What is a Name?

by Key Tapper

I Don't Know What to Believe

Given the circumstances, I’d say my reaction to all of this was quite understandable. These five seemed to think otherwise.

“We’re telling you, this is real!” said the unicorn who had introduced herself as Twilight Sparkle.

“Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I have no way of knowing for sure. Do you have any idea just how far fetched this sounds?” I rebutted. “This could be a dream, for all I know.”

Twilight lowered her head and let out a sigh of defeat. She had finally realized there was no way of convincing me, for the time being.

Following my surprisingly quick release from the hospital, these five mares escorted me to a place they referred to as "Sugarcube Corner," where they sat me down and attempted to explain the situation to me.

They started with a brief explanation of my condition. Apparently I’d been afflicted with some sort of disease. After much elaboration on that subject, they proceeded to the second stage of their operation.

A detailed summary of my life, according to them.

The entire ordeal took several hours. I've had superb memory for as long as I can remember, so retaining all of the information was easy enough. That being said, my willingness to accept it as reality was, and still remained, questionable.

Ponyville? Party-thrower extraordinaire? Element of Laughter? None of it made sense! Not a single thing they told me tonight existed within the realm of normality, as far as I was concerned. It was so contrary to everything I knew. Enough so, in fact, that it was even hard to believe my subconscious could have conjured up such images in a dream. Assuming, of course, that this was a dream.

I wasn't used to logic-defying dreams. There was only one dream in particular I could remember that was quite outlandish. It was about a giant boulder with bloodshot eyes and jagged teeth chasing me around the farm, with my family watching from the sidelines. Not a single one of them lifted a hoof to assist me.

I didn't dwell on it much. Dreams are just dreams, right?

As my thoughts circulated from one possibility to the next, I realized that my own perception of a typical dream did not differ much from reality, which made it rather difficult to distinguish between the two.

My mind was at war with itself. I found myself unable to decide if this was just one of those rare, bizarre dreams, or if it was truly happening. Every time one argument gained the advantage, the other side was able to contradict it in some way. Thus, the cycle began anew; a never ending battle in a field of uncertainty, so it seemed.

"Pinkie, are you alright?" asked Twilight.

I quickly snapped out of my trance to notice the five ponies staring at me with wide eyes and concerned expressions.

"I... I'm fine," I replied. My decision would have to come later, when I had some time to myself.

“Ah wish there was somethin’ we could say or do to make you believe us,” said the orange earth pony, Applejack.

I could feel my eyes growing heavy. I glanced at the clock, and saw that it was the dead of night.

“Perhaps I should sleep on it. We've been at this for hours, and I have quite a bit of thinking to do, myself. This is a lot to take in...”

“You’re probably right,” agreed Twilight. “I’m going to stay here tonight, just in case. What about the rest of you?”

The other four looked at each other, as if in silent communication.

Rarity spoke up. “I really should be getting back to the boutique. Sweetie Belle must be worried sick. Oh, I hope she hasn't stayed up waiting for me.”

“I need to be getting home, as well,” said the timid pegasus known as Fluttershy. “My animals are waiting for me, and I don’t think that afternoon snack will hold them off until morning. Sorry...”

“I ain't got nothin’ else to do. Why not? I’ll stay the night,” said Applejack.

“I’m definitely staying,” said Rainbow Dash.

How odd. Why would they have wanted to stay the night here? I looked around, and another question came to mind.

“Where are the owners of this house? You know, the Cakes?”

“Well,” started Twilight, “you previously told us that they’re on an important business trip. You never specified where they went, just that they’d be back in a few days.”

“Ah,” I acknowledged, and walked towards the stairs.

I made the ascent to what was apparently my room, leaving these strange characters to their devices.


“Well, that could have gone better,” said Twilight as she produced a piece of parchment from the drawer.

"What makes ya say that?" asked Applejack. She was settling on the the floor with a pillow and blanket, preparing to sleep.

"I don't know. I mean, I know she didn't leave us on bad terms or anything, but still... I feel like we handled it poorly."

Twilight continued to rummage through the various drawers and cupboards.

Trying to change the subject, Applejack spoke up. "Whatcha doin' there, anyway? Don't you wanna get some shut-eye?"

"I'm looking for a quill. I need to write a letter to Princess Celestia right away to notify her of this situation. It shouldn't take too long. Aha!" she exclaimed, pulling a quill from the kitchen drawer.

