Chapter 5: Last chance to buy.
Jack was not going to be a happy camper today. Well, might as well get this over with, time to get dressed and meet him in the kitchen. I put on my underwear and then looked at the clothes I was wearing yesterday. Well here’s a depressing thought “These clothes are not really fit for a girl” I bit my lip, referring to myself as girl was so creepy it sent a shiver down my spine. Urgh, that’s going to take some getting used to that’s for sure. Well screw it, I’ll just throw on a robe for now, I’ll worry about proper clothing later.
I went to the kitchen at sat at the table. I didn’t feel like starting breakfast before Jack had settled into his new changes. I didn’t want to be in the middle of frying bacon and have to leave because Jack had checked his crotch and was now running around the house screaming, flipping tables, and setting fire to himself. By the time I could calm him down my unattended bacon would probably get burned, and then my whole day would be ruined! Not worth the risk if you ask me.
So I ended up just sitting at the table and drumming my fingers on the wood, waiting for Jack to get in here. I watched the minutes tick by and I was about to get up and go see what he was doing when I finally heard him coming down the hall. Jack appeared in a robe and was still wearing his pajamas underneath. He stretched as he walked in; I thought he seemed pretty calm, he must not have noticed the changes yet. “Oh hey Dash, wow, never seen you up this early.”
It was funny how in the last two days he still calls me Dave most of the time, but he also started calling me Dash every so often. I don’t know if the latter was intentional or just an unconscious thought. I want to say it was intentional, making light of our current situation, but didn’t he start the name thing before we even realized we changed? Wait, when did the name thing start? Hmm, that was something we had to figure out later, bigger issues are on our plate right now. “Yea Jack, uh, I couldn’t sleep and decided to just get up early”
Jack walked over and turned on the coffee maker “Yea, let me guess, you saw the our newest body change and then couldn’t fall back asleep, right?”
I blinked. Wait, Jack was aware of the changes? I was expecting fire and screams and broken windows when he found out. Clearly Jack had better fortitude than I thought, I opened my mouth to ensure we were on the same page “Uh yea, you could say that. I take it you did the same huh? You’re okay with the... with the change?”
“Well I didn’t see it until I woke up, but yea, I’m fine with it I guess.”
“Oh, wow. I really thought you would have been upset”
“Nope, not upset. A little shocked sure, I mean I stood in front of the mirror for like five minutes and was just staring; gotta get a good look you know?”
This was getting awkward “Uh, yea...”
“It’s crazy seeing something like that on your own body, feels so wierd to have”
“Yea for sure”
“I ended up picking up a pen and started poking around down there, it feels strange”
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m felt plenty of these on my animals. I mean the horses love it when you take one of theirs in both hands give it a good deep massage, you know?”
I’m glad I hadn’t eaten, I was going to throw up “Uh, Jack, that’s kinda TMI dude.”
“Nonsense! Every good farmer knows to feel these whenever they get the chance. I mean, remember earlier this week I told you that our mare ‘Sara’ had an infection on hers and we were treating it? Well I would never have noticed she had an infection if I hadn’t been looking around there and noticed a bad smell.”
“Oh god, Jack that’s just gross beyond, wait, Sara? She didn’t have a infection ‘there’, you told me she had an infection on the bottom of her leg...” With sudden realization I glance down and pull my robe off my foot “Holy fuck Jack, we have hooves.”
“Ummm, yes? Figured that much was obvious this morning.” Jack was at a loss for words.
“HOLY SHIT, hooves!” I bend down and get a better look. My hands were still perfectly human, but the entire bottom half of my leg was 100% equine, my human knee was pushed higher up and my ankle was where my human knee would normally be found, from that point on my lower leg was covered in thin, fine cyan fur that transitioned into a cyan colored hoof at the base. “Oh god, this is really weird, like this is beyond bizarre! When did this happen!?”
Jack started speaking very slowly “You mean to tell me...”
“Oh wow, this thing is made of really hard material” I said poking at it with a fork I took off the table.
“...that you DIDN’T NOTICE...” Jack continued
“At least we can still walk in them” I point out
Jack was standing only a foot away from me now “...THAT YOU HAD HOOVES!?! HOW DO YOU NOT NOTICE SOMETHING LIKE THAT! You know, it’s KIND OF A BIG DEAL!”
Jack had a good point, how the hell did I not notice. Well I guess I had other things on my mind, losing my manhood and such, you know. “Uh, yea, sorry Jack, I guess I never bothered to check”
“Forgetting your keys, I can understand. Not noticing your socks are different colors, I can understand, but not noticing you’re walking on hooves? Really dude?”
Wait a second. Oh, oh shit. This means Jack isn’t aware of the other change. Damn, I had hoped we would be past that awkward conversation. Maybe I shouldn’t tell Jack for now, let him enjoy life as a man for just a little bit little longer.
Jack looked at me and shook his head “Jeez Dave, you’re such a moron sometimes.”
Well, okay then buddy, fuck you too. I was going to be nice.... “Hey Jack, do me a favor, check the base of your tail.”
Jack looked up “What?”
“Check. The base. Of your tail.” I pause for a few seconds “I think, uh, something changed around there. Just trust me, here I’ll turn around and close my eyes, you pull down your pants and check the base of your tail.”
