A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan fic
I stared at the white sink gloomily, struggling to prevent myself from collapsing down onto the floor. My breaths were heavy, and with each exhale came a long pause—even my lungs were dispirited. I hesitantly lifted my head and saw a being whose expression was the very picture of misery. When I bit my lip, she bit her lip, and when my ears fell, so did hers as well. She mimicked my every move: simultaneously and flawlessly.
Before me was not a second pony but my own mirror image. Those emerald eyes, that white fur, and that unkempt, pink-striped bronze mane were mine. Even as I literally faced the facts, I stubbornly tried to dismiss them. Coming to terms with being a pony was much easier than what I now faced.
I cheerlessly filed a second complaint at my subconscious.
I pondered my adventure, the shock of the change. I had been prideful of managing to adapt to it so far, but now, none of that pride remained. I contemplated withdrawing my forelegs and letting my jaw smash against the sink to end my lucid dream, but my desire to continue convinced me to abandon the idea.
Trying to see the positives over the negatives, I decided to at least try to enjoy the false reality, despite the dismaying setback. As long as no attention was drawn to the uncomfortable truth, I'd do fine. I declared my home door to be inoperable and myself mute before coming down onto all four legs, the pitapat of my hooves announcing the end of the interaction with my reflection.
My head became heavy and my legs sluggish as I set my way out from the white-tiled room. I came to a rest in the hallway and further reasoned with myself. I was still in a lucid fantasy world, experiencing something that would be otherwise impossible. I was just as insistent on carrying on through the unique situation as I was on disregarding my lesson from the mirror.
Trying to fixate on other matters, I raised my hoof and began to examine it. Excluding the couple of centimeters before the underside as well as the underside itself, my hoof was coated in soft and short fur. As my knowledge of equine anatomy was poor, I assumed a hoof was of the same organic material a fingernail was composed of. Pivoting and swiveling the joints, tapping two hooves lightly together, and brushing my fur, I became entranced. After a minute of experimenting, it dawned on me that my appendage had some similarities with a human arm as it allowed me to perform, to a limited degree, human-like actions.
It occurred to me that hooves were essentially an equine's nails. The thought of walking on nails sprung to mind a hilarious image of a human, tall on his legs and arms, moving sneakily on his fingers and toes while a xylophone rapidly plinked an appropriate leitmotif for him. I smiled for a full second before I involuntarily pictured my own mirror image smiling, and my little joy vanished as soon as it had come.
Ignoring myself was proving to be harder than I had expected.
I absently glanced to the left and right in the hallway. At the left end was the door to the outside, and on the opposite end of the hallway was the doorway to the kitchen. To the left of it, at a ninety degree angle, was the doorway to my fairly spacious but underused living room.
All of my important possessions were in my bedroom; the living room had only a pair of armchairs, a low table, and a sofa. If the living room seemed to be disused, then the adjoining balcony certainly was. I preferred the captivating world of games and the Internet over what I considered to be vain and wasteful sunbathing. Coupled with the fact that my neighbors were known smokers, I had no good reasons to venture to the balcony.
While I sat idly, I began to toy with my tail, hearing it brush the floor and walls. Its mere existence awoke my curiosity and I looked behind myself to see it move about, only to have its bright pink highlights harshly remind me of what I was trying to ignore.
A sliver of irritation gave me the courage to move, and I set out to close the bathroom door. I was intent on not venturing in there again until the end of my illusion. The door was fully open, but I was able to place my foreleg between it and the wall. In a fit of anger, I gave the door a brisk push that brought it shut with a satisfying slam.
Suddenly, something remarkable dawned on me: I had made a few steps and turns unthinkingly and without sliding and slipping like I was on ice. Earlier, in my bedroom, I had been focused on moving each leg with extreme care and had serious balance issues.
I glanced at my four legs in awe before I returned my attention to the short hallway.
I set my sights on the home door and cleared my mind. Soon, I sensed my legs moving me forward and my body turning and swaying slightly. My short progress quickly came to a halt when my muzzle gently contacted the wooden blockade that was the door. I glanced over my shoulder, then performed a flawless 180-degree turn. I flushed away my thoughts and commanded my body to the kitchen. The soft sounds my hooves produced rebounded off the white-painted, wood-paneled walls and into my ears, creating a minimalistic background music for my journey. I covered the mere 10 meters effortlessly, but it was too early to congratulate myself.
