My name is Ryan.
I’m twelve years old.
And I’m currently on the run from a huge dragon who’s trying to eat me and my pony friends.
OK, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing running away from a dragon with a bunch of ponies that I consider my friends. Well, I’ll explain to you everything that happened, starting from that very day when she disappeared…
I was in class. As boring as it was, I had to go to class. My parents are paying tuition for this kind of private school, so I had to make the most out of my studies. However, today wasn’t an ordinary day. It was far from ordinary, so to say. It was simply extraordinary… wait, I’m getting off topic.
“Hey Ryan,” Someone called. I turned my gaze to my seatmate, Justin. Want a good description of him? He’s short, with styled brown hair that looks oddly like a certain beaver’s hairstyle, and a goofy smile that just shows that he’s a goofball. Oh, and he’s also my best friend. “What’s blue, and like books?”
I rolled my eyes. Another lame joke at my expense. “Me?”
“No!” Justin looked miffed for a moment before deflating. “Well, actually, yeah, it’s you… Hey, how’d you know?”
I sighed; Justin’s jokes were always about me. “Justin, I swear to God, you’ve got the most see-through jokes in the whole universe.” It was true; the last time he told a joke that wasn’t about me, the one it was about clocked him on the head with a watch. Heh, way to take it literally, right?
“Hey there brony, you’re taking it too far.” Justin joked, punching my shoulder.
I winced; there was still a bruise there from the last time he punched me. “Justin, you’ve gotta stop punching me there!”
“Geez, no need to get your sweater vest into a twist, brony.” Justin grumbled, settling back into his seat.
It was a joke of ours, calling each other bronies. There was this new Internet fad called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and there were a whole lot of people calling themselves bronies and pegasisters. I’m going to assume that the bronies are masculine while the pegasisters are feminine, but Justin says bronies apply to everyone. But I digress.
I sighed just as Miss Cheryl entered the classroom with… a new student? Immediately, all the boys – yes, including me – stopped whatever they were doing to look at who was trailing behind Miss Cheryl. She looked timid and shy, with wide, innocent midnight blue eyes, and curly… pink and blue hair?!
“Whoah.” Justin took one look at the girl and made a low whistle. “She’s got some nerve dyeing her hair that way. Principal Weeks doesn’t allow us to dye, right?”
“E-yup.” I nodded. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to change my hair color to blonde or something. That way people wouldn’t assume I’m some Asian nerd. No offense to Asians and all, but I hate it when people ask me questions about anime and assume that I know them just because I look like someone out of an anime! Urgh.
Miss Cheryl turned to us. “All right class, today we have a new student.” She gestured for the girl to step nearer, which she did, albeit a bit hesitantly. I could tell; her body language was shy and withdrawn. ”Please welcome Miss Miranda.”
Suddenly, I felt like time had stopped as she turned to look at everyone in the classroom, spending exactly five second looking at each face before focusing on mine. After all, I sat in the last row of the classroom, so it was no surprise she looked at me last. However, it was the innocence of the stare that made me melt.
She just looked so… childish… that I felt butterflies in my stomach as Miss Cheryl told her to sit next to Hannah, the bubbly blonde of the classroom, who was pretty naïve for her age. They’d make a perfect match.
“Miranda huh?” Justin whistled again. “A pretty name for a pretty face.”
Just for that statement, I clocked Justin on the head with my book.
I think a few days passed before I had managed to work up the courage to talk to her. By then, Justin had already figured out my little crush on her and had literally pushed me in her direction just to jumpstart things. Back then, I had been sweating my palms and I felt butterflies dancing around in my stomach.
When I first spoke to her, I nearly melted again when her voice replied to mine. Soft and childish, she spoke with a timid air around her, making me a bit more confident than usual, considering I was the school’s nerd slash karate champion.
I had spent time with her, and found out that she loved to draw. I learned that her hair was really pinkish blonde – I found blonde roots when I checked her hair – but she had decided to make it pink because blonde made her seem like a ditz – or so she said. Blue was just her favorite color so she put streaks.
From what I gathered about her parents, they openly agreed about her choice of dyeing her hair pink. But, they also openly disagreed about her choice of putting blue streaks in it. I couldn’t believe it, and I guess it must have shown on my face because she had giggled soon after.
“So, Miranda,” I asked as we headed towards our next class. “You say you’re a pegasister?”
Miranda nodded. I shouldn’t be surprised; all her notebooks were My Little Pony themed, heck, even her bag was My Little Pony themed. “I would very much like to be a unicorn in Equestria. How about you?”
“I’m not a brony.” I said, a bit stiffly.
