What friendship could be...
Three and a half feet tall. Seven feet long. Three feet wide. Thirty-two boards. One hundred and twenty-eight nails. Destination: anywhere. Return address: unknown. This crate, ordinary in every aspect except it’s origin and contents, sits on a track near small-town Silt, Colorado. Waiting to be found.
"But it doesn't make sense!" Joe cried out as we walked down the railroad tracks. Joe always had a way of overcomplicating things.
"Yes it does Joe, just let it go."
"It can't be!"
"Joe, it can be, and it is. Let it go."
"Joe! Yes it can." Tyler always was the voice of reason in our little trio of friends. I, myself struggled with every fiber of my being to not contradict both of them, for the sake of watching those two fight back. But with Ty’s finishing words, Joe gave up the argument for good. To be honest, I think we all had forgotten what it was about in the first place. I wiped the sweat off my forehead as I looked around and enjoyed the scenery. That blazing hot morning, the three of us found ourselves on a railroad track. It was just outside the small town of Silt, near the Colorado River. Most people wouldn’t think much of an old set of tracks outside a small town, but it was our little group’s favorite place to hang out.
My good friend Ty, the unspoken leader of our group, had an odd hobby of collecting railroad spikes and forging them into small knives. I would never understand why he did this, but he did. The man liked to kill things, and I liked to help people. I guess it was kind of like Batman and Robin, if Batman was a psychopath, and Robin didn't know what the hell he was doing.
I mustn't forget about Joe in all this. He was the one who completed our little "island of misfit toys". With Joe there, we always had something to debate about. And so, that's exactly what we did. Debated. And we liked it that way. He was always hyper and happy, and honestly, we just loved picking on him.
The three of us walked in silence hoping one of us would break the silence with some astounding piece of information. I, being the hopeless romantic that I am, always hoped that one of them would just confess their love for one of the girls in our class. (We all went to the same school) I’m not sure how that would ever fit in a normal day’s conversation, but I did. However, when I just wanted to fill some time I would start rambling on about some movie they had never seen or heard about. I very much prided myself in being a movie geek.
I think Ty was always hoping he would find a scorpion or some venomous arachnid to add to his “collection”. Not only did Tyler have (practically) a whole medieval armory in his basement, but all of his swords and knives he would buy (or make) would be dipped in venom. All of his venom he extracted himself as well. He had a pet scorpion that he would poke at and play chicken with just to extract the venom from it. Creepy stuff.
And then Joe… Joe, Joe, Joe… I never did quite understand how Joe’s mind works. It’s difficult to explain. So I think the best way to demonstrate it is by giving a couple examples.
EXAMPLE 1. Joe loves to play chess… but Joe doesn’t like to use strategy so he just moves his pieces to random spots.
EXAMPLE 2. He speaks quite formally at times… and then five minutes later he is insisting he’s insane whilst laughing maniacally.
Joe was odd. But we all had our little quirks about us that made us the “Three Muska-NERDs” that we were, and are, and always will be…
It was nice. Just hanging out with my friends, not really worried about anything. Just walking the tracks, and also keeping a look-out for good spikes. Or any other piece of metal I could forge into a weapon. I hated doing things without having an ulterior motive, so I used that as an excuse to goof off and basically do nothing. I prided myself on being purely practical. The glass was neither half-empty, nor half-full. It was half-full if being filled, and half-empty if being drained. Not pessimistic, not optimistic, simply realistic. My two friends were the complete opposite of me. Joe was optimistic, Bryan pessimistic. Generally, Joe was the comic relief. Bryan and I picked on him mercilessly, but all in good fun. He sure did love to argue though. Although, he could be exceedingly annoying at times. Bryan was interesting, difficult to read at times, but overall an easy-going guy. He loved anything to do with the film industry. Movies were great and all, but I didn’t really understand his fascination for them. I would continue contemplating, but Joe had to break my concentration with a simple question.
"Hey Ty?" Joe asked nonchalantly, all the while gazing forward.
I looked over to my left where Joe was walking; "Yeah?"
"Why is there a box on the tracks?"
I looked forward along the rails, and sure enough, some dumbass had put a giant wooden box on the train tracks.
"Maybe it fell off a passing cargo train or something?" Bryan suggested.
I shrugged doubtfully; "If it fell off a train it would be alongside the tracks, not on top of them. Doesn't matter though, we should go get it off before the next train comes around."
As we got closer to the wooden box, I was able to make out some words printed on the side of it in bold letters: "Caution, live animals"
"Alright, maybe it did fall off a train... circus possibly?" I asked.
The only response I got was a set of shrugs.
"Anyway, if it's from a circus it could have a tiger or something in it, let's open it up and see."
“You sure that’s a good idea?” Joe asked; “Should we call the police or someone to report it?”
I snorted in derision. “Why would we do that? If it’s something cool, we’ll keep it. If not, we’ll keep it anyway until someone posts a reward for it.”
“….That’s cold.” Joe murmured.
“Yeah, it is. But whoever owns whatever is inside this crate should have taken better care of it. Let’s stop arguing and just open it. It’s hot out here and I’m sure it’s even hotter in that crate. Joe, see if you can find something to pry the lid off.”
“That won’t be necessary.” Bryan said; “It isn’t even nailed on.”
I leaned in closer to the top of the crate. He was right. The lid wasn’t nailed on.
“Alright then, I’m not sure how it fell off a train without opening up, but it doesn’t matter. It’ll just make it even easier to crack open.”
Bryan and I got on one side, and Joe got the other. Despite not being nailed in, the lid was extremely heavy. With sweat dripping from our foreheads, we manage to lift the lid a few inches from the top of the crate. We then crab-walked sideways with the lid, and dropped it with a crash on the ground. Simultaneously, we all turned around and looked inside the crate.
“What the hell…?” I mutter.
Inside the crate were eleven… things. They looked almost like baby horses, but the proportions were all wrong… and certain limbs. They were sleeping, but the sound of the lid being dropped and the sunlight must have woken them up. They started moving around and squirming a bit, some even sneezing from the sun. There was a cowboy hat in the corner, and upon lifting it up I saw a little orange pony underneath. That made twelve overall. They almost looked… cute, but I was in too much shock to even notice that.
“Uh, guys? Tell me I’m not the only one seeing these things.” I ask without looking away from the crate.
“Nope, I see it. However much I don’t believe it, I see it.” Joe says.
“Me too.” Bryan says with an obvious tone of disbelief in his voice.
“Okay, so I’m not the only one seeing things. But… you guys see that some of them have wings and even horns right? A few of them even have both. Although some of them have neither… They’re like baby ponies, but the proportions are all messed up.”
“What if they aren’t real?” Joe asked.
I rolled my eyes. “Joe, I’m looking at them right now, I’m pretty sure they’re real.”
“Not like that, what if the horns and wings are just really convincingly attached? I mean, we couldn’t have just found a crate of unicorns and pegasi right?”
“Yeah… that must be it…” I replied; “Somebody must’ve attached them somehow.”
In the crate, a rainbow maned pony started flapping it’s tiny wings, and in a few seconds was hovering a foot above the crate.
After a few seconds of hovering, the rainbow maned pony flopped back down into the crate and landed on a smaller orange pony with a purple mane. It let out an indignant squeak upon being landed on.
Bryan spoke up, “So the wings are obviously real… the horns are probably real as well.”
He reached down into the crate and started gently tugging on the horn of a white unicorn with a purple mane. It let out an annoyed squeak and Bryan let go.
“Felt real enough…” He muttered, obviously dumbstruck at our find.
To be honest, so was I. Joe too. We had just found a crate full of unicorns, pegasi, and a weird mix of the two. All of them were babies, but some were slightly larger than others. Overall, there were three “normal” ponies, three unicorns, thee pegasi and three that were a combination of unicorn and pegasus. Twelve pony things… how odd.
Each one was different. Soft pink hair, pastel yellow body, wings. Blonde hair, orange body, neither wings nor horn. Deep blue hair, deep blue body, wings and horn. Some were even bigger than others. The combination ponies were slightly larger than the rest. Two pegasi, unicorns, and “normal” ponies were slightly larger than the remaining three, which were one of each. All kinds of ponies. While inspecting them closer, I noticed something quite peculiar on their flanks. Each one, with the exception of the three smallest ponies, had a kind of mark. Not a branding mark like some ranchers do to cattle, but something that seemed imprinted on their fur almost.
