘I’m sorry.’ She smiled back at me, her dainty mouth forming a response. ‘It’s alright, Pink.’ A blush reddened her face. Flustered, we broke eye contact at the same time, both glancing down at our desks. She knew my name! She smiled at me! Maybe I wasn’t so hapless after all!
These feelings and opportunities were the things schools were meant for. The way they oppressed us, belittled us, wasn’t natural. School was supposed to be a place of chance and learning. A place to find your way in life. Students were meant to be encouraged and helped. Hell, half of my classmates, myself included, still have no cutie marks. No place in society. No place in life. Blank-flanks.
But instead, the school system hurt and suppressed us. All we were to them was the next line of faceless drones. They just wanted to create the next productive citizens. They could care less about our needs or hopes. Our wants and dreams. Our teachers were generals, commanding their troops with an iron will. And unfortunately for us, we were their troops, who could only cower as we were ordered about.
It was only inevitable that things would soon come to a boil.
“Mister Floyd! Pay attention, laddie!”
I sat up straighter and tried to look alert. This was going to be a very long day.
But, my eyes just felt so heavy...
The gray, featureless walls of Sir’s home loomed over him as he stood at his front door, fumbling for his keys. Eventually he found them and made to put them in the lock. Keys in the bolt, he froze, wondering what he would find inside. He feared going inside his house nowadays. He shivered and pulled his scarf tighter, shielding himself from the harsh winter chill.
Once upon a time, these walls had been vibrant and full of life. Despite their color, they invited rather than rejected visitors. A light brown cobblestone pathway led up to the brightly painted front door. Windows were once flung wide open, allowing warm summer air to blow through the home. Bright red flowers adorned the sills, contrasting the drab gray of the house itself. On occasion, one could hear the cheerful humming of a female griffon from inside as she went about her daily tasks. During the evenings, the couple that lived in the house could be seen sitting in the front of their yard, watching the world flow by and greeting strangers as they walked by.
The house seemed to emanate a sense of joy that went unmatched in the area. Ponies would often trot by and immediately feel warmer and more contented then moments before. If houses had feelings, this one would undoubtedly be satisfied with its life. As such, the house’s two residents lived just as pleased. Things were at their best for the young twosome.
But time went on, seasons passed and countries changed. And as they did, so did the house. Slowly, barely noticeable at first, the atmosphere around the house grew slightly more despondent. The walls grew more dilapidated, paint peeling away. The front door was no longer bright, instead marred and decrepit. Ivy began to grow up the walls, hiding them from the world. The yard grew wild and free, choking most of the quaint stone path.
As winter set in, the house became unrecognizable from its former appearance. No longer was it welcoming or admired. Instead it became something to ignore. Ponies would walk by without a glance, unwilling to acknowledge it, for they remembered how it was. And so the house became a chilling, saddening shadow of its previously cheerful facade.
This was where Sir stood now, bordering the threshold of the door. It would be so easy to walk away. To not enter this miserable house and the woman he’d find inside. His wife he’d so grown to fear.
Things were different years ago. They were happy. She was happy. There were days when the schoolteacher would come home to her loving and caring arms. Those days were the happiest days of his life. After a long, trying day working with foals, there was nothing better than his wife’s comforting embrace. And some nights, of course, ended much better than normal.
But then the war came, and everything changed. They argued and fought some nights over small, trivial things. These arguments quickly escalated into their own personal war. There were nights, much like this one, where he didn't want to go home. Something had changed between the two of them.
Their clashes only further frayed Sir’s nerves. Most mornings he entered his classroom still brimming with anger at his wife. Despite his efforts, his home life slowly began to seep into his work. He began to snap at his students, arguing with them more. He began to notice how unruly his students were. Enjoying themselves; laughing and playing without a care. What right did they have to be innocent? But soon enough, he managed to control their rambunctious behavior. His classroom was under his control. They would be able to learn again.
Suddenly the door knob twisted in Sir’s hand. The door promptly swung open, revealing the imposing figure of his wife glowering at him.
“What are you doing, skulking around our doorstep!?” She shrieked, grabbing him by the neck and yanking him inside. “What are you doing, out so late? Should’ve been home an hour ago! Dinner is cold, you ignorant brute!”
She scowled at him and dragged him to the table. Candlelight flickered, casting long shadows on the wall. Sir’s wife’s shadow hung dauntingly over his own.
Sir looked down at the food sitting on the table. An unidentifiable mush of various foods. Cold, nonetheless. He glanced at his wife who was seating herself at the table. She caught his wandering glance.
“What?” She pointed to his plate of food. “Eat.” She wagged her finger at the plate. “Eat your food.”
Sir continued to watch her, still not speaking. What was there to say really? The moment that door opened, all of the bravado he had at the school melted away. He put on a mask of dominance in the classroom to provide a figurehead for the young ones. But at home, he knew that wasn’t the case.
The two griffons continued to watch each other, both with differing thoughts on the situation. With a cry of frustration, his wife got up from her chair and set a brisk pace into the kitchen. Sir winced in foresight, knowing what was coming. He sighed and collapsed on the floor, defeated. Tear began to swell in his eyes.
Moments later, the female griffon reentered the room wielding a rolling pin. Her beak twisted into a smile reminiscent of Sir’s during school hours.
She crept up to the huddled form of Sir and raised her arm in preparation to strike.
He smile grew wider as her husband let out a yelp of pain. This was proper punishment. Proper retribution for his wrongs.
The ruler slapped down forcibly on my hooves. My head shot up instantaneously, clearing the last scraps of my daydream from my mind, my hooves throbbing.
“Mister Floyd! Class is for learnin’! Not idle daydreamin’! Pay attention, laddie!”
With another slap of the ruler, Sir turned tail and marched back towards the front of the room.
I looked down at my hooves. A dark blue bruise was already forming where the ruler impacted earlier. Dark bruises of varying intensity mottled my normally pink coat, giving me a sickly look. It was a fashion many of the students in the class sported. Anypony with a dark colored coat had the fortune of the discoloration blending in. But for the lighter colored ones, such as myself, the forehooves were often a vastly different color than the rest of the coat.
I rubbed my eyes, trying to drive away sleep, and turned my attention to Sir. Just the sight of him made me sick. He made all of us sick. I scowled and sunk down in my seat, tracing a circle on my desk with my pencil.
Similar frustration was felt throughout the entire school. It was only a matter of time before our anger would boil over. Soon enough, the tables would turn. And when they did, these school walls would have their beatings. These walls would fall.
Based on “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, various lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Just Another Brick
My head jerked up at the sound of my nickname. One of my friends sat down beside me, his food tray hitting the table with a thud.
“’Ello Short.” I replied, turning to face the aptly named pegasus beside me. “How’d class go?”
My friend chuckled and spooned a glob of pudding from his tray. “You know Miss Beau, Pinky. Same as Sir, jus’ in mule form.” He turned his head, gesturing towards the far side of his face. “The bitch gave me this here shiner for asking how an ass like her managed to get a job.”
The right side of his face was a nasty shade of purple and green. I winced sympathetically. What Shortbread the pegasus lacked in size he certainly made up for with arrogance. Ne’er a day went by when he didn't argue with his teachers. His insolence was a legend around the schoolyard.
I snickered and slapped a hoof on his back. “Short, my friend, you are a downright bastard.”
He shot me a wide grin and shoved a hunk of pudding into his mouth. He chewed it messily; half of it dribbling down his chest.
I snorted. “Smooth, Short. Very attractive. It’s astonishing you don’t got a girl yet.”
He jumped up in mock anger. “’Ey! S’not my fault I ain’t found anypony yet! You know I only got eyes for tha’ babe Rêves!” He nudged me playfully, eyes twinkling with mirth. “Jus’ like every other colt here.”
He sat back down and without waiting for my response, and continued to eat.
For a minute the only sounds I could hear were of him eating and the gentle murmurs of the other schoolfoals around us. After a moment’s hesitation I added. “…except me.”
The tawny pegasus turned to me, head tilted in confusion. He popped the spoon out of his mouth. “But ya do, mate. Ya jus’ haven’t made your moves yet. Only boy here who hasn’t.” He nodded sagely.
I shook my head, forlorn. “Short, she’s not interested in anypony! She’s shot down every colt at this here school! Even the taken ones asked!”
“Yea, but not you, Pinky!”
I looked at him incredulously. “Short, you - I - Would it put your mind at rest if I went over and asked her? Just so you can see she has no interest?”
He bobbed his head. “Yeah. Yeah it would put my mind at rest, as ya so elegantly put it.” he said in a mocking voice.
I punched him on his shoulder for his remark. “Fine. I will.”
I stood up and looked for the stunning green of Rêves’ coat. I spotted her at a nearby table, chatting amicably with a few of her friends. “Fine.” I muttered again, suddenly tense. This would be no big deal. Just ask out the most beautiful filly in all Equestria to prove a point. I looked back at Short, who was watching me intensely. I gulped and nervously smoothed down my school uniform. I breathed out, letting go of my tension. Brushing a hoof through my mane, I began to trot towards her.
As I approached, the fillies at the table giggled once and then went quiet. The mare of my affections sat turned away from me, and didn't notice my approach. Inaudibly, one of her friends, a rather posh looking white unicorn, directed Rêves’ attention towards me. I felt Short’s eyes following my every move.
The forest green unicorn turned and looked at me. As I found myself face-to-face with her, my heart suddenly skipped a beat. I smiled weakly at her. “He – Hello, Rê - Reves…” Well, barely into the conversation, and I’d already butchered her name. I didn’t have high hopes.
She smiled back just as feebly, as if she were nervous as well. “Bonjour, Pink.” Her titivating accent sent shivers down my spine. In fact, just the sight of her made my hair stand on end.
We awkwardly stood like that for a moment, neither meeting the other’s gaze. Eventually I coughed lightly, breaking the tension. “So, err, Rêves… I was wondering if…” I took a deep breath, gathering my wits. “If you’d like to go out with me, sometime?”
I squeezed my eyes shut in embarrassment and looked away. I could only imagine the amusement she and her friends would have later at my expense. I wasn’t sure why I was over here. Short’s aggravating shortsightedness caused me to act before thinking, ending me up in this situation. And I was normally the rational one in my group of friends.
Suddenly I felt a hoof gingerly caress my face. Surprised, I flinched away and opened an eye. Rêves’ face was inches from mine. I could clearly see her eyes glistening with tears. She stroked my face again and smiled feebly.
The courtyard went quiet. I could feel the attention of every colt and filly in attendance, and I slowly began feeling crowded by their gazes.
“Oh, Oui, Pink! Yes! Oh, I had thought you would never ask!” Rêves said excitedly. She wrapped me in an embrace, still expressing her happiness.
“Whaa…” My jaw opened in amazement. Had she…?
No, she couldn’t have.
But, she did…
The silence broke. Hushed murmurings broke out from the surrounding tables. I began to sweat and darkness flickered at the edges of my vision. What had she just said? Did she agree!?
Eventually she broke the hug and looked at me worriedly. “Err…Pink? Are you in there?”
“I think he’s shocked, dear. Poor boy wasn’t expecting that, I suppose.” Said another voice, one of her friends.
“Monsieur Pink? Are…are you feeling alright?”
I blinked. Rêves was watching me with a concerned expression. Similar looks were on the faces of her friends.
I spoke. “I… I umm….” I worked my jaw, still trying to convey my thoughts, but no sound came out. I shut my mouth, hoping no one had noticed. I glanced around nervously. Ponies, unicorns, and pegasus alike were watching the two of us with rapt attention. Short was silently egging me on.
I spoke again, but I only managed a foalish whinny. A few ponies snickered. I cleared my throat and tried again. “Well…great then! We’ll, umm, talk after school then?” I hoped to the goddesses she would agree. It was astounding as it was that she agreed to be my marefriend, but the crowd of onlookers was growing much too much for comfort. What should have been a more or less private moment was quickly becoming a public affair.
She smiled, obviously taking the hint. She looked a tad uneasy herself. “That… That would be nice.” She fluttered her eyelashes at me. “See you then, Pink.” A blush slowly spread across her face as she broke eye contact.
Flustered, I stood there awkwardly. “Yesh…I’ll – I’ll see you then, Rêves.” I echoed.
She gave me one last small smile and turned back to her friends who began whispering fervently to her.
I turned, slightly tripping over my own hoof in the process. A shrill whistle came from somewhere in the courtyard. A blush darkened my already pink coat. I hurriedly rushed back to Short, who immediately swept me up in an embrace.
“Haha! Pinky, m’boy, what’d I tell ya?!” I accepting the hug for a moment before pushing him away. It was uncomfortable to be that close to him. I had always had personal space issues.
I grasped for words to say. My mind was still trying to catch up with events. I had walked up to Rêves without any doubt she would reject me, like all the others. And?
And then she didn’t.
Clumsily, I sat back down, still in shock.
“Well...” I murmured, unsure how to sum up the past few minutes.
“Pinky, ya did it! I tolds ya that ya could do it!”
I…” I moaned. “I can’t believe she said yes…”
Short leaned in, looking worried for a moment. “What’s the matter, Pinky? You do wan’ her, righ’? She is Rêves, after all. I mean, her flank, mate, her flank…
I sighed. “Yeah, yeah. I do. It’s just… I don’t know, Short. I just didn’t expect her to…” I trailed off, still at odds with the situation.
‘Man, what I’d do ta’ just cop a feel of her flank.” Short scooped another bite of pudding. “You’re one lucky colt, mate.
I opened my mouth to respond but was cut short by a croaky shout resonating through the courtyard. For the second time that day, the courtyard became deathly quiet.
Short stopped short, spoon dangling from his mouth.
The next thing I knew, a ruler cuffed him square between his ears, the impact only slightly softened by Short’s nest of hair.
We both turned simultaneously to see the hulking figure of Sir. His eyes sparkled in the sunlight, though not in a good way. On the outside, my eyes widened in dread, expressing fear at the situation. Yet, inside I smiled slightly to myself. It was always fun to see Short in action. Especially against Sir.
The griffon scowled at me and turned to Short. “And just what do you think you’re doing, laddie?”
The aggressive pegasus looked unflinchingly into Sir’s eyes. Neither of them blinked. The courtyard grew to a standstill as the other students watched the three of us.
“Why, Sir, I’m merely eating some of this school’s, scrumptious pudding!” Short’s eyes narrowed, defiant. Very slowly, so Sir could easily see him, he deliberately took another bit of pudding. “This is lunch break, after all. Aren’t we supposed to be eatin' our food?”
As he spoke, some half-eaten slop flew from his mouth, landing squarely on Sir’s beak. None of us moved for a moment. Sir’s eye twitched in anger. With controlled deliberation, the griffon wiped the pudding from his beak. He smiled at the both of us.
Sir leaned in closer to Short and continued the banter. “Ay, laddie, it is lunch break. But you know, as well as I do, that before you can have any pudding, you have to eat you meat.” He paused and continued in a half growl. “And we both know you haven’t had any meat yet, have you, laddie?” He poked a talon at Short’s chest, setting him off balance.
Short’s eyes widened in bewilderment, finally breaking their stare down. Whatever the pegasus had anticipated Sir to say, it obviously wasn’t that. He sputtered something unintelligible, tripping over his own words. “Well, Sir… Umm… crap…”
It seemed not even Short could stand up to our teachers all the time, despite his bravado.
After a moment, Sir chuckled. Around him, a few of the other student began to laugh as well, albeit nervously.
“Well, laddie? What’ll it be then? ‘Ow can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”
A silent threat was veiled within that sentence. Sir was not to be tried today, and Short caught it. He looked at Sir and nodded solemnly, obviously defeated. “Here, Sir.” He handed my teacher his food tray.
Sir smirked in triumph and snatched the tray away. Short looked up at Sir, silent malice in his eyes.
But Sir ignored him and instead turned to me. He wagged a finger in my face threateningly. “Now, I saw that little exchange between you and Miss Fançie over there, laddie. Now, I absolutely ‘ate it, and though I can’t forcibly keep you two apart off school grounds, on school grounds is a different story.” His next sentence dripped with venom. “And if I catch you and ‘er making goo-goo eyes at each other, there will be retribution, you ‘ear? Painful retribution.” he hissed.
A knot formed in my throat. I gulped. “Ye – Yes, Sir.”
He grinned. “Good boy, laddie.”
With that, he turned tail and walked back inside the school building, ruler resting on his shoulder.
I let out a breath I didn't know I’d been holding. I glanced at Short, who was staring, downcast, at the table.
“Hey Short, you okay?” I asked in a concerned voice.
“Yesh. Jus’ need some time to think, ya know?”
I patted him on the back. “You were right to back dow-”
He swiped my hoof away. “Aw, shu’ up Pinky!”
“I’m just saying that-” I started again.
“Hey!” my pegasus friend half shouted. “I know when to pick my battles, Pinky!” He huffed and laid his head on the table with a groan. “Jus’ wasn’t feelin’ it today…”
I didn’t push the matter any farther. He was noticeably distressed by his argument. It was a rare occurrence that he ever was shot down, let alone that quickly. This school has been getting even to the best of us.
We sat in silence for a moment, the previous enthusiasm over my new marefriend temporarily forgotten. Sir’s veiled threats sucked the joy out of our meal, leaving an awkward silence between the two of us.
With Short left to his own devices, my thoughts turned towards this school.
Lunchtime was a relatively safe time for us. A short reprieve between our long hours of torture. The teachers generally left us alone to our own devices. We had a mutual, unspoken agreement between us: We didn’t cause any trouble, and they wouldn’t punish us.
But even then, there were still the times when they came out like dogs among sheep, sniffing out any offenders. This was a favorite activity of Sir’s. He came out more often than any of the other teachers put together, just waiting for us to make a wrong move. He reveled in our misery.
And now, only to further my problems, I had a forbidden, in Sir’s eyes at least, affair with Rêves. Not to mention the anger the other colts would direct at me once they heard that their long sought after mare was swept head over hooves. I sighed and held my head in my hooves. Why must my life be so bloody complicated?
This school was draining the heart from me. From all of us. Slowly, over the years, it killed us, our individuality, in order to create a single cast of citizens.
Sometimes all I could do was visualize a sledge hammer destroying these forbidding walls. Running rampant through the halls, setting ablaze the woodwork and watching as the building slowly crumbled.
A hoof tugged on my shoulder, breaking my train of thought. “Mis’ser Floyd?”
I glanced down at the source of the voice. A small, wiry built red unicorn looked back at me.
“Hey, Ox. What you want?” I answered, glumly.
Ox Thunderhooves was one of my first friends. A very well-thought-of, quiet colt, in private at least. Still called me Mister, despite many previous protests. He grew up sheltered and proper, taught to be a respectable stallion. However, in spite of life’s attempts to beat it out of him, he never managed to quite get it out of his system when interacting with anyone on a personal level. But, somehow, when he got in front of a crowd, he was an inexhaustible ball of energy and vitality. He outshone anypony else with his wild, crazy antics. Near impossible to calm him down once he got going.
His cutie mark was a bass guitar, something he excelled at playing, obviously. But also something that earned him much abuse from our teachers. Music was a taboo subject in school. Creativity in general was frowned upon.
“I’s just wondering if you ever finished that poem. ‘Bout your father?” He continued.
His question hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s amazing how a few simple words could affect one as much as they did. But, alas, they did, and memories and feelings I fought to keep down during school hours flooded my mind like a burst dam. I clenched my eyes shut, trying to block the thoughts. Father… “Sir…”
A red hoof waved itself in front of my vision. “What’s that, Pink?” Ox was watching me, concerned. “You’re lookin’ distant again…”
I shook myself. This wasn’t the time for grieving. I had to push through. Methodically, I shut my memories behind the mental barrier I had for them, closing them from my mind. I smiled in what I hoped was a cheerful manner. “Sir.” I clarified. “Sir took it a few days ago. Caught me writing in class.”
The maroon bassist’s eyes narrowed in sympathy. “Ah. Well that’s a shame, for sure.” His face darkened in grief for a moment, but then reverted to normal. “I rather liked your poems, Pink. Only thing I enjoyed ‘bout this, ‘scuse my language, vile school. And hey, ‘grats on Rêves, Pink. On behalf of all the colts here, you did somethin’ we never could. If I had a hat, I’d tip it to you.”
I chuckled. “Always the gentlecolt, Ox. And thank you, and the others, too...” I ruffled his mane. “But, yes. The sad thing is that the poem was almost done too… Shame, really….”
We lapsed into silence again. I fiddled with my school issue tweed jacket, trying to get it to lie flat. The thing was scratchy as hell. AND it was gray. How more unexciting and analogous could you get? I had always preferred pink over ever other color, though I suppose I was biased. With a small cough, the bassist unicorn’s eyes focused on the sullen pegasus behind me. “What’s wrong with him?”
“Sir.” I repeated once more.
Ox nodded solemnly in understanding. “Right. The devil himself.”
I smiled half-heartedly at his humor. Beside me, Short spoke up, finally stirring from his gloom. “’Ey, Thunder, how’s your pet spider doin’? Wha’s his name, again?”
Ox grinned excitedly. “His name’s Boris, Mis’ser. Boris the spider. An’ he’s doin’ really well. ‘Ee’s almost big as my head now,” he finished proudly.
Short responded with an equally interested smirk. “Really now? How long you reckon before you can bring him in? I got a plan tha’ involves him and Pink’s bastard of a teacher.”
I looked at him, surprised. Short could be ruthless, yes, but even he had a stopping point. Most of the time. “You realize that could get you expelled, right Short?”
He leaned back and closed his eyes. “Hell if I care, Pinky. Nigh time to blow this damned prison, if I’m sure. This little soiree we jus’ had with the griffon broke my camel’s back. ” He opened one eye, which regarded me warily. “You gettin’ me, Pinky? Entwistle?”
Ox and I looked at each other, eyebrows raised. I gingerly prodded forward in the conversation. “I- We’re not sure we follow…”
Both of Short’s eyes snapped open and he fell forward in his chair. He clicked his tongue. “Tsk, tsk, boys. I thought’ you smarter than tha’.” He regarded us with a look eerily similar to Sir on a bad day. “Wha’ I’m sayin’ is that I’m thinkin’ is tha’ we, as in all the school, need to…appropriate this here hellhole into somethin’ more favorable.”
“What…?.” I muttered. Evidently, Short’s stopping point had been broken.
Ox pursed his lips, obviously still trying to grasp the meaning behind Short’s words. He wasn’t the brightest of colts. Too much blunt head trauma and loud explosions.
Short caught his confusion and explained in simpler terms. “A revolution, Thunder. A riot, if you will.”
The red unicorn’s ears perked up and he nodded vigorously. “Alright, mis’ser Short. That sounds right agreeable!”
“Full-scale riot, Short? Really?” I asked.
The diminutive pegasus regarded me with a slight, disapproving shake of his head. “You always were the conservative one, Pinky. You tellin’ me you haven’t felt the tension in here? All we’d need is to organize things a bit.” He paused, giving me time to think. “I mean, there’s a staff of, wha’, six? Against hundreds of angry adolescences ready to tear the place down?” His voice dropped an octave, to one that matched the somber subject matter. “They wouldn’t stand a chance, Pinky.”
I gulped and nickered nervously.
What he said was true, of course. And in all honesty, I had entertained the notion a few times. To demolish the school. But to actually do it… To actually revolt against our teachers. Against our guards. To break free of the prison we’d lived in so long.
Was that worth it?
Could we truly fright for our freedom, against the tyranny of oppressiveness? It was a pleasant concept.
But could we succeed?
I looked back at Short, who was still watching me with the same apprehensive expression. Tensely, I nodded in agreement.
Short sneered. “Then it’s high time for a change here.” He chuckled darkly. “We don’t need no education. Not like this.” He jumped up, fluttering to an elevation a few feet above. With the fervor of a pony twice his age, he shouted to the group of students eating lunch. “And we don’t need no fuckin’ thought control, either!” He pumped his hoof in the air, waving it about.
A sign of rebellion.
They watched for a moment, unsure what to make of him. Then one colt, in the far corner of the courtyard threw down his lunch and shouted back in agreement. Then, one after the other, the rest of the schoolfoals did the same.
As one voice, they shouted their disproval. In unison, they got up and marched towards us. Systematically, and as one, they stood, rapt in attention as Short began to vent his frustrations.
At that moment, as we gathered together in one common thought, the school system succeeded in its endeavors in a way. Though united by hatred and revolution, we had become a homogenous, single populace. Our school formed what it sought to create, and we marched right into it, like the good little soldiers we were. Despite our destructive intentions, we lost the last vestiges of our individuality at that moment.
In that way, we lost our battle the moment we truly began it. It was a lost cause, I knew. But did that stop me or them from going through with it? Hell no, it didn’t. We became a collective mass that sought to break free of the tyranny of our guards. It became us against them.
And now, who knows which is which and who is who?
“Saddle up, mates! We need to ge’ this riot under way!” Short hollered. Cries of agreement rang out around the courtyard.
Somewhere, deep in my mind, I knew this wasn’t going to end well in the long run. But the rest of me let Short’s infectious speech seep in, filling my body with more disgust and hatred than I thought possible.
These teachers wouldn’t harm another student again.
Our school was in ruin.
Our angry mob of students proved too much for our cage. Its walls buckled and cracked under our pressure. Its wooden guts were set aflame. Thu building quickly burned, destroying the interior with red and white hot flames. Pink tinged fire licked the word hungrily, energetically consuming it.
What was left of the inside was a blackened husk of brick and mortar, precariously held together. Flames still danced and flickered inside, lighting up the quickly approaching dusk. Large bonfires of our desks and other supplies had been piled outside in the courtyard, charring the stone pavers.
The students of the once oppressive school milled about in the yard, chatting good-humoredly and watching their handiwork with grins of satisfaction. It wasn’t as though we hadn’t a care in the world, oh no. We knew that we had little time before the authorities began to arrive, investigating the rapidly rising pillar of smoke stretching from the school.
No doubt the teachers and staff had run to the police when they escaped. But how long would it take them to convince the policeponies that we took over the school? In the beginning moments of our battle, the teachers had tried to fight back, but quickly lost their footings. What could they do against hundreds of pissed off teenage foals?
And so they did the one thing left for them to do: Retreat. Abandoning their duties and posts, they ran from the increasingly wrecked school and most likely hoped to Celestia we wouldn’t follow them. It was satisfying knowing they were scared witless. Only Short and a few others went after them. Not to kill them, just… rough them up, as he put it.
With the disappearance of our tormentors, we went senseless. Fire axes smashed through the inner walls, reducing them to rubble. Teacher’s desks were hacked and chopped into kindling that was set ablaze. Hammers connected with walls and floors, crushing them. Bricks from the recently smashed walls were thrown through windows, littering the ground outside with glass.
And the scary part is that most of us would’ve continued to enjoy the wanton destruction, had the building’s structure not caught fire. Hastily, we evacuated and watched the building burn to the ground from the outside. Where it was safer.
This is where we now were. The day was rapidly drawing to a close, the horizon turning a deep orange as the sun sunk further down. On the opposite side of the sky, the moon steadily rising higher and higher, bringing on the night.
I stood apart from the other students, my mind in turmoil about what to make of our passionate riot. Part of me reveled in it, enjoying the vengeance brought to one part of my life that troubled me so long. But the other half was truly and exceedingly terrified about our actions.
What we did was unforgivable, wasn’t it? Even though we were tortured day after day, did that justify razing an entire building? With the excitement we were swept up in slowly fading, I wondered about the ramifications of our actions. How would our royal guard punish us? An actual jail? Community service? Public execution? I didn’t trust the government to react appropriately to this situation any more than I knew I could sprout wings and fly.
Truthfully, I didn’t know. Would they even harm us, or are they too caught up in their war to worry about petty matters back home? And that feeling of uncertainty horrified me. That sense of hopelessness, as the thing you’re comfortable with are ripped away, leaving you dangling for a way back to normalcy.
But beyond that, our actions themselves scared me as well. The way we carried out these acts of destruction and violence, as if engaged in an actual war was something I never wanted to experience for real. War scared me stiff. It was the place where ponies died. Nopony returned from it. Not fully.
War was a monster. An abominable, slavering, ravenous monster that only chewed and spit out the soldiers that marched dutifully into its waiting jaws. And the ones that managed to escape its wrath were never the same. I could see them around town with their wheelchairs and crutches. They were missing limbs, occasionally several at a time. But more than that, they were missing parts of their souls. They left their innocence on the war field, where it continued to stay, despite their return. I could never stand living like that, even though my school day was comparable to it.
Ponies, griffons, and the other intelligent creatures of Equestria, in a way, are cursed. They are the only races that willingly enter into war, knowing full well the consequences of it. Dumber beasts have it much easier. Aside from the occasional spat over territory, food or mates, they lived in harmony. Lived in peace, lest some outside force disrupted them.
Is that what made us intelligent? Our capacity for hatred? Our capacity for war? For rebellion? Would a race be considered advanced if it never fought with anything else? Rabbits, turtles, dogs, and timberwolves: All considered unintelligent. Yet they live and work together in small communities. They build shelters and forage for food. They communicate on the most basic of levels.
But if those creatures suddenly began to battle in structured method, two opposing sides against one another, would we regard them as intelligent? For isn’t that the true mark of intelligence?
Isn’t that what defines us?
Amidst these turbulent thoughts, another view of my condition crept up. What would mother think? I didn’t want to let her down. I loved her more dearly than anything else in all of Equestria. The past years had been hard on her. She still missed father, I think. I think she saw a bit of him in me, as well.
When she found out her baby boy got caught up in a revolution, albeit a small one, she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She already loved me beyond what was expected. And I loved her the same. Her loving embrace was comforting, and at times, I almost missed it. Mother was the only pony I truly depended on in my life.
I glanced around for Short and Ox, hoping to escape from thoughts. There were multiple coats of ochre and red, but not the exact hues of my friends. In the gloom, all the bright, vibrant colors were darkened to less perky ones. They blended in with the other hundreds of colors in the courtyard. The flickering firelight only hindered my search, casting wavy shadows across the gathered crowd. It appeared as though I’d have to talk to them later.
I turned my attention back to the school itself. Or, rather, what was left of it. The bricks that once choked us lay haphazardly in the streets. These blocks that once made up our prison were ripped down, cast out into the night. Each brick sat one on top of the other, creating an almost crude wall from the rubble. It seemed that, even now, that the school lay in ruin, its bricks still strived to create barriers in an endeavor of corrupt assistance.
These bricks were identical to the casual observer. Each was just another brick in the wall. Yet, on closer inspection, each was chipped and cracked in a different way. Each one had come from the same mold, but their lives wore them out differently. Each had a different experience. A different pain.
As I watched, a section of the roof came loose, succumbing to gravity. My eyes followed its downward descent to the floor. Each clatter, bang and clash of shingles on concrete. The rooftop eventually came to a rest on the pavement just a few feet away with a mighty shatter. My classmates jumped in surprise. I blinked, expecting the noise.
The bricks around the impact site were unmoved.
A strong wind blew through the courtyard, tousling my mane. Shivering, I drew my jacket tighter. A few schoolmates did the same. A few more shingles fell from the roof, accompanied by a shrill creaking sound. It seemed to fill the stagnant, cool night air. The sound grew louder with each moment. A few students looked around for the source, but found nothing that explained it. Cautiously, I took a step back, as did the rest of us.
And the moment we did, with a groan, the westward facing wall collapsed inwards, scattering debris everywhere. A plume of dust billowed out from the school, blanketing the courtyard. A few foals violently coughed, hacking into the air. The fires burning inside the building were snuffed out by the wreckage.
Immediately, the area was smothered in darkness. With no more fire, we only had the faint moonlight as it barely filtered through the cloud of dust that hung over us for light. I could barely make out the ponies around me through the murky air. Our previous bluster was beginning to fade.
For a few moments, we stood in silence. The bricks from the collapsed wall slowly clattered to a halt. With a last clack, the night was silent. All was still. Then, in the hush, one voice broke the peace.
It was my voice.
With a calm demeanor, I began to sing. It started out quiet, but swiftly grew into a thundering vibrato. Lyrics sprung to mind from seemingly nowhere, inspiring me. Wherever they came from, they seemed to fit our collective mood. The melody created itself of its own accord, rising a falling without my instruction. The song seemed to create itself, for I had no reason why I had begun or where it was to end up.
It was a song about heartbreak. About fear and loneliness. It told a story about anger and revenge. Of love and sadness. It filled the night with a sound most of us had long forgotten. A feeling that instilled courage and brushed away any doubts we may have still had. It was the sound of hope.
It was a sweet melody, yet hauntingly unnerving at the same time. It simultaneously warmed and chilled our hearts. For not only did my song bring up good memories and happier times, it also made us recognize the worse ones as well. It also signaled our new freedom. Freedom to express ourselves.
Suddenly, another voice joined mine. A colt’s. His voice was higher than mine, and slightly off pitch, but it still carried the tune. For a moment there, we were the only two voices in the courtyard.
Then another followed suit. And then the courtyard broke out in a cacophony of sound as the rest of the foals began to sing. They followed my lead as best they could, often times singing too fast or slow.
But the mistakes didn’t detract from the beauty of the scene. Here, in the ruins of a tyrannical school, love and imagination broke free. Our karma had finally shifted in our favor. For the years of our suffering, we finally got our justice. This song of joy and happiness we were all singing was our good time to the bad we’d been having for so long.
But even then, we knew it would be short-lived before the worse times would start up again. For, soon, the policeponies would arrive and a new stage of grief would begin. We would be separated and moved around. New lives in different schools would begin. Possibly good, possibly not. But all that evil we lived through would lead to another shining and glorious good time, we knew.
I finally caught a glimpse of Short and Ox. They were side by side, hooves around the other’s shoulder caroling happily with the other students. It was merely friendly gesture, I knew. Put into a drunken stupor by the proceedings around them. This was a joyful time. I saw Rêves and caught her eye. She smiled at me, but continued singing with her friends. I grinned back, knowing that our relationship wouldn’t be as bad as I thought earlier.
Slowly, my voice began to fade out, ending the song. The ponies around me did the same at their own paces. Some sung their final note several minutes after mine, much to their chagrin. I let them have their time, for it would end soon. It was amazing to see these ponies legitimately smiling and having the time of their lives.
But one by one, their voices all died out, leaving the courtyard just as empty as it had been before. The cloud of dust from the falling wall had long since dissipated, though the fires still were out. By now, the moon had rose high above the skyline, bringing with it a blanket of stars. I stared up into the sky in wonder. Stargazing was not something I was known to do, but it the heat of the moment, it seemed right. I smiled slightly to myself. All our parents would kill us when we got home so late.
At that moment, another sound filled the night. It was much harsher and shrill than our song. With a grating sound that set my teeth on edge, the wall directly in front of us began to shudder. The wall tottered for a moment, as if unsure, and then began to plunge towards us.
Time seemed to slow. I watched as my schoolmate’s faces turned from one of ecstasy to pure terror. A few hesitated at first, but eventually, they all turned and careened from the collapsing wall, shouting curses to the heavens above. Without a moment’s indecision, I galloped with them.
The bricks fell to the ground, coming to a halt not a few feet from us, landing with a loud thump. One colt, a small pipsqueak, barely six years old, barely reached safety in time.
The bricks settled, clattering off of the newly formed rubble pile. One remarkably undamaged brick fell off of the pile and rolled along the cobblestone path.
It came to a stop at my hooves. I stared at it for a moment, still alarmed from the mad scramble away from the destruction. I took a few deep gasps, trying to steady my nerves. The peacefulness of our song had fallen away. The spell I had woven shattered, alongside the school’s wall.
Still shaking, I bent down a grasped the brick in my teeth. It tasted like you would expect a brick to taste like. Dirt, concrete and dust. I hefted it up and spat it into my hoof. I held it for a moment, weighing it.
I glanced over my shoulders at my classmates who were watching me apprehensively, still breathing heavily from their near death experience. My eyes connected with the blue of Rêves’. I smiled and turned back toward the ruins of our school. Our former prison.
With a grunt, I drew my hoof back and flung the brick through the air.
Based on “Another Brick In the Wall (Part Two)” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, various lyrics and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Cozy and Warm
‘Mother, should I trust the government? Mother, will they put me in the firing line? Oooooh aaah, Mother, am I really dying?
Hush now, baby. Baby, don’t you cry. Momma’s gonna make all your nightmares come true. Momma’s gonna put all of her fear into you.’
It seemed like sleeping was once again not part of this night’s agenda.
Over the few intervening years, sleep gradually came easier and easier until most every night I slept undisturbed by any nightmares. Slowly, my turbulent thoughts had died down, allowing me peace and quiet. My last nightmares had been well over two months ago.
But there were still nights where my mind refused to rest. Nights like this, where moonlight cast flickering shadows across my cracked ceiling. Eerily familiar faces and shapes leered at me from the darkness. And despite myself, I could never seem to fall asleep in my unfriendly and secluded bed. My mind created horrifying monsters and creatures hanging just out of my sight.
I squeezed my eyes shut in an attempt to block out the visions, but it was no use. My imaginative fears had begun to worm their way into my mind, filling it with a sense of dread. I knew that these late night terrors were nothing more than a product of hyperactive imagination, but that didn't stop them from being so terrifying.
Silently, I threw my covers off, hurling them to the floor. I sat up and scooted to the edge of my bed. My heart was racing, imagining each shadow to be another fear. Another Sir. My father’s untimely death.
I teetered on the edge of my bed, deciding whether or not to go downstairs. Then, an unearthly moan came from my bedroom walls. I stopped breathing, my heart beating faster. It was…just the pipes in the walls…right?
Finally, the sound faded away, and with it, I jumped up and flung open my door. Whether creaky pipes or not, I couldn’t stand to be in my room any longer. Briskly, I trotted down the hall and stepped gingerly onto the stairs. They squeaked in protest. I flinched, and continued on with lighter hoofsteps.
After twenty-two steps, I reached the bottom. Tentatively, I leapt off the second step, landing with a soft whump on the floorboards below. Immediately, I scurried forward to the safety of mother’s room. The one place where I knew nothing could harm me.
Approaching her door, I slowed my breathing. It was no use waking her up. Quietly, I nudged her door open and peered in. A thin beam of moonlight illuminated mother’s snoring face. I smiled. She always looked so peaceful while sleeping.
Confident she was asleep, I opened the door all the way and crept inside. I turned and pushed the door almost all the way closed, leaving it partway open.
I trotted up to her bed and moved the covers aside. Grinning softly to myself, I slipped into mother’s bed and pulled the covers back up. I wiggled closer to mother and snuggled into her embrace.
I closed my eyes, my mind finally at rest. Mother’s presence kept away my dark thoughts, leaving my imaginative mind at rest. I loved her, and she loved me, and nothing would change that, even as I grew older. Right?
With a sigh, I gradually drifted off to sleep, leaving the waking world with mother by my side.
I sang for her.
I had worked for weeks on this new song. All of my heart and soul was poured into, with the hope it would become something comparable to my spur of the moment song after the school riot. I had hopes, dreams, that one of my songs would propel me forward to stardom. This song would do it. This song would make me famous. But first, I wanted to get mother’s opinion.
Since the riot at school, I realized what was missing from my poems. Music. Melody. Fame. The emptiness I had felt slowly filled up with the passion I developed for my music. Though, occasionally, I still felt empty…
Mother spoke up. “Oh…sunshine…” She smiled warmly, in attempt to alleviate her reproachful words. “It…I… I’m not sure that it’s good enough, Pink.”
“So…” I trailed off, slightly disappointed. “You... You don’t think they’ll like the song?”
Her smile wavered. “Oh, no Pink…it’s not that… It’s just…” She broke off, and took a deep breath.
“Pink, I… I don’t want you to do this anymore.”
I gaped at her in disbelief. My mouth hung loose in shock. “Wha… W-Why not?” I managed to ask.
She looked at me sternly. I shrunk back from her gaze. “Because, Pink, it’s just not a good lifestyle. Musicians aren’t… respectable.” She finished, nodding her head with authority, as if that explanation was enough.
I wilted. Not respectable? But… It was so much fun…
I responded. “But-“
“No buts, mister.” She cut in. “I don’t want you getting hurt out there. The world is a horrible, horrible place. I don’t want my baby to have a life like that… ” She sighed and moved over to me and laid a forehoof across my back. “I mean… It’s not your special talent, Pink…”
I nodded silently and twisted around to stare at my still blank flank. Despite my love of songwriting, I still hadn’t found my cutie mark. My flank was still a pristine pink.
I whined and turned back to mother. “Y- yes mother… I’ll stop… writing.” My eyes began to water as I realized that her ruling would mean the end of what I loved to do. But mother knew best, right?
She patted my head, seemingly satisfied. “Alright, sunshine. I know you will.” She hugged me again and walked into the kitchen, humming to herself. “Love you!” she called back to me as she left.
I, however, collapsed to the floor, suddenly light-headed. Give up my love of music? Give up songwriting? Even give up poetry? I couldn’t do that. I brought me so much joy, despite whatever shortcomings mother thought it would bring with it. I needed it. I needed the sense of fulfillment it brought.
I didn’t care about the respectability of musicians. So what if the music world was the seedy underbelly of society? This gave me something to strive for. It gave me something to live for. I yearned to be famous and have my songs heard all around Equestria. Sure, there have been snags along the way, with my age and inexperience, but that was all trivial as long as mother was there to support me.
And now she refused me the one freedom I had left? To crush my one desire? Never before in my life had mother refused me something I wanted so much. To prevent me from climbing into fame and possibly discovering my purpose in life.
