Have you ever woken up somewhere you don't recognize? I have, once before. There was a very strange party thrown together by my aunt, you see, and … actually, in the interest of not making half of my audience run away screaming, let's just say I woke up with a massive headache and a rather upset wife. And the sheep, oh god the sheep. This time was not all that different, discounting the screaming. And that blasted sheep. Headache? Check. Dry mouth? Check. Upset stomach? Check. Beeping? Uhm, that one is new.
"That musta been one hell of a party," I groaned, trying to open my caked-shut eyes. With a wince, I managed to open them only to slam them shut again with a strangely high pitched cry. Light, ever the bane of the hungover. Still rubbing my eyes, I heard a distinct clop-clop-clopping sound of something hard striking the floor.
"Oh good, he's awake." Squinting against the light, I could see a white blur approaching wherever I was laying. As it got closer, it became more defined and I couldn't help but feel my jaw almost dislocate from the shock. Now, I have to say right here and now: I am a Brony. I'm a bit on the 'old' side as Bronies go though not the oldest. Still, I hit the triple decade mark a bit ago so I guess that makes me one of the older ones of that fandom. And, as all old farts will tell you, I've seen a bit in my time. Never something that could prepare me for this though.
"Pony?" The white-coated and pink-maned mare in front of me nodded at my squeak with an ever present smile on her face. As I stared at her, I noticed things that - at the time - seemed so odd. Their pelts, for example, are like real pelts. Each hair is separate and real. And they're not all one color, the fur itself has shade. Depth. Each hair of the mane flowed like a human hair would, though my present example had her hair in a bun under her nurses hat. It was so real. She was alive. Yet, something was definitely 'off' about her. Her head was large. Yes that was what they were in the show but to see it in reality threw every pony right into the Uncanny Valley. Her eyes. Massive didn't even begin to describe them. 'Ginormous' fit I guess. I couldn't even think of them as orbs in any sense of the word. Man, ponies are hella creepy when you think about it.
I must have been staring at her with the most confused expression ever because she seemed to have noticed. She gave me a big, warm smile - at least it would have been warm had it not been given by some Lovecraftian horror. I rapidly shifted my eyes away from her face, taking in my spartan surroundings. A hospital room painted a very light shade of blue, curtains drawn open to let in the full blast of that most hated of objects, the sun. The heart monitor beeping its little mechanical heart out next to me explained the noise that woke me up, at least. An IV seemed to be stuck in one of my … legs. Other than that, a way-too-human chair and a small tray filled with medical detritus the room was pretty dang empty. And it smelled of 'sanitation.'
"Yup, you're safe here now, little one. Do you know where you are?" It, er, she was still giving me that creepy smile. I'm going to call it warm for now. Yeah, we'll go with warm. At my way-too-energetic head shake, her smile just grew wider. Shudder. "Well, you're in Ponyville General Hospital after a group of foals found you at the edge of Whitetail Woods. Can you tell me what happened?" Suddenly, something clicked in my head.
"Little one?" I knew for a fact my voice sounded really squeaky and I probably sounded like an absolute idiot but at the time I was a bit preoccupied. I looked down at my hands WHERE DID MY HANDS GO?! Why no hands? Why is the hands gone? Instead of hands, two stumpy light blue things stared back at me. Metaphorically, of course. Having eyes down there would be weird. I think I was beginning to hyperventilate and I looked back up at the nurse with the tears forming in my eyes. I think it was shock. I started to mouth the word 'hands' over and over again in some vain hope that I could summon them by the power of repetition and hope. The nurse - whose 'cutie mark' seemed to be a Swiss Cross for some reason - blinked slightly at me. I didn't even want to try to imagine the mathematics behind that particular physical feat. Seriously, where are their eyelids?!
"Well, I'm sorry. I, well, yes. You're a little colt. Do, do you remember your name?" Her concerned look did not dissuade me from responding as I feel any sane man would at that particular bit of news.
I don't think she expected the torrent of filthy language that left my very small muzzle at that point in time.
"Now then, Mr. Dirtymouth, what do we say?"