“Hey guys, look at this.”
Bryan and Joe leaned forward to see what I was pointing at. Using a lavender unicorn as an example, I said; “Most of these ponies have marks on their flanks. This one looks like a star surrounded by other, smaller, stars. But these three,” I point to the smallest ponies of the bunch, “don’t have any marks at all.”
Bryan and Joe start looking at the other marks.
“This one has three balloons on it!” Joe exclaims.
“Hmm… These three all have three of diamonds, apples, or butterflies. Three seems to be a common theme.” Bryan stated.
“Not necessarily.” I replied; “This one has a cloud with a rainbow colored lightning bolt coming from it. Two of the combination ponies have the sun and moon on them… Huh, that’s weird. The one with the moon on it hasn’t woken up yet.”
“Do their marks have something to do with their personalities?” Joe asked.
I sigh in annoyance. “Joe, they are ponies. Animals. They probably don’t even have personalities. They are weird, but not human.”
“Rarity.” Bryan muttered.
I turned to Bryan, who was bending down close to a white pony.
“What?” I asked.
“This one’s name is Rarity. While you were talking to Joe, I noticed each of these ponies have a piece of string around their necks with a piece of paper attached. Each piece of paper has a single name on it.”
Joe and I immediately started looking at the necks of all the ponies. Sure enough, each one had a nametag.
“Scootaloo, Applejack, Fluttershy, Celestia, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, Cadance, Pinkie Pie, Applebloom and Luna. That’s all of their names. How weird.” I said.
“That is strange, but now we come to the question: What are we going to do with them?” Joe asked.
“It’s simple. We follow my original plan. These ponies are pretty cool, so we’re going to keep them. But obviously, someone put them in that crate and named them. They belonged to someone. And I bet that someone would pay a lot of money to get them back. A lot. So, we will keep them until we can sell them back to their owner, and if we can’t do that, we can always make money off them by selling tickets for people to see them. Can you image how much someone would pay to see a real live unicorn or pegasus?”
“That does sound like a good plan, but, is money all you think about?” Joe asked.
“Not always, I just know how to take advantage of a good situation.” I responded coldly.
Joe shrugged; “While I think they could make us some good money, I also like the idea of keeping them as pets…”
I rolled my eyes; “Joe, if the original owner doesn’t pipe up, we’ll be keeping them as pets and making money off them. Best of both worlds. Or at least up until the point someone offers us a deal we simply can’t refuse.”
“Personally, I think it’s a great idea.” Bryan said.
Joe sighed. “Alright, I suppose it’ll work.”
“Great, now that we have that figured out, we need to get them out of here before someone else sees them and tries to stake a claim.” I said. “I’ll drive my truck down here and we can load them in the bed.”
Bryan and Joe both agreed, and five minutes later we were trying in vain to lift the freakishly heavy crate into my truck. It was just too heavy with the twelve ponies in it, and besides, they were starting to get restless from all the jostling about.
“Guys, let’s just take some of the ponies out, lift the crate up, and then put them back in once it’s there.” I suggested.
They agreed, so we all started to carefully lift the ponies out one at a time and set them on the ground. I reached down into the crate and picked up the deep blue one named Luna. Surprisingly, this one was still fast asleep. All the others were wide awake and tumbling around on the ground like a group of playful kittens, but she was out cold. I shifted her in my arms a bit as I was about to set her down, but suddenly she twisted in her sleep and wrapped her wings around my torso. I was so surprised I just stood stock-still as I stared down at her. Still asleep, she snuggled in and on her face I could see the tiniest smile. There was nothing I could have done to prevent me from becoming slightly attached to this little creature. With great pain I set her down on the ground, and resumed helping my friends lift the crate. Once it was safely in the bed of my truck, we loaded the ponies back up again and then hopped in the cab. I turned the keys in the ignition, and we started for the highway.
“Pegacorns.” I said after a little thought. “Either that or cornasuses, which I think is stupid, but you know whatever you guys want to call the combination ponies is fine, but I don’t like cornasuses, (Gasp) What about duocorns! Duo as in two, because they have both horns and wings, well we could have duosuses but that’s almost as bad as cornasuses so maybe we should just call them-.”
“Joe! Shut up!” Bryan shouted. “We’ll just call them pegacorns okay?”
(Just to let you know, my energy spikes dramatically when I’m tired, it’s even higher then when I have a caffeinated sugary substance. I know weird, but that’s just part of who I am.)
“Calm down Bryan.” Ty said tiredly. “But Joe, your loud, annoying, energetic talking is giving me a headache. Not a good thing while I’m driving.”
I glanced over at Bryan and Ty as we were talking and what I saw was no surprise to me. There was Ty, in his tee shirt, and a chain coming out of his jeans. To anyone else looking at that chain they’d think; “Hey, he has a wallet chain. Kids these days, trying to be cool.” What they don’t know is that it’s actually a weighted chain that he could kill someone with instantly if he wanted to. And Bryan, well Bryan was slightly unusual. I’m not saying that Tyler and I aren’t, but Bryan’s fascination in wearing nice, fancy clothing doesn’t make any sense to me. And that’s not even mentioning his avid movie loving, joking and over all happy personality. Understanding Bryan is a science that has not been created, and probably will never be created, considering it doesn’t fall under the usual psychology of a human mind.
“Sorry guys.” I said cringing at my over activity. I just couldn’t help it though. Bryan was just going with it, and Tyler was serious as always, but I was bursting with excitement on the inside at the thought of finding those ponies. I mean, real live unicorns and pegasi! How cool is that! I just wish they weren’t so focused on making money off them, but I must admit the prospect was exciting for me as well.
I was kind of hoping that Tyler would rethink this whole ‘sell them when we find the owner’ I mean, if you found a box out of Greek mythology would you go and just sell them? The whole keep them and sell ticket thing was better than selling them, but then things would get hectic and all our time would be taken from us. Is money good enough compensation for time and energy? In my personal belief, having them as pets would not only be the easiest and the least frustrating method, but the most fun. I know it sounds childish, that’s my opinion.
“We probably should have thought of this before, but, where are we going?” Tyler asked both of us, breaking into my thoughts.
“Well, we could meet up at my house to decide what to do with them.” Bryan suggested.
“Fine by me, we’re heading that direction anyway.” Tyler replied
I lived in Glenwood Springs, as did Bryan. Tyler lived in the even smaller town of Rifle, which was about thirty minutes from Glenwood. Silt was about twenty minutes away, so it was roughly our half-way point for meeting.
“So… what are we going to do when we get to your house Bryan?” I asked.
“Well, we will probably try and figure out how to market them.” Bryan replied
“I have an idea concerning that.” Tyler said. “We should wait to show them to anybody until we hear news about someone looking for a missing crate. If we don’t hear anything, we can just raise them up a bit and then sell tickets for people to see them. For now though, we should keep this a complete secret amongst ourselves.”
“What if our parents or the government try and take them away from us? What then?” I asked.
“They can’t.” Was his simple response; “If and when we start selling tickets for people to see them, we will make sure it is very public so no one will try to just take them away.”
“Huh, alright.” I replied.
We finally arrived at my house. I lived atop a hill overlooking the very small city of Glenwood springs, which was the town I lived in. Once I got out of Tyler’s truck, I opened the garage door so we could put the ponies inside. Joe, Tyler, and myself worked together to tote that huge crate into my garage, and then opened it up. We just stared at each other and then back at the ponies for a while. Our gang didn’t really have a problem with silence, it wasn’t awkward for us. The ponies started clambering out of the box, all except for Luna, who was still asleep. They explored and tumbled around my garage like a bunch of excited kittens. It was slightly adorable to watch. But after noticing just how many there were, I had to say something.
“Where are they going to stay? Because I am not keeping them all here.”
“Well I guess we can just split them up and each take responsibility for our own. They will be easier to manage, and less likely they will be found. My mom works two jobs, so when she gets home she pretty much goes straight to bed. I shouldn’t have a problem hiding them.” Tyler said.
“Works for me. There is an old water tower that has enough room around and inside it to hide them sufficiently. Joe?”
“Yeah, I guess so. There is a patch of woods near my house that nobody ever bothers with. I can keep mine in there.” Joe said.
