I heard nothing but those faint words. It was dark, cold, and still. I then realized that my eyes were shut. I opened them to find myself in the strangest of all positions. "I'm underwater", I thought to myself. I then felt something, a sort of pull or tug. It seemed like I was falling. Oddly enough though, I wasn't panicking.
I looked towards the direction of my fall when I realized something must be wrong. It was getting brighter the farther and further I fell, I was falling upwards? Again, I didn't panic or even question it. As I fell closer to the surface I could feel myself falling faster and faster. As I broke through the waves it seemed as though that very moment was suspended in time, like everything stood still.
When I woke to reality I wasn't too thrilled to realize I had fallen from my bed, or that the fall really hurt. "Well, it's way more effective than an alarm clock." I got to my hooves and began my daily routine. I did about one hundred pushups, took a quick shower, brushed my teeth, and put on one of my many ties. I always wore a tie, I figured everyday there's a possibility I might die today so I want to look presentable. Before I went out the door of my tiny apartment, I grabbed my saddle bag and walked out. "Another day......whohoo", I said sarcastically as I soon stoped by my mailbox. I wasn't alone for much longer, as a grey pegasus wearing a brown shoulder bag full of letter came flying to my position. "Right on time Ditzy", I said as she stopped in front of me. "Hi slippy", she practically yelled. I didn't mind though, in fact it was kind of funny.
"Headin to work Slip?"
"Yeah, at least today is Thursday. Anyway how's your day been?"
"Uhhh busy, I have so so so SO many letters to deliver, Not to mention I have to go to Dinkys' school today. She got the lead role in the school play!"
"That is so cool, tell her I said congratulations."
"Hey that reminds me, Dinky's been struggling in english since we stopped your sessions. Do you think you could possibly help her, you helped her get from a C to an A last year, your the only one that knows how to help her."
"You know what, I'm available on Monday's now so sure I'd love to tutor her again.
"Oh thank you thank you thank you! She's going to be so excited to hear that. We've missed you so much. Oh oh oh that means I need to make you an extra special muffin!!"
"Thanks Ditzy, well I don't want to be late so adios."
"Oky dokey, bye slippy."
After my conversation with with the mail mare i continued down my daily path. My path was soon surrounded by apple trees. "Yep, I'm on the right path", I said to myself.
I jumped up into the air and just hovered for a moment to look at the stallion who scare, I uh... mean, startled me. " Oh, it's just you Big Mac. Hope I didn't startle you to with my outburst."
"OH, well that's good. Anyway I have to go tell Granny I'm here but I'll catch up with you later, is that cool?"
Ok I'll just say it, that just kills me, the pony needs only those two words to survive in the world. I continued to make my way closer to the barn when I took a wiff of the air. That sweet sweet apple scent engulfing me to just smile. Out of the two jobs I had this was probably the most enjoyable. Not that I don't enjoy tutoring it's just there are so many reasons to love this job. I got this job not too long ago actually. It all started when my friend Ms. Cherilee asked me for my help. She had a student who was struggling with her homework and said that she couldn't ask her siblings or her grandma for help because they were too busy working out in the fields. Ms. Cherilee knew that I never let kids or their parents down when it came to helping them so I decided to meet her. Applebloom was her name, let me tell ya she is the most adorable filly I have ever met. She is kind, full of energy, and is really smart too, she just needs a little help with understanding certain things. We became really close friends. Somehow, she figured out that being only a tutor wasn't getting me a lot money so she talked about it with Granny Smith. I found this out the day they asked me if I wanted a job here. She told me they could only pay me what they could when they could but I didn't care. I still thank them to this day for allowing me to work here.
Another reason I like working here is because of another certain mare. That mare is Applejack. It wasn't like the typical love at first sight kinda thing, it was a way deeper feeling I had for her. Ever since we started working together we'd spend hours just talking. Whether it was work time or free time we would always be talking together. In all honesty, I like everything about her, the headstrong personality, the silly way she pretends to ignore me by fake-snoring, her athleticism, that undeniably cool hat, those cute freckles, those beautiful green eyes, and that adorable accent.
I was flying above the tree line when I saw her. From the looks of it, she was trying to carry some really heavy looking barrels so I did a quick barrel roll to try to impress her and swooped and just hoveredt in front of her.
"Hey there purty boy, fancy flyin up there!"
"Thanks AJ, thought I'd drop in and help you carry those barrels."
"That's mighty kinda of you but I'm fine."
"You sure about that?"
"I assure you, I am more than capable of...wow wowo Yipes!!!!"