True, my songwriting had never gotten me my cutie mark, but why should our lives be commandeered by a mere insignia on our flanks? What right did that have to control what you do in your life? It was demoralizing, really.
Mother was scared, I realized. Scared to let me go and live a life without her. Scared for my safety and health out in the world beyond. But I was scared as well. I was terrified to leave mother behind and aim for my dreams. I knew next to nothing about how to survive in the real world.
Her little colt was growing up, and it was all she could do to drag me down back to the foal she missed so much. And was it bad that I almost wanted that as well?
But to stamp out my songwriting? To kill off my dreams? That was the one thing her and I ever disagreed on during my brief life. I knew right then and there, that I could not simply stop composing. It was the one thing in all of Equestria that I truthfully loved to do. Despite her fears that I would get trampled in the music industry, I knew I had to do it anyways.
I would take small, hesitant steps first. Just testing out the water before leaping in. I would be careful, not to let myself be swallowed up, as mother feared. But, by Celestia, I would live.
I would soar, with or without mother’s consent.
“No, dearie. Pink isn’t here right now, I’m afraid.” A pause. “In fact, he told me to tell you he never wanted to see you again.” The sweet, sugary voice of mother permeated the thin floor of my room. “I’d assume he means that he’s breaking up with you. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, dearie.”
I flopped over, and pressed a pillow over my ears, trying to block out the conversation downstairs. Rêves had decided to come over this afternoon for the second time in over a month. Since the riot, we had not seen very much of each other; both of us going to different schools. But we had tried to meet up occasionally, at the park, or anywhere outside our houses. Away from mother.
That was, until she came over a few nights ago before I took her out to dinner. When I hesitantly introduced the two of them, my fears about mother’s reaction were confirmed. Instantly, mother took an instant dislike to the green filly, and though she seemed cordial enough when we left, she waited up all night until I gotten home to confront me. The moment I walked in our front door after dropping Rêves off at her house, mother leapt from the shadows and berated my choice in mares, calling her ‘dirty,’ ‘corrupting’ and ‘evil.’
Basing her assumptions on nothing but pure first-impressions and looks, mother forbade me to ever see the filly of my dreams ever again. And I begrudgingly agreed. Because, after all, mother said so. Despite our brief disagreement over my songwriting, which secretly ended well for me, I still trusted mother. And mother most likely knew better than I could.
And now a few days later, this is where we were. With Rêves coming over, mother locked me upstairs and took to action, spinning lies about how I wanted to break up. I cringed at mother’s deceit as the two mares downstairs talked to each other.
Well, more of a one sided conversation. The moment mother told the green unicorn how ‘I wanted to break up with her’, a lengthy, pregnant silence followed. Then, a small sniffle drifted upstairs, followed by a choked reply. “A- Alright, Miss… Than-nk you…”
“I’m sorry, dearie. Really am.” Another lie.
Then, I heard the door click shut. I pressed the pillows closer to my ears, attempting to block out Rêves’ distressed yelps I could hear from outside. Curse these thin walls! If things like this were to happen more often, I might just have to build a better, thicker wall so I would not have to hear any more pain.
With a groan, I rolled off my bed and peeked out my window. My ‘former’ marefriend was standing just outside my door, a stream of tears running down her face. Every few seconds, she hiccupped, bring forth a fresh wave of tears.
I cursed under my breath. This wasn’t right. I never wanted to hurt Rêves like this. I watched her as she continued to sob on our doorstep. A few pedestrians shot her questioning glances as they trotted by, but said nothing. My eyes narrowed in determination. Coming to a conclusion, I clumsily began to undo the latch on my window. She didn’t deserve this pain. I needed to talk to her, to tell her mother was lying.
But before I could lift the window up, my doorknob rattled. Alarmed, I twirled around, hiding the undone window latch behind my back. With a creak, the door swung open and mother walked into the room, smiling sadly, barely hiding her triumphant smirk.
“Pink,” she said, “Pink. Are you alright?” She shuffled over to me and guided me over to my bed, driving me to sit down on the edge.
I looked up to her, my lower lip quivering. Things were not alright. My own mother forced me apart from my marefriend on a whim. Nothing about this should be right. I trusted mother’s judgment, but I still could not agree with her.
But I did not voice these thoughts. In fact, I barely reacted to mother’s questioning. I merely stared at her, unblinking and wild eyed. No doubt she could see the confusion I felt mulling around inside me. No doubt she knew how I felt.
“Oh sunshine…” She crooned. “Don’t be sad. I’m only doing what’s best for you… For us.” A rather wet sounding cough racked her body. After a moment, her tremor subdued and she grinned and put a hoof under my chin. “I’m just afraid that she’ll rip my little colt apart. I just don’t think you should see her anymore. She’ll only taint you with her vile ways. Trust me, Pink.”
I looked back up at her, my heart aflame. “Mother… What, you don’t think she’s good enough..?” I accused, irritably. “Good enough for me?”
“Oh, Pink, baby… It’s not that.” She cooed in a tone that implied the exact opposite. She stroked my mane as she had done so many times before. “She’ll break your heart, trust me, dear. She’s a temptress, a piece of foreign trash. No doubt she’ll grow up to be a harlot. She’s probably already turning tricks for some of the foals in her school”
I scowled at her words and shifted her hoof off of me. “No, she’s not…” I whispered, barely audible. I looked up at the pink mare’s face. Her eyes were filled only with concern and fear. She truly believed Rêves would bring nothing but trouble. Mother truly believed that Rêves would break my heart.
“What was that, Pink?” Mother’s voice was laden with false cheerfulness. Her eyes contracted as she watched me. She knew what I had said.
I met her gaze, my soul steeled against her normally debilitating stare. “I said, mother,” I spat with venom. “That you’re wrong…”
Mother began to respond to my complaints, but I cut her off first, exploding. I leapt off the bed from her grasp and shouted with a ferocity I hadn’t felt in a long while.
“JUST BECAUSE FATHER DIED, DOESN’T MEAN EVERY LOVE WILL BE HEARTAC…” I trailed off as mother’s face distorted in sadness. Tears welled up in her eyes. She lifted her hoof off of me and stood up, despondently. My anger washed away as I realized what I had said.
“Mother, I- I didn't mean…” The apology died in my mouth.
She stood there, watching the floor. She shot one more forlorn glance at me and silently walked out of my room. Her hoofsteps fell heavily on each step as she trudged downstairs.
I fell backwards on to my bed, and grabbed a pillow, squeezing it tightly. I felt horrible now. Not only did I remind mother of the loss of her husband, I also remembered him. It had been such a long time since either of us had thought about him. I gasped as the day’s events began to hit me. My eyes began to water, but I fought the tears back.
The sound of a mare desperately trying to stifle her cries floated upstairs to my ears. I squeezed my pillow even tighter, hoping for some resolve. This day had not turned out well.
Desperate for some relief, my eyes drifted about the room before settling on a shelf just to the right of my door. My foalhood memorabilia were arranged orderly on the slightly unstable wooden shelf. A few photos of mother and I, an old hat, and a few stuffed animals. My eyes connected with one plaything in particular: Ace, the last gift my father had given me.
The years had taken its toll on the formerly blue pegasus doll. No longer were its wings sewed on, leaving it a simple earth pony, like me. Some unknown chemical process bleached its blue coat a faint pink, leaving an eerily reminiscent imitation of me. Its dark coal button eyes watched me from the shelf. The damaged doll had a slight smile on his face, as if amused by what he had seen.
Suddenly angry at the doll, I chucked my pillow at it as best I could. It flew through the air and landed with a soft thwump on the wall below, missing the doll completely. I blinked. I had just thrown a pillow at an inanimate doll. Was I going crazy? I shut my eyes and tried to fall asleep.
I heard another quiet sob, though if it came from downstairs, outside, or my room, I did not know.
A loud bang shattered the silence. Startled, I looked towards the window, only to find nothing different than normal. Whatever the sound was, it was gone now. Probably just the wind. Shrugging, I went back to writing my new song. It was a true masterpiece and I knew this one was a winner. They would like this one for sure.
I stuck my tongue out in concentration. Now, what was a word to rhyme with raise…? Maze? Lays? No. Those were too simple. I knew, for my work to truly stand out from the others, it would need innovation and pizzazz. Raise…raise…rise…surprise. Yes. That was it. Raise, pronounced rise, and surprise. Ingenious. That would show those bastards…
Another sharp crack from my window. I flicked my ears in exasperation. Why me? Then, another series of small clacks against my window sounded. I wailed in aggravation. How was I to get anything done with these interruptions!
Angrily, I stomped over to the window and looked for the source of my frustration. At first, all I could see was the house across the street. A young mare inside was staring out at the outside world, looking as bored as I was furious.
I tore my eyes away from her and glanced down to the sidewalk below me. To my surprise, Short and Ox were standing just outside my house. Another collection of small stones smacked into my window pane, thrown by the tan pegasus below.
Quietly, I crept to my door and peered down the hall. I couldn’t see mother anywhere. I glanced at my clock. 1:46. She was probably napping, tired after her night shift at work.
Deciding it was safe, I silently slinked my over to my window and inched it open. I stuck my head out, then hastily drew it back in as another round of pebbles whizzed past my head.
I leaned back out. “Hey!” I hissed. “What’s the big deal, huh?”
Even from the second story window, I could see Short’s face light up as I appeared in the window. “He-ey, Pinky!” he shouted loudly.
Ox spoke up from beside him. “’Ello, guvnor! Just thought we’d check up in on ya!”
I smiled and called down to them. “We all know you two never just ‘check up in on me!’ What’s with all those rocks and my window? Glass isn’t indestructible, you know.”
My tawny pegasus friend grabbed hold of Ox suddenly and shot off from the ground, flapping gently to my window level. “Well, Pinky, we’d though’ we’d see if’in you’d like ta come with us down to the train tracks with us. We- Stop struggling, Entwistle! Don’ wan’ me ta drop ya, now do ya?” The red unicorn grinned sheepishly and hung off of Short’s back hooves, limp. “Now, we found some firecrackers a few days ago. We were gonna go put them on the tracks and let the train run over them. Be a hell of a show, Pinky. Explosions and all tha’.” Short finished, excitedly.
I chuckled at the thought. That would seem like a thing these two would do. But… I glanced back to my desk, and my song. My ears drooped. I looked back at the two colts hanging outside my window.
I rubbed the back of my neck nervously. “Err… I don’t know, you two. I’m doing stuff, and-”
Ox cut me off. “Ooh! What kinda stuff?” He swung wildly from Short’s hooves. “Songs? I love your songs, Pinky. Can we see it?”
I opened my mouth to protest, but Ox and Short were already clambering inside my window.
“Guys,” I hissed. “You can’t be in here! Mother’s sleeping! If she catches you…”
Short waved a hoof dismissively. ‘Ah, you worry too much, Pinky! You should stop stayin’ cooped up in here with your ma. Can’t be good for ya.”
“Oi, is this the song you workin’ on?” Ox snatched my papers off my desk, floating them close to his face. “Money?” He asked, a tinge of doubt creeping into his voice. “You writin’ a song ‘bout money?”
“Le’ me se tha’.” Short fluttered over and tugged the lyrics from Ox’s magical grasp. “Wow, Pinky, ya are. Runnin’ outta subjects are we?”
“Seriously, Short. You two can’t be here. Give me back my work.”
Short stuck his tongue out and floated closer to the ceiling. “And wha’ if we don’ wanna, hmm, Pinky?”
I leapt up, clambering for a hold on Short’s backhooves. “By Celestia, Short!" I shouted, "I’ll kill you if you don’t get back down here right now!”
I prepared to jump again, but Ox’s red hoof stopped me. “Gee, Pink. He’s only joking. Right Short?” His eyes were filled with confused sympathy, but I was in no mood for his empathy.
Short folded his wings and landed on my bed. He held my composition out to me. “Yea, Pinky. I’s jus’ kiddin’. What’s eatin’ at you?”
I ground my teeth. “Nothing. Just trying to get some work done, but I-”
“But what, Pink?”
“Shh Ox!” I hissed. I held my hoof up to my mouth motioning them to be quiet. I thought I had heard a cough from downstairs. Mother…
“Pink!” Came a call from downstairs. “Are you talking up in your room? I hear voices.” The hairs on the back of my neck prickled. Yes, definitely mother.
I looked at Short and Ox, who had similar expressions of fear on their faces. “Quick!” I shouted, pushing them towards the window. “You two can’t be in here!”
We reached the window and flung it open. Outside my door, I could hear the heavy steps of mother coming up the stairs. My heart fluttered. If they were caught in my room without her permission…
Sort scrambled through the window first, holding out his forehooves to carry Ox down. I heard the first step of the staircase squeak as mother trod on it. The red unicorn leapt through the window into Short’s waiting arms. The pegasus’ wings beat furiously to support the added weight.
The two colts slowly drifted out of sight. “A- Alright, Pin- oomph! Ugh, Ox, for such a small colt, you weight a ton…” The tawny pegasus and his red payload gradually sunk out of sight, their voices fading out of earshot. With one last glance to make sure they were gone, I gently closed the window.
The window clicked shut just and the latch on my door opened. I twirled around, covering the window from mother’s gaze as Short and Ox got away.
“Heard some noises, sunshine. You talking to yourself?” She smirked, at what I suspect was a vain attempt at humor.
My eyes danced nervously around the room. “No- Nope, mother. Just…I’m not sure what you would’ve heard. Just me and my, err… schoolwork…”
“Ah.” She smiled at me, once again. “And how’s that going?” Without waiting for my reply, she turned to face the desk. Oh Goddess…
Mother froze. “What’s this, Pink?”
I followed her gaze to the papers on my desk. To my song in progress, still lying open to the world. I chuckled nervously.
“It’s- It’s nothing, mother. I was just…” I trailed off as she strode over to the song and snatched it up. Her eyes scanned the page, absorbing every word of it.
“Pink…” She set down the paper and looked at me. “I thought I told you I didn’t want you to compose any longer.”
“I- I know mother, I just…”
“Just what, Pink?”
I scuffed my hoof on the ground. “Nothing, mother. I’ll stop…”
“Good boy.” She scooped my work up again and held it in her hooves. “I don’t want that kind of lifestyle for my little boy. It’s not healthy.”
Her hooves came together, crushing the fragile paper between them. Slowly, watching my reaction intently, she wadded up the music and threw it in the rubbish bin. “Now, I don’t want to see anymore composing from you, you hear? Try and find a more proper profession, like… a mail courier or dry cleaning.” She offered a hoof to me. I looked at it, but then pushed it away.
“Just promise me, Pink. Promise you’ll look to find a different special talent that won’t steer you down the wrong paths.”
I faked a smile and nodded in what I hoped was understanding. “Yes. Of course, mother. I- I’ll try…”
“Alright. I trust you, sunshine.” She turned to leave and got one hoof on the doorknob. “I love you, Pink.”
When I did not respond, she shut my door and left the room, leaving it slightly ajar. Silently, I got up and pressed the door closed. Of course, I had no intention of giving up my career as a musician. This was twice now that mother had tried to stomp it out of me, with little success. My music was the one thing I could truly find stability in. It helped me forget about my life. Forget how my home had become almost as oppressing as my school.
I sighed and trotted over to the wastebasket and fished my composition out. I smoothed it out on the edge of my desk and winced at what I saw. Mother had done a number on it. Most of it was too wrinkled to be comprehensible. But, with a little love, it could be saved. I chuckled to myself. I would just have to be more careful from now on.
I spun around to face my bed, intending to relax after my exhausting afternoon, but instead found the grim expressions of Short and Ox just outside my window. Gently, they pushed the window open and begun to climb inside. I winced. They must have heard everything.
I was sitting at my desk doing some homework for my new school. Papers, crumpled and marked with scribbled writings were scattered across my desk. Two textbooks; one algebra, and the other anatomy were lying open, turned to a random page. Truthfully, I just wanted to seem busy for mother. My studies held no interest for me.
Since the unfortunate ‘demolition’ of my old school, I was transferred to a private, more uptight one. It was expensive, I was sure, but mother said it was worth it that I was safe, than mixed in with the normal riff-raff of public schools. I hated it. Almost marginally less than my old school.
I looked down at my paper. It was blank, save for a few doodles and beginnings of songs of floating around in my head. I had been using this paper for weeks now, not even bothering to get a fresh sheet, not even to pretend I was actually doing work. One, rather old drawing caught my attention.
I had been doodling a crude drawing of Rêves, whom I’d sparingly seen around town, since our rather climatic ‘break-up’. I never found the courage to tell her what had happened. The time passed grew too long for it to be any sort of meaningful. I still loved Rêves, but ever since mother’s warning, I had grown wary of the green unicorn. What if mother was right? What if Rêves would only ruin me?
I trusted mother, though someday I hoped that I would explain things to my former marefriend. For my sake.
I glanced up on a whim, looking out my window. The sun was rapidly setting, bringing the twilight along with it. I turned and looked at my clock. It was almost six. Mother shouldn’t be home for another hour, and the mare that lived just across the street should be getting home anytime now…
The upstairs light in the neighboring house flicked on, revealing the bedroom within. My ears perked in excitement. With one last glance towards my door, I bent over and fished my father’s old pipe from underneath my desk. I had found it one night in his closet one night, hidden in a shelf. I had quickly hidden it in my room, with the prospect of smoking it occasionally. With a practiced motion, I scraped its bottom across my desk, lighting it and placed it in my mouth, puffing out a smoke ring. It was an easy-light pipe, for non-unicorn use.
Gradually, the orange mare in the house across came into view of the window. She paused and bent down to slip off what I assumed were her shoes.
I smiled to myself, puffed on the pipe once more and extinguished it. Best not to overindulge, especially with mother snooping about. Smoke could fill up a room surprisingly fast. I stowed it back in its hiding place and drew out a pair of binoculars also hidden there. I brought them to my eyes and concentrated on the mare across the street.
This mare had caught my attention several months ago because of her striking figure. I suppose it was a deeply engrained longing for Rêves that made me notice her. The two were very similar in body, except the orange mare across the street was well into adulthood.
I eventually figured out her schedule, though not by trying on my part. It was rather a happy mistake that her schedule was so exact that I began to notice she came home every day at generally the same time. She came home every evening, tired after working the whole day. She would tromp upstairs and flick on her light, which because of the darkness outside, allowed any outside observers to look in. And occasionally, she would undress in front of the window…
…And I simply admired her from afar. Nothing more, and nothing less. She was certainly beautiful, but the only mare I had attentions for was Rêves, even though I wasn’t too sure whether to trust her or not. Mother seemed sure of her evil nature, but I still loved the green unicorn despite mother’s beliefs.
I watched at the peach mare slid out of her ornate green dress, leaving only her tight undershirt still on. I grinned at the sight, taking in the view. The mare laid her dress carefully across her bed and went to pull off her undershirt, which already left nothing to the imagination.
Her hoof slipped under the shirt and began to tug, causing me to quiver in anticipation. Just then, my door latch clicked, and unfastened. Alarmed, I threw the binoculars under the desk and scooped up my pencil, pretending to look busy with schoolwork.
Seconds later, the door opened to reveal the pink coat of mother. I looked at her, eyes wide, struggling to not look guilty. She strode into the room, as if noticing nothing. She must not have seen. I breathed a small sigh of relief.
“Hi, Pink. I’m home earl-” She cut off, stopping dead in her tracks, her eyes staring at the floor. Fearfully, I followed her gaze to my binoculars that were lying just in sight.
“What were you…?” One could see the wheels sluggishly turning in her head as she pieced together the situation. Slowly, her eyes lit up in comprehension. Her gaze moved upwards to my window and what was just across the street.
This wasn’t going to be good…
I sifted through the box’s contents. It had been a good few years since I had truly looked at my father’s former possessions, and before I had been too young to fully appreciate them. But now…
I grabbed my father’s uniform, complete with blood and grime. Cautiously, I put a hoof through its sleeve, flung the other sleeve around my back and shrugged it on. I looked at the mirror. What looked back at me was laughable at best. A small, scrawny foal playing dress up with his father’s clothes. It was pathetic, but yet I did not take off the shirt. It reminded me of father.
I glanced back down at the box. Its contents had not changed over the years, but I felt like the items in it spoke differently to me then they had before. Each item had a different story to tell than they did when I was young. My understanding of each item in the box, however small, changed as I grew up.
It was a qualm of growing older. You faced greater and greater difficulties as time went on, eventually leaving the sweet innocence of childhood behind. And each experience, large or small, changed your outlook on life, leaving you different each and every day. And so your view and opinion on things changed as time went on. Especially in such troubled times such as this war that was steadily going into its fourteenth year. Fourteen years of death and destruction. Fourteen years with foals left fatherless.
This was all that was left of my father. Clothes, a meaningless purple medal and an unmarked grave somewhere in a blast zone. It was despicable. The government could care less about us. Our wise and honorable princess focused only on the warfront, leaving our homeland to fall into ruins in the same rate as the war destroyed other countries. How I wished something, anything would change and this damn war would end!
I looked back at the mirror. And my reflection looked back at me. But no longer did I see myself swaddled in a uniform much too big for me.
What stared back at me through the mirror was something altogether more terrifying.
A corpse stared back out at me. The very embodiment of Death himself. I could see father watching me from the mirror, regarding me with a blank expression. I saw every soldier whose life had ever ended early watching me from that mirror. I saw all the pain and suffering.
I turned my head to the side, averting my eyes. The figure in the mirror did the same, revealing the left side of his face. The hair was scorched and stripped away, leaving the flesh a raw pink. The jaw had shattered and was swinging loose, the mirror pony’s tongue lolling out. Blood seeped out from a mashed eye socket, the eye within nearly unrecognizable. I cringed and shut my eyes, hoping to block out the hallucination.
Sometimes I felt envious of those colts and stallions slain in the war. For the ones that returned came back to a place just as shattered as the battle itself. I could see the disgust in the eyes of the ponies sent home, too injured to continue fighting. I could see the confusion they felt. Was this the land they were fighting for? What happened to the world of color and laughs they left behind in the beginning? And the civilians’ reactions to their efforts did not help their already broken psyches. Anger and blame over the rapidly failing war effort.
No, death was the only way to truly escape the war.
I opened my eyes again and looked back at the mirror only to see my normal pink coat once more. I shuddered and slipped the coat off my shoulders, holding its sleeve in my hooves. I brushed some soot off of the brass buttons. Bright red blood stained left side of the coat. Father’s blood.
I threw the coat down on the dresser and hurriedly ripped off the other adornments I put on. A strong wave of nausea rolled through my stomach, churning its contents. What had possessed me to wear the uniform my father lived his final moments in?
As the garments fell to the ground, I looked at my ordinarily pink coat. The charred parts of the uniform that had touched my fur left large, black splotches of ash that looked to be a pain to wash out. My gaze travelled further down to my hooves, which were tinged red from handling the bloodstained cloth. Flecks of dried blood had rubbed off into my fur, darkening its normal pink color.
I felt this morning’s breakfast stir in my stomach. Hurriedly, I shoved a hoof in front of my mouth and hobbled lop-sided to a nearby trashcan. I retched, sickened by the death that I had been wearing.
After my half-digested food sat at the bottom of the trashcan, I groggily sat up. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hoof and glanced back at the pile of clothes on the floor. That, bar none, was the most revolting thing I had ever done.
I groaned and stood up unsteadily. I strode from the room, skirting the tattered outfit and grabbed the door handle. Without as much as a backwards glance, I exited and shut the door behind me, eager to leave the room behind.
I knew I would certainly never let the Equestrian Military draft me into their ranks. Not now. The mere thought of risking my life made my stomach squirm once again.
Nopony would put me in the firing line. Nopony would send me to an untimely death. I wouldn’t follow father’s hoofsteps.
No, I had much greater ambitions. Ambitions that involved me keeping my entrails and organs firmly inside my body.
The air raid siren blasted through the peaceful night. I awoke with a start, tumbling to the floor, caught up in my sheets. It was a situation I’d grown accustomed to finding myself in, though the alarm was a change. Still half asleep, my mind rushed to catch up. That sound… It was…
Quickly, I sat up and scrambled up to my window. Outside, the sun was just beginning to peak the horizon. The sky was tinged a light pink. I could see the dawn unexpectedly come alive as families woke up to the sound of the siren. Faintly, I could hear screams and shouts from the houses around me through the window’s glass.
Oh, Celestia! The city was under attack!
I sat there, momentarily, transfixed by the warbling siren and its shrill song. My mind was in turmoil. Nopony had ever thought the war would find its way here, but it seemed it had. And now the repercussions of the war were no longer distant bits of news. Death had finally reached our doorstep, and nopony had prepared for it.
I heard hooffalls outside my door as mother pounded up the stairs to my room. I snapped out of my trance and turned to look just as she smashed the door open. In the blink of an eye, she crossed the distance from the door to me, yanked me up from off the floor and shoved me towards the door, eager to get to the safety of downstairs.
As we turned the corner, I glanced back at the window. The distinct silhouette of a mortar shell crossed over the sun’s rising light, temporarily blotting it out. Then it disappeared from sight as the window moved out of sight. All went quiet for a moment as mother and I hurried downstairs. Then, an ear shattering roar filled the air. Our windows shattered inwards, showering the downstairs with glass. As we bounded off the stairwell, one particularly jagged shard embedded itself in the space just previously occupied by my back hooves.
As we moved towards the closet, our designated safe area, I looked outside through our wrecked windows. All I could see was the large, still smoking crater just a few hundred meters away. Crushed brick pavers and dirt littered the normally pristine road. If the bomb was just a bit closer to us… I gulped as the events of my old nightmare began to play out in my mind.
We leapt into the closet, and slammed the door closed. The room was shrouded in darkness, with the only light streaming in under the door. The space in the closet was cramped. There was just barely enough space for the two of us because of the shelving that took up most of the room.
Loud, shuddering blasts shook the house. Dust rose up in clouds from the floor, disturbed by the bombs. Plaster, already fragile from age began shaking loose from the walls and ceilings, coating us in its flakes. Long, sinewy cracks ran up from the floors, dividing the wall into sections.
I looked up at mother in the dim light. Her pink coat as streaked with dirt and blood. Thin cuts marred her normally unspoiled coat. Drips of blood ran down her muzzle and forehooves, cut from the explosion of glass from before. I looked at my hooves, only to see the same dark red staining my coat.
Bombs were falling on our city. It seemed, as I would not go to the war, the war came to me. Even within mere moments, blood already stained my hooves.
Fleeting visions of my foalhood dreams entered my head. I saw, as I had for so many nights, as my father woke from his slumber only to realize his camp was under attack. Then, a dark, monstrous shape filled my vision and the first bomb hurdled toward the blue pegasus.
I whinnied in fright and clutched at mother, nuzzling into her, trying to block out my thoughts. Goddesses, if the first bomb landed just a few feet closer to our house…
She squeezed me back, holding me tight. I sobbed into her chest. “Shh, Pink… It’s alright…” she murmured.
Another thud shook the house, this time less powerfully. The bombing was moving away as the raid swept across the city. I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe we would live through this relatively unscathed
Mother gripped me tighter. I felt wetness splash on top of my muzzle as she began to weep along with me. Another thundering explosion landed far off in the distance. “Shh…baby…” She stroked my mane, trying to calm me down, as well as herself.
“Don’t worry, Pink…Momma’s gonna keep you cozy and warm.”
I sniffled and wiped my eyes. I looked up at her and smiled. I burrowed into her embrace again.
“I know, mother… I know…”
We stayed like that for a few hours, twisted in the small closet. Shouts of battle trickled in from the outside through the thin wall of the house. Occasionally we heard a few explosions followed by the compulsory shouts of pain. We heard the electric zap of unicorn magic as it connected with soft tissue of ponies, though whose side it hit was unknown.
And the entire time, the air raid siren continued to whistle its monotone tune, unbroken by even the sounds of war.
But then, what seemed like days later, but could as well have been mere minutes, the outside world went quiet. The screams died down. The fighting rolled to a halt. And our crying subsided.
It was the sound of silence. The absence of noise.
Ooh, Ma, let me go…
I longed to be free, to fly amongst the great and famous. I wanted to be adored and cheered by millions on fans. But I was entrenched by my mother, who only wanted what she thought was best for me. But who was she to know what was best for me?
She kept me grounded, unwilling to let me soar to strive to be the very best.
She kept me under her proverbial wings, akin to a caged bird. Against my will.
She kept me safe, or what she believed to be safe. Her views and persistent overprotection twisted me into something altogether contrasting what she wanted.
She left me standing before a wall. A wall that separated me from my dreams and all I hoped to achieve. It stretched high above me, disappearing into the high, foggy air. It had grown wider as I lived, and with mother’s help, it grew out of control. And so that wall grew and became so suffocating, that it seemed I could no longer find my way through it.
It was mother who prevented me from scaling that wall and achieving what I had so longed for. She dug me into a deeper and deeper hole, while simultaneously extending the wall’s height through her unwarranted protection of me. And I could not say I loved her for it.
Had I lived a normal life, would that wall have been shorter to hurdle, or would I even have been closer to the top? But with mother’s help, I was so overshadowed by the wall, that it trapped me there, separate from my aspirations.
When I was young, had the wall been that imposing? My life had yet to oppose me in my foalhood, as it has now. I was sure that the wall had been smaller in younger years. Its bricks had yet to stack up to create the impossible obstacle I had to cross. But now…
But Mother, did that wall need to be so high?
Based on “Mother” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, various lyrics and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
The Flames Are All Long Gone, But...
“Look, mommy! There’s an airship up in the sky!”
“Mhmm. That’s nice, dear.”
“Look, mommy, look…”
The white unicorn mare and the equally white foal she was dragging along with her turned the corner and were quickly drowned out by the constant drone of the crowded sidewalks, and their conversation was quickly lost within the addled mess of the city.
I glanced up, and indeed there was an airship floating over the rooftops, though that was not an uncommon sight these days. Since the war’s end just last year, the Equestrian Air Division had taken to patrolling the skies at night just in case an attack occurred.
I nudged the mare next to me and motioned towards the night sky. “Look, Rêves, there’s an airship up in the sky!”
She bumped me back and looked up. “Yes there is Pink, yes there is… And so many stars as well…” She smiled and nuzzled the underside of my neck, eliciting a blush from me.
At that moment, as per his personality, Short spoke up from the other side of me and slung a forehoof across my shoulder, grinning madly. “Yea, lots of stars up there, and one new one walkin’ right beside us! I can still hardly believe it, Pinky! In a few days’ time, Pink Floyd will be a name known in every home across Equestria!”
“Pink Floyd and his band.” I corrected him. “Couldn’t have made such a chart-topping re
cord without you guys.”
“Oh, blimey, Pinky, I’m jus’ your manager. I mean, we’re out tonigh’ celebratin’ you, not us. You’re the one who finally got his cutie mark after so long,” retorted Short.
And indeed I had. For what was probably the 300th time that night since it had first appeared, I glanced backwards to look at the two crossed hammers on top of a half red, half white record disc that was emblazoned on my flank. It was just this morning that, after so much trial and tribulation, I got called down to the record company and informed my debut album, after only a day in stores, had already hit the top of the charts. I was famous.
It was at that moment that all my hard work had finally paid off. All the times I had secretly written and composed, despite Mother’s wishes, despite Sir’s abuse, had come through. I was finally to achieve my dreams of living the high life, and I was loving it.
The rest of the morning had gone by in a rush of pure ecstasy as the band and I partied away the success of our new album and my new cutie mark. Truth be told, though I refused to admit it to myself before, I had been terrified that I would never find my cutie mark. It was years since most foals had gotten theirs, and I was well behind the late bloomers. It had been two years since I moved out of Mother’s house and lived on my own. Most foals discover their talents at age eight to ten, but I was well into adulthood before I finally got mine today. Those two years were tough. I barely scraped by, but luckily, I had the warm support and love of Rêves to keep me going.
As soon as I had left Mother’s suffocating embrace, I reconnected with the green unicorn my mother had despised and apologized to her for letting our relationship end the way it did. It had taken months to remedy what I allowed Mother to do to Rêves. She had been hurt badly by my supposed break up with her. I was an idiot for letting that even happen, and there were times when the mare of my dreams wanted nothing to do with me. And rightly so. But, eventually, with a persistence most ponies would envy, I won back her heart and we were nigh inseparable since.
I smiled and tore my gaze away from my cutie mark and looked forward again, only to find an extremely distracted looking stallion barreling towards me. I jumped to the side just as he passed, bounding into Rêves, who cast me a questioning glance. I grinned sheepishly. “Sorry,” I muttered.
She rolled her eyes as I returned to my normal position. “Goddess, what am I going to do with you Pink?”
I winked at her. “I can think of a few things I’d like you to do with me…”
“Well…” she began, “when we get home tonight, alright Pink?” Her eyes twinkled with mirth in the bright city lights.
‘Well, that sounds-”
“’Ey you two, get a room!”
My ears folded back in embarrassment and we broke eye contact. I glanced to my left at Ox who was on the other side of Short and watching us with a slight smile on his face.
“Sorry Ox.” I smirked. “Sorry I reminded you of how lonely you are.”
The unicorn’s eyes widened in shock. “No! Tha- That’s not tha- I…”
“Oh, shu’ it Entwistle! We all know you’re a heart-broken lil’ bugger! Don’t hide it.” Short playfully punched his embarrassed friend’s shoulder, causing the unicorn to stumble.
Ox stuttered, trying to work himself out of the situation. “No, I-”
But this time Rêves cut him off. “Ox. It’s alright.”
The bassist unicorn whimpered and nodded slightly. “O- Okay.”
Rêves glared at me and motioned towards Ox, who was sullenly looking at the ground. I sighed and looked over the diminutive Short at the red unicorn just beyond him. “We’re kidding, Ox. Sorry.”
I felt bad for him. When he wasn’t on stage, the poor stallion could barely handle any kind of insults, even flippant ones. I could even see the beginnings of tears start to form in his eyes.
Suddenly, Short disappeared from the peripherals of my vision. I stopped and looked around for the missing pegasus. Knowing him, he had probably found something shiny on the street and stopped. I felt Ox and Rêves stop as well. “Short?” I called out, “Short, where are you?”
“Righ’ behind ya, mate.”
I whirled around to find the pegasus in question hanging upside down in the air, just above the throng of ponies now pushing past us. He grinned, twirled around right side up and landed in a relatively empty spot on the sidewalk.
“We’ve arrived at our destination for this evenin’.” He gestured at the building we were stopped in front of.
I looked up at the bright neon sign that adorned the outside of the building. “The Cavern? Never heard of the place.” The two unicorns in our group murmured in agreement.
Short patted me on the back again, rather forcibly this time. “It’s a great place, mate. Food, drink, live singin’. The whole package. Hell, maybe we can get you on stage to sing or somethin’.” He chuckled. “Come on guys.”
Short flung open the door and proudly walked inside, with us following suit just behind him.
Instantly, a mixture of sounds and smells hit us like a brick wall. A heavy scent of mold and alcohol mixed in the air, creating a ghastly odor. In in the middle of the restaurant was a stage with a rather shapely blond colored mare standing on two hooves singing into a microphone.
The entire restaurant was silent as they watched her. Food laid untouched as the mare onstage wove her captivating spell on the patron. As we walked in, she appeared to have just started singing, and we all stopped and watched from the entryway.
“Let’s say goodbye with a smile, dear,
Just a while, dear, we must part.
Don’t let this parting upset you,
I’ll not forget you, sweetheart.
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.
“And I will just say hello,
To the folks that you know,
Tell them you won’t be long.
They’ll be happy to know that as I saw you go,
You were singing this song.
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
Till the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away.
“And I will just say hello,
To the folks that you know,
Tell them you won’t be long.
They’ll be happy to know that as I saw you go,
You were singing this song.
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day…”
The mare’s voice faded into silence as she finished her song. For a moment, not a soul in the restaurant so much as breathed. The absence of her singing left a void in the restaurant. It was if the entire world suddenly went quiet. Silence. The mare on stage blushed, and tentatively waved a hoof at the audience, squeaking a dainty ‘Thank you’ into the microphone.
Broken from their spell, the restaurant erupted in a storm of applause and cheers that could probably be heard outside. The four of us joined in the praise, each of us too amazed to speak. The mare blushed again and smiled bashfully.
As the applause died down, the blonde mare left the stage with a slight curtsy and disappeared behind the curtains. Then, the announcer sauntered back onto the stage and commandeered the microphone.
“And that, ladies and gentlecolts, was the very beautiful and talented Miss Truthful Cascade. Let’s hear another round of applause for her, huh?”
More clapping filled the air as the exuberant and rather drunk ponies followed the announcer’s instructions. We, however, did not follow suit. The other three had left me and went to talk to the hostess about procuring us a table and I was still watching the stage, enamored by Cascade’s performance.
“Wow…” I muttered, “I’ll remember that forever…That was beautiful…” And it truly was. I felt tears start to blur my vision as her lyrics began to bring up painful, long forgotten memories of father, the one pony in my life that was taken from me by the war. If there was a song that was to define all the love and aching that the ponies that survived through the war felt, this was it. I had no doubt that I would not forget this song anytime soon.
Eventually, the applause faded out. “Now,” began the announcer, “We’ll have a short few minutes break, and then we’ll be back, alright? Our next act is an upstarting band from up north. Four young lads from Liverpo-”
‘’Ey, Equestria to Pink!” Ox prodded me gently, snapping me out of my enthrallment. “They’re seatin’ us. Come on.” He pushed me towards the stairs and we followed the hostess down into the dining area. After passing several tables that were empty and much closer to the stage, she led us into a rather secluded corner of the restaurant and gave us our menus.
“Hey, why are we sitting in the back?” I asked as we sat down.
Short smiled at me and patted my hoof assuredly.” You’ll see, Pinky. You’ll see.”
I grunted in reply and slid an arm around Rêves’ shoulder. And with that, the four of us began to look over our menus. After a while, our waiter came by and took our order. I ordered some soup called ‘The Saucerful of Secrets.’ It sounded mysterious, though I was told that it was merely tomato soup when I ordered it.
We sat in silence for a moment after that, each of us lost to our own thoughts. My mind was swirling with the music the new band on stage was playing. I had missed both their name and the title of the song, but it sounded very good. It was a high energy song about ‘twisting and shouting’ or something to that effect. The singer’s voice sounded a little hoarse though. Perhaps with some more practice and some luck, I figured, they might become famous as well.
Then, as he always seemed to do, Short broke the silence. “Here.” He reached down into his saddlebags.” A little somethin’ to celebrate with.” The pegasus dropped a small bag full of what looked like chopped up blue leaves on the tabletop.
I looked at the bag with interest. “What is it?” I asked.
Short smiled. “Ohoho, you’re in for a treat, Pinky. This stuff will open your mind, mate. I got it from a friend of mine.” As he spoke, the pegasus unzipped the bag and brought out a clump of the stuff. He held it out to me. “Here, take it.”
I took the grass-substance and rolled it around in my hoof. My brow knitted in confusion. What was this stuff? I looked back up at Short who was watching me expectedly. “What do you do with it? Eat it?”
My manager snickered. “No, no, Pinky. Ya smoke it. Ya know, light it on fire, breathe in the smoke. It takes you places, mate.”
“It’s a drug?”
Short groaned and smacked his face in exasperation. “Yes, Pinky. It’s a drug. Ya okay with it?”
“Yeah…I suppose… What is it exactly?”
“Honestly, Pinky?? You’ve been on your own for how long now? Its Poison Joke. This shit is strong.” Short thumped the table for emphasis. “But it’s great, mate. Never know what’ll happen, right?”
I looked at Ox who, almost immediately, had taken some of the grass and lit it on fire. “You too, Ox, huh?”
The red unicorn grinned. “Me too, Pink.” He inhaled again, giggling slightly to himself. “Do it, guvnor.”
I glanced over at Rêves who only shrugged. “Go for it, dear. I don’t want any, though.”
I turned back to Short who was already waiting with a lighter in his hooves.
“Well...” I began. “Looks like I’ll have some.”
He chuckled. “Here, I’ll light it for ya.” Short held out the open flame to the blue Poison Joke, which immediately began to smolder, giving off plumes of smoke.
I held the clump under my nose and breathed in the acrid smoke. My eyes widened. This was…interesting…
Short laughed at my expression. “Good, eh?”
A goofy grin slowly spread across my face as the drug fully entered my system. I nodded absentmindedly. “Ss’good,” I mumbled, “Real good.”
Short’s mouth opened in response, but no sound came out. In fact, the previously nearly deafening jumble of noises in the restaurant had died down considerably. I looked around. Small, multicolored balls of lights danced and weaved throughout the restaurant tables. One of the light spheres floated over towards our table. Cautiously, I reached out for it and poked it. Immediately, the ball flashed and disappeared in a puff of smoke and a jingle of musical notes.
I bobbed my head up and down in approval. Alright, this was interesting.
I heard a mumble of sound to my left, and I turned to try to find the sound. My eyes eventually drifted over to Rêves, who was trying to get my attention about something. I smiled at her and offered the still smoking clump cradled in my hooves.
She shook her head and covered her snout with her napkin, pushing the drug away. I smiled at her again. Damn, she was beautiful, even with those orbs of light floating through her face.
I breathed in deeply, inhaled the drug laden smoke again. I smiled. Again. Oh yes, there was no turning back now.
My days of innocence were over.
Based on “Goodbye Blue Sky” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, various lyrics and other events belong to Pink Floyd
“We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro
With Our Backs to the Wall
What shall I use to fill these empty spaces?
…These empty spaces where we used to talk?
‘…Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Mental Institution, Canterl-‘
“Oi, Pink! Rêves is on the phone!”
How shall I fill the final places?
