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44w, 4dfimfiction's favorites
41w, 6hShining Armor and Cadence
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4d, 2hHumans turned ???
The Ever free forest is incredibly dangerous, especially at night, but the smart know how to navigate it safely. One such creature floated down the Ever free river in her tiny boat slowly paddling towards her quarry.
In the exact center of the vast forest, an island in the Everfree River cradles a massive house. No one was quite sure when it was built, or who kept it in such great shape, but it was common knowledge (among the few that spent any time in the forest) that the house had been empty for a very long time.
AS the house came into sight, she pulled her saddlebags on and prepared to dock. As usual, she had to fight a strong urge to turn back as she came within hearing range of the bells hanging from every tree on the island. Once again, she overcame the clearly magical force and hopped onto the small dock on the south side of the island. After making sure her boat was securely tied, she hoofed her way down a cobblestone path towards the house, stopping just short of the front door to leave the path and head around to the back.
She kept one eye on the windows as she passed, hoping to catch a glimpse of the strange creatures that worked within. She often visited the island, though it was less often that she would see the inhabitants of the house. Sometimes a hand, seemingly made of shifting symbols, would shine in the moonlight as its master pulled a curtain shut. Once she had seen a face of the same shining runes staring at her from an upper window, expressionless as she walked through the yard.
Unfortunately, she was once again out of luck and the windows remained empty. She quickly trotted around to the backyard and the true reason for her visit, the garden. Many exotic herbs were grown on the island, the river air providing the perfect place for them to thrive. She began picking the herbs, placing each type in a different pouch of her no longer empty saddlebag.
She worked quickly and efficiently, and in no time she had all she required, closing the saddlebag and turning to make her way back to the dock.
“Who are you and what are you doing on the island?” a voice asked from the shadows.
Startled, she turned and beheld the apparent origin of the voice, two piercing eyes hanging in the darkness. Closer inspection revealed a small cat, bathing itself on the back steps. The creature was pure white, wearing a crimson collar with a miniature silver bell hanging from it. As she looked at it, it turned its head quizzically, causing its collared bell to tingle pleasantly.
“Please, do not make me repeat myself zebra, it’s tiresome and I’ve just awoken from a rather long nap.” He yawned, stretching lazily in perfect cat form.
“My name may be the knowledge for which you thirst, but I believe it polite to introduce yourself first.” The zebra replied, lowering her hood to reveal her striped face.
“I have too many names, but if you must call me something, Mogget will do.”
“I travel to this island to gather rare flora, and the name I answer to is simply, Zecora.”
“Fascinating” Mogget said, failing to stifle another yawn. It was very obvious that he did not in fact find it Fascinating. “You live in the forest then? Tell me, have you noticed anything out of the ordinary lately?”
“Many creatures in the forest lurk, but nothing new that I have seen in my work.”
“Thought not, I’m never awoken for something simple.” He sighed, lifting himself off the ground. “And no one to carry the bells either. No matter, I’ll be going then. Fair travels to you…Zecara.” He slowly padded away, stopping at the corner of the house, to peer back at the zebra. “And I’ll be borrowing your Boat!”
Zecora gasped wordlessly in a way that most definitely did not rhyme, before taking off after the small creature. But it was too late; he had already cast off. The rope, apparently cut in some fashion (though how he managed that was beyond her), wafted lazily as it floated in the river. She cried after him but it was to no avail. She could just barely see the small bundle that was a sleeping Mogget as he floated up the river, somehow against the current.
Sighing, she began searching for another way across the river. Idly she noted the experience as number five on her list of strangest things to happen in the Everfree forest.
“No no no. This is not good. What are we going to do?” a vaguely familiar voice cried, pulling me out of a sleepy haze.
“Stop panicking it’ll be fine, I’m sure of it.”
Barely conscious, I pushed my eyes open. For a few seconds I thought I was back in my room, getting blinded by the sun shining as it reflected off the snow. It wasn’t light that was blinding me now, but color instead. Everything was so vibrant and warm, even the darker colors jumped out at me somehow.