Jack tilted his head at me and thought for a second “Ummm, okay I guess? That’s a bizarre request. What kind of change should I be looking for?”
I turn around and close my eyes “Just trust me dude, don’t worry, this will only take a second.”
My eyes are closed but I hear him shuffle a little bit (oh hey, I do notice his footsteps sound like hoofsteps, can’t believe I didn’t notice that before!) finally I hear him loosen his pajama pants and I then I hear them hit the floor.
I wait. A good ten seconds pass, there is no sound coming from behind me. “Umm. Jack? You okay?” I open my eyes and slowly turn around, Jack is standing there looking down at the female organ that Applejack fans have been clopping to for years. It looked more or less the same as mine, though I admit it looked really weird to see one on my friend. I then realize Jack was just frozen in place looking at it, so I go over and put my arm on his shoulder. “Hey, remember when you made fun of me for not noticing we had hooves. Ah good times.”
The contact of my arm on his shoulder seemed to have rebooted his brain and Jack immediately leaped a foot in the air and then started stumbling backwards into the living room, sweeping his hands down across his front like he was trying scare away a bug that landed on his stomach. Oh, and did I mention the screaming? Oh god, the screaming.
“AAAAAAHHHHHHHH GET IT OFF ME, GET IT OFF!! AAAHH!!!”
“Jack, it’s not a spider, it’s a vagina”, my brain confirming that yes, yes that was the strangest sentence I had ever said.
“AAAAAAHHHHHHHH`~~~” Jack scream was cut short as he promptly fainted and collapsed right onto the carpet in the hallway.
I walked over to see if he was okay, well I guess to see if SHE was okay. God damn this was going to be hard to get used to, but I really couldn’t go on referring to Jack as a male, especially when his pants were off and her genitals were visible; those folds were usually pretty definitive when it came to deciding gender. I pause for a moment and think to myself. “Hmmm, you know what? Fuck it. I’m using female pronouns for Jack from here on out, and I expect her to do the same to me. We might as well get used to it.
“Hey buddy you okay? That was quite the fall.” No response. I kick her in the shins, still nothing. “Yup, you’re unconscious. Great...”
Well, might as well help myself to breakfast. I turn to the unconscious body “Hey, I’m going to eat your cereal, ok? You don’t mind right? Sweet, thanks!” Hmm, where does she keep her cereal? Ah, there’s a bag of something over here.
I walk to the living room and approach the white bag that was leaning against the wall. I open it and look inside. “Yo Jack, what kind of cereal is this?” I know she can’t respond, but talking to her amused me. So did calling her a her, haha, she would be so pissed if she was awake and hearing my thoughts right now. Anyway, the cereal looked good, whatever it was. I carry the bag to the table and pour a bowl.
“Do you want any cereal Jack? Personally, I’m not feeling like milk today though. Yup, just dry cereal and a glass of OJ will be enough for this mare.” I laugh as I carry the cereal to the living room and turn on the TV. Referring to myself as a mare made the hairs on my neck stand up, but I guess it was technically accurate. I flick my tail to the side and find a way to sit on the sofa without pinching my new favorite appendage, then I lean back and place my hooves on the coffee table. “Hey Jack, you always said no feet on the table, but what about hooves? Those are okay right?” Ah good stuff. I really shouldn’t be joking around about this whole thing, but the sheer absurdity of the situation was pretty funny to me.
A few hours pass, there wasn’t much on the TV. There was some news story about an unexplained explosion near Seattle, something about an old bookstore in the middle of the night exploding from some weird blast that came from inside. I didn’t pay much attention to the story though, I was busy finalizing the shopping lists and eating more of this cereal. I figured I’d know when Jack woke up because she would start screaming again. So it came as some surprise when I felt my furry ears swivel and pick up a faint noise from the other room. Jack did finally wake up, but I didn’t hear screaming from the other room. I heard crying.
I put down my pencil and rubbed my forehead. I wasn’t sure if consoling your best friend on the loss of his penis was a chapter in the “things friends do for each other” book, but I really was the only one that could help her through this. I stand up and open the door to the hallway to see Jack laying there, face turned away from her body, crying as she stared at the wall. I kneel beside her and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Look, Jack...uh..” Crap, I had absolutely no idea where I was going with this. I literally had no idea what to say, thankfully Jack chimed in and saved me from my half sentence.
“This, this isn’t fair. Why, just why...” Jack’s words were broken by her sobs.
“I don’t know, none of this makes sense. We don’t know why this started, we don’t know why we were the targets, we don’t know how this is even possible, and we don’t know what the final outcome will be. Hell we don’t even know who else might have been targeted, there could be hundreds of people in our position”.
Jack wiped the tears from her eyes, the fact that she wasn’t alone seemed to comfort her “You really think so?”
I shrugged my shoulders “Well I mean, if someone had the means to force a transformation as crazy as this, I imagine they would target more than two people. Would be waste to only go after us.”
“What makes you think that someone else did this to us?” Jack moved up into a sitting position, but still didn’t turn to directly face me.
I raise my eyebrow “What do you mean, of course someone else did this to us, what, you think this is something we did to ourselves?”