“How are you doing?”
“Doing fine. You?”
How should I complete the wall?
“You sound tired, Pink. I hope you haven’t worked straight through the night.”
“No, babe. No, I’m good…”
“Oh, I bought a new guitar.”
Never relax at all…
“Hey, is there anypony in there...?”
Green flashed in front of my vision.
Then, more green interrupted my view of my hooves and the piano I was playing. Unsteadily, I tore my gaze away from the keys and glanced up.
A green unicorn mare looked back at me. She smiled at me and tightened the saddlebags slung on her back.
“Yes, remember me? Your loving wife, Rêves?”
I gazed at her vacantly. Rêves… Wife…
“Reves…” I croaked in reply, a small smile playing on my lips.
She sighed and looked at me dejectedly. “Yes, Pink, Rêves... Sweet Celestia, those drugs you’re taking addle your brain. It’s a wonder you can even talk.”
I looked at her. “…Ss’wonder…” I mumbled sluggishly, nodding my head slightly.
She clenched her eyes shut and choked back a moan. I watched her, unsure what was going on. What was there to be sad about? I was happy. She was happy. Life was…
When she reopened her eyes, she smiled half-heartedly. “Ye- Yes, Pink. I’m going down to the-” She broke off, a soft sob racking her body. “To the registry office for a bit, okay?”
I stared back in response.
Rêves turned away from me and the piano and trotted back towards the door. I watched her go.
With a hoof on the door, she looked back over her shoulder. “I love you, Pink…”
I didn’t respond.
She left the room. I blinked again and looked back at the piano. Unsteadily, I pressed down on the keys, creating a discordant tune, my hooves trembling with every movement. I sighed and my forelimbs fell limply to my side. I reached a hoof out towards the now closed door, hoping, yearning that she would return.
“Love…you too, dear…”
I feel so…empty…
This isn’t what I thought it would be at all…
I reached out for her one night, hoping to feel her embrace. To see her face. To talk. To love, as we had before. To hear her laugh. To see her smile.
I loved her.
My pink hoof connected with her green shoulder, just to make sure she was still there in the darkness of night. My hoof didn't stay there for long.
She subconsciously turned away at my touch, inching just a few inches from where my hoof was. My wife pulled the covers up over her shoulders and continued sleeping, unaware of my presence.
I sighed and slipped out of the bed comforter. I swung my backlimbs over the edge of the bed and cradled my head in my forehooves.
Carriages Bombs Homes Cash Books Sleep Disease Treasure Pictures Attics East Fights Work Music Sex Rats Walls Guitar Faces Flowers Dogs Leisure Drinks Worms Trains On Empty Drugs Power Fuck Race Fly Applause Showers Sex War Sky Spaces Tours Pink Money Moon Ovens Love Drugs Bones Pony Goodbye Flesh Black Pink War Life Sight Roots Fame Love Mother Death Pigs Time Sky Bricks Empty Drugs New Hunger Diamonds Cigar Machine Breathe Father Bury Music Worms Play Empty Radio Damage Love Wish Cold Fame Sunshine Lonely Songs Pain Hammer!
I have everything, yet nothing…
What shall I do now?
I was watching the wall.
It was white, flat and boring, but it was also so much more than that. These walls that made up our home protected us, hid us, from the glaring eyes of the outside world. It shielded from the questioning glances of the media. For walls were built to protect the contents within and hide from the outside. Any external observer only saw the exterior side of the wall. The only part that truly matters to anypony outside. The only part they could familiarize themselves with. They only part they knew.
My eyes traced over every crack, scrape and furrow of our bedroom wall. Even in the few short years we had lived here, I had grown as used to them as I had my foalhood walls.
The bedroom door swung open.
“Pink?” She called, smiling brightly. “Pink, darling, you in here?”
I didn’t respond.
“Pink…” she started. She glanced at the spot on the wall where I was staring. She sighed and slid off her saddlebags throwing them to the floor. “Pink…” she said again, this time in a rather sultry tone.
I felt the bed sink and shift as she clambered on top of it. Slowly, the green unicorn entered my vision, flashing her eyes lustfully at me. Slowly, she crawled in front of me and laid down across my hooves, stroking my forehoof.
“Piiiiink…” she moaned. With a final wiggle, she repositioned herself directly in my line of vision.
I blinked and tilted my head, looking around the sudden green obtrusion that blocked my view of the wall.
Then the mare scooted over a bit, her face once more blocking my vision. She looked at me and smiled. “Honey…” She glanced back at the wall where I was staring. “You want that wall…or me?”
I stared blankly at her for a few seconds.
Only a moment.
Then my gaze slid off my wife and back to the wall just beyond her.
Don’t leave me, please…
I hesitated at the threshold to the living room.
She was in there, sprawled in her favorite chair, crying.
Though about what, I had no idea.
After a moment, I turned and walked away from the room.
I had a show to get ready for.
“…and then he said ‘Make her? No she went of her own accord!’”
So did she.
It was quiet for a moment.
“So…” A pause. “Hey, do you wanna, I dunno, go out for a beer sometime, or…?”
She giggled. “That sounds nice. Maybe sometime later this week? Thursday?”
“That sounds good.”
“Alright…. Well…. See ya.”
“See ya, Rêves.”
The door opened, illuminating our foyer and then closed again, shrouding the room in darkness again.
My wife came trotting into our living room, humming quietly to herself.
“So, who was that?”
Rêves stopped dead in her tracks, her tune ending abruptly. She looked around the room confusedly before spotting me lying on the couch.
She frowned slightly and trotted over, taking a place beside me.
“Oh, that was just Wedge. We work together.” Another giggle. “You two have met. Remember? At that fancy dress party?”
I grunted in confirmation.
She continued. “Anyway, he just invited me out to get a beer with him.”
I nodded slowly. “I heard. And you accepted.”
“Well yes.” She leaned over and stroked my mane in a futile attempt to keep it straight. “I get bored when you go off on tour, so I go out with friends sometimes. You know how it is.” She hugged me.
I nodded once more, swallowing a lump in my throat.
“Of course, dear.”
Where did we go…?
“So Pinky, ya excited for your Canterlot concert?”
I looked over at Short, who was trotting beside me, stuffed into a rather ill-fitting suit in a vain attempt to look presentable
We were in the train station, getting ready to take the trip over to Canterlot for my much acclaimed Summer Sun Celebration Tour. A concert in the very capitol of Equestria filled with thousands of adoring fans. Just what I had wanted.
Around us, ponies were running to and fro, catching their own trains to wherever destination they were going to. I could feel the cacophony of noise beginning to bring on a headache. That would require a bit of relaxant once we got on the train.
“Pinky?” Short nudged me, sending me into the path of a passing purple unicorn mare with a brown owl of some kind perched on her back. We connected and she was sent sprawling onto her haunches, the owl fluttering off her back and hovering over her, watching anxiously.
I froze up. I felt...unclean, unsure what to do. I had ran into this mare, and…Goddess…I had no idea what to do. I had her... whatever on me. I gaped at the mare and her owl. My right forehoof twitched. I blinked.
I felt a rush of air as Short leap into action beside me, helping the mare up and sending her along, before turning to me.
“You okay, Pinky?”
I looked at him and tried to force a reassuring smile. “I’m fine.” I managed to choke out.
He nodded in understanding and we continued walking. We trotted down the train terminal for a while in silence, killing time before our train arrived.
Then Short broke the silence.
“Listen Pinky, I’m worried for ya… You’re doin’ all these drugs, so much more than me, Entwistle, or the rest of the boys, and… it can’t be good for ya, ya know? You seem to eat, sleep, and breathe them. ‘Specially breathe them…” He hesitated for a moment. “Back there…with that mare? You're no’…on anythin’ now, are ya?”
“No…” I responded.
But apparently my expression betrayed me.
Abruptly, Short gripped me by my saddlebags and moved me over to a secluded part of the station.
“Pinky, I’m speakin’ here as your manager, and your best friend. Just… just try to cu’ back a little, all right?” He sighed. “I mean, what does Rêves think?”
“I-” I pushed my glasses up and rubbed my eyes with a free hoof. “I don’t think she likes it much either…” I sighed and looked at the pegasus beside me. “I’m… just so out of it when I get home, right? I- I don’t know, Short. I just don’t know…”
“Jus’ promise me, Pinky. Try to cu’ back on the drinkin’ and the drugs, alright?”
“I don’t think I can, Short… I... Without them, I just feel so…” I trailed off, lost in thought.
“Yea? Feel so what…?” Short prompted me.
…I love you…
Based on “Empty Spaces” and “What Shall We Do Now?” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
The Good Times?
‘Will some woman in this desert land make me feel like a real man? Take this rock and roll refugee, ooooh, baby set me free. Ooooh, I need a dirty woman. Ooooh, I need a dirty girl.’
“So baby… How ‘bout it?” The unicorn mare smiled at me and caressed my face, giggling to herself. Slowly, she sidled closer and leaned on the wall next to me, placing her hoof on my jacket and slid it off, throwing it to the ground. She moved closer and I could feel her hot breath on my face as she panted in excitement.
Quietly, she whispered in my ear. “I can give you all you need, baby. These other girls? You don’t need ‘em.” With another giggle she moved in even closer and nibbled on my ear.
I recoiled at the bite and spun to face her, my hoof half raised in reflex. She looked back at me, her face frozen half in fright and half in amusement as I fought the reaction to hit her. Gradually, I lowered my arm, returning it to my side and forced myself to relax. She didn’t mean any harm. She giggled again and sauntered closer once more, flashing her practiced bedroom eyes at me. “Baby…” she drawled. “Let’s gooooo…. Surely you got someplace, bein’ a rock star an’ all?”
I turned and looked at her again, this time directly into her eyes. Her blue eyes. Blue like Rêves.
“Not you, hon.” I pushed her off of me, practically shoving her into the trashcans on the opposite side of the alley.
She managed to catch herself before she hit the floor though and glared at me as she readjusted the tattered, stained saddle she was wearing. She huffed and shook herself, as if trying to shake off excess filth. Like she wasn’t dirty already after a night of working the streets.
“Go on.” I shooed her. “Send the next one back while you’re at it.”
She looked at me indignantly and turned, trotting back around the corner. “Fine!” she called back over her shoulder. “I will! I don’t wanna go with you anyways! You rockers are bastards!”
“Oh, piss off, hon!” I yelled back. “Send the next one! Haven’t got all night!”
As she rounded the alley corner, I bent down and picked by discarded jacket off of the floor. That little bitch, throwing my jacket to the floor, who did she think she was?! And it was vintage leather too! I sighed and slung the coat over my shoulder and readjusted my position to one more comfortable. Leaning on walls, while intriguing and mysterious looking, was not designed for a pony form.
Just then, the sound of hooves clacking against the stone pavement reached my ears. I glanced up to see the black and white stripes of a zebra trotting towards me. I blinked in surprise, wary of the situation already. I never considered there being non-pony whores in Canterlot, though I suppose there was a certain exotic quality of having a zebra that was appealing. I had certainly never done a zebra before. Back home, the only girls you could find out on the streets at night were strictly ponies.
The zebra dipped her head in acknowledgement as she approached. “Greetings, rock star Pink Floyd, I understand that you are looking for a good time? Trust me, out of all others here, I can satisfy anything your heart and body desires...”
I chuckled. “Yes, that’s what the last mare assured me of. And she was much more…forward than you are, hon.”
The zebra looked at me devilishly. “I am not so quiet in bed, I assure you. Now, do you want to go have some fun?”
I looked at the zebra thoughtfully. “How much?”
She smiled. “Oh, for you Pink Floyd, I’ll charge none. I only ask that you give me your autograph. That would suffice.”
My face fell at her words. “Leave.” I growled. “Send the next girl out.”
The zebra bitch balked. “W- Why? What did I say?”
I grunted. “I don’t want another fan obsessing over me while we’re going at it. I’ve had far too many nights like that these past few months.” I chuckled darkly and gestured for the zebra to leave. “If you had kept your mouth shut, we might’ve had something here. Now go.”
With a snort of anger, the mare turned and briskly trotted off without as much as a backwards glance. As she rounded the corner, she stopped and murmured something to the next working girl in line before disappearing from sight.
Well at least she left with more dignity than the last four had.
There was a brief period of silence before the next prostitute rounded the corner. Only it was immediately obvious it wasn’t a pony. Or anything remarkably similar to one.
It’s amazing how different the sound of griffon talons on cobblestone differ from hooves. It’s more of a skittering sound than the normal clop of a pony.
And the next moment, my fears were confirmed as the hulking shape of the griffon rounded the corner. My heart skipped a beat. A griffon? Oh, dear Celestia, not a griffon…
In the distant recesses of my mind, I heard the resounding smack of a ruler on a desk and a shrill, reprimanding voice shrieking at us. I shuddered and closed my eyes, and hoped the griffon would leave.
And how would that even work? A griffon and a pony? I could see a zebra, but a griffon…?
I felt the sharp poke of a talon tap me on the shoulder. I winced and cracked open an eyelid to see the griffon watching me with mild disinterest.
When she saw my eyes open, she chuckled. “Ah. The pony lives. So you’re the one who’s been goin’ through the city’s whores like nothin’, huh? I guess what they say is true about ‘Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll,’ huh?” She chuckled, her beak clattering together. “Well, you wanna go then?”
I whimpered and vigorously shook my head. “No!” I half cried. “No! No griffons! Not now, not ever! Leave! And send the next bitch out after you.”
The griffon blinked and for a split second her fist balled up in anger. She lifted her fist menacingly at me, and then stopped. She stood there for a moment, shaking, obviously at battle with herself over whether or not to punch my face in.
I really hoped she wouldn’t.
I rather liked my face.
But the griffon took a deep breath and unclenched her hand, letting it swing loosely by her side. She breathed out again and smoothed down a few wayward feathers on her chest. She scoffed and turned away. “Whatever dweeb. Don’t like doing it with you lame ponies either.”
With those words, the griffon turned and walked away, vanishing around the corner where there was still a line composed of most of the hookers in the city waiting to petition for me. I paid them nicely.
I breathed out a sigh a relief I hadn’t known I was holding as the griffon departed. Of all the griffons I had met, which I could now count with my two front hooves, they both seemed to have anger problems. Must be a heredity trait, I figured. Sir and that griffon whore certainly hadn’t built a very good name for their species.
I waited a few more moments as the next mare approached the alleyway. Eventually, the very satisfying sound of hoofsteps on the cobblestone reached my ears. At least the next female was equine in nature. Perhaps I should have specified that.
As the next female stepped out of the shadows of the alley, I chuckled with interest. At least, I believed it was female. I didn’t pretend to be an expert on changeling anatomy, and this next one was definitely a changeling.
“Hey there big boy,” she chirped as she stepped closer, “I hear you’re looking for a dirty woman, Floyd. You know I can give you that, and so much more.”
I nodded in confirmation and gestured for her to continue her audition.
She suddenly stopped her approach a few feet away, and regarded me with a mixture of curiosity and hunger. “I can feel the love in you, Floyd. You’ve bottled it up, chained it and haven’t released it in a very, very long time. It’s almost sad that a stallion of your…position should contain so much.” She sighed and moved closer, her bug-like wings flittering as she spoke. “It isn’t healthy Floyd, to lock up love like that. I can feel it close to overflowing.”
She paused and gazed up into my eyes. “Though I suppose you know that, don’t you? Why else would you be here, but to guiltlessly let out these pent up feelings?” She smiled and began ran a hole marred hoof through my mane. “I can help with that Floyd. You know I can.”
I shivered at the female’s words and nodded tensely.
“But why is it you lock your love away so?” she crooned as she continued to stroke my mane. “Trouble with the Missus?” Her eyes flashed and a tingling sensation burned in the pit of my stomach. The changeling blinked, her eyes returning to normal. “No. That’s not it, is it? No, it’s much deeper isn’t it?”
The changeling whore smirked and moved away. She concentrated for a moment and then lit up in a flash of light. I averted my gaze downwards and when I looked back up to see a black unicorn staring at me lustfully.
“Tell me Floyd,” she said as she changed forms into a gray pegasus, “what are your passions,” she turned into a zebra, “your fantasies,” a brown earth pony, “your dreams? I can make them come true. I can be anypony or anything that your little heart requires.” Another flash of light and the changeling was once again standing in front of me.
I looked at her with a slight air of superiority. “How about you be yourself and we go sort out the problems you say I have?”
The changeling blinked in confusion and then a grin slowly spread across her face. “I think we can do that, Floyd. I do indeed…”
The next afternoon I was alone again.
I awoke around noontime as the sun’s rays began to filter through my bedroom window, shining bright light directly at my eyes. Groggily, I sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep from my eyes, making sure to turn my head away from the sun’s light.
It was then that I noticed the empty space beside me on the bed.
I sighed and stared at the spot the changeling had occupied the previous night after she had finished with her job. She had fallen asleep in the bed, tired from the night’s activities. Part of me hoped that she would still be there in the morning.
But she had left me, sneaking away sometime in the night.
I felt so alone.
I grabbed a pillow and hugged it close to my chest, hoping that it would help chase away the coldness I felt inside.
And yet I held onto it anyway, stroking it absentmindedly as I stared off into space. Gradually, I began to rock back and forth. I glanced back at the window and at the Canterlot skyline outside. My hotel room looked out high over the surrounding countryside. I saw a small village nestled on the outskirts of a grand forest that seemed to stretch for miles.
They had given me the nicest room in the most expensive hotel in the city.
Anything for the star, right?
I chuckled and unclenched the pillow, letting it fall into my lap. What was I doing? I was loved by thousands of ponies, not to mention my wife and friends, but… I just couldn’t explain why this uncertain feeling was here in my brain. I had no reason to feel like this.
I’m Pink Floyd, one of the most well-known musicians Equestria has seen! My songs have garnered an audience of millions as my songs lifted their spirits after the war. My ballads have soothed their aching hearts and touched even the coldest codgers. I’ve produced dance songs that have defined a generation and I’ve even catered to the children! I had it all. The dream job. The money. A loving wife. Fame. Love.
So what was missing?
I realized that I didn’t know.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
The changeling had said something last night… Something about love…
I didn’t know.
But… Maybe Rêves would. Yes, she would help. She loved me. My wife loved me. She could take away this pain I’ve felt for so long. Just had to ask, that’s all.
Grinning despite myself, I hurried out of bed and flung on my coat, barely registering the fact I should clean up first, what with the smells and appearance of last night’s escapades still on me. But I didn’t care. I needed to talk to my wife and while I could do it in my room, I figured the fresh air outside might do me good as well.
I just needed to know what was wrong.
As luck would have it, there was a payphone just outside the hotel in the alleyway separating the hotel from the neighboring building. The crisp mountain Canterlot air provided little help to my current state of mind.
I dialed the operator as fast as I could.
The operator picked up the phone on the fourth ring. “Hello?” said an overly enthusiastic female voice on the other side.
“Hey, yeah, I would like to place a collect call to my wife.”
“Certainly sir, just need your name and the number.”
I hesitated for a moment. I gave her my name and number.
“Calling now, Mr. Floyd. Just a moment.”
I waited eagerly as the operator dialed Rêves. The phone rang on the other end once.
Then I heard the telltale click of the receiver being lifted. I smiled. After so long, I knew Rêves would help me. She loved me dearly, and I loved her back just the same.
“Hello…?” said the voice on the other end. But… It wasn’t the voice of my wife. It was a male’s voice. One I had heard just before I left to go on tour when he had asked Rêves out for a drink. I felt my previous excitement vanish and begin to be replaced by something altogether more volatile.
The operator began talking again, this time to the other stallion. “Yes, this is a collect call for Mrs. Floyd from Mr. Floyd. Will you accept the charges from Canterlot?”
There was silence on the other end for a moment, as if the stallion who picked up was unsure what to do.
But then, he hung up the phone and the connection was terminated.
“Oh!” exclaimed the operator. “He hung up! That’s your residence right? I wonder why he hung up. Is there supposed to be somepony else there besides your wife to answer?”
I felt my heart flutter in my chest. There shouldn’t have been anypony there besides her to answer. And certainly not any stallions!
What the hell was going on over there?
I exhaled a shaky breath, thoughts of infidelity and betrayal floating through my mind, my original purpose for the call completely forgotten.
“Sir?” interjected the operator politely as she could. “Would you like me to try again, sir?”
I gulped. “Yes please…”
“Certainly. Dialing again…”
I swayed back and forth as the phone rang. If she was cheating on me…
Finally, my house phone was picked up.
“Hello?” said the same husky, masculine voice.
“This is Canterlot calling, are we reaching-“
The receiver clicked once and the other side went quiet more as the stallion abruptly ended the call.
But not before I heard a rather feminine voice in the background. The rather familiar sound of my wife… calling the stallion to come back to bed.
And that was it.
My wife was cheating on me.
I felt the world go quiet as my mind processed that thought. Rêves, the mare I had loved and trusted for so long, had left me and run off with another stallion. It seemed unreal, but that was the only possible explanation.
The chipper voice of the telephone operator interrupted my thoughts. “See, he keeps hanging up, and it’s a man answering, not your wife…”
The payphone fell from my grasp and clattered against the wall, cutting off the rest of the mare’s sentence.
Slowly, I sunk to the ground, my eyes beginning to brim with tears as the realization fully hit me. My wife, Rêves, the love of my life, cheated on me.
For no reason.
Had she not been happy? I tried to remember the past few days preceding the day I left. Hadn’t she been happy? Hadn’t she been happy with me?
Hazy memories of the days before my tour started began to rise to the forefront of my brain.
There was one day she said she loved me, But… then she left soon after that. Something about… a job? I didn’t know. The memory seemed so faint, as I was watching from miles away.
She seemed happy then. I was sure she was happy. But was it love for me, or joy that I was soon to leave so she and her lover could spend some quality time?
And then, later, when she was talking to that one stallion at the front doorstep, basically flaunting their secret affair in my face. ‘Go out for a beer sometime.’ Ha! I’ve never heard that euphemism before! How long had that affair been going on? Weeks? Months? I hadn’t a fucking clue. Hadn’t a fucking clue…
Goddess, how could I have been so blind?! Not to see what was directly in front of my own eyes?
Mother had been right. She did bring heartache and pain. My wife, if I could even call her that now, used me for her own personal satisfaction! Was anything we had special? Or was it like Mother said, and Rêves had been going behind my back since we were mere foals?
That lying two-faced bitch! What a fucking idiot I had been to ever believe a word that cruel example of a mare had ever said to me.
“…Fucking bitch…” I muttered.
I glanced up at the voice to see a young, green colored pegasus staring at me from the mouth of the alleyway. The other ponies going about their business just behind her paid the mare no mind.
“Excuse me,” she began again, though rather nervously “What did you say to me?”
I didn’t answer the mare’s question, hardly trusting my brain to form a coherent answer. My eyes, however, studied the mare in earnest, following every curve of her face and her auburn mane before moving down her body and observed her shapely form.
I blinked and smiled apologetically, slipping into a mask of composure. “Sorry… Wasn’t talking to you…” I tore my gaze away from the pegasus and stared at my hooves blankly.
“Oh. Sorry. I’ll leave then, shall I?” She smiled and began to turn away, but then froze as if she just realized something. “Hang on…” the mare glanced back at me and took a step closer. “Aren’t you… Pink Floyd?”
I looked up at her, my face expressionless. “So what if I am? What’s it to you, huh?”
He eyes shifted around nervously as she took another step forward into the alley. “Well, I’m a big fan of his, and… Well… I’ve always dreamed of meeting him…”
“That’s nice, hon.”
She inched closer and glanced at my crossed hammer cutie mark. “You are him!” she exclaimed, practically jumping with excitement. “
The mare’s face fell, suddenly adopting a more serious expression. “Yes. Yes you are. What are you doing out here?” she gestured to the alley. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for your concert this evening or something?”
I shrugged and didn’t answer. What was there to say? That my wife left me and I was crying to myself in this alleyway?
The green mare bit her lip and teetered slightly, as if she wanted to say something, but wasn’t sure. She watched me uncertainly and I met her stare with an almost venomous look of my own that she completely failed to notice.
I desperately wanted this pegasus to leave me to my thoughts. Already her constant parade of questions had annoyed me to no end. Had this mare no sense of observation? Here I was, hunched over in an alleyway, obviously distraught and all she could ask me if I was who I was! As if my face wasn’t instantly recognizable!
This mare had to be daft, and now it seemed that she was going to ask something else. No doubt asking me to autograph something of her or something equally pointless. Nothing turned me off more than when they wanted me to sign something.
Still, all things considered though, her interruption did take my mind off of the past few minutes. Maybe this mare was worth something after all.
“Hey,” she burst out, finally concluding whatever inner struggle she had been going through, “Do… Do you suppose you could, maybe, autograph something of mine…?”
I sighed. Then again, perhaps she was like any other groupie.
“Look, hon... I’m…”
“Oh, please Pink! Please!”
I groaned and rubbed my temples, trying to decide what to do.
On one hoof, I really didn’t want any distractions at the moment. But on the other hoof, any distractions would be welcome. And on a third hoof, she was a fan.
Oh, what the hell.
Anything for the fans.
“Tell you what,” I began, “Let’s go up to my room and we’ll find something for you there, alright hon?” The mare squealed in delight and hovered slightly off the ground.
I placed a hoof on the wall behind me to steady myself as I stood. I glanced up at the hotel wall I had been leaning against.
The bricks that made up the wall were a curious thing. The foundation of it, especially the first few feet, was filthy. Muck and grime accumulated from years of its position bordering an alley coated the first few bricks, truly showing their age. But as you continued up the wall, the bricks began to look crisper and incredibly well maintained. In fact, as you neared the roofline, the bricks looked practically brand new, and fresh laid.
Though I knew even those bricks would become weathered with age as time went on.
Shaking my head, I tore my eyes away from the wall and back towards the green pegasus that was waiting anxiously to go up to my room.
And who knows? Maybe this mare would help take my mind off my wife. Maybe she would help.
Based on “Young Lust” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
A Passing Phase
‘Day after day, love turns gray like the skin on a dying man, and night after night we pretend it’s alright. But I have grown older, and you have grown colder, and nothing is very much fun anymore.’
I opened the door to my hotel room and led the green mare from the alleyway inside.
Upon seeing the room, she immediately gasped in what could only be amazement as she took in the suite I was living in during my stay in Canterlot. Her face practically lit up as she admired the luxuriousness of the penthouse room. “Oh Celestia!” she squealed in delight as I shut the front door. “What a fabulous room!”
I didn’t respond to her compliment. In truth, I barely heard the young mare as she looked about the room, marveling over my worldly possessions. My mind was still replaying the revealing telephone conversation from just moments prior. The conversation that exposed my former wife for the lying, cheating bitch she was.
I grimaced at the memory and turned my attention instead to the groupie as she flitted about the room drinking in the contents of my fame and fortune. And she had only seen the living room so far.
Eventually, her eyes fell on the row of guitars I brought with me for the tour. “Wow…” she said, breathlessly, “Are all these your guitars?”
Nodding absentmindedly in response, I trotted past her and collapsed in the small armchair the hotel had provided. I stared blankly out the floor-to-ceiling windows that lined one side of the room as the evening quickly turned to night. One by one, I watched as the multitudes of buildings below my room came to life in the coming gloom as lights inside were switched on.
The night became lit with a soft, welcoming yellow glow that seemed unbecoming for a city filed with the corrupt.
The mare spoke again, drawing my attention away from the fledgling night. “Wow, this place is bigger than my apartment! If this is how you live normally, I can see how much you must love it…”
And then… There was that statement. Did I truly love this life? Was everything really worth the fame and fortune?
Or was I doomed to live my life as the cruel hoof of fate continued to pile on more and more troubles? Or would there be a time where it all became too much?
Regardless, there would be a time when I faded into obscurity as my popularity dropped, just as everything in life did. It was inevitable. Love, fame, money, and even the structure of society decays as the unstoppable flow of time marches on.
So who was to say that my former wife’s betrayal was unavoidable?
The pegasus mare was suddenly in front of my face, watching me expectantly with her deep violet eyes. She smiled and I blinked. “…Erm, can I get a glass of water, Pink?”
I didn’t respond, and she frowned momentarily before walking away to the kitchen. The sound of a faucet being turned on reached my ears and the mare’s voice echoed out from the kitchen. “You want some, huh?”
This wasn’t my fault, what that bitch of a mare did. Whatever love we felt when we younger was lost as time went on, akin to the forces of nature. How long was it since she felt something for me? Had she ever? Or was our entire relationship a sham and means to further her reputation?
That is not to say her betrayal didn’t hurt.
My heart felt as though somepony had ripped right out of my ribcage and thrown it on the floor and stomped on ‘till it burst. She led me on, and I let myself fall in love with her.
But was I to blame? NO!
No I was not. Nothing that has ever happened to me has ever been my fault, and Rêves’ unfaithfulness was no different. I’ve never been at fault.
The past few minutes from that moment over the phone I heard her calling her lover back to bed to now went by in a blur. It was all I could do to not break down and cry my heart out. It was all I could do to try and ignore the pain I felt. To try and hide away where I couldn’t be bothered by it anymore. To lock it up.
A voice spoke up from the vicinity of my bathroom, bringing me back to reality. The mare’s voice. “Oh wow, just look at this tub!” The groupie poked her head out of the doorway, her voice taking on a suggestive tone. “Hey Pink, you wanna take a baaath? And maybe later, we can do a little something else…”
And now there’s this mare. This ditzy, infatuated groupie who, for whatever reason my emotionally torn mind thought of, I invited up into my room. Why did I think that was a good idea again? To distract me from the pain? To ease the ramifications of my adulterous wife’s affair? What could this mare do for me?
“Piiiiiink!” she called, still in the bathroom, “You coming?”
I reached forwards and grabbed the television remote, turning the set on, hoping to distract myself from the insufferable mare. The box in front of me clicked and buzzed as the machine slowly warmed up. After a second, the TV flashed on, showering the room in light and sound.
One of the ponies on screen frowned and backed away, dipping his head respectively towards another character off screen. “I’m sorry sir,” he said, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
The shot cut to a different, older stallion dressed in royal armor, who shook his head, chuckling to himself. “It’s fine. Just let me know when you’re entering a room.”
The other pony smiled apologetically and reentered the room. “Yes sir! Now, I was wondering about…”
Just then, the green mare once again positioned herself directly in front of my line of vision, her eyes glowing softly in the fading light. She glanced at the TV set behind her and back at me, chewing on her lip. “Hey, what are you watching?”
I leaned to the side, trying to continue watching the show despite the pony sitting in front of the set.
The mare sighed and her ears flattened in disappointment. “It’s good, huh? Don’t let me keep you, I guess…” She moved aside, and trotted off somewhere else in the room despondently.
With her finally gone, I settled back in my original position and my eyes drifted back to the television. The wizened old pony in the film smiled. “Yes, I’ll just have to find out from Mrs. Craft what time she wants to meet us, for her main…”
The mare spoke up again from somewhere outside my vision. “So this it then? The life of a rock star involves sitting and watching old movies, huh?” She crept up beside my chair, watching me with mild interest. “Thought it’d be more than this…”
I scowled and refocused my attention on the television.
I didn’t need this. Who did this mare think she was, waltzing in here and criticizing me? That was something to be said of this young generation. They were rude, ignorant and so caught up with themselves, that they hardly had the time for anything else.
I didn’t live up to her expectations. I didn’t give her what she wanted.
I didn’t love her enough, even though that’s all I ever did.
And for what? To be shunned and left alone without even a goodbye.
The young pony on television exited his superior’s room when the voice of the other pony called out to him. “If you’ll just let me know as soon as you can…”
Green flashed in front of my vision. “Hello?” said the green mare who was crouched at the arm of my chair as she waved another hoof in front of my face. “Is there anypony in there?”
My eyes widened in surprise and I sharply turned my head to face the pegasus groupie beside me. I stared at her for a moment, taking in her features once more. Green coat, flaming red hair, deep blue eyes and… A horn?
Shakily, I lifted a hoof and stroked the mare’s face, feeling the individual strands of hair underneath my hoof and the curve of her face. At first, the mare’s eyes watched me in confusion, but relaxed as I continued caressing her. She nickered and leaned in closer.
I copied her lean, also moving in nearer and inhaled deeply, taking in her unique aroma that was as mysterious and foreign as they day we first met. I allowed myself a small smile and the mare smiled back, visibly content with the situation.
My hoof moved up her face, brushing a few strands of fire colored hair away from her eyes. The mare giggled and her smile grew even wider. I opened my mouth to speak to my wife, but stopped mid action.
There was something off about this, wasn’t there?
My hoof fell from her face, falling limply in my lap and the mare’s brow knitted in confusion at the sudden decline in activity.
I looked at the unicorn mare with the red mane. “Rêves? What’s going on?” My voice came out in a whisper.
The green pegasus groupie looked back at me, noticeably perplexed. “Who’s Reves, Pink?” She placed a hoof on my forearm.
I gulped and turned away, simultaneously sliding her hoof away.
A character in the film on the television spoke up. “I don’t understand.”
The groupie and I both glanced at the television for a moment in surprise. Then, the mare placed a hoof on my shoulder and nuzzled into my neck. She sighed in content.
I grunted and scooted out of her embrace. She looked up at me, though I kept my attention firmly on the television.
“Hello? Are you feeling okay, Pink?” she asked.
Perfectly fine, dear.
A tear slid down my cheek.
I felt myself grow annoyed as the day’s overall injustice began to well up in my mind. I felt my pains and fears breaching the dam I held them back with. I felt the love struggling to break out from the part of my mind I locked it away in.
But most of all, the anger I kept in the recesses of my mind trickled out, slowly building to a tidal wave. My mouth suddenly became dry and one of my forehooves twitched.
I felt one of my turns coming on.
The television’s volume fell away as my long buried feelings flooded my mind. My mind was filled with a maddening buzzing noise as I resisted the tide of emotions from escaping. I felt my extremities lose their warmth and began to spasm more and more and more. My muscles tensed in a vain attempt to control the new development.
The mare spoke up again, a touch of concern creeping into her voice. “Pink, are you alright?” She laid a hoof on my vibrating arm once more.
My jaw clenched tight as my body began to shudder.
Of course I’m fine.
I’m always fine.
Another tear fell from my eye.
Letting loose a primal bellow, I finally relinquished the hold on my emotions, letting everything loose.
My backhooves kicked out, smashing into the television, knocking it backwards onto the floor.
As I propelled myself from my chair, the pegasus groupie fell backwards in surprise, letting out a small squeak of fright.
Standing up now, I immediately grabbed the nearest object to me and threw it at the wall, shattering it into pieces.
With another yell, I stamped a hoof into a coffee table, sending shards of glass flying out in all directions. Blood dripped down my hoof where it connected with the glass as I tossed the now empty table frame on its end.
I kicked out behind me, bucking the chair I previously occupied, sending it tumbling over. I ran over to another table and snatched the lamp sitting on it. I smashed the lamp down into the table, shattering the glass tabletop and repeated the process with a mirror hanging on the wall just behind it.
The mare shrieked again and I spun around to face her, grinning madly. She glanced at me and stumbled backwards in terror, her eyes wide. I took a step towards her. “So you wanna know more about me, hon? Huh?” I asked her, a bark of laughter escaping my lips. “You like my guitars, do you?” I took another step forward. “Well, run to the bedroom and on the left you’ll find my favorite axe! Ha!”
The mare whimpered and backed away from my approach. I picked one of the numerous guitars she was admiring before off its stand, dragging it along the ground as I plodded forward. “Or maybe you want a closer look at this one?” My face widened in another smile. “Now hon, don’t look so frightened.” I chuckled. “This is just a passing phase, just one of my bad days!”
I flung the guitar at the mare, who ducked and scampered away, screaming in alarm. “Your precious Pink,” will be back shortly!” I yelled after her as she disappeared from sight.
From there, I picked up another guitar and smashed it into the wall, leaving a sizable hole in the drywall and snapping the guitar’s body from the neck. I kicked over the rest of the guitars, scattering them across the floor. I grasped a different one and flung it into another mirror, filling the room with the sound of glass shattering.
With a shout of rage, my adrenaline fueled rampage carried me over to a food service cart piled high with food. I snatched a wine bottle off it and threw it at the wall, staining the crisp white paint with red liquid. I swept the rest of the cart’s contents to the ground, covering the carpet in a menagerie of foodstuffs and overturned the cart itself, sending it flying.
Staggering slightly, the next thing that caught my eye was the mini bar in the corner of the room. I galloped over there and picked up a barstool, smashing it into the bottles of alcohol that littered the counter. I held the stool over my head and smashed it into the ground, splintering the wood apart and adding to the debris. With that done, I pushed hard on the bar itself, causing it to teeter for a moment before toppling to the ground.
The mare’s shriek filled the air again as the bar crashed to the floor mere inches from her, revealing her hiding spot. She looked up from between her hooves at me and scrambled away into my bedroom. The unmistakable musky scent of fear and piss hung heavily in the air.
I picked up another barstool and hurled it in her direction where it hit a painting and cracking just as she passed by. I growled in aggravation and ripped the painting off the wall and stomped it underhoof.
I followed her into my room where she was clambering onto my bed in effort to get away from me. When she noticed I entered after her, she pressed further back into the bed’s headboard in an almost futile attempt to hide.
By now though, my vision was filled with red and I passed over the mare in favor of destroying the room. I went into a frenzy and tore apart my bedroom. I ripped the curtains from the windows and ripped the room’s phone right from the wall, sending plaster across the floor.
I tore off my closet doors, using the boards to smash the furniture. I slammed another television into the ground with the aid of a lamp and haphazardly trashed the rest of the room.
Finally, I bounded onto my bed where I tore the sheets off and threw the pillows to the floor. The mare shrieked and slid off, making an escape into the other room.
“What’s the matter, hon?!” I called after her, “Thought ya wanted to get between the sheets?! Or did you fake that too?!”
I ran back out into the living room and continued my destructive rampage, hardly paying attention to the groupie who was continually trying to escape my destructive impulses. I upturned the furniture and kicked holes into the walls. I ripped paintings and mirrors from the wall, obliterating their contents.
Eventually, I staggered over to the windows and tore the blinds off, revealing the moon lit city below. I gazed out over the city for a moment, the twinkling lights below transfixing me.
A sob from my left drew my attention. I turned and saw the green mare huddled amongst shattered glass and the remnants of a table, sobbing into her arms. Her face was streaked with tears and her green coat was stained by streaks of dirt and blood. Obviously this whole thing was too much for her innocent little mind.
I took a step towards her, the glass crunching under my hoof, alerting her to my presence.
She glanced up at me and her eyes went wide. “S-Stay away...” she managed to choke out between sobs.
I smirked, but didn’t halt my approach. “Why? I thought you wanted to get together, hon?” The mare choked back another sob and vigorously shook her head. I scoffed. “Come on darling, would ya like to watch TV? Or… Or do ya want something to eat? You did earlier.”
The mare only began to cry again and shook her head once more. I quickly felt myself grow aggravated with her again. “What then?!” I yelled at her, “What do ya want, huh? Do you think it’s time I stopped?!”
Angrily, I lashed out at the mare, backhoofing her across her face. The force of the slap sent her sprawling, slamming her head into the wall. She groaned clutched her head where it contacted the wall. Her hooves came away soaked in blood. I sneered and turned away from her.
My eyes then fell on the TV that I first kicked over, which was still playing its show, despite its previous abuse. I grabbed it and lugged it over to the full length window. With a grunt, I lifted it over my head and threw it through the glass.
The young pony from the beginning of the television program smiled as the box he was in flew through the window. Another stallion, a pegasus, approached him, pointing a spear at his head. The first pony gulped audibly and spoke. “Well, I guess this is it, isn’t-” Then the cord snapped taunt as the TV hit the window and the box went black just as the pegasus in the show jabbed forward with the spear.
The window shattered as the heavy, defenestrated television spiraled through it. The glass exploded outwards into the night, each shard glistening in the moonlight.
I clambered to the destroyed window and leaned out, wrapping a hoof around the window frame for support. As the television fell, I bellowed into the night, screaming away the remainder of my pent up emotions. “TAKE THAT, FUCKERS!” My voice pierced through the otherwise peaceful night.
I swung wildly from the window, half of my body supported by air. A stream of blood gushed down my hoof where it gripped the window, shards of jagged glass digging into my soft skin. I hardly felt the pain though. The adrenaline rush I was experiencing numbed the injury to where it was almost comfortably warm. I let lose another shout that resounded throughout Canterlot.
Down below, the TV finally slammed into the ground, exploding in a shower of sparks and parts. Drops of dark red blood dripped down after it, splattering on the pavement.
As I hung half out the window, I glanced back at the groupie, who was sluggishly crawling out from her corner, a trail of blood following her path. “Oi hon, would you like to learn to fly?!” I asked her, gesturing towards the window, “Or better yet, would you like to see me fucking try?” I cackled and loosened my grip on the side of the window frame, but not enough to fall out.
I turned back towards the outside, breathing in the night air. Wind whistled by me, causing my entire body to sway. It was such an indescribable feeling, being so high up above the city and its snooty, philosophunculistic, idiotic bastards, that I began to laugh loudly into the night.
Eventually, as my mirth died out and I heard a commotion back in the hotel room behind me. I turned to see the groupie take off as fast as she could towards the front door. I shouted in alarm, but the green pegasus never faltered or looked back. I took a step back into the room, yelling at her to stop.
She reached the door as I was halfway across the room. She fumbled with the handle for a moment, her hooves clumsily attempting to turn the knob, before successfully unlatching the door.