All the barrels fell off her back. You could see her begin to blush as she tried to look calm after the accident. Amazing, she didn't even have to try to look cute the whole time.
"Still want to do it alone?"
"If you'd be so kind, I wouldn't mind a little help."
"Anything you say AJ."
I helped her carry the barrels over to the barn where Granny was inspecting each of the apples from similar barrels to ours. When she saw AJ she gave a her that concerned look she gives to someone when something's wrong.
"You're ten minutes late AJ, what happened?"
"Sorry Granny, I dropped some of the barrels on the way over. Slip saw and helped me get them barrels over here. Aint that right Sugarcube?"
I wasn't quite paying attention to the conversation, more like I was staring at AJ again. I don't mean to be rude or creepy and stuff, I just sort of can't help it sometimes.
"Wha....oh sorry, I was just..." I tried to make up something on the spot. I couldn't. Then AJ spoke up."Hey Slip, why don'tch ya help me out and walk with me to the south field?"
"Uhh yeah sure. No problem." I was so glad she said that. I just couldn't stand those kinds of moments. The kind of moment when you and somepony have absolutely nothing to say to each other. It was just too awkward for comfort.
"Hey Slip, can I talk to you? It's kinda serious."
I knew not to take this lightly. When Applejack was serious, there was no joking it was of the utmost importance.
"Yeah AJ, what's up."
"Earlier this month, you asked me if I was busy and if I wanted to go do something with you."
At this point her cheeks were a bright glowing red, so were mine. Yeah, I tried asking her out once or twice, it could have gone better. She didn't flat out reject me, she said she was really busy and was sorry. Why would she bring this up though?
She chuckled,"Well, ya think that you'd still like to do something. This season's almost over and I'ma have myself a lot'a free time."
I couldn't believe it. She was asking me out! I stood there frozen, mentally gasping out for air. I didn't know what to say, so I just said,"Yes!! Of course!" Real smooth ace.
"Great, so have any place in mind."
No, absolutely not. Up to this point I never thought I'd actually get that date. I've actually never been on a date before and never knew what would be a good place for one. There was that one thing though.....
"How about a picnic near the park?"
"Why that sounds lovely Slip. I'd love that". The whole time my cheeks were blazing red. Seeing AJs' do the same relaxed me a bit though. The rest of my day I spent continuing to help AJ buck trees and later moved to help Big Mac take down old dead ones. It was time to go pick up Applebloom, just like on every Thursday. As soon as she saw me charged at me and gave me a terrific headlock which she claims to be a hug."Ready to go?"
"Can you fly me there, oh please please please please?"
"Well..oh alright. Get on."
She absolutely loved flying with me. The whole time we were up there she kept on screaming YAHOOOOOO! I brought her home in style, pegasus style. After our session I was invited to stay for dinner so I did. Oh sweat Celestia Granny Smith can cook, that apple pie with hay bacon strips hit the spot. After dinner I said goodbye to the Apples and headed home. The entire time with a big grin on my face. I just couldn't believe it, AJ wants to go out with me. As soon as I got home i headed straight to sleep on the bed, yet found myself lying on the floor. It didn't matter though, I just wanted to sleep. Besides, the floor was actually quite comfy. In my mind I kept thinking that nothing could possibly go wrong. I had no idea.
I awoke the next morning from the same dream. However, this time it was a bit .......different. This time, the voice was greatly different. It was no longer mine, but Applejacks' instead. Maybe I would seem indifferent about the change, but I could've sworn that AJ sounded like she was crying when she told me to wake up. What was that all about? Was this a sign? More importantly, why was I getting the feeling?
This feeling of mine is actually quite strange. At first it seems like it's just my anxiety was acting up, but it just gets worse. I can never explain why this happens, but whenever I get this feeling, something usually goes bad. I've had this ability, if you want to call it that, ever since I was a little colt. With this ability came certain disabilities too. My therapist tells me that despite my calm disposition, I have extremely high levels of anxiety. I always sort of knew this. I was never really the sociable pony to begin with. Another disability I had was that I was uneasy about doing anything new or different from my daily routine. I just don't like to venture too far into the unknown. But, of all the cons with my personality, none are as embarrassing as my last. I am afraid of heights. I'm not like completely terrified, I'm still able to fly pretty well it's just that after a certain height I begin to panic. I'll look in the mirror each day with dissapointment, how the hay can a pegasus be afraid of heights?!
