Five Score, Divided by Four

by TwistedSpectrum


16. Leaving the North

Chapter 16: Leaving the North.

        I look around, the living room is covered in fire extinguisher foam and ash. Tom pats me on the shoulder, “Sorry about the apartment, but hey, at least no one is hurt.”

I smile, “Yeah, we really gotta get going though. You came in a car right?”

He nods, “Yep it’s out back. Full tank too.”

I glance around and spot a small bag on the floor, then quickly levitate it over to Tom and drop it in his hands. “Grab some snacks and bottles of water from the kitchen. I’ll get Tess and Harry ready.”

Tom goes off to the kitchen and I walk towards Tess who is standing by the window and looking down below at the damage she caused. Nearly every window in the apartment complex is broken. She shakes her head, “We need to leave.”

I look around the living room, “Yes, we do. Where is Harry?”

Tess glances around, “She said she wanted to grab something, oh, there she is.” I follow her vision and see Harry walking towards us, stuffing some box into a backpack.

        He looks up at us “Hey guys, ready to drive? It’s like a three hour trip right?”

        I shake my head no, “It’s not that simple, we have to cross the border.”

        Tess shrugs, “So? This isn’t Nazi Germany, it’s an open border and we have passports.”

        I rub my forehead, “Tess, have you looked in a mirror lately? They check your ID’s at the border, they will never let us through looking like this. Our eye and hair color changed, which I guess they would allow, but have you seen our ears?”

        Harry rocks back and forth on his feet, “You can hide the ears if you wear a beanie!”

        I wave a hand at him, “Okay, so that could explain the ears and even the hair, but the horn? You can’t hide that and if they so much as touch it they are gonna know it’s real.”

        Harry frowns and his ears droop to the sides. Tess nods slowly, “Alright, alright, so if can’t go through the border crossing, how else can we get into the States?”

        Harry answers immediately, “Just use the Lumchen Path.”

        I tilt my head, “The what? Lumchen, as in the forest?”

 He nods, “Yeah, west of the city, right on the border, is the Lumchen nature reserve. No one patrols that area, you can literally just park your car and walk right across the border.”

Tess nods, “That could work. Are you sure no one patrols it?”

Harry gives a mischievous smile, “Trust me, it’s open.”

Tom walks back in the room, carrying a small bag filled with water bottles and snacks. “Alright, you guys ready? Don’t forget to grab your passports. Thankfully, I have mine in my car.”

I shake my head, “We won’t be needing them Tom. ”

He looks confused, “But we’re crossing the border...”

“We’re doing it on foot. We don’t want to be seen with these horns, so we’re just going to walk the Lumchen Path and sneak across.”

Tom nods, “Ahhh, through the Lumchen, just like the drug smugglers! Good idea.”

“Drug smugglers use it? Really...” Tess narrows her eyes and looks at Harry, who grins nervously.

Tess shakes her head, “Whatever, doesn’t matter, we’ll use it. But if we walk across the border, how do we get to Seattle? We need a car.”

I point my thumb at Harry, “She can drive.” I bite my tongue, “Sorry, he can drive.” Damned pink hair, it confuses me.

Harry ignores that transgression, “Sure, but I thought the entire reason we were sneaking through was to avoid driving across the border?”

I nod, “Yeah, for the unicorns. You don’t have a horn Harry, you can hide your ears and totally just drive through. Swing by the woods on the US side, pick us up, and then we’re set!”