With a small glance over her shoulder, the mare took flight and raced down the hallway erratically, desperate to leave the room. A trickle of blood trailed after her, staining the carpet as she frantically made her escape.
I made it to the door and ran out into the hall, stumbling into the opposite wall, leaving a streak of blood on the wallpaper from my hoof. I watched the mare recede down the hallway and turn the corner, disappearing from my life, just as everything else did.
I slid to the floor, my eyes sunken and forlorn.
She left me.
She left me…
I glanced down at my blood soaked hoof, noticing it for the first time and wiped it off on the carpet, cringing slightly at the pain. I looked back towards the end of the hallway, with the hope that maybe the mare would come back.
But she didn’t.
They never did…
I yelled down the hallway at the mare who left my life, hoping she would return. I yelled for the hope that anypony would return. Maybe somepony would answer. Maybe somepony would come back, for once. Maybe somepony wouldn’t leave me alone.
But there was only silence.
I sighed and another tear slid down my face, mixing in with the small pool of blood that was forming on the carpet. “Why are you running away…?”
And all across the city of Canterlot, the ponies went on with their night, completely unaware of the commotion in the penthouse of a luxurious hotel nestled in the heart of the city.
Based on “One Of My Turns” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
The End of the Road
‘How could you go? When you know how I need you… to beat to a pulp on a Saturday night? Ooooh babe, don’t leave me now. How can you treat me this way?’
I breathed in.
I breathed out.
I breathed in.
I breathed out.
I let the cold pool water wash over me.
How could she have left me? After everything I’ve done? After all we’ve been through? After every flower I’ve sent and every tender word I've said? How could she just leave? How?
I breathed in.
The blue water I was floating in slowly turned a crimson red.
I breathed out.
Ooh, babe, I need you. I need you so, so much. I love you. Don’t you leave me now. Like everypony else has left me.
Oh, Rêves. Oh, babe.
You’re the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing bitch I’ve ever had the displeasure to meet. How could she? How could she run off with some stallion and leave me? I know how. She was a mongrel. A loose bitch who had probably been with countless stallions behind my back all these years. I can see it now. Ha, how was I so blind!?
Oh Goddess, I despise her. And the stallion she went off with, for that matter. How I wanted nothing else then to beat the living shit out of the two of them. To watch as their lives slowly drained from their ravaged bodies as retribution for causing so much pain.
I was the victim here! I’ve done nothing but try to be the best I can be, and this is how that sniveling little bitch of a mare repays me?! By fucking some stallion behind my back?
I swear to the deepest pits of Tartarus that when I get home, I will kiss her deeply and try to figure out what drove her away from me. I wanted her to love me back once again.
The deep, jagged cut on my right forehoof stung in the chlorine heavy water.
I breathed in.
I wanted, no, needed that glorious green unicorn mare with flaming red hair like I’ve never needed anything else. She was the last thing in my life I had that hadn’t been ripped away by the cruel hooves of life.
I loved her.
I truly, unconditionally loved her.
I breathed out.
So why did you run away, Rêves? Why did you leave me? How can you treat me this way?
We had something special, that unicorn and I. We had been in love since mere schoolfoals, and nothing could keep us apart for long. Hadn’t that same level of devotion stayed with us into adulthood?
We used to be so carefree, us two. We were on top of the world, even though we were nearly destitute, and our love got us through any challenge we faced.
But there was something wrong nowadays, wasn’t there? Something had changed since those cheerful days. Something…
I remembered those early days of our relationship when I wanted nothing more than to humiliate her in front of her friends and loved ones. To let everypony know that that green unicorn was a harlot and a bitch. To let all of Equestria know that she was lower than low and barely deserved any sort of emotion, let alone love or pity.
What was I saying? Nothing had changed since our foalhood. Everything was the same set of lies she had been spinning since our time in school. Our entire life together had been a sham.
I breathed in.
How many ponies had she been with since we gotten together all those years ago when I was young and impressionable? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? Did she even know how many she had been with?
She definitely deserved a good thrashing when I got back home. Oh, what I’d do to her when I finally returned to her loving embrace. Maybe I’d pick up a nice bouquet of flowers before getting back home. Maybe she’d like that.
Oh, dear Rêves, why did you run away?
I climbed out of the pool, spots of blood dripping off my hoof onto the patio pavers, mingling with the water dripping off the rest of my body. I trudged out of the cool night air back into my room.
How could she end our marriage just like that? What was it that drove her away? And why have I only just now found out about it?
Shards of glass and splinters of wood crunched underneath my hooves as I loped trough the wreckage in my apartment.
I breathed out.
I picked my chair back off the floor and set it upright. I collapsed into it and stared forlornly out of the shattered windows into the night as cold and black as ink.
I breathed in.
But why did she leave? Why? Why? Why?! How could she…?
Was it possible that it was my fault after all?
No. No, it wasn’t my fault. Nothing has ever been my fault! I’ve been innocent, and that little bitch of a beautiful, wonderful mare found it fit to ruin me even more. Oh, I’ll show her. I’ll show everypony how she really is.
I could write a song that would show everypony what a loving, caring mare she really is. I bet the stupid, idiotic fans would love something like that, those bastards. They eat up anything I put out. It’s disgusting.
Maybe she would hear the song. Maybe she would feel guilty and return to my waiting embrace. Maybe I would snap her neck right then and there. We would make up and she would cower as I bucked her face in. I would figure out what enticed her away from me and cackle as I ruined both her good looks and her good name.
I breathed out.
I wanted nothing more than to buck her repeatedly and mess up that pretty face. I wanted to tell her everything will be okay and how we would figure everything out.
I despised her.
I loved her.
I missed her dearly. Oh babe, how could you run away like this?
I wanted to tell her how much I detested her very existence and make her feel the pain she brought on me. Maybe I would cuddle her or force her out into the bustling streets wearing nothing but a damning sign that reveals her true nature to all of Equestria. To show how much she can’t be trusted.
I loved hated her. She was everything a pile of vermin to me. Our live together was been wondrous a complete lie and nothing can change that. She was still the same lovely, beautiful, cold-hearted, cheating, wounding mare I’ve even known.
Why did I need her? Why did I need anypony for that matter?
Everypony in my life has abandoned or wronged me, and now she’s no different. The final weight on my already unbearable burden.
And now, what was left for me in this cold shell of reality?
But don’t I need somepony to be with? Don’t I need anypony to help me?
Nopony can be trusted.
Haven’t I been the pinnacle of loyalty and goodness my entire life?
Yes, I have.
I’ve given everything, and life has taken what little I’ve kept away.
And for what?
For ponies to walk all over me, like vermin.
But… My wife… Lovely Rêves…
No, she’s not my wife! Not anymore!
I don’t need her!
I don’t need anything!
I don’t need anypony!
I breathed in.
Based on “Don’t Leave Me Now” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
The Last Few Bricks
‘I don’t need no arms around me! And I don’t need no drugs to calm me! I have seen the writing on the wall! Don’t think I need anything at all! No!’
My scream echoed throughout the hotel suite.
And as I screamed, thoughts and feelings began creeping to the forefront of my mind, setting me ablaze in a whirlwind of emotions.
First, fragments of memories flashed through my brain one after the other. Names of places I’d forgotten; faces without a name to match with; fledgling ideas and dreams; secret fantasies; plans and schemes; names without faces to match with; silly foalhood assumptions.
Then those slowly ground to a halt, and emotions and feelings began inundating my mind. Happiness; lust; sadness; pride; anger; fear; anxiety; mirth; love; emptiness; courage.
I didn’t know what to make of the sudden flood of experiences. Things I hadn’t remembered in years came rushing back, dripping into my consciousness like rainwater. Emotions I kept tucked away, so as to not make myself vulnerable abruptly returned. Things I hadn’t wanted to remember thrust themselves into my head. All the pain I’ve felt throughout my life heaved itself directly into my heart.
And it hurt so much.
So, so much.
And it made me so very angry.
And the hotel room faded away into blackness as I became overwhelmed.
As I faded back into consciousness, I found myself lying in a place altogether different than where I was before, wherever that was.
I was in an infinitely large grassy field that seemed to be devoid of any sort of life. All around me, a smoky haze hung in the air and seemed to twist and swirl the longer I looked at it. Any other discernible landmarks were obscured by the fog.
I sat up and peered out into the mist, straining to see anything that lay beyond. Dark shadows seemed to flit in and out of the edge of the fog, toeing the edge before vanishing once again into the depths. The swirls in the fog grew and shrunk as I watched, playing off of the shadows that lived inside them.
It was quiet. So quiet.
After a while, one black splotches seemed to grow larger and larger, growing closer to the edge, until I could begin to make out the ambiguous features of a pony. The other dark shadows darted into this one shadow which grew larger and darker with each passing second.
The vaguely pony shaped shadow grew closer, moving nearer than any of other had dared before, until it hovered right on the edge of the mist. The other shadows had all but now vanished into the larger one.
The shadow staggered out of the fog, revealing a haggard light blue unicorn clutching a small, unassuming brown box in his magical grip. Each step he took left bloody hoofprints in his wake. I watched as he slowly limped towards me, one of his back legs dragging uselessly on the ground, until he finally stopped in front of me.
The stallion stared at me with blood-shot, pupil-less eyes.
He blinked slowly and wordlessly held the box out to me, motioning for me to take it. I hesitantly removed it from his grasp and the barest hint of a smile graced his mouth, stretching the skin around his face taunt.
He stooped down and looked me dead in the eyes. A sudden chill passed through the entire area.
After a moment, he spoke in a gruff voice that reminded me of something from as long time ago. “Can you do me a favor, boy?” he asked, and then continued after I nodded, “Keep that there box safe for me. I’ve gots somewhere I needs to be, and I can’t exactly take it with me.” He chuckled. “I’ll be back soon for it though, ya hear? Pretty soon, in fact! But you gots to promise me not to open it. That’s very important, you understand, boy? Do not open my box. Can you do that for me?”
I nodded once again in confirmation and the stallion’s face stretched into a smile. He ruffled my mane with a bloodstained hoof, splattering my coat with red. The unicorn began to lope away, but called back over his shoulder, “Thanks a bunch, boy! I’ll be back for that box soon!” His voice began to fade as he receded into the mist. “I promise!”
The light blue unicorn vanished and I was left alone and even more confused than I was before.
The grassy field was quiet for a long time after the stallion left, and all that time I waited patiently for his return. Since his departure, the fog seemed to hug in ever closer, blanketing the area further in its grasp. There were times I could barely see a few inches in front of my face, and it was only the presence of the box that confirmed I wasn’t about to float away.
There was only one time the silence was broken; the world felt like it shattered in a roaring explosion of wind and sound that briefly pushed back the ever present fog. For a second I glimpsed the world that lay beyond my little field.
Beyond the mist was an immeasurable ocean that surrounded me on all sides. I was on an island.
And there was no sign of any other life. No other ponies. No light blue stallion.
But as suddenly as it parted, the fog rolled back in, covering the island once more, leaving me feeling all the more lonely.
All things were uneventful after that explosion, and I continued to wait for the light blue stallion’s eventual return. I knew he would come back. He had promised, after all. I knew he would come back and he would take his brown box and me and take us far away, off this grassy island.
And all that time, I never once peeked into his brown box. A promise for a promise.
And so I waited, alone, never finding an answer to anything that had happened since I woke.
And then I waited some more.
And the box waited with me.
It was what seemed like eons later that I finally realized that the stallion was never coming back. He had left me. He broke his promise and was never coming back for his box, or for me.
My tiny heart shattered as my faith in the only pony I’d met on my grassy field was lost.
It was then I glanced at the brown box that had been sitting vigilantly beside me for so long. It was a simple box: it had a bottom and four sides and on top was an equally simple lid.
It was then, after so much time, I felt the urge to know what was in that box.
Mustering up my nerves, I cracked open the lid a tiny fraction and was immediately greeted by an unearthly wail that pierced the silence I had grown so accustomed to. Some force inside the box erupted with the roar of an explosion that shook my field long ago. The lid flew off, deep into the mist and the box flipped many lengths away, coming to a rest on its side.
A steady stream of blood began to ooze out from the box’s opening, causing a veritable river of red to form on the grassy plain, flowing all the way out to the water’s edge. Screams of pain and death emanated from deep within the box, broken up only by dull thudding and acrid smell of magic whizzing though the air.
As I watched the box, a marred and bloody light blue hoof reached out from within the box and fought for purchase on the blood slick grass. Bit by bit, the body that the mangled hoof was attached to emerged from the box and slowly crawled out onto the field.
I managed to identify the pony as a stallion, though that was a hard task in itself. The stallion’s body was covered in uncountable cuts and bruises. Blood and pus seeped out from almost every part of his body and over half of his coat seemed to be burned away, leaving raw pink flesh behind in a stark contrast to the natural light blue color of his coat.
Still, he seemed not to notice me as he left the box. He clutched something to his chest and was struggling to only use one hoof to drag himself along. Slowly, the lower half of his body followed until I could clearly see the broken and mangled wings hanging limply from his sides.
This wasn’t the same stallion from before. He had been a unicorn, while this one was a pegasus. I had still been abandoned and left for trash.
The pegasus ceased to move only halfway out of the box, his injuries obviously proving too much. A violent cough racked his body and then he grew still. His eyelids fluttered closed and his entire body seemed to deflate.
I crawled over to him, wading through the river of blood pouring out from the box. Up close, the stallion looked even worse, the signs of his violent death even more evident. He was almost impossible to look at, he was in such bad condition.
I struggled to pull his arm away from his chest, to reveal whatever he had been holding, but his foreleg was frozen in rigor mortis. After a few minutes of pulling, I removed the pony’s hoof, revealing a small photo of a smiling pink mare and a small pink colt swaddled in cloth.
Suddenly, the entire scene receded into the distance, becoming a small pinprick of light.
I was left in pure blackness.
Alone, once more.
Then, the nothingness I was standing in was split by a shout that seemed to echo louder and louder into being. It lingered for a moment, but just as soon as it began, it abruptly cut out, leaving behind a bizarre cold that chilled me to my very bones.
I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck, as if I was being watched. I twirled around and found only a small, plain white brick wall, only a few bricks in height. It seemed to me, that whatever was being built was still in progress.
Then the world fell away.
I can’t count on anypony’s promises. All they do is leave me. Everypony leaves. Can’t trust anything.
What did you leave behind for me?
I jolted into consciousness with a start, my eyes blinking lazily at my surroundings. For a moment, I was confused as to where I was, and there was a lingering thought that I had just been somewhere else. But as my vision slowly swam into focus, I dismissed those thoughts, because I knew I had never been anywhere but here.
I looked around for what seemed was the first time, but I knew for a fact was not. I was sitting at a desk in a room that seemed to stretch to the outer limits of my vision. All around me, all arranged into neat rows, were countless other desks as far as I could see.
These desks were occupied by faceless ponies, each identical and proper, just as they always were. Their coats were all a light blue color that almost seemed to blend into the distance. They sat at attention, their hooves neatly crossed on the desks in front of them, looking towards what I could only assume was the front of the room, which was bathed in a deep shadow.
It was all like I remembered. There had never been anything else but this room.
I shifted slightly in my seat, suddenly feeling uneasy about something I couldn’t place. I felt as though I should’ve been remembering something, something important, but the memory slipped through my hooves like grains of sand. No matter how I tried, that feeling of elusiveness never faded.
It was then that I noticed that all of the faceless ponies were staring at me. Every single one of them had turned their heads and were gazing straight at me. I tried to meet the stare of the pony next to me, but only held it for a minute before I had to look away. I stared down at my desk, unwilling to look at their empty faces.
For creatures with no eyes, they were remarkably good at staring.
A loud buzzing sound steadily filled the air as they watched me and I did my best to avoid their attentions. The buzz grew louder and louder with each passing second until it was all I could hear. I felt it creep into my other senses as well, causing my hooves to tremble and a darkness to creep over my eyes, obscuring my vision.
Then, against all expectations, the droning buzz grew even louder and what little of the room I could still see began to shake and vibrate. The volume of this noise was incredible, and it seemed as if the entire room, desks and ponies all began to melt in its intensity.
And yet the ponies continued to watch me.
I tried to scream, but I couldn’t even tell if I did. I don’t think I did. The buzzing had taken over everything, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the only noise my lungs could produce was that buzzing. It seeped into, me filling up my empty shell of a body, until it was all I could feel.
I wanted to stuff my hooves into my ears, but I couldn’t lift them. I couldn’t do anything but sit there and experience that insufferable sound. I struggled to keep my eyes open, even though there was little I could see anymore. My vision was fading away into black, and the last thing I saw was the light blue of the faceless pony in front of me.
Then the buzzing cut off with a loud click that reverberated around the room.
All of my senses flooded back as a small hiccup shot out of my throat. I gasped for air, pawing at my chest, as I realized I hadn’t been breathing. I hiccupped again and glanced around the room to see the state it was in after that noise, but found nothing amiss. The room, countless desks and their ponies all were unaffected by the buzz.
The faceless ponies had all snapped their attention back towards the front in a single, smooth motion the moment I looked at them, as if they were guilty of something. They kept their unwavering gaze towards the front and a reedy, sinister chuckle emanated around the room. I swear I could see those faceless ponies smile as a pair of sinister eyes peered out from the darkness in the front of the room.
I suddenly became aware of how pink I was compared to the light blue ponies.
The mystery of what those glowing eyes belonged to was quickly solved as a great, hulking, feathered, light blue monstrosity strode out from the shadows in the front. His leathery lips parted in a grin and I could see endless rows of teeth inside his mouth. The creature looked out over the rows of desks, his eyes burning with a fiery passion.
I felt the beast’s gaze linger on me as he looked about the room and the faceless ponies once more turned to look at me, as if singling me out. I felt them tell the feathered thing how different I was, that I didn’t belong. The monstrous beast’s grin split even wider as he heard their calls and stalked out into the rows of desks, heading directly for me.
As he neared my desk, the fiend drew out a large red and white hammer from somewhere inside his feathers and held it firmly in his talons. He took several more strides and finally reached my desk.
“Well, well. What do we have here?” The beast’s tinny voice boomed throughout the vast room. “How’d you get in here? You’re so… different compared to the others.” He stroked a talon over my head. “You shouldn’t have happened, lad. This is no place for you. Why are you here?” The beast twirled the hammer in his hands and looked at me expectantly. His voice reminded me of wind whistling through a canyon, though I suppose that was what it was, considering the multitude of teeth in his mouth.
I felt an overwhelming sense of dread as the monster continued to stare at me. I opened my mouth to respond to the beast, but no sound came out. I think the buzzing might have broken something. So I sat there, my mouth opening and closing like a fish, terrified at the way the situation was turning.
The beast’s sadistic smile widened as he realized my voice refused to work. I think he enjoyed the fear. He leaned in closer, until I could almost taste his foul breath. “So what is it, lad?” he asked, “Why are you so different?”
I blinked and couldn’t say a word.
“Ah, you’re not gonna talk?” The beast tapped his hammer on my desk, playing out a rhythm of four beats. “No worries. Pain is always a great motivator!” The feathered thing raised his hammer high and slammed it down into my left foreleg. My mouth opened in agony, but no sound came out. Blood splashed out in all directions, splattering the light blue ponies with a deep red.
“You see them!?” roared the beast, gesturing towards the faceless mass around us, “They are what you should be right now! The same! Uniform! Identical!” he growled, “I’ve beaten and molded each and every one of them into what you see here! And you somehow slipped through!” The hammer connected once more with my other foreleg and I was sure I heard a bone splinter in several places. A muffled sound filled the room and the faceless ponies’ heads began to jerk up and down.
I realized they were laughing.
I stole a look at my forelegs and immediately regretted that decision. My once immaculate pink legs were crushed and bloody and almost completely torn clean off. But regardless of their horrifying state, they did not hurt; it was more of a dull throbbing playing endlessly in my head. But despite that, the mere image of my pulpy forelegs was mentally scarring.
The beast smirked. “So you’re not gonna give up the ghost, lad? You’re not going to give up?” The faceless ponies abruptly stopped laughing, leaving the room deathly quiet. The light blue feathered thing continued. “Just let go, lad. It’s easier that way. Join the countless others like a good little pony!”
I tensed up at the fiend’s words. There was something deep inside of me that didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to join the faceless bulk that surrounded me. I wasn’t willing to be led like a lamb to the slaughter.
I was different.
And if different was wrong, then I would never be right.
I glowered at the beast in defiance of his will. I felt the dissatisfaction of the faceless ponies rise up like a cloud of heat, but refused to let it bother me. If they were going to try to pressure me into becoming the same, it wouldn’t work.
The buzzing sound started up again, though it didn’t seem to have the same damning effect as it had last time. It was quieter and more subdued as if its overwhelming power last time had broken it and left it weaker.
The beast scowled, grabbed ahold of my mane and yanked it backwards, nearly slamming my head into the pony behind me. “Just who do you think you are, you pink thing?! You’re a nopony! And you’ll grow up just like the other noponies!” He gestured towards the faceless ponies who all continued to watch the two of us with their eyes that weren’t there. He pressed the blood stained hammer to the underside of my throat menacingly. “I swear lad, if you make this choice, I’ll take great pleasure in making sure you regret it!”
He threw me to the floor, where I collapsed in a heap, unable to support myself with only half of my limbs left to me. The muffled laugh of the faceless ponies resumed as the light blue monster placed a heavy foot on my head, preventing me from getting up. The buzzing clicked higher.
The beast snarled and resumed talking in his distasteful, breezy voice. “You just don’t get it, do you, lad?! I will take your freedom and crush it like the parasite it is! I will take your hopes and your dreams and strip them bare! You don’t deserve to be different! You’re nothing special, and you never will be! What makes you better, huh?” He ground my face into the floor with his foot. “What makes you better than all these others?! What makes you better than me?!”
He smashed his hammer into my right backleg several times, until that too was destroyed. All the while, the light blue ponies around us continued in their droning laughter. The buzzing sound grew louder.
The beast jerked on my mane once again, pulling me completely off of the floor until I was hanging several feet in the air. “Give it up, pink pony!” he snarled, “Don’t fuck with me! I don’t know how or why you’re different, but it’s nothing I can’t beat out of you! I will win!”
He slammed me into a desk occupied by a faceless pony. Blood spurted everywhere as I heard my snout crack. In whatever part of my brain that hadn’t been overcome by an immense numbness, I felt some fear began to form in the depths of my body. I realized that he was really going to kill me. The beast yanked me back up off the desk and stared through my blood-stained eyes. Whatever he saw there seemed to please him.
The ponies continued to laugh.
The beast seemed to grow larger as he watched me squirm in his grasp. He chuckled and wiped my face clear of blood until my cold gray eyes met with his light blue ones. “Oh, I’m going to have fun breaking you, pink pony. I can see the seeds of fear already growing in your eyes. All I need is a little handhold, and I can make you wish you were never different!”
The buzzing continued to grow in volume. It was returning to its previous volume; somepony was obviously fixing whatever had broken it.
The creature chuckled his windy laugh again. “Oh yes, you’ll be the same as the others by the time I'm done with you, lad! That is,” he paused, “unless you want to give up now and join them?”
His tinny voice stung my already addled brain. I was throbbing. The places where my limbs once were prickled with an intensity that made it hard to think straight. I hurt all over. That iron will I had felt before to stay defiant was slowly fading away as the rest of my body grew number.
But I wanted to stay the same, despite the hurt. Didn’t want to lose myself. Didn’t want to be blue.
I slowly shook my head.
The beast’s face lit up and I could almost feel the joy radiating off of him. “Well then,” he snarled, “I suppose I’ll just have to hammer you into shape!”
He raised the hammer once more and the buzzing suddenly exploded in volume, once more condemning my physical and mental capacities.
The feathered thing said something, but I couldn’t hear it over the buzz. The hammer was mere inches from my face.
The last thought I had before he struck was one of doubt. Maybe the beast was right. Maybe I should join the ranks of faceless ponies. Was all this pain really worth it, just to stay different?
Then the hammer connected with the side of my head and the entire room shattered. The buzzing cut out.
I was left standing in a black void, utterly devoid of any sort of stimuli. The once densely populated room I had once been in had disappeared, and with it all of the aching throbbing I had come to associate with my injuries.
I tried taking a step forward, but couldn’t seem to get the message out to my legs. I looked down at my body should have been, but was greeted by nothing. I had no body to speak of, which was slightly unnerving, but explained why I didn’t feel anything.
I shuddered and glanced back upwards, hoping to find any sort of defining landmark to the blackness. Only, blackness that I had seen before wasn’t the first thing I saw.
As I looked back up, there was a stark white brick wall directly in front of me that certainly hadn’t been there before. Its bricks rose just barely above my reach, just barely blocking my view of the other side.
I looked behind me, and found that there was an equally tall wall there as well.
There was something about these two walls that seemed familiar to me, though I couldn’t seem to place it. All I knew was that they seemed uncompleted, like there were several more layers of brick to lay.
That was when the world spun out of focus.
I can’t let anypony know the real me. They’ll just take advantage and hurt me. Gotta keep my emotions hidden.
Leave them kids alone!
I awoke from my slumber suddenly, as if startled by some upstart noise. I quickly scoured my small, padded room for signs of any disturbances, but saw nothing of interest. Everything was as it had been for years.
My room was a sparse one. The padding that made up its walls were a sterile white and were as clean as they had been the day I first set sight on them, whenever that was. I would like to say I knew every detail of my room, but then I would be lying. There was a great deal of my small, white room that I had never been to and most likely never will. Those pads never had a chance to get dirty, because I had never set hoof on them before.
I was chained to one of the soft, padded walls. Four shackles attached to each of my legs, keeping me firmly pressed against the wall behind me, and several inches above the ground. Though it’s not like I knew any different; I’ve always been chained to this wall, as far as I could remember.
The only other object of interest in my room was the small, frosted window inlaid into the top of the wall directly across from me. Through that window were the faint silhouettes of ponies of all shapes and sizes walking to and fro. Faint murmurs of conversations sometimes trickled in from the outside. Never anything clear enough to make out, but I could definitely identify it as talking.
All of a sudden, the most peculiar feeling crept over me, casting a sense of unease throughout my body. I felt like I had forgotten something incredibly important. Something I shouldn’t have forgotten.
I concentrated for a moment, racking my brain for memories of anything significant, but turned up nothing. There was never anything worth remembering in my small room, so I doubt there was anything to forget. The feeling quickly faded away, leaving behind only a slight inkling that something was wrong.me to spend my day like the countless others.
I gazed through the window at the ponies walking past in their land of bright light, in an attempt to sooth my frayed nerves. There were so many of them outside, walking by my window, never once stopping and looking in, never once wondering what was inside that small window they passed by. It wasn’t fair that I would never get to meet any one of them.
I had never been in that world beyond the window, and I think I often dreamed of walking amongst the ponies outside. There were times I woke with faint recollections of walking in that land of light, living a life that wasn’t in this room. But that was just a dream.
Most of the time, I was content to just watch the ponies, fantasizing about one day possibly joining them. But there were days where I grew into a frenzy, chomping at the bit, furious at my confined predicament. Those days I would endeavor to break free of my bonds, struggling against the chains that held me to the wall and attempted to escape and join those ponies outside.
But I never could manage to break free.
I could already tell that today would be one of those days. I slowly felt the undeniable sense of anger and longing course through my body that led to that rage I so despised. It was only a matter of time before she appeared to check in on me. And just like all the other times, she would speak to me softly and calm my furious mind. She would help me regain my sense of calm.
I was lonely in my small room, but there was always her.
I felt the familiar rage begin to creep into my mind, poisoning me with its altering ways. I never wanted that shroud of anger to fall over me. I didn’t want to lapse into my anger again; it had always scared me. I was perfectly happy here, alone in my room, at peace with myself.
But however many times I told myself that, I never seemed to listen and would always fall deep into that pit of anger.
But… there was that entire world outside the window I’ve never seen! An entire life I’ve never experienced. And I was kept prisoner in this room, away from it all! Why would I want to stay in here!? Fuck this room! I wished I was free to mingle in that land of light with the other countless ponies.
I pulled my shackles taunt, straining to break the reinforced metal, but to no avail; they were very strong. I gave the chains some slack, gritted my teeth and jerked my forelegs forward again. The cuffs dug into my tender skin and moments later, a deep red began blossomed over my pink fur. I quieted the yelp of pain that rose to the top of my throat.
Drops of red stained the white padded floor below me.
I writhed and thrashed against my bonds for several more minutes, making my way through the pain, until I realized that nothing was working and stopped struggling. I was trapped. Just like always.
I sighed and let my forelegs fall limply to my sides. It was no use. However much I tried, I would never manage to escape. All of the numerous times I’ve tried to escape before has proved fruitless, so why should now be any different? I gave one last, half-hearted tug at my chains and cried out in frustration.
But I wanted to get out. I didn’t like in here. It was so small, so confined. I needed to be free so I could soar. I needed to live. I hated it in here. How could I ever have thought that this room was good for me?
I shouted once again, louder this time, hoping that maybe one of the countless ponies walking by outside would hear and stop and help me escape my prison.
But not a single one of them did. The ponies outside the window continued walking by, unabated.
There was no way they couldn’t have heard me shout for their help. All that separated my room and their world of light was a single, small pane of glass. I could hear their faint whisperings and discussions, even now, when they weren’t trying to be heard. But I, in all my frustration and anger could not make them hear me.
I yelled once more at the window and futilely reattempted to loosen myself from the wall. I banged my hooves against the wall, but only heard an unsatisfying dull thump as they hit the cushions.
Several more drops of blood tarnished the floor.
Just then, a large, light blue earth pony mare stepped right through those blood spots on the pads in front of me, as if there wasn’t a floor there at all. For a moment, the entire room was enveloped in harsh white light and I thought I could glimpse something in the distance. Then the flash of light faded, and the mare was standing in the middle of the room, a practiced, calculated smile upon her face.
This was the same mare who always came to calm me down whenever I had one of my turns. The same mare who kept me captive here. She always appeared whenever something happened, as if she was always watching me.
I’d lost track of how many times she’d had to come see me over the years. The memories of her visits, like the days and weeks, always seemed to blur together. Even the specifics of her visits always seemed to escape me.
However, the one thing I always recalled was the porcelain smile she always wore.
As the mare approached my limp and spent body, her face seemed to stretch unrealistically as her cold grin widened further. She trotted beside me and began to caress my mane, muttering something unintelligible to herself. Her hoof felt cold and clammy against my head, as if she wasn’t completely alive. It felt surreal and alien to my senses.
I tried to yell again, hoping that any one of the ponies outside would save me from this vile mare and the prison she held me in, but before I could, the mare held a hoof to my mouth, silencing me.
“Shh… Shh… There there…” she cooed softly, “Everything’s okay… Stop struggling, sunshine.” Her whispers floated in one of my ears and out the other, barely registering. I didn’t want to hear this mare and her words. I didn’t want to hear her web of lies.
But I heard them anyway.
Her unwavering smile faltered for a moment as she noticed my bleeding wrists, but then it flashed back in an instant. “Oh dear… Oh, you’ve gone and hurt yourself again, poor boy.” She sighed. “Now we have to clean you up, as well as squash your silly notions of escape.”
Her words were soft and calm as she fussed over me, but they only proved to provoke my temper once more. My anger, which had been merely simmering before, exploded at her nonchalant tone. How dare she be so cool and indifferent about everything!
I reached forward as far as my chains would permit, struggling to hurt, to strangle, the mare who was so blasé about my imprisonment.
But she was just a few inches out of my grasp. My hooves slid back down to their normal positions.
A look of disappointment crossed her face momentarily, as if saddened by my display of anger. She stared past me, at the padded wall, seemingly lost in thought. When she began speaking again, several seconds later, her voice was heavy with regret. “I know you’re angry, sunshine… And you have every right to be so…”
I cocked my head to the side in confusion. This was… different. All the times she had come before, she had never said anything even remotely like that. She had never taken up sides with me before.
Or had she? My memories of the past were so muddled and fuzzy that I could barely separate the days nothing had happened from each other, let alone the days when my mind had been overtaken by rage.
The light blue earth pony spun away from me and gazed out of the window. “I can let you leave, you know.” Her head slowly dipped down to the floor, unwilling to even watch the ponies outside. “That world beyond the window you so desire is a dangerous place. Those ponies you see crossing each and every day, back and forth, across the window like well-oiled clockwork? They don’t care about you.” The mare walked back over to me, but she still couldn’t meet my questioning gaze; she kept her eyes glued to the floor. “Not like I do, sunshine. They’ll trample you underhoof without a second thought.”
She crept closer to me and planted a tender kiss on my cheek. My eyelids fluttered at the unwanted contact and she seemed to take that as a cue to continue. “I’m keeping you here for your own good, sunshine.” Her perfect smile began again. “I’m keeping you where I can keep an eye on you and make sure nothing bad ever happens to you.”
I felt the temper that had filled my body just moments before slowly subsiding. Coldness washed over my entire body, relaxing the previously tense muscles and frayed nerves.
If this mare was to be believed, and there wasn’t a reason to doubt her, then maybe the world outside wasn’t all I pictured it to be. If that world outside the window was really so cruel, so terrifying, was my padded room really all that bad?
The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that the mare was telling the truth. Something about her made her seem trustworthy.
Maybe it was her calm, almost loving smile. I could see the concern in her eyes now. Concern for me. True love and care, unlike what apparently waited for me outside…
As I visibly relaxed, the light blue mare’s practiced smile grew even wider. I could see all of her teeth as she spoke again. “Yes, that’s right. Beyond that window is a world filled with filth and sins that would corrupt your young heart. I couldn’t bear if something happened to you out there.” She ran her damp hoof through my mane again. “That’s why I keep you in here. This room is safe. Nothing can hurt you in here…”
I nodded slightly, seeing the truth in her words. Of course she was right. She was always right.
As the last vestiges of anger left me, my body went limp and a soft sigh escaped my lips. The mare was still wearing her large, porcelain smile.
I don’t know what it was about the mare and her words that calmed me, but whatever it was, it was lovely. There was something about her that exuded honesty, something my previously rage filled self failed to see. But now I believed her words and the truth her smile seemed to whisper to me.
Why had I ever wanted to leave my room? These four walls were all I’ve ever known. If I had escaped and gotten out into that world beyond the window, it would practically be a death sentence. I recognized that now. I wouldn’t know how to survive, and if the ponies outside were as truly despicable as the mare painted them to be, then I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to kill me outright.
No, I didn’t want to leave. I want to stay safe. I trusted this light blue mare with my life, and she obviously cared greatly for me.
I smiled and the mare smiled right back at me.
“Yes… there you go, sunshine,” she cooed, “I’ll keep you safe forever… You can trust me, can’t you?” I nodded again, more vigorously this time. “Now, let’s clean up those bloody wrists of yours, hmm?”
She suddenly pressed a wet cloth to my red stained fur, dabbing at the raw skin when the shackles had worn through. I winced and jerked back from her touch, but the smile never left her face. “Come on, sunshine. You can trust me…”
With those words, her white, pupil-less eyes faded into a deep black and for a moment. My body felt as if it was being drawn into those dark pits. The blackness seemed to suck what little color remained from the room, leaving color from the room, what little of it there was. I felt myself growing cold and the murmurs from outside the window grew quieter and quieter.
And all the while I was transfixed by her eyes, the mare’s smile never wavered.
The room faded further away into obscurity as my captor wiped a second time at my injured hooves. The blackness in her eyes seemed to grow as the moments passed, until it nearly overtook her face.
I tried to ask her what was happening, but my mouth didn’t seem to work.
The whispers from outside the window grew silent for the first time that day.
The mare fussed over my coat once again and the room grew dimmer with each passing second. “There,” echoed the mare’s voice in my ears, “That wasn’t so bad was it?”
The last thing I saw before the blackness in her eyes overtook me was that small, practiced smile of hers.
Then, everything was gone.
“I won’t hurt you, sunshine.” Her words echoed around the empty black void I found myself in, filling my head with a sense of security that didn’t seem to want to disperse. Despite my current situation, amidst this featureless void, I felt safe and secure.
I took a look around the empty space, taking in what wasn’t there. The room, chains, window and light blue mare had all disappeared and left me alone for the first time I could remember. The one thing that remained was the coldness that always permeated my room.
Time passed, I think…
I stood in that black place for a while, without as much as a clue what to do now. After what could have been an eternity, but just as well have been a few seconds, I decided to do something. I hesitantly attempted to take a step forward, but was interrupted mid-step by a clattering noise from behind me. The only sound I’ve heard since I first found myself in this void.
I turned around and was greeted by a large and clean white brick wall that towered high above me, stretching several stories into the black dimness.
I took a staggered step forwards and cautiously approached this wall. It seemed to hum with some sort of warm, indescribable energy. The closer I got to it, the more the coldness in the air receded and was replaced by calmness and love. I stopped a few inches from it, slightly taken aback by the amount of heat emanating from the wall.
I hesitantly pressed a hoof to one of its bricks, but instead of the warmness emanating from the wall, its bricks were as cold as ice. A jolt of fear unlike any I’ve known before jammed its way inside my body, turning my insides to mush.
I jerked away, but still felt the brick’s terrifying effects. My heart pounding in my chest, I turned away from the wall to gaze out over the empty void, but instead of the blackness I expected, I found only white. The white swam in my vision briefly, but before long, I could start to make out clear cut bricks, much like the wall behind me.
I glanced behind me to reassure myself the previous wall still existed before looking back at the newer, second one. The two walls both loomed reassuringly above my head. The warmness in the emptiness doubled.
I turned my head to my right and found yet another massive wall there as well, identical to the previous ones. The warmness expounded once again, raising the temperature to almost unbearable levels. Unbearable levels of love and warmth.
Sweat began to form on my body, matting my fur and I glanced to my left, but found only the cold, bleak vastness that seemed to have no end. That bitter loneliness that was so outlandish compared to the warmth the three walls gave off.
I was surrounded on only three sides by these walls, as if the fourth was still waiting to be started, not yet complete. The temperature spiked again, and my coat felt as if it caught on fire.
But before anything could happen, the world faded away.
The world is full of filth. Can’t let anything hurt me. Have to stay clean and healthy.
Did it need to be so high?
When I opened my eyes, I was in an empty room that was there, yet at the same time, was somewhere else entirely. The white walls that made up the room were thin and membrane-like, and pulsated and bulged sporadically. After a few seconds of watching, I had to close my eyes. I couldn’t look at the walls for more than a few seconds at best before a dull thudding began in the back of my skull, like a procession of drums beating out an endless rhythm.
It was cold as well. So very cold.
I waited out the throbbing with my eyes closed. It was strange, despite the sickening movement of the walls and the intense cold, I felt very at ease, something I think I haven’t felt in a long time. I cracked open my eyes again and peered at the room for a second time. Nothing had changed; the walls still were twisting and churning, but I found them much less nauseating to watch.
As I finally took in the room without a pounding headache, a new feeling abruptly overtook me. A penetrating sense of dread flooded through the pit of my stomach, as if I was forgetting something incredibly important, something that I should have remembered. But as I turned my mind to the past, I found a terrifying emptiness where there should have been my memories.
I couldn’t remember anything past a few minutes ago.
Had there even been anything past a few minutes ago?
Where had I been before I found myself in this room?
Where was I before?
There was a different room that flashed fleetingly in my head…
Where was it…?
I was here now, wasn’t I? I’ve always been here.
There wasn’t anything before these meandering walls.
What had I been thinking of again?
I’ve always been here. I’ve been in this small, pulsating room for…
A long time, wasn’t it?
I wasn’t sure. Time seemed to stretch indefinitely in this twisting, churning room. I couldn’t tell how long I’d been within these thin walls.
Had it been minutes?
Hadn’t I just gotten here?
It was so cold here.
Wait… How long have I been here?
I’ve been here a long time, haven’t I?
It has been so cold.
The white walls pulsated.
I’ve been here forever, I realized. I’ve sat in this white room for as long as I could recall, gazing at naught and nothing of any sort of interest has happened. There was nothing before this. There has only been here, and everything I’ve ever known, I’ve learned from this room, because that’s all there ever has been.
It was then I could hear faint whispers of voices and sounds began to trickle in through the walls. The whispers crept in through the thin walls, snaking about the room like wisps of fog.
The tendrils of smoke grew thicker with each passing second and began to collect and swirl around me like sentient beings. I could almost reach out and touch one, but each time I did, they always seemed to move out of the way of my hoof.
The whispers drifted closer and began to coil around my head, speaking to me, filling me with thoughts and feelings that had never belonged to me. The wisps of thought spoke of a world, far away from my little, cold, pulsing room, filled with shapes, colors and sights I had never even imagined before.
They spoke of a bizarre almost-white-but-not-quite creature that walked on four legs and had what they called a tail and eyes, among other things. The thoughts informed me that the creature was something called a ‘pony’ and its color was something called a ‘pink.’
These new things were alien to me. They scared me but filled me with such unimaginable curiosity, that I could not look away from the whisper’s vision and a ‘pink’ and a ‘pony.’
But the thoughts seemed to think I should have known what those new objects were, but hadn’t a clue. I had never heard of a pink or a pony before, let alone seen one. There had only been my room, the color white and myself.
The visions suddenly flashed rapidly, changing through many strange things-that-were-not-white and occasionally other pink objects and figures. The whispers instructed me on every scene they threw at me, informing me on various colors, places and creatures.
I felt a strange and unfamiliar twinge in my chest as I watched, as if something there suddenly froze up and was slowly spreading to the rest of my body. It was a new sensation, this twinge that I felt, but the thoughts quickly whispered a word they called the ‘fear’ in my head.