“Great, now who gets which?” Asked Tyler. “To be fair all around, we should divide them up fairly. There are three pegacorns, three baby ponies, and six small ones. That means we each can get one pegacorn, one baby pony, and two small ponies. Sound fair?”
Joe and I both agreed.
We played rock, paper, scissors to see who got to go first, second, and third. Joe and Tyler tied three times in a row on rock, so Tyler just lightly punched Joe and said; “I’m going first. So there.” I smirked at the sight, and I announced I’d be going second. Joe was naturally upset, but Tyler and I ignored him as usual.
“I’ll take Luna; we’ll start with the pegacorns.” Tyler announced.
“I’ll take Rainbow Dash.” I casually said.
“Wait, what? But… she’s not a pegacorn.” Tyler said in a slightly disappointed tone. I noticed he was a little downcast that I had chosen Rainbow Dash, but I didn’t care.
“Yeah that’s right, she’s a pegasus.” I smugly replied.
“But we’re starting with the pegacorns!” Tyler said in an annoyed tone.
“Well I’m not.” I smartly replied.
Tyler was silently fuming at my words, but he dropped the subject.
Joe, sensing the tension, decided to break it up by choosing his own pony.
“I’ll take Fluttershy…” Joe said.
“Yeah… No.” Tyler promptly interjected. “If Bryan can skip the order, then I’m taking Fluttershy, and you can have the orange one, uh, what’s its face… ah! Applejack. Also, while I’m at it, I’ll be taking Twilight Sparkle as well.”
“Okay then, I’ll be taking Cadance and uh, Rarity.” I interjected before Joe could argue further.
“Wait! Why don’t I get any unicorns or pegasi? And I’m stuck with the Pink one no less!” Joe whined.
“Deal with it, you at least get Celestia.” Tyler said, obviously frustrated.
“Well I get Sweetie Belle! You’re not going to stick me with another pony without horns or wings now!” Joe angrily announced.
“I’ll take Scootaloo then.” Tyler happily said.
“What? Ugh, fine. I’ll take the one with the bow...” I said grumpily.
I’m not going to lie, but I was slightly disappointed that all my ponies were slightly more feminine than the rest, but whatever makes the money I guess…
“Well, now that we have them split up amongst us, what are we going to do?” Joe asked.
“Well, Bryan, why don’t you get some bowls of water for our ponies, I bet they’re thirsty.” Tyler said.
I nodded and went to open the door leading to my house. As soon as I did however, my dog rushed out into the garage. I yelled in vain for it to stop, but my dog made a beeline for the nearest pony, which happened to be Celestia. Just as the dog was about to bite her, Celestia’s horn glowed faintly in yellow light, and a bright flash of fire burst from the tip of it. The dog yelped loudly, and with bits of facial fur smoldering, beat a hasty retreat back into the house. All was silent for a minute afterwards as we tried our best to comprehend what we had just seen.
“What… the hell was that?” Tyler said in disbelief.
There didn’t really seem to be an appropriate way to react to this… so I didn’t. We just stood in silent awe for a few minutes, each of us trying to process what we had just seen. Celestia gurgled happily to herself and started wandering around with the other ponies.
The three of us began loading Joe and I’s ponies in the back of my truck. I was giving Joe a ride home. But on the way out of the garage, I felt a tugging on my pants leg, and I looked down to see Rainbow Dash. She had the tip of my pants leg in her mouth, and she was tugging playfully, like she wanted to play tug-of-war. I grinned down at her, and to my surprise, she let go of my pants leg and smiled back. It was kind of weird but heart-warming at the same time. Just as I was reaching down to pick her up, Bryan beat me to it. Rainbow’s happy expression vanished and was immediately replaced by melancholy and sadness. Bryan, oblivious to Rainbow’s anguish, waved happily at Joe and I as he took his four ponies inside. With hesitation I turned around and got in the driver’s seat, unable to get Rainbow out of my mind.
For some reason Tyler was taking an incredibly long time in the doorway of Bryan’s house, so I took the liberty of putting my ponies into the bed of his truck without him. I had almost finished putting them all in when something caught my eye. There in the box, as Celestia and Applejack were rolling around tugging on each other’s ears, and Sweetie Belle was asleep in the corner, there was one pony not doing its own thing. Instead, it sat there, looking up at me in a way that can only be referred to as intelligent. Truth be told, I should have been a little fearful at that, but I wasn’t. Not the smallest bit afraid of those large eyes that seemed to call out to me from where they were perched. Eyes that seemed to know me. And as if I had known them for years. I probably could have sat there for hours, transfixed by that small creature that was in front of me. But the connection was broken as Ty came over to me a bit depressed as got in the driver’s seat.
I waved goodbye to Joe and Ty while I was closing the door. I looked down at the little ponies by my feet. I kneeled down to their level. They seemed to smile back up at me.
“So you’re Rarity, Cadence, Rainbow Dash, and Applebloom huh?” They just gazed up at me like they were trying to understand what I was saying.
“We haven’t properly met yet have we? I’m Bryan, and that creature you saw was my dog, Shiloh.”
Cadence nuzzled up against my arm. I pet her on her soft little head.
“Well nice to meet you Rarity, Cadence, Rainbow Dash, and Applebloom…”
Rarity yawned and staggered her way to the couch to put herself to sleep. I helped her with a blanket.
“You’re gonna make me a lot of money one day.” I smiled.
A/N: Hey everyone, hope you enjoyed our first chapter. Us three authors will be posting a new chapter each Friday. Will we always be one chapter ahead so we can keep up with this schedule. The next chapters will be from one POV, (point of view), so they won't be quite as confusing as this one. It will cycle between Bryan's chapter, Ty's chapter, and Joe's chapter. then start over again. There will be three acts.
Raising the Reborn Chapter 2: Bryan's Perspective.
I made up a couple little beds out of blankets for the tired ponies, and put them all to sleep. Well, I put them to sleep after a few hours of struggling. You would think when something is tired they would just fall right to sleep. Anyway, after I did get them to sleep, I realized how peaceful they looked, but all I could think about was how much money I would be making off of them; stacks and stacks of money. I know it sounded greedy, but when you find a gold mine, it's hard not to start digging away at it. It was the perfect way to get money. Who doesn't want a job where all you do is sit there and watch the money roll in? I know I did.
Babies don't sleep as well as I did that night.
• • • •
The next morning I was forced awake by the crashing of something in the kitchen.
"Oh crap!" I thought out loud. I leaped out of bed and darted to the kitchen faster than an Olympic runner.
My parents were away for the week to celebrate their anniversary; they would be back in two days. So if there were a bunch of broken things all around the house I would probably be accused of hosting a huge party or something.
I slowed my pace as I arrived at the disaster scene that used to be my kitchen. I could hardly breathe at the sight of the pint sized rainbow pony flying all around, and Rarity knocking down all our plates off the counter and smashing them on the ground.
"Hey!" I yelled. They immediately stopped what they were doing, and looked at me.
"What are you doing!?"
Rainbow walked up to me. She had a dish towel in her mouth and a smile on her face.
"Give me that." I said reaching for the towel.
As I got closer, she moved her head more and more away from my hand, until she was running away from me.
"Rainbow!" I yelled. She stopped. It was almost like she knew her name, but she didn't seem to know she knew she did. She turned around with a confused expression. I walked up to her and yanked the towel out of her mouth. By this time Rarity had already scampered away.
I wasn't sure how to punish a pegasus; I hadn't really thought about it. So I thought the best thing to do would be to tie down her wings. She didn't like that idea at all. She struggled and yanked herself all over the house, causing even more destruction then before until she tired herself out. That pony liked to run, that was for sure.
I spent a few hours getting the kitchen back to perfection, and after I was done I sat down on the couch in my living room.
"Why am I doing this?" I asked myself, "If I need to replace every item in this house then I won't have any money left for myself anyway." I was just about ready to go find a box to ship all the ponies away in, but then I looked over at another chair in my living room and found a reason to keep them. Sitting in the chair was Cadence, with her long, soft wing over Apple Bloom; trying to comfort her
because of all the noise from the kitchen. Even though she was just slightly bigger than the others (just by about half a foot) I knew she was the oldest. I realized right then that even if they couldn't talk, they had some emotion.
"These things are freaking adorable." I thought. I heard a loud smashing noise from downstairs. I thought it was about time to move them to the water tower.