My surroundings were strange, to say the least. I seemed to be lying in a bed, a sheer canopy hanging down around me. I could see a stain glass window to my right, decorated with tiny multicolored figures and some other stuff that I couldn’t make sense of.
“I think she’s waking up.” The more masculine of the two voices said.
I swung my sight in the direction of a voice, trying to position my eyes to see him. For some reason, I was having trouble. My limbs felt weird, and my normally short hair fell into my face. Reaching up, I tried to push it out of my face, only to poke myself rather painfully in the forehead with something sharp.
I shook the intruding locks out of my sight and stared at my hand. Or rather, my brand new, never before seen, dark purple hoof. A quick inspection told me that I had a matching one on the other side. My first thought, oddly enough (or perhaps not, considering how very odd the whole situation was to begin with), was ‘I can’t write without any fingers.’ My second thought was of course ‘Oh god I have hooves.’
In the short span of about four seconds I sprang up off the bed, tangled my new hooves in the bedding, and tried to stand on two legs… As I soon found out, this was apparently just not in my skill set anymore.
I landed badly, reaching wildly for something to balance on. My hooves (oh god my hooves) found the nearby nightstand, scrambling for purchase on the smooth wooden surface. It might come as a surprise to some, but you can’t really…grip…things with hooves. As I was making my trip to the rather nice stone floor, a part of my brain that wasn’t freaking out calmly made note of a delicious looking pancake breakfast and large glass of orange juice sitting on a fancy looking silver platter.
I was quickly reintroduced to the food when my impact with the ground caused my back hooves to kick out reflexively, knocking the base of the nightstand out from under it and dropping the whole platter flat on my face as it fell. The orange juice landed in my hair and decided to stay.
“Whoa! Calm down!” A blue glow emanated from the platter on my head, and it lifted up off me, seemingly of its own accord. Shaking my head to remove an ill positioned pancake, I got my first glimpse of the people who had been talking earlier.
There were two of them, male and female it seemed, if the color of their fur was any indication. That’s important too; they had short, though very obvious fur coating their whole bodies. Four legs ending in hooves and a pronounced muzzle on their faces topped with abnormally colored hair that (at least in the case of the pink one) seemed to defy physics to stay perfectly posed. They looked remarkably, like small horses. Thinking back to the Diner back home, I could remember a momentary glimpse of the pink one (Cadance if I remembered correctly). Looking at my hooves, I guess that made me a small horse too.
“Are you ok?” The one on the left, thicker in the chest than the other and obviously male, asked me. “I see you found breakfast.” He said with a snicker.
I nodded, pushing myself to stand on all four legs for the first time. My balance was shaky, but I made it work.
“Sorry about this. We…Well we weren’t expecting this when we decided to bring you back.” Cadance told me.
Her words brought back the memory of the diner. My eyes widened and I pointed an accusing hoof in her, Cadence’s direction. My balance was still off but I managed to hold it for a few seconds, long enough for her to get the point. (Or so I told myself as I hastily dropped it back to the floor)
“Im so sorry!” she looked heartbroken. Later on I found out she could sense other people’s emotions but right then I felt like she should be sorry. I mean, I was a tiny HORSE! That was not part of the deal. She looked close to tears though, so I began to feel bad. I guess Shining armor saw both of us and decided damage control was going to be his job.
“Look, let’s get you cleaned off and then we can explain things.” He told me. I nodded, the motion sending droplets of orange juice sliding down my face.
He led me to a pretty big door in the room. When I saw the size of the door, it became apparent that the entire room was rather large and well decorated. The room he led me into, (a bathroom as it turned) out was smaller but no less elegant. We walked side by side to the giant bathtub (made for 10 tiny horses our size it seemed) and as I watched, he lit his horn with an unearthly blue light and somehow turned several taps without touching them. My mouth hung open but he just laughed and set out a towel by the tub, gesturing for me to get in.
He left me there soaking, treading water slowly and soothingly. It was just me and my thoughts and you can guess what I was thinking about.
I still had, one: no idea where I was, two: only a vague idea what I was, and three: no clue if I could trust the two strange tiny horses that had brought me here.