I hadn’t known this fear before. There was never a reason to be afraid before.
The life that the tendrils seemed intent on showing me caused a strange, prickly feeling in my head that the smoke informed me was the ‘confusion.’ Scenes of a life I’d never lived and fantastical places that weren’t my white room danced in front of my vision, bringing on this confusion heavier and heavier each second.
The current scene I was seeing was of a pink and a pony and an object the thoughts told me was a ‘guitar.’ There was a pink, but the pony had what I was told was its ‘hooves’ on the guitar, moving up and down rhythmically. I felt a lump build up in my throat at the sight and the whispers told me it was the ‘nausea.’
These visions and explanations went on for millennia, until the walls of my room wore thinner than they were ever before. Finally, the thoughts trickled to a halt and filled my mind with a single word. The second word the whispers taught me.
The whispers then showed the pony creature from before, once more flashing the word ‘pink’ in my mind.
I felt myself floundering about in my second bout of confusion. Hadn’t the color that-wasn’t-quite-white been pink? And hadn’t that four legged beast been a pony? They couldn’t have been the same thing. Surely the tendrils must be mistaken.
The whispers must have felt my newfound confusion because the word and picture flashed once again, stronger this time.
Pink and the pony.
I felt something from the thoughts, something that they informed me was ‘disapproval.’ It didn’t feel too good. My mind prickled the further I sunk into confusion, an affect expounded by the disapproval flowing freely from the tendrils.
The picture and word flashed once again.
Pink and the pony.
The same feeling of disapproval.
Pink… and the pony?
Pink and... a pony?
Pink… the pony?
The feeling of disapproval I had been plagued with suddenly swung upwards to something much lighter, which the thoughts informed me was an ‘approval.’ The image and word flashed once more.
Pink the pony.
The pony and its name hung in my mind for a moment before finally sinking in. The synapses in my brain felt like they snapped as the memories I had just been shown started to flood back.
Wasn’t I a pink pony once?
I felt approval flow from the whispers.
My name was Pink.
Pink Floyd the pink pony.
The name rolled through my mind with ease and I wondered how I had ever forgotten it.
The tendrils of whispers disappeared in a wave of approval, sinking back into the thin walls and left me alone in the quiet room.
I had forgotten everything. My name, my body, my life, all stripped from my mind. I lost everything to these pulsating walls, only to gain it all back sometime later. What happened to me?
For the first time, I actually looked up at the little, white, cold, pulsating room I was in, but for a moment all I saw was an endless blackness that abruptly shrunk into a pinprick on the horizon. The point of black hung in the distance for a few seconds before flashing and revealing the same room I remembered from before.
Only this time, there was a small difference from the sparse room from moments prior. This time there was an equine shadow without a body to cast it gliding along the walls of the room, slowly encircling me like a predator stalking its prey. It slowed to a halt once it had completed several rounds and turned to face me.
The shadow wavered and bulged outwards and bit by bit, it began to remove itself from the wall. First a light blue hoof tentatively stepped out of the black shadow. Then another cautiously felt its way out, soon to be followed by a mare’s head adorned with a unicorn horn. And soon an entire torso followed suit of the previous body parts and seeped out from the wall.
The light blue unicorn mare removed the rest of her body from her shadow and smoothed down a few wayward hairs on her coat. She glanced around the area, seemingly enchanted by the flashing, pulsing walls before finally noticing me. A smirk that could only be described as evil spread over her face and she sauntered over to where I was sitting in the center of the floor.
A look of pure disgust and loathing crossed her face as she neared me. The dim light of the room seemed to play off her body as the gap between the two of us closed. Her body sparkled and wavered in an almost hallucinogenic way.
Her sudden entrance and her almost mystical appearance made me wonder if she was really there at all, or a product of my mind or of the room. I curiously reached a hoof out towards the unicorn, hoping to see whether or not she was tangible, only to have her viciously slap my hoof away, growling at me in the process.
She was definitely real. Most illusions don’t hurt.
The mare’s threatening glower was interrupted by a low warbling sound from the wall behind her. She glanced behind her, towards the rippling walls and smiled as another shadow made its way across the wall.
This new shadow was distinctly male shaped, but was significantly more hesitant leaving the churning walls than the female was. After much indecision, he finally managed to oust his body from his shadow, revealing a sturdy, light blue earth pony stallion.
The walls jerked one last time and stopped moving.
The stallion seemed much more disoriented than the mare was and clutched his head with a pained gasp immediately. He staggered forward, nearly tripping his own hooves, his eyes clenched tight in pain. His breaths were ragged and loud and he didn’t move for several minutes.
The mare looked on in mild interest, never once moving to help the stallion.
Eventually, the stallion straightened up and looked about the room. A wide smile split his face when he laid eyes on the mare, who suddenly seemed equally joyous to see him. The stallion galloped across the room towards the mare and threw his forelegs around her, embracing her in a passionate hug.
I felt a cold twinge deep in my chest as I watched the two of them. That chill slowly crept through the rest of my body, until my forelimbs began to shake. I felt furious watching the mare and the stallion hug. The only problem was, I didn’t know why I was angry. I could remember everything I’d forgotten about my life, but why the sight of those two ponies together angered me, I had no idea.
As I was assessing these unanticipated feelings, the two light blue ponies finished their greetings and now turned their attentions towards me, staring at me down their snouts, an almost identical sneer plastered on both of their faces. The mare caught my glance and shifted her gaze towards the stallion. “Look at this pathetic, wretched excuse for a pony.” she scoffed, gesturing at me. “Disgusting, isn’t he?”
The stallion nodded earnestly in agreement and spoke with an air of superiority. “Indeed he is.” The stallion dipped his head closer to mine and his hot breath fogged in the frigid air. “It’s a wonder his mother even loved him!” He chuckled. “And now you’re oh so alone, aren’t you, Pink?”
The light blue mare laughed and wrapped a forearm around the stallion, hanging loosely from his shoulders. She tenderly stroked my jawline with her free hoof, and temporarily, I felt just a little warmth seep back into my icy bones. For a moment, that tense ball of anger in the pit of my stomach felt all that more relaxed.
But then the unicorn snarled and whacked my head to the side in one violent motion and smiled that frigid little smile of hers. The ice crept back into my bones, I couldn’t move an inch anymore, and that ball in my stomach curled tighter than ever before.
“We don’t need you anymore, you bastard!” she shouted at me and slapped me again. “I don’t need you! In fact, I’ve never needed you! I’ve moved on to bigger and better things!” As if to prove her point, she leaned in a planted a sloppy, wet kiss on the light blue stallion’s mouth. “I’m better off without you!” she giggled with just a hint of venom in her voice.
The stallion whispered something in her ear and she glanced at me inquisitively. After a moment, she began to giggle and nodded enthusiastically, trying to unsuccessfully to stifle her laugh. The stallion began to chuckle as well, and soon the two of them began to laugh uncontrollably, tittering like schoolfoals over their unknown joke.
I looked at the floor, unwilling to watch the pair of them.
After their bout of laughter had died down, the mare continued. “It’s true, you know, Pink. Oh, I know you thought we were in love. Ha! I’ve used you since the day we’ve met, leading you on, and you’ve unknowingly played your part masterfully!”
Her hoof connected with the side of my face a second time, eliciting a burst of laughter from the two of them. “I always hated you, Pink!” She yanked my head backwards by my mane, forcing me to meet her gaze. “You were always a disgusting, fucking piece of shit! You don’t deserve anypony, let alone me!”
The light blue unicorn scoffed and threw me back down to the floor. “I don’t know how you can live with yourself, Pink. Nopony loves you and nopony ever will! You will die alone, cold and, with a bit of luck, in a lot of pain. It’s what you deserve!”
The mare stomped me hard in the ribs as she growled her last words. I heard something crack and my body twitched as immense pain shot up my sides. Tears sprung to my eyes as I clutched wildly at my shattered ribs.
The coldness I had felt before was replaced by a warm, sticky feeling that was slowly worming its way from my abdomen.
She trampled my side again, producing another sharp crack and another shot of pain through my body. She kicked out again in the same spot, but this time there was a wet thump and an even greater jolt of pain. When she drew her hoof back, it was coated in red.
The two ponies stood above me and laughed and laughed…and laughed and…and laughed and laughed and laughed and…laughed and laughed and laughed…and…and…laughed…laughed and…laughed and…laughed…… laughed……….
After a while, I couldn’t hear them anymore.
And then there was blackness.
I managed to crack open my eyes what felt like a moment later and the darkness dispersed. I was met with the same room I was in and the same two ponies that had dispelled what comfort I had before. They had both stopped laughing.
I blinked a few times as my eyes adjusted to the light of my room. The mare was saying something to the stallion. Their conversation was muffled, like I was listening with cotton stuffed in my ears, despite being just a few feet away.
The mare’s hooves were a dark red color.
The air was cold again, and the side of my body felt sticky and numb. There was a reddish-brownish sort of stain on the floor in front of me that matched the mare’s hooves that wasn’t there before. I briefly wondered why the ponies painted the ground before pain rushed up from my shattered ribs and I remembered the cause of the discoloration. I groaned, though I couldn’t hear it, and unsteadily sat up, ignoring the throbbing in my side.
The mare noticed me first and pointed me out to the stallion. Both trotted back over, and I began to hear snippets of their voices clearer as my ears became unstuffed.
“Oh, look wh……wake. Have a fu…….ittle rest there, did you? …uld have hated if I…..killed you.” said one of them. I couldn’t tell exactly who the voice belonged to yet. They started saying something else, but it was too soft to hear properly. They began laughing again, and my hearing finally faded back into use.
“Oh, did you know,” said the mare to the stallion in between fits of laughter, “That all the time me and that bastard Pink were together, I was never faithful to him?”
“Really?” the stallion guffawed.
The mare smirked. “Oh yes. I was having affairs left and right! And little, idiot Pink here never suspected a thing, even when I practically flaunted it in his face! Pathetic isn’t he?” The stallion bobbed his head up and down, unable to speak properly through his laughs. The mare continued, “Oh, but you. You’re a thousand times the stallion that sniveling Pink was.” Her tail wrapped around the stallion’s and she smiled playfully. “Especially in bed…”
I felt that ball in my stomach twist even tighter, again feeling jealous for reasons unknown.
Time seemed to stand still for a moment as the mare stared at the stallion, a toothy, predatory grin on her face. Then, with a passionate roar, the unicorn practically leapt on top of the stallion in a sudden bout of lust and pressed her mouth to his. The stallion fumbled for a moment, obviously surprised, but quickly recovered, returning the mare’s affections with equal ferocity.
What seemed like hours later, the two of them broke apart, gasping for breath. The mare cast an arrogant look in my direction, obviously enjoying the discomfort and pain their love was causing me. Then she went down again and the pair rapidly degraded into a tangle of limbs and fervent moaning.
Her attempt to rile me succeeded, though as to why I had no clue. My chest seemed to burn as I watched the two of them, but I couldn’t turn my head away. I was stuck watching, feeling the pain of jealousy race through me, adding insult to my already injured body.
One of my forelegs brushed against my busted ribs, causing my body to jerk in pain. My legs flailed out, nearly throwing me off-balance, but not quite. I gritted my teeth, preventing any shout of pain to escape my lips and laid against the floor on my uninjured side.
As I watched, the two light blue ponies, still locked in their passionate embrace, slowly stretched and melted together into a single, sinuous blob. It became hard to tell where the mare ended and the stallion began. Hooves fused together and tails entwined around each other as time went on, until there was nothing left of the unicorn and earth pony.
In their place was a gigantic, slender light blue creature. The worm, for that was what it most resembled, rose up high above the ceiling of my room, and looked at me from its lofty position. I don’t know how I knew it was watching me, without any eyes on its head, but I could feel its gaze piercing through me. The worm’s bottom coiled and uncoiled around itself several times, sliding across the floor with a sickening moist sound.
The head of the worm leaned down to my level and stared at me with its intense, eye-less gaze. My eyes were locked on its face, completely unable to look away. The worm moved forward even closer, until it was mere inches away from my snout. I gulped and scooted back a bit, trying not to inflame my broken ribs again. The worm responded in kind and moved with me, copying every inch I moved backwards with a slither forward.
It brought its head in even closer and gently nudged the top of my head, as if inquisitive about what I was. The moment the thing touched my skin, though, it reared back as if in pain, and flailed around sporadically. A high pitch squeal echoed around the room.
The worm wiggled and squirmed a bit, unable to control its movements, before suddenly bulging outwards. Dozens of identical swells cropped up all over its body and began to pulsate.
All of the walls that made up the room followed suit.
After a moment, one of the bulges burst in a burst of pink and the rest followed seconds after. The light blue worm exploded into millions of smaller, pink creatures, all perfectly indistinguishable from the next. My mind barely had the time to register the things as pink, normal sized worms before they all began inching their way towards me.
The squealing had stopped with the light blue monstrosity’s death.
I backed away from the horde of worms as best I could with a broken rib, but they were quickly covering the distance between us, regardless. I dragged myself away from the pink mass that now covered well over half of the room, until I could go no farther. I huddled, defenseless, in the last open corner of the room as the worms slowly advanced towards me.
Briefly, a memory rose to the forefront of my mind. It was of a day, countless years ago when I was very young. Mother and I had gone to the park to have a nice, quiet stroll. The colors stuck out the most in the memory. It had been fall, and all of the leaves were red, orange, yellow, and all sorts of other colors. The air was crisp and cool, the kind of weather that was just perfect. I always liked autumn.
Mother had stopped to smell some flowers on the side of the path and I had gotten bored and wandered further down the walkway. I trotted for a few moments before stopping and looking behind me at Mother, assuring myself that she was still there.
I don’t remember how it happened, but when I looked forward again, I was surrounded by a thick crowd of ponies. They circled around me, shutting me out from Mother and the outside world. It was nearly suffocating and I was much too little to push my way out.
After being shoved back and forth repeatedly by the unobservant crowd, I collapsed onto the floor, curling into a ball, hoping that I wouldn’t get trampled over. I began to cry. It was a sort of quiet, little whimper that shouldn’t have attracted much attention.
I was so scared and so very alone.
But then, a pair of hooves wrapped around me, lifting me up off of the dirty sidewalk. I cracked open my tear-stained eyes to see a pegasus stallion with a blue coat gripping me tightly in one of his forearms. I remembered his smile of reassurance as he led me from the crowd and back to my mother, who was beside herself in worry.
As he hoofed me over to her, I realized with a start that my savior looked like the stallion that was always in pictures with Mother. It was only later that I realized that that stallion in those photos was my father. I think Mother saw her husband in that pegasus’ face, because she gaped blankly at the stallion for a few moments before stammering out a thank you for finding me.
The stallion smiled again and waved off the deed, assuring us it wasn’t a big deal. Mother thanked him again, and the stallion turned to leave. I think Mother wanted to say something else, but couldn’t find the words.
As the blue pegasus trotted away back into the crowd of ponies, I caught a glimpse of his cutie mark. It wasn’t the same as my father’s.
Mother never saw his cutie mark, and I don’t think she ever gave up hope that that mysterious stallion was Father until many years later.
Then, the worms swarmed my body in seconds, covering every inch of pink fur with their writhing mass. My head swiftly came next, followed soon by my tail. Soon, I was covered head to hoof in a soft, pink cast of worms.
Then they each bit down on my skin with tiny, needling jaws. One bite would have been a minor inconvenience, but multiplied by a million felt like a raging fire all over my body. A million hungry mouths on every available piece of skin on my body.
I opened my mouth to scream, only to have the worms crowd into my throat, choking back my shout before it could begin.
I felt them squirm their way inside my body, coating and suckling on all open space. They clamped down on my stomach, lungs and even heart. I could feel each part of my body grow progressively slower as the worms drained all of my organs. I didn’t even have to time to think about the situation. Only the pain coursing through my body.
I felt them make their way up my spine, momentarily pushing each vertebra out of place as they inched along. They flocked their way up towards my head, which was the last organ left untouched, despite it being closest to their point of entrance.
Moments later, I felt the first pinch in my head and knew immediately they had made their way into my brain. One by one, I felt them grab hold and suckle on my life.
I felt parts of my mind go dark as the worms did their work. Bits and pieces of synapses bloomed and dimmed in seconds as the worms squirmed their way deeper into my gray matter. Memories that I had just remembered with the help of the whispers from before were wiped away in a flash.
It was only going to be moments before the worms ate their fill and made every bit of me blank and empty.
In one of my last seconds, I managed to force one of my eyes open, despite the worms covering my face and found myself looking at blackness. My little, white, cold room was no longer there. Gone were the pink, wriggling bulk of worms that were just there seconds prior. My ribs were clean and whole, and all of my insides seemed to be moving just as fast as they should be.
I took a deep breath and took a better look at this blackness I found myself in.
It didn’t take long to find out that there was nothing in this dark void. I was completely alone.
I had the distinct feeling I had encountered this situation before.
It was then I realized I was mistaken and that there wasn’t blackness in front of me. What was there was a large, imposing a white brick wall looming out of the dark.
My eyes followed the wall upward, but strained to see the top of it. It seemed to stretch up into the very heavens.
I glimpsed a flash of white from the corner of my eye, and I turned to my left to see another impossibly tall wall there as well. It appeared from the blackness much like the first one had, in stark contrast to the rest of the landscape.
These walls felt completed.
I approached the second wall, now even more curious as to their origin than before. There was something about the walls that seemed strangely attractive, compelling even.
I reached out a hoof to touch one of the bricks, but stopped halfway, a feeling of unease prickling the back of my neck. I glanced behind me, and found a third wall had appeared there as well.
My head swiveled to the left, to the only remaining spot a wall hadn’t appeared yet, but found none of the black vastness I first encountered. In its place was a fourth, identical wall.
Four white walls.
One pink pony.
I finally pressed my hoof to the wall in front of me and a soft melody drifted through my head. The wall was singing! I closed my eyes and pressed my other foreleg to the wall, and the tempo spiked upwards, becoming a faster paced beat. Intrigued, I rested my head against the bricks, hoping something else would happen.
The song exploded into a cacophony of noise and vibrations that shook my entire body. I jerked away and lurched into the center of the four walls. But even then, the song was still playing.
I became aware of how warm it was suddenly becoming.
The wall’s music slowed to a halt, leaving the space deathly quiet, except for the ringing still rattling around in my head. I folded my ears to my head with my hooves, trying to block out the insufferable noise that the walls passed into me.
But eventually, that too faded into silence, leaving me surrounded by four, enormous walls. My mind turned to them. Why did they sing? What was their purpose? Was it to keep that cold blackness out from this corner of the void?
Or was it to keep this corner of the void separate from everything else?
I knew I was entrapped by the walls, and yet I felt very comfortable in there. It was as if they exuded some sense of trustworthiness, like they were always there for me throughout my life. It was if they were very close friends from sometime in my past.
I couldn’t remember, though…
But then the world snapped and split.
The beautiful things always end up hurting the most. And life has been the most beautiful of all. Can’t trust beautiful. Got to get them first.
Don’t leave me now…
I saw a faint pinprick of white light in the distance.
My scream echoed throughout the hotel suite.
As I faded back into consciousness, the thoughts and feelings associated with each of my bricks pressed down on me, suffocating me until I was sure I would die.
There were my years growing up without a father of my own. An innocent foalhood that was ruthlessly shattered by the fact I would never know my own father, while everypony else grew up in an unbroken family. It wasn’t fair. He promised Mother he would come back. He promised.
And he broke that promise. How could I trust anything after my own father lied?
Then there were my school years, continually beaten and crushed by a relentless regime. They strived to make me perfect and standardized. Any show of emotions or differences was thoroughly stamped out as soon as it cropped up. They wanted puppets for the country, perfect little automatons.
So I locked all my emotions away, where nopony could ever use them to hurt me again. That taught them. I wouldn’t follow them. Nopony can see the real me.
Soon after, Mother locked me in a cold, suffocating embrace and attempted to keep me sequestered away. Anything that could harm me was hidden, so not to taint or corrupt me. She tried to keep me clean and unharmed. Any impure thoughts were expunged and any negative influences were kept far away.
But I broke free from her grasp and from her ideals. Now I’m famous and can melt hearts on a whim. But I’m still so afraid. What if she was right?
And now, my own wife, a testament to the very things Mother warned about, abandoned me without as much as a backwards glance. My beautiful, traitorous wife. She never loved me, and yet she led me on, only to have an affair behind my back. I had thought—I had hoped—that what we had was real, but I was taken for a fool. And now I’m left with nothing by an empty hole where she ruthlessly tore out my heart.
I had tried to love and to live, but it’s all been for naught. Life had beaten me down for the last time. So why even try anymore?
Why should I even try anymore?
There was nothing for me here any longer.
At every turn in my life, I’ve been so alone.
I’ve had nopony I could count on. Nopony I could trust.
I’ve found nothing but despair and agony throughout my life, and all of it has been inflicted by others I thought I could depend on.
So why did I need anypony?
And why did I need anything?
The world cared nothing for me. It has only sought to wound and hurt me. All my life I’ve been kicked around and not a thing has gone right.
For so long, I was deceived so I would never realize the blatant truth that my entire life has been a mess. But now, I’ve seen through the smoke and mirrors, and I’ve seen the light. The solution seemed so simple, yet elegant.
It took me a long time to find the Wall I’ve been building my entire life. But now that I have, I know that it can protect me. It can stop the pain. It can help me lose myself.
It’s been with me since the very beginning. Since Father’s broke his promises and died.
It’s the only thing I can trust.
Now I don’t need anything else.
I don’t need anything at all.
And all in all, they were all just the bricks in my Wall.
Based on “Another Brick in the Wall (Part Three)” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Goodbye Cruel World
Goodbye cruel world,
I’m leaving you today.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
Goodbye, all you people,
There’s nothing you can say
To make me change my mind.
I sat in my hotel room, in the midst of the Canterlot night, staring forlorn out of the shattered window that overlooked the entire city and surrounding valley. The moonlight shone off the pearly white buildings in the city, radiating light high into the heavens, obstructing the stars. Down in the land below the city, soft orange light glowed, showing the faintest silhouettes of small rural towns. It was almost like a pool of stars situated in the grassy fields, mirroring the scant amount of stars visible above.
The world was a big place, and Equestria was only a small part of it. So why was it that all of life’s misfortunes were directed onto me? Why was I so unlucky? I’d never hurt anypony and I’ve never done anything wrong, but time after time, while life rewarded all the others around me, I’ve borne the brunt of this world’s cruelties,
And through this unjustified brutality, I’ve struggled and fought my way to the top. I drudged through everything life threw at me and fulfilled my dreams of becoming a renowned musician, the likes Equestria has never seen.
But to what ends? Now, the entire world is in love with me, in love with my music, but I cannot say I share the same sentiments. I’m so tired. It was lonely at the top.
I thought I was content with my life of luxury. I had everything I had ever wanted, after all. I had a wife, money, power, sex appeal, and the ability to create music to my heart’s content. I had love, happiness, and a life where I was perfect. Nothing could top it, or so I thought. But now, all of that has deceived me.
Now I’ve been betrayed by that bitch of a mare that I thought I could trust, so how can I trust any of those other vices I fell back on before? There’s nothing I can believe in anymore.
These things lulled me into a false sense of security, only for the cold hooves of fate to rip that protection away more violently than ever before, so what was to say that anything I relied in before wouldn’t procure the same results.
My faith has been stripped and my soul crushed, so what else matters?
Everything would have to go away. Everything and everypony. Have to separate myself from this land of false love and shattered promises and finally live a life free of pain.
I had to be free.
There was an indescribable joy that I felt as I faced the end of my misery, there, in my hotel room. It was the sort of buzzing happiness one would expect from a foal on Hearth’s Warming Day, amidst the numerous festivities. It was a feeling of warmth and contentment I hadn’t felt in a very long time, such a long time.
But despite that joy of knowing I would finally seal myself away from everything, not the barest hint of a smile graced my lips.
I’ve had enough of smiling.
Instead, I shook myself out of my state of contemplation and clambered out the armchair I’ve been sprawled in for the past few minutes. I looked around my hotel room for what seemed like the first time that night.
The floor was absolutely trashed. Glass, fabric and wood scraps were scattered all around the room at random intervals. Shards of guitars were imbedded into some of the walls. A food cart was lying on its side, its various foodstuffs coating the immediate area. Unidentified liquids leaked out from broken bottles, staining the carpeting.
The cleaningponies at this hotel weren’t very good.
I traversed all the debris, managing to avoid jagged shards of glass and metal, and reached the front door, which still hung wide open. The hall outside was as bland as any other hallway, though there seemed to several dark splotches of something staining the flooring and walls. Somewhere in my mind, I knew what those dark splotches were, but I pushed those thoughts away. I was too afraid to face them. I didn’t want to know.
I’ve had enough of truth.
I took one last look at the hallway and shut the door. I turned the door handle lock, hearing it click shut with much satisfaction. I tried to do the same for the deadbolt, but my hooves kept slipping with each attempt; they weren’t quite dry from my time floating in the pool. Eventually, I managed to turn the lock, finally sealing myself in my room and away from the rest of the world.
With that finally taken care of, I wandered back through the ruined room with a slight spring in my step. Nothing could bother me now. There would be no interruptions, no interventions, and no more dreams of grandeur.
Me and myself.
I took a detour to the bedroom, hardly registering where my hooves were taking me. As I approached the doorway, I could see that it was in a much better state then the living room was. My hooves slowed to a halt, as if I was hesitant to enter the room completely. I stood in the doorframe, staring blankly into my bedroom for what seemed to be ages, entirely at a loss as what to do next. The wind whistled past the broken window in the room behind me, playing out a sad and lonely tune.
Was this really what I wanted, to isolate myself in my room, to just lock myself away from my troubles…? Was this… Do I really…
Of course I want this.
No looking back.
My hoof took a trembling step forward into the bedroom, and something wet rolled down my cheek, dripping onto the carpet below. I rubbed at the wetness absentmindedly with one of my hooves and stumbled into the room, unsure of the reason I was in there.
Suddenly, the calm of the room was broken by a loud burst of static followed by the sound of another pony talking. “…want to go through with this, Sir?” said the unidentified stallion through the bursts of static, “Our orders are to-
The stallion’s voice cut off, only to be sharply replaced by a different one. “I know what our orders are! Don’t be a smartass, Private! But…” his voice faltered, “But we can’t! This is the only chance we have.” There was a pause. “K-keep the troops there. This bridgehead must be defended, even at the cost of a few hundred lives…”
I began looking around the room as the conversation continued, searching for the source of it. After less than a minute of searching, I found the origin. Buried under a pile of curtains ripped from the walls was the bedroom’s television lying on its side, a bit roughed up, but still functional. Its screen was cracked, fracturing the picture into several parts each identical.
One of the ponies on the show playing spoke up. “I know, Private, I know. But what else are we to do now?”
“Well, anything! You want us to just hide ourselves away while a few try their best to protect us?! It’s insane! We can’t-“
“They’ll do their best to keep the wall from being overtaken!" whispered the Captain, “You know that. They’ll give their lives to keep it. We’re safe back here.”
“I don’t care! It still-“
“Stand down, Private Fletcher!” The Captain exploded, sweeping some books from a nearby table. “You’re in no position to tell me what to do! You’re not a military pony! You made arrows before the war, and I’m damn sure that means you aren’t qualified to tell me how to run this army! Now leave or by Celestia, I’ll make sure you’re one of the stallions up at the front!”
I turned off the television at that point, my eyes itching madly again as several more beads of water rolled down my face. I still wasn’t sure why my eyes were leaking.
With a grunt, I griped the heavy box and dragged it into the other room, positioning it in front of my armchair. I rubbed my eyes again, finally relieving the discomfort I’d been feeling and I felt my eyes dry up. I flicked the television on once again and quickly turned it to a different channel that didn’t make my eyes itch. I didn’t like that sensation and, thankfully, if everything went well, I’d never have to experience it again. I let the television run its program in the background.
I’ve had enough of crying.
With a strange new sense of determination, I stepped back into the bedroom and headed to what remained of my closet. I forced open the battered doors and rummaged through for a suitcase. I found one and quickly began filling it with whatever I got my hooves on. Into the bag went all of the sheet music I had brought with me, all of my Poison Joke, various other drugs, cartons of cigarettes, and any other vices.
I didn’t want any of it near me anymore. The drugs, the memories, the pain. I couldn’t stand any of it anymore. I wanted all of it gone.
But if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I quickly turned around and scoured the rest of my hotel room for anything to get rid of. I worked at a feverish pace, almost fanatically shoving objects into my bags. I cleared out the room’s medicine cabinet, took the few unbroken bottle of alcohol and most of the food that wasn’t ingrained in the carpet. At this point, the case was close to bursting so I dragged it out onto the lanai, next to the pool and lurched back into the suite.
Inside, I took one final look around the rooms and grabbed one last thing: A picture of me and my wife. I took the picture out beside the pool and sat down on the first step, water lapping around my hooves and lower body. I twirled my forehooves in the water, but drew back as a sharp pain jolted from one of my hooves. Inky red swirls mixed with the blue of the pool water.
Deciding to get it over with, I reached into the saddlebags and picked out the first object and lobbed it into the deep end of the pool. Whatever it was hit the water with a satisfying splash and quickly sunk into the depths. I continued in this vein for a while, not really caring what I was throwing away, until my hooves gripped the familiar shape of a vinyl record.
I gingerly took it out and looked it over. It was one of mine, my very first album actually, the album that made the world fall in love with me. A scowl creased my face as I continued to look at it, feeling an inexplicable anger rise from the pits of my stomach.
I’ve had enough of joy.
With a shout of anger, I snapped the record in half and cast the remains out into the pool, where they floated languidly on the surface. I did the same to the few other records in the bag and to the sheet music I had also stuffed in there. I never wanted to see any of that ever again.
The next time I reached into the bag, I drew out a large bag of dried Poison Joke, nature’s most brutal hallucinogen, the destroyer of minds. It had always helped to take away the pain; it made me forget and helped me relax. But after its effects wore off, it left me in a stark moment of intense clarity that made me remember everything and made me hurt oh so much… Even the drug, despite however much it helped, continually betrayed me. I couldn’t trust anything.
I threw the clumps of Poison Joke into the pool and watched as the blue leaves slowly sunk to the bottom of the water, disappearing into the dark shadows, never to be seen again. Following that went several packs of cigarettes, the rest of the drugs and the few bottles of alcohol that remained unscathed.
I’ve had enough of drugs.
Next came the tattered photograph of Rêves and me on our wedding day. It had been taken as I carried her down the church steps shortly after we had taken our vows. We both looked so happy and carefree. I was smiling and so was she. We were so clean, so innocent…
But those days were all a lie, weren’t they? She never loved me.
Without any remorse, I cast the picture into the pool as well and watched as it sunk immediately to the bottom.
I’ve had enough of lies.
I reached for the next object, only to find the rest of the suitcase empty. With a snort, I swiped it into the pool as well and stood up, water dripping from my fur. I trotted back inside without so much as a cursory glance behind me and slammed the sliding glass doors that led to the patio. I hastily drew the curtains across the doors, leaving my bedroom blanketed in darkness.
I stalked back into the living room and turned up the television’s volume to a deafening decibel. The sounds washed over me, dampening all of the outside noise. The only other sensation was the frigid air blowing in from outside.
I was finally, truly alone.
I sighed in content and eased back into my chair, finally at ease with myself.
For the first time today, I felt like it was really over. It was so easy, just to lie there in the dark, without a care in the world or anything to disturb me. It was almost liberating. Patriotic, even. I had no obligations to anypony but myself, because I was all that remained.
On the television somepony laughed at some joke I had missed. I expect it wasn’t all that funny anyway. A few other ponies joined in on the first one’s laughter, filling the room with an echoing cacophony of giggling and laughing that made my ears ring. I quickly switched the channel a few times before settling on a cooking show.
The hostess said something about the combinations of fish fingers and custard, before I tuned her voice out. I practically stopped paying attention to the set altogether, the only evidence of the TV being the bight flashes of light illuminated every facet of the room in blatant detail. I briefly considered turning off the entire television, but couldn’t find the energy to do so.
I curled up in the lounge chair, resting my head on the arm, staring at the walls of the room in mild disinterest. These walls would be the only things I would see for the rest of my life, because I never planned on leaving my fortress. Before long, I would know every detail of this suite.
Something clattered to the floor behind me, causing me to blink in surprise at the sudden noise.
Glass from the broken window chinked together as a burst of wind wound its way through the room.
The pungent smell of wine soaked carpet wafted through the air.
One of my hooves still stung and throbbed, sending pain coursing through my veins.
I looked out over the shining lights of Canterlot and the faint stars in the sky.
The chair felt warm and sticky against my wet fur.
The hotel walls slowly began to close in around me as I watched them.
Warning lights flashed on my map.
The television flickered as the mare onscreen continued talking.
My mane settled down on top of my head, falling in front of my eyes and obscuring my vision partially.
The moon shone into the living room, sparkling off of glass shards littering the floor.
The walls shrunk in closer to me and my chair and the television and me.
The pony on TV said something about marmalade and rutabagas.
The carpet grew up past my withers, its fibers irritating my skin.
I sighed and watched as my breath fogged in the cold air and quickly formed a face in the mist.
The ceiling dripped something red and thick.
The fractured screen of the television split the picture up into several different parts.
The pony on screen smiled sadly and waved goodbye to the camera before fading away into blackness.
And in my mind’s eye I saw the Wall I had built.
I felt the love, warmth and security that radiated off of the Wall and felt so at peace. I knew that It would protect me from the cold, harsh outside and I knew how I had never wanted anything more than to leave this world behind.
I glanced behind me and noticed a solitary brick lying in the middle of the floor, surrounded by nothing by blackness. I was in an endless void.
I walked over to the brick, my hooves resonating in the empty expanse. I picked the brick up and ran my hooves over its immaculately smooth, white surface. I looked back at the Wall and noted that It still had space for one more brick; the very one I held now.
With brick in hoof, I trotted back over to the Wall, standing in front of the gap, the only thing left before the Wall was finally completed. I gently slid the last brick into place and stumbled backwards as a bright flash of light as energy coursed down the Wall, blinding me.
Yes, safety, at last.
My entire body relaxed as the light faded. It was finally done. The Wall was built.
I had never felt more alive than I did at that moment. Something blossomed deep inside of me and it took several moments for me to realize that it was pure joy, something I hadn’t felt for so long. It was… indescribable.
I took a hesitant step forward, towards the Wall that seemed to beckon me closer with each passing second. As I approached it, thoughts of all my troubles and of my friends and family passed through my mind. Everything I would be leaving behind. Everypony I would depart.
I stopped briefly, weighing my options. Protection or fear? Happiness or death? Was there even a contest? This was worth it. I had to be safe. I needed to breathe. So, I left my qualms and feelings on the floor, just outside the Wall, casting them away.
I’ve had enough of trying to love.
There was nothing anypony, or even I, could do now. I had cut all my losses so long ago and with one more step, I could finally be free. I could finally soar. This was my one and only fate, I knew, and it was that thought that brought peace and tranquility to my mind at that last second.
I took another step forward, more confidently than before and embraced the Wall, which embraced me back, locking me within Its comforting, secure arms.
And as it closed in around me, I knew that this was the finest thing that could have ever happened. The Wall was complete and now I would finally be safe from all the bad and evil.
I could finally be happy. I could finally be the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be: Me. Me and nopony else. No pretenses, no masks, no misgivings and no judging. Just me, myself and I and me.
And as the Wall slammed shut and I felt my pain slowly receding, one last thought crossed my mind.
Goodbye cruel world.
Based on “Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Behind Gray and Paranoid Eyes
Silly Pink Floyd, with eyes so paranoid, whatever has happened to you?
My world’s gone all topsy-turvy.
Scared and brazen Pink Floyd, watching everything with feelings devoid, what have you lost?
I haven’t lost a thing. I’ve only managed to find happiness.
Floyd and Pink are on the brink. Fall a little lower and you’ll see it.
I’ve sunk as far as I can, but haven’t caught a glimpse.
Little Floyd and little Pink just need to think ‘Was this a good idea?’
Was this a good idea?
Pink said goodbye, goodbye.
Floyd says hello.
What have I done?
This wasn’t a good idea.
I can’t get out of here.
Is there somepony out there?
I can hear them.
I can hear you.
Doing What You’re Told
“You look very nice tonight, Mrs. Floyd!” came his pleasant, sugary voice from the hallway. A chill ran all the way down my spine as I heard the young stallion’s words. I scooted further under the table, hoping that he wouldn’t find me and silently prayed to the powers above that tonight would be a normal night.
My mum giggled slightly. “Oh Butch, you charmer, you flatter me too much.”
He chuckled along with her. “Well, it’s only because you look so nice every time I see you. You always look so darling in whatever outfit you wear. I don’t know how you do it!”
“Oh, it just comes natural to me, I suppose.” I managed to suppress a gag while the conversation continued. “Now, I’ll be back around midnight, so that gives you and my little Pink a full ten hours of fun time together. Oh, I know he always looks forward to when you sit for him, even if he always hides when you first get here. It’s adorable!” She giggled again.
“He’s a wonderful little colt.” agreed Butch, my foalsitter, “I always enjoy watching over him… Now, you go on and have a fabulous night, Mrs. Floyd. I’ll take care of your darling Pink. The emergency contacts are in their usual spot?”
“They are. I tell you Butch, I can’t tell you how much having you here puts my mind at ease. I trust you so much more than any of the other sitters.”
“Thank you Ma’am. Now, I have everything under control here,” he lied through his teeth, “Go on, I wouldn’t want you to be late or anything.”
I choked back a sob. Ten horrifying hours of Butch were fast approaching. Oh, Celestia, why did my mum have to go out tonight of all nights and leave me with him of all ponies? I had begged and pleaded with her not to go, but she had her mind set on having a relaxing evening away with some friends. I would have been fine with any other sitter, but when she told me that Butch was going to be watching me, my heart shattered.
Butch was a slim, but powerful sickly orange unicorn stallion, just on the cusp of stallionhood. He had wormed his way into my mum’s trust with compliments and gifts, until she trusted me with him. She even came to like him the best out of all of my sitters, despite my constant objections. And I could never tell her why I didn’t like him because he would find me and…
My mother spoke up again. “Alright then. See you later tonight Butch. I hope Pink won’t be too much trouble….”
The teen stallion scoffed. “He’ll be fine, I’m sure. He’s an angel. Now go. I’ll keep him out of trouble. Toodle-loo!”
The door shut.
My pupils shrunk to pinpricks.
Butch’s airy, high-pitched giggle reached my ears. “Oohhhh Pinky! Little Pinky Floyd! Where are you hiding this time?!”
I gulped and flattened myself against the wall even more. Maybe if I hid well enough, he would give up. I hoped the table wasn’t too obvious a hiding spot.
Oh, how I would give up everything just to skip tonight.
Butch trotted into the living room, where I was hiding. His hoofs clattered on the old wood floor. I held my breath for a moment, not even willing to breathe, lest it give away my position.
“Oh where could my little, baby Pinky be? I would be oh so sad if I couldn’t find him.” He hummed merrily to himself as he looked for me around the room. “Oh where, oh where, could my Pink have gone, oh where, oh where could he be?!”
I could see his silhouette through the tablecloth draped over the table I was under. He moved closer to my hiding spot. “Now don’t make me look for you all night, silly-billy.” he sang, “I might just have to punish you even more if you don’t come out.”
I clenched my eyes shut as his form grew closer to my table.
“Are you under this table, I wonder?”
Oh Celestia, no, no…
“That’s not a good hiding spot, Pink. You’ll have to do better than that.” His hoof reached out and gripped the tablecloth.
No, no, no, no, no…
The table cloth was torn away abruptly revealing the grinning, almost feminine face of Butch. “There you are sunshine.” he cooed, “What’re you doing under there?”
His hooves gripped mine and he dragged me out from under the table. I yelled and kicked out with my hind legs, feeling them connect with the soft tissue of Butch’s stomach. The unicorn grunted and threw me across the room in a brief fit of anger. I scrambled away and cowered behind the side of the couch. “You got a little fight in you this time, do you?” he asked as he gipped his abdomen in pain. He took a few deep breaths to steady himself and gradually made his way over to where I was hiding, another grin plastered on his face. “That’s fine,” he exhaled, “It just makes the conquest all that more satisfying, and I know I will enjoy it so very much…”
I took that moment to try and sprint into the other room, but my immature body wasn’t quick enough. As I was halfway to the doorway, I heard the telltale sound of magic behind me and I knew all was lost. Butch’s magic gripped down hard on my tail, sending my head smacking down onto the floor. I briefly thought about trying to crawl a few more inches in the hope that I could maybe escape, but I knew that I couldn’t escape Butch’s grip.
My sitter’s hoofsteps calmly approached from behind me. “Now dear, you know I’m going to get you one way or the other tonight. “He giggled and lessened up the magic wrapped around my tail. “So don’t try to escape, alrighty?”
He let go of my tail completely and I immediately curled up into a ball, quaking as fear racked my body. I chanced a quick look up at Butch as he loomed over me. His smile widened as his eyes roamed over every inch of my body. “Pink, I see your body is just as fabulous as I remember.” He breathed in deeply, probably taking in as much of my scent as he could. “I just want you to know you’re my favorite of all the colts I sit for.”
I choked back a sob. I didn’t want this to happen. I didn’t want him to... I don’t think I would ever forget the things Butch did to me every time he came over, but I was too weak to stop them, however much I wanted to. And I could never tell anypony, especially my mum, about what happened during the nights he visited because he threatened me with things I didn’t even want to think about.