Getting four ponies to a water tower at the top of a mountain is not an easy task. There was a lot of pushing, pulling, yelling, and lifting involved, but we made it.
The water tower was old and rusty. It sat on the ground, but there was no graffiti on it, because what kind of idiot would climb to the top of a mountain to vandalize something no one would ever see? There was a broken ladder running up the side of it and a big crack running down. But most importantly, the door had a rusty lock on it and could be easily opened.
I rammed my shoulder into the side of it, breaking the lock off. I'm not going to lie, it hurt like hell, but the door was open.
Rarity sniffed around like a drug sniffing dog, looking as disgusted as any pony could. Every now and then she would look back at me, as if to say, "Really?" I felt insulted for a moment, but then I realized the place was a bit of a dump, and because they were just animals, I knew that they would learn to live with it.
Suddenly, Rarity was running out the door. I ran after her, "Rarity! Rarity!" I called, but she was too fast. It was like trying to catch a deer. I did chase her for five minutes or so all the same, but I realized it was pointless and headed back. I looked up and saw that dark clouds had started gathering. I ran back to the tower, knowing it was the closest thing I would get to shelter.
I did get a little wet along the way, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The whole floor of the water tower was just dirt now, and fortunately for the ponies, there was an overhang over the crack in the wall. It meant that sunlight could get in, but water couldn't. I rushed into the room, panting like a golden retriever. Cadence, Applebloom, and Rainbow looked at me, their big eyes asking me if Rarity was okay.
"What?" I asked. Rainbow took a step closer to me. "What is it Rainbow?" The tension in my voice was growing.
"What!?" I finally screamed at her. This frightened all the ponies. They braced themselves against the walls, as far away from me as they could. I looked at their terrified faces, their heads turned away, and their eyes closed as tight as they could get them. All of them felt genuinely terrified of me, and I could tell.
"No..." I tried to explain, "I... I'm sorry." When I got closer, they turned away more.
"I'm... I was just... I... didn't mean to." Applebloom began to cry.
"No. No. Applebloom." I said sympathetically, getting closer to her.
"I didn't mean anything by it." I sat down and began petting her.
"You know, there's nothing to be afraid of. I was just a little stressed." I went on explaining like they could understand me, "When Rarity took off, I got really upset. I don't know if she'll ever be back. And then I lashed out on you guys. I'm sorry."
Rainbow Dash was pretty excepting, so she was the first to walk up to me. She smiled and snuggled her head into my lap. Cadence then realized I wasn't going to hurt her and walked over to me as well.
Just from looking at her, watching how she acts, and how she gets along with the other ponies, I could tell that Cadence was the most caring of all the ponies. At least that I had. She didn't seem to want to cause trouble, or make life hard for anyone. She just seemed to want to help others. I saw that in Rainbow as well, but in a different way. She always wanted to help but couldn't quite figure out how.
"See? It's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you."
The door was still open. I couldn't help staring out it, hoping that Rarity would find her way back. I didn't know why the others didn't run off when I yelled at them. The opportunity was there but they didn't go. I looked at the ponies around me, and I figured it out. They stayed for Applebloom. They didn't want to just leave her behind. As insane as it sounds, I thought that (maybe) these ponies had a bit more emotion than an average animal. They obviously weren't average. I mean, wings and horns? Flight and magic? I have no idea why I believed for even a second that these creatures had anything average about them at all.
A few hours later, I had fallen asleep in the water tower. I was awoken by a banging noise on the door.
"Oh no." I thought. I had three magical ponies in a huge metal cylinder. Where was I going to hide them? I decided to just go to the door and except my fate.
I yanked the door open. Standing out in the rain was a white unicorn with a purple mane. She was dragging a huge pile of leafs and soft plants with the magic from her horn. She was pulling it with all her might. There was a soft blue glow surrounding it all. The little pony herself was soaking wet and very muddy.
"Rarity?" I asked.
Without even acknowledging me, she trotted past me and started arranging the plants into four piles. She was making beds for the four of them. I watched in awe. It's not every day that you see a magical pony arranging leafs for other's comfort. Actually, it's not every day that you see a magical pony, but I was slowly getting used to that.
Rarity poked her nose at the others, trying to tell them about the new beds. They quickly got the memo and made their ways to their new found comfort. One by one, each of them closed their eyes and fell asleep, except for Cadence.
"What's wrong?" I asked. Her gaze was unbroken. "You must be deep in thought." I concluded.
My talking must have woken up Rarity, because she stood up and walked over to Cadence. Rarity nudged Cadance with her nose, and looked at her. Cadance looked down at Rarity in mild surprise. Rarity then tilted her head sideways, almost as if asking what was wrong. Cadance shook her head slightly, and nudged Rarity back to her bed. Rarity pouted slightly, but walked grudgingly back to her bed. Even though I could tell Cadance was barely older than Rarity, and they were all pretty much babies, Cadance still acted as the mother of the group.
“Maybe it’s because she’s a pegacorn…” I mused.
Cadance closed her eyes and settled back down.
I sat there, wondering what to do. I only knew one thing; I could not let myself get attached to these creatures. They were my fortune; my adorable, fluffy, sleeping fortune. If I hadn't seen anything like them, neither had the rest of the world. And if the world didn't know anything about them, then all the money would come to me.
"But maybe..." I thought, "maybe I could get attached to them and keep all the money. No." I rethought, "If I get attached to them then I'll feel way too guilty for keeping all the money for myself, and perhaps even one day selling them." I had made up my mind (but not for the last time)
"I wonder how the others are doing." I asked myself. "Well, Ty can't be doing that great." I laughed to myself, "He's got two pegasuses… pegasi... pegapeople... whatever, he's got two of them. I can't even imagine what hell he's going through." After a bit more thought I realized how easy it must have been for Joe. He only had one unicorn and one pegacorn, and in the end, less money.
I braced my back up against the wall and started falling asleep. Then I felt a tugging on my shirt. I quickly opened my eyes. Standing in front of me was Cadence. She was making a motion with her head trying to tell me to trade places with her and sleep in her bed.
"No Cadence," I said, "There's only room for you in that bed." She tugged on my shirt again.
"Cadence, I said no." Cadence turned away, sad for a moment. Then she turned back. I closed my eyes again, hoping it would make her just walk away. But she didn't walk away. She slowly made her way to me and laid her head in my lap. I opened my eyes again. I couldn't help smiling at her.
I turned the key in the ignition, and my truck flared to life after a few weak protests. I drove out of Joe’s driveway, and onto the road leading to the highway. My ponies were getting restless, and I could tell they didn’t like being in the back. So now they are up in the cab with me as I drove home. Luna was still unconscious, Fluttershy was curled up into a little ball, and Scootaloo and Twilight are both looking out the window. I was worried about Luna. It had been about four hours since I found her, but she hadn't woken up. I wondered if she was in a coma or something. I hit a small bump in the road, which made Fluttershy whimper. I glanced over at her. She must be afraid of the noise of the car, but Twilight and Scootaloo don’t seem to mind at all. I got on the highway, and sped up.Twilight seemed to be analyzing everything, and once she got bored of that, she examining the truck. I had to fend her questioning hoof away from the steering wheel, which almost caused me to swerve off the road. I gave Twilight a withering glare, and she promptly decided to explore the back. She hopped over the center console, and I could hear her rummaging through junk I had piled behind me. Scootaloo eventually got bored of the scenery, so she lay down next to Luna and went to sleep.
After a few miles on the highway, Fluttershy seemed to get used to the noise, and stood up. She hopped up onto the passenger seat, careful to avoid stepping on Scootaloo and Luna, and looked out the window. She didn’t seem as impressed as the other two, and she flinched each time a car went past. For the next twenty minutes, Fluttershy stared out the window, Twilight rustled around in the back, and Luna and Scootaloo were fast asleep in the passenger seat.
I finally pulled off the highway, and began driving through the small-town of Rifle, Colorado. The town itself wasn't all the great, but it was home nonetheless. A few minutes later, I pulled my truck into the driveway of my house. It was big, but it had almost no land with it. And by almost none, I mean it had less than a quarter of an acre.
I pulled into my garage. Once in, I pressed a button on the visor, and closed the garage door. Having heard me turn off my truck, Twilight and Fluttershy pop up from behind and look at me questioningly.
“Hey, we’re here.” I said to them, even though I knew they wouldn’t be able to understand.
