Cafe Harmony

by River Shy


Dinner Party (I)

Katie looked up at Rocky intensely. The two scrutinized each others features for several moments, Rocky let himself up so the girls confinement was not so tight.

"Why me?" Katie said simply. She seemed to speaking to nobody and her whole demeanour reflected a deep malaise. "Why out of all the worlds, all this multiplicity of universes and realities do I get this." Both of them turned suddenly hearing talking as Strawberry began greeting a pony who just arrived. Rocky let go of the comforter completely and changed his position so he was resting beside the girl. "You don't know my world Rocky, and maybe I don't know yours. But what I have seen here, it is paradise. That is reality you know, some creatures get paradise, and others well they get dark forests and attacks from the shadows. There is no fairness in it Rocky, no rhyme or reason, like a toss of the dice. A grand lottery that disperses trial and tribulation. There are people more deserving of this kindness than I, and yet here I am. In a world of colour and care, you, Strawberry, this whole bloody town bending every which way to show me friendship and love." No longer being held down she sat up on the bed, looking at her lap she continued. "I don't deserve any of it, I am a nobody. A girl who just was picked up. I'm useless, I'm meaningless, I'm nothing special. Every kind act just reminds me.... "

"Reminds you of what?" Rocky gently coaxed.

"It reminds me of every unkind one. It makes me want to break things and scream. Like every kind act makes me sad, angry and guilty all at the same time. And they keep coming, I can't get away from them. This world makes me feel totally out of control. I am terrified of not being in control Rocky, I have been in control my whole life. I'm in a sea, and those who I reach for are so kind I don't want to hold onto them you know?"

"That sounds scary." The stallion replied simply. He had never heard the girl speak so much before and was afraid of derailing this rare moment.

“It’s terrifying, my world is so unlike this one. Every pony treats me like I am a child. I’m not, but I kind of am here. It confuses me. Can I ask you a question Rocky?”

“Absolutely little bit, ask away.”

“What did you see or feel at the cafe when I sang?”

“Oh that,” Rocky chuckled to himself. “You. I saw you.”

Katie’s expressions moved from annoyed to puzzled. “What does that even mean?”

Rocky took a breath and repositioned himself on the bed. A few more ponies could be heard coming into the house. Distinct foal like voices echoed, they were loud and excitable. Leaning in conspiratorially he spoke softly,“I’ll tell you a secret, but it’s just between you and me. I have listened to so many ponies and creatures sing I no long see images or feel snippets. To me it is like looking at a piece of artwork. I see the pony inside under all the memories and feelings.” He leaned away from the girl, his muzzle wore a quirky smile.

“Hmmmm.” The girl replied. Katie looked towards the mostly closed door, her eyes traveled to the gashed wall, then the broken alarm clock on the floor. “Rocky I’m really sorry I threw something at you. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just do not want to do this party, it’s too much, and I feel like I have no say or control here.”

Rocky lifted a hoof to the bottom of his muzzle in a thinking gesture. “You know I brought you a gift. Of course now I’m not sure I want to give it to you. It might help a little, do you want me to go get it? It’s the wrapped package on the floor over there.”

“Sure.”

Rocky got off the bed and moved towards the nicely wrapped package which had fallen in the scuffle. “So I was thinking about you. Strawberry talks about you a lot and I got this idea in my head. It might be silly, you might hate it, but then again it might be just what you need.” The stallion lifted the package it was about as tall as the girls waist. Bringing it over he placed it down in front of her on the bed.

“It so big Rocky, why would you get me something so big.” Katie began removing the wrapping paper carefully. Inside was a box, within the box was a purple plush pony doll kind of the same colour as Rocky himself. It wore soft golden armor and a soft helmet. It’s stitched face wore a kind yet stern expression. Katie lifted the doll out of the box climbing off the bed she placed it standing up on the floor. Its full height came only to her elbow. She turned the tag attached to the ear, it said Solid Spear. She looked up at Rocky’s massive form with a confused expression.

“You see, I thought that with ponies being so big and all it’d be nice to have one near your size. He’s like a royal guard, they make renditions of real ones. Why don’t you give him an order?” He replied answering her confusion.

“What do you mean an order?” Katie replied in bewilderment.

Rocky smiled down at the girl speaking clearly he gave the doll a command. “Spear go guard the door.” The doll began to glow greenish and suddenly began moving all on its own. Katie squealed in fright and leap back up on the bed. She watched the doll ‘walk’ towards the door, stop, turn and cease glowing.

“The doll has just enough magic weaved into it to obey simple moving commands. Why don’t you try.” Rocky explained while moving closer to the startled human.

“I’m not sure I want to Rocky.”

“Nothing to be scared of little bit, just try.”

“Spear,” Katie called in a hesitant voice, “Come here.” The doll emitted the green glow and began its awkward trot towards her. “Spear stop,” she commanded when it was half way to her. It stopped suddenly. “ Spear sit.” The pony plush was nimble enough it sat on it’s haunches. She climbed down off the bed and scrutinized the plush pony closely. “Spear give me a hug.” The doll reared up on its hind legs and wrapped itself around the girl and squeezed. Katie couldn’t help but chuckle and smile. She was being hugged by a plush, usually it’s the other way around. “Spear sit down please.” The doll let go and sat back down. Turning looking up at Rocky she spoke with wonder. “How does it do that?”

“Magic.”

“Yeah I get that, but how? I don’t understand what you mean when you say magic.”

“I’m not nearly educated enough to tell you princess. Do you feel any better? I think we need to be getting down to Strawberry, she’s probably worried. You can take old Solid Spear with ya!” Rocky gave the girl a gentle nudge with a hoof.

“I.... really..”

Before she could finish an obvious denial Rocky spoke.“Look I’ll be with you, so will Strawberry just take Spear with you and think of him as you royal guard. If that isn’t enough do it for Strawberry, she cares about you so much. Do it for her yeah?”

“I guess I can. I like you Rocky, I’m really sorry.” Katie walked up to the pony and gave one of his legs a hug. No magic forced her, she did it all on her own.

“Ok little bit, let’s get going. Don’t forget Spear.”

The girl turned, “Spear, follow beside me please.” It began to glow and slowly followed the stallion and girl out of the room.