Stranger in the Forest

by TrixterCat

Chapter 4 - The terror that is Fluttershy

“What do we do, what do we do, what do we do?” Twilight whispered to her friends, panic clear in her voice. The creature had started to walk towards their hiding spot as soon as it had heard the device starting to ring. It wouldn’t take it long to reach them with its long stride, and they didn’t have any other place to hide.

“Calm down Twilight!” Rainbow urged her friend quietly, while taking a look at the approaching creature. “If it wants to fight, I’m going to show it that nopony messes with my friends!” She flexed her muscles and took a stance, clearly ready to fight. She didn’t know if the creature was actually a monster or just some weird animal, but it could still attack them, and Rainbow wasn’t going to let it hurt either of her friends.

“Umm, girls?”

“Nonono! We don’t want to fight it! We don’t even know what it can do! You could get hurt!” Twilight’s voice was starting to rise slightly.

“I’m not scared!” Rainbow shot back, her voice too getting heated.


“It’s not a question if you are scared or not, I just don’t want anypony hurt!”

“Umm…what if we just-”

“Then what are you saying, Twi? That we just run away?”

“No! I mean…I could just teleport us away and the we could reassess the situation so that we can conclude what’s the best way to proceed!”

“I don’t even know what that means!”

“Girls!” Fluttershy finally said loud enough to catch their attention.

“What?” They half yelled back at her in unison. They both instantly clamped their mouths shut when they remembered the situation they were in. They turned to look at the creature from their hiding spot. It was still some ways away, but it’s speed had slowed to a crawl. It had clearly heard them bickering, and was hesitating on coming any closer.

“Girls, we didn’t come here to fight. We came here to give the creature back the device it lost.” Fluttershy said as she held the thing against her chest. “So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go and give the thing back to it.” She said in a voice that brooked no argument. Both of her friend’s jaws hung open in shock.

“Fluttershy!” They both hissed to try and stop her, but it was too late, as she had already fluttered away from them.

Admittedly, Fluttershy had felt a lot more brave with both of her friends next to her, and as she circled the bush to get face to face with the creature, she felt her courage drain from her. As the creature came in to her view, her hooves started to shake a bit. What had she been thinking, she knew nothing about this creature. Even if her job was to take care of animals, she knew that there were many that were quite dangerous, and could attack a pony if you weren’t careful with them. Maybe it didn’t like to be near ponies and would react badly if she tried to approach it without permission. Maybe it was really shy, and didn’t really interact with ponies, and maybe it would try to run away and-

Fluttershy blinked and stopped, her brain finally registering what was happening in front of her. The creature had stopped, it had even taken a few steps away from her. It had lifted one of its hands in front of it, as if to block her. The creatures whole body was shaking slightly, but the worst was its eyes. They were wide open, fearfully looking around, but quickly snapping back to her again. The realization made Fluttershy feel like bursting to tears.

The creature was afraid of her.

It opened its mouth, as if to say something, but all it could do was take a shaky breath and one more step backwards. The creature looked like it was about to run away in terror. From her. From Fluttershy.

“No…nonono…” She gently whispered and flew a bit closer. The creature took another step backwards.

“No, I’m not going to hurt you.” She tried again, but the creature was starting to hyperventilate. It tore Fluttershy’s heart apart to see any creature so full of fear. She had to think of something fast.

“H-here…” She held the object with her hooves, which had stopped ringing, towards the creature. It looked at the object for a second, before fixing its eyes to her again.

“It’s yours, isn’t it? We came to give it back to you…” She said in the gentlest voice she could muster, and carefully flew even closer. Fluttershy could see sweat forming on its face, its legs were shaking, and its breathing hadn’t gone down at all. But it had stopped moving away from her.

“I don’t want to hurt you…I just want to give this back…” She soothed, and finally, painfully slowly, flew close enough to the creature that it could touch her with its long arms. The creature alternated at staring at her, her wings, or the device she was holding. Fluttershy held her breath, did her absolute best to appear as non-harmful as possible, and waited.

Almost a minute ticked by when the creature finally, with a shaky hand, reached for the device, and gently took it from her hooves. Fluttershy let her hooves fall and flew a tiny bit backward to give the creature space.

The creature looked at its device, caressing it with its hands, as if not believing what was happening. It raised its head and looked at Fluttershy again, its mouth still slightly open. Fluttershy finally took a breath, and offered a small smile to the creature. It just kept staring at her, before giving a nod so small that Fluttershy almost didn’t see it. The creature took few more steps away from her, before kneeling (Fluttershy feared that the creature would fall over, its legs were shaking so much) and then sitting down on the ground.

Fluttershy slowly lowered herself on the ground level too. The creature seemed to be calming down, its breathing was slowing, and since it was sitting, there was no fear of it hurting itself from falling over. Its eyes were still full of fear, never leaving Fluttershy for a long period of time. She kept the smile on her face, and took a few gentle steps closer. It didn’t react to her moving, it just kept dumbly staring at her.

Encouraged by this, she slowly moved next to the creature, and sat down. She took the opportunity to take a better look at the creature. Fluttershy could see, that besides the grayish beard the creature had, that was covering its entire chin and went under its tiny nose too, the creature didn’t seem to have much hair or fur. It had eyelashes and eyebrows, but otherwise it had slightly wrinkly skin. Its eyes were a bit small, and its ears were on both sides of its face. They didn’t seem like they would move much, and the tiny nose didn’t seem particularly effective either, further giving proof that the creature probably foraged its food, and hid from predators with the help of its camouflage.

It was also tall, but not terribly big, like a bear or a minotaur. Fluttershy’s head would reach just past its waist if they both were standing. It had hands similar to minotaurs, but it seemed to wear shoes. It probably had soft feet, she concluded.

Speaking of hands, Fluttershy noticed that one of the creature’s hands was slightly raised towards her, as if to reach out to her. She looked up and saw the hesitant look, which was thankfully less fearful now.

“It’s okay.” Fluttershy said and leaned her head slightly closer. The creature hesitated for a moment longer, before reaching out and gently touching her cheek. Its eyes went wide again, and it pulled the hand back. Why was it so surprised from the touch? As the creature contemplated it, Fluttershy leaned even closer, and nuzzled its hand. It jerked its hand back, but then reached out again and gently rubbed her cheek. Fluttershy giggled quietly and pressed her head against the hand lightly.

The creature looked unsure about what was happening, and it was still shaking slightly, but it was getting better.

“There is nothing to fear.” She soothed. “Nothing bad is going to happen.”

“Fluttershy? Is everything okay?” Came Twilight's voice from behind her.

Oh no, Fluttershy thought as the pleasant moment was shattered. The creature immediately turned its head towards the voice, and its breathing was starting to get faster again. Fluttershy turned and saw both of her friends peeking past the bush, Rainbow floating in the air, wary look on her face, and Twilight half out from her cover.

“Girls, you shouldn’t- “

She stopped as the creature pulled its hand away. It crawled back a bit, before stopping and pointing at Twilight. It said something that Fluttershy didn’t understand, before its eyes rolled back in its head and it promptly passed out. Fluttershy immediately went to its side, quickly followed by Twilight, while Rainbow floated next to the bush, blinking at what had just happened.

“This is the lamest monster I have ever seen.” She muttered, not sure how disappointed she should be, before joining the others.