April 13th 2012
"Okay, cut that out and let's be serious for a moment," I said, unamused. "I get it, you girls must be fans of ponies. I am too, but I don't go dying my hair and prancing around naked in the bloody Outback hoping to get a cutie mark. Now, where are your clothes?"
The girl who had identified herself as Pinkie let go of her breasts and gave me an awkward look. "You're silly," she giggled. "I don't need to prance around to get my cutie mark. It's right here!" she exclaimed, turning around and showing me her bum. Just below and to the side of her left cheek was a mark depicting three balloons.
"Oy! What are you, some kind of exhibitionist? I know you ladies are young, but you can be arrested for this sort of behavior. Now, please tell me where your clothes are so we can get you looking proper." I couldn't believe the young lady had actually gone out and gotten a tattoo of a cutie mark. I noticed the other girl peering at her own tattoo of three pink and yellow butterflies. They were nutters. Both of them.
"Why do we need clothes to look proper? Is there some kind of big, formal party going on somewhere? Ooh, is it a 'You-Just-Got-Zapped-by-Discord's-Mega-Ultra-Spell-of-Doom-and-You-Got-Transported-to-Some-Weird-Place-and-Turned-Into-Some-Strange-Hairless-Animal-so-We-Threw-You-This-Party-so-You-Don't-Feel-Bad' party?" The one calling herself Pinkie had actually managed to keep a straight face while saying all of this.
I sat down on a leaf pile and studied a nearby spider. It was just an orb weaver, so it wasn't dangerous. This whole situation was not going as well as I had hoped. My intent had been to check the girls for injuries, get them dressed, and then find their ID's so I could call the park rangers and get them some help. Instead, they had woken up and turned out to be a few of those kinds of cartoon fans. I kept my eyes on the spider as I spoke.
"No, lady. No parties here," I said quietly. "You can drop the pony nonsense, too. You girls clearly had a little too much fun with something, and you need help. If you're not going to tell me where your clothes are, that's fine. Just be warned that I am calling the rangers, and they're more likely to press charges if they catch you two out here without any clothes on." I pulled out my Samsung Galaxy S II from the back pocket of my shorts and looked up the number for the rangers.
The Pinkie fan walked over to her friend and kneeled down next to her. I could hear their quiet conversation as I scrolled down the long list of numbers stored in my phone.
"Are you okay, Fluttershy?"
"I... I think so. Is that really you, Pinkie?"
"Sure is!" the girl squealed.
I rolled my eyes as I found the number I was looking for. I pressed the call button and waited for the call to connect.
"Oh, I'm so glad. I was so worried about that pink magic that hit us," the Fluttershy fan whispered. She was looking at her arms and legs again. "What did it do to us?"
"I don't know, but we sure do look silly. It looks like that poor stallion over there lost his memories when he got zapped. If you ask me, he's acting kind of crazy!" the Pinkie fan whispered conspiratorially while looking at me out of the corner of her eye.
I frowned at that, but let it slide. The phone was having trouble connecting, probably because we were in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by tall trees. I sighed, cancelled the call, and put the phone back in my pocket. I looked back to the orb weaver spider as a way of keeping my eyes off of the two young women. There had to be a better way to get them to the rangers without walking through four miles of bush, especially when they had no clothing. The two continued their conversation.
"Pinkie, how are you able to move around like that?" the Fluttershy fan asked. "I don't think I could stand on two legs for long, especially when they're this long. It seems so scary!"
"I just make a game out of it. That way it becomes fun instead of being scary! It's kind of like a balancing game. Besides, it couldn't be much more difficult to learn how to do this than it was to learn how to fly!"
"Um, Pinkie? That strange stallion is kind of pulling at that short mane he has."
Letting go of my hair, I almost turned to face the girls. With some effort, I was able to remain focused enough to remember why I was looking away. It was time to put an end to this.
"Okay ladies. Can you please tell me where you're camped? I can escort you to your tent or camper, then I'll just leave you to it and forget we ever had this meeting. Sound fair?" I asked. With whatever those two were on, they would likely forget all about this in a few hours, anyway.
"Tent?" the Pinkie fan asked. "Oh no no no, we're not camping. I'd like to go camping though; it sounds like fun! But we should probably do that later, like at a time when we don't look so silly and Discord isn't still on the loose. Hey! Maybe we can all go camping after we find the others and stop Discord again. Maybe you can help us. Have you seen a purple unicorn around here? Well, she might not be a unicorn any more, but she used to be a unicorn." She had moved and was kneeling right next to me by the time she had finished talking.