I stayed there until the water began to cool, at which point I hastily washed my much longer than usual hair out before taking the steps up out of the tub cautiously. Steps are orders of magnitude more difficult with hooves. The drying off proved a challenge too, but eventually I just pushed the towel unfolded with a hoof and rolled around on it till I was dry enough. I was on my way out when I heard an incredibly loud knock on the door of the bedroom, so loud that it was easily audible in the bathroom. Peeking my head through the crack in the door, I just barely got a glimpse of the pink blur that was Cadance running towards the door in time to jump clumsily to the side.
“Oh hi,” she said, looking at me lying on the floor rubbing my aching side. “Can you maybe do me a teensy little favor and stay in here a few more minutes; I promise this wont take long.” She didn’t wait for an answer; she just closed the door in my face.
Rather peeved at this strange and lets admit, rude, behavior, I decided to explore the bathroom. In some form of petty revenge I threw several towels in the water, but that got boring quickly. I smelled several of the exotic shampoos and soaps, before sighting the most important thing I’d seen since I woke up; A mirror. I ran over to it as fast as my still rickety legs could safely handle, and caught my first glimpse of my new body.
My first impression was more or less. That certainly looks like a tiny horse. Some things were off though when I compared myself to the two in the other room.
My hooves were the first thing I noticed, or rather, my lack of large portions of them. I hadn’t noticed before, as freaked out as I was, but my hooves had several alarming looking holes, seemingly just going straight through the appendage. I held one up to my eye and sure enough, I could see straight through them. I even poked a shampoo bottle through one so they were definitely real. They didn’t hurt or anything, but it still seemed rather unhealthy.
Next my eyes scrolled up to my chest, where I saw what appeared to be black armor. I couldn’t pull it off in any way. It seemed to be sprouting right from my skin; a quick spin told me that it extended around the back, parting around a long straight tail and back around to the front. My back had something that I couldn’t identify right away. There were two; blue, transparent and when I poked them, I had some amount of feeling in them, though not anything like the rest of my unarmored body. I tried to move them, and with no small amount of effort, managed to move what I soon discovered were a pair of insect like wings! They seemed too small to fly with though, so I didn’t get my hopes up. It didn’t seem worth the effort to fold them down again, so I moved on.
I looked at my face for a long time, memorizing all the new curves and shapes. On one side of my mouth a stunted fang poked out, making it impossible to fully close my lips. My eyes were decent sized piecing green orbs. They seemed to be the major feature of my face, taking up a full 40% of it.
I was delighted to see I had a horn sprouting from my unruly lock of dark green hair. It was the same deep purple color as the rest of my body, strangely smooth and curved unlike the straight spiral horns that I had seen on Shining and Cadance. A quick somewhat painful tap made me decide it was made of something similar to bone. I tried to do magic for a few minutes but couldn’t manage more than a few sparks. Maybe it was broken?
Finished with my self inspection, I walked out of the bathroom, utterly forgetting that Cadance had asked me to stay in. I swung the door open a bit more violently, but I wanted answers darn it! And that’s how I came to meet Princess Luna.
She was a Beautiful midnight blue horse thing. A shimmering magical mane made of stars, a wickedly sharp horn and slightly unfolded wings that looked much nicer than mine all fought for my attention. I couldn’t do anything but stare at her for a while.
The star mare stared back. “Niece. Is there a changeling in your room?”
Cadance looked back and forth, desperate for a way out. None presented itself, so she quickly thought up a brilliant plan! “Ummm…No?” she stammered.
“We think we should know a changeling when we see one” Luna said, her horn glowing dangerously. Changeling. The word was unfamiliar but it seemed as good a word as any to describe me. It was quite obvious that I was not your average tiny horse.
Her masterful strategy having failed, Cadance knew what she had to do. “GET HER!”
“What?” Shining armor asked, clearly confused.
“I said” Cadance’s own horn started flowing pink as she levitated her husband. “Get. Her!”
“AGH” Both prince and Princess shouted in unison as the stallion collided with the moon princess. Cadance wasted no time in jumping in herself.
I dropped to what seemed like a comfortable seating position with mouth agape as I watched the brawl unfold.