"Ach, ptew. Stuff it! Oh no GHGHGBLGUBLGLUBGLUB ptew, ptew!" Soap has never been my favored flavor but whatever they put in hospital soap sure as hell makes it taste nastier than regular stuff. Also, Earth Ponies are STRONG. I was currently being lifted by the scruff of my neck and held over a hospital bathroom sink as this pony nurse tried to 'scrub out all those nasty dirty words,' as she put it. She was also holding my bag of IV fluid above her head and had been pumping soap into my forced open muzzle with her own mouth for a good five minutes. Seriously, who knew ponies had the same curse words as humans? Or the same language, for that matter. Regardless, with me having swallowed a metric ton of that foul stuff (on an empty stomach and with a very dry throat), I figured it was time to play nice with the twice-my-size-could-probably-cave-my-head-in mare that I had inadvertently - and after this had begun, purposefully - royally pissed off.
"Ok, uncle! Uncle! I give!" Thrashing about in her biologically improbable strong grip seemed to get my point across more than the foaming and spitting attempt at language and I was dropped on my rump with absolutely no dignity. It's the little things, ya know? I'm guessing she didn't want me yanking out the needle burrowed into the crook of my, uh, leg. Her managing three things at once while yelling at me and keeping me under some semblance of control was just another quirk of biology that I just did not want to try to wrap my head around. Hey biologists? You think a fly flying is something really hard to figure out? Try figuring out how to hold things with HOOVES.
"What do we say?" The angry eyeball she was giving me caused me to shiver slightly. The horror … In response to the monstrosity before me, I laid my ears back and hiccoughed a bubble. Yeah, I was really heaping on the sad puppy dog eyes as best I could. As long as they thought I was a foal, I'd resort to foal tricks. Though, let's be honest, I was probably just reacting to the Unnamable Thing in front of me.
"I, I don't know miss. I'm sorry?" I must have had a bigger effect on her than I thought because the next thing I knew, I was being hugged very hard. Did I mention Earth Ponies are strong? Yeah. That earned her a few bubbles in the mane. She didn't seem to mind. With a gasping breath, I caught a wiff of her scent … she smelled like a clean horse. They do not smell like vanilla, lavender, or any of that other crazy stuff. Just horse. Clean, but horse.
"I'm so sorry, little one. But we can't have a young colt like you growing up thinking it's ok to use that language." After a minute of me trying very hard to breathe properly, she set me down - gently this time - and smiled at me. "Let's get back to what we were doing before, hmm?"
I nodded, looking purposefully down at the ground. That face. And hey, you gotta use the tools you're given, though, am I right? I thought that if I looked dejected enough, she'd go easy on me. Guilt, one of the few things a kid can do really well.
She led me back into the hospital room and helped me up onto the bed again. I stumbled a bit, of course. Having suddenly double the legs and the coordination of a child would have done that. Not that she knew any of that as she was looking very concerned by that point. Where was that concern when she was pumping my poor aching stomach full of antibacterial soap? I had half a mind to vomit but I don't think that would help with the taste.
Having settled into the bed as best I could, I then lost all faith in the pony race. Poked, prodded, PROBED. Do they really not know of oral thermometers or was this some sort of revenge of hers? And, of course, we were both nude. Yeah, the last of my dignity was lost that day. I had a fetish, at one point in time. It's gone now. Thanks creepy Nurse! And all through this, she was peppering me with questions.
"Do you remember your name?" Evidently, Bruce is not a very 'pony' name. "Who are your parents?" Neither are 'Edward' nor 'Clarice.' "Your school?" 'Polytechnic' anything just got a chuckle. Obviously missing was 'profession,' 'address,' and 'I hoped you liked dinner before I violated you.' Again, thanks Nurse.
"Well, you rest up a bit, uhm, 'Bruce.' I'll go get the doctor." She patted my head, though I tried to keep her at a good arm's, er, leg's length away. Besides, I had just been stuffed full of semi-poisonous soap water, poked with half a dozen needles and had the last shred of my male dignity destroyed in front of my eyes all perpetrated by an Elder One of aeons past. And to think I once thought ponies potentially 'hot.' I was not in a touchy mood.
"Can I have a glass of water at least?" With my fresh glass of clean, pure, un-suddsy water in my hooves, somehow, I awaited the doctor with bated and bubbly breath.