DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit work of fan fiction. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic © Hasbro.
Conrad Reiter threw his backpack on the floor with a loud thud and flopped over on his bed. He lay there with his face buried in the pillow, muffled groans just barely escaping the soft, cotton-stuffed fabric. He punched the bed a few times and pressed his face in deeper to let out a scream of anger.
This was the ninth or tenth time those other kids had teased the high school sophomore for his fear of horses. But today was different. One of the kids came in wearing a horse mask and jumped out to scare him. Conrad was on the floor, crying in front of everyone. When the bully removed his mask, Conrad lunged at him, pinning him against the wall and repeatedly punched him in the gut.
Now, in his hand, he held his letter of suspension for starting a fight. The other kid got away with it, saying he was just showing off the mask he got for the school play of Robin Hood.
That bastard gets away with it every time, and I get in trouble, Conrad thought, I'm sick of this. I hate this school. I hate those kids... I hate horses!
He rolled over, then kicked off his shoes when re realized he was still wearing them. Staring up at the ceiling, he wiped his eyes on his sleeve and wished he could escape, go somewhere, if only for a while, where no one would mock him for his fears. More so, he wished he could get over these fears altogether.
As he put on a pair of ear buds and turned on his MP3 player, he sat quietly, still staring at the ceiling until he drifted off to sleep.
Conrad jolted awake and jumped forward, getting to his feet faster than most people could even climb out of bed. He was standing up now, feeling wide awake and bewildered at the same time. He blinked rapidly and looked around.
Instead of his bedroom, he was in a lush, green forest with lots of thick undergrowth and tall trees without any low branches. Light filtered down through the high canopy of leaves, giving the glen he found himself in an almost supernatural look.
"Wow," he said to himself, "this is a nicer dream than I usually have. But where am I?"
Walking into the tree line, Conrad frequently looked left and right, trying to find either a landmark or some way out of the woods. A root sticking out of the ground caught his foot, causing him to trip. He picked himself up, brushed off the dirt, and realized something new: his lip was bleeding.
"Wait a minute..." He faced the tree next to him and gave it a solid punch. He quickly recoiled from the pain and grabbed his hand. "Ow, jeez!" He seethed at the pain. "OK, so this isn't a dream. Then how did I get in the woods? I don't even live near any woods!"
The reality of the situation began to sink in. Oh, crap. I'm lost in the woods, no idea where, and I don't remember coming here. It's not a dream, and I couldn't have sleep walked here. That leaves one other possibility... He gasped at the conclusion he came to. "I've... I've been kidnapped!"
Panic set in, followed by adrenaline. "Help!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, but received no answer. "Hello! Anyone! I don't know where I am! Help!"
Having no bearings and no one around, Conrad decided his only option was to pick a direction and go. Running the way he already was, towards the setting sun, he eventually came to a shallow river.
The water was crystal clear, and had colorful, smooth, round stones of varying sizes under the surface. It reminded Conrad that he was thirsty. He knelt down and cupped his hands in the water, bringing it up to his mouth to drink. After quenching his thirst, he wiped his mouth and looked around. The trees on the other side were thinner than this side, and above them seemed to be pillars of light smoke rising into the sky.
Conrad heaved a sigh of relief and bent down, putting his hands on his knees as he caught his second wind. Civilization! I thought I'd never find it!
Jumping from stone to stone, Conrad reached the other side and started in the direction of the smoke. He stopped short on the river bank when he heard a twig snap. He froze in place, barely moving his head to face the source of the noise.
The bushes to his right began to rustle, and a creature began to emerge. Conrad saw the muzzle first, and then the rest of the head. A brown creature with a darker brown mane that was spiked backwards down its neck. His breath caught when he realized he was looking at a pony. Not a horse, but it scared him all the same.
His heart nearly stopped when the pony looked at him with its unusually large eyes, and then turned its head towards him. Conrad gulped and took a step back. His face turned pale as the pony began to approach him.
Just stay calm. It won't attack if I stay calm. He was visibly sweating and trembling now, his heart racing. "N-nice pony... g-good pony..."
The brown stallion was completely out of the brush now. Conrad noticed something curious about it: someone had branded him with a picture of an hourglass on his flank. What was even more curious was the pony was now making facial expressions at him, slightly frowning with one eyebrow raised.
Conrad tensed up when he saw the pony open his mouth. "Excuse me? Are you lost?"
Every bit of color in Conrad's face drained away. Everything went dark for him as he lost consciousness and fell face first on the ground.
The pony leaned down and gave the strange new creature a curious sniff. "Oh, dear. And I'm not the right kind of doctor for this."