Once more, I emptied my mind, and I crossed the short distance to the living room. At the doorway, I stopped and examined the room. Two pale green armchairs were side by side with their backs facing me. Against the opposite wall from me was a dark blue sofa adorned by red, irregular shapes resembling palm leaves. Two crimson red pillows rested on the sofa, abandoned there by me months ago. Between the three pieces of furniture was a dark brown, square-shaped wooden table. To the right of these, separated by about 3 meters of vacant space, was a wide window and a brown door to the balcony. A quick glance outside told me it was an average morning with a few clouds dotting the sky.
I mentally drew a course through the room in the shape of a figure-8 around the table and armchairs. With my plan laid out, I began my trial. Focusing on following the course's imaginary guidance line, I kept my mind blank. However, my quadruped gait soon evoked me to research the reports sent by my body and legs, but they only dumbfounded me.
Eventually, I came to a halt by the balcony-side of the table. I had traversed the course for an entire minute without fail. As incredible as it was, there was still one little thing I desired to do before I'd rejoice. I oriented my tail towards the balcony door and started to walk backwards. With great joy, I observed myself backpedal gracefully a few meters before I had to stop lest I bump into the door.
With the final trial complete, a powerful sensation of success and elation launched me onto my hind legs, then poured to my grinning mouth, to my outstretched forelegs...
“Yesss! I learned to walk!”
...And to my vocal chords. My cheerful and confident mood flipped to shocked disbelief as I came down onto my hooves with a dull thud; I had completely forgotten my unmanly predicament. For a few seconds, I was absolutely discomposed before my mouth took the initiative to act independently and rolled out words in a vexed tone.
“Fine! I admit it! I'm a fil—!”
An eye-shutting grimace silenced my errant voice, but it was too late; the damage had been done. The tense situation defused, my ears dropped, and my vision fell to the uninteresting floor. I had tried to stubbornly deny the obvious reality, and now, that conflict had come to a dramatic end. There was no reason for me to deceive myself any longer. My outbound breath stopped in my throat for a second—so I could choke back my tears—before it brought the admission forth as a somber whisper: “I'm a filly.”
I hoped crossing that threshold would bring me immediate peace, but I was wrong.
‘I'm a filly, I'm a filly, I'm a filly, I'm a filly,’ my mind tormented me by continuously playing the audio record of my voice. I looked at myself and saw invisible writing all over my body. It was tattooed on my legs, sprayed across my back and adorned my flanks. It shimmered in my tail, coursed in my veins and flickered in my vision.
Why had I refused to acknowledge the obvious? I had shunned it away instead. If I had only been reasonable from the start, I would've understood that a pony's a pony and that gender was irrelevant. I could've shrugged it off, maybe even joked about it, but something in me fought adamantly against all logic.
It managed only to postpone the inevitable truth.
When the revelation finally bounded back, it came with a such a great momentum that not only did it shatter my delusion of being a stallion, but it also created a disheartening shock wave in its wake. It was converging around my heart and threatened to break my tears out of the confines of my eyes. I had already endured one unavoidable loss, but I wouldn't allow my emotions to defeat me. With all of my strength, I held firm, stopping my tears from falling.
With the internal battle over, I reflected on my dream. One of my sincerest wishes had been to experience a lucid dream, but now, I felt an urge to ram my head into a wall and end the wish-gone-bad. However, I didn't desire to close the dream on a such sad note, and regrettably, I had to accept that I controlled a fictional, female character in a fictional reality, observing the events from a first-person view.
Just like in a video game . . .
Most likely due to my plummeting mood, I had unthinkingly come down onto my haunches. I presumed I was adapting to my four-legged form, and I questioned which one would cease first: my lucid dream or the novelty of my equine body? With my admission fresh in my memory, I seriously believed the latter.
Trying to ward off my pervasive gloom, I performed one uneventful lap around the imaginary figure-8 circuit before I came down to a sitting stance again. I let out a heavy sigh when I realized I was unable to feel any pleasure for mastering the ability that had initially been difficult but was now mundane. Ironically, the prospect of becoming depressed in a dream managed to amuse me, if only slightly.
I knew the ultimate fail-safe was to injure myself, but I had upgraded my resolution to obstinacy. Despite my low spirits, I'd push forward, no matter what!
Recalling one lone but important detail I had observed in my mirror image, I raised my hoof to search my head. My eyes rolled up in their sockets, but I saw only the blurry colors of my forelock. Regardless, in a few seconds, my appendage met the horn, and the nerve endings in my head told me that the keratin spire was being gently disturbed.