Jack reached back and scratched her neck as I sat behind her. I noticed the nail on her middle finger was much larger and thicker than usual, reminding me of how my toe looked yesterday. “Well I just don’t know why anyone would do this to us, I mean, we’re a pair of nobodies. Why would someone bother going after us? It almost seems probable that we must of done something ourselves to set this off. I just don’t know Dave” Jack turned to face me “And actually, I don’t know, should I still call you Dave? That’s a guys name, it doesn’t really fit with today’s events now does it?”
I laughed, “Yea I was gonna ask you the same. Do you prefer Jackie or should I just stick with AJ?”
“Urgh, Jackie sounds like a 5 year old girl, fuck that noise. I don’t know man, if you want I guess you can call me with AJ, or just stick with Jack if you can. We can pretend Jack is short for Jackie or whatever.” She stood up and wiped her eyes again. “Well enough moping around, we got shopping to do. After all, women love shopping, right?”
I laughed “Good to have you back AJ, and yes, we have work to do. I recommend you get some food in you first though, it’s gonna be a long day.” I pat her on the back and walk back to my couch to grab my bowl and that bag of cereal I was eating.
Jack stares at me as I pour a little more into my bowl and sit down at the kitchen table. I’m halfway through my second spoon when I notice Jack is still staring at me, so I speak up “Uh.. can I help you?”
“What are you eating... where did you get that?” she says as she slowly walks towards the table.
“Huh? Oh the cereal?” I point to the white bag, only now realizing that it’s a bit odd that the bag was pure white and had no text or logo of any kind. Who buys cereal in large, unmarked white bags? “Yea, I found this bag in the hallway leaning against the wall. It smelled pretty good and looked fine so I pour--”
“You’re eating raw alfalfa” Jack said definitively.
I stopped chewing and looked down. Come to think of it, this was a pretty strange looking cereal. It was a bunch of dried, green compressed cubes with some hard seeds mixed in. “Huh... so I am. Um, I take it this isn’t normal for humans?”
Jack laughed to herself “No, it’s really not. It’s cattle feed, we mix it in with their normal grains if they need more protein. Humans can’t really digest raw alfalfa, I think they can eat the sprouts or something, but not the actual seeds and pellets like that. I don’t even know how you are managing to chew through the seeds...” Jack stopped and felt her teeth with her tongue. ”Oh. Oh wow, well I guess that would explain it. You know, we really need to start doing full body checks when we wake up”
I got up and started walking to the mirror in the hallway “Oh? What now? Something with your tongue or--” I reached the mirror and looked inside my mouth “--or the teeth. Ah. Farewell canines, you will be missed!” I smirked as I opened my mouth wider. My canines had shrunk and had moved a bit back from my front group of teeth, which, along with my molars appeared to be a slightly larger. I closed my mouth and looked at my face in its whole. There were a lot of subtle changes now that I look at it, and all together I looked really different. My entire face was more feminine, my eyes shone brilliantly, my skin was smooth, and my nose and jaw were starting to protrude the slightest bit. Then of course there was the brilliant rainbow mane and the horse ears. Kind of hard to miss those. Thankfully most of my face looked human, but it was a very girly looking human. Well, maybe that was for the best, we had an entire day of shopping ahead of us, and what was that AJ had said. Woman loved to shop? Hehe, well I guess we'll see about that.
Driving to Wal-Mart was harder than expected. Stuffing hooves into tennis shoes was hard enough, but controlling the pedals with these new ankle-driven lower limbs was not exactly easy. Didn’t help that I could hardly even sit down with my tail stuffed in my pants. Sitting normally was extremely painful as the tail got pinched, so I ended up having to sit on my left, uh, flank I guess would be the word. In any case, we finally got to the Wal-Mart and made it inside without anyone noticing we weren’t entirely human. The door greeter even smiled at us and said “Welcome ladies” to which I smirked and Jack clenched her teeth but thankfully didn’t say anything.
“Come on Jack, remember, just smile and nod. Don’t do anything to draw attention to ourselves...” I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans. It was a bit warm seeing as how it was early May, but I needed the hood to cover my ears and hide most of my hair.
“I swear to god, if some random teenager does a wolf whistle at me, all bets are off, I’m going to start swinging and I’m not stopping until I see blood” Jack was wearing jeans with a track jacket and had a baseball cap on. She tucked her ears under her hair and used the hat to hold it all in place.
“That’s not very pony-like” I say with a laugh and started pushing our cart towards the food aisle. We didn’t have fresh greens on the list but I started adding those to the cart anyway, they looked so damn tasty.
Jack started adding assorted fruits to the cart “Yea, I was wondering about that, so far all the changes have just been physical, pretty sure we haven’t changed much mentally.”
“Ha, you almost sound disappointed” I said with raised eyebrows as I decided we had enough perishable food and pushed our cart to the next section.
“Oh, no, don’t get me wrong. I very much like my current brain and memories, I was just curious that’s all.” Jack pulled the list out of her pocket and directed us towards the dry good aisle where she started grabbing bag after bag of flour and sugar.
I saw her grabbing bags of sugar and I reached over and grabbed some boxes of sugar cubes. I didn’t know much about horses and ponies, but I was pretty sure sugar cubes would be something we would want. “We’re probably going to need another cart Jack. And also, come to think of it, we have had some minor mental changes you know.” Thoughts of my recent love for my rainbow tail came to mind. Logically that equine appendage should freak me out, but I actually loved the thing; that was the perfect example showing how our minds had changed.