Butch picked me up by the scruff of my neck and carried me over to the couch. He threw me down on the cushions like he had so many times before and held my hooves down with his magic. “Now,” he whispered as he slowly straddled me, “Let’s have some fun, Pinky…”
His magic’s embrace gagged my mouth and I screamed so very loud and yet nopony could hear me.
Help me please.
Things behind my Wall weren’t what I thought they were going to be. There was no comforting embrace and no assurances of a pleasant future. It was not what I was expecting at all. I felt worse than when I retreated into myself, hiding from my fears.
I could still see the hotel room I was sitting in. I could still feel the coarse material of my armchair. I could still hear the chattering of the television. I could still feel the permeating cold air. But I wasn’t there in that room any longer. I had run inside of my own brain, receding behind the Wall I had constructed throughout my life, trying to hide from my problems.
And it worked.
It worked so very well.
And now I can’t get back out.
I locked things away behind my Wall. Terrible things, horrible things. There were repressed memories and thoughts I never wanted in my head ever again. I forced all my emotions behind the Wall. I kept all my true feelings and worst memories inside of myself, with the intention of never thinking of them ever again. I made the Wall to protect me from everything that went wrong in my life, the injustices done to me by everypony I knew. I hid my trauma deep within me.
So all those memories and feelings were waiting for me when I withdrew behind my Wall. All of my most primal fears, all of my foulest memories were laid out before me, practically forcing themselves into my head.
And I’m so, so terrified. I’m pounding at the ground in desperation, calling out beyond as loud as I can for help. I can’t get out of here, no matter how much I try. I’m screaming and crying and near tearing my hair out in sheer terror. I don’t like it here.
But it’s all in vain. All of my shouting and sobbing and self-harm did nothing. I’m still sitting in this chair, staring blankly at the flashing television and feeling the wind rustle my mane. And I'm still trapped inside that prone figure, a prisoner in my own body.
But pleading for help is all I can do.
Help me, anypony, please.
I beg of you, rescue me before I feel any more.
I’m so lonely here.
Just… Would you touch me…?
Would you please just hold me?
“Come on slowpoke!” yelled one of the colts, a brown unicorn, over his back, “You’re holdin’ us all up! We’re never gonna get there if you don’t hurry your ass up!”
I glanced at the top of the hill where the other three colts were waiting impatiently. I grinned sheepishly, “Sorry!” I broke into a gallop and caught up with the rest of the group. “I… uhh… I guess I got a little distracted. Sorry.”
A different colt, a gray unicorn, scoffed. “Yeah whatever. Just don’t let it happen again.” We started walking down the trail again, plodding along in silence for a few moments. The gray colt spoke up again. “What was so interestin’ anyways, huh? What, you get hungry and eat a bit of grass of somethin’?”
My ears perked up at the question. “Nah, nothin’ like that.” I responded cheerfully, “There were some nice lilac colored flowers growin’ on the side of the road so I stopped and smelled them, and-”
The rest of my sentence was cut off by the three colt’s raucous laughter. “You- You stopped and smelled some flowers!?” said one, almost in disbelief, “Jeez, you are a pussy, ain’t you? Come on, what kind of colt smells flowers? That shit’s for fillies!”
“Oh, well…” I was lost for words. I felt as if a stone had settled in the pits of my stomach.
“And what’s li-lac anyways?” said another colt, this one an orange pegasus, “Not only are you a pussy, you’re also a bookworm!” He nudged the unicorn next to him. “Why’d you bring this bitch along again?”
“I don’t know! I thought he seemed cool at the time, but I guess not.” I felt tears spring to my eyes, but I managed to keep myself from crying in front of them. They were being so… mean! “Anyways, we’ll ditch this pink pussy when we get back. Too late to turn back now, eh?”
The pegasus glanced in my direction, a sneer plastered on his face. “I guess…” He licked his lips. “Well, come on then! Let’s go, lads!” The pegasus and two unicorns set off at a brisk trot without warning, leaving me to bring up the rear.
The colts’ words were hurtful. I wasn’t weak or anything like that! I just… I just liked appreciating nature more than most colts my age. I thought maybe they would understand or even agree with me, but it looked like, just like my poetry, I couldn’t ever share that with anypony either. The whole class laughed at me when Sir read one of my poems to them. Some ponies were so… brutish! I sighed and picked up the pace, staying slightly behind the group of rowdy colts.
We walked through the empty fields at the edge of town for a while before we reached our destination. We stood on the edge of a large, bleak canyon that scarred the landscape for miles. The aptly named Ghastly Gorge.
“Well,” shouted the leader of the group, the brown unicorn, over the whistling wind, “Here we are gents! Ghastly Gorge! They fought a couple of battles here a while back! Thought we could scavenge a bit, try to scrounge up some military stuff or somthin’!”
The other two colts yelled out in agreement, making their way closer to the edge, but I hesitated. “Isn’t this place dangerous!? My mum said to steer clear of it!” I yelled over the gusts of air blowing out of the canyon.
The pegasus chuckled. “You gonna listen to your mum or come with us!? You might be able to make up for being such a sissy!” He gestured to the others and flapped his wings, hovering off the ground. “Well, come on then!” He rocketed into the air and dove into the ravine, quickly disappearing from sight, his shouts of joy also dissipating.
The two unicorns glanced at each other, excited smiles spreading across their faces. Their horns sparked with magic and the pair of them lifted into the air, sailing after the pegasus, leaving me standing alone at the edge of the chasm. None of them even looked back.
I gulped and chanced a quick look over the side. The canyon walls dropped in a slant, ending a couple of meters down at a ledge where the colts were waiting. I took a deep breath and steeled my nerves. If I did this, I could maybe win back their favor and be friends with them. And if I didn’t, I’m sure the rest of the school would know about it before the next day.
I had to do it.
I took a hesitant step off the edge, my hoof scrambling for purchase on the rough rock. I found a solid spot that seemed strong enough to support my weight and edged myself over into the valley. I reached down with my other hindleg, almost immediately finding another hoofhold. I continued like this, easing myself down the wall bit by bit until I was at least halfway down.
I glanced down at the three colts waiting below. I saw the gray unicorn’s horn begin to glow and heard a snicker of amusement float up from below on the wind. The dip in the rock wall my right forehoof was holding on to glowed with a distinctive magical aura. My voice shaking with fear, I called down to them, “What are you doing! My hoof’s there! You're gonna make me-“
Then the magic ejected my hoof from its grip, throwing it out into thin air. I flailed wildly for a few moments, desperately trying to find my hoofhold again, but the colt’s magic prevented me from regaining my grips. I clenched my teeth as my other three legs cried out in protest, trying not to focus on the few hundred or so feet to the bottom.
But my young muscles were not remotely strong enough to support my weight yet.
My left hindleg shot out from under me first, followed shortly after by my two remaining hooves. Wind rushed by my ears for a moment and I screamed out in pure terror as I fell. I hit the rapidly sloping canyon walls with a solid thump and I thrashed madly for anything to hold on to, but found nothing. The coarse rock dug into my skin, skinning my pink coat off in some places, leaving a streak of blood where I slid.
I skidded to a stop at the ledge at the hooves of the three colts. I shakily raised my head and looked at the three laughing colts in front of me. “…W-why…?” I croaked, hardly able to breathe. Why had they thrown me off of the canyon wall?
The brown unicorn managed to stop laughing to spit out a response. “Why? W-Why not? You’ll bou- bounce back from it if you’re colt e-enough.”
The pegasus looked at me, a smile on his face. “Besides,” he chuckled, “Nopony’s gonna look for your sorry ass anyways. Pink, what a pussy name. I bet your mum is a drunkard, for givin’ a colt a name like that.” he scoffed.
“…N… No…” I managed to mumble as darkness rapidly took my vision. “Dun… Talk ‘bout… My ma li-like tha…”
The gray unicorn looked down at me, eyes wide. “What was that?
I tried to form a coherent word. “I…”
But that was a far as I ever got. The pegasus kicked me hard in the ribs. “Shut up, pussy.” He gestured to the other two colts. “Come on lads; let’s go find some war gear!”
The three of them strode off, leaping off the ledge down to the bottom of the canyon leaving me all alone on a small shelf halfway down a gorge in the middle of nowhere. Those bastard unicorns and that pegasus abandoned me.
I didn’t slip away into unconsciousness for hours. I called out as much as my weakened voice would allow, hoping somepony passing by would hear and come rescue me.
It was all I could do.
But nopony came by and helped. I laid there all evening and well into the night. Freezing cold canyon air blew over my body to the point where I couldn’t feel any of my limbs, though that was probably better, given my injuries.
I don’t know when I fell asleep and I don’t know when the stallion found me but when I finally awoke, I was lying on the back of a teal, middle-aged pegasus. I picked my head up and looked around. We were walking away from the Gorge back towards town.
The pegasus glanced back at me and smiled. He must have felt me wake up. He smiled at me and stopped, He stooped down and eased me off of his back with his wings, letting the both of us rest a bit before continuing into town.
We sat in the grass for a while, neither of us bothering to say anything. He had tended to my wounds; bandages wound their way around my body, stemming anymore blood from seeping out of my gashes. They still stung a lot, but after hours of lying in the dirt, I was used to the pain they caused.
The pegasus was decked out in armour, signifying that he was in the Equestrian Army. Must have been patrolling the Gorge that night and found me, I figured. Right now, he was leaning back, helmet resting on the ground next to him.
He glanced in my direction. “So,” the stallion finally spoke up, breaking the silence, “What happened to you then? What’s a colt your age doin’ all the way out here?”
I didn’t respond, and the stallion seemed to take as a cue to to continue speaking. “I hope you weren’t trying to join the military or somethin’, kid. There’s no glory there, I’ll tell you that much.” He glanced at me expectantly, but I kept my head down. I didn’t feel like talking much.
The stallion seemed to understand though. “Alright,” he sighed, “you can keep your secrets. Celestia knows I’m no interrogator. But I’ll help you get back to town, alright? I’m sure you can find your parents or somethin’ from there. I’ll leave you be.”
I grunted in affirmation and he smiled in response. We rested for a little longer. I looked up at the night sky, but the stars had all been obscured by clouds, leaving the night seem all that emptier. I yawned and curled up in the grassy field, thinking about the colts and their bullying.
After a while, the stallion stood up and walked over to me. “Can you walk by yourself, or…?” I tried rising to my hooves, and for a moment, it seemed like I was steady enough to walk, but then my left hindleg shot out from under to me and I fell back on the ground. The stallion chuckled as I slowly shook my head no. He bent down so I cold clamber onto his back, pushing me up with his wings.
He set off at a steady pace back towards town, trying not to jostle me around too much. I yawned again, exhausted by the day’s events and wanted nothing more than to just fall asleep in my own bed. I could only imagine what mum would think when she saw me. She must be worried sick about now.
When I returned to school, I would never talk to those unicorns or pegasus ever again. I thought they were cool, but they proved me different after today’s events. They couldn’t be trusted.
The stallion spoke again, interrupting my thoughts. “Will you at least tell me your name, kid?” I didn’t respond and he sighed. “You know, I got a son back home that’s about your age and same coat color too. Your name wouldn’t happen to be…”
But my eyes had already closed and my mind already drifted asleep. His words floated through one ear and out the other.
My hoof itched and I couldn’t scratch it.
I was lost, alone and afraid in the dark, unknown recesses of my mind. There were things here I never wanted to see again. Evil thoughts and memories that stalked through my mind, hungry and lean after years without anything to latch on to and suck dry. I was fresh meat in the lion’s den. They ate into my brain.
It was so empty here and I was the emptiest of everything. My eyes were hollow and lifeless, looking out over the immeasurable nothingness without a spark of recognition. I was bled dry. My skin was cold and plastic-like to the touch, garnering no warmth from the void around me.
But I could still feel the chair I was sitting in, like a phantom touch. I could turn my head and see my hotel room out of the corner of my eyes. I could hear a mare on the television lecturing me on the proper use of thyme and hear her oven’s timer ticking away the moments until her soufflé was finished.
And my hoof itched, and I couldn’t move to relieve it. I was stuck, unable to find the energy, will and means to move my body. I was stuck inside my own mind with no means or hope of escape.
In my mind, I was crying, screaming, hollering, venting, shrieking, shouting, bellowing until my voice grew hoarse and I could hardly move my limbs anymore, lamenting about how unfair it was to be locked away by my own devices. I banged on the ground that wasn’t there, sobbing into my hooves until I was out of breath.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I was weighed down by so much and with nopony to help carry my heavy burden of stones; I was being crushed under its bulk.
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t blink.
All I wanted was for somepony to hear me, to see me, to help me. There were so many ponies out there, but none of them noticed me because none of them were near me. All I wanted was for one to hold me, to help stave off this cold loneliness, to help chase away this fear.
I just wanted somepony to help me, to rip me from my own mind and save me. I wasn’t strong enough to escape this torment on my own.
All I could do is hope.
My hoof twitched and slowly but surely, moved over to my other hoof and scratched the itch that was plaguing me.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing…”
The old pony up on stage was talking about something. I didn’t know what. I was standing next to mommy, who was holding a handkerchief up to her eyes, dabbing at something. We were in a small crowd of ponies, all wearing black and we were all staring up at the old stallion in the front and the black, pony-sized box behind him.
Mommy had been crying all this morning, but I didn’t know why. She got all dressed up in a frilly, black dress and insisted that I put on some smelly old, black suit that she got from Celestia knows where. She said we had to go to a thing called a fun-eral but I didn’t want to go. I told her that, but she persisted and dragged me out to this room and introduced me to all sorts of strange ponies I didn’t know. They all seemed to look at me in pity, but I didn’t know why
Whatever this fun-eral was, it didn’t seem much fun. Nopony was laughing, nopony was enjoying themselves, nopony was having fun. All we were doing was listening to this stallion with the black box up on stage. I didn’t know what we were doing here; this was so boring. I shifted around in my seat, slowly losing my attention in the whole affair. Mommy glanced down at my and wrapped a comforting hoof around my shoulders. Her face was streaked with tears.
As time went by, the old stallion got down from the stage and several other ponies from the crowd went up there and talked about things. It sounded like they were talking about some stallion friend of theirs. From the stories they were telling, he sounded like a fun pony to be around; I wondered if he was in the crowd somewhere. Maybe this fun-eral was some sort of party or something?
Oh, he must have been in the black box, hiding, waiting until the end of all these ponies’ speeches to pop out and talk to us.
I couldn’t wait for that, I decided.
And then mommy went up to the front, leaving me alone in the very front row. She was silent for a few moments but then she started to cry and unsteadily walked back to her seat next to me. A few ponies came over to her and talked to her while the first stallion went back up on stage. He said a few words that I missed and left the stage, letting the few ponies in attendance break out into quiet murmurings, as if they were too afraid to talk normally.
It stayed like this for a while. Ponies whispered to each other and mommy sat there crying, a few others patting her on the back and whispering to her as well. I started to fidget again as things began to wind down. I didn’t’ have anything to do and none of the adults wanted to talk to me. I was so bored.
Eventually, a long time later, the ponies cleared out, leaving me and mommy all alone in the room with the black box. Mommy took a deep breath and stood up, walking over to the box. She looked at it for a few moments in silence and put her hooves on the top of it, stroking it. I could hear her crying again.
I got up and crept over beside her hunched form. I glanced at the box questioningly. Where was the stallion that everypony was talking about? I was confused; this entire day had been so confusing.
I tugged gently on my mommy’s dress and she looked at me, black makeup melting down her face. “Mommy,” I began to ask her, “Mommy, who’s in the box? Is he gonna come out soon?”
My mommy looked at me for a few seconds, with the look of a mare who had lost everything. She blinked and began to wail even harder. She fell to her knees, clutching me tight. “Ooh, Pi-ink, darling!” she cried in between her body-racking sobs.
“Ooohh Pink! Y- You don’t know! I’m soooo sorry…!”
I think she would have said more, but I don’t think she could have.
So I stood there, my mommy wrapped around my body, crying into my shoulder, wondering why she was so sad.
So I hugged her back.
I found an end to the darkness.
It was my Wall.
It stretched up so far into the heavens that I started to think the blackness I was in was merely the Wall’s shadow. Its gleaming white bricks stood out from the empty void in stark contrast so much that it almost hurt to look at it after seeing nothing but black for so long.
I approached it, staring at the black under my feet, trying not to look directly at the Wall in case it blinded me. Its bricks slotted perfectly together; there was no space between them, no visible signs of mortar. No weakness.
I banged on the Wall In frustration, begging to be set free, but no help came. I was alone, as I had always been my entire life. I screamed in anger and scraped at the Wall, hoping I could pry a brick loose. I scratched and kicked and punched the bricks until my hooves dripped with blood and the Wall was stained with smears of red. But nothing worked.
I sighed and sat down, facing away from the towering mass of white. I didn’t know what to do. I was trapped in here with everything I never wanted to remember again and I couldn’t escape. Nopony would come to my rescue; these bricks were too solid, too thick, for any sound to carry through to the outside.
And even then, who would help me? Who would I want to help me? Everypony I knew and used to love left and abandoned me. There was nopony I trusted anymore besides myself, and I was of no use to myself right now.
I was still sitting in my chair in the penthouse room of a Canterlot hotel in the middle of the night and I could hardly move myself. Sure, I could twitch my hooves a bit or roll my eyes around the room, but that was all I could manage at the moment.
I was removed from my own mind, and yet I resided in it, like a prisoner in maximum guard. The Wall was meant to protect me but all it did was trap me inside myself.
I gave the Wall one final punch and galloped away from it as hard as I could. I didn’t tire, I didn’t falter, and I didn’t look back until I was far away from the boundary of my mind.
Maybe I could find something out in the darkness, besides even more pain. Maybe I could find some help.
And in my room, I strained every muscle until my previously limp form rose out of the chair and gazed around at the debris scattered around the floor.
It was all so… disorganized.
I was walking down the dark, empty streets for a bit. Light shone out from the windows of buildings lining the road, but it did little to illuminate the night. Even the sky was dark; the stars and moon were blanketed with a thick cover of clouds, casting the city into darkness.
It was a lonely, desolate scene. I hadn’t seen another soul since I left the recording studio a few minutes ago and set off for home. Granted, it was around one in the morning and I had spent a few more hours in the studio than I should have, but the city seemed almost dead. The quiet, almost eerie stillness made me nervous and I began to walk faster, hoping to get back home sooner. I pulled my saddlebags snugger around my middle as if they would protect me against whatever my panicky mind would create out of the shadows.
Up ahead of me was the dull, flickering glow of a streetlamp. It barely illuminated a few feet in any direction, but it was enough for me to nearly gallop toward it, desperate to get out of the dark. I reached the lamppost and leaned on it, slightly out of breath and silently berating myself for being so silly. I knew there wasn’t anything in the dark, except for what my over reactive imagination could imagine up, but that didn’t stop me from becoming scared.
But the light managed to stave off my nervous terrors and I felt myself more calm and relaxed than I was a few seconds ago. I sighed and started off down the road again, whistling a tune I had woken up with in my head one morning. I was thinking of some lyrics to but to the music when I thought I heard hoofsteps behind me. I stopped and listened, but heard nothing and continued on, my heart beating faster in my chest.
A few minutes later, I could have sworn I heard some voices behind me and again I stopped to listen, but the noises stopped as soon as I did. By now, my body was alert and my mind was plaguing me with fanciful thoughts of beasts lurking in the shadows.
I picked up my pace, as did the hoofsteps behind me. I was now convinced I was being followed by something and I broke into a full gallop. Behind me, I heard a shout of “Afta’ him!” and a frantic scrabbling of hooves on the cobblestone road.
I ran forward blindly and erratically, hoping that I could lose my pursuers with pure speed, but I knew I couldn’t; I wasn’t any sort of athlete. Thankfully, up ahead, I saw an alleyway and darted into it, hoping that it led through into a different, safer, well-lit street.
But it didn’t.
Immediately, I was faced with a high brick wall, a dead-end. I spun around just as my pursuers turned the corner to follow me. I was trapped. “Aha! Got ‘chu now!” yelled one of them. I could make out the silhouettes of five or six ponies, unicorns and pegasi by the looks of it, as they slowly approached me.
One of the unicorn’s horns lit up, dousing the alley in a sickly bluish light. “Well, well, well… Lookie ‘ere boys, this dirt pony sure is lively, ain’t ‘ee?” muttered the unicorn, who I could only assume was the leader of the group.
I gulped and took a step back, feeling my tail swish against the bricks behind me; I had nowhere to go. “N-Now…” I stammered, “Now, I’m sure we can c-come to some so…sort of agreement here…” I trailed off as the stallions continued to approach me.
The leader chuckled. “Oh, I’m sure we could, luv, if you weren’t some piece of shit dirt pony!” I flinched at the stallion’s words. They were Sweepers, aptly named for their deep-seated belief that we ‘dirt’ ponies were inferior to the unicorns and pegasi and did their best to sweep away the dirt. A lone earth pony was lucky if he got away from Sweepers alive and even then, they tended to not be able to move for the rest of their lives.
Fuck me. Why did I have to stay out so late?
They were almost on top of me now. The unicorns’ horns were sparking with magic and the pegasi’s wings were fluttering in anticipation of putting down another lowly dirt pony. The pegasus on the left leapt on me, holding down my backlegs. I kicked out, trying to buck him off, but he hovered above the ground and hung me upside down before I could. I watched the wrong way up as a different pegasus approached me and slugged a punch directly into my stomach, laughing while he did it.
My breath was forced out of my body in an instant and before I even had the chance to take another gulp of air, a volley of kicks and punches landed on just every part of my body. I couldn’t even see who had done it to me before I felt the strange itch of magic twist my right foreleg behind my back, eliciting a shout of pain from me.
Another pony kicked my head to the side, sending blood spurting from my mouth. I vaguely heard a voice complain about the stain of red I got all over his coat before I was hit again, harder than ever before. I think that hit broke the pegasus’ grip on my legs, because I abruptly fell to the ground, landing on my head with a solid thud and barely rolled forward in time to avoid snapping my neck.
It went on like this for a few moments, each pony taking turns beating the life out of me. Another pegasus hung my upside down by my legs again. After a while, I couldn’t see or hear from the amount of blood that was dripping down my face. Thick, warm blood dripped down into my mouth, ears, nose and eyes, clogging up my senses and leaving me even more defenseless than before.
I don’t know how long they attacked me for, but all of a sudden, they stopped. I fell to the round again, sending pain coursing through my body. I laid there on the ground for a moment, taking deep breaths, trying to regain some sense of composure. I was mystified as to why they suddenly vanished; Sweepers never stopped until their victim was dead.
I groaned and managed to wipe some of the blood out of my eyes. I blinked a few times only to find that my assailants had indeed vanished. In their place was a lone dark blue pegasus wearing glimmering gold armor, identifying him as one of the city’s guards. He walked forward, shining a small light around the alleyway that was attached to his helmet; presumably a unicorn-made light source. The sharp beam of light fell on my body, shining into my eyes, blinding me for a moment.
The pegasus stallion rushed over to me, dimming his light. I could see his mouth moving, but my ears were too congested with blood to hear him. Seeing that I didn’t respond, he flipped me over and managed to hoist me onto his back, with some difficulty. He began trotting away as fast as he could, hopefully bringing me to a hospital.
As he trotted, I watched the cobblestones pass beneath the pony’s hooves and the drips of blood that marked our trail from the alley. We passed the time in a half-silence, the only other sounds being the clip-clop of his hooves on the street and his labored breathing.
A few more seconds of this went by before I realized that I could hear again. Enough of the blood must have dripped from my ears. “...Hey…” I groaned, “T-Thanks…”
The stallion glanced over his shoulder at me, relief breaking out on his face. “Oh thank Celestia! You’re still alive! I… I thought those damned Sweepers got another one…” He trailed off. “Well, hopefully not. The hospital should be able to patch you up pretty well. You don’t look half bad, and hey, all of your limbs are still attached, unlike other victims, so you’re doing alright…” He was silent for a few more moments before he spoke up again. “Uhh… What’s your name?”
“…Puh- Pink… Floyd…” I managed to reply.
“Pink Floyd?!” exclaimed the stallion, “The Pink Floyd? The musician Pink Floyd?” I could hear the excitement in his voice. Must be a fan.
I smiled weakly and tried to sigh, only to start coughing up blood. “The one and only…”
There was something forming, coalescing in this void.
I ran further and further into the blackness, but what I was escaping from I didn’t know. Nothing seemed to work. My terrors and nightmares chased after me, hunting me down and forcing their ugliness back inside my head. And I continued to run, faster and farther than ever before.
But I couldn’t outrun myself.
There were times that I heard faint echoes of sound emanate from all around me, calling out to me. The emptiness wasn’t silent any longer. I think something was coming but I didn’t know what, so I kept running further and further back.
The blackness continued to swirl around me, turning darker and gloomier every seconds I thundered forward. If I couldn’t feel my hooves attached to my legs, I wouldn’t even know they were there.
It was then that a form stepped out of the shadows, nearly a hoof’s length away from me, coming into my path. I skidded to a stop, nearly avoiding hitting him and scrambled away from the stallion.
Why was there somepony else in my head?
The pony slowly approached me as I backed away from him, but his legs seemed to stretch unnaturally and in a few strides, he was upon me. Despite the darkness, I could make out his every feature as if he was standing in stark daylight. He was a light gray stallion, around the same color of my eyes, but his coat was patchy and what little of it was left hung off of his clearly emancipated from. His face was scarred and blotchy, his pink skin showing through his sparse coat. He had a pink mane that hung limp and matted down his back.
He towered over me, staring at me with contempt. I trembled under his gaze and tried to back away, but I never seemed to get any further. He leaned down at me and sneered, his teeth yellow and crooked.
He opened his mouth to say something, but I quickly jumped to my hooves and shoved him to the ground. He stumbled backwards, obviously startled and I took off running before he could follow, leaving him behind in the darkness.
I ran away from the pony and never looked back.
He was me, I realized
He was the part of me made up of all the anger, repressed memories and feelings I had locked behind the Wall. He had laid in wait for so long, living through everything I never wanted to experience again, never seeing the light of day.
And now we were both trapped here.
Neither of us could help the other. Neither of us could escape. All we could do was play hide and go seek with each other in this dark void. But I never wanted him to find me again.
I retreated further into that black emptiness, hoping that he wouldn’t follow me.
Divided, I stand strong. I’m sure I could find my way out of here and away from the other me.
But together? I would rather fall even lower than meet him again.
Based off the song “Hey You” by Pink Floyd.
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
As I galloped further into the back of my mind, I think I was crying. I wasn’t sure; I couldn’t tell anymore. Everything in this bleak, expressionless void all felt and looked the same and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Things had happened so fast.
I was being chased by everything that I had tried to run away from my entire life, myself included. I could feel it all pursuing me, breathing down my neck, wanting so much to just take a bite out of my mind once again, to eat into my head, to bleed me dry.
The void was getting warmer the further I ran. It beat down on me like the sun was mere inches from my body, burning me with nonexistent fire. I think it was anger. It was the wrath of everything that I locked way behind my Wall all these years. It was pure, unbridled fury directed at me and me alone. I could feel it writhing and seething all around me, filling the emptiness with a hot, muggy mass.
So I ran. I ran from my vengeful memories.
In my hotel room, I stood up from my chair. I took a hesitant step forward and felt something crunch under my hoof. Unsteadily, I looked down at the floor and, with unwavering eyes, registered just how unorganized it was for the first time that night. I could hardly move around the hotel suite without trampling upon something if I was fully conscious, but in my current condition, it was a minefield.
And I hated it. It was so, messy, so unclean. It wasn’t right. I loathed it. I hated it. I hated it. I… I…
My eye twitched involuntarily and I ran my hooves through my mane. Oh Goddess, it was wrong. Everything was wrong. Everything. Wrong.
I had to fix it. Maybe if I cleaned up my prison, I could find a way out of my mind. Yes, I had to try. I had to do something. Everything just felt so…so... filthy…
I had to. I couldn’t stand it.
I dropped to the floor and swept a large patch of the debris to the side and began working. Maybe I could escape.
And I continued running and crying and running deep into the blackness.
IS THERE ANYPONY OUT THERE?
The television was situated directly in front of my chair. It was the center of the entire room, the centerpiece for how I was going to organize the room. I shoved most of the debris to the side so that I had a clean working area to start out with. I had to organize this clutter, this mess of a room. I first found some bits amongst the carnage. Those I arranged down the center, from the TV to the chair from largest amount to smallest. Around those, I lined some slightly bent paper clips that looked like an ‘s’. The ones that didn’t look like an ‘s’ went to the side of some interestingly shaped shards of wood I found. There was a table frame, its glass top long shattered. It was in front of the couch, so I didn’t move it. Should I move it…? No, no… It had to stay there. Moving it would mess up everything else. There were some tufts of cotton that I arranged in a circle around the remnants of several broken bottles. I decorated the outside of that circle with some mints that I found next to wrappers of some sort. No. Not next to those wrappers. The mints had to go near the dinner plates that had cats on the outside edges. Yes. That worked. The wrappers, though, were neatly on a cloth off to the right of a broken picture frame containing empty cartons of cigarettes. I found my saddlebags lying on top of the couch so I took it off and hung it from the television’s antennae. There were some broken records that I organized in a row based on color and the amount they were broken. I pieced them together as best I could, fitting fragment to fragment. The records were all black, but some of them weren’t as broken so they went at the top of the line near the broken guitars, but not in front of them. The guitars were arranged in a cross pattern, some missing the necks or knobs or bodies. One guitar in particular was missing the entire faceplate and I couldn’t find it so I could put them together. Instead, I filled it with blankets and cloth and place some picture without a picture frame on top. The guitars were laid out in rows in front of the TV, and the bits I organized earlier were bordering them. I gathered some cutlery and stacked them on top of each other in an ‘x’ pattern. It felt right so I did it. There was one particular knife that was bent in such a way that it almost resembled a crude hammer and I put it in the coat pocket of a coat that was hanging off of a coat rack that I had put just to the left of the television. I also swept all the dust into rows that lined the entire outside of where I was organizing everything, defining my zone. No. What was I thinking putting the saddle bags on the antennae? I took it off and hung off the coat rack next to the umbrella and opposite the coat. There were some old books that I found. I ripped out all of their pages and stacked them all according to the page number around a second picture frame that wasn’t quite as broken as the first. Inside that frame I had some objects I didn’t know the purpose of, but they all were the same, so they all went together. There were fifty-eight little unknown things in that frame, I counted. I lumped broken glass together around the TV and my chair forming piles of jagged glass. The lamp shade went… no that was wrong. It went… My eyes swept around my organized room, looking for a place to put the lampshade. Guitars? No. Chair? No. Bottles? No. Frame? No. TV? Yes. But where? On top. The lampshade was placed on top of the television, right on top of the antennae. There were some foodstuffs that I filled the lampshade with, filling the space around the antennae. I had three stools behind the television. One was broken and shorter than the rest so it went in the middle for symmetry. The food cart went behind my chair with sheets hung over it and potted plants on top of those. There were unbroken bottles that had to go below where the guitars were but above the picture frames. I placed a lone flower in each end one. There were small pills strewn about that I put into circles around some of the broken records. I found what remained of a guitar neck and put it across the guitar that was missing its neck. I put the wall clock underneath my chair and made the hands spin until the time was 12:00 and the hand were pointing north and south. No. Or was it West and East? They faced the TV and the wall opposite it. Pens, quills and pencils went around the television, but inside the dust boundary, stacked on each other in an ‘x’ pattern. No. They went over there. I moved them accordingly. I leaned across the stack of book pages to get at the guitars so that I could put sheets of paper on top of them but I accidently hit one of the cutlery ‘x’s and the spoon fell off of the fork. I flinched involuntary and immediately straightened the silverware and breathed a sigh of relief. I put the TV remote on the center of the chair cushion. Some more things were put next to other things. I put some different things and a much larger thing of the same sort next to a pile of stuff. I straightened everything and stood up, admiring my handiwork. But I noticed a table leg and set it within the table’s frame which also contained a hat. Speaking of which, that hat should go on the coat rack… No, not the coat rack. It was a coat rack, not a hat rack. A hat didn’t belong on a coat rack. I left the hat within the table. I bit my bottom lip and moved some of the bent paper clips around so that they looked better. A sudden gust of wind blew in from the shattered window, scattering my book pages around the room. I shrieked and leapt around and pounced on each until I had them all back again. I sorted them once again and laid them back out, this time adding several pieces of jagged metal to the tops of the stacks, so they wouldn’t blow away again. Lines were straightened and more things were organized. It all had to be perfect. It all had to be clean. Maybe cleaning my prison would help me escape it. But it wasn’t clean enough yet. I took some light bulb filaments and put them in a semi-circle around some peanuts. No. Still not clean enough…
Never clean enough…
IS THERE ANYPONY OUT THERE?
I stared at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and a gaunt, wide-eyed, crazed pink stallion looked back out. He looked the way I felt, which was absolutely filthy. My attempts to organize my prison had been half successful; there was no longer any clutter out in the living room, but I was still trapped in my head. There had been no escape.
And now I felt unclean. Dirty. Grimy. Muddy. Soiled. Tainted.
The pony that watched me from inside the mirror annoyed me greatly. He was disheveled and dirty and could do with a good cleaning. His brown, wavy mane was ratty and tousled. It hung down in front of his eyes and looked hideous. His pink coat was tarnished with dust and blood and who knew what else, and it was wet, hanging limply from his thin frame. His gray eyes were bloodshot and puffy and he had a grin plastered on his face.
I think the pony in the mirror laughed at me. The bastard! How dare he mock me! I was alone and trapped in here and he was watching me with a smirk plastered on his face. I think…
No! He did laugh at me! I saw him do it! I did!
It was fast; if I had blinked an instant too soon, I would’ve missed it. But I didn’t. He was teasing me right in front of my own face! The fucking bastard!
I growled and clenched my teeth together, as did the stallion in the mirror. If I could’ve, I would’ve smacked that grin right off of his face.
But I didn’t. I couldn’t.
Not yet, at least. I was in here to get clean. I had cleaned my room, but now I had to be as well. All of this… long, matted hair hanging down in front of my eyes, all the swishy, curly hair on my tail; it all had to go. My hair itched and irritated wherever it touched my body and I could just feel it practically swimming with filth and evil.
I had to be pure. I needed to be clean.
Maybe then I could escape. Maybe then I could be free.
I had to hope.
I picked up a razor that was sitting on the side of the sink. It was a simple little invention; a little slip-on pad with blades on the other side. Easy for any non-unicorn to use. Those lucky bastards, with their magic. They even charmed so that it would only cut off facial hair and not the coat underneath.
I ran my hoof through my mane, feeling it, picking through it and so did the pony in the mirror. My hooves traveled down my face to my eyebrows. Such strange things, eyebrows. Hair that grew where no other hair grew. I rubbed them for a moment, my eyes unblinking. My hooves wandered down to my snout and cheeks where the barest hint of coarse stubble was beginning to grow in; I had never looked good with facial hair. Then, I flicked my bushy tail somewhat into my grasp and felt it the same.
It all had to go. It was all contaminated. I had to be purged.
I slipped my hoof into the razor and ran it over my cheeks, feeling slight resistance as it cut off the stubble. The pony opposite me mirrored my movements with precision accuracy. We watched each other shave our respective faces, until we both finished.
But he still didn’t look clean and I still didn’t feel clean.
I brought the razor pad up to my eye level. My hoof hovered there for a moment before I swooped down on my eyebrows, forcibly grinding them off. Dribbles of blood began to run down the bridge of my snout and off my nose, dripping to the sink below. The pony in the mirror grinned slightly my hoof twitched, causing another cut in my skin. Finished with the first one, I moved on to the other eyebrow and, soon after, shaved off that one as well, revealing bald, pink flesh underneath, not unlike my natural coat color.
I blinked away some of the blood dripping into my eyes and splashed some water on my face. It stung the fresh gashes just above my eyes, but I didn’t pay it any mind. The mirror pony blinked at me and rubbed his hooves over the spot where his eyebrows were, feeling the smooth skin that was there now.
It was an interesting feeling, having no eyebrows. It felt… good...
I held the blade in trembling hooves and raised my free hoof to my mane and grasped a tuft of it, holding it away from the rest of the hair. I ran the razor through it, feeling it separate the follicles from the rest of my scalp. I let go of the clump of hair and let it fall into the floor where it collected at my hooves.
I scraped the razor over my scalp, feeling bunches of hair drop off with every stroke I made. I watched the mirror as the pony watching me slowly lost all of his hair along with me. Fleshy, pink skin stood out in sharp contrast from the dark brown hair that was once there. But I continued cutting, revealing more of that clean, purged surface and expunging the disgusting filth.
With a final swipe, I cut off the last of my mane, leaving nothing but pink left. I ran my free hoof over the slightly rough surface, feeling relief that I was finally free from that mess sitting on top of my head. I felt so much lighter now, so much giddier. The pony in the mirror smiled again and blinked his gray eyes.
I scowled at the stallion’s expression and began to turn my attention to my tail. It was difficult for anypony to reach their tail, let alone brush it or trim it without the help of magic, which generally left the other two less fortunate races to develop their own style of reaching their tails. I was never too good at it and generally left my tail to its own devices.
But not anymore.
I twisted around and wrapped my free hoof around my tail as best I could. I pulled it closer to my front and stretched out with the razor as best I could. I ran the blade down the length of my tail, watching as it sliced through the matted, soiled hair. The curls of hair fell away, and soon enough there was nothing left but a skinny cylinder of flesh that tapered off at the end. I wagged it experimentally, feeling it whip through the air so unlike the sluggish movements it had when burdened with hair.
I grinned triumphantly and looked back towards the mirror, seeing a similar expression stuck on the mirror pony’s face as well. I frowned and snorted, feeling a temper rise in me again. The bastard was still copying me, mocking me, insulting me!
He laughed again. I bet he thought this was a game, this staring contest between the two of us! I wanted nothing more than to escape from behind my Wall, and here this stallion was, laughing at me, thinking he was so much better than me, just outside it.
I slammed my hoof into the mirror, the glass shattering beneath my impact. Hundreds of shards clattered to the floor and sink with a cacophonous clatter. And from each piece of the mirror, I could still see the stallion laughing back at me, defiant to the end. I screamed and slammed my hooves into the sink, crushing the shards into dust, blood flying from my hooves.
The pony couldn’t laugh at me anymore.
I flung the razor down to the floor and stumbled to the door, intent on leaving this room, but found myself unable to take the few steps to the door. My hooves were slow and the entire room spun before my eyes. I tried to take a step forward, but had to struggle to take my hoof off of the ground. After a few moments of difficulty, I managed to shuffle to the door.
I fumbled with the door handle for a moment, my hooves rapidly turning numb, and pushed the bathroom door open. I stood in the doorway for a moment, looking into my bedroom, my head steadily filling with pounding drums. I groaned and sluggishly shambled through the room, trying to get back to my chair.
But I felt so clean, so free. Maybe I could escape. Maybe this would work…
IS THERE ANYPONY OUT THERE!?
And I kept running deep into my mind, away from whatever horrors awaited me elsewhere. I had to get away. I had to escape. But nothing I had tried had worked. My room was clean and orderly, but no cracks in the Wall revealed themselves. I purged myself and cleansed my body, hoping that I could break through to the outside world again, but nothing happened.
And there was still so much pain following me as I galloped into the blackness.
And there was nopony outside who could hear and help me. I was trapped, alone and afraid inside myself and there was nothing I could do. Nothing had worked.
And all I could do was continue to call out in the hope that somepony will help save me from the terrors. All I could do was ask, and hope that my savior wouldn’t abandon or hurt me like everypony else. All I could do was hope and pray and plead and beg and cry and yell and scream and laugh and sob and nothing.
I could do nothing but ask…
IS THERE ANYPONY OUT THERE?
I hobbled back into my room, trying not to trip over the organized items littering the floor but my hooves wouldn’t respond. They dragged along the floor, knocking over the guitars and buttons and cans and bits and paperclips and smashing the records and crushing the glass shards.
And still I was running away, deep into the blackness, hoping to get away and hoping to find a way out from behind the Wall.
But as I did, the room seemed to grow fainter and I could barely feel the breeze blowing in through the window. The television seemed to mute and I could hardly make out what was happening on it any more. The scent of dust and spilled drink wafted away and I could barely feel my extremities anymore.
Yet, somehow, I managed to reach my chair and collapse into it, breathing heavily. I could feel myself fading away into the blackness. My consciousness and senses seemed to be failing, shutting down completely, leaving me floundering in the void.
But still I thundered on, deep into the darkness, terrified out of my mind and in my mind. The hotel room had all but vanished now, leaving me with barely any stimulus besides the vicious, plaguing memories and thoughts that stalked this blackness.
I looked around quickly, feeling something watching me from somewhere in the emptiness. I twisted around, finally coming to a halt and my eyes danced around the black, struggling to see what was out there, or if anypony was out there.
And out of the gloom, stepped the gray stallion once more, smiling widely. His left hoof was bleeding, leaving a streak of blood in his wake, something I hadn’t noticed before, but the rest of him was just as terrifying as before.
And I stood there, terrified, my legs frozen to the ground.
And still the stallion approached me.
He limped closer and closer and closer and closer and closer and closer and even closer until he was mere inches from my snout. A spark of life ignited deep inside of his dull, dead eyes and he straightened up, suddenly looking healthier, cleaner, even. His pink eyes looked directly into mine, and deep into my soul.