All these things are actually one of the many reasons I really like AJ. She's kind, generous, and selfless but at the same time could kick anyponys' flank. She was tough, fearless, and a real athlete. Out of six, she was a bearer of the elements of Harmony. She represents the element of Honesty for crying out loud, so I'm pretty sure lying isn't her thing. It seems almost weekly that she and her friends go on cool adventures and journeys. She could spit danger in the eye, while I'm a freakin' pegasus who's afraid of heights.
With all my fears I gave up my dreams of ever becoming what I really wanted to be, a Wonderbolt. I never told anyone but Applejack this. She told me to cheer up and that I could still overcome it and be what I really want to be. I believed her, but barely. The truth was that she didn't fear, she just didn't know fear Like I did.
"Oh come on snap out of it! You can't let anything stand in your way. There is nothing to worry about, it's just another day." I convinced myself this and began my routine. After I put on my tie I grabbed my saddlebag and bolted out the door. I went outside and noticed that there was no sky. Instead it was replaced by black and swirling clouds. I wondered if the weather ponies were off duty today. I waited by the mailbox, waiting to greet the kind and bubbly mail mare. A few minutes had passed and there was no Ditzy.
"Odd, she's usually here by now", I said aloud. I didn't want to be late so I just left and continued my daily routine. I was near sugarcube corner when I noticed something. There was nopony around. I just knew that something was wrong because I don't pass by Sugar Cube Corner without ever hearing that somewhat annoying mare that lives with Mr. and Mrs. Cake. What was her name again? Pinkie, that's right, AJ introduced me to her. She kept trying to feed me some kind of cupcake in an attempt to get me to socialize with everyone. I swear if it weren't for AJ coming to rescue me from the torture that is Pinkie, I would've taken that cupcake and shoved it right up her....BLAM!!!!
"Oww, what the hay!" I was lying face first on the ground. I was shocked to discover who the culprit was. "Ditzy! What in the name of Celestia are you doing?" She didn't respond, instead she merely glanced at me with a look of rage in her eyes.....or eye..well, whatever. With that much tension in her eyes, and considering my current position, this could only mean one thing.
"Ditzy, I'm sorry! Alright I'm sorry! I shouldn't have eaten that muffin! I'm sorry, I had just gotten back from my first job and hadn't had anything to eat that entire day! I didn't know you'd be this upset, but I'm sorry!"
"Shut up!", and with that I was greeted with a nice and welcoming hoof to the face. After the blow I had that metallic taste on my tongue so i just spat it all out. Something wasn't right here. The Ditzy I knew would never resolve to violence. Still lying on the floor with the enraged mail mare on top of me, I awkwardly turned my head around to see what was happening. I saw two other ponies close by staring at me. I knew their names, Lyra and Bonbon, I think. They were walking towards us slowly. The unicorns' horn began to glow. From the looks of it, Lyra was about to use some sort of spell on me, but there was no way of telling which one she had in mind.
"What're you gonna do? Kill me?" I tried to sound as tough as I could but it wasn't easy. Underneath I was shaking like a chiwauwa.
"We're not going to kill you, we're just going to shut you up for a while." They chuckled while saying so. I had to find a way out. This was it. It was either do, or die trying. With all my strength, I expanded my wings to their full span, knocking Ditzy off my back and into the approaching unicorn. I quickly got to my hooves and stood there ready to fly away, but I didn't do it just yet. I don't know why but I yelled,"Why are you doing this?" What I got for a response truly shocked me. In a quick flash their bodies somehow changed into..mine!
"Why are you doing this?", they mimicked. I knew these creatures. They were changelings! Never in my life have I seen a changeling, until now. What were they doing in Ponyville? Worry about that later, I gotta get out of here, I told myself. Without further thinking I took off straight into the air. I didn't want to go too high tough, if they were following me I'd be able to loose them in the streets. I zoomed past stores and boutiques hoping to outrun them. I looked behind me and didn't see any sign of them. Since the coast was clear I went a little higher and was able to find a nice resting spot on tree's branches. Alright it was time think. What am I going to do? Where am I going to go? All these thoughts were buzzing in the back of my brain, I just couldn't handle it. I was beginning to hyprovetilate due to the amount of adrenaline rushing through my body. Fortunately I was able to calm down quick enough before I began completely loosing it.
"Alright think Slip, think. Where can I go that's safe. Can't go back home, no way am I going to risk bumping into those guys again.' With my options running out, I was left with no choice. I had to get sweet Apple Acres. Chances are AJ's still there. If she is and doesn't know what's going on, I had to warn her and her family.
If only I knew what would've happened, I would've never have gone there.