Jack stopped stocking the cart and looked at me “Really? You noticed mental changes? Huh, go figure. Well, give me an example.”
I scratched my head to buy some time, I wasn't sure I wanted to admit to Jack that I actually liked the fact that I was part pony down below. Hmm, what other mental changes did we... oh! “Yea Jack, over the past two days you keep calling me Dash here and there. What’s up with that?”.
Jack decided we had enough flour and sugar and started to move to the next aisle “Yea, I guess I have. I mean now I’m doing it on purpose seeing as how you need a name that fits your...” Jack paused and turned to stare at my crotch. On reflex I crossed my legs and blushed. “Ahem, with your new ‘equipment’ you needed a new name. But yea, other than that I think the only times I called you Dash was on purpose, to make fun of your hair and such”
A lone neuron fired in my brain, desperately trying to tell me something; through some miracle it got the message through. I stopped dead in my tracks as realization slapped me across the face. “Jack... you called me Dash before this all began. Before I even had the cutie mark.... It was at the birthday party!” Pieces were falling into place in my brain.
Jack stopped and looked back at me. “What? That doesn’t make any sense, everything started with the Cutie Mark, not before. Why would I have called you Dash before you had the mark? When was this again?”
I walked up to Jack and grabbed her shoulder “The Scotch! Remember? We were doing that shot and you zoned out for like 30 seconds. Then when you came to, you looked at me and called me Dash. That was the very first instance of something not being normal!”
Jack started chewing on her thumbnail “Did I really call you Dash back there? Yea that was a strange event. So is that the answer? Did that Scotch cause all of this?”
I backhanded her arm “What? No, the Scotch itself has nothing to do with this! You zoned out and before you even drank the Scotch remember? It happened...” my eyes widened with further realization “it happened right at the exact moment you turned 25! Holy shit dude, maybe that was the start of this all!”
Jack laughed “Yes, because all little boys turn into mares on their 25th birthday. Sorry dude, that idea makes absolutely no sense. Points for effort though.” Jack turned back to the cart, we were near the pharmacy and she started looking around for pain meds and basic first aid supplies.
She had a point, while this did seem to start on our 25th, that didn’t help us in the slightest because it still made absolutely no sense. “Look, AJ, all I’m saying is it’s something to think about, maybe it’s part of the puzzle.”
Jack was using her entire arm to dump the contents of the entire first aid shelf into the cart. This was going to be one hell of a bill. “Dash, I’m telling you, the age thing is just a coincidence... if it wasn’t Evan would have affected at the same time, and he seemed fine when he left yesterday”
I blinked “Evan? What, but his birthday...” Come to think of it, when was his birthday? I knew he was the older brother, but I had no idea how old he was or when his birthday was.
Jack looked back at me and sighed. “We’re twins. Evan is older by just a few minutes. Sorry I didn’t tell you before, for whatever reason Evan doesn’t like people knowing that about him, he likes being thought of as the big older brother. Doesn’t like it when I remind him we are the same age.”
That was strange, that’s such a weird fact to hide. Well, we had four days until Evan got back according to that phone call I had. Wait a second, wasn’t there something odd about that phone call? Didn’t Evan---”
What the hell? Jack and I froze in place and I felt my ears swivel underneath my hoodie as they tried to localize the cry of what I suppose was my name now. My mind started running a million miles a minute again 'How the heck did they know to call me that name? Oh god, what if it was the person who was responsible for all of this? What if they had answers to all this? And how did they find me? It must be the person responsible, who else could possibly recognize...' The person calling my name came into view. “Oh.”
“Ah, mommy look! It’s Rainbow Dash!! Hehehe! Look at her hair!” A cute little 8 year old ran up to me and pointed enthusiastically. Her mom came into view, clearly embarrassed at her daughter. I turned to Jack and smiled and shrugged my shoulders. We just had to play it cool and we should be fine. I’ll just pretend we dressed for a cosplay or something; hopefully they won’t notice our hidden ears and how realistic they were.
The mother grabbed her kid’s hand. “I’m so sorry, she started looking around when she heard your voice, and then when she found you and saw your hair she just lost it! She really loved that show.”
Wait, did she say she followed my voice? What the hell, I didn’t think my voice had changed. Right? Well let’s try it out I guess “Oh hey kid, yea, no problem.” Huh, my voice sounds like it always has, I think? Maybe it was such a gradual change that I didn’t notice? I’ll worry about this later. Time to explain to this kid why we looked like this. ”Me and my friend here are on our way to a... costume contest!” I grab Jack by the arm and pull her over and smile. “Say hi to the kid Applejack.”
“Hey there sugarcube” Jack says with a laugh, trying to fit the role of someone trying too hard to be Applejack.
“Applejack you’re here too?!” The kid seems more shocked than happy at this point.
“Come on sweetie, let’s leave the girls alone, remember what I said about talking to strangers.” The mother tries to grab her kid’s hand but the kid runs up to me and hugs my legs.
She looks up at me “You two shouldn’t be here!” The kid seems visibly upset now. I’m starting to worry she might feel that my legs are not shaped like those of a normal human.
“Now why would you say something that that darling?” Jack says, trying to keep a smile on her face, though it’s obvious it’s forced.