Rainbow uttered a strange sound from her place next to Applejack. Upon closer examination, one could see that the pegasus was out cold.

"How in the hay is she already asleep?" Applejack asked in a hushed tone. "Pinkie went upstairs less than ten minutes ago."

"She's probably just exhausted, like the rest of us."

Rainbow shifted in her spot, continuing to make unintelligible noises in her slumber.

“Go to sleep, Applejack,” insisted Twilight. “I know you’re tired.”

“What about y’all?”

“Not to worry. Once this letter is complete, I’ll be off to bed, as well.”

“Alright, then,” said Applejack as she brought her head down on the pillow. The crudely fashioned bed was more than sufficient, and sleep quickly overtook her, as well.

Twilight sat at the table, mulling over the letter she was about to compose. Once she was certain about how to convey her thoughts to the princess, she dipped the quill in some ink and began her letter in the usual manner.

“Dear Princess Celestia,”

Twilight jotted down her words with no pause other than to re-coat her pen. The quill smoothly ran over the parchment, and eventually came to a halt near the bottom of the page.

After signing her name, Twilight placed it aside and wrote a second letter. This one was much more brief:


Sorry to wake you, but this is urgent. I need you to send the enclosed letter to Princess Celestia right away. I’ll explain everything tomorrow.

Sweet dreams,

Rolling up the first letter inside of the second one, Twilight focused her mind to perform a spell. The scrolls were enveloped in a glowing, purple aura, and in the blink of an eye, they vanished.

Twilight experienced a bit of vertigo and tried her best not to stumble. “If the events of today weren't taxing enough, that sure was.” Twilight chuckled weakly.

Taking great care not to wake her friends, Twilight arranged a makeshift bed. She was too exhausted to use magic at the moment, so it was a tedious chore.

After a long and tiring day, everypony was finally allowed to rest. However, that didn't necessarily mean they were all at peace. Rainbow Dash was still shifting and groaning in her sleep. Even in the dark, one could faintly make out the glistening teardrop that rolled down her cheek.


Before me was a staircase with no visible end. For some inexplicable reason, I felt compelled to travel down its cascading steps. Down I went, without a moment's consideration of the possible dangers ahead.

Deep into the darkness, I could no longer see my hoof in front of my face. I turned around, and to my horror, I saw nothing of where I originally began. I was surrounded by utter nothingness. Alone.

Panic began to set in, and I was sweating furiously. I was unable to go back the other way. The only option available to me was to continue my descent into the black void.

Aimlessly I advanced. If not for the sheer terror I was experiencing, I might have been genuinely curious as to what was at the end. Minutes passed. Maybe hours, I couldn't tell. At last, I saw a small speck of light, and I hurriedly made my way towards it. Freedom awaited, at last.

I stumbled into a familiar room. I quickly realized that it was the first floor of Sugarcube Corner, though it lacked the eye-popping colors from before. In fact, the color closely resembled the interior of my own house.

I turned my head, only to see my parents enjoying a cup of tea with the mares from before.

“Mom? Dad?” I asked, bewildered.

They turned their head. “Ah, Pinkie Pie. There you are,” said my father. “We were beginning to worry. Come, have some delicious tea with us.” At that exact moment, as if it was planned, Twilight lifted the kettle with her magic, silently suggesting that I try some.

I found it strange enough that my father called me "Pinkie Pie," but what disturbed me most was the fact that both of my parents seemed so relaxed and carefree.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Why the apprehensive tone?” asked my mother. “We just wanted to visit our daughter. Is that so strange?”

“I guess not. Did Twilight inform you about my trip to the hospital?”

“Oh, no need to spoil the mood with talk of such unpleasantries. Let’s just enjoy our time together, hm?”

“I don’t think this is something you can be so nonchalant about, mother. I lost years of my memory. Does that not faze you at all?”

“And how can you be so sure about that? How do you know you’re not dreaming?” she asked, her tone suddenly shifting into one of seriousness.

“Because, well...” I trailed off, unsure of how to answer. It was true, I’d been questioning the validity of this situation ever since I woke up in the hospital.

I looked down, and let out a deep sigh. “I just want to go home.”

My father smiled. “Oh, dearest. Don’t you see? You’re already home.”

The sheets of my bed rustled as I was thrust back into reality. I was discombobulated. My breathing was erratic, and my pulse was higher than normal. However, I was quickly able to regain my composure when I realized that it was merely a dream.

