Being Equestria’s officially recognised best young flier—and let’s be honest here, best flyer period—you’d think the idea of waking every day up to the sounds of my adoring fans screaming my name, begging for my attention and all-around worshipping the cloud I stand on would be a good thing. The kind of thing I’d just accept, get used to, maybe even come to enjoy.
And if they were just "fans", you’d probably be right.
At least I’d gotten around to removing the window from my bedroom. Waking up to the sight of some genuinely terrifying stares from dozens of leering eyes every morning was really getting creepy.
With a sigh, I rolled out of bed and stretched a little. In an effort to push the calls, screams, and declarations of love from my mind, I started what had now become my morning routine. To be honest, I was pretty surprised how easy it had gotten to slip into a morning routine. I wasn’t much of a morning pony to begin with, and these past few months had given me plenty of reason to want to hide in bed all day. Still, I did have work to do, and this routine gave me a good reason to get up early enough for it.
First on the list was a security sweep. Even with the newly reinforced cloud layers and multiple enchantments I’d had put in, which had seriously cut down on attempts to break in, it was better to be safe than to be attacked during breakfast. Although I hadn’t seen anypony smashing through my walls for months, I still felt it best to check any and all weak spots. One time, I actually caught a few of them trying to swim up one of my rainbow waterfalls. It was lucky for them that I was on my sweep, since I managed to fish them out before they swallowed too much of it or fried their stupid faces off. It didn't really do much good, though. If anything, that just made it worse. They started calling me their saviour, shouting out about how heroic I was, and “swearing undying fealty”, whatever the hay that means. I still grind my teeth at the memory of how utterly moronic it was.
I did put a big, thick gate on the waterfall’s entrance the next day, though. That really helped to scare off most of those idiots.
It looked like nopony had actually managed to get in last night, but there were a few bumps and dents where they had tried. This led straight to the next stage of the routine: maintenance. I repaired the lumps, pushing the compacted cloud layers of my floor and walls back into place where ponies had tried to get through. I did a quick check of my windows, too, and found no cracks. No light, either. It couldn’t get through all of the faces pressed against the glass, eyes gleaming as they followed me around the room and faces screwed up into happy, creepy grins when I had to go close enough to check the glass for damage.
I was suddenly really thankful that I’d gotten Twilight to cover them with some of her magical protection mumbo-jumbo a few months ago. I think she must have put something through the walls too, since I didn't have any magic-powered visitors either. It was almost worth her exposure to me, her subsequent attempt to lock me in my own house and seduce me, and my eventual bucking her face-first out of the door.
Now that cleanup was taken care of, it was time to get something to eat. I went to the kitchen, poured myself a hearty bowl of oats, and retreated to the bathroom. Yeah, eating next to a toilet was probably unhygienic and weird and stuff, but it was the only room besides the bedroom that was windowless, and I really didn’t like the stares the ponies outside gave me when I ate—or finding week-old oats in my bed, for that matter. Thankfully, no-one had thought to, or had the nerve to, climb through the plumbing and get into the house through the toilet. Not yet, at least.
Now that was a horrible image. The thought of a pony clambering up into my house through the waste pipes wasn't a nice one, really. Especially when I'm trying to have breakfast.
Strangely enough, I wasn’t very hungry anymore, so I went to the living room and poured the last of my oats into the little trough in Tank’s enclosure. I'm not entirely sure if he should eat oats, but to be honest, I have no freaking idea what I'm supposed to feed a tur—I mean, tortoise. Besides, he doesn't really care who watches him eat, so he had no trouble with the peering eyes at every window, and he seemed to devour pretty much anything I put in there for him.
Heh, maybe I should just set Tank on the crowd outside. Not sure if I’d want a pet with a taste for pony, though.
My mood was raised a little by watching him slowly but surely making his way through the oats—which, in my mind at least, were beginning to resemble some particularly star-struck ponies. With nothing left to do at home, I decided that I might as well set out for work. There was a problem with that idea, though—actually getting out of the house. I hadn’t yet thought up a way of building a secret entrance without them all finding it within a day or two. Besides, now that Twilight was out of the question, I doubted I could get anypony to "reinforce" it for me. Basically, I was stuck with using the front door. As annoying as it might be, it wasn't too much of a problem, to be honest. I’m usually fast enough to get out of there before the horde even knows that I’ve left.
