I type stories using my hands
96w, 3dLyra & Bon-Bon
96w, 3dHuman in Equestria
96w, 3dWriting Gold
92w, 3dPonies in the Real World
91w, 3dKeeria's Library
41w, 6dPony Fiction Vault
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8w, 1dLyra Heartstrings
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5w, 4dIn the process of reading
3d, 19hHidden library
16w, 6dI will never sleep 8 comments · 523 views
25w, 4dTrotCon! 15 comments · 230 views
45w, 1dWeekly Writer's Workshop 13 comments · 910 views
50w, 17hA Cutie Mark Crusaders Christmas!! 10 comments · 782 views
51w, 6dOne-Year and Forty-Seven Minutes Anniversary 47 comments · 315 views
54w, 1hLyra's apparent obsession with Michael Phelps, now with visuals 63 comments · 298 views
57w, 1dHearth's Warming Care Package Deadline 5 comments · 123 views
58w, 3dAnd then Bon-Bon was canon 28 comments · 232 views
61w, 2dHearth's Warming Care Package 8 comments · 126 views
62w, 3dHappy (Early) Nightmare Night! 41 comments · 107 views
“Lemon Hearts… Sea Swirl… Spring Fresh…”
As Indigo Spark called out each young unicorn’s name, their papers floated over to their desks. There were various reactions once they saw the grades – smiles, indifference, utter horror…
“And… er…” Indigo Spark squinted at the name. “Lee-ra?” The teacher frowned, looking at the paper. He glanced around the room. “Or is it… Lyra?”
“Yes, that’s mine,” said a certain green unicorn sitting in the back, raising her hoof. “How did I do?”
“Oh, Heartstrings…? Er, yes…”
“Do you mind? I like the name Lyra better. That’s all,” she said. She watched as her paper floated over to her, a blue aura shining around it. It seemed to take forever to reach her.
“I suppose that’s fine…” Indigo Spark looked confused. “Your paper was… interesting, I’ll say that much…”
“What?!” Lyra had just seen her grade. A large red D- was written in the upper right corner, along with a note in the teacher’s hastily-written script: Equestrian History (the second word had been underlined twice), not legends. Throughout the paper were underlined phrases with question marks.
She gaped at the paper in disbelief. Was that true? She’d read those books for hours on end and not a single one had said anything about humans being ‘legends.’ There was just too much on the subject, so many diverse topics about their culture and biology and customs and… and everything!
True, there were parts of it that were obviously legends. Just like ponies, humans had their own folklore. She’d actually come across her new name in the old stories – Lyra. As soon as she’d read that, something about it just sounded so right. She liked the name much more than ‘Heartstrings.’ She’d said the name out loud to herself a few times – “Lyra” – and the way it sounded was so perfect.
Human names were like that. Most ponies had names that were made up of other words, but humans had names that were just that – names. Ponies might say that something 'tugged at the heartstrings' (a phrase that had always bothered her) but they never mentioned anything about 'Lyra.' Human names were all unique words, with no other meaning. And they were beautiful.
“Now, on to our next assignment.” Indigo Spark’s announcement was met with a few scattered groans. “I’d like each of you to learn a new spell…”
Lyra was hardly listening. She was reading over her paper again. There had to be some reason nobody believed in humans… Why had they been forgotten? More importantly, where had they gone? She couldn’t focus on things like magic when there were such mysteries in the world. There had to be answers.
This was it. All those years of ponies saying humans had never existed, that creatures like those were impossible… If this experiment worked, Lyra would be able to see just how humans might have lived. It could prove everything.
Lyra took a deep breath. She was in her bedroom, and Twilight’s book was on the floor in front of her, opened to that wonderfully detailed illustration of a hand. She’d gone over it a few times – the way each finger on the hand was formed, how long they were, the placement of the joints. She’d once come across a human expression about knowing the back of your hand – she was probably about as familiar with it as any human ever was by now.
She bit her lip, knowing what to expect as she unwrapped the bandages from her hoof. Lyra had applied them several layers thick to hide any suspicious protruding shapes. As the wrapping came off, she frowned, looking at all her mistakes from her previous attempt.
A few half-formed fingers stuck out from an appendage that was still – kind of - a hoof. They jutted out at all the wrong angles, one of them actually pointing backwards. A few had too many joints in them, and others didn’t have enough. There were two that resembled thumbs, one on either side of her hoof since she’d been indecisive as to which side it was supposed to go on. The whole thing was a tangled mess.
“This time it’ll work. Let’s see…” She referred to the book (the illustration seemed to be a… left hand, that’s because the thumb was on the right) and then back to the results of her last experiment. She flexed one of the fingers. Even if it was all messed up, she still had motor control over the fingers. It just felt all wrong. This attempt would be better. “Now, just gotta focus…”
She started to channel the magic through her horn and onto her hoof, wincing both from the mental strain and from the sensation of the entire anatomical structure of her hoof being rearranged at the same time.