"Alright, time to move." I began to fly again in order to reach the farm faster. I had no intention of staying in that tree any longer. Didn't want to draw attention so I flew slow enough so my wings wouldn't make any noise when they flapped. I glided through the sky, but not too high. Ok, so I was afraid, but if I went any higher they would be able to spot me. I continued flying my way to the farm when I realized that everyone really had disapeared. Something was definately not right, and the changeling's presence wasn't any coincidence either.
If I had been paying attention and not so wrapped up in my thoughts, I would've noticed that I was flying straight into a wall. I felt the hard bricks slam against my thick skull. It was actually quite loud, to my surprise, which was the last thing I needed right now. As soon as I got back to my hooves I saw the my three imposters flying towards me at great speeds."Ahh buck it! Screw stealth", I said aloud. With that I got a running start and leaped into the air, wings flapping with all my strength.
I was at a good distance between them when I felt a warm beam rush past me. I quickly looked over my shoulder to find more changelings chasing me and that the ones that weren't impersonating me were firing some sort of magic beam at me."Oh well that's just perfect!", if it wasn't one thing it was another. Bzzzap Bzzap. They kept firing at me while I desperately tried to dodge their lasers. I had to do something to try to get em off off my tail. While I kept dodging, I reached into my saddlebag. There had to be something in here; dental floss from Colgate, ipod, pencils and pens, an eraser annnnd AHA!! Here we go!
I looked over my shoulder once more to see one of my persuers gaining. "Alright, here goes nothing." I remembered once when AJ and I were talking she told me about her friend Rainbow Dash and some of the tricks she performs. I had heard about her and got to witness her perform once or twice, but there was a couple of moves and one in particular that I'd always wanted to try. I continued flying yet stopped maneuvering so I was flying in a steady line. The changeling got closer and closer untill...FWOOSH! I had expanded my wings at their full span, causing me to greatly drop my speed in a second. The changeling wizzed past me and now I was on his tail. I steadied my aim, focused just a little bit, and threw it! Blam! Applesauce all across his face.
Then it hit me...did I really just do that? Did I really think I was going to stop a changeling by throwing an apple? Words can not express how much of an idiot I felt like. But this was no time for pity, I had to loose them somehow. The lead changeling still had applesauce all over his face so he was still blinded, at least temporarily. With the others hot on my tail, I had no other choice. You have to understand, as a pegasus,whether we like it or not flying is just part of us. Ever since we were little every pegasus dreams of being fantastic fliers, so much so that we even start practicing made-up tricks of our own. I had a couple myself that I practiced when I was just a little colt, one in particular however I had practiced for the longest. Yet after an incident involving that trick I stopped practicing and grew an enormous fear of heights afterwords. If only I had more time to perfect it. No matter, if I had any hope of loosing them I had to do it.
I took a deep and heavy breath, and then began to dive a little bit. I wasn't too far from the ground but that was all right, it would work, I hope. I outstretched my bottom legs and bent them slightly as I felt the ground. Bending a little farther, I flapped my wings as hard as I could towards the ground, giving a huge bounce to my momentum when I originally hit the floor. I sky rocketed upwards as I angled myself more and more vertically. I could feel it, the adrenaline running through my body. The clouds began to whizz past me. I was moving closer and closer to going super sonic. I immediately began to feel one or two tears running across my cheeck. I was scared, so much so that I was afraid I might have a panic attack in mid air which could be fatal. Everything began to blur, and I began to feel light-headed. The entire time I was just praying in the back of my mind, begging for some higher being to let me live through this. This was it, I had reached the climax. Still accelerating, I angled myself just right, and let go. I stopped my acceleration in the middle of a back flip, causing me to spiral out of control. As I flipped without end I began descending back towards the surface. By this point I had blacked out due to the lack of oxygen up there, and my fear was just so great I fainted. As soon as I felt the wind rush past my mane however, I awoke. I realized what I had just done and began to freak out. Trying to regain control I flapped my wings. It was pointless however because I was falling at such great speeds and hadn't yet reached terminal velocity."Come on Come on!" I couldn't do anything. I was stuck flipping in mid air like some kinda rag doll. The ground got closer, I could see I was right over Sweet Apple Acres. At the very least, I had made it to work just fifteen minutes late. The trees were becoming more and more distinguishable as I got closer. Finally, my prayers had been answered when I reached terminal velocity and was able to use my wings. Because of the massive amount of speed I'd collected I would only be able to control the direction of which I came tumbling to the ground. Expanding my wings to their maximum I desperately tried to slow down and find a soft spot among the trees. I couldn't do much though, I was just coming in way too fast.
"Aww man this is gonna hurt! AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHH!"