I looked around the room and saw that I was still in the upper floor of Sugarcube Corner. Perhaps it was a dream within a dream? I couldn't imagine that would be the case, but still...

I thought back to last night when I was pondering the very subject of dreams. How disconcerting that, as if on cue, I had experienced the second reality-breaking dream of my life. Or, at least, within my conceivable memory.

I got out of bed, and wandered around "my room," taking in the surroundings. I didn't have the opportunity to observe the room last night, for several reasons. I was beyond exhausted, both mentally and physically, and it was too dark to study anything closely. I barely managed to find the bed, as it was.

The bright colors in this room were enough to make me cringe. To be honest, I didn’t necessarily hate it, I just wasn't used to this type of... environment. Various colors of ribbon were scattered across the floor, the walls were adorned with pictures of sweets, and the aroma of cake frosting filled the air. In my opinion, it wasn't horrible, but it was not ideal, either.

As I continued to explore the room, I came across a tall mirror, mounted firmly on the wall. Staring intently at the looking glass, I realized that the reflection I saw was not that of an eleven-year-old filly. I was staring into the face of a young adult mare. I lifted a hoof to touch my cheek, and the image followed my movement perfectly.

Astounding. This certainly did some justice to Twilight's story.

I remained entranced by the sight until I felt a painless grip on my tail. It startled me slightly, but only to a minor degree. I looked down at the green figure that had latched itself onto me. Where I'm from, we didn't encounter many creatures other than bugs and the occasional rodent. In simple terms, I wasn't entirely sure what this creature was, specifically. A crocodile, perhaps?

The creature widened its abnormally large, purple eyes. It seemed to be looking at me expectantly.

"Hello. Is there something you wanted?" I asked, somehow hoping for an answer.

No response was given. Instead, the creature loosened its grip and dropped to the floor. It started walking towards another side of the room. Midway, it turned its head, as if to beckon me. I didn't even bother to question the situation. I simply followed in its steps.

The creature led me to a table. On top of the table was a collection of framed pictures. The creature stared up at the pictures, as if to... gesture towards them? Something told me this creature was more intelligent than I had originally assumed.

The photographs seemed to tell stories of numerous adventures and situations, each one wilder than the last. From calm picnics, to extravagant celebrations, to simple companionship. Each and every one of them seemed to hold some type of meaning, and I didn't even know where to begin in figuring them out.

I noticed that a particular pony was present in almost every single shot. This pony would've been strikingly similar to me, if not for the puffy consistency of her mane and tail.

One of the pictures I came across contained a large, round cake with the words “Happy Birthday Pinkie Pie” written on it. There was also a crude drawing of somepony’s face on the cake, and I assumed that was her. Crowded around the cake were the five mares from last night, and Pinkie Pie stood in front of them all.

Pinkie Pie... the name they’d been referring to me as ever since I woke up in the hospital. I also recalled something I heard upon regaining consciousness.

“Why is her mane straightened out like that?”

Did I really need to think about it, still? It was obvious that I was supposed to be this "Pinkie Pie" to them. Obviously, I was supposed to have a smile on my face for the majority of the time, and obviously, they expected me to represent laughter in its purest form.

Why was I still hesitant about it? Was it not clear? Perhaps I was in denial... or maybe I was just being completely unreasonable.

No, I wasn’t being unreasonable, I was being realistic. Anypony with sense would’ve acted similarly, wouldn’t they have?

The green creature, whom I’d almost forgotten about, somehow climbed to the top of the table and looked at me with those large, purple eyes. I reached out to stroke the top of its head, and it seemed to appreciate this. I let out a deep sigh.

“I wish I knew what to believe.”


Sunlight spilled into the room, bringing some degree of warmth to an otherwise deprived environment.

Twilight turned away from the brightness, wishing she could somehow delay the inevitable. Groggy and lethargic, she only wanted to continue sleeping.

An abrupt knock at the door denied her any hope of this, and she lazily got up. The substitute bed was now messy beyond recognition, due to the abuse it had taken from Twilight's restless tossing and turning.

Twilight approached the front door to the bakery, and without a moment’s hesitation, opened it.

The glare of the morning sun blinded Twilight. Squinting, she tried to identify who was there, but everything was white.

“Good morning, Twilight,” spoke a warm, familiar voice.

Twilight rubbed her eyes, attempting to regain her vision. When the dark spots faded from view, she looked up from the ground.

Before her stood the tall, radiant figure of Princess Celestia.