“But, you and Justin refer to yourselves as bronies.” Oh great. I just realized that she heard us calling each other bronies as a joke. And Miranda did not like jokes like that. I mean, jokes about being a brony or pegasister. She takes those things too seriously, if you ask me. “Just tell me if you want to be a unicorn, a pegasus, or an Earth pony.”
I sighed. “Well, if I had to choose… I’d say pegasus. I would fly above everything and be pretty superior to the land-bound ponies…”
“Nice choice.” Miranda smiled timidly, and I felt the butterflies fluttering around again. Darn it! “We’re here now Ryan, talk to you later?”
I paused. “OK, Miranda. I’ll see you later.”
That happened eight days ago. Miranda went missing two days after our conversation, and everyone was worried. Heck, even Justin was worried, and that meant a bad thing. If the joker was worried enough not to make crack-ups about the situation, then it meant it was bad. Really bad.
In an attempt to cheer ourselves up, we decided to watch the very first episode of My Little Pony. It was our way of showing that we missed Miranda, who loved watching the show even if it bored us boys to death. We would whine and beg her not to ‘torture’ us with an episode, but she’d do so anyway, and we would groan and moan as she watched the whole episode.
“Let’s play ‘Where’s Derpy!’” Justin suggested. Derpy was a cross-eyed pony we’ve seen in various episodes and forums online. There was a game called Where’s Derpy, where you had to find her in the background and pause it just to make sure you saw her.
I sighed. “Whatever, Justin. Just play it.”
He played it, and for a few minutes, we focused on the TV screen, trying to find a gray pegasus pony with crossed eyes. Suddenly, Twilight Sparkle – the purple unicorn pony - stared at the screen, at us, which made a shiver run down my spine, even though I knew she was simply casting a spell at… at… er… something about a moon…
The light flashed, but it didn’t remain contained in the TV screen. Rather, it encompassed the entire room. However, as I turned to Justin, it looked like he didn’t notice as he tried to find Derpy. “Justin! The light!”
“What light?” Justin said in a determined tone. “You can’t distract me, Ryan! I’m looking for Derpy!”
I yelled, “Be serious, Justin! The light’s filling the whole room!” By that point, it was too bright for me to even see Justin. Suddenly, a shadow reached out for me in the whiteness, and I blacked out.
The whiteness faded away, as if nothing had happened to the room. “I FOUND DERPY!” Justin yelled triumphantly, jumping up and down on the sofa and pointing to the screen.”Ryan, guess what? I found Der-“ He turned to where his friend was supposedly sitting, but only found ashes. “-py?”
Ryan was gone.
"Is he alive?"
"I reckon he is, pardner. He's still breathin', ain't he, Fluttershy?"
"Y-yeah, he's still breathing..."
"Ugh..." I groaned, turning over and lying down on my stomach. Oww, that stung. Whatever happened to me, I don't care. All I care about is that my body's tired, and aching, and I don't want any company until I feel better and know what happened to me. I could've fallen off a cliff for all I cared.
"He's a pegasus!" Someone gasped. I blinked slowly, my surroundings fuzzy and colorful. The voice sounded like it came from a girl, and, judging from the five other gasps that echoed hers, the others were girls too. Great. Just what I always wanted. Six girls seeing me in this pathetic state.
One of the girls spoke in a soft voice, "Poor little colt. He's bruised everywhere."
"He looks awful." Another voice, this time refined and sophisticated, added, making me twitch. Me, awful? OK, sure, I've got bruises everywhere, but I've got my pride.
I flipped around, saying, "Hey, I'll have you know that I'm not that-" I fell silent, staring into six pairs of eyes that belonged to six... ponies. Six freaking ponies that looked like they came out of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show.
One of them, an orange Earth pony - I have yet to see any wings or horns on her - with bright green eyes asked me, "Hey there, li'l colt. Are you OK?"
"...?!" I didn't answer, terrified. I must be dreaming. I must be dreaming. She looked and sounded exactly like Applejack from the show.
"Oh, the poor dear's terrified out of his wits." I looked at the white unicorn standing beside the Applejack lookalike. Heck, I really must be dreaming. She looked and sounded exactly like Rarity, the prissy white unicorn who was supposedly the Element of 'Generosity'. "Twilight, care to check him?"
I punched myself in the stomach. Nope, I wasn't dreaming. The purple unicorn standing in front of me really was Twilight Sparkle, who lifted me up with her magic. I'm not kidding. I was literally rendered useless as Twilight flipped me around and around while checking everything.