My melancholic mood took a back seat as my concern strode forth. I lowered my hoof to the center of my view, raised another, and tapped them together, producing a muted clop. I noted I felt the light impact in both appendages. In fact, I could feel the ambient temperature, my own breaths, and the pressure I put on my haunches. I licked my tongue over my teeth and lips, swung my tail, and rotated my ears. My joined hooves separated and timorously descended to the floor as I processed my latest discovery.
Just when I was slowly overcoming my gender, something worse announced itself. My lucid dream's precise replication of the details and nuances of the real world could be explained only with an alarmingly short summary: it wasn't a dream to begin with! Unwilling to dwell on something so terrifying, I quickly banished the frightening thought and returned my attention to the horn I sported. I hoped, since I was an unicorn, that I held the capacity to manipulate things with my mind.
I was more than curious to try.
I placed myself a few meters from the sofa and locked my eyes on one of the crimson red pillows. With no idea how telekinesis would work, I stared at it, expecting it to rise or roll, but that brought no discernible result. I tried to provoke a possible muscle in my head, but my horn was unresponsive, and the test subject remained static. I began to stare intensely at the stubborn object, silently threatening it with harm if it dared to disobey me. To my frustration, it did.
On the verge of forfeiting, I gave my ability one more chance. I closed my eyes and drew a mental picture of the room, thinking the pillow would move when I had no direct visual of it. I envisioned myself reaching out for the inanimate rebel and throwing it into the air in agitation. I drew in a terrified expression and small flailing arms for the mental image of the pillow as it screamed upwards, eventually smashing into the ceiling and bounding back towards the floor.
I gasped and my eyes sprung open when something struck my back. In a fraction of a second, I instinctively performed an about-face to locate my assailant. My jaw fell open when I spotted the culprit: it was the crimson red pillow.
My eyes wanted to leap out of their sockets when a quick inspection of my sofa confirmed my assumption. A few seconds later and one drool-drying wipe later, I had shut both my eyes and mouth, imagining the living space in my mind once more. I pictured the pillow rolling towards my legs. The soft contact confirmed my success, and I began to toy with the fluffy object. I lifted it off the floor and rolled it over my back, then suspended it above myself and pretended it was a yo-yo.
I was surprised how easy it was to use once I had learned to activate my magic.
Slowly, my imaginary picture of the room faded to darkness, and I began to practice my newfound skill by thought alone. I was able to squeeze the pillow, tell its position in the room, and judge its orientation relative to the room. I could even see and feel the room and its furniture without vision or touch. It was just as perplexing as it was amazing.
Delighted with my ability to manipulate the small object, I decided to move up the food chain, as it were, and thought of the sofa. To my surprise, I could barely lift it and lost my concentration quickly; the deep thump of the sofa's return to the floor startled my eyelids open. I oriented myself to face the sofa, closed my eyes, and tried again, but it levitated only a little before my invisible arms gave out.
None of my muscles were aching, but my panting told me I could've just as well tried to lift the sofa with my body. I tried to lift an armchair, but it was almost as difficult as the sofa, and I released it back to the floor once my body began to release sweat onto my back. With the limits of my telekinesis known, I wanted something else—something lighter—to test my telekinesis on.
Looking for more ideas, I made my way back to the bedroom where I spotted two green pillows on my similarly colored bed. I closed my eyes and concentrated on lifting the two fluffy rectangles. Strangely, I was disappointed when they obeyed without a struggle. Colliding them together and dancing them around the room was amusing, though the amusement soon waned, and I let the pillows crash. The lamp above the bed was still on and became my next target; the tiny switch was eager to follow my order. Running out of ideas, I arbitrarily left the dim lighting of the bedroom and back to the living room, where I sat down by the window.
Gazing through the wide glass pane over the balcony, I pondered if being a pegasus could've been more fun: soaring through the air, diving through the streets at high speed, and admiring the world serenely from above. It made my imagination go wild, and a strong sensation of elation brought a smile to my face. I wished for wings to grow on my back as I envisioned myself leaping up to the freedom of the sky from my balcony. My wide smile evolved to a euphoric grin.
Alas, an inspection of my wingless back returned me to earth, and my glee escaped along with a single disappointed sigh. I consoled myself with the fact I was not an earth pony. Impulsively, I floated the crimson pillow erratically around the room for a moment before placing it back on the sofa.
