35w, 1dPonies On Earth!
What friendship could be...
Three and a half feet tall. Seven feet long. Three feet wide. Thirty-two boards. One hundred and twenty-eight nails. Destination: anywhere. Return address: unknown. This crate, ordinary in every aspect except it’s origin and contents, sits on a track near small-town Silt, Colorado. Waiting to be found.
"But it doesn't make sense!" Joe cried out as we walked down the railroad tracks. Joe always had a way of overcomplicating things.
"Yes it does Joe, just let it go."
"It can't be!"
"Joe, it can be, and it is. Let it go."
"Joe! Yes it can." Tyler always was the voice of reason in our little trio of friends. I, myself struggled with every fiber of my being to not contradict both of them, for the sake of watching those two fight back. But with Ty’s finishing words, Joe gave up the argument for good. To be honest, I think we all had forgotten what it was about in the first place. I wiped the sweat off my forehead as I looked around and enjoyed the scenery. That blazing hot morning, the three of us found ourselves on a railroad track. It was just outside the small town of Silt, near the Colorado River. Most people wouldn’t think much of an old set of tracks outside a small town, but it was our little group’s favorite place to hang out.
My good friend Ty, the unspoken leader of our group, had an odd hobby of collecting railroad spikes and forging them into small knives. I would never understand why he did this, but he did. The man liked to kill things, and I liked to help people. I guess it was kind of like Batman and Robin, if Batman was a psychopath, and Robin didn't know what the hell he was doing.
I mustn't forget about Joe in all this. He was the one who completed our little "island of misfit toys". With Joe there, we always had something to debate about. And so, that's exactly what we did. Debated. And we liked it that way. He was always hyper and happy, and honestly, we just loved picking on him.
The three of us walked in silence hoping one of us would break the silence with some astounding piece of information. I, being the hopeless romantic that I am, always hoped that one of them would just confess their love for one of the girls in our class. (We all went to the same school) I’m not sure how that would ever fit in a normal day’s conversation, but I did. However, when I just wanted to fill some time I would start rambling on about some movie they had never seen or heard about. I very much prided myself in being a movie geek.
I think Ty was always hoping he would find a scorpion or some venomous arachnid to add to his “collection”. Not only did Tyler have (practically) a whole medieval armory in his basement, but all of his swords and knives he would buy (or make) would be dipped in venom. All of his venom he extracted himself as well. He had a pet scorpion that he would poke at and play chicken with just to extract the venom from it. Creepy stuff.
And then Joe… Joe, Joe, Joe… I never did quite understand how Joe’s mind works. It’s difficult to explain. So I think the best way to demonstrate it is by giving a couple examples.
EXAMPLE 1. Joe loves to play chess… but Joe doesn’t like to use strategy so he just moves his pieces to random spots.
EXAMPLE 2. He speaks quite formally at times… and then five minutes later he is insisting he’s insane whilst laughing maniacally.
Joe was odd. But we all had our little quirks about us that made us the “Three Muska-NERDs” that we were, and are, and always will be…
It was nice. Just hanging out with my friends, not really worried about anything. Just walking the tracks, and also keeping a look-out for good spikes. Or any other piece of metal I could forge into a weapon. I hated doing things without having an ulterior motive, so I used that as an excuse to goof off and basically do nothing. I prided myself on being purely practical. The glass was neither half-empty, nor half-full. It was half-full if being filled, and half-empty if being drained. Not pessimistic, not optimistic, simply realistic. My two friends were the complete opposite of me. Joe was optimistic, Bryan pessimistic. Generally, Joe was the comic relief. Bryan and I picked on him mercilessly, but all in good fun. He sure did love to argue though. Although, he could be exceedingly annoying at times. Bryan was interesting, difficult to read at times, but overall an easy-going guy. He loved anything to do with the film industry. Movies were great and all, but I didn’t really understand his fascination for them. I would continue contemplating, but Joe had to break my concentration with a simple question.
"Hey Ty?" Joe asked nonchalantly, all the while gazing forward.
I looked over to my left where Joe was walking; "Yeah?"
"Why is there a box on the tracks?"
I looked forward along the rails, and sure enough, some dumbass had put a giant wooden box on the train tracks.
"Maybe it fell off a passing cargo train or something?" Bryan suggested.
I shrugged doubtfully; "If it fell off a train it would be alongside the tracks, not on top of them. Doesn't matter though, we should go get it off before the next train comes around."
As we got closer to the wooden box, I was able to make out some words printed on the side of it in bold letters: "Caution, live animals"
"Alright, maybe it did fall off a train... circus possibly?" I asked.
