1w, 5dNews 1 comments · 31 views
2w, 1dThe Past Revealed 7 comments · 43 views
4w, 5dWhen Life Takes Away the Lemons 6 comments · 55 views
7w, 1dWhen Did my mind Get so Cluttered 10 comments · 37 views
9w, 1dBlood and Guts and A Co-Write Idea 11 comments · 66 views
14w, 23hPonies as WWII Fighters 8 comments · 119 views
14w, 5dRuby Eyes and Echoes 15-16 0 comments · 20 views
15w, 3dBack In Action 0 comments · 43 views
17w, 1dWriters Block 1 comments · 38 views
17w, 5dI Am Not Dead 0 comments · 28 views
“I’m dead? Am I dead?” Matt patted himself, checking for burns. Content that he was in one piece, he looked around the perfectly silent tank. The others were just then starting to emerge from unconsciousness in unison.
“What the fuck just happened?” Matt groaned quietly as he awoke.
Zachariah jumped up, immediately peering through the periscope, as Ian hesitantly tried to nudge Patton awake. The General jumped slightly and looked around, but collected himself very quickly.
“I was expecting us to be dead,” he stated happily, joyed at their apparent lack of mutilation.
“Sir...” Zeus said slowly and reluctantly. “... I don’t know where we are at.”
Ian crawled past the General and opened the gunner's hatch. The bright sunlight blinded him momentarily and he shielded his eyes from the glare. When his vision cleared, he was surprised to find the surrounding countryside filled with large apple trees. The commander’s hatch next to him creaked open and Patton emerged.
“The hell are we?” Patton asked, louder than before, head and body panning multiple turns.
Ian shrugged, although he wished he didn’t have to. “No idea sir.”
After replying, the lieutenant pulled himself out of the tank and down onto the grassy earth. He was followed by the rest of the crew who looked around in wonder at their bright, and peaceful, surroundings.
“Wheeew,” Matt whistled as he plucked an apple from a tree. “I like this place!”
Bill and Jeff emerged last from the tank. The driver was toting a M3 ‘Grease Gun’ SMG on his shoulder. Ian, at first irked, quickly decided that it was best to be prepared and armed, just in case there was Germans in the area.
“Matt. Zeus.” he said. “I am going to check for damage. You two retrieve the rest of our guns.”
“Yes sir,” Zachariah replied quickly.
“Aye boss!” Matt smiled.
Patton was walking away while this exchanged happened, and Ian watched him walk behind a tree and disappear. He didn't bother keeping an eye on the General; he didn’t to babysit the old man, being that he was so damned spirited to begin with. The tank commander limped to the back of the Sherman and his mood soured. The engine steamed from overheating, and in frustration Ian kicked the steel hull.
“We won’t be going anywhere for a while,” he growled loudly.
“Wha..? Why?” Jeff’s southern drawl leaked through his mouthful of apple. The nineteen year-old Texan joined Ian, with Bill in tow right behind him.
“It looks to be overheated.” Ian scratched his head as he stared distastefully at the engine.
“I’ll fetch some water.” Bill climbed the side of the tank as Zeus and Matt emerged with the crew’s personal weapons.
“To our wonderful Momma!” Matt laughed as he handed Ian a pistol from a hard grip on the barrel. “Your 1911 .45. Ain’t she beautiful?”
Matt handed a revolver to Jeff. “Here is your thirty-eight, Fishy.”
“Hey, Zeus!” Matt protested. “That is my Thompson. This one is yours.”
Matt waved around an M3, pointed towards the sky, as Zeus smiled.
“The Thompson is mine now. You lost it to me in a bet.”
Matt opened his mouth to protest, but decided to not argue. No point in squabbling in a strange, unknown place. Bill was now emerging from the tank with a canteen.
“Here Bill,” Zeus handed the driver a broken M3. “Blame Matt.”
“What did ya do, Shelly?! You killed Little Lee!”
“I did not kill your gun!” Matt backed away all the while half-smiling. “It got stuck next to your seat and I might have broken off the barrel.”
Ian took the canteen from Bill as the two crewmembers glared at each other. Patton returned from behind the tree and looked at the five tankers in front of him, all out of any semblance of order.
“Line up at attention!”
The sudden seriousness caught the crew off guard. They scrambled into formation in front of the General, the position coming naturally.
“We are in unknown territory, possibly behind enemy lines and you are acting like its a summer picnic with your Grandmama!” Pattons face turned a shade of pink. “Get your shit together or I will shoot you so as to save the Nazis the trouble! Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes sir!” They replied in unison, perfectly timed under the gaze of the General.
“I want you three to set up a perimeter,” he said pointing at Matt, Bill and Jeff. “You, Zach, Marshall... Zeus, or whatever your name is, give Harper your Thompson and get on the main gun. I don't want enemy armor taking us unawares.”
They saluted and departed for their tasks. Ian remained stone still as the others left. Once they were out of earshot and inside the tank Pattons mood changed. He smile, and the smile grew wider and wider..
“You are a hell of a tank commander,” he said as he patted Ian on the back.
“Thanks sir...” Ian’s brow furrowed in confusion.
“I noticed that you limp.” Patton pointed at Ian’s right leg. The General walked up next to the Lieutenant and leaned up against the tank.
“Oh, Lucky was hit a while back and some shrapnel got lodged in my leg. I was out for a few weeks and Zeus, I mean Marshall took over commanding the tank. I was almost replaced for good, but I recovered in time.”
Admiration visibly filled Patton’s eyes. Tales of unwavering soldiers made his difficult job all the easier.
“You boy, are a hero,” he patted Ian on the back. “Any man willing to get hurt and rush back to the lines is worthy of any medal.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Where are you from?”