We all exchange looks for a minute, then Tom nods, “Okay, let’s do it. I got the food, just get your personal things and let’s get going. We should have left by now!”

~~~~~~

We took Tom’s car and left the city as quickly as we could. It didn’t take long to get to the forest, and we soon found a desolate stretch of road where Harry dropped us off. We had about a mile to walk until we would get to the road on the US side. We calculated that by the time we would reach it on foot, Harry should already be there waiting with the car.

I walk alongside Tom, realizing that all three of us are walking with our ankles raised off the ground. Strange, I wonder how long it’s been going on for. In any case, at least I’m spending the night with Tom. I always wanted to do that, though I’m not sure ‘sneaking across the border’ was the activity I was dreaming of.

“Whatcha thinking about Rachel?” Tom glances sideways at me and smiles.

I blush, thankful that he probably can’t see it in this darkness, “Oh you know... stuff.”

Tom twirls a lock of his purple hair around his finger, “Are you and Harry...um...?”

I force myself to laugh, “What? No, no of course not. He’s just a friend. One very, very strange friend.”

Tom laughs with me, “Harry has his charms, that’s for sure.”

I nod, “Yeah, he’s really rolling with these changes too.”

Tom scratches his head, “I was actually gonna ask you about that Rachel. You’re sort of enjoying all these changes, aren’t you?”

I stop walking, “What? What gives you that idea?”

He smiles sheepishly, “Oh come on. You’re flaunting your tail, you jumped right into trying to use your horn, and you complimented me on my new ears, tail, and hair color. I mean, you never complimented me when I was all human. It’s like you only like me now that I’m half pony.”

I blush, trying to do damage control, “No, Tom, you got it all wrong. You look good now, but I actually loved you when you were a human!” I pause for a second, wait... fuck.

I hear Tess burst out laughing a few feet in front of us, and Tom just raises his eyebrows. “Oh... I did not know that. You flatter me Rachel. Though I guess that does explain all those trips to my desk at work.”

        I just facepalm, “I didn’t mean that. Well I did... I just didn’t mean to... say it.”

        Tom chuckles, “You have quite the way with words.”

I’m blushing so hard I think my cheeks are glowing. “Look, can we please change the subject?”

Tom chuckles, “Of course Rachel. I actually had something else I wanted to ask you about.”

We reach a path of thick trees so we have to start going single file. I motion for Tom to go in front of me, “Ask away Tom.”

I walk behind him as he talks, “Watching those pony episodes got me thinking. See, I’ve been having these dreams, right?”

“Mmhmm”, I’m hardly listening to him, walking right behind Tom is either the best decision I ever made, or the worst. All I know is I am completely lost in the gracious ‘swish swish’ of Tom’s beautiful tail right in front of me. I mean, I’ve been known to check out a cute butt here and there, but when you add a tail like that into the mix, oh god, it’s like--

TRIP

My foot gets caught on something and I loudly fall to the ground, knocking the wind out of me. I swear under my breath. Yep, that’s what I get for not watching where I was going.

Tom laughs and holds out a hand to help me up. I grab it as Tess looks back at us, “Quit dilly dallying back there you two.”

Tom waves her off, “Hey, your sister fell, it wasn’t intentional.”

I brush myself off, “Yeah, sorry, it’s really dark out here. We should have brought small flashlights or something.”

Tom smirks, “What, isn’t there a spell for light? Lumos?”

I playfully backhand his shoulder, “You’re thinking of Harry Potter you dolt!”

Tom rolls his eyes, “Well okay, what’s the spell ponies use for light?”

I try to think as I step over some prickly bushes, but get distracted by the fact that my underwear is getting uncomfortable. I brush off the thought, “I’m not sure Tom, I know they have one, but I don’t think it’s ever described how it works.”

Tess, apparently overhearing our conversation, calls back, “We’re really going to have to figure that out, as well as all the other spells they use.“

Tom agrees, “Yeah, that would be pretty awesome.”

Tess shakes her head, “That’s not what I mean, sure it might be ‘fun’ but it’s more than that. I’m pretty sure it’s our only hope of ever going back to being normal humans. If we want to change back, it’s going to require some serious magic.”

Tom frowns, “Wait, I thought this is temporary? You mean we need magic to change back, or else we’re stuck like this, forever??”

I try to make it gentle for him, “Well, not exactly, we won’t stay like this forever.” I point to our ears and tail. “Things will change.”

Tom squints, “Meaning...?”

Tess cuts to the chase, “It’s going to get worse Tom, far worse. I ran some DNA tests before you got here, I’m pretty sure we’re going all the way.”

He stops walking, “Going all the way? You’re not saying...”

Tess responds like it’s the most obvious, boring thing in the world, “We’re going to be ponies Tom. In less than two days you’re going to be a perfect clone of ‘Rarity’ from the show.”

Tom remains frozen, staring straight ahead. I put my hand on his shoulder, “Hey, at least you can still do your job. Rarity is great at fashion, and you’re into digital design, you’ll be great. Besides, you’ll be with us, we’ll be one big happy group of ponies.”

He gives me an ‘are you fucking kidding me’ look. “Rachel, I don’t care about my job, and I’m glad I’m with you guys, but what about my parents? Am I just supposed to show up one day and be like ‘oh hey Mom and Dad, your son is a white cartoon horse now, oh, but don’t worry, SHE has friends!’”. He sighs and rubs his forehead.

I try to cheer him up, “We’ll fix this, we’ll fix this. Tess here has been working nonstop to try and find a way to reverse it all.”

Tess chuckles, “Well I have been, but truth is Rachel has done the most so far. Science won’t be able to turn us back, but magic probably can. I mean, if we can do levitation, we can probably do much more than that. Especially if the show is accurate..”

“I agree with Tess, The shows been spot on about things so far. We just need to find like a book, or something that explains all the magic used in the show.” I squint as I look ahead, I think I can make out a road up ahead.

Tess sighs “Pity we just left Canada. The show was made in Vancouver, all the show material is there.”

“Not necessarily.” Tom scratches his head, “There’s this old bookstore in Seattle. More of a boutique really. I went in there once a year ago, the owner collects and sells original manuscripts from all sorts of TV shows. He has a few hundred items, I remember seeing the original ‘show bible’ from Dexter’s Lab. That stuff costs an absurd amount though.”

Tess and I exchange glances, and start debating the issue as only close sibling’s can.

“We could--” Tess starts

I cut her off, “Isn’t that...”

“Okay, how else will we”

“Yeah but”

“Just for a bit?”

“But how--”

“Won’t be hard”

“What about--”

“We’ll be quick.”

“People will see”

“It’s nighttime”
 
“Wait, tonight!?”

“Need car, how else?”

“How about”

“Hands.”

“Frick”

“Mmhmm”

“Hmm...”

“Fine?”

“Fine.”

We stop the debate and get back to walking. Tom remains standing where he was, “So are you going to explain that to me or...?”

I look over my shoulder, “We’re going to break into that store and borrow everything they have on MLP. I’m not that thrilled with the idea of stealing, but Tess made some good arguments. We need all the help we can get to fix this mess, so we need everything they have. And it has to be tonight because tomorrow we might not be able to pass for humans.”

Tom nods slowly, “I guess that makes sense.”  

We step onto the dirt road. “Now, where’s Harry?”

HONK HONK

It comes from a car not 10 feet away from us that is pulled onto the side of the road. A second later It’s lights turn on and we see a mass of pink hair stick out the window. “Welcome the United States guys!”