The only response I got was a set of shrugs.
"Anyway, if it's from a circus it could have a tiger or something in it, let's open it up and see."
“You sure that’s a good idea?” Joe asked; “Should we call the police or someone to report it?”
I snorted in derision. “Why would we do that? If it’s something cool, we’ll keep it. If not, we’ll keep it anyway until someone posts a reward for it.”
“….That’s cold.” Joe murmured.
“Yeah, it is. But whoever owns whatever is inside this crate should have taken better care of it. Let’s stop arguing and just open it. It’s hot out here and I’m sure it’s even hotter in that crate. Joe, see if you can find something to pry the lid off.”
“That won’t be necessary.” Bryan said; “It isn’t even nailed on.”
I leaned in closer to the top of the crate. He was right. The lid wasn’t nailed on.
“Alright then, I’m not sure how it fell off a train without opening up, but it doesn’t matter. It’ll just make it even easier to crack open.”
Bryan and I got on one side, and Joe got the other. Despite not being nailed in, the lid was extremely heavy. With sweat dripping from our foreheads, we manage to lift the lid a few inches from the top of the crate. We then crab-walked sideways with the lid, and dropped it with a crash on the ground. Simultaneously, we all turned around and looked inside the crate.
“What the hell…?” I mutter.
Inside the crate were eleven… things. They looked almost like baby horses, but the proportions were all wrong… and certain limbs. They were sleeping, but the sound of the lid being dropped and the sunlight must have woken them up. They started moving around and squirming a bit, some even sneezing from the sun. There was a cowboy hat in the corner, and upon lifting it up I saw a little orange pony underneath. That made twelve overall. They almost looked… cute, but I was in too much shock to even notice that.
“Uh, guys? Tell me I’m not the only one seeing these things.” I ask without looking away from the crate.
“Nope, I see it. However much I don’t believe it, I see it.” Joe says.
“Me too.” Bryan says with an obvious tone of disbelief in his voice.
“Okay, so I’m not the only one seeing things. But… you guys see that some of them have wings and even horns right? A few of them even have both. Although some of them have neither… They’re like baby ponies, but the proportions are all messed up.”
“What if they aren’t real?” Joe asked.
I rolled my eyes. “Joe, I’m looking at them right now, I’m pretty sure they’re real.”
“Not like that, what if the horns and wings are just really convincingly attached? I mean, we couldn’t have just found a crate of unicorns and pegasi right?”
“Yeah… that must be it…” I replied; “Somebody must’ve attached them somehow.”
In the crate, a rainbow maned pony started flapping it’s tiny wings, and in a few seconds was hovering a foot above the crate.
After a few seconds of hovering, the rainbow maned pony flopped back down into the crate and landed on a smaller orange pony with a purple mane. It let out an indignant squeak upon being landed on.
Bryan spoke up, “So the wings are obviously real… the horns are probably real as well.”
He reached down into the crate and started gently tugging on the horn of a white unicorn with a purple mane. It let out an annoyed squeak and Bryan let go.
“Felt real enough…” He muttered, obviously dumbstruck at our find.
To be honest, so was I. Joe too. We had just found a crate full of unicorns, pegasi, and a weird mix of the two. All of them were babies, but some were slightly larger than others. Overall, there were three “normal” ponies, three unicorns, thee pegasi and three that were a combination of unicorn and pegasus. Twelve pony things… how odd.
Each one was different. Soft pink hair, pastel yellow body, wings. Blonde hair, orange body, neither wings nor horn. Deep blue hair, deep blue body, wings and horn. Some were even bigger than others. The combination ponies were slightly larger than the rest. Two pegasi, unicorns, and “normal” ponies were slightly larger than the remaining three, which were one of each. All kinds of ponies. While inspecting them closer, I noticed something quite peculiar on their flanks. Each one, with the exception of the three smallest ponies, had a kind of mark. Not a branding mark like some ranchers do to cattle, but something that seemed imprinted on their fur almost.
“Hey guys, look at this.”
Bryan and Joe leaned forward to see what I was pointing at. Using a lavender unicorn as an example, I said; “Most of these ponies have marks on their flanks. This one looks like a star surrounded by other, smaller, stars. But these three,” I point to the smallest ponies of the bunch, “don’t have any marks at all.”
Bryan and Joe start looking at the other marks.
“This one has three balloons on it!” Joe exclaims.
“Hmm… These three all have three of diamonds, apples, or butterflies. Three seems to be a common theme.” Bryan stated.