My head was beginning to hurt, as it usually did when I had to deal with nonsense. It would be getting dark within the next hour, and I still wasn't back to my tent. As much as I hated to admit it, I couldn't risk trying to lead the girls anywhere in the dark. Walking through the bush at night wasn't a good idea; walking through the bush at night without clothes on was damn-near suicidal. I couldn't just leave them out here, either. It would get fairly cold as it got darker, and they needed to get to shelter. Sighing, I came to a decision.
"No, I haven't seen a bloody purple unicorn," I grumbled. "Look, we'll find your clothes and your camp tomorrow. I can take you to my tent for tonight - don't worry, it's large enough to fit six people, and I'll sleep outside. Afterwards, you can go running through the bush all you want. For now, we need to get to some shelter."
"You sure are a bossy-pants. You've been asking us questions and telling us what we should do, but what about our questions and what we want to do?" the Pinkie fan asked from her spot beside me. She was peering at me as if I were up to no good.
Raising my hands, I said, "Okay, I'll answer whatever questions you want to ask. After we get to the tent." I felt that I would probably regret that statement, but we needed to get moving. "I already said you could do whatever you want to do tomorrow morning, so don't worry about that. I can lend you two my shirt and jacket so you're at least a little covered up. It will be cold soon, so you should be wearing something." I removed my jacket, then pulled off my shirt. Bloody hell, it was already cold.
The Pinkie fan took the jacket I offered her. After examining it thoughtfully for a few moments, she put it on. It was far too big on her, and was long enough to cover everything up, if barely. I stood up and walked over to the other girl, then handed her my shirt. She stared at it for a few moments, then held it back out to me.
"Um, no thank you. I don't want to wear this," she said quietly.
I crossed my arms impatiently and stared into her aqua-colored eyes until she glanced away. "It's cold out. You need to have some clothes on, or you might become sicker than you already are," I stated.
"Oh yes, it is quite cold. It's just that the shirt you gave me is kind of scary," she said with a slight blush.
I stared at her for a good ten seconds, then glanced down at my shirt. It was a white Tapout T-shirt featuring three winged skulls on the front. I glanced back at the girl on the ground.
"Don't like skulls much?" I asked.
The girl nodded.
"Alright then. Close your eyes for a moment. I'm going to perform some magic."
"Ooh, you can do magic?" the Pinkie fan asked as she appeared beside me again. "Do I close my eyes, too?"
I nodded. Once both girls had closed their eyes, I turned the shirt inside-out. "Okay, open them," I said. "Tadaa! The horrible scary skulls are all gone. Now put it on. Please." I said the last word as nicely as I could.
The one claiming to be Fluttershy seemed satisfied, but then looked at me with confusion. "I... don't know how to."
"Of course you don't," I said as calmly as I could. "How could I expect any former pony other than Pinkie Pie to know how to put on human clothes, right?"
'Fluttershy' smiled and nodded, but the smile faded when she noticed the look on my face. I quickly faked a smile of my own. The last thing I needed was to make the girl start crying or something.
"Okay, well I can help you put it on. Unless Pinkie wants to help?" I glanced over at 'Pinkie'.
"Sure!" she grinned and helped 'Fluttershy' into the shirt. As with 'Pinkie' and my jacket, the shirt was far too big for her.
"Alright then. Stand up and let's get going," I said. I began to climb over the fallen tree so I could retrieve my fishing gear.
"I can't," came the quiet reply.
This again? I was done messing around. I jumped back off of the tree, walked over to 'Fluttershy', turned around, and knelt down.
"Um, what are you doing?" she asked.
"It's a pony-back ride!" 'Pinkie' exclaimed with a giggle. I nodded in confirmation.
"Just wrap your arms around my neck. I'll carry you back to camp." Four long miles back to camp. "Can you help with my fishing gear, Pinkie? It's just on the other side of this tree."
"Okie dokie lokie!" she said as she climbed over the tree with little effort.
I lifted 'Fluttershy' up once she had grabbed on to me tightly. She was far lighter than I had expected her to be - I was able to climb over the tree easily, even with her clinging to my back. I saw that 'Pinkie' had already gathered my fishing supplies.
"Be careful with the fishing pole, there's still a hook attached to it," I warned her. "It looks like we've got everything, so let's get going."
We began the long trek back to my camp as the sun, no longer obscured by pink flashing, began to make its way towards the horizon.