“You need to stop Discord! You have to go back and save Celestia! You have to fix this!” The girl is in tears at this point.
“Alright honey, that’s enough, come on” The mother tries to pry the kid off my legs.
“You have to find your other friends and stop Discord! You, you have to!” The kid sobs as she is finally pulled away. I just keep my awkward smile and look at the mom.
The mom’s eyes convey an apology “I’m so sorry, she doesn’t know you girls are just playing pretend, and she is still sad about how that show ended.”
“Yea, yea it was a sad ended alright. Well nice meeting you miss.” I wave as the parent and child turn a corner and I can hear the mother already scolding her kid for acting like that to a stranger. I turn to AJ “Well, that was awkward.”
Jack isn’t paying attention, he’s deep in thought and staring at the floor where the girl was. Finally he speaks “So... what do you make of that?”
“What, the girl? Cute kid, though I was a bit worried she could have felt my hooves or seen my ears from that close”
Jack turned back to the cart and started pushing it to the next aisle. “Yea... she really thought you were Dash.”
I rubbed my neck and walked behind Jack “Yea, that’ll happen I guess. Don’t blame her, I mean the hair and stuff. And apparently even my voice is starting to--”
“I don’t mean she thought you looked like Dash” Jack cut me off. “I mean she thought you actually WERE the character. Not a clone, not a look alike, not a human turned pony, she thought you and Dash were one of the same”
I rolled my eyes “Yea, that’s a good one, dude, she was like 8 years old. She probably thinks the moon is made of cheese and babies come from storks.”
Jack kept pushing the cart, occasionally stopping to throw some more supplies in the cart. “Kids can sometimes see things adults can’t.”
“Yea, well, pretty sure I’m not a cartoon character. I have memories of 25 years as a human, no memories being a pony. I’m not actually Dash, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.”
Jack tossed one last package of bandages onto our cart, then started to leave the pharmacy “No need to get defensive dude, just floating the idea around. You’re the one that wanted to brainstorm theories here.”
I was in the middle of forming another snarky remark, but my eyes caught sight of something as we were leaving the pharmacy “Whoa, Jack hold up.” I grabbed the package and I read it outloud “The Universal Cuff. This bracelet is ideal for children and adults with decreased hand strength or injured fingers. Simply wear the cuff on the wrist and use the velcro pouch to hold items. Holds eating utensils, toothbrushes, pens, or other small items, allowing those with hand disabilities to enjoy life to the fullest”
Jack was standing behind me now “Holy shit, that thing is PERFECT for a pony.”
I nodded “Yea, I’m surprised you didn’t see these things on the show. Slide over hoof, use it to hold pens and forks. Definitely solves a lot of future problems for us”
I grab two boxes and adds them to the cart. Jack looks at me “Just two?”
I raise my eyebrow “There are only two of us, how many did you want?”
Jack shrugged but didn’t argue and went back to pushing the cart “I don’t know, what if we find more people like us?”
“Well then they can buy their own damn cuffs, these things are 20 bucks a pop!”. I looked at our cart, overflowing with things from pretty much every section of the store. The bill was going to be well over a thousand dollars.
Jack laughed “Spend your money now, it’s going to be hard to buy anything next week.”
“Touché” I remark as we make our way down the the cosmetics and soaps. “Oh god, Jack hold on a second, I need something from here”
Jack looked at the list and scratched her head “Uh, okay?”
“Come on, where is it, where is it.... AH HA!” I emerged from the aisle victorious carrying a bottle of Mane 'n Tail Shampoo.
Jack saw it and laughed “Really dude? Really?”
“Oh come on, I always saw this shampoo and it always made me think of ponies. Now I can buy it and actually use it for what it was made for!”
Jack shook her head “You’re such a geek.” and went back to pushing the cart. Soon we arrived at the clothing section. There was a fork in the path and Jack instinctively took the turn to the ‘Mens’ section. I stopped and looked down each path and contemplated the choice. “Jack, I’m going to check the woman’s section, I’ll catch up with you in a second”
I heard Jack laugh as I made my way down into this new section. I wasn’t sure why I was here, skirts and tank tops were not practical things to wear on the farm. I turned a corner and came across the underwear section. My mind sees them and mocks me with the thought ‘haha, you are supposed to wear panties now’. “Shut up brain, and actually, no I don’t! Ponies don’t wear ANY underwear so there, ha!” I smirked at being able to out-think my own inner thoughts. Though that did bring up a good point. Did we need any clothes at all where we were headed? I know in the show clothing was always just optional, but what about for us in the real world? Were we going to wear anything? We could probably get by in the summer with nothing, but we would need jackets and boots for the winter. I mean, in January it often dropped well below zero.
Wait, what I am saying. Winter? January? It was spring now, how long were we going to be stuck like this? Part of me was hoping this was just a one week thing, but my mind wanted revenge for me beating it earlier, so it decided to play the realist and tell me “Who is to say you won’t be like this for the rest of your life? There probably is no going back.” I bit my lip and wanted to form a rebuttal, but I couldn’t think of anything. Whatever was causing this transformation showed no signs of stopping, and if we don’t know what started it or why it was happening, how could we ever possibly reverse it? Being alone with my thoughts was dangerous, I need to get back to Jack.