“Not necessarily.” I replied; “This one has a cloud with a rainbow colored lightning bolt coming from it. Two of the combination ponies have the sun and moon on them… Huh, that’s weird. The one with the moon on it hasn’t woken up yet.”
“Do their marks have something to do with their personalities?” Joe asked.
I sigh in annoyance. “Joe, they are ponies. Animals. They probably don’t even have personalities. They are weird, but not human.”
“Rarity.” Bryan muttered.
I turned to Bryan, who was bending down close to a white pony.
“What?” I asked.
“This one’s name is Rarity. While you were talking to Joe, I noticed each of these ponies have a piece of string around their necks with a piece of paper attached. Each piece of paper has a single name on it.”
Joe and I immediately started looking at the necks of all the ponies. Sure enough, each one had a nametag.
“Scootaloo, Applejack, Fluttershy, Celestia, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, Cadance, Pinkie Pie, Applebloom and Luna. That’s all of their names. How weird.” I said.
“That is strange, but now we come to the question: What are we going to do with them?” Joe asked.
“It’s simple. We follow my original plan. These ponies are pretty cool, so we’re going to keep them. But obviously, someone put them in that crate and named them. They belonged to someone. And I bet that someone would pay a lot of money to get them back. A lot. So, we will keep them until we can sell them back to their owner, and if we can’t do that, we can always make money off them by selling tickets for people to see them. Can you image how much someone would pay to see a real live unicorn or pegasus?”
“That does sound like a good plan, but, is money all you think about?” Joe asked.
“Not always, I just know how to take advantage of a good situation.” I responded coldly.
Joe shrugged; “While I think they could make us some good money, I also like the idea of keeping them as pets…”
I rolled my eyes; “Joe, if the original owner doesn’t pipe up, we’ll be keeping them as pets and making money off them. Best of both worlds. Or at least up until the point someone offers us a deal we simply can’t refuse.”
“Personally, I think it’s a great idea.” Bryan said.
Joe sighed. “Alright, I suppose it’ll work.”
“Great, now that we have that figured out, we need to get them out of here before someone else sees them and tries to stake a claim.” I said. “I’ll drive my truck down here and we can load them in the bed.”
Bryan and Joe both agreed, and five minutes later we were trying in vain to lift the freakishly heavy crate into my truck. It was just too heavy with the twelve ponies in it, and besides, they were starting to get restless from all the jostling about.
“Guys, let’s just take some of the ponies out, lift the crate up, and then put them back in once it’s there.” I suggested.
They agreed, so we all started to carefully lift the ponies out one at a time and set them on the ground. I reached down into the crate and picked up the deep blue one named Luna. Surprisingly, this one was still fast asleep. All the others were wide awake and tumbling around on the ground like a group of playful kittens, but she was out cold. I shifted her in my arms a bit as I was about to set her down, but suddenly she twisted in her sleep and wrapped her wings around my torso. I was so surprised I just stood stock-still as I stared down at her. Still asleep, she snuggled in and on her face I could see the tiniest smile. There was nothing I could have done to prevent me from becoming slightly attached to this little creature. With great pain I set her down on the ground, and resumed helping my friends lift the crate. Once it was safely in the bed of my truck, we loaded the ponies back up again and then hopped in the cab. I turned the keys in the ignition, and we started for the highway.
“Pegacorns.” I said after a little thought. “Either that or cornasuses, which I think is stupid, but you know whatever you guys want to call the combination ponies is fine, but I don’t like cornasuses, (Gasp) What about duocorns! Duo as in two, because they have both horns and wings, well we could have duosuses but that’s almost as bad as cornasuses so maybe we should just call them-.”
“Joe! Shut up!” Bryan shouted. “We’ll just call them pegacorns okay?”
(Just to let you know, my energy spikes dramatically when I’m tired, it’s even higher then when I have a caffeinated sugary substance. I know weird, but that’s just part of who I am.)
“Calm down Bryan.” Ty said tiredly. “But Joe, your loud, annoying, energetic talking is giving me a headache. Not a good thing while I’m driving.”
I glanced over at Bryan and Ty as we were talking and what I saw was no surprise to me. There was Ty, in his tee shirt, and a chain coming out of his jeans. To anyone else looking at that chain they’d think; “Hey, he has a wallet chain. Kids these days, trying to be cool.” What they don’t know is that it’s actually a weighted chain that he could kill someone with instantly if he wanted to. And Bryan, well Bryan was slightly unusual. I’m not saying that Tyler and I aren’t, but Bryan’s fascination in wearing nice, fancy clothing doesn’t make any sense to me. And that’s not even mentioning his avid movie loving, joking and over all happy personality. Understanding Bryan is a science that has not been created, and probably will never be created, considering it doesn’t fall under the usual psychology of a human mind.