"I think I'm gonna be sick." I mumbled, covering my mouth with my... hooves?! "WHAT THE HECK, HOOVES?!"
A yellow pegasus - oh God, I think that's Fluttershy - shrank behind a blue pegasus - RAINBOW DASH?! - as Twilight dropped me onto the grass, "OWW!" I yelled, rubbing my side as Twilight smiled sheepishly. "What the heck was that for?"
"Sorry. Your shout startled me." Twilight apologized, holding out a hoof. "My name's Twilight Sparkle, and you are?"
I paused, unsure how to answer. If I told Twilight my real name, then it would be really weird, a pony named Ryan. But if I made up a pony name, it would take a long time before I got used to the name. Huh... I stood up shakily before collapsing again.
"Whoah there, colt!" The pony who I'm going to assume is Applejack raised me up again. No, I didn't die, dammit. "Ya better be careful; make a wrong move and you'll break yer wings."
Wings? I twisted around, and sure enough, I saw blue feathered wings folded up behind me. "Are... you... KIDDING... ME?! Ryan, you had better be dreaming or else you'll get a boot to the head..."
"Your name's Ryan?" Rainbow Dash said skeptically. "Weird name for a pony."
I turned to her, stumbling slightly on my new hooves. Dear God, I will never get used to walking around on all fours like this. "That's just it, everybody. I'm not a pony, I'm a human."
"A human?' Twilight's gaze grew dark and thoughtful. "Humans are supposedly a myth, but if you're named Ryan..."
"And ya can't walk on all fours properly..." Applejack continued.
"Then that means you really are a human." Rarity finished with a flourish.
A pink Earth pony giggled, and I got the impression that this was Miss Pinkamena Diane Pie. "Yeah, plus, I haven't seen you before in town, and I saw a bright light a while ago, so I thought, Hey, we should have a light show party! Then I called everypony you see here and told them we're having a light show party, then we came here, and saw you falling out of the sky with a bright white light that surely came from another dimension!"
"... Eh?" I stared at Pinkie Pie, as did everyone else. "Is she always like this?"
Rainbow Dash groaned. "You don't know the half of it. There was this one time, we went to a genderswapped dimension, and Pinkie got together with her genderswap, Bubble Berry... or was it Berry Bubble? Then, they started planning the biggest party of the likes Equestria has ever seen!"
"Heh..." I knew that story. I encountered it in Fanfiction.net after looking for good stories. I didn't assume that fanfiction extended towards the actual Equestria world. "So, yeah... my name's Ryan... but that's not a good pony name, is it?"
Applejack shook her head. "Ah'm afraid not, sugarcube. But maybe we can think up a name for ya. Y'know, like you're goin' undercover."
"Like the Mares In Black!" Rainbow said, striking a pose.
Rarity rolled her eyes. "Oh ponyfeathers, you never got over that, did you?"
"Since when were you Big Macintosh?"
"OK girls," Twilight raised a hoof to silence everyone. "I've got a good name for Ryan over here. What do you think of the name Night Wish?"
I shrugged. "Sounds good to me. Night Wish. Heh, sounds like I go out of my house at night to wish upon the sta- hey wait, that's not far from true." It was true; I frequently went to my bedroom window to wish upon the stars during the night. "Yeah, just call me Night Wish, the..." I glanced at myself. A blue pegasus colt with... a black mane and tail with white streaks. If I recall correctly, my hair was slicked back, and it wasn't that long. Rather, it ended right under my head and just above my neck.
"OK then, Night Wish. Let me restart the introductions." Twilight Sparkle waved her hoof around as she mentioned names to me. "I'm Twilight Sparkle, and this is Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity."
I bowed my head; well, what else could I do. "I'm Ryan, but from this moment on, I am going to be called Night Wish. Er, just how old are you guys?"
"Around fifteen or so, why?" Pinkie Pie answered, giggling into her hoof. I got the distinct feeling in my gut that she was planning something, but what?
I paled. "Er, yeaah... you're fifteen... and I'm twelve... so where do I go?"
"Um, you could stay with me, darling." Rarity suggested, her horn glowing and lifting a measuring tape out of a bag I hadn't noticed before. "But I simply must take your measurements! Your body is simply perfect for my new designs!"
At that statement, I felt my cheeks flare up. "W-what?!" I felt embarrassed by the statement; it reminded me that I wasn't wearing clothes at all, but they didn't seem to wear clothes at all, so I guess it didn't matter.
"Strange. No wingboner from that statement." Rainbow muttered, scuffing the soil.
"A whatoner?" I asked skeptically.