His mouth opened with a creak, as if the muscles and tendons had never been moved before. He rolled his jaw for a moment and a dull, wrinkled tongue darted out to lick his lips.
“Run…” he whispered.
And I did. I ran away from him once more, retreating deeper into my mind.
And somewhere, in the distance, echoing around the void, I heard a phone ring.
The phone in my hotel room rang once.
Then my hearing faded completely, stripping me of the last bit of real life that I could sense.
And I couldn’t move to pick the phone up.
After all, there was nopony home.
IS THERE ANYPONY OUT THERE?
Based on “Is There Anybody Out There” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
I could feel myself slipping. I couldn’t remember the past few hours from before I hid behind my Wall. Memories were fading like snow on a summer’s day because there’s not supposed to be snow in the summer. That’s just silly. I was going in rewind, feeling, seeing, hearing everything slide past and disappear into the very void I was trapped in.
I was trying to hold on, trying to remember. Order failed me. It left me emptier than ever before. My life was flashing, blooming in my mind and in my eyes like the pop of the paparazzi’s camera except there weren’t any paparazzi. I was alone in my hotel room and in my mind.
I had to remember.
My name is Pink Floyd, I am a thirty two year old pink earth pony and I am trying to remember who I am before I slip away. I am a famous rock star, adored by millions across Equestria, including the princess herself. My father died when I was young, and I never knew him. Mother smothered and repressed me. She refused to let me live my life. My school was abusive, and I fucking hate them with all of my being for being so emotionless. I recently learned that my wife left me for some bastard for no reason. That bitch.
When I was just a colt, I had a little black book.
It was just a small, unassuming thing. Not special to anypony but me. To most, it would seem like the fanciful writing of a schoolcolt, but to me it was so much more than that. Oh, the things I poured into that book. Thoughts, dreams, ideas, poems, secrets, there was just so much on its pages. Some of my finest works after I became famous came from scribbling’s in that book.
I still have it. I brought it everywhere I went. It was a constant reminder of my past and the things I read in there never failed to brighten my day.
But I can’t remember if I brought it with me to Canterlot.
My name is Pink Floyd, I have been alive for thirty two years, and I am a famous rock star, loved by a lot of ponies. My father died when I was just a foal, and I don’t remember him. Mother said he was nice though. My wife, Rêves is waiting for me back home. She promised she’d wait. I’m really excited for the Canterlot concert; apparently the Princess herself is supposed to be going.
I remember watching a television for the first time. They were developed not too far from home and spread like wildfire into the living rooms of families. Me and Rêves bought four and hooked up one up as soon as we got home. We invited a few of the ponies from the band over and made a big party out of it.
We sat around the small box, waiting eagerly as we switched it on for the first time. The picture flickered into life and on it was a pony in a smart looking suit reporting the news. We were so awestruck; I was surprised some of us didn’t faint. A moving picture show right in our own living room! It was like a radio with visual effects.
We watched the stallion talk about recent events for a bit before we changed the channel. We went through all the stations fairly quickly; there were only thirteen channels at the time of launch. Thirteen channels of shit to choose from and it was perfect.
My name is Pink Floyd, and I am twenty six years old. I got my fourth album out today and I’m so exhausted. We all are, I think. This life isn’t all it has cracked up to be, but it has all been worth it. I can crawl back home tonight, back to Rêves, and I can finally rest. Going on tour in a few weeks, over in the Griffon Kingdom to promote the new album. Should be fun.
I found my first gray hair today.
I was already going gray at the tender age of twenty five. It’s amazing what stress can do to you in just a few short years.
I woke up this morning, or more like late afternoon. Rêves wasn’t home, so I figured she must’ve gone out shopping or some shit like that. I’d been away from home for a while now, out on tour. I miss her. Maybe I can ask Short if we can postpone our next tour so I could stay a bit longer with her.
I stumbled into the bathroom and went through my normal waking up routine, splashing water on my face in an attempt to relieve the hangover I had from the previous night. It was as I glanced in the mirror that I noticed a few strands of my brown mane were a light gray; the roots had faded and everything.
It’s not an enjoyable experience to realize that you’re getting old.
My name is Pink Floyd, and I am twenty one. I was an overnight sensation, it seemed. In just a day, almost all of Equestria knew my name and my music. For a while, it looked as if I would never make it, but I kept at it and now it has paid off. I’m glad I kept writing poetry in school, despite everything that happened. I love my music. I love Rêves, She supported me this entire way. Without her, I might not have made it. That reminds me, I should probably go tell Mother what happened.
I was walking around town one day, looking for a present for Rêves for her birthday. I paused, looking into the window of a hoofmade glass shop. There was a nicely crafted bird that had caught my eye and I was considering entering the shop and buying it. Rêves always liked her fowls.
I was looking at the price tag when I noticed a streak of rainbow shooting through the sky in the reflection of the window.
And then the entire world exploded.
I was sent reeling back as a large explosion shook the entire street. I steadied myself against the wall of the shop and looked up into the sky just in time to see a halo of rainbow spread across the atmosphere. It expanded out in every direction, energizing the atmosphere as it went.
And went it passed over me, I swear I felt happier than I had ever been my entire life. It was an indescribably sort of joy that made me want to smile and never stop.
I glanced around at the other ponies around me and they were all staring up at the rainbow contrails, their faces split in grins. I looked back up at the sky and thought I glimpsed a group of pegasi zooming, one of them leaving a rainbow streak in its wake.
I couldn’t stop smiling, and I didn’t think I wanted to.
It was beautiful.
My name is Pink Floyd, and I’m seventeen years old. Short, Ox and I all pooled our money to buy a guitar and microphone today. I can finally try and record some of the songs I’ve been writing for so long. We practice on the weekends at Ox’s place, since Mom doesn’t approve of my music. Rêves showed up to provide some support. Goddess, how did I get so lucky with her? And to think Mom tried to keep us apart.
I remember the first time I ever played an instrument.
I was over at Short’s house one day, hanging out with him and doing whatever. His parents had gone out somewhere, leaving the two of us alone, so the two of us went exploring in his attic, something his parents had deemed too dangerous, but we didn’t care.
After shifting around the boxes for a while, looking for anything interesting, my eyes were drawn to a large, bulky item sitting in a corner covered in a cloth. I wandered over to it and took a few boxes off of its top and pulled the sheet off.
And there it was, a black, hardly used, absolutely beautiful piano. I ran a hoof over its wooden exterior, marveling at the craftsmanship involved. I pulled up a box and sat down in front of it. I ran my hooves over the keys and tapped out a few wayward tunes floating around in my head.
And very softly, I began to sing along with the music.
I am Pinkerton Floyd, and I’ve been alive for eleven years. I love my mom. She was sad all day today, since it was the anniversary of dad’s death. How could he go and die and hurt her like this? I hate him. Speaking of hate, Sir ranted at us again today because Knickerbocker didn’t remember when pegasi began to control the weather. The idiot went home with a black eye today. I hate Sir.
Today was my first day of school.
Mommy walked with me all the way to the schoolyard, holding my hoof the entire way. She dropped me off at the front gate and left me with a big hug and a sloppy, wet kiss on the bridge of my snout. She smiled and tearfully told me goodbye.
Before she even had the chance to say farewell, I shot off into the school grounds to mingle with the other foals. Oh, the school had slides and swings and teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds and all sorts of other fun things to do!
I ran around trying to do everything there was to do, playing with the other foals and having so much fun. After a while, there was a bell ringing from inside and everypony filed inside except for me. I wasn’t sure where they were going, with such fun things to do out here.
If I could play on all this playground equipment every day, I just knew school would be amazing, even if the other foals had to leave after a while.
I was sitting on the swings, trying in vain to push myself higher. After a few failed attempts, I got bored and gently rocked myself back and forth, humming a tune that was stuck in my head.
That was when an old, gray griffon strode out of the school and approached me.
My name is Pink and I am six. My and mommy took a train ride today. We zoomed through the countryside and got off in a place called Ponyville. From the station, we walked through the town and got to this area with all sorts of stones sticking up out of the ground. Some were rounded, some were square and a few were flat, but most had flowers lying on top of them. Mommy had flowers too and she laid them down at one of the stones. She cried.
One day I was bored, so I searched through the whole house for something to do.
I remember making my way to the kitchen and going through the cabinets and drawers. I found some utensils in one of the drawers. The sound they made when they clinked together hypnotized me.
I took a spoon out and experimentally banged it on the counter. It resounded one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. I giggled and tapped it on the counter again, listening to the notes again.
After a while, I began to bang out a steady rhythm with that silver spoon.
My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink My name is Pink
Can’t forget. Won’t forget. Can’t forget. Won’t forget. Can’t forget. Won’t forget. Can’t forget.
I am pink. I am an earth pony. I am three. I love my mommy.
I remember mommy’s voice. She sounds so proud, so full of love. I love her so much.
I can also remember a blue colored pegasus stallion. I remember that every night before I had to go to bed, he would bring out his guitar and he would sing me a lullaby. I always loved that time of the day.
Then, I would go to bed and if I was still full of energy, he would read me a bedtime story full of adventure and fantastical places. But he could turn out the lights, he always went around my room scaring away all the monsters that had hidden under my bed and in my closet since the previous night.
I wanted wings like his, so that I could fly across the sky, but I was stuck without any. I want to fly, but I really don’t have anywhere to fly to yet. Sometimes he would hold me above his head and run around the house so I could pretend I was flying. I loved it.
Whenever he smiled, it brightened up the room and made me smile as well. Sometimes, I would take his glasses and wear them, but they made everything go all blurry. I don’t know how he could see like that all the time. But I love him anyway.
But he’s gone now.
And I don’t know where he went.
Everything is so bright and everything is so new. I'm crying at the top of my lungs.
I don’t like it out here. There’s so many… different, strange things.
I don’t understand.
I’m being handled, passed between various ponies.
They’re talking, but I don’t understand.
It’s so cold out here. I don’t like it.
I continue to cry.
Eventually, things quiet down save for my own howling wails.
I see a pink mare lying on a bed. Some other ponies are hunched over her.
This room is so white.
One of the ponies passes me to a blue stallion.
He looks down at me and smiles.
My screams catch in my throat and I look up at him with quiet wonder.
Teardrops glisten on his glasses.
His mouth moves, but I don’t know what he says.
He cradles me.
And I smile at him.
“…I love you, son…”
I can’t remember…
It’s so cold…
I can’t remember, but…
But I’m still here…
…Everything is fading…
…I can’t remember my name…
…But I’m still here…
Based on “Nobody Home” by Pink Floyd
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Where the Hell Are You? (Part One)
I awoke to the harsh sting of artificial light.
It was a rather sudden and obtrusive awakening; not at all pleasant. My eyes flew open, but I couldn’t see anything. Lights and colors whirled in front of my vision, obscuring my view. I spent a few seconds taking deep gasps of air, as if a nightmare had woken me up, but I know one hadn’t.
I couldn’t remember where I was.
I waited as my vision slowly swam back into focus. The first thing I saw once I could, was the ceiling. The ceiling in question was painted with soft, billowy clouds, and happy, frolicking pegasi foals danced around them; a bright yellow sun with a smiling face on it was situated in the corner of the room.
But no, that wasn’t right, was it? The light wasn’t coming from the painted sun. It was in the middle of the room, blazing down with its severe and luminous glow. And why was it so close? But… No…The light was coming from… a single lamp stuck into the middle of the ceiling.
The next thing I noticed was that the bed I was lying in was hard and altogether uncomfortable. If it wasn’t for the slightest give in the mattress, I would’ve thought I had been sleeping on a wooden board. The rest of the bed was comparable. My head was resting on a single pillow that was so thin it might have not even have been there. The sheets, as threadbare as they were, were wound around me, tucked so tightly into the bed that I couldn’t move an inch. I couldn’t even manage to move my head. I could only continue to stare at the ceiling in confusion.
And it was so very quiet.
Too quiet. Too quiet! Too quiet! Too quiet!
I felt as if the air was pressing down on me, the silence slowly seeping into my head, setting my head ablaze. I didn’t like the silence. I could feel it contaminating me. It was everywhere and I couldn’t escape it. I couldn’t! I—
A tune sprung to the forefront of my burning consciousness and I hummed it so I could chase away the dreaded silence. I struggled against the sheets of my bed for a moment, hoping that I could loosen them and escape, but I couldn’t. I was in a room, trapped in a well-tucked bed, with only these smiling, painted pegasi for company, and I couldn’t remember why…
I couldn’t remember anything…
I stopped my struggle as that single thought sunk in. I couldn’t remember anything.
Where was I?
I couldn’t remember anything past the few minutes since I had woken up. Everything was blank. Everything that I was, my entire life, was gone. My past was lost to me, and… And…
Who was I?
I scoured my mind for any glimmer of a memory, a stray thought, anything. Anything to tell me who I was. Anything that could help ease this growing panic I felt rising in my chest.
But there was nothing except the smiling pegasi painted on the ceiling above.
Pegasi. That was something wasn’t it? They were… What were they…? Ponies with wings. Flying, living, breathing, talking ponies.
I was a pony, I think. That word seemed to mean something. I moved my hooves. I flicked my ears. I swished my tail as well as I could under the sheets. My eyes moved back and forth across the ceiling. My nose twitched. I was a pony.
I listed things I knew: The bed was confining and uncomfortable; I was in a room filled with cold, harsh light; The ceiling was painted with something more fit for a foal; This was a room that hopefully had four walls, one ceiling, one floor, a door, and windows; I was a pony; I could remember identify body parts and little generic things.
But I couldn’t remember who I was.
Pegasi. Unicorns. Earth Ponies.
I was an Earth Pony, wasn’t I? Unicorns had horns. Pegasi had wings. I tried fluttering my wings, but found nothing. I tried channeling magic into my horn, but nothing happened. I had neither. I was an Earth Pony. Silly name for a race. Why didn’t we get a special name like unicorns or pegasi?
But my name… My name was… It was…
My name was Gray. Nothing more, nothing less. I was Gray, an Earth Pony with a gray coat, fuchsia eyes and a light-brown mane. That was what I was.
At least, I think I had a that was what I looked like; I couldn’t remember exactly, but they seemed to fit. I seemed to work.
I breathed a sigh of relief. There was something gratifying and joyful about remembering something as important as my name. It was my identity, my only place in life.
I struggled against the bed sheets with renewed vigor. I had to get out of this infernal bed and out of this room. I had to. I had to stop looking at the foals above me. I needed to get out and find out where I was and who I was and why I couldn’t remember anything.
But first I had to get the sheets off of me.
Just then, a door somewhere to the left of me creaked open. “Pink…?” I stopped fighting against my restraints and swiveled an ear towards the noise. “Pink, are you awake yet?” It was a feminine voice, a mare’s voice, slightly hesitant, but gentle and full of concern.
I groaned and heard the quietest gasp of worry from the mare. “Oh Pink,” she said, “Are you alright?” Her words filled my mind to the brim, eagerly drinking up the reprieve from the silence. I clenched my eyes together and tried to hold on the feeling of sound. I felt something soft and furry brush against my forehead. “Oh! You’re burning up! I’ll get you out of those sheets, okay?”
There was motion down by my hooves and I felt the constricting cloth finally lift off of my body. I managed to lift my head off of the pillow just enough to look forward slightly. Standing at the foot of my bed was the mare that had entered the room. She was a green unicorn with a flaming red and orange mane that fell in long strands around her face. A plain white vest modestly covered her body, a red cross emblazoned on the side, denoting her as a nurse.
…She… seemed… familiar?
She glanced up at me and smiled. I noticed she had blue eyes, sparkling blue eyes. “Good.” Her voice was like medicine to my mind. “Those sheets were a little bit tight, huh?” She yanked the offending objects off of me and threw them to the floor. “There.” She smiled again, flashing her set of white teeth at me. “I’m sure that feels better already.”
And it did. The panic that had set in from the silence was subsiding already, receding to a minuscule throbbing. The mare sauntered over to me and placed a hoof on my forehead again. “Oh good, that seemed to work! You look better already. How do you feel?”
Cautiously, I sat up and glanced around the room I was in. My eyes first alighted on a small desk in the corner of the room and what looked like a journal of some sort lying on it. Next to my bed was a worn side table that was bolted to the wall and a lamp that looked like it had seen better days. In another corner was a potted plant that was probably fake. On the other side of my bed was an impressive steel door that looked as if it belonged to a bank. And, opposite my bed, was one window, set up near the ceiling, sealed with iron bars and much too small for a pony to fit through.
I glanced back at the mare who was watching me expectantly. “Ohh…” I grumbled, “I’m…” My tongue felt leaden and fuzzy, almost as if I hadn’t used it in years. I managed to force my voice out, struggling to form the right words. “…I’m… guh-good… I... Ummm… Thanks…”
She brushed a strand of hair out of her face. “You’re welcome Pink.”
And there was that name again. Pink. Who was Pink? The mare obviously had me confused with somepony else; my name was Gray. Gray. It wasn’t much of a normal pony name, but it was mine and it was me. I had just remembered it, after all.
The mare continued, unabated by my confusion. “Now, come on, we let you sleep in a bit late after last night, but we have to go now.” She gently nudged me to the edge of the bed. I sat on the edge for a moment, inspecting my body, trying to remember anything, but nothing bubbled to the forefront of my mind.
I was a gray earth pony. I had gotten that part right. My mane was curly and brown and was so long that it hung down in front of my eyes; my tail was the same. I was by no means muscular, but at cursory glance, I could tell that I never neglected exercise. I craned my head to look at my flank, hoping to see what my cutie mark was, but found nothing but blank gray fur.
I had no cutie mark.
I had only been awake for a few minutes and I already more questions than I could ever hope to find answers for. My mind felt as if I had been hit by a hammer; I had to relax for a few seconds to let myself catch up with everything that happened since I woke up.
The mare finally seemed to notice my confusion and walked closer to me. “Are you sure that you’re okay Pink? If you’re not, I can always tell one of the doctors…”
“Oooohhhhh…” I rubbed my temples and looked at the mare who was watching me with such concern. I decided to take a chance and try and get an answer to one of my questions. I licked my lips and tried to string together a sentence. “Where… Where am I…?” My voice was little more than a whisper.
The green mare’s smile fell. “Pink… Oh Celestia, you can’t remember anything, can you?”
“Mmmnnnfff…” I waved a hoof in her general direction, gently rubbing my head with my other hoof. “Name’s not Pink... Not puh-Pink… Uhhhh…. Gray, name’s Gray…”
The mare chuckled apprehensively, visibly uneasy. “Oh… Oh-Okay Gray, I uhhhhh… I guess you can’t remember anything?” I nodded and she took a deep breath. “O-okay, well... they told me that you might suffer some memory loss, so I suppose that it’s not unexpected.” Her tail flicked back and forth. “Okay, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Nurse Dreams. I work here.”
I groaned. “But where is here?” I coughed, feeling something dislodge itself from my throat. “W-What is this place? Why am I in this room?” My eyes widened in sudden realization. “You said you’re a nurse! Am I… Am I sick or something? What happened?”
“Oh Pink…” she whispered. Her blue eyes glistened with tears.
“Who’s Pink!?” I shouted at Dreams, my voice suddenly finding power again. “Why do you keep calling me that?” I sank into the bed. “My… My name’s not—It’s not… I…” My rant sputtered out. “Why… Why do you keep calling me Pink…?” I looked at her, almost pathetically.
Dreams looked sad for a moment; only for a moment and then it was gone. “Pinkerton Floyd.” she explained, “That’s your full name. You…” Her eyes met mine; blue and magenta. “You always went by Pink though. You always liked that better. It was your favorite color and everything.”
“But—But I don’t…” I stuttered, trying to convey what I was thinking. “I can’t… I’m not… My name is Gray!” I finished, angrily. “I don’t remember Pink or Pinkerton or whatever! I’m Gray, okay? My name is Gray… I…”
She nodded. “A-alright… Gray, just… calm down… Now, come on, let’s go. We’ll be late.” She opened the door open and I slid off the bed, landing unsteadily on my hooves. I trembled for a moment before finding my balance. Dream’s smile widened as I erratically trotted past her.
The hallway outside was even more sterile than the room I was in. The ceiling, for one, wasn’t painted with anything special; it was just a boring, stark white. Harsh, white lights lined the ceiling every few steps, illuminating every shadow. The floors consisted of cold tile that stretched everywhere. There were emotionless steel doors, like the one to my room, at even intervals down the hall.
Something seemed… wrong.
Dreams closed the door behind me, a loud band reverberating through the empty halls. “There,” she said, “Now we can get going. Come on… Gray.”
We walked down the hallway for a few seconds before I realized what was wrong. It was devoid of any life, let alone any patients. Most hospitals I knew of were bustling with activity. All the doctors, patients and visitors couldn’t all have been away, could they?
“This is pretty empty for a hospital. Where is everypony?” I asked, voicing my concerns.
The mare coughed. “Oh, well they’re all down at the cafeteria right now. It’s about noon—lunchtime. We let you sleep in on account of yesterday. We’re going down there right now.”
I stopped walking. “We’re going d-down to the cafeteria? With other ponies?”
Dreams smiled her smile. “Yes. Is that a problem Gray? If you think it’ll be too much for you too soon, we don’t have to go. But I think seeing some familiar faces might jog your memory a bit. It might do some good…”
“I… I have friends here…?” I hesitantly trotted after the nurse.
“Of course you do Pink—Gray!” she revised herself, “Gray, sorry. Ummm… But yes, you have a nice, tight-knit group of friends. It’s very cute. A circle of pony friends, till the very end, as the saying goes. I’m sure they’ll be excited to know you’re up and about again.”
I gulped. Friends? I couldn’t remember anything, let alone other ponies. Hell, Nurse Dreams seemed somewhat familiar, but whenever I cast my mind back into the past, there was only blackness.
The idea of meeting somepony I used to know terrified me. What would they think? What if I acted differently before the amnesia? I didn't know how to talk to them or any inside jokes we might’ve had. Should I act nonchalant when I meet them or were they expecting a teary reunion? I didn’t know how to act like Gray. I didn’t know how to act like their Gray. Who was I, really? What if I messed up, or what if I—
“Hey,” Dreams wrapped me in a side-hug, breaking my train of thought. She must’ve noticed how nervous I was and wanted to comfort me. “It’s alright Gray. Don’t worry. They’ll accept you, no matter what. Amnesia couldn’t even separate you guys.”
I nodded. “I… uhh… W-what are their names…?”
“Well,” she said, “There’s Marmalade, Broom and Starshine. They’re your closest friends, but you’re on good terms with just about everypony in here.” She chuckled. “Oh, and I suppose you can count me as your friend as well. Now, come on, we don’t want to miss lunch. I’m starved!”
Dreams sped up, quickly rounding a corner and disappeared from sight. She left me all alone. She wasn’t the best nurse ever, leaving amnesiac patients behind, but there was nothing to do. I felt silence once again settle in around me. So very quiet. My heart quickened in my chest and I could see the walls begin close in on me. Why was it so quiet? I bit my lip and started to hum again. Anything to make sound.
I shook my head and hurried after the nurse hoping I could find her in the identical hallways. In the interval, I tried to come to terms with everything that I had learned, or relearned, I suppose, since I had woken up a few minutes ago.
Here was Nurse Dreams, the first and only pony I met since I woke up with amnesia. She seemed nice enough, if a bit absent-minded, and there was something oddly familiar about her, even if I couldn’t quite place it.
My friends, if I could even call them that anymore, were apparently worried about me. Though, I was slightly confused about how I came to have friends in here of all places. In most hospitals, you didn’t stay there long enough to make many friends.
Were they friends that I was admitted with? Had we all taken part in the same accident that caused my amnesia? And why were all the patients in the cafeteria? The sick and infirm couldn’t have gotten out of their beds and walked somewhere just so they could eat.
And why did the ceiling of my room have pegasi foals on it?
There were so many questions I didn’t know the answers to yet. I would’ve liked to have asked some of them.
I turned another corner to see Dreams waiting impatiently for me in front a pair of double doors labeled ‘Cafeteria.’. “Well, here it is, Pi—Gray. You ready?” She glanced at me and I nodded at her. The doors were wrapped in her magical aura and they swung open.
The room inside was crowded; more crowded than I would have thought safe for a hospital to allow. The room itself was spacious and ponies sat at neat rows of white tables that filled the floor. Along the far wall was the lunch line; mares with bored expressions and hairnets stood behind the counter, dolloping portions of whatever food they were serving that day onto the trays of waiting ponies.
At every doorway, including the one we had just entered, stood two or three light-blue, muscled stallions. Their faces were stoic and unreadable and were all wearing uniforms not unlike the one Dreams was wearing, though much more masculine. I wasn’t entirely sure why they were there, but I certainly wouldn’t want to mess with them.
Dreams and I walked past the stallions and into the room proper. There were ponies of all sorts sitting down at the tables or getting food from the counter. It was all very tidy and contained. Everypony was either doing one thing or the other.
I liked it.
And it was so loud. Not quiet at all.
Dreams nudged me. “Come on Gray; let’s go get some food before it’s all gone. We’re a bit late as it is.”
I nodded absentmindedly and tailed Dreams up to the counter, weaving through the crowd. She levitated two trays from a stack and set them on the counter. I peered over the counter at the food they were serving. It was definitely hospital food.
I hovered by Dreams as she plodded through the line and got some food for the two of us. I took a quick glance at my tray and saw some sort of soggy hay, what appeared to be carrots, and some unidentifiable green leaves. Just great.
Dreams hesitated at the end of the line. She was peering through the throng of ponies seated at the tables, obviously looking for somepony, though I had no idea who.
I nudged her. “Who’re you looking for?”
“I was hoping a few of your friends were here, but I don’t see of them.” she responded without taking her eyes off of the crowd. “It’s likely that they’ve already left. They always like to eat early.” She sighed and looked back at me. “Ah well… Too bad. You’ll definitely see them tomorrow though, so there’s always that.” She gently pushed me forward. “Come on! Let’s go find a table!”
We spent the next few minutes weaving through the crowded room looking for two available seats and eventually found an empty space between two light-blue unicorns who didn’t seem to notice us.
We sat down and Dreams began eating almost immediately, nearly wolfing down her food. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all that hungry and the food in front of me wasn’t doing much to pique my appetite. I absentmindedly poked at with a fork and felt my thoughts begin to drift off once again.
At least it was loud in here.
It seemed like a strange sort of hospital. There were so many patients, nurses and doctors crowded together, chatting with each other, Very few ponies looked visibly sick, but there were a hoofful that looked… strange… Something about them was off. And then there were the stallions standing at every entrance. They were tough, surly ponies that, if I didn’t know any better, I would have figured them for guards. But guards for what or for whom?
“’Eeyyy Pinky!” came a lilting voice from behind me.
This place certainly wasn’t a normal hospital in any sense of the world. It was almost like…
Dreams nudged me. “Gray, he’s talking to you! Don’t be rude!”
I snapped out of my thoughts. “What? Huh? Who-who’s talking?” I looked at Dreams and followed her gaze to a middle-aged, graying griffon sitting in across from me. He peered at me over a pair of tiny glasses perched on his beak, which was split in a smirk.
“’Ey Pinky.” slurred the griffon again. “You look like ‘ell. Wot’s goin’ on wit youse?”
I blinked and looked back at Dreams who sighed and smiled at the avian across from us. “Gerald, Pink here had recently undergone a new treatment, one that has, unfortunately, left him with a bit of amnesia. He can’t remember anything past when he woke up a little while ago.”
The griffon, Gerald, I assumed, let loose a loud, trilling whistle. “Wowie, laddie. These fuckers sure did a number on you, didn’t they?”
“Gerald! Language!” scolded Dreams.
The griffon scoffed. “Ohh, shut up Nurse Dreams. You ain’t gonna do nothin’.”
Dreams gazed into Gerald’s eyes, the anger in her voice just barely controlled. “I can always tell one of the other nurses. I’m sure you wouldn’t like a visit from Nurse Ratchet again.” She leered at him.
“Oh no!” feigned Gerald with mock surprise. “Whatever will I do?” He chuckled, his beak clicking together. “Ratchet wouldn’t listen to you. She don’t trust you anymore than she trusts any me or any of the other loonies in ‘ere!”
I had been following the entire conversation, steadily become more and more confused as it went on. Dreams was a nurse. So, surely she had plenty of authority to report Gerald and whatever rules he was breaking.
Dreams hissed as Gerald finished speaking. Practically lunging across the table, she wrapped a hoof around the griffon’s neck and yanked his head lower. “Shush!” she whispered, “You know we don’t use words like that in here! We’re all just ponies here and we’re all just trying to get better!”
Gerald shoved Dreams off of him and leaned back up, rubbing his neck. “Sheesh, lass, no need to get all uppity ‘bout it. Don’t need no unwanted attention.”
I spoke up before Dreams had a chance to respond. “What’re you two talking about? What’s going on?”
Gerald looked at me incredulously. “Oh, they really fucked you up, didn’t they laddie? Don’t you know where you are?” Dreams’ eyes widened and she attempted to grab the griffon again. Gerald dodged her arms and his smile widened even more as I shook my head no.
“Ohhoho!” He chuckled, realization spreading across his face. “Dreams didn’t tell you what this place is, did she?”
“Is…” I hesitated. “Isn’t this a hospital…?”
Dreams banged the table with one of her hooves. “Gerald please! I was going to tell him after he had a bit to acclimate!”
But the gray bird paid her no mind. “Oh, this is a ‘ospital alright, Pink.” His near predatory smile widened. “But this isn’t any old ‘ospital.” He gestured around him, spreading his arms wide, “This is the Fletcher Memorial Psychiatric Institute, ‘ome for the incurable and Equestria’s crazies!”
My jaw fell open.
A mental asylum?!
Why was in here?
I wasn’t crazy! I…
Was I insane? I didn’t feel crazy. I wasn’t hallucinating, talking to myself, or, or, or, or, or, or, or…
I was thinking straight. Yes. I had full control over my body. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. What did crazy feel like?
I looked at Dreams. “When we you planning on telling me that?!” I admonished her, “That’s a pretty big thing to not tell me! I… I…” I ran a hoof through my mane and whimpered. “Tell me Dreams… Am I— Am I crazy…?”
Dreams sighed and shot Gerald a venomous look before turning back towards me. “Yes… Yes, Gray, this is a mental institution, and you are a patient here for several years. You underwent a new treatment yesterday morning, which is the cause of your memory loss…. I… I’m sorry Gray, I…”
I could hear Gerald laughing as I cradled my head in my forehooves. “What-What’s wrong with me Dreams? Why am I in here?” I sputtered.
“That’s probably a good question to ask Doctor. He’s your, well, doctor. I was going to take you to him after we finished eating. I’m not… I…” She lapsed into silence, muttering under her breath.
Gerald spoke up again, taking full control of the quiet. “Oh, Pinky, I bet you aren’t feelin’ too good now, huh? Haha!” He slapped Dreams on the arm playfully and she clutched her hoof tight to her chest as if she was afraid he was going to cut it off. “And, it gets even better, laddie! Go on and ask Dreams why the other nurses don’t trust ‘er! Ha! Ask ‘er what happened six years ago! Ask ‘er why she lied to you!”
The griffon stood up abruptly, violently spreading his wings into a group of ponies behind him, knocking them over. He slammed a fist on the table, his eyes alive with anger. “Pink, you ask that lying bitch of a mare ‘ow she sleeps at night, knowing that she’s living a lie!” He was shouting now, flailing his arms and wings wildly. “You ask that fucking bitch why she can’t ever set hoof outside this building! Ask her—No! Get your fucking hooves off me, you bastards! Don’t you come near me! Get off!”
A few of the large stallions from around the room had galloped over to our table. One grabbed Gerald’s arms, pinning them to his side. “Please stop sir. If you continue we’ll have to restrain you.” The stallion spoke calmly, but with such a forceful power that I almost felt compelled to follow his instructions.
But the griffon didn’t hear him. He was still screaming at me, though by now his words had degraded into incoherent screeching. Spittle flew from his mouth as he fought against the large stallions. He managed to force the first orderly off of him, but was immediately bound by another’s magical grip.
Dreams put a hoof across my chest, as if that would protect me.
And still the griffon struggled, screaming obscenities at the entire room, even as they slipped a muzzle around his beak and locked his claws and wings together with cuffs. I could still hear his muffled cries through the cover. I could see every muscle in his body straining against the magical grip and cuffs, yearning to be free.
Then, as suddenly as it happened, they floated Gerald away and out one of the doors, leaving the cafeteria deathly still. Dreams was sobbing into the crook of her foreleg, her loud, drawn out wails the only sound in the room.
“I’m sorry that he disturbed you two.” said one of the orderlies to us. “It seems we have to cart him out of here every other week. Damn violent fits. He didn’t hurt you or anything?” I shook my head and the stallion smiled. “That’s good. Don’t want Ratchet on my tail for failing to protect the patients, right Pink?”
I frowned. Yet another Pony I didn’t remember. “Err… sure…” I responded, “Whatever you say…”
The stallion blinked, realizing there was something wrong with me. After a few seconds he groaned and smacked his face. “Oh right. The amnesia thing?” I nodded. “Yeah, they told us about that. Must suck...” He smacked his lips together and glanced at a clock on the wall. “Well, I better go Pink. We’ll catch up sometime, alright?”
And with that, he trotted off, leaving me alone with a sobbing mare. I watched the orderly walk away and disappear into the throng of patients. I sighed. “My name is Gray…” I slumped down and stared straight ahead of me, trying to sort out everything that had just happened.
I was in an asylum, surrounded my lunatics of varying degrees of insanity, as just evidenced by Gerald’s complete breakdown. My memories were still drawing blanks and it appeared that I needed more and more use of them as time went on. How was I going to survive in a place like this with no idea who I am?
And then there was Dreams who was apparently keeping another secret from me, one disturbing enough to Gerald that he lapsed into a fit of rage because of it.
He said that none of the other nurses and doctors trusted her word. What had happened six years ago?
I looked at the prone form of Dreams hunched over the table. I reached out a hoof and wrapped it around her neck, pulling her closer. She looked at me, her face stained with tears, and I held her gaze. We sat that way for several moments before she spoke up. “I’m… I’m sorry…”
“What for? What was Gerald talking about?” I smiled at her, for a change.
She shook her head. “No… No… I can’t—I don’t think I can… I can’t tell you here, alright? I can’t tell you now… Just… I’m sorry…”
“Hey…” I awkwardly patted her hoof. “It’s okay. I accept your apology. Don’t worry. You’re a great nurse.”
She sniffed and rubbed her eyes. “You’re a good friend Pink. I wish the other patients were like you.” She hiccupped. “Heck, I wish my colleagues were like you.”
We lapsed into silence as the rest of the ponies in the cafeteria went back to their own conversations. It seemed disturbances like that were normal at asylums.
Sometime later, as the rest of the patients and nurses began to file out of the room, Dreams took me to go see my doctor for my first check-up and reintroductions. As she led me through the identical white halls, now bustling with activity, I wondered how anypony could navigate these corridors without getting lost. Even if I had my memory, I doubted that I could find my way through here without a guide.
She eventually led me to a set of double doors that she pushed open as we neared them. The room inside was the exact opposite of the sterile, cold hospital I had already grown used to. The floor was lined with thick, deep red carpeting and wood paneling covered the walls. There were at least five bookshelves crammed into the tiny room and whatever space was left was taken up by a couch and a small table.
It was completely bizarre to walk into a room like this after spending so long in that clean, white maze of hallways just behind us. Dreams noticed my amazement and chuckled. “Yeah, it nice, isn’t it? Definitely warmer and more inviting than the rest of the building, huh?”
“It’s nice,” I agreed, “Much more homely than out there.”
Our gazes met for a moment and I noticed how clear and sparkling her blue eyes really were. I felt a slight twinge of recognition deep inside me as we stared at each other…
She broke the stare suddenly, her cheeks burning as red as her mane. She pushed some hair out of her eyes and sighed. “Well,” she said, “shall we get you to Doctor?”
I nodded numbly and trailed after her over to a heavy wooden door on the far side of the room. My head was spinning. I was so sure I had remembered something, but it wasn’t there anymore…
I knew I had seen them before…
But I had seen them, all throughout my first day here and presumably countless days before I forgot everything. But, something still seemed…different…
Dreams’ weighty knocks on the door snapped me out of my reverie. A voice came from the other room, “Come in!”
Dreams and I strode into the office. It was everything you would expect from a doctor’s office. There was a desk up against the far wall with a red velvet chair behind it. On the wall next to that was a large bank of windows, curtains drawn across them for Dreams’ benefit. Bookshelves lined another whole wall and a small record player sat on a side table next to a lamp.
In the middle of the room were two cushions on the floor, but only one was occupied. In one sat a grinning, middle-aged, light blue unicorn stallion, who I could only assume was Doctor, wearing a bowtie and a tweed suit coat a few sizes too small for him.
“Ah! Pink, Dreams!” exclaimed the stallion, motioning us to come in, “How are you two doing this fine afternoon?” And then without waiting for a response, he continued. “So, Dreams, how is our Pink doing since he woke up?”
Dreams smiled at him. “Hello Doctor. Er… Pink, or Gray, as he insists to be called now, has suffered some amnesia. I’ll write up a report later. But, it’s pretty serious, right Gray?”
The two of them turned to look at me and I realized they were waiting for me to say something. “Oh! Uhh, yeah… I can’t remember anything, Doctor. Everything prior to waking up this afternoon is just a big, empty space in my head. It’s a bit unsettling, to tell you the truth.”
Doctor nodded and scribbled something down on a clipboard in his lap. After a moment, he glanced up. “Alright, Dreams, you can go now. Pink and I have some things to discuss about these new developments.” He smiled. “Thank you as always. You’ve been a tremendous help.”
Dreams dipped her head respectfully and exited the room, the door closing behind her with a thud.
It was quiet again. Doctor was examining something on his clipboard and the only sound that I could hear was the ticking of the clock on the wall next to me. I was still standing where Dreams had left me and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to sit down or not.
It was so quiet. I gulped and tapped my hoof nervously. The air was thick and uncomfortable.
Tick-tock went the clock.
Doctor Doctor looked up from his notes and noticed that I still was standing. “You can sit down Pink, I’ll just be a moment.”
I plodded over to the empty cushion and laid down, sinking into the fabric slightly. “It’s Gray,” I drearily corrected the stallion.
Doctor looked back up again, his brow furrowed. “Excuse me, what was that?” His quill hung in midair, momentarily forgotten.
I sighed. “It’s… It’s the amnesia. I… The only thing I can remember is my name: Gray. I don’t remember ever being called Pink, even if everypony had been calling me that. I’d prefer to just be called Gray, if—if you don’t mind…”
The stallion set down his clipboard and quill. He blinked. “Alrighty Gray.” He said Gray lightly, as if he had never said it before. “I’m sure this is all very confusing for you. You probably have some questions, so I’ll try my best to give you a rundown of everything, alright?”
“Good,” he said, “Now, you are in the Fletcher Memorial Psychiatric Institute, top mental hospital in Equestria. You can see Fletcher, our founder, behind my desk.” He gestured to a painting of a bespectacled dark blue pegasus stallion who was smiling calmly out at the two of us. He looked nice, and….
Doctor continued. “You were admitted to this facility eighteen years ago after a particularly nasty bout of psychosis made you attack an elderly couple and their nephew, believing that they were terrifying creatures.”
With every word of that sentence, I felt my heart drop like a stone. I had hurt ponies? I hallucinated? Dear Goddess, just how messed up was I?
Doctor seemed to notice my feelings because he stopped and smiled in that calm, reassuring way that doctors do. “Are you alright Pi—Gray? If this is too much, we can always stop. I’m sure this is a lot to take in in just a few hours.”
I took a deep breath and ran my tongue along my lips. “No. No, it’s alright. You can keep going, Doc. I’d, uh… I’d like to know what’s wrong with me, if that’s possible…”
Doctor scrutinized me for a moment, staring directly at me with his unblinking light blue pupils. I wasn’t sure what he was looking at, but after a few chilling silent moments, he nodded and picked up his clipboard, flipping a few pages in.
“Alrighty, Gray, here we go.” He took a deep breath. “We have, over the years, determined that you have delusions of grandeur, Dissociative Identity Disorder, paranoia, Auditory and Visionary Schizophrenia, an extreme case of Sedatephobia, and Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies.”
I blinked. “Umm…”
“But,” interrupted Doctor, “We have treated many of these ailments to the point where they are virtually nonexistent. When you came to us, you were highly delusional, quiet, antisocial and often times violent. But now, your personality is stable, you haven’t deluded yourself that you are somepony famous, your panic attacks have subsided and your Schizophrenia has all but vanished.”
He smiled. “In fact, the only symptoms that continue to plague you are the OCPD and Sedatephobia, which were never too much trouble to keep in check. Of course, this all might have changed now since yesterday. Tell me, does silence still bother you?
My ear itched. I scratched it. “Yeah. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. Whenever there has been silence, I’ve started to get really freaked out. I…” I hesitated, “That’s a real thing? Fear of silence? I’m afraid of silence?”
Doctor set his clipboard back down. “Yes Gray, you are. Very bad, too…” He trailed off and glanced at the record player over near the bookshelves. He stood up and trotted over to it. “In fact, I completely forgot to play some music for background noise like we always do. Sorry Pin… Gray.” He stooped down and rummaged through a stack of albums beside the table.
After a few moments he stood back up, grasping a record with his magic. “Let’s try your favorite song today, alrighty? Maybe it’ll bring back some memories.” He set the disc down and slotted the needle into the groove. The record player sparked to life and after a few moments of muteness came blaring trumpets and the most angelic, fragile voice.