“Sorry guys.” I said cringing at my over activity. I just couldn’t help it though. Bryan was just going with it, and Tyler was serious as always, but I was bursting with excitement on the inside at the thought of finding those ponies. I mean, real live unicorns and pegasi! How cool is that! I just wish they weren’t so focused on making money off them, but I must admit the prospect was exciting for me as well.
I was kind of hoping that Tyler would rethink this whole ‘sell them when we find the owner’ I mean, if you found a box out of Greek mythology would you go and just sell them? The whole keep them and sell ticket thing was better than selling them, but then things would get hectic and all our time would be taken from us. Is money good enough compensation for time and energy? In my personal belief, having them as pets would not only be the easiest and the least frustrating method, but the most fun. I know it sounds childish, that’s my opinion.
“We probably should have thought of this before, but, where are we going?” Tyler asked both of us, breaking into my thoughts.
“Well, we could meet up at my house to decide what to do with them.” Bryan suggested.
“Fine by me, we’re heading that direction anyway.” Tyler replied
I lived in Glenwood Springs, as did Bryan. Tyler lived in the even smaller town of Rifle, which was about thirty minutes from Glenwood. Silt was about twenty minutes away, so it was roughly our half-way point for meeting.
“So… what are we going to do when we get to your house Bryan?” I asked.
“Well, we will probably try and figure out how to market them.” Bryan replied
“I have an idea concerning that.” Tyler said. “We should wait to show them to anybody until we hear news about someone looking for a missing crate. If we don’t hear anything, we can just raise them up a bit and then sell tickets for people to see them. For now though, we should keep this a complete secret amongst ourselves.”
“What if our parents or the government try and take them away from us? What then?” I asked.
“They can’t.” Was his simple response; “If and when we start selling tickets for people to see them, we will make sure it is very public so no one will try to just take them away.”
“Huh, alright.” I replied.
We finally arrived at my house. I lived atop a hill overlooking the very small city of Glenwood springs, which was the town I lived in. Once I got out of Tyler’s truck, I opened the garage door so we could put the ponies inside. Joe, Tyler, and myself worked together to tote that huge crate into my garage, and then opened it up. We just stared at each other and then back at the ponies for a while. Our gang didn’t really have a problem with silence, it wasn’t awkward for us. The ponies started clambering out of the box, all except for Luna, who was still asleep. They explored and tumbled around my garage like a bunch of excited kittens. It was slightly adorable to watch. But after noticing just how many there were, I had to say something.
“Where are they going to stay? Because I am not keeping them all here.”
“Well I guess we can just split them up and each take responsibility for our own. They will be easier to manage, and less likely they will be found. My mom works two jobs, so when she gets home she pretty much goes straight to bed. I shouldn’t have a problem hiding them.” Tyler said.
“Works for me. There is an old water tower that has enough room around and inside it to hide them sufficiently. Joe?”
“Yeah, I guess so. There is a patch of woods near my house that nobody ever bothers with. I can keep mine in there.” Joe said.
“Great, now who gets which?” Asked Tyler. “To be fair all around, we should divide them up fairly. There are three pegacorns, three baby ponies, and six small ones. That means we each can get one pegacorn, one baby pony, and two small ponies. Sound fair?”
Joe and I both agreed.
We played rock, paper, scissors to see who got to go first, second, and third. Joe and Tyler tied three times in a row on rock, so Tyler just lightly punched Joe and said; “I’m going first. So there.” I smirked at the sight, and I announced I’d be going second. Joe was naturally upset, but Tyler and I ignored him as usual.
“I’ll take Luna; we’ll start with the pegacorns.” Tyler announced.
“I’ll take Rainbow Dash.” I casually said.
“Wait, what? But… she’s not a pegacorn.” Tyler said in a slightly disappointed tone. I noticed he was a little downcast that I had chosen Rainbow Dash, but I didn’t care.
“Yeah that’s right, she’s a pegasus.” I smugly replied.
“But we’re starting with the pegacorns!” Tyler said in an annoyed tone.
“Well I’m not.” I smartly replied.
Tyler was silently fuming at my words, but he dropped the subject.
Joe, sensing the tension, decided to break it up by choosing his own pony.
“I’ll take Fluttershy…” Joe said.