We arrived at my tent just as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. The journey had been a difficult one. Not because of any physical exertion or overly treacherous terrain, but because 'Pinkie' insisted on talking the entire way. She had first begun asking questions, to which I reminded her that I would answer them after we arrived at camp. Afterwards, she decided to tell me all about how wonderful words such as increment and kumquat were. When she began to sing about the wonders of walking on two legs and those weird things known as hands and fingers, I asked her to be quiet as politely as I could. The look on her face made me feel bad somehow, but she complied for the most part. She had eventually resorted to humming quietly for the rest of the trip.
I was preparing to set 'Fluttershy' down so I could retrieve my lantern from inside the tent when she suddenly tightened her grip around my neck. My attempt to ask her what she was up to was cut off by a few choking coughs.
"Oh m-my. Oh dear, oh no. W-w-what is that?" she asked timidly as she pointed into the darkness with her fist.
With her holding on with one arm, I was able to breathe again. I looked over to where she was pointing, trying to think of what could possibly be out here that would cause her to panic so much. This wasn't dingo territory, and I doubted she could see a snake as dark as it was. I couldn't see anything dangerous.
"Where? I don't see it," I whispered.
"R-r-right there! The big white thing."
I stared as hard as I could. My eyes were adjusted to the darkness, but I still couldn't make out whatever it was that had frightened the girl so badly. Was she hallucinating?
"Seriously, I don't see anything."
'Pinkie' looked over at me. "You don't? Did you bump your head when we landed in this place or something?" she asked as she walked over to where 'Fluttershy' had pointed.
"No Pinkie, it could be dangerous," 'Fluttershy' called quietly from my back. She resumed holding on with both arms, causing me to gasp for air.
"She means this!" 'Pinkie' said and pointed at something.
"My... car?" I managed to sputter before having to sit down. Once I did, the pressure on my throat relaxed enough for me to breathe again. "Are you serious? You're freaking out over the bloody car?"
"You know, I don't see any blood on it," 'Pinkie' said. "Are you seeing things, or are you just really gross and weird?"
"What? No, I don't mean it's literally bloody. It's just a figure of speech," I replied. I then pried 'Fluttershy's' arms from my throat and turned to face her. "You know, I thought you were the more normal one out of you both, but now I'm not so sure."
"Hey! Don't be mean to Fluttershy!" 'Pinkie' scolded, but 'Fluttershy' didn't seem to mind. Her expression had changed drastically.
"Did you say that creature was your pet? Oh, how wonderful! Do you like animals, too? I have the most wonderful bunny back home named Angel. Well, he does get cranky sometimes, but I can't hold that against him. Ooh, and there's song birds, and wallaroos, and crickets, and... "
"... and I can't forget the toucans. They're sooo cute! But anyway, I love to take care of them, and feed them, play games with them, ask them if they're feeling okay... "
"... and sometimes, I sing them to sleep and they just look so precious and cute. Do you like to sing your car to sleep? Is it sleeping right now? Oh, please tell me all about it."
I stared at 'Fluttershy' for a few moments until her cheeks reddened and she looked down at the ground. I tried to keep my voice gentle. "A car is not an animal. It's a vehicle. You'll remember that tomorrow when whatever god-awful drugs you're on wear off. It's not going to hurt you and it only drinks petrol, or gasoline. Now, I'm going to go into my tent and get you two some of my spare clothes. You're going to stay out here and not do anything crazy for a few moments. Is that okay with you?"
"I'm not crazy, I just love animals," 'Fluttershy' pouted. I quickly zipped open the tent and went inside. I had a feeling that if I stayed outside much longer, I'd begin to feel guilty for explaining what a car was.
Inside the tent, I fumbled around in the dark until I found my battery-powered lantern, then flicked it on and was able to quickly locate two spare pairs of shorts and a couple t-shirts. I made a point of picking out shirts that did not have images of scary skulls or the like. The idea of providing some underwear very briefly passed through my mind, but I decided things were weird enough as they were. Shorts and shirts would be fine. Gathering up the clothes, I exited the tent and was pleasantly surprised to see that the girls hadn't destroyed anything while I was away.
I handed a set of clothes to each girl. "You can get dressed in the tent. I'll wait for you out here."
"Um... " 'Fluttershy' began.
"Oh, right." I unzipped the tent, then came back, picked her up, and carried her inside. 'Pinkie' followed right behind.
"I can help her get dressed," she beamed.
"Uh huh," I said. I shook my head as I exited the tent again. A few minutes later, 'Pinkie' opened the tent flap and beckoned for me to come get 'Fluttershy'. A short time later, we were all sitting outside on folding chairs around the lantern. I held out my arms. "Welcome to my humble camp. As promised, you can ask me your questions now."