Fluttershy nudged Rainbow onto her side. "R-Rainbow Dash... he's just a c-colt..."
"Heh. Leave it to Rainbow to think about wingboners at a time like this." Twilight joked. I didn't get it at all, sorry. But if you did, please don't tell me. I'm getting the sinking feeling that it's a mature thing to talk about for a pony my age... oh crud, did I just call myself a pony?! No, Dark Wi- Ryan, you'rea human. A human being with a human family. Not a stray pegasus pony surrounded by ponies.
Oh God, how will I survive being a pony? How will Justin survive without anyone to joke with?!
"Not again!" I groaned, my head spinning.
Applejack sighed as Pinkie bounced on ahead, claiming to be needed somewhere... "Night Wish, you bumped into somethin' again?"
"Who can blame me?" I straightened myself up - I still wasn't used to walking on all fours - before sighing and looking up. "I wish this was just a dream, but it isn't! I really am in a different world!" By this I lowered my voice. "A world that belongs in a cartoon..."
Twilight looked at me curiously. "Interdimensional travel is quite rare in occurrence, Night Wish, but not impossible. If it helps, I'll send a letter to Princess Celestia regarding your return home." She paused, thinking about it, before adding, "That is, as a human..."
"Er..." I looked down at my hooves. "Maybe... not yet."
Judging from her expression, I'm guessing Twilight looked as baffled as I was. "Why not?"
"Er, I was thinking..." If I had opposable thumbs at the moment, I'd be twiddling them by now. So instead, I pawed at the pavement. For a town filled with horses, this place had pretty good architecture. I should probably try and draw these... "... maybe I could stay and... er, explore... your town?"
Rainbow looked down from the cloud she was riding. "Yeah! You could stay and I could teach you how to use your wings for racing!"
"How about just ordinary flying, Rainbow Dash?" Fluttershy asked quietly, walking alongside Rarity.
"Flying, schmying, he'll learn if he stays!" Rainbow shrugged before turning to Twilight with pleading eyes. "Pleaaase, Twilight, can Night Wish stay? PLEAAASE?"
Twilight continued to look baffled as Rarity added, "I need a colt for my newest fashion line, and he's just perfect, Twilight! Oh please, don't write a letter to Celestia regarding his return!"
"I'll still have to write a letter though." Twilight replied, staring at me, a calculating look on her face. I felt unnerved just looking at her. "But I'll just tell her that you're a human who came as a pony who wants to explore Ponyville..."
Applejack smiled. "Sugarcube, I believe you jus' got permitted ta stay in Ponyville!"
"...?!" I couldn't help it. Everyone was smiling, and heaven knows how much I smile when everyone else is smiling, so I smiled as well before we continued on to our... destination? I don't know where we're going, honestly, so sorry. "Er, where are we going, exactly?"
Rarity answered with a flourish, "Why, to Carousel Boutique, my dear! My humble abode, so to say, and soon to also be your temporary home away from home!"
"Gee, that's uh..." I suddenly regretted accepting her offer to stay with her for the time being. If the shows were anything like here, then that meant Rarity would be super generous and give me lots of clothes to wear even if nopony wears mu- wait a minute, did I just say nopony?! I facepalmed - er, facehoofed - making the others look at me strangely. "... that's nice, Rarity." I finished lamely. What else could I say?
Rarity paused beside a tall gazebo-like building. "We're here, darling! Come inside and make yourself at home while I go out with the others!"
"You mean... you're leaving me alone here? In your house?" I looked baffled. Absolutely baffled. "Me, a pony you just met, alone in your house?"
The unicorn smiled, and I won't deny that it was heartwarming. "Opalescence, my cat, is inside too, so she'll know if you do anything... uncouth, so to speak. Oh yes, and if you decide to go out, just place a sign up that says, 'Out to Lunch'. You can find it inside."
"Wow." She really was leaving me alone in her house, even if I was just someone she met! "Er, Rarity, thanks. Thanks a lot..."
Rarity waved her hoof in a dismissive manner. "Don't you worry dear. The moment I come back home I will shower you with attention! I'm truly sorry I can't be with you now, but the least I can do is let you stay here for the time being. Remember that, alright?"
"OK." I smiled as the others waved goodbye before heading who knows where. I turned to the Carousel Boutique, gulping, before pushing open the door, going inside... and getting hit by a flying gemstone square in the face. I tumbled backwards, accidentally slamming the door as I rolled.
A gentle-sounding voice said, "Scootaloo, I think you just hit someone with that emerald!"
"Oh please, no one's here except us and Opalescence!" Another voice, this time a bit tomboyish, replied. "Now get busy! We'll get our cutie marks in no time if we manage to help Pinkie!"