I then got out of my truck, closed the door, and walked around to the passenger side. I almost tripped on various pieces of metal scattered on the floor. I kept most of my blacksmithing stuff in my garage, so hammers, tongs, and pieces of scrap metal are everywhere. Once I got to the passenger door, I opened it and pick up the still sleeping Scootaloo and Luna in both arms. Using my head, I gestured to Twilight and Fluttershy to follow me. They clumsily hopped to the edge of the passenger seat, and looked at the daunting 2 foot drop before them. I rolled my eyes. Gingerly placing Luna and Scootaloo down, I then picked up Fluttershy and Twilight and set them down as well. I returned Luna and Scootaloo to my arms, and walked to the door leading into my house. Fluttershy stayed right next to me, and when I stopped, pressed herself against my leg.
“Are you scared? It’s alright.” I said as soothingly as possible.
She looked up at with her big eyes and then down again. She must be afraid of everything. Her name is FlutterSHY, I suppose. I turned around, looking for Twilight, and I saw her darting all over the place inside the garage. One second she was randomly pressing buttons on an air compressor, the next it was attempting to pick up a wrench that was laying on the ground.
“Twilight, come over here!”
She looked up, and then trotted over to me. That’s weird… she recognized her own name. I shrugged it off, and pushed open the door. I then stepped into my house, Twilight and Fluttershy close behind. Fluttershy stayed right next to me, but Twilight was off like a rocket. She galloped all over the living room, inspecting chairs, TVs, the curtains over the windows, everything.
“She’s quite curious…”
I left Twilight to her exploring, and took Luna and Scootaloo up two flights of stairs to my room. My room wasn’t very big; most of the space was taken up by my bed and computer desk. I gently placed Luna and Scootaloo on my bed, and went right to cleaning up my room. Once there was actually some space on the floor, I was going to make some beds for them to sleep on. Fluttershy even tried to help, but I set her on my bed as well because most of the stuff on my floor was either knives or some other kind of weapon. I didn’t want her hurting herself. After about thirty minutes of cleaning, I declared my room as adequate. Hearing a soap opera being played on the TV, I decided to go down and check on Twilight. As always, Fluttershy was right next to me. Going up the stairs was easy enough for her, but she was taking forever to get back down. I scooped her up and walked back into the living room. Twilight was sitting a few inches away from the TV screen, while staring intently at the cheap actors in it.
“You’ll damage your eyesight if you’re that close.” I said to her. I thought about what I had said for a second. "Geez, I sound like my mom..."
Twilight, of course, ignored me. I sighed and picked her up in my other arm. I dropped both Fluttershy and Twilight on the couch, and I went downstairs into my basement to fetch some old blankets. A minute later I returned with a huge armful of blankets. Seeing them both sitting just a few inches away from the screen, I dropped the blankets and turned off the TV. I picked up the blankets again, and started walking back to my room. They both followed grudgingly. Once we were all back into my room, I began making little beds out of the blankets for them. As soon as the beds were done, I put Luna and Scootaloo on two of them. Still asleep, they snuggled into the blankets. I smiled, and then put Fluttershy and Twilight on the other two. Fluttershy kept getting off the bed to stand next to me, and Twilight was of course inspecting everything in my room. After about five tries, they eventually get the idea to stay in the beds, and they both drift off to sleep. Just as I was about to settle into my bed for a quick nap, Scootaloo wakes up and clumsily tumbles around my room. This of course woke Fluttershy and Twilight right back up. Twilight dashed out of my room to explore other areas of the house, but Fluttershy stayed in her bed. Scootaloo trotted over to her and Fluttershy pulled her into her own bed. Scootaloo snuggled up against her while Fluttershy preened Scootaloo’s tiny feathers and just generally fussed over her. It was adorable. Fluttershy, barely older than a baby herself, was taking care of Scootaloo as if she were her own. Fluttershy was about as big as a medium sized dog, and Scootaloo was the size of a small cat. I decided they would be alright for a little while, so I left my room to see what Twilight was up to. I heard crashing sounds from the kitchen, so naturally that was my first place to look. Pots and pans were scattered over the floor, and Twilight was trying to open the refrigerator. I quickly put away the cooking stuff, and scooped Twilight up yet again. Just as I did, her stomach growled. In my arms, she looked up at me and whimpered slightly.
“Ah, that’s it. You’re hungry aren’t you? Okay, I’ll get you and the others some food.”
I opened the refrigerator, and took out a head of lettuce. Seemed as good a guess as any as to what they would eat. I peeled off a leaf, and my suspicions were proven correct as Twilight munched on it. I took Twilight and the lettuce back up to my room, and put Twilight on her bed. I split the Lettuce into four roughly equal parts, and gave it to each of the ponies. Three of them immediately chowed down on it.
Luna did not. She was still unconscious.
I sat down next to her little bed, and checked her pulse and breathing. It was all there, so she was still alive.
“Why’d I pick the comatose pony?” I wonder aloud.
I shook my head, and tried to settle the ponies in for a nap. Even though they all had just woken up, they looked ready to sleep again after their little meal. In moments they were all fast asleep. The events of the day finally caught up to me, so I lay down on my bed, but not before closing and locking my door. I then closed my eyes, and drifted off.
A few hours later, I woke up. Seeing the ponies all still asleep, I rolled out of bed and looked out the window. My window overlooks the driveway, and in it I see my mom get out of her van. It was almost dark, and she just got off of work. I carefully stepped out of my room, and closed the door. My mom works two jobs now, she has to. Ever since my dad walked out on us three years ago, it’s been hard. He never gave a reason, just left without even saying goodbye. At least our house was paid off by then; otherwise we’d be living in a little trailer in the trashy part of town. But to this day, it still boils my blood. Mom worked her fingers to the bone to pay the bills, and to send me to a private school so I’ll have a good education. If that prick ever came back, the first thing he’d get would be my boot up his ass.
“Ty, I’m home!” My mom shouted up the stairs.
“I heard you drive in, how was your day at work?” I call down as I descend the stairs.
“That bad huh?”
“Yeah… I’ll have to work again this weekend.”
We hugged, and once we let go we both went to making dinner. I only got to see my mom at night once she got back from her two jobs, so us both making dinner was our bonding time. Tonight was tacos.
“So how was your day? Did you hang out with Bryan and Joe?”
“Yep. The usual spot along the railroad tracks.”
“Alright, anything interesting happen?”
I hated lying to her, but what exactly could I say?
“Nope, nothing. Didn’t even find any good spikes for forging.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Are you looking forward to school?”
“Actually, yes it’ll be great to see all my friends again on a semi-regular basis.”
The private school I go to is quite unique. They only have school two days a week, Monday and Thursday. Of course, there is a massive amount of homework, much more than a regular school. I still like it though; it’ll give me more time to spend taking care of my ponies.
The rest of dinner went by in silence. Mom is always tired at the end of the day, so she eventually excused herself and went to her room. I cleaned up the dishes, and walked back up the stairs to my own room. By now it was completely dark out; the sun had set twenty minutes ago. I opened my door, walked inside, and turned the lights on. I was instantly met with two surprises. The first being that Scootaloo, Fluttershy, and Twilight were all still fast asleep. The second much greater surprise was that Luna was sitting on my bed, staring at me. She was finally awake. I stared back at her. Her coat, which I had mistook for black, was actually a rich, deep blue. Her mane, which used to be light blue, was now black with a border of dark blue. Even weirder, it seemed to have stars embedded in it, and it was moving as if blown by an invisible wind. I then looked into her eyes. While the other three ponies were questionable, there was no mistaking the look of intelligence in her eyes.
“Um… hi? Good to see you’re up...”
Her name, Luna; the crescent moon thingy on her flank… She obviously had something to do with the night. That must be why she was completely out of it before. She must only awaken at night.
“You’re probably hungry aren’t you? Here, have some lettuce…”
I reached down and picked up the uneaten portion of the lettuce I brought up earlier. I took a step closer, and extended my hand towards her. Once I had gotten closer, I shivered. I could feel waves of power come off her. She wasn’t like the others, not by a long shot. At this point, I was almost scared of her. Once I had all but decided to drop the lettuce and bolt, she leaned forward and began to eat the lettuce. Once she was done, she looked me in the eyes again. Her eyes were happy for a moment, but when she saw the look of fear in my own eyes, she looked away.
“Hey… it’s alright… I’m not afraid of you.”