Ian remained quiet as memories flooded his mind. After a few moments he answered, pushing through them.
“I was born in Ireland. I moved to the States with my father and three sisters when I was seven. I lived in Maine for a while until I joined the Army.”
“Well,” Patton said with a smile. “Let’s see if the engine will start and when we get back to our lines, I am getting you and your crew as many medals as I am allowed.”
“Sounds nice, sir!” Ian gave a zealous smile in return.
Internally, he could have cared less about medals.
“Oh, she’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes, she’ll be comin’ round the mountain, she’ll be-”
“Matt,” Zeus snarled. “If you don’t shut up, I am going to shove this shell down your throat!”
Bill shook his head, but overall he was happy that the initial awkwardness of being in a tank with the most feared American General had faded, albeit only slightly.
Shelly seemed to be the only one impervious to the uncomfort.
The happy sputtering of the tank always improved Bill’s mood. Being a native of northern Virginia, he had spent his whole life working on his family’s farm equipment and tractors- the sound of Lucky’s engine was like the sound of a heart to him. Next to him, Fishy was busy scanning the radio for any sign of allied or enemy forces. All they could hear though was the heartless sound of static.
“This ain't good,” Fishy pounded his fist on the metal box. “Ah ain't got nothin’ on all frequencies!”
“The radio is probably broken or the antenna shorted or something,” Ian called down. He was back in his command position, standing up in the hatch.
Patton, eager to relax, sat on the edge of the turret watching the apple trees pass by.
“What I don’t understand is how there are no signs of war anywhere.” Patton observed the peacefulness of the land. “No planes, distant gunfire and explosions. Nothing. Not even the smallest shell-crater.”
He looked up into the sky, half-expecting to see P-51 Mustangs scream over the tree line, but all that flew over was a robin. The tank unexpectedly ground to a halt and Patton was sent tumbling forward. Ian slammed his face against the fifty caliber in front of him and he felt blood drip from his brow towards his eyes, and pain soon reared its head.
“God dammit Bill!” Ian screamed. “What the bloody hell did you do that for?”
Patton righted himself and waited for an answer as well. When there was no reply Zachariah nudged the driver with his foot. Bill shook his head and replied hesitantly.
“I, uh... I think a brightly colored animal ran in front of the tank.” His dead-serious tone did not belly any hidden humor.
“What?” Ian replied. His mouth hung open in confusion. “I have seen you drive this tank straight into a line of Germains, even running a few over but you stop for a colorful dog or something?!”
“Sorry,” Bill replied, irked at the tone he was receiving.
In his mind, though, the image of the animal remained. A small, yellow, horse-like animal with what appeared to be a red ribbon in its hair.
“Silly Billy,” Matt laughed.
To which he was punched in the ribs by Zeus.
The orange pony looked up from a basket of apples she was sorting, as her sister ran up to her. A look of pure fear was etched across her face.
“What is it Applebloom?” Applejack dropped the apple she was holding and rushed to meet Applebloom.
“There’s ah monster in tha orchard!” The filly slid to a stop. Her body shook from fear.
“A monster?” Applejack wouldn't had believed it but the fear in Applebloom’s eyes convinced her that the filly had indeed seen some sort of monster. “What did it look like?”
Applebloom struggled to regain her breath. “Like ah... Like ah giant turtle!”
'That don’t sound that scary,' Applejack noted internally.
“Ah’ll go check it out.” Applejack trotted into the barn. “Big Mac, I need yer help with someth’n.”
“Eeyup,” came his reply from the apple-filled interior of the barn.
The pair prepared to walk into the orchard when Applebloom galloped up to them.
“Ah’am coming with ya.”
“No,” Applejack shook her head. “Ah want ya to go get the others just in case we need em.”
Applebloom’s lower lip quivered. “Okay,” she replied reluctantly.
Her two siblings ran off toward the distant apple tree covered hills, as Applebloom slowly made her way toward Ponyville. Applejack and Big Macintosh didn't have to search long for the signs of the monster. They stumbled across a pair of thick parallel tracks lined in the ground, the bars stretching on as far as they could see.
“Ah wonder what could have made these.” Applejack walked around the trail, studying it intently. “Looks like the tracks a wagon would make buh these are a great deal wider, and the bars go across instead o’ long-ways…”
“Big Mac, ya follow the trail that ah way.” Applejack pointed towards the direction that led away from Ponyville, into the distant Whitetail Wood. “Ah’ll follow it towards Ponyville.”
Macintosh nodded and galloped off. Applejack followed the trail for a good five minutes before she heard a strange sound coming from further up the track- it sounded like a large animal was growling non-stop. She slowed her pace and started noticing things amiss around her. Bushes were flattened, trees were damaged and apples had been shaken loose from the branches by the passage of something large.
The pony’s confidence started to fade as she neared the source of the noise. Applejack could hear plants and branches being crushed. The rumbling was so strong that she could feel it in her legs.
Then she saw it, and to her it did look like a large turtle. It was dark green, and it lumbered along slowly, all the while growling as if it was perpetually angry. Its shell, she noted, was oddly shaped; it was squared with a small curved box on top. The box had what appeared to be a large pipe sticking out of it.
“Well ain't you funny look’n.” She whispered to herself.
She followed it and noticed that the ‘Turtlezilla,’ or whatever it was, seemed lost. It continuously changed direction and in truth had not traveled out of an area three miles wide. There was a sudden loud sputter followed by a rush of steam or smoke from the turtle’s rear and the orchard became deathly quiet. The pony jumped into a nearby bush and hid, fearful.
The monster sputtered a few times, and then returned to silence. After a few moments, there echoed a voice that Applejack swore came from inside the beast.
“Fuck this tank!”
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