I blinked as the other voice replied with an accent similar to Applejack's. "Y'all don't realize that it's kinda hard ta decorate like this, do ya? Ow, Sweetie Bell, ya stepped on mah tail!"
"Uh, hello?" I ventured, standing up shakily before walking over. I will never get used to walking on all fours if everything makes me fall down. "Is anyone there?"
Silence answered me as I continued on, looking at my surroundings. Rarity's house-slash-boutique was pretty beautiful, and the decorations were just like the ones back at home, except that our house didn't have gems in every corner like Rarity's. I could identify emeralds, rubies, sapphires, even diamonds in this room. A pony mannequin - hey, wouldn't it be called a ponyquin, or a ponykin? - stood in a corner, wearing a very detailed ballgown dotted with lots of black gemstones that I think are called onyxes.
As I passed a door, it creaked slightly. I froze, looking back at it, before walking on, muttering, "Geez, this place is creepy if you're alo-!"
By that point, I had been ambushed, attacked from behind, assaulted with my back turned, oh, you get the drill. Somepony - oh God, not again with the pony suffixes! - wrapped a cloth in front of my eyes and stuffed something into my mouth before dragging me somewhere. Just when I was about to shout, the gag was removed and the cloth in front of my eyes detached, revealing a bright light that made me close my eyes.
"Who's he?" The tomboyish voice was here. I opened one eye to see an orange pegasus, er, filly, if that's what you called girls here, a whiteish-gray unicorn filly, and a yellow Earth pony filly staring at me. The pegasus spoke, and I realized that the tomboyish voice belonged to her. "Sweetie Bell, do you know him?"
The unicorn spoke next in the gentle voice I heard earlier. "Not really. I've never seen him in Miss Cheerilee's class. Apple Bloom?"
"Nnnope." Apple Bloom sounded a lot like Applejack. Huh. They must be related somehow. "Say there, colt, who are ya?"
I sat up before falling back down. Curses! I forgot that I was a pony, and ponies don't sit up like humans! Cursing under my breath, I stood up, wobbling shakily, before replying, "I'm Rya- Night Wish. You are?"
"I'm Scootaloo, and this is Sweetie Bell and Apple Bloom!" The pegasus introduced, pointing to her friends. I cocked my head. Scootaloo looked a lot like Rainbow Dash, down to the hairstyle! "We're the Cutie Mark Crusaders!"
I blinked. "The whaaaaat?"
"The Cutie Mark Crusaders!" Sweetie Bell smiled, and I suddenly envisioned a younger version of Rarity with purple and pink hair and more curls. "We're a secret society trying to get our cutie marks like everyone else!"
I blinked. Again. "Your what now?"
"Our cutie marks!" Apple Bloom nodded. "Y'know, the symbols on our flanks... hey, yer a blank flank too!"
I couldn't help it. I was so out of it, so I blinked once more. "A what?"
"A blank flank, dummy!" Scootaloo pointed to somewhere near my tail. I craned my head towards it, and at first, I didn't get it. Then, I remembered that Rarity, Twilight and everyone else had something on their flank, something that looked really random at first before I remembered its purpose in the show.
I exclaimed, "Ooooh! Now I remember! Blank flanks are for ponies who don't have their cutie marks in the show!"
"Show?" The three Crusaders echoed, staring at me.
I felt my ears grow hot as I mumbled, "Nothing... so what were you three doing here?"
"We're- mmph!" Sweetie Bell was about to say something, but Scootaloo and Apple Bloom had stuffed the unicorn's hooves into her mouth before smiling widely. I narrowed my eyes, suspicious, as Scootaloo babbled, "Er, we're just, y'know... er, making dresses and stuff!"
"Yeah!" Apple Bloom nodded quickly. "Ain't anythin' ta worry about Night Wish."
If I were human, I would've crossed my arms. "Oh really? Then I guess I'll just go and check out your works of art then." I started walking out of the room - it looked a lot like a spare bedroom - while the other three Crusaders started protesting, holding me back by my tail. I struggled, and, judging from the time that passed, I took about one step per minute with them holding me back. My estimate was that I took fifty something steps to the room they were in - I could tell they were there a while ago, because there were a lot of gems and banners scattered around - before I pushed it open.
"SURPRISE!!!" I tumbled backwards, again, as lots of ponies inside a room that could probably hold my class back home and double it cheered. In the middle was a cake - how the hell? - and a punch bowl and other things, and can you guess who was there in the middle?
Yep, Pinkie Pie. I knew she was planning something.