She looked back up at me, and all I saw this time was loneliness. While slightly older than the others, she should be far too young for a look such as that. If I had to compare her age to that of a human, I’d say she was barely a toddler. I sat on my bed and wrapped my arms round her.
“Really, it’s okay, you don’t have to look like that. I’m here.”
She couldn’t possibly understand my words, but she relaxed nonetheless. Still in my arms, she looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back, but it was half-assed. What exactly was this creature I held? Why did it exude such power? And most importantly, what was it capable of? I couldn’t answer any of this.
I let go of her, and went to the bathroom right next door to my room. I filled up a cup of water, and brought it back to Luna. She drank gratefully from it. I then went back into the bathroom to change into my pj’s. After seeing what time it was, I put Luna on her bed and got into my own. I turned out the light, and not three seconds went by before Luna jumped back up onto my bed. I set her back down, she jumped back up. This went on for about five minutes before I gave up. I laid down in defeat, and just watched Luna. She didn’t try to sleep; she just alternated between watching me and looking at the stars through the window. I eventually drifted off under her watchful gaze.
“Good-Bye Tyler!” I shouted as he drove away, leaving me all alone in the front my house with a box full of squirming ponies. Ty had been a bit skeptical about leaving the ponies with me out in the open, but considering I’m the last house on a dead end street, and any neighbor that might be curious are at least a half a mile away, I was able to convince him otherwise. I turned away from the street still struggling to keep the ponies in the box. (You won’t believe this but keeping them in a box while they were bucking and poking you is an incredible feat! Sarcasm…)
I took the ponies to my mom’s garden in the backyard for a couple reasons. First off, because it had a fence around it tall enough that no ponies could jump over it, secondly was more of a personal reason… when you have a very creative mom and you give her a garden full of zucchinis and squash, you will be eating thing that you didn’t even know was possible to make! I have had zucchini spaghetti, squash smoothies, pumpkin brownies, you name it I’ve had it, so my second reason to put them in there was in the hopes that maybe they could… get rid of them somehow. On the assumption that they were hungry I try to give them a zucchini, but after the first lick it was clear that they wanted nothing to do with it. Not that I can blame them.
I walked back to my house in the hopes that I might find something that wasn’t in some way ‘mom’s garden’ related. Stepping through the door, my mom looked up at me, (wow can you say most beautiful woman ever!) and asked casually, “Hey, did you have fun with Bryan and Ty?” Now to the casual passer, this question would be nothing out of the ordinary, but for her son it is more like the Spanish Inquisition.
“Yeah.” A safe answer not giving away anything that could be used against me.
“How were the railroad tracks?” She knew. Sweating I tried to find out if this was a bluff.
“What do you mean? You know that I wouldn’t go over there.” A lied. I searched her face, but couldn’t see anything. It was the perfect poker face. Never play cards with my mom; you will lose every cent you own.
“All right then, I believe you.” No she didn’t, she was merely making a strategic retreat. She continued to look at me until I turned away. Just her gaze is enough to make you feel ashamed.
“I’m going into the woods in a little bit.” I say as I rummaged through the kitchen cabinets.
“Then before you go clean up the computer area, you need to stop taking all the dishes over there. I mean really is it that hard to take the dishes form over there to the sink? "
“No mom.” She likes going on these tangents, and the only thing you can do is to agree with them over, and over, and over again. Yes mom, No mom, all the time mom. Eventually you learn to block her out half way. So you can agree but still not hear. I know I must sound like a terrible human being, but it’s the only way to stay sane!
Hurrying to grab a box of raisins, a large water bottle, and put all the dishes from the computer area in the sink, I run out the door and over to the garden.
“All right guys we have to get out of here. Mom always comes out and gardens at six o’clock.” It was only after I say this that I saw the garden gate. It used to be a wooden gate with a simple latch, now a wooden gate with a simple latch and a burnt out hole in the middle.
Wow. Can you say stupid? Fire throwing ponies plus wooden gates don’t mix… I checked to make sure that all of them were still inside the garden, there was Applejack the little orange one. Sweetie Belle, the unicorn. Pinkie Pie, the energetic pink one. And… you guessed it, no little Pegacorn.
I rubbed my eyes.
“Oh, crap.” My first instinct was to run and find Celestia, but I thought better of it. There was a wide open hole for any of the ponies to just go out of. Better to just have lost one than four.
I got the box out again, put the three ponies inside, put the water bottle and box of raisins inside of it and started for a clearing that I knew was in the forest.
Heading into the forest with the grace of a cat, (Meaning I fell on my face and nearly got hit by a stray shovel.) I started my way through the forest and to the clearing I knew was there. I’m not sure if I said this, but my mom is not an animal person. My dad on the other hand, he had almost an unhealthy obsession with animals. He could have done better as a vet than as an accountant. Anyway, my dad got a dog when I was about eight years old, my mom had an extreme argument with him until my dad said he would go and take it back. He didn’t. Instead he went into the forest and made a small clearing about a quarter mile away from the house where we then kept the dog. All was happy and joyful for a week of two until the dog disappeared, and to this day I believe my mom found it and got rid of it. That was nine years ago. The clearing is still there, sure maybe it’s a little overrun with plant life, but hey, that’s what lawn mowers are for. And I’m sure that the ponies will be fine until I can mow it.
I’m getting off track, sorry about that. The clearing is about an acre wide circle with a chicken wire fence around the outside. There are old, decaying chew toys lying about, and there, in the center of the clearing, was my tricycle. Sure it was a rusted out peace of trash, but it brought back memories and I couldn’t help smiling at it. It was from a time when life was good, no crazy politicians, no wars, just blissful ignorance. Well maybe not ignorance, I glanced down at the box of ponies in my arms. It was a time of joy, and joy had come again. I put the ponies inside the fence, content as I watched them tumble around and explore their new home.
As I walked back towards my house I kept glancing from side to side, hoping that I might be able to catch a glimpse of a rainbow, of a brilliant white that would signify I had found Celestia. Depression started to set in as I realized I had lost a being of complex mythology. Quite a big screw up don’t you think?
I heard a sound to my left as I was about to reach the end of the forest. As quickly as I could, I jumped from the path and ran around trees leapt over rocks and scrambled under fallen trees.
Sweating and parched from my search I found her; a creature of such exquisite beauty. Celestia was basking in the rays of the afternoon light with her wings outstretched, a mere orange silhouette in front of the sun. She was sitting on a boulder surrounded by smaller rocks; Ivy clung to their sides in a familiar fashion. I remembered this place; I climbed over those very rocks when I was younger. I gasped, and she turned her head to look at me. As I looked up I saw power in her eyes, and a majestic grace that she was far too young to have, but there was no mistaking it. This was a creature of intelligence, a being incredibly powerful and ancient.
Then it was gone. She jumped down off the boulder and started walking back to the garden as if nothing had happened… I shook my head, trying to convince myself that it was a trick of the light, or my imagination. These things couldn’t be intelligent, right?
I picked up Celestia to take her to the clearing, or tried to at any rate, but she was defiantly not happy about me taking her anywhere. And that brought about a whole bunch of new problems, she was the biggest of all of them not to mention the heaviest, I could pick her up, she wasn’t that heavy but still with her kicking and struggling not to mention the occasional flames that jumped from her horn. To say she was the hardest to get to the clearing is like saying the sun is the largest thing in the solar system. It took half an hour to get her to the clearing, and it had to be the most irritating half hour of my whole life! Gah! She’s so headstrong! I sit down next to her, my clothes still smoking from the many times flames had hit them. I just sat there and glared at her, and she just sat there and glared at me.
Eventually after a few minutes of pure glaring and frustration I stand up to go and sit down with the rest of the ponies. At least they weren’t going to be as irritating to be around. I sat down next to Applejack who just sitting there contentedly and hardly glanced up at me as I sat down beside her.
“Hey.” I said as she looked up at me. She snorts and turns her head back down to the ground. “Pretty evening huh?” I nearly face palmed. Talking to her as if she can understand me? Really? I sighed and pick up Sweetie Belle as she wanders past. She yelps as I do so and she squirms with all the might she had in that little body of hers. “It’s all right.” I say, trying to calm her down. I even made little hushing noises like my mom does some times to my baby sister. She did stop struggling, only for a terrified shivering to take its place. I felt like such a jerk! And the sad part is that there was no reason for it. I set down the terrified little pony and watched her run away as fast as her little legs could carry her, which just made me feel more like an ass then I did before. Applejack gave me a cold look and I decided then was a good time to go and find out what Celestia was doing again.