'Pinkie' wasted no time. "Do you know where we are?"
"Burrinjuck. About midway between Canberra and Sydney, on the continent of Australia, on the planet Earth." I figured I may as well cover all the bases. It was somewhat amusing watching the girls try to comprehend everything.
"Wow, you must read lots of books to know all of that! Our friend Twilight likes to read books, too. She's super-duper smart! Anyway, how far from Ponyville is that?"
"Very," I stated.
"Is that like very very, or more like very very very?"
"It's as very as it gets."
"Wow, Discord sure wasn't fooling around this time, huh?" 'Pinkie' nudged 'Fluttershy' and giggled. "Since you seem to be super-duper smart like Twilight, can you tell us what Discord turned us all into?"
"Humans," I answered.
"Wow, you're good at this!" she beamed. "You did magic earlier - do you know any spells that can change us back into ponies?"
"No, but I'm sure there's something in your purse that might lead to an effect like that. Or worse," I muttered. "I'd stay away from that stuff if I were you, though."
'Pinkie' gave me a blank stare for a moment. It gave 'Fluttershy' a chance to ask a question of her own.
"Are there d-dragons in Burrinjuck?" she asked. Her eyes darted back and forth, and she was cringing for some reason.
"Nah, they're up in St. George," I replied and laughed.
"Can we never go there. Like, ever?" The girl was visibly shaking. Maybe the drugs were starting to wear off.
"I don't think you need to worry about that. If I'm lucky, you two will turn out to be from Canberra, and will be travelling in the opposite direction when you leave."
'Pinkie' asked another question next. "Is there anything to eat around here? Discord kind of caught us all right before lunch time. Which was probably his plan all along, the big meanie," she huffed. I thought I heard her mumble something else about there being no chocolate rain this time.
"Got the munchies, huh? Yeah, hold on. I'll get some snacks." I disappeared into the tent and came back out a few minutes later with a can of Pringles, a few peanut butter sandwiches, and three Cokes. I handed the food out and sat back down.
"Eww, what is this stuff?" 'Pinkie' asked. She had pulled the two slices of bread from her sandwich apart and was looking inside of it.
"Relax, it's just peanut butter," I reassured her. "It's not the cheap stuff either, It's Jif."
She put the sandwich back together and took a small bite, then her eyes lit up. "This is good!" she exclaimed, then proceeded to practically swallow the thing whole.
'Fluttershy' hadn't eaten anything yet. She kept moving her eyes from the food, to her hands, and back again. I rolled my eyes.
"The hoof thing again, right?" I asked.
"You know, you could both pretend to be Pinkie Pie for a while. Then you would suddenly know how to use hands, as if by magic!" I suggested with a grin.
"Oh, no. I could never be as Pinkie-like as Pinkie is. I know I'm not the bravest, or even the smartest pony, but I prefer to just be myself," 'Fluttershy' said with a small smile.
There quite literally was nothing that I could say to that. "Pinkie, can you please help feed her?" I asked. I didn't even have the heart to say the word Pinkie sarcastically.
"Sure!" she replied and bent over to assist her friend.
I observed the two while eating my sandwich. They gave the chips weird looks, but ate them without complaint. They seemed to enjoy the Cokes as well, though they both sputtered and spilled some on their first attempt at drinking them. It was getting late, and I was tired of all the horseplay, so to speak. A slow, evil grin spread across my face as an idea came to mind.
"Hey girls, it's getting really late. I'm pretty sleepy," I said, faking a yawn and stretching. "How about we get some sleep. I promise to answer any more questions you have tomorrow morning."
"Um, I don't know... " 'Fluttershy' began.
"Hell, I'll even help you get back to Ponyville!" I said with as much sincerity as I could muster.
"Pinkie promise?" 'Pinkie' asked, peering at me intently.
"Pinkie promise." I said confidently.
"Okay, deal! Is that okay with you, Fluttershy?" 'Pinkie' asked. Her friend nodded in approval.
We finished our meal and I helped 'Fluttershy' into my tent. I led them to my air mattress, which was a double, and even tucked the girls in. They wouldn't remember anything in the morning, anyway. I bid them each a good night, then exited the tent and began searching for a decent spot to lie down. There were none, but I didn't mind. One night outside on the hard ground with only a blanket would be a small price to pay to be rid of the two weird girls in the tent. They were good at mimicking their favorite ponies. Really good. It was too bad they were druggies, or we may have gotten along quite well. It didn't matter. Tomorrow I'd only have to deal with them long enough to get them back to their own camp. I closed my eyes and, certain that everything was settled, I fell asleep.