And the times when I'm not fast enough? Well, those bozos just end up getting even more hurt.
Slowly and quietly I made my way the door and gently pressed my ear against it. Through the general noise out there, I caught a few voices murmuring close by. I smirked when I realised that they still hadn’t learned to stay the heck away from the door. Suddenly, my morning seemed a little bit brighter.
And so, with no warning, I spun around and bucked it outwards.
The door flew open and straight into the faces of some unlucky ponies. I heard a few cries of pain, and then the crash of ponies hitting into other ponies. My smile might have grown a little at the noise.
I leapt through the opening, whirling around to lock the door behind me, and then turning to face the mob. From what I could see, my door had sent at least four ponies flying into the crowd, knocking them back into the front line of an endless sea of bodies that had somehow all managed to cram themselves onto my porch. Even as I watched, they started to struggle back to their hooves, a maddened glint appearing in their eyes as they saw me. I could see the ponies behind them pushing forward.
Oh yeah. It was definitely time to leave.
Whoosh! Straight up, into the sky. Not many pegasi can pull off a sheer vertical takeoff, and even fewer can do it anywhere near as fast as me. I was already a good distance above them by the time anypony realised I had gone. Still, some of them tried. It was almost funny to watch them strain, fail, and fall back on their flanks, but I had places to go to. Places that just happened to be far away from here. As the rest of the mob began to take flight, I punctured the now-permanent cloudbank above my house.
I wasn't surprised at all to find even more ponies sitting on top of the clouds, waiting for me - after all, they'd been there every other day this week. Their eyes gleamed just like everypony else's as they turned to face me, and some of them started reaching around for "gifts".
Well, I was hoping to practice some aerial dodges today anyway.
I flew onwards in tight spirals, away from my house and skimming the clouds as objects hurtled towards me. After doing this more times than I cared to remember, I had started sorting these "gifts" into three categories in my head.
First, there was "pansy nonsense": flowers and love letters and other pathetic junk like that, generally light and difficult to get much momentum on, and so naturally falling way short.
Then came the "middle stuff": boxes of chocolate, teddy bears, even jewels. Normally this stuff was pretty harmless, but they could get downright dangerous in midair.
Then there was "the insane". This was stuff that was heavy, stupid, and had nothing to do with romance in any possible way.
Like the freaking sink that rose out of the cloud in front of me.
I barely managed to swerve out of the way of the speeding tonne of steel. As it flashed past, I could make out what looked like the words "NOTICE ME", scrawled across it in pink crayon, which showed up pretty well on the shiny metal surface. I guessed that some ground-bound pony decided they’d try and get my attention whilst I was still up in the sky.
A few questions started popping in my mind right about then. Questions like:
No, seriously. What?
Who the hay announces their love with a sink?
Where did they get a catapult big enough to launch the darned thing?
And, is it wrong of me to hope that the sink hits that swarm of pegasi behind me?
No such luck. the sink fell back through the clouds and towards what would probably be a pretty nice crater on the ground. Moments later, a chunk of cloud a safe distance from any impact zone churned as dozens of ponies smashed their way through it, clearing the way for hundreds more to spill into the open sky. I took evasive manoeuvres, in case of more sinks—something I really didn’t imagine I’d be thinking today—and flew the heck outta there.
After a little while I slowed down enough to look around, hoping to see that they had given up their pursuit. They hadn’t. In fact, the flock had gotten bigger, and as I watched, even more pegasi emerged from their cloud tents—I'm not joking, freaking tents —and join the hunt.
“Seriously?” I yelled back in frustration. “You guys really have nothing better to do than camp outside my house and chase me all day? Don’t you have jobs? Families? Anything?!”
Shouting never worked – this was something I knew all too well by now. If anything, the sound of my voice seemed to spur them on, and the group actually picked up speed. I groaned and slapped myself on the head with a hoof. “Oh, for the love of Celestia…”
It was about then that I noticed some kind of fuss at the head of the pack. A second later, what seemed to be a beam of sunlight blared out from the group, forcing ponies out of the way.
A white object, the source of the light in fact, came racing through the gap, hurtling towards me with increasing speed.
No no no.
It was a lot larger than the others who were chasing me, it was using magic, and it looked an awful like a certain princess.
I turned and flew away as fast as I could, the cold jaws of terror snapping at my hooves.