She was standing a small distance away, alternating from watching me, to the other ponies, to the sun set. But as I watched, slowly with each passing minute of the clock, her eyes began to close, until finally at the moment the sun set and twilight started, Celestia was completely asleep. It was kind of odd how perfectly her sleep schedule was related to the setting of the sun. I would need to figure that out, but for the time I was just glad that she was asleep.
As quietly as I could, I snuck out of the clearing and started to head back to the house. I opened the back door as quietly as I could and then walked up the steps to the kitchen. I looked over to my right and saw my mom at the stove. Now my mom is a great cook and all, but what she was cooking was the problem. I sat down at the table and asked with the biggest, fakest smile on my lips I could get.
“So, did anything interesting happen today?”
“Oh, nothing special. But there’s something I need to ask you.” She said as she put down a tray of spaghetti squash in front of me. “What happened to the gate of my garden?”
A/N: <Ty> While this is Joe’s chapter, I will be doing a quick authors note. First off, each author writes his own chapter. Joe wrote this one, I wrote the previous, and Bryan the one before that. Second, each author has basically inserted themselves into the story. Joe is really like this in real life. Just as Bryan and I have also inserted ourselves in. The cities in the story are where we actually live, and our hobbies are our actual hobbies. Also, since there are three different writers, you'll probably see quite a difference in the style of each chapter. That’s about it. If you have any further questions, just ask.
Two days later.
Joe and I sat on the couch watching our ponies play on the floor in front of us.
“Wow, your ponies are lame.” I said to Joe, mostly just to piss him off.
“What!? My ponies aren’t lame! Your ponies are lame!”
“Sorry Joe, but my ponies can fly, use magic, and one can do both. Yours suck.”
“Well one of mine can fly and use magic. Plus I have a baby unicorn.”
“Joe, I could punt your unicorn over the balcony right now.”
“You could if you did sports.”
He had a point.
“You don’t do sports either Joe.”
But my point was better.
We didn’t say much after that. We just watched our ponies roll/run/hop/explore around the floor. We were waiting for Ty to get here. He always managed to be late when we met up. Without him it was just sort of awkward.
“What have you been doing over the past week? “
Joe beat me to question that makes you not have to talk.
“Well, I took the ponies into the woods a bit. I had to put a collar on Rainbow because she kept trying to run off.”
“Why?” Joe asked.
“Why did she run off?”
“Why did you take them out into the woods?” I honestly didn’t know the answer to this question. In all honesty it was probably because I was becoming attached to them. But I couldn’t tell him that.
“I figure, I couldn’t get much money out of them if they were out of shape.”
Give me an Oscar, and let me thank the academy.
“Anyway,” I continued, “other than Rarity’s compulsion to be constantly rearranging the beds for everyone, I don’t think much has happened in my little world. What about you Joe?”
“Well Celestia has been having a heyday with fire.”
“As in Celestial has been burning all the hay?” I joked.
“It’s Celestia, not Celestial.”
We heard the doorbell ring, and so did all the ponies. All of them stopped in their tracks.
I rang the doorbell, and then just decided to go in. It was my friend’s house, and they were expecting me, so I don’t think they’ll mind. I opened the door and walked in. Luna was in my arms, the other three followed behind me. In the three days I’ve had them, I must admit I’ve become quite attached to them and them to me. I walked into the living room, and saw Joe and Bryan sitting on the couch with their ponies sitting on the floor looking at me. Applejack and Applebloom were in one corner, Pinkie was with them, as well as Sweetie Bell. Rainbow was sitting closest to me, and immediately brightened up upon seeing me. Celestia was in the middle of the floor, glaring at Rainbow Dash, with Cadance sitting next to Bryan and watching Celestia with a worried expression. I walked over to the couch, and gently laid Luna down on it. Every night I’ve been staying up an hour later than normal so I can spend time with her, but I can tell how bored and lonely she is. Scootaloo went up to Applebloom and Sweetie Bell, and sat by them. Fluttershy followed her, and sat nearby while keeping a watchful eye on her. Twilight walked randomly around the room, taking everything in. I sat down on the couch next to Luna, and Rainbow immediately jumped up and sat by my side.
“Hey guys, what’s going on?”
“Nothing much,” Joe replied, “Except that Bryan has been insulting my ponies.”
“Well they are kind of lame.” I said.
“That’s what I said!” Bryan exclaimed.
I chuckled and then asked in a more serious tone,
“So, what are we going to do? The first day of school is tomorrow. How will we keep our ponies safe while we’re gone? Thankfully our school only goes two days a week, but we’ll still need to figure out what to do with them.”
It really was a lucky break that we all went to the same private school. The Garden School only runs two days a week, but they make up for it with massive homework.
Bryan contemplated for a moment, then spoke.
“Well, Joe and I are set because we have a safe place away from home to keep our ponies. What I’m worried mostly about is when are we going to begin marketing them? We’ve waited long enough I think.”
Bryan did have a point. If we ever are going to make some money off them, why wait until later?
“Are you guys sure your parents won’t find your ponies?” I asked them both.
Bryan confidently nodded his head, but Joe seemed to be lost in thought for a moment.
Crap… that’s right… school starts tomorrow; I can leave them in the forest. Right? Yeah, of course I can. Except for- No they’ll be fine… I didn’t really know why my brain was putting up such a fight against me leaving them in the forest until one of the little voices said: Remember the dog? Yeah, the dog, but that was eight years ago! There is no way she could remember. No way…
“Joe!” Ty shouted bringing me out of my head.
“What?” I asked, a bit mad at him for yelling at me. I heard a small whimper from the corner and saw Fluttershy sitting next to Cadence, nuzzling her head into Cadence’s side as Cadence draped her wing over Fluttershy, and in the most motherly fashion sent a blood chilling glare at me and Ty. “Look what you did now Ty. You scared Fluttershy.” I joked, adding a little rhyme just to get on his nerves. I got a sore shoulder for that...
“Do you have a place for the ponies?” Ty asked, accenting every word.
I am a terrible liar. And Tyler knew it, but let it drop all the same.
“Now that Joe’s abuse is over can we please figure out how to get our money?”
Yep, that’s good old Bryan, even minded and down to the point.
“I have no idea.” Tyler announced.
“Maybe an internet page?” I said, thinking it was a fantastic idea.
“Agreed, and do you even know how to make a web page, Joe?” Bryan accused.
“No…” I dejectedly hung my head in fake shame, but came back with. “Do you?”
"First off, it's called a webpage Joe. Secondly, I was thinking about maybe putting an ad in the paper." It made sense to me. Tyler and Joe laughed at the idea... Technically Joe laughed and Tyler smirked. Tyler didn't do a whole lot of ‘laughing’.
"What? It's a good idea." I reasoned.
"Does anyone even read newspapers anymore?" Joe asked.
"That's the whole point. It's gotta be cheap to put stuff in the paper now, and if only a few people see it first, the word will spread like wildfire." Okay, math time. In Glenwood, where Joe and I both live, there is a population of 9,594, which is not a lot. The average population for a city in the US is about One-million. Where Tyler lives, in silt (a few miles down the road) there is a mere population of 2,925. 9,594 + 2,925 - 3 = 12,516. That's only 12,516 people who need to hear about this. And with the 100 people who will actually read the ad, about ten might respond. However, if each of those ten people told their friends about what they saw, 75% won't believe them, but the 25% will. That doesn't mean that the 75% won't want to go check it out for themselves; quite the opposite actually. The 75% will either,
a. Have to know if it's true or not
b. get dragged over there by the friends who do believe
Don't forget about families also. With all these calculations, we can determine that we will have one of the most popular attractions in town, and that (of our population) about 9,001 will come see it. Not to mention tourists. It was the perfect plan.
"What?" Tyler asked. "How would a newspaper bring in thousands of people?"
"I have my logic behind it, just trust me." I said not wanting to explain all that to them.
Joe and Ty shrugged in agreement. We didn't know what to say after that. On a typical day that we have an agenda to fill, we spend a few hours procrastinating, and then a couple minutes afterwards doing real work. This time it happened so fast we were just kinda stuck. Then a thought struck me.