The rest of the time in WalMart was fairly uneventful. The final bill came to just over $2,400 and we ended up having to tell the cashier to go back, split it in half, and let me buy half of it because Jack’s credit card maxed out at $2000. Thankfully those supplies should last us a long time. After that we swung by the local university bookstore and I ran in and bought every equine related textbook they had. Ended up with am anatomy atlas for horses, some veterinary books, plus a half dozen other books on proper care, diet, exercise, and the like. I wasn’t sure how much of the actual horse stuff would translate to cartoon ponies, but it was better than nothing. Our last stop was the Farm&Fleet, otherwise known as the ‘department store for farmers’.
“Why are we here again?” Jack asked, grabbing a cart from the entrance and then handing it over to me. “My legs are really hurting from pushing the last cart, you take this one.”
I grabbed the cart and looked over at Jack. My legs were also starting to hurt, but I didn’t think it was from pushing any carts. Well, can’t worry about that now though, gotta finish shopping “This won’t take long, just gotta get some outdoor-type stuff.”
We made our way down the main aisles grabbing nails, tools, lanterns, and other assorted hardware. We were just going down the garden aisle and picking up pounds and pounds of vegetable seeds when it felt like someone stabbed me in the back. "Ahh!!” I dropped the bag I was holding and reached over to massage my back. Something felt off. “Uh oh.”
Jack was in the middle of picking up the bag I dropped. “What’s up?”
“I don’t know, but this hurts. Something is going on with my back.” I tried to feel it but it was awkward to reach back there. “Hey, if I lift my shirt can you look at my back for me?”
“Dude, you’re a girl in her 20s. I don’t recommend lifting your shirt in a store filled with male farmers.” Jack had a good point; though I didn’t think I had breasts, stripping half naked in the middle of the store was a bad idea given our current situation.
“Fine, I’m going to go to the bathroom quick. I’ll meet you by the animal-care section of the store.”
I made my way to the bathrooms, stopping only when I got there and remembered that bathrooms were divided by gender. I hesitated as I stood in front of the one that had a picture of a woman in a dress “Well, first time for everything...” I thought as I pushed the door open.
The second I got a view of the inside I froze, there was a woman already in here washing her hands at the sink. 'Well, here to hoping I really pass for a female on the outside' I thought as I slowly made my way inside, feeling like a pervert for sneaking into the woman’s bathroom. I walked past the woman at the sink, feeling like at any moment she would look at me, scream, and ask why I was in the woman’s bathroom. Thankfully no such event happened and I made my way into one of the stalls and began to remove my upper layers of clothing. It was slightly harder than I expected, my fingers appeared to be losing some of their dexterity. Picking items off the shelves was easy enough, but untying this knot in my hood’s drawstring was actually pretty hard to do. In the end I finally managed it and pulled it off along with my undershirt. Satisfied with my work I looked down at my chest. “Oh, so that's different...”
Well the good news is I didn’t have breasts. The bad news is I no longer had nipples there either. I took a second to remove my pants and pull down my boxers so I was now standing buck naked in the stall. “We really need to get back to the farm” I realized. I knew things were getting bad, but this was worse than I thought. The cyan fur was even higher up my leg now and the pain I was feeling in my legs was centered on my old knees. The knees had moved up to just under my waist, clearly becoming more pony-like in anatomy. The pain told me they were not happy with how I was using my lower limbs, I don't think they wanted me walking on two limbs for an extended period of time. Besides for the changes in my legs, I also noticed my pubic hair had turned cyan in color and was spreading in a fur like manner to cover most of my pelvis. On the plus side, I found my missing nipples! Too bad they didn't look human anymore and seemed to be resting on some new mounds around my waistline. Honestly, no part of my pelvis and lower limbs looked even vaguely human at this point. I bet my face had changed a little bit more as well, I was actually surprised no one had said anything about it yet.
Wait, why was I here? Oh right, my back. I reached back and tried to feel what was up. I couldn’t really see back there, but I felt around back there and did feel some sort of bony ridge that wasn’t there before. I tried to reason as to what they were, “What the hell is going on, ponies don’t have bones on their....wait, I’m a pegasus. Wings.” I slapped my forehead, I had completely forgotten about that entire aspect of who I was becoming. I was growing wings. “Huh, well... that’s cool I guess? I should be able to fly soon?” I had to admit, that idea was tantalizing now that I thought about it. At least I had that to look forward to. I will lose my thumbs and last vestiges of humanity, but I will gain the ability to fly. Fair trade I suppose.
Right, well wings in the future were all fine and dandy, but the speed of these changes was really quite alarming. I was no longer worried about what we were becoming, but I was worried that someone in the store would notice something about us was strange and call the police or something. We really had to finish this shopping trip.
I got dressed again and made my way back into the store, now fully aware of the feeling of my proto-wings rubbing up against my undershirt. Where did I tell Jack to meet me? Animal care? I made my way over there and found her in one of the aisles comparing brushes, as I get close she looks up at me and immediately drops the brushes she was holding”
“DUDE! What are you doing!” Jack half yells, half whispers as she runs over to me.
“What?” I was confused, I was just standing here.
“Your hood! You have to wear your hood!” Jack frantically reaches over and grabs my hood and shoves it on top of my head.
“Oh. Crap, was I walking around without the hood on?”