“Yeah… No.” Tyler promptly interjected. “If Bryan can skip the order, then I’m taking Fluttershy, and you can have the orange one, uh, what’s its face… ah! Applejack. Also, while I’m at it, I’ll be taking Twilight Sparkle as well.”
“Okay then, I’ll be taking Cadance and uh, Rarity.” I interjected before Joe could argue further.
“Wait! Why don’t I get any unicorns or pegasi? And I’m stuck with the Pink one no less!” Joe whined.
“Deal with it, you at least get Celestia.” Tyler said, obviously frustrated.
“Well I get Sweetie Belle! You’re not going to stick me with another pony without horns or wings now!” Joe angrily announced.
“I’ll take Scootaloo then.” Tyler happily said.
“What? Ugh, fine. I’ll take the one with the bow...” I said grumpily.
I’m not going to lie, but I was slightly disappointed that all my ponies were slightly more feminine than the rest, but whatever makes the money I guess…
“Well, now that we have them split up amongst us, what are we going to do?” Joe asked.
“Well, Bryan, why don’t you get some bowls of water for our ponies, I bet they’re thirsty.” Tyler said.
I nodded and went to open the door leading to my house. As soon as I did however, my dog rushed out into the garage. I yelled in vain for it to stop, but my dog made a beeline for the nearest pony, which happened to be Celestia. Just as the dog was about to bite her, Celestia’s horn glowed faintly in yellow light, and a bright flash of fire burst from the tip of it. The dog yelped loudly, and with bits of facial fur smoldering, beat a hasty retreat back into the house. All was silent for a minute afterwards as we tried our best to comprehend what we had just seen.
“What… the hell was that?” Tyler said in disbelief.
There didn’t really seem to be an appropriate way to react to this… so I didn’t. We just stood in silent awe for a few minutes, each of us trying to process what we had just seen. Celestia gurgled happily to herself and started wandering around with the other ponies.
The three of us began loading Joe and I’s ponies in the back of my truck. I was giving Joe a ride home. But on the way out of the garage, I felt a tugging on my pants leg, and I looked down to see Rainbow Dash. She had the tip of my pants leg in her mouth, and she was tugging playfully, like she wanted to play tug-of-war. I grinned down at her, and to my surprise, she let go of my pants leg and smiled back. It was kind of weird but heart-warming at the same time. Just as I was reaching down to pick her up, Bryan beat me to it. Rainbow’s happy expression vanished and was immediately replaced by melancholy and sadness. Bryan, oblivious to Rainbow’s anguish, waved happily at Joe and I as he took his four ponies inside. With hesitation I turned around and got in the driver’s seat, unable to get Rainbow out of my mind.
For some reason Tyler was taking an incredibly long time in the doorway of Bryan’s house, so I took the liberty of putting my ponies into the bed of his truck without him. I had almost finished putting them all in when something caught my eye. There in the box, as Celestia and Applejack were rolling around tugging on each other’s ears, and Sweetie Belle was asleep in the corner, there was one pony not doing its own thing. Instead, it sat there, looking up at me in a way that can only be referred to as intelligent. Truth be told, I should have been a little fearful at that, but I wasn’t. Not the smallest bit afraid of those large eyes that seemed to call out to me from where they were perched. Eyes that seemed to know me. And as if I had known them for years. I probably could have sat there for hours, transfixed by that small creature that was in front of me. But the connection was broken as Ty came over to me a bit depressed as got in the driver’s seat.
I waved goodbye to Joe and Ty while I was closing the door. I looked down at the little ponies by my feet. I kneeled down to their level. They seemed to smile back up at me.
“So you’re Rarity, Cadence, Rainbow Dash, and Applebloom huh?” They just gazed up at me like they were trying to understand what I was saying.
“We haven’t properly met yet have we? I’m Bryan, and that creature you saw was my dog, Shiloh.”
Cadence nuzzled up against my arm. I pet her on her soft little head.
“Well nice to meet you Rarity, Cadence, Rainbow Dash, and Applebloom…”
Rarity yawned and staggered her way to the couch to put herself to sleep. I helped her with a blanket.
“You’re gonna make me a lot of money one day.” I smiled.
A/N: Hey everyone, hope you enjoyed our first chapter. Us three authors will be posting a new chapter each Friday. Will we always be one chapter ahead so we can keep up with this schedule. The next chapters will be from one POV, (point of view), so they won't be quite as confusing as this one. It will cycle between Bryan's chapter, Ty's chapter, and Joe's chapter. then start over again. There will be three acts.