The fingers were changing shape, retracting back into her hoof and then protruding back out as the entire hoof transformed…
Bon-Bon’s job interview had been little more than a pleasant chat over cupcakes. The owners of Sugarcube Corner, Mr. and Mrs. Cake, were a very friendly and welcoming couple. Still, that hadn’t helped make Bon-Bon any less tense.
They had gone over the policies of how they ran their business, from the recipes used to the packaging methods to the proper behavior when running counter service. They seemed glad to have a level-headed, mature confectioner apply – as opposed to Pinkie Pie, who had been bouncing in and out of the bakery for snacks several times throughout the meeting.
Finally, it seemed like they’d gone over everything. Mrs. Cake shook hooves with Bon-Bon. “It was so nice to have this chance to talk to you, dearie. We’ll need all the help we can get, what with Nightmare Night coming up soon.”
“You mean I’m… hired?” Bon-Bon tried not to seem too eager. She had to stay professional, after all. “I’d be so honored to work here!”
“You said you’ve been working from home? You wouldn’t mind if we stopped by for a quick visit, would you, Ms. Bon-Bon?” Mr. Cake said.
“Oh, not at all!” Bon-Bon said. “I always keep everything in order.”
They followed her back through Ponyville to her house. Bon-Bon was glad she had taken the time to clean up a few days ago. The house would still be presentable. Lyra had been in one of her odd compulsions lately. Maybe that had blown over by now. Anyway, it wouldn’t be a problem.
Bon-Bon entered her house and led them into the kitchen. They could hear the sound of a lyre being played down the hall. It was the only sound in the otherwise silent house. The melody was complex. Compared to what Lyra usually played, it had many more notes and was at a quicker tempo.
“Sounds like my roommate must be practicing something new for the Gala,” Bon-Bon said. “You’ll have to excuse her.” Actually, Bon-Bon thought, this is perfect. Lyra was finally focusing on what was real and important.
“No problem at all, Ms. Bon-Bon,” Mr. Cake said.
“She sounds absolutely wonderful. I’ve never heard anything like it,” Mrs. Cake said. “Now, I’m curious. You said you used original recipes? We’d love to see them.”
“My recipes? Why, of course. I keep them all in my own personal cookbook. Let me just go get that real quick,” Bon-Bon said.
She trotted in the hallway towards the study. The music grew louder as she came closer and walked through the doorway. “It sounds great, Lyra. By the way, have you seen my – “
Bon-Bon’s scream could be heard from the kitchen, where Mr. and Mrs. Cake exchanged confused looks.
Lyra, reclining there on the sofa, glanced up at her. She stopped playing – but she hadn’t been playing the lyre with magic, like any normal unicorn would. Instead, she had some kind of… thing… on the end of each hoof, and was holding the instrument in those.
“Hey, Bon-Bon. Check it out. Hands!” She held one up like she was waving, and flexed the appendages sticking out from it. They were the same mint green as the rest of her coat, but it didn’t help the fact that they looked like they had been taken from some other creature and crudely stuck onto Lyra’s forelegs. “It took me a few tries, but they came out perfectly in the end!”
“What did you – How did you – “ Bon-Bon couldn’t even form a complete sentence. She was frozen in place.
“It wasn’t easy,” Lyra rolled off the sofa and wobbled forward, balling up her hands and keeping her eyes down on them as she tried to walk across the room. “I just referred to a few of the diagrams – I had to come up with the spell on my own – I should probably figure out how to walk on two legs next, these aren’t meant to be used like hooves.”
“Are you okay, Ms. Bon-Bon?” Mr. Cake’s voice was coming from down the hall.
The situation was going from bad to worse, but Bon-Bon couldn’t panic now. Not when she was doing so well. “I’ll be right out! Everything’s…” She hesitated. “Everything’s just fine, thank you!”
“We have company?” Lyra said. She started towards the door to look.
Bon-Bon blocked the doorway. “You… You… No, listen!” Her voice dropped to a harsh whisper. “The Cakes are right out there in the kitchen. They are just about to give me a position as Assistant Confectioner at Sugarcube Corner. This is the chance I have been hoping for ever since moving to Ponyville, and if they see you – “ thrusting a hoof towards Lyra, who shrank back in shock, “ – with those – “ pointing down at Lyra’s hands, “If they see those, I mean if anypony sees those, they’re going to think you’re some kind of a… I don’t even know what! They’re going to think we’re both crazy!”
Lyra waved a hand dismissively. “It’s not that bad, you even said my music sounded better.“
“Your music? No, no, no, you can’t show up at the Gala with - !” Bon-Bon caught her breath, composed herself, and tried to keep her eyes off of Lyra’s hands. She gritted her teeth. “Just… I need my cookbook.”
Lyra went over to the bookshelf and reached up, gripping it in her hand and holding it out to her. “Here you go.”
“Could you just not – “ Bon-Bon stared at the book. “Oh, nevermind.” She took it in her teeth. “Bmmf mff ff…”
“Huh?” Lyra cocked her head.
Spitting out the book, Bon-Bon said, “I just said you better not show yourself out there with those until everypony’s gone.”