“Yes! Dude, your freakan blue ears can be seen from a mile away, you gotta be more careful. And you already don't exactly blend in with the whole rainbow hair thing walking around a farm store.”
I looked down, she's right, that was a very stupid mistake to make. “Sorry, don't know how I forgot, head in the clouds and all.” Eager to change subjects off my idioticness I point back at the brushes he was looking at “What are those for?”
“Us.” Jack said, half blushing as she picked them up and put them in our cart.
I looked over and read the label “Horse Grooming Comb: Leaves the horse's coat slicker, shinier and well shed-out”. I looked back at her and raised an eyebrow, Jack was never one to care about her appearance.
“Hey dude, we're going to be on a farm. We gotta stay clean if you want to help distinguish yourself from the actual horses that live there.”
That reminded me, “Oh, I shouldn't have a problem with that. Pretty sure none of your horses... have wings.”
Jack raised her eyebrows and then chuckled as she pushed the cart down the aisle a little ways “Is that what the back pain thing was about? Ah, you son of a bitch, you would get wings. What do I get? Nothing. Oh wait I get 'earth pony stamina' woo-hoo, that's really exciting.”
I laughed “Well, that and you can grow crops really well!”
“I already can grow crops really well! I have been for 25 years!” Jack replied and she threw her hands in the air, half annoyed, half amused.
I blinked. She had a point, Jack and Evan's farm grew the best corn in the county. It was all organic too, no other farms in the region could grow crops that well without buckets and fertilizer and chemicals. Jack and Evan always managed to do it though.
“Ooooo, I'm getting one of these!” I look up from my thoughts to see Jack holding a strange metal object. “Check this out Dash, 'this hoof cleaner assists you removing the toughest packed in dirt, mud, and snow. By removing debris regularly, the skin around the hoof remains soft and gentle' doesn't that sound useful?”
I imagined running one of those over my hooves and lightly scratching at the skin around them. “Oh god, that sounds amazing” I nodded and reached over to grab a second box for myself.
“Um, can I help you girls?” A scruffy voice said from nearby. The hairs on my neck stood up as I slowly turned to see a big burly store employee standing a few feet away with his arms crossed. How much of our conversation had he heard?
“Oh... hi there. No, my friend and I are just picking some stuff up for her farm, that's all”
“Right, well let me know if you need anything”. He slowly unfolded his arms and walked away.
Jack swallowed hard and turned to face me, “So, we should probably wrap this up soon.”
“Yep.” I glanced back at the list, there were a few dozen things left on it but I felt like we should skip them and get out of here while we still could. Actually, crap, there was one thing we couldn't skip “One thing left Jack, farm health care. Do you know where that is?”
Jack nodded and took us over there, it was a short aisle and one side of the aisle had a few small glass doored refrigerators that contained dozens of glass bottles. Jack opened it up and started reading off the labels.
“Alright let's see, Equine Encephalitis, yea we're not going to want to catch that... Ringworm? Hoof rot? White line fungus? Streptococcus equinus?”
Jack started handed back bottle after bottle for me to put in the cart. I read one the labels 'Vaccine for Equine Encephalomyelitis: FOR ANIMAL USE ONLY'. I frowned for a second and put it in the cart. “Hey Jack don't you need a veterinary license for these?”
Jack laughed “Haha, you kidding? This stuff isn't for human consumption so it's really not that regulated; anyone can buy it. Pretty easy to use too, I injected some of our newborn cattle with stuff like this.” Jack paused and held out some more bottles “Do you want the vaccine for Equine botulism? Yea, I think I'm going to go for it. Yea, I'll take this one too” Jack finally closed the door to the fridge, her arms overflowing with veterinary medications and vaccines.
I had to bite my tongue to stop from laughing “You realize how insane this all is right?”
Jack smiled as she placed all the bottles into the cart. “After waking up as the wrong gender, seeing you eat alfalfa, and learning to walk on hooves, I think my brain just said 'fuck everything' and stopped questioning the insanity of what was going on around us.”
“You know, now that you mention alfalfa, that sounds really good right about now” I patted my stomach and reminisced of how tasty it was this morning.
“Yea I was just thinking the same thing. Let's get out of here, I'm starving.”
I pushed the cart down to the cashier while Jack talked about other greens they had on the farm that he couldn't wait to try. “Oh and we have flax seed, I can't wait to eat some. I always see my horses go nuts for the stuff, so it's gotta be really tasty for--” I nudge Jack in the ribs to get her to shut up. I was unloading the cart and this old woman cashier was only a few feet away, I didn't want her hearing about how we couldn't wait to eat flax seed.
Jack got the message and helped unload the cart. As I waited for the cashier to scan everything I spotted a farmers magazine on the nearby rack “Ooo, never heard of ‘Equus’ before” I say as I grab a copy of the magazine. It appeared to be a magazine for horse owners, there was a black stallion on the cover and the front text promised articles about 'How to ensure your mare's coat stays shiny' and 'How to tell if that lump on the flank is sign of disease'.
Jack seemed just as interested as I was ”Oh! Turn to page 23, Ten great tips for keeping a tail clean!”
“Ahem. That will be $452.23” the cashier had finished scanning our items and was just staring, eyes darting between the two of us. “You girls aren't from around here are you?.”