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when,
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day…
…Keep smiling through,
Just the way you do,
‘Till the blue skies chase those dark clouds far away…”
“Alrighty, Gray,” said Doctor, talking over the music, “Is there anything else you’d like to know before we move on?”
My gaze drifted away from the record player and back to Doctor. I tapped one of my hooves on the floor absentmindedly. “Umm…” I thought for a moment. “What—What’s this treatment thing that made me lose my memory. What did you do to me?”
Doctors face fell and he cleared his throat, obviously uneasy about the situation. “Well…” he began, “I can’t tell you.
I snorted and leapt off of the cushion. “What do you mean you can’t tell me?” I stated suspiciously, “Don’t I have a right to know what happened to me?”
The stallion nodded and got up too, placing a hoof around my neck. I grunted and tried to break away, but he held me close. “I’m sorry Gray,” he whispered, “I can tell you it was highly experimental and that you knew the risks going in, but other than that, there’s nothing I can say. You didn’t want to remember. You went into the operation hoping that you would develop amnesia, and even I did not know your reasons behind it.” He sighed and turned away. “I’m… I’m sorry, but I’m not going to tell you what happened to you.”
I sighed and collapsed into my cushion. Why did I not want myself to know what happened to me? Why did I want to forget everything at the cost of possible becoming better…?
What did I do to myself?
Doctor cleared his throat,. “Now, is there anything else you would like to know?”
I regarded at him for a few seconds, racking my brain for anything else I would like to know. Doctor’s eyes flittered around the room, unwilling to meet my gaze. “Actually…” I began, “There is something I’d like to know. Why don’t I have a cutie mark? Did I never find my special talent?”
The light blue stallion looked confused. “What are you talking about? Of course you have a cutie mark Gray. It’s right there on your flank.”
I twisted my head around to look at my flanks. I was sure I hadn’t seen anything on my flanks when I looked that afternoon, but maybe I had missed something in my disorientation after waking up.
But there was nothing there. My haunches were covered with the same gray fur as the rest of my body. I looked back at Doctor, my head tilted in confusion. “No I don’t.” I said, “What are you talking about, Doc?”
The stallion stared at me hesitantly, his eyes unblinking. “Yes. You do Gray. I can see it right now.”
I leapt up and craned my neck in an attempt to see my behind better. Was I really that blind? But no… my cutie mark wasn’t there. I looked back at the unicorn. “I still can’t see it.” I hesitated. “Can… Can you tell me what it is then?” I asked in a small voice.
Doctor smiled and stood up. “Of course I can Pink—Sorry. Of course I can Gray.” His eyes slid to my flank. “It’s… It’s…” He stopped for a moment, staring at the spot my cutie mark should have been. His eyes drifted up to my face and he grinned again. “Oh… Gray, you must be so tired. Waking up and discovering that, not only can you not remember anything, but also that you’ve been in a mental institution for years must be horribly taxing on your mind. I can’t believe I’ve kept you this long. You should be resting…”
“That didn’t answer my question!” I shouted at the doctor.
“Now, I think we’ve covered enough today.” He continued, unabated, “I’ll let Dreams know she can come and escort you back to your room.” he turned away and picked up his clipboard again, “Now, I think we can schedule another appointment sometime next week, how does that sound?”
“I—I guess that sound alright, but Doc, what does my cutie—”
“Good!” He floated the clipboard over to his desk and came over to stand in front of me. “Now, I think that we’ll have to keep you under observation for a minimum of three months until we can see if the treatment was a success of not. I think that, based on today, things look promising. Besides the amnesia, you don’t seem to be having much mental trouble. That’s good.”
He ushered me towards the door and opened it, practically pushing me out of it. “Now, Dreams should be along any second. Just wait out here until she comes along, alright? I’ll see you next week.”
And with that he shut the door, abruptly ending our session and stranding me outside of his office. I groaned in exasperation and leaned against the wall. This day had been one adventure after another.
I needed a drink, but they probably didn’t serve alcohol here.
Why did Doctor tell me that he could see my cutie mark, only to gloss over it moments later and rush me out of the room? It was almost like he couldn’t see it either, but believed that it was there. But did I really not have one? Did I really manage to get through almost half of my life and not discover what I was meant to do?
I tapped a hoof on the tile floor, desperate for there to be some sort of noise in the ever oppressive silence.
I had to cure my amnesia, I realized. That was the only way I would ever get any answers. But how would I go about doing that? Everypony I had interacted with today didn’t spark any sort of recognition in my mind, besides the occasional twinge of familiarity. My mind was still as blank as a slate.
“Oh, hello Gray. Are you ready to go?” My head snapped up to see the green form of Dreams standing in front of me. She extended a hoof down and I grasped it, letting her help me off of the floor.
“Dreams,” I blurted out, “What does my cutie mark look like?”
The mare frowned and craned her head to look at my flank. “I… It’s...” She pursed her lips. “Just look yourself. It’s not like you’re blind.” She chuckled. “Now come on. I’d like to get you to bed so I can get some shut-eye myself. It’s getting late.” She trotted off without me, leaving me to play catch-up again.
She didn’t seem to be able to actually see my cutie mark either, but firmly believed that I had one. I decided not to press the subject again for a while.
As we walked down the corridors in silence, I hummed a little tune to myself. I wasn’t sure where I knew the melody from, but I must have been unconsciously remembering it from sometime before. That meant my memories were still in my head, somewhere, just waiting…
The hallways were more crowded than they had been when I woke up. Several patients and nurses milled about, doing whatever they needed to to get ready for the night. Most of my fellow lunatics seemed normal enough, now that I had a good enough look at them. Sure, there were a few that I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alleyway, but that was to be expected in a loony bin. But, even then, as I passed by, most smiled at me and a few said hello, and I just nodded in acknowledgement, unsure how I should respond.
Before I knew it, Dreams slowed to a halt. “Well, here’s your room.” Her horn sparked to life and a key floated out of her pocket and into the door. The lock clicked and the door swung open, revealing the small room I woke up in. My room.
“In you go, Gray. Have to lock the door behind you. It’s the standard procedure, every night. You’ll get used to it,” she reassured.
I stepped into the room, my room, and turned to face her. “Lights go out in about an hour, so make sure you’re in bed by then. Normally, we make you take pills before you go to bed, but we’ll forego them tonight for you. If there are any lingering effects from the operation, we wouldn’t want the pills to interfere. Now, partway through the night, the night orderlies will come in to check and make sure everything is alright. At least pretend that you’re asleep when they come in, even if you’re not. I mean, if they catch you awake, you won’t get it too much trouble. You’re one of our more trusted patients here.”
“Oh-oh-okay…” I gulped. “So… I guess this is it then? The end of this crazy day? I just get to go to sleep and begin my new life as a mental patient tomorrow?”
The green unicorn shrugged. “I know… And I’m sorry about how confusing everything must be. Amnesia is hard on anypony and doubly so on ponies like us…” She chuckled and drew me in for a hug, squeezing my body tight. “Everything’s going to be alright Gray. I’m sure you’ll start to remember everything soon enough.”
She let me go and backed out of the room. Her magical aura flared around the door handle and it slowly swung shut. The last thing I saw before I was locked in my little room was the mare’s deep blue eyes watching me, full of concern and sadness.
Then, that too, came to an end and I was left alone.
I felt my ear involuntarily twitch.
I stared at the spot Dreams used to occupy, wishing, hoping, that she would reappear and we could sit down and talk and do something, anything, to break this silence.
But she didn’t.
I took a deep breath and sighed, trying to let go of all the worry and confusion I felt. I tore my gaze away from the door and decided to busy myself with relearning what was in my room, which wouldn’t take that long considering its sparse furnishings.
I hummed to myself once again as I investigated my room. The potted plant in the corner was definitely plastic. I wouldn’t have thought it anything special, though upon closer inspection, there were three cards tucked in between the stems of the plant. Two of them were simple, crude, little things that were probably made by some of the other patients as get-well cards for my treatment. There was one from the three ponies Dreams said were my friends: Marmalade, Broom and Starshine. The second was from Dreams herself and was addressed to ‘My favorite patient, Pink.’
The other card was a store-bought one signed by a few of the doctors and nurses in a scrawl that I couldn’t even read.
I liked the first two much more.
My investigations moved over to my bed, which had been remade and tucked in like it had been that afternoon sometime in the intervening hours I had been out. The table next to it and the battered lamp sitting on it were unremarkable and were, in all likelihood, standard issue for every room.
I had moved on to trying to peer out of the slit in the wall that barely passed as a window when I heard some sort of speaker crackle to life. I froze, afraid that I had broken some unknown rule and I was going to be reprimanded, but nothing happened.
Instead, what I did hear was the gentle crashing of the ocean on the shore. My head tilted to the side in confusion and I quickly turned around, my eyes scanning the room for the source. Eventually, I saw a small, unassuming speaker in the top corner of the room, camouflaged by the painting on the ceiling.
The ocean noises continued for several more minutes before it faded out and was replaced by birdcalls and chirping insects. Then, that too was faded out to make room for the sound of rushing winds and distant, tolling bells.
The sounds continued like that for several more minutes before I realized that I didn’t need to hum any longer; there was no more silence pressing down on my head.
Ambient background noise was perfect for a patient who was terrified of silence. I nearly laughed out loud. I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders; they really knew how to take care of the patients here.
My attention drifted over to the desk in the corner of the room. It was bolted to both the floor and wall and was about as utilitarian as one would expect. However, on top of it was a small, unassuming, black notebook with a short pencil stuck in between its pages.
I flipped the book open to the cover page. In it, hastily scribbled in, were the words ‘Property of Pink.’ It was my journal, a diary, a notebook.
My own writing.
I opened it to the page marked by the pencil, which was almost at the end. The page was covered in neat, scrolling script, contrasting the messy scrawl that was at the beginning. There didn’t seem to be any sort of date or numbering system, so I had no idea when the entry was written. My past self didn’t exactly make it easy on my amnesiac brain.
I began reading:
Today, Needlepoint attacked Cuckoo Nest during lunch. He just started biting Cuckoo’s ear, tearing off a big chunk and swallowing it whole. There was blood everywhere. One of the other patients, Waterworks, joined in, pulling out some of Cuckoo’s feathers out. By the time the orderlies got the two of them, Cuckoo was lying on the floor, severely injured.
I asked one of the nurses about it afterwards, and she said she didn’t think that Cuckoo would make it.
Needlepoint and Waterworks got sentenced to Isolation Ward for seven months. I feel so sorry for them. Nopony deserves that, even violent, cannibalistic savages like those two.
I don’t know what they were doing without supervision. As far as I could remember, they always had an orderly watching over them, just to make sure nothing happened. I think they planned it. More often than not, they’ve been huddled in a corner of the Rec Room, whispering to themselves. I never gave it much thought.
Doc said I used to have violent urges like that, but I can’t remember them. Those early days were a blur of uncertainty and terror.
Speaking of which, Doctor told me that he might have some sort of new treatment to make me one hundred percent better. It’s not fool-proof and Doc said that it could cause some memory loss, but he wouldn’t tell me what exactly it entailed before I was sure I wanted to go through with it.
It would be nice to see the outside for once. Fletcher’s hallways are getting monotonous.
I think I’ll do it.
All I can do is hope that I’ll still remember my friends and all the good times I’ve had. It’d be nice to see the outside with all of them sometime in the future.
The passage ended there, without as much as a signature signing off. I felt the corners of my eyes grow damp and I quickly wiped away any indication of my tears. I wasn’t crying. Of course not.
I held the book in my hooves and briefly wondered what the beginning was like. I began to flip to the first page, but I hesitated briefly.
What would I find there? Did I really want to see? What was I like when I was really crazy?
I teetered on the brink. Should I? Should I not? Should? Should? Should? Should—
Then, the world answered for me as the lights in the room flickered out, leaving me in darkness. Bed-time. I could always try to read in the dark, but already I felt my eyelids begin to grow heavy. I placed the book back down on the table and shuffled my way back over to the bed and crawled in.
I clutched at the thin covers and pulled them over my body. The bed was as uncomfortable as I remembered it, though at least I wasn’t trapped like I was that afternoon. I fluffed the pillow as best as I could and fell back into the cushions, moaning as a wave of exhaustion hit me.
I flipped over on to my back and stared at the ceiling. The pegasi foals stared back at me, with their cheerful faces and unblinking eyes. Why did I have these things painted on my ceiling? They weren’t cute in any way.
I turned on my side so that I wouldn’t have to see those overly happy pegasi and their smiling, shining sun. They were unnerving.
A yawn escaped my mouth and as I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, drained after the long day.
And one single thought invaded my mind.
I really had to take a piss.
I awoke the next morning before the lights had switched back on.
The barest hints of the sunrise filtered through my tiny window, illuminating the ceiling with a thin strip of light. The cherubic foals smiled down at me with their haunting faces and I defiantly stared back at them
I spent the better part of that dawn lying in bed, sorting through my thoughts. I needed the free time to think about everything I had learned the day before. I was still a bit unsettled by the fact I was clinically insane and spent to better part of my life in an asylum. It would definitely take some time to adjust to life here.
I probably could’ve spent the rest of the day thinking things over, but life had other ideas. The ceiling lights flickered on, searing my eyes with the unexpected light.
I groaned and sat up, stretching my hooves and working out a few kinks in my back. It was mere seconds later that the door latch rattled and the heavy iron door swung open. Dreams casually walked through the opening, a shining smile plastered on her face. Her outfit was wrinkled, like she had slept in it. “Good morning, Gray!” she chirped, “Have a good first night?”
The night sky shimmered across the lake’s surface, the thousands of stars twisting and bobbing in the water’s gentle current. Water crept up on the shoreline, covering the rocks in its murky depths, and then ebbed, receding back into the darkness.
I glanced up at Dreams. I smiled. “Yes. Yes, I had a good night… though, it’s not like I have any to compare it to…” I smiled, my rather depressing comment earning a chuckle from the mare.
“Come on,” she said, helping me off of the bed, “Today, we’re getting you back on your schedule. Every other day, you get up a few hours earlier than the other patients to go practice with the institution’s band.”
I raised an eyebrow in surprise. “There’s a band here?”
Dreams opened the door for us and we began walking down the silent hallways to our destination. “Oh yes,” she continued, “the more musically-inclined ponies staying here have gotten together over the years and formed a little group where they practice and compose music. Sometimes they even perform for the rest of the patients. It’s nice.” She chuckled. “There are seven of you, including you, and while you all are not the best in the world, you all give it your best. It’s nice.”
We turned a corner, narrowly dodging a stallion pushing a laundry cart somewhere. “That’s… an unexpected thing to have here. I wouldn’t have guessed that.” I paused, processing the information. “What instrument did I play?”
“Oh, you were good at almost any instrument you got your hooves on, but you always had a sweet spot for the piano. I’m hoping that maybe getting you back behind it might jog your memory a bit.”
I grunted in affirmation and followed after her. The halls were quiet at this time of the morning. I didn’t even see any other nurses around. It was quiet.
I needed some sort of sound.
“So what else is there to do around here?” I asked.
“Well,” Dreams began, almost mechanical, “We have a variety of facilities here for patients to use during their free time. There’s a gymnasium, a swimming pool, an art room, several recreational rooms, and a sprawling garden, outside, on the grounds. Of course, you need to have permission and supervision to enter any of those rooms, except the rec room, just as a precaution. Don’t want anypony to accidently fall in the pool.” She smiled. “That’s the spiel we have to memorize. It answer your question?”
I nodded. “I’d like to go see the garden sometime…”
“I’ll ask somepony to take you down there sometime. It—Aaah!” Dreams let out a short cry of surprise as she stumbled, nearly tripping and falling to the ground.
I looked at her in alarm. “Are you alright?”
Dreams stiffened and stood up straight, smoothing out her uniform. ‘Y-yes, I’m fine. I just don’t have that great of a sense of balance. It happens…” She glanced down the hallway behind us. “Actually, Pink, do you think you could go on ahead without me? I-I forgot that I need t-to do something important…” Her voice was shaky.
“Oh, I suppose I can…” I said.
Dreams smiled. It wasn’t one of her normal, wide smiles that were full of teeth. No, this one was slight, just a raising of the lips, almost as if she was trying to cover something up. “Thanks.” she said. “Now, keep walking down the hall until you get to the end. The music room is the very last door.” She gestured down the hall. “I… I’ll be back soon alright? I’m sorry.”
She turned and trotted off the way we came, almost swaying erratically as she walked down the hall. I watched her until she turned a corner, her fiery tail disappearing out of sight. I looked at the spot where she vanished for several seconds and then turned around and made my way to the music room with a heavy sigh.
I arrived at my destination a minute later. The door at the end of the hallway was one of the few labeled doors in the entire facility. ’Music Room’ was proudly displayed on the metal door.
I put a hoof on the door, intending to push it open, but I stopped. I swallowed a sudden lump in my throat; I wasn’t sure if I could do this.
My legs shook nervously, and I fought back the incredible urge to turn around and escape. Behind that door was the first major connection to my life. There would be ponies who knew me better than any other pony I had met the previous day. My friends would be in there, and they expected their friend, but… But I couldn’t give them their friend. He was gone, and I had taken his life. Could I even really be considered to be anypony yet? Was a little over one day enough to constitute a pony? What if they didn’t want to be my friends anymore? What then? What would I have done? What would I do now? What could I do now!? I didn’t know anything. If not for Dreams, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. I would be even more lost. I would be a nopony, a useless, scared husk of a stallion I once was. I couldn’t go in there! I couldn’t! I shouldn’t see my friends. I shouldn’t subject them to having to deal with an amnesiac stallion who couldn’t even remember his name or where he had been for the past however many years! I couldn’t! I shouldn’t! I wouldn’t! I…
Hello. Yes, I’d like to order breakfast please. I’d like coffee for two, some toast with jam and a glass of milk... Thanks…
I took a deep breath and pushed the door open. Immediately, I was greeted by a cacophony of sound. Every pony in the room was playing on some instrument or other: Guitar, drums, piano, violin, trumpet, bassoon, harmonica, and there were even more instruments scattered around the room.
There was silence when I walked in.
Six stallions looked at me, recognition slowly spreading across each of their faces. “Hey,” said one, “it’s Pink!”
“We can see that, ya idjit!” hissed another.
A great, hulking stallion approached me and slapped me on my back, nearly knocking the wind out of me. “Pink!” His voice was very quiet and airy for such a large pony. “We haven’t seen you in a while! How dat operation thing go?”
I coughed and broke out of the stallion’s grasp. “W-well… I can’t exactly remember. I woke up yesterday afternoon with no memories of anything. Amnesia, you see… And… call me Gray now. I don’t remember ever being called Pink.”
The stallion chuckled and slung a hoof around my neck, pulling me in close. “Hey, dat’s alright. I’ll introduce you to da band again. My name’s Svelte, but everypony calls me Mauve.” I opened my mouth to ask something but he caught me off with another boisterous chuckle. “Yes, I know dat my coat’s blue and not purple. It’s just what dey calls me.” He shrugged. “I play da string instruments.”
Mauve pulled me over the stallion who had first spoken up when I had entered. “Dis here’s Coalcatcher. He plays da drums like a pro. Coalcatcher, meet Gray.” I barely had time to shake the stallion’s hoof before Mauve whisked me off to the next pony. “Dis pegasus is named Dew Drop.” The stallion in question said hello. “You couldn’t find betta’ trumpeter even if you found a pony with a trumpet cutie mark! Ha!”
Mauve introduced me to two other stallions, one named Papyrus who could apparently play a mean guitar, and one named Maestro who orchestrated and led many of the songs the band played, before yanking me away to meet the last member of the ensemble.
“And dis little fella’ is Broom.” Mauve gestured at a small, red unicorn that had been standing behind some of the other stallions. Broom looked at me and smiled, but didn’t say anything. “Broom is one of da best bassists I’ve ever heard!” continued Mauve, “He doesn’t speak though. Quiet little thing, he is.”
Broom dipped his head in greeting, as if he had dropped something, and stretched out a hoof for me to shake.
But I didn’t move. I stared at the unicorn, lost in thought. There was a feeling in my stomach, almost like the twinges of recognition I had when I first met Dreams. I was so… so certain that I had met Broom before, but… he didn’t seem right, almost as if…
“Gray, you feelin’ alright?” Mauve shook me.
I shook my head. “Yeah… yeah, I’m alright. I just…” I licked my lips. “I… Nice to meet you Broom.” My nose itched and I shook Broom’s still outstretched hoof.
Mauve steered me back away from Broom and to the opposite side of the room. “Yeah, you and Broom are friends. Da two of you has da same group therapy and all…” We stopped in front of a piano. “Now, here’s your little slice o’ heaven, Gray,” explained Mauve, “You play da piano like a fancy Canterlot pianist, if I ever heard one.”
He pushed me towards the instrument. “Go on, see if it don’t jog your memory or somthin’.”
I gave the piano an odd look and sat on the bench, feeling the wood give slightly. It all felt so familiar, but… I still felt as if something was wrong. It was sort of like remembering that I remembered my memories, but they weren’t actually in my head.
The door on the other side of the room opened and shut. I turned my head to see Dreams slide into the room. “Hello boys,” she said when the others noticed her, “I see you’ve already got Pi—Gray at the piano again.” She giggled, almost ludicrously, and trotted over to stand near me, Broom and Mauve.
“Go on,” insisted Dreams, “try to play something.” The others, watching on, nodded in encouragement.
Glancing at the keyboard, I tentatively ran my hoof over the piano keys, inadvertently playing a few jarring notes. Still unsure, I looked back up at Dreams and Broom who both motioned for me to continue. Their faces looked so expectant, that I supposed that I had to try. Sighing, I scooted closer to the piano and stared at the white, polished keys, unsure where to start.
I placed one of my hooves on a key, hearing the sweet, drawn-out note it produced. I tapped on another key further down the keyboard, rapidly alternating between the two notes. A small smile forced its way onto my mouth. It certainly felt… natural. I could get the hang of it. I ran my hoof down the keys, playing a succession of notes that I thought sounded alright.
I experimented like that for a while before finally settling on trying to hammer out the tune I’d been humming since the previous day. My hooves descended the keys, bringing to life the music trapped inside my head. It wasn’t that complicated of a melody, but considering I couldn’t remember how to play a piano, it was amazing I managed to work it out.
After a few minutes of finding my groove, I began singing softly under my breath, voicing lyrics to the slow, melodic composition as they came to me.
“…So, won’t you please say “Hello,”
To the folks that I know,
Tell ‘em it won’t be long.
‘Cause they’d be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song…
…We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when,
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day…”
I moved my hooves up the right of the keyboard, playing the melody slightly faster and louder as I became more engrossed in the music. I closed my eyes, letting my hooves fly around the keys, doing what felt natural.
A genuine smile crept onto my face as I continued to play. I didn’t know exactly how long I sat there, madly playing that piano, but it felt like I could keep playing forever. They were right: this was what I was good at.
But of course, I couldn’t keep playing forever. Eventually, my hooves ground to a halt as I finished off the song with a flourish. As the last note faded into the air, I realized how still the room was. I cautiously turned around, unsure if what everypony’s reaction was going to be. But every pair of eyes in the room was on me, and below every single one of those eyes was a smile. Everypony broke into applause, stamping their hooves on the ground in admiration.
Dreams and Broom walked over to me, looking particularly proud. Dreams’ face was streaked with tears and she was waxing poetic over how it was almost like I still had my memories. Broom simply nodded at me, a small grin on his face.
We spent the next few hours in the music room talking amongst ourselves. Mauve and the others showed off for me and shared stories of bygone days. I hardly noticed the time passing, but before I knew it, it was ten o’clock and one of the orderlies shooed us from the room, escorting us to the cafeteria for brunch.
Dreams, Broom, the other musicians and I all filed out of the room and trudged after the orderly in relative silence; talking wasn’t permitted in the hallways most of the time, apparently. Dreams apparently never cared about that rule. I made an effort to focus on the clip-clopping of our hooves to drive away my growing anxiety.
To be honest, I felt at home with the group; there was something natural and relaxing about these ponies I had just re-met. I suppose that there was something still buried within my mind that still recognized the hospital band.
We entered the cafeteria a few minutes later and got some lukewarm leftover food from the main breakfast that morning. The eight of us, watched over by a guard, sat at a table and ate quickly and quietly until one of the band members, Dew Drop, began screaming about the worms in his food and how they were crawling inside of him. He hit one of the ponies beside him in a desperate attempt to escape the table and scrambled over to the guard, begging to be let out.
Needless to say, he was quickly subdued and brought to the infirmary.
Once things had quieted down a bit, we finished up our meals and Dreams ushered me and Broom out of the room, realizing that in all the commotion, we were nearly late for group therapy, my first one.
We hurried through the identical hallways, sidestepping numerous ponies along the way. I attempted to remember the twists and turns as Dreams navigated us through the maze of hallways and doors, but I quickly found myself losing track of where we came from.
Eventually, we came to rest outside another metal door, once again unambiguous from any of the others throughout the hospital if not for a small sign outside that read ‘Meeting Room 46-J.’ There was large sky-blue stallion standing guard outside the door. Dreams greeted him, and he merely nodded in response, opening the door for the three of us. Dreams walked through first, followed shortly by Broom and myself.
There were three ponies already inside when we entered, sitting in a semicircle. Two of them, my friends, I assumed, looked up when they heard the door open, their faces hopeful. The other, a periwinkle unicorn stallion wearing a coat and tie—a doctor, I could only guess—only glanced up from his clipboard in mild disinterest when we entered.
The two ponies, one male, one female, approached us. The stallion, a rather short, nervous looking tan pegasus opened his mouth to say something but stopped short when he got near. He glanced at Dreams, “I—Is he…?” He gestured at me.
Dreams nodded sullenly and the stallion’s ears folded back in sadness. He exchanged a worried look with the mare behind him. Dreams took a step forward and ushered the two of them away for a moment, talking to them in a hushed voice. I couldn’t hear their whispers, but I knew they were talking about me. I cast a nervous glance at Broom who smiled reassuringly at me.
After a few moments, Dreams and the other two trotted back over. The stallion cautiously approached me, nearly tiptoeing over. “S-ssooo-oo… Pink—S-sorry. Gray.” He fretfully smoothed down the front of his coat and chuckled. “I—I, uhh… I’m S-Starshine, your… uhh… Your best f-friend, I ss-suppose? I, uhh… Heh… I see you-you’ve already met Br-Broom…”
I smiled at him and offered my hoof, but he shrunk back, avoiding my touch. “I—I don’t really li-like being t-t-touched.” He smiled apologetically. “S-sorry…”
I set my hoof back on the ground, scuffing it back and forth nervously. “It’s alright… It’s not your fault that I can’t remember.”
“You’re right.” The mare, a pink, middle-aged earth pony, spoke up, glaring at me with eyes as sharp as daggers. “It’s not Star’s fault. It’s yours. You’re the one who went and did this to yourself.”
She stepped between Starshine and me. “He’s the one who should be saying he’s sorry. He—”
“Marm,” pleaded Starshine from behind her, “M-marm, please st-stop. He didn’t mean…”
“Oh, he knew what he was doing when he went in!” growled the mare, turning to face the pegasus “He could’ve died! The procedure could’ve gone wrong!” She whirled around to face me, distraught. “You could’ve died, you idiot! We could’ve lost you forever! I could’ve lost—” She broke off, teetering on her hooves for a moment and then broke down sobbing. Dreams rushed forward and embraced the mare and let her cry into her shoulder.
Starshine smiled apologetically from behind the two mares. His face was flushed red with embarrassment from the mare’s outburst.
Broom silently trotted over and sat in the middle of the floor as if he was unconcerned the mare’s anger.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I walked into the room for group therapy, but I certainly didn’t expect to be yelled at.
Keep off the grass.
The doctor in the corner cleared his throat, bringing our attention to him. “Well,” he said in a slow, lethargic voice, “It certainly sounds like we have a lot to talk about today.” He gestured at the floor. “Why don’t we all sit down and we’ll begin, alright?”
Dreams slowly helped the pink mare back to her hooves and led her over to one of the cushions. The mare wiped her eyes with a free hoof and took a deep, shuddering breath. She whispered something to Dreams, who nodded in reply.
Leaving the mare on the cushion, Dreams took the seat in between the doctor and Broom. I sat on the other side of Broom and Starshine sat between the mare and I. There was one cushion empty, on the other side of the doctor.
The doctor cleared his throat again; it was a sort of wet, sick sort of sound. “Now, for all those who might not remember, my name is Doctor Jekyll and I preside over these group therapy sessions. As I’m sure you are all aware by now, one of us, Pinkerton, has had some memory loss. I think it would be prudent to go around and reintroduce ourselves. Dreams, if you’d like to start…?”
Dreams nodded and stood up, unconsciously smoothing down her rumpled outfit. “Well, you’ve already met me. My name is Dreams and I am a nurse here at Fletcher’s Memorial. I—”
Doctor Jekyll cut her off. “Yes, yes. I’m sure Pinkerton knows that. I know that we know…” He sighed. “Now, Broom, if you’d be so kind to go next… and, and, so on, please.”
Broom dipped his head in acknowledgement and unsteadily stood up. He stared at me for a moment, as if wavering on the edge of a decision, and then walked over, so that he stood in front of me. He smiled and put a hoof on my shoulder. I noticed that he was missing most of his teeth.
Not a soul in the entire room made a sound as the maroon unicorn opened his mouth and spoke in a deep baritone voice that didn’t seem at all suited for such a small pony.
“Friend,” he said simply.
Then, he turned and silently shuffled back to his cushion.
I let go a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. Dreams whispered something into Brooms’ ear and he shook his head and bobbed up and down.
Next, Starshine stood up and turned towards me. “W-well, my name is Suh-ssstuh-Starshine, but I told you tha-that already… I… Umm… kkh—can’t… I can’t… I can’t… I can’t… Don’t? Nuh-nnnoo-noooo… No. I—W-well, as bruh-Broom so elo-eloq-eluh-eloquently put it, we are all still your fr-friends Pi—err… Gray.” He abruptly stopped there and nodded, as if he was satisfied with what he said. He mumbled something and laid back down.
There was a cold and uncomfortable silence after Starshine sat down. He glanced over at the pink mare who had yet to introduce herself and gestured for her to say something. She snorted and turned away, purposely staring at the wall instead of any of us.
Starshine whispered something to her and Doctor Jekyll grunted impatiently. He violently scribbled something down on his clipboard, his eyes flicking between the mare and his papers.
After about a minute, she swiveled around and reluctantly stood up, scowling all the while. The doctor coughed again and the mare sighed and began to speak, her voice cracking just a little bit. “My name is Marmalade. My friends call me Marm, but you,” Her eyes flicked over to me, fixing me in a stare. “You haven’t re-earned the right to call me a friend yet.” she finished with a growl.
Doctor Jekyll spoke up before anypony could say anything. “It seems like you have some deep-seated resentment for the decision that Pinkerton made, do you care to explain?”
She snorted, and tossed her mane with a flick of her head. “I mean… I—I’m just so concerned about him. He’s an idiot. He doesn’t seem to give much thought into his actions. He’s… so headstrong and brash, I just… worry… I…” She paused and took a deep breath, steadying herself. “And now, he can’t even remember anything… And… And I don’t even know if he’s the same pony I talked to three days ago! He went and threw his life away! He’s not the same…” Marmalade’s voice died in a whimper and she glanced at me. I couldn’t meet her gaze.
Doctor Jekyll coughed lightly and looked at me. “Do you have anything that you would like to say in response, Pinkerton?” His pen was scribbling away on his clipboard but he wasn’t even looking at it.
My eyes felt like lead weights as I forced them upwards to look at Marmalade. Her face was expressionless. “Well… I have nothing to justify my decision. I can’t remember anything, so I can only assume that I had a good reason to go through with the procedure. I mean…” I forced a smile and looked at the ground. “I don’t know if I can be Pink anymore. I have none of my memories—of his memories—other than these past two days. Everypony is expecting me to be Pink, but I don’t remember how, and I don’t remember him… All I know is that the one thing that sticks out in my mind is the name Gray and that just feels like it has to be my name. It’s the one thing I know. I can try to be Pink, but I don’t know if I can. I’d love to, I’d love to be the stallion that you all knew, but… but if I can’t, I think being Gray would be just as good… I don’t know… There’s just so much I don’t know…”
There was silence, but I hardly noticed it.
“…I’m sorry…” whispered Marmalade, “I didn’t mean any of what I said. I just… was so worried for you, I wasn’t thinking… I…” She yelled and hit herself in her head. “Argh! I always do this! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” She looked at me, the hurt clearly visible in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I really am…”
Doctor Jekyll’s monotone and sluggish voice broke the stillness. “It’s alright Marmalade, you didn’t do anything wrong… and neither did you Pinkerton.” He adjusted his tie and cleared his throat again, as though the matter was taken care of and Marmalade’s fit of anger was of no importance. “Now, as most of you are aware, we are missing the eighth member of our group today; Mister Gerald is currently detained in solitary following yesterday’s outburst during lunch, and should be out in three days.” He glanced at a small clock hanging on the wall behind him, “Now, since re-introducing ourselves took longer than expected, we won’t have enough time to each take a turn speaking. So, I believe we should begin to wrap up this session.”
It was a blustery autumn evening. The sky was overcast, and every few minutes, another leaf fluttered down from the trees to land on the cobblestone road below. A taxi carriage rattled by, the driver, wearing a scarf that trailed behind him, talked politely to his passengers. Hot breath fogged the window pane, obscuring the view outside.
“Pinkerton? Boy, do you hear me?” Doctor Jekyll snapped at me. I glanced at him, my eyes wide. “Boy, I asked you how you felt. You’ve had us waiting impatiently for a full minute now. That should be well enough time to collect your thoughts.”
“Oh, I… Uhh…” My eyes drifted over the other ponies, who were all watching me expectantly. “I feel fine, I suppose. I mean… as well as I could, given the circumstances… Like I said before, I’m still trying to come to terms with what is going on and who I am going to be… It’s…” I took a deep, shuddering breath. “I just don’t know.”
Doctor Jekyll nodded slightly. “Hmm… I suppose that’s well enough for now. I’m sure that you’ve been under enough duress these two days.” He peered around the room and stood up. “I doubt anypony here would object to ending a mite early. Just means you all have all the more free time before dinner.” He chuckled and gathered up his papers. “I’ll see you all in two days’ time.” And with those closing words, he was gone.
The rest of us stood up as the doctor abruptly exited and Marmalade immediately made a beeline over to me. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I really am.” She tentatively put a hoof around me, but then clasped me in a full-on hug. “I just… I just get so silly sometimes and I can get so angry. And it’s not just you. I—I get so concerned over everypony here. I have to take care of them, you see? They can get into so much trouble if I don’t keep an eye on them.” She giggled and led me towards the door, suddenly unexpectedly cheerful. “I have to keep all these ponies from getting hurt. I love them all so much. I just can’t bear to see them get into trouble. I can get a bit angry when they do stupid things… I’m sorry.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but my words died in my throat as Starshine walked over to us. “Mmm-Marm, come on, let’s g-go to the Rec…” He stopped as he noticed that the two of us were having a conversation. “Oo-oohh… S-sorry. I didn’t, well, I mean, I didn’t nuh-know you were talking…”
Marmalade smiled and tossed her golden hair back. “It’s fine Star. I was just apologizing again.”
We were out in the hallway again. The doctor had already wandered off and the guard that was outside the door when we had entered had vanished. Dreams was saying something to Broom, who was nodding intermittently.
Marmalade tapped me on the shoulder. I glanced back at her inquiringly. Realizing I hadn’t heard what she had said, she sighed and repeated herself. “I asked if you wanted to come with Star, Dreams, Broom and me to the Rec Room. We were thinking of playing some cards until dinner. You always liked that.”
“Well…” I hesitated and pawed at the ground. “I was thinking of maybe heading back to my room and resting. I… I have a lot to think about.”
Marmalade looked crestfallen. “Oh… Well you’ll have to have Dreams to bring you back. I guess we’ll hold off our card game ‘til the two of you can join in tomorrow or something.
“Yeah…” My eyes wandered back over to Dreams, who had finished her conversation with Broom and was walking back over.
“Did I hear I needed to escort somepony back to their room?” she asked.
“P—Gray want-ted to rest a bit before d-dinner.” explained Starshine, “I… Well, I don’t bl-blame him.”
Dreams gave me look like she was almost disappointed in me. “Alright,” she said, “I’ll take you. Come on Gray.” She turned and walked away.
Marmalade smiled at me, all remnants of her previous hatred gone. “Go on.” She shooed me away, literally pushing me down the hallway. “Go on after her. We’ll catch up tomorrow morning.”
With one last glance at the group of ponies that called themselves my friends, I followed after Dreams.
The two of us walked back to my room in silence, save for the noise of our hooves on the tile below.
My mind was abuzz with thoughts and fleeting memories that I could never quite remember. There was something so familiar about my friends, but it wasn’t the memories from my forgotten years in the asylum, it was something altogether different… I couldn’t place the feeling, but it felt as if I had known many of the ponies around the facility, almost as if they were from some previous life. But… that couldn’t be possible.
My mind was drawing a blank, just like it had been doing since I woke up. Why couldn’t I just have some normalcy?
What was normal anymore? Things had been abnormal ever since I had woken up. Everypony seemed to think I would just easily accept I had been living most of my life in an insane asylum, but that was a lot of information to digest and process.
Was this amnesia a curse or a blessing? Would I truly have been happier knowing and remembering all these ponies that considered themselves my friends, instead of being sane and forgetting everything?
What was I like before? What kind of pony was I that I would throw away most everything I knew and loved for the wild hope of fixing myself? Did that make me a bad pony? Did that mean I betrayed my friends?
A drawn-out, ragged scream broke the silence. I froze mid-step and looked around for its source. Dreams stumbled to a halt a few seconds later, noticing I was no longer beside her. “Pi… Gray, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“Can’t you hear that screaming? It’s… horrible. What-” I was cut off by a pounding from one of the doors a few meters down from us.
“Oh thank Celestia!” shouted a stallion’s voice from behind the door, “There’s somepony out there! Haha!” The pounding on the door intensified, as did the voice. “Oh please, get me out of here! I-I don’t know what’s going on! Help me, please, please… I…I… I don’t want to be in here anymore! It’s dark! I can’t see anything! So… S-s-so, so dark and cold! Please! I…” The stallion began sobbing loudly, his knocks on the door getting even harder. “PLEASE! Somepony! I heard you! P-please help! Oh, w-where the hell are you!? I heard you! I know I heard… didn’t I? I… Oh, I don’t know what’s going on! Ple—please! I’m so scared, I…I… They’re come-coming!! Oh! Oh, aaahh! I can feel them come out of the walls, se-eeping down to the floor, crawling into my eyes, whispering into my head. Whispering terrible things! And I can hear their pain! I- I… Oh... please don’t hurt me… Who is…? Where… I can't find my marbles...”
The voice broke off and all was quiet from behind the door. I looked at Dreams. “What just…?”
Dreams put a hoof over my shoulder and dragged me forward. “It’s alright Gray. He’s just… one of our more special patients. It’s—It’s fine. Forget about him” She smiled, but I could tell that it was forced. She was trying much too hard to gloss over what had just happened.
She let lose a nervous laugh and squared her shoulders and, undaunted, continued back to my room. I reluctantly followed her, watching as her entire body trembled as she walked.
She wasn’t fine.
I glanced back at the door, but couldn’t determine which one the voice came from.
There was one final, haunting scream from somewhere down the hall as I searched. The stallion clawed at the door for a few seconds and then fell silent. I shuddered and continued after Dreams, who kept walking without so much as a glance to make sure I was following.
Once again, we walked in silence, though it was much more strained than before. Dreams was trying her best to put on a brave face, and failing miserably, but my mind only had thoughts for that poor stallion.
Who was he? The poor soul was obviously one of the worse-off patients at the institute. Sure, I had already been here two days, and had already seen two or three complete mental breakdowns, but for the most part, most of the patients seemed sane enough.
But, aside from those incidents and some quirky behavior, if I hadn’t been informed that I was in an asylum, it might have taken me a long time to realize that most of the ponies around me were insane.
But in the case of the stallion behind the door, it was evident that he was not sane.
I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn’t notice when we stopped. Dreams brushed her tail against my withers, stopping me before I walked into her. “Well, here we are.” she said. The gray door we stopped in front of was the same as all the other ones. “I’ll come collect you when it’s time for dinner, alright?” continued Dreams as she opened the door to let me in. “Try to get some rest, Gray. You need it.” She smiled and closed the door.
“Wait!” I said. The door stopped, but didn’t reopen. Dreams didn’t say anything and the door obscured whatever expression she might have had. “Are you going to explain who that stallion back there was?” I finished.
Dreams took a deep, shaky breath. I could imagine her familiar smile plastered on her face as she thought of an answer. “What… stallion are you talking about, Gray?” Her voice oozed false sweetness. “You mean Doctor Jekyll, the one presiding over the group therapy? Don’t worry about him. He’s a little two-faced, but—”
I shut the door mid-sentence. I half-expected that she wasn’t going to give any information about the screaming pony we heard in the hall. She knew who I was talking about, but was hell-bent to ignore him, and any questions I had.
Just like my cutie mark.
I sighed and collapsed onto my bed.
I could figure everything out later.
I closed my eyes.
Based on “Vera” by Pink Floyd
Lyrics to “We’ll Meet Again” belong to Vera Lynn
The Wall, Pink Floyd, lyrics, and other events belong to Pink Floyd.
My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.