Lyra raised up one of her hands to show her. “See, that’s why these are so great, because you can carry things around without – “
“I don’t want to hear it!” Bon-Bon picked up her recipe book again and headed back out down the hallway into the kitchen, trying to keep it together.
Mr. and Mrs. Cake were still waiting there. Bon-Bon walked in and set her book down on the table, while forcing a smile. She had to give the impression of being a capable baker, absolutely nothing was wrong, this was a normal household, nothing out of the ordinary to see here.
“You alright, Ms. Bon-Bon? What was that all about?” Mr. Cake asked.
“Oh… it was just…” Bon-Bon wasn’t about to admit the truth. “A spider! Two of them. Huge. To tell the truth I can’t stand the sight of the things, all those weird spindly legs moving around…”
“You’ve got spiders here?” Mr. Cake said.
She paused. “Not usually. Certainly not in the kitchen.”
Lyra poked her head through the doorway. “By the way, you dropped some notecards. Do you need these?”
Forcing back another scream, Bon-Bon managed to choke out, “Oh… d-did I? Well, I’ll come get those, no need to – “ Lyra started coming closer. “NO! I mean, no need, I’ll just…” She glanced over nervously at her guests. “You should really be practicing for the Gala, shouldn’t you?”
“We could hear you earlier. It sounded quite wonderful!” Mrs. Cake said.
“Thanks! I’m working on a new technique,” Lyra replied.
Bon-Bon rushed over to the doorway before Lyra could come fully into view. She struggled to look cheerful. “Thank you, Lyra, for bringing these over, but you really should be… practicing!” Her voice took on an edge. “No need to let us disturb your creative focus, now you should really get back to work where we won’t be around to distract you while you perfect your art!”
“Um… Okay, I guess…” Lyra said. She gave a thumbs up, which Bon-Bon stared at in confusion. “Good luck with the interview!”
Bon-Bon glanced back at the Cakes, who were looking through her cookbook. They hadn’t seen anything. Lyra had turned around and was heading down the hall. She attempted to pick herself up and walk on two legs, but wobbled and fell forward. Bon-Bon put a hoof to her face in exasperation.
“Anyway, my recipe book…” Bon-Bon flashed a huge smile that she hoped wouldn’t look too fake. “There shouldn’t be any more distractions.”
When the music started playing again, Bon-Bon’s eye started to twitch.
The sun outside was just starting to set when Bon-Bon said goodbye to the Cakes, with the assurance of a new job enough to offset the stress of the past day. A few minutes earlier the music had stopped. Who knew what Lyra was up to in there now?
Bon-Bon reluctantly headed back to the study after her interview was over. She braced herself for what she was about to see. Lyra had never taken her obsession with humans this far before. Something must have gotten into her.
She slowly pushed the door open. “Lyra….?”
Lyra was on the couch, lying on her back and staring at the ceiling. She didn’t move. One foreleg hung over the edge onto the floor… but it ended in a regular hoof. There weren’t any fingers there at all. Bon-Bon couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.
“Hey, Bon-Bon. How’d it go?” Lyra asked. Her voice was flat and unemotional.
“Um…” Bon-Bon couldn’t take her eyes away from the hooves. She’d honestly never been that glad to see plain, unremarkable hooves before. “Everything went very well. I got the job. They want me to come in for work starting tomorrow.”
They were both silent for a while, and Bon-Bon stared at the ground. She didn’t want to be the one to bring it up. “What about your…”
“My hands?” Lyra asked. She turned her head down to look directly at Bon-Bon. “You were right. Nobody would understand. They’d probably react just like you did. Nobody else believes in humans, anyway.” She sighed.
“Oh...” There was another long pause. Bon-Bon fidgeted for a bit. Right now Lyra looked like any normal pony, but after today, Bon-Bon would never be able to forget what she’d done, no matter how hard she tried.
“I’m tired. I think I’ll turn in early,” Lyra said. She got off the sofa and headed for the door.
“Lyra…” Bon-Bon said. Lyra stopped and turned her head. “Um, it’s good that… that you’re finally seeing some sense. This whole ‘human’ thing has just gone too far this time.”
“This isn’t over.”
“I may not be able to make myself human, but that doesn’t change the fact that understanding them is very important to the history of Equestria. Now that I’ve seen how hands work, it’s even more obvious that our society was made by something that didn’t have hooves. It wasn’t just the lyre. Those hands would have made any task much simpler.”
Bon-Bon gaped at her. “Surely you don’t still think…”
“The information I have right now isn’t sufficient. That much is obvious. If I can find some more… like the book Twilight gave me…” Lyra scratched her head, trying to rack her brains. “Where would I be able to find out more, though?”
She walked past Bon-Bon, headed to her bedroom. Bon-Bon turned to watch her, but couldn’t think of anything else to say. At the very least, she hoped there wouldn’t be any more self-mutilation like today’s.
“I don’t have time to worry about this…” she muttered. She had a new job, at one of the finest bakeries in all of Equestria. She had to focus on that. Things would be fine.
They both ended up going to bed early.