The brief play, however, made me realize that I wasn't able to manipulate objects unless I had my eyes closed. Doubting my hasty deduction, I dropped my eyelids and I picked the square object effortlessly. Uncovering my eyes, I watched as my telekinetic control over the fluffy object lost its vigor. A few more tries later, my only progress had been increasing my agitation. I launched the pillow downwards as fast as I could. It came down onto the sofa with a muted and dissatisfying thud.
I assumed that I had learned only the basics of telekinesis. Teaching myself advanced techniques might've been possible if I knew how, and I was willing to allocate my limited dreamtime to it. ‘Speaking of time . . . ’ Curious, I set course for the nearest clock.
My legs brought me to the kitchen doorway where I cast a look at the square room, noting that the overhead cupboards were out of my reach due to my reduced stature. I mourned the loss with a sigh, but I was quick to remind myself that this was not a permanent change. With the stealthy paranoia caught and restrained, I continued my survey of the room.
In front of me was a window and a plain wooden table. The left wall was bare of anything but a light-blue tapestry. To my immediate right was a brown cabinet containing cleaning tools and other assorted things related to maintaining my home. Further along the wall was the pure white dishwasher followed by two steel sinks. The far right wall featured a kitchen stove, floor-level cupboards, and the fridge-freezer. Between the two kitchen appliances was the microwave that had heated its first food sometime in the early ’90s.
In other words, my kitchen was very boring.
Observing the green symbols on my ancient microwave, I read its concise message: 9:37. My patience was rewarded with a single digit increase to the clock, from where I started a silent count. I missed the final score by 3 seconds, but it confirmed that my dream was amazingly accurate. Too accurate, and with that, my paranoia got a hold on me.
Absolutely nothing was out of place or wrong in the realm but myself! Not only was I scared of being forever a pony, but I was also scared of being discovered and becoming the center of attention for the entire world. My fear ran deeper than that, though, because I was certain I'd end up in a lab where I'd be reduced to a test animal for unethical scientists and endure inconceivable horrors up to my untimely death. Probably beyond as well.
The vision of my carcass being dissected almost made me scream.
Desperately needing proof of being in a dream, I faced the window and forcibly set my mind and eyes into examination mode, hoping to spot a visible error in the world beyond my home.
I peered at the world from my 6th-floor apartment. I could see a forest from the left spilling across and over to the right of my view, where another 8-floor apartment building resided. Directly below was a gravel path meandering up to another identical grey construct about 150 meters beyond my own, obstructing the view of the meadow and the city beyond it. A lone street curved from the right beyond the closer building and disappeared behind the farther one. Several cars, including my own, were parked on the lot by the inner side of the road.
The sky was home to several puffy clouds drifting gracefully over my location. I illustrated an imaginary map and compass in my head and calculated that they were heading northeast. A brief gust slammed against the window; it creaked a negative reply to the air's query for entry.
Observing the tranquil and realistic dreamscape through the transparent pane, I became aware of my translucent reflection. As I stared directly into large, green-rimmed black pupils that conveyed pure fear, I pondered on the impossible and how I'd survive if it was true.
‘Could I live in isolation forever? Could it be possible to have food delivered to my home? From where and how would I earn money to sustain myself? What about my relatives, my friends and neighbors? What would happen if they were to discover me? How would they react? What if they turned against me? What if I'd have to leave? Where could I go?’
As I bombarded myself with questions I hoped I'd never have to answer, a low and fluctuating noise from the outside entered my ears. I knew helicopters passed over my home daily, and I had never been bothered by them, except now the droning song of its rotors brought me only more stress.
Ever since I had woken up, I had feared that my dream was all but real. That fear had now grown more powerful and was crushing my quickly weakening hope. I wanted to resist, to fight back, but every sign had told me I had never been in a fantasy. There would be no failsafe, no escape by injuring myself. I was trapped in brutal and unforgiving reality.
My breaths became rapid and shallow, and I trembled like a leaf; I was at the onset of a panic attack.
Just as I expected—or rather, dreaded—the helicopter flew into view, passing diagonally from the above right towards the far left—from north to south. I was apprehensively watching it distance itself from me when my vision registered a shape appear from the top right of the far apartment.
My initial thought told me it was a bird that had left from a balcony on the opposite side of the building. While the location of its takeoff may have been arguably correct, it took me only a second to properly identify the winged fauna. I simultaneously crushed my fright and scored an impressive goal against my subconscious. An immense sensation of relief flushed the panic out of my body as I tracked the being speedily depart towards the east, over the forest, and beyond my view.
It was a pegasus.