I opened my wallet and took out my debit card “No maam, we're just passing through and needed some supplies for our farm back home.” I reached over to slide my debit card through the card reader. Doing so pulled my sleeve back a few inches, exposing cyan fur on the back of my wrist and running up my arm. Well fuck, that was new.
The cashier saw it just as I did and gasped loudly. Uh oh, this was bad, crap, crap, crap. ”Oh heh, yea, my friend and I are in costume for... a show... that we perform for kids... at the hospital.” That made sense right?
Jack stepped forward and started quickly grabbing the bags of our paid items. “Yes, yes, we do it for the leukemia patients. Very, very sad really, we do what we can!”
The cashier didn't say anything, but she didn't protest either as I entered my PIN, paid for the goods, and we quickly made our way out of the store before she questioned us.
“That was a close one.” Jack said as the doors opened.
“Yea too close. Well at least we're done with the shopping and...” I stepped outside and the fresh air smacked my senses like a brickwall. I opened my mouth and just started saying what I was feeling “...low pressure 742 mmHg, wind south by south west 7 knots, low pressure front coming from the north colliding with a high pressure front 17 miles east of here.” I stopped and blinked. “Well, there's one hell of a thunderstorm on it’s way Jack.”
Jack had stopped walking and was staring at me with a raised eyebrow “You reading this off your phone or just something that I can’t see?”
“Not my phone, I’m reading, um, the air I guess. You can't feel that?” I was honestly surprised, these facts were as clear to me as being able to tell that it was daytime out here.
Jack laughed and picked her bags back up, making her way to the car “No, no I cannot. But I'm not becoming a weather pegasus now am I?”
“I guess not.” I followed her to the car and helped her load it, but my mind started going elsewhere. It made sense that I was able to read the weather really well right now since I was half pegasus at this point. That's not what bothered me though. What bothered me was that I realized I always had been able to read the weather pretty well. Obviously not as well as I could right now but still, I always had an unexplained knack for it.
I stopped and rubbed my eyes. Jack looked over “What's wrong?”
I looked over at Jack. An unnaturally gifted farmer who had always been able to grow crops in places where other normal farmers had failed. Hmm, I had thought we had a breakthrough earlier today when we realized this all started the second we turned 25. But that’s not entirely true now was it? Sure the physical changes and the slip ups with the name calling started there, but this really went much further back than that. What the hell was going on around here? When did this all really start? I looked back over at Jack. “It's... nothing, I'm just thinking about the weather that's all. Let's drive.”
Driving was easier said than done. As soon as I entered the car I realized I couldn’t really drive in my current form. It was hard enough when I just had a tail, but now that I had wings it just utterly impossible to sit normally in the driver’s seat. No matter what I tried, I couldn't face forward with smashing my developing wings and/or my tail. The only way I could sit was if I turned 90 degrees and put my shoulder on the backrest. That was fine and dandy, but if I did that then I couldn’t see out the front window that and I really couldn’t control the steering wheel while sitting like this. “Dammit, Jack, you’re going to have to drive, you’re not a pegasus, you should be able to manage.”
Jack was sitting in the passenger and she looked over at me. “Uh... true, but this car is a manual. I don’t drive stick”.
Two hours later around sundown we finally pull into the farm. We ended up doing something highly illegal where I sat sideways in the drivers seat and worked the pedals, while Jack sat in the passenger seat and worked the wheel and watched the road for me. It took a long time, but we got home without killing anyone. The downside is the storm started by the time we made it home. Jack didn’t have a garage so we had to unpack a good two hundred pounds of supplies and carry them indoors through the rain. Finally, with everything was in the house, we collapsed into the kitchen. We were exhausted, soaking wet, and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
“Well, at least that’s done. We don’t have to leave the house for a long time now.” Jack said as she started stripping away layers of her wet clothes.
“Yea, it’s great to be done” I replied removing both my shirts and then my shoes and jeans. I had stripped down to nothing but my boxers, and I reached back and finally pulled my tail back through the hole I had made the day before. Seeing my tail again flooding me with joy. “Oh god, that’s so much better. I missed you so much little guy!” I hug my tail once more, promising to never again keep it bunched up in a pant leg.
I turn as I hear Jack laugh, but she knew what was up, she had stripped down in a similar manner and had also elected to pull her tail through her boxers and let the world see it once more. Jack flicked her blond tail back and forth ”You were right, it does kinda grow on you”
“Aww yea, shake what Celestia gave you!” I laugh as I go over and give her a hug. Hugging her felt good, I didn’t want to let go. I opened my eyes and looked at her face, Jack’s eyes were now definitely larger than any human’s, and her mouth and lower nose were forming the beginnings of a distinct pony-like snout. The whole look made her seem cuter than anyone I had seen before, I had the strange urge to kiss her right then and there, but it was probably just the emotion from getting home safe after a long and difficult day. “We did it Jack. We got everything we needed! Now we have all the time in the world to sit here and figure this out!”
“Yea, I’m looking forward to a few days where we aren’t running around with our heads cut off. And Scotch to celebrate! Great idea Dash!”
I released the hug. Scotch? I turn and follow Jack’s gaze, the bottle of 25 year old Scotch was sitting on the other end of the table. Next to it was a glass of the drink that was about two thirds empty .
I got quiet and felt my ears go flat against my head. “Jack, that Scotch wasn’t there when we left...”