"Where are we going to show these at?" I asked. "Because I don't want a few thousand people coming through my house."
"We could show them at a park."
"Shut up Joe, the adults are working." I said joking.
"Yeah Joe, a park is way too public." Reassured Tyler.
"It was just an idea." Said Joe.
"Joe, your ideas are bad and you should feel bad." I barked back. I didn't like memes too much, but I just said them compulsively.
"I hate you guys."
"Hate you too Joe." Said Tyler.
And with that, we all fell back into silence. Twilight apparently got bored of wandering around, and trotted over to Ty.
“Hey Twilight, what’s up?” I said while smiling, not expecting her to answer of course.
Twilight smiles, looks up, and says:
Bryan, Joe and I stared at Twilight. None of us knew what to say. Twilight, after seeing our disbelieving stares, slowly lost her smile.
“Did I do… bad?” Twilight said with tears beginning to form in her eyes.
Seeing her tears snaps me out of my stupor. I reach down and pull into a hug.
“No, no, you did great. Good job!”
Twilight hugged me back, and then hopped down to the floor.
“Good. I did good!” She proudly stated to the various ponies scattered on the floor.
“Well, that’s interesting…” I said… “Now what?”
Joe and Bryan just stared at me, still dumbfounded by Twilight’s words.
“Well… we can’t sell them or use them as attractions. I won’t have it.” I said to them. I look down at Twilight. “I don’t care about money any more. They are intelligent. Quite frankly, I’ve grown attached to my ponies. After this, more so.”
Bryan nodded his head. “I do kinda like them...”
“Same here…” Joe agreed.
Bryan shook his head. “Not worth it.”
I frowned, “What do you mean?”
Bryan responded, “They’re just not worth keeping.”
“Even after finding that they are intelligent?” I incredulously ask.
“Since they are intelligent, they will sell for even more.”
“Alright then, fine. You can do what you want with yours, but I’m not going to sell mine.”
Rainbow Dash, who was still lying next to me, looked at Bryan in shock. She then scooted closer to me.
“I think she understands you. You should reconsider.” I said.
I felt rather heartless saying that, but I was trying to keep a closed mind. I had a tendency to be far too nice, so this was my chance to prove that I could be obstinate as anyone else. In all honesty, I would have given anything to keep those furry little ponies. They were just so sweet and lovable... I mean... er... um... DIRT! MONSTER TRUCKS! F*** YEAH!
We now return you to our regularly scheduled program.
"If you guys don't want to make any money off this, that's cool. But when I'm rollin' in it, I'll be laughing until the cows go home." I said.
“But... Why are being so cold? You can’t really want to sell them?” Joe said.
"Money, Joe. Money. It's that thing you don't have any of." I smirked "You know, because you don't have a job. QED no money."
"Yeah, Bryan. I got it."
"How can you even say no to these things" Tyler asked me. It was really hard coming up with a good answer to that. The pause was a bit more uncomfortable than I would like.
"Because fortune seems like the better answer."
“Depends on the kind of fortune you’re talking about.” I was still steaming over that snide little comment Bryan had said earlier. “Because if you’re talking about luck and good fortune at finding a species that nobody has seen since ancient Greece. I would completely agree with you.” I knew that Bryan wasn’t talking about that kind of fortune but I needed to rub his face into what he would miss if he sold them.
“Joe, I meant fortune as in wads of money.”
“Oh, sorry. If that’s the case you can have all the normal average everyday money you want. Because nobody has that. So go sell your little helpless ponies to someone who will stuff them and hang them on the wall of their bedroom. You do realize that if you sell them, in all likelihood they will die. Either they will be taxidermy statues or the research of some college science lab. Not that you care about something like that, because you will have your mountain of money to go to sleep on.” It might have been cruel of me to say something like that, but Bryan needed to understand what he was talking about.
I looked around the room at all the scared ponies and couldn’t help feeling sorry for them. I had known Bryan for a long time now, and I knew that if he set his mind to something he wouldn’t change it. I looked in the faces of Rainbow Dash, then Rarity and Cadence, but it wasn’t until I looked into the eyes of little Applebloom that my gut wrenched in my chest. She couldn’t have been older than two years. And yet plans for her death were already being made. I looked up at Bryan, my face twisted up in anger. Sure we were all about to exploit them for profit, but at the mention of intelligence all of that should have changed. It’s moments like this that I lose hope for mankind.
The look on Bryan’s face was changing so fast that it was hard to keep up with. Flashing from anger to fear, sadness to surprise. Eventually it settled on a look of shock and he just stared at me.
“Wow.” Tyler said, surprised at my rant. His surprise isn’t that hard to understand, you see I usually just let things go and argue for things I don’t really care about. I hadn’t had a all out rant like that ever since I was in the principal’s office four years back and started yelling at him because he said my essay dealt with racial stereotypes. Needless to say I got expelled. But because of that I came to the Garden School and I have been calm tempered ever since. Bryan looked at me still shocked and was about say something but I cut him off.
“Bryan, sleep on your decision tonight and tell me what you decide after school tomorrow. If you still want to sell them I won’t stop you.” Before he could respond I rounded up my ponies and took them to my car. Trying not to think about the consequences of my words I started the engine and headed back to my house.
Bryan and I stared at the door as Joe slammed it shut on his way out. We heard his engine rev, and he drove off. I looked at Bryan.
“While I realize this is an oxymoron coming from me, you can really be a jerk sometimes.”
Bryan said nothing.
“You don’t want to sell them. You said that just to be stubborn.”
He remained silent.
We sat for a moment, watching as our ponies began acting normally again. They all seemed slightly perturbed though, especially Twilight.
“She knows how to speak... I wonder how much of that conversation she understood?” I thought.
I called to her.
“Twilight, come over here a moment.”
She looked confused, but she slowly trotted over.
I opened my mouth to speak, but she beat me to it.
“Um... what... die?”
All the ponies looked at me, and even Bryan glanced over.
“It’s nothing. I’ll tell you later, okay?”
She slowly nodded her head.
“Okay... he mad at me?”
“No, no. Of course not sweetie.”
I reached down, picked her up, and set her on my lap. She snuggled into my chest and I held her as thoughts of the future raced through my mind.
“This complicates things. With them being intelligent, it’ll be harder to hide them. Can the others speak, or just Twilight? She always was the most inquisitive, so I’m not really surprised she talked first. But why hasn’t Luna talked before now? She’s bigger than Twilight, so I assume she’s older. Oh, right. Only being up at night, she doesn’t hear much talking.”
I looked over at Luna sleeping to my left. Perfectly still except for the rise and fall of her chest.
“I’ll need to spend more time at night with her, teaching her to talk. Twilight can talk remarkably well, but I’ll have to teach her and the others as well.”
I let go of Twilight, and sensing my intention, she hopped off my lap and back onto the floor. I scooped Luna up in my arms and looked at Bryan.
“Apologize to Joe. Give him a day to cool off, we can’t afford to be divided.”
“Fine.” He said, not wanting to give in.
I began walking towards the door, and Fluttershy nudged Scootaloo to follow me. Scootaloo laid down on the carpet and refused to budge. Fluttershy gave a quiet sigh, and picked Scootaloo up by the scruff of her neck using her teeth. Just like a mother cat and her kitten, Fluttershy followed me to the door. It was adorable and comical at the same time, due to Scootaloo only being a little smaller than Fluttershy herself. Twilight was by the door waiting for Fluttershy to get there. Once she did, I opened the door and felt a tug at my pants leg. I looked down and saw Rainbow Dash sitting there, looking at me with pleading eyes. I glanced up at Bryan, who was looking at Rainbow with a sad frown.
“Can I take her for the next few days until we meet again?” I quietly asked.
I smiled at Rainbow and opened the door. Bryan understood.
She beamed up at me, and raced to my truck. I looked back at Bryan. He was staring off into the distance, not looking at anything in particular. He must really have regretted what he said. We’ll see each other at school tomorrow, so that’ll be his chance to apologize.
I walk out to my truck and open the passenger door. Gently laying Luna down into the passenger seat, I usher the other ponies in the seats behind. Fluttershy drops Scootaloo into one, and takes the other. Rainbow and Twilight both stand up and look out the windows. I gently close the door, and open the driver’s side. I turn the truck on and drive home, wondering if I’ll really be able to succeed in keeping my ponies a secret.