Several Minutes later, Princess Luna sat tied to a chair, shaking with anger. “Untie us this instant!”
Cadance, several fresh bruises reddening her coat, ignored Luna, deep into conversation with Shining Armor, who was himself sporting two brilliantly purple black eyes.
“Get her?” he asked. “What were you thinking?”
“I panicked. Ok?” Cadance moaned. “I don’t operate well under pressure!”
“Well we have to do something about this.” He pointed at the immobilized horse, who was still threatening everyone in the room. Oddly enough her speech seemed to be aging backwards as she ranted. Lots of thou’s and thy’s.
“Fine. I have an idea.” She stomped over to stand face to face with Luna before pacing back and forth in front of the chair. “You’re going to quiet down and listen to what we have to say Aunt Luna.” She whirled dramatically. “Or Else!”
“Or else what?” Luna replied with a smirk, clearly un-phased.
“I’ll give you, The STARE!” She said it so ominously I swear I heard thunder in the distance.
“Umm Cadance. You can’t do the stare.” Shining interrupted.
“Yes I can, Fluttershy taught me!” She locked eyes her eyes with Luna. Cadance’s opened as wide as seemed possible and then opened some more.
Luna was not impressed. This went on for quite some time. Cadance never blinked. Not once.
Finally Luna said “If we agree to listen will you end this idiocy? We are bored out of our mind.”
“The Stare works!” Cadance shouted to the heavens.
“Oh Faust no,” Shining moaned, Face palming (Face hoofing?) “This will never end now.”
Cadance rushed off and came back with several more chairs and began to tell the story of how they met me.
Katherine moaned, the sunlight shooting pain through her slightly opened eyelids. She moved her arms slowly, feeling the texture of the grass beneath her.
‘Ugh, what have I gotten myself into?’ she asked herself.
Her memories up to this point were vague. She remembered following that little snot to the diner, but after that it got blurry.
“Heyyyy is anyone there?” she called out.
“Oh yes my dear. I’m here.” A voice said, except it didn’t really say it. It was more like someone beamed it straight to her brain.
“Who are you??” Shielding her eyes with one arm she tried to stand.
“Pay that no mind child, Just keep going.” That same mysterious voice echoed. Could she hear a bell behind it?
Unable to stand up straight, she resorted to crawling forward as her eyes adjusted. As her location became clear, it only brought more questions to mind. She was on grass, but green walls surrounded her on both sides, or more accurately, she was standing in a green corridor. She could see the sky if she looked up. ‘They’re hedges, it’s a hedge maze.’
“Hurry up now my dear, you don’t want to be late!” There was definitely a bell ringing somewhere.
She continued forward, slowly gaining speed until she was running on all fours. She felt like she should stop and investigate. It seemed like she hadn’t had hooves before, but every time she tried to stop the bell rang again and she kept running. She just couldn’t stop, she was so close.
She turned a corner, and she knew instinctively, she had arrived. The bell went silent. It was darker here; the hedge seemed unkempt and had grown into a natural roof. She could just barely see the outline of something larger than her standing within.
“Don’t be shy. Come on in.”
She did so sluggishly. “Who are you?” She repeated.
“In good time, my dear. For now, I just need you to step a bit closer.”
“I’m not sure I should.”
“DO IT” The bell rang one last final time, forcing her to make the final step. Her hoof fell, clapping loudly against stone. For several seconds nothing happened, and then a glowing circle surrounded her stone bound hoof, trailing off into a glowing red line that spun and separated and reconnected again all around the figure. From the dim light, she caught sight of the bottom of several chains surrounding the figure. As she watched, transfixed by the sight, the chains fell, one by one.
The red lines dimmed and then went out. She couldn’t look away. The shadow was moving now. As she watched, whatever was within opened two Blood red eyes and turned to her. He moved closer to the exit to the room and more of his features became clear. Two massive horns and a smile that split its horrible face were all she could note before he spoke again.
“It is not yet time, Katherine.” He said, the voice no longer in her head but somehow much more menacing. “Sleep Now.” She vaguely heard the sound of a ringing bell once again, before she lost consciousness.