~~~~~~

We get to Seattle two hours later, it’s about midnight as we drive downtown to the old bookstore. Tom parks the car across the street and we start checking out the area around us.

Tess bites her lip, "Man, these streets are really lit."

I roll my eyes, “Yes, it’s a city.”

Tess punches me in the shoulder, “Very funny, how are we supposed to break in there when the place is lit up like Christmas?”

 I scratch one of my comically large ears, “Good question. If we break the window people will probably hear the noise, not to mention they will see us in there.”

Tess nods, “This isn’t a quick smash and grab either, we need time to find the right book, assuming it’s even in there.”

“Oh, it’s in there.” Harry says matter of factly.

I raise an eyebrow at him but choose not to comment. I look back at the storefront, “I don’t see any way inside other than the window...”

Tom speaks up, “The building has semicircular arches and the dynamism of exterior space, so you can tell this building is of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Though it does sort of clash with the High Victorian Gothic style of the building next to it...”

I give him a blank stare. “Thanks for that?”

He turns to me, “It means it was built before 1920, and the door doesn’t look like it’s been replaced. It probably used an old fashioned warded lock.”

Tess perks up, “Warded locks are bulky and mechanical. We could use our magic to easily slide it open.”

I pat Tom on the back, “Brilliant! So we walk up, casually unlock the door with magic, and just walk in.”
 
Tom chuckles, “Truly the best way to do illegal things, ‘Just act like you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing’. Everyone on the outside of the store will think we work there or something.”

I look over our group and start to plan out things. “Harry... you’re going to stay here in the car.“

Harry’s ears drop to the side, “But I want to go with you guys!”

Tom’s hand goes up, “Hey, if she wants to go, I can stay behind, really...”

Tess shakes her head, “Tom, you’re the only one that knows the store and knows what sort of things they sell in there, we need you in there. My brother and I have to go because we’re going to need magic to get inside. But we need someone to stay in the car, so that means you have to stay Harry. You’re going to be our getaway driver.”

I nod, “Sorry Harry.”

Harry frowns and his lip trembles, “But I really wanted to go, I even got my special night op stuff.” He turns and grabs something, then turns back to shows us a black night suit, a pair of walkie talkies (aka, two way radios), and several flashlights.

We all stare for a moment, Tom tilts his head, “Where were you keeping those...”

I stare at the objects, “Yeah, seriously, Pinkie--”

“Harry.” Tess corrects me.

I continue, “Where the hell did you get those.”

Harry points at them, “What, these? I brought them.”

Tess squints, “I was sitting next to you this whole time. I never saw them before.”

Harry gives us a confused look, “Guys, what’s the deal, I got them and had them here waiting--“

“WE’RE INSIDE OF A CAR HARRY! Where did you get them from!?” Tess yells.

Harry just stares at her for a moment and blinks, “I had them?”

Tess raises both hands, “Forget it, doesn’t matter.” She takes a few deep breaths, “Thank you for the equipment Harry. The flashlights will be very useful, and we can keep in touch with you using the walkies.”

After running over the plan in my head once more, I open the door and step out, then nearly collapse in place. I grab the car door to steady myself and swear under my breath. Tom looks me over, “You okay Rachel?”

I nod and I reposition my feet. Something feels really off down there. I have been sitting down for the past two hours, but man, my feet feel really tight in these shoes. Just like before, I have to walk ‘on my toes’, but it feels different now. Gah, whatever, we’re in the middle of doing an illegal break in, no time to worry about foot cramps, “I’m fine Tom, let’s get moving.”

Tess joins Tom and I in crossing the street, and I can’t help but notice she also stumbles a bit as she walks. In any case, we reach the storefront and peek inside the door window. “Okay Tess you were right, this looks like an old lock, go on and open it.”

Tom turns around and keeps a lookout, Tess glances at me, “Me? I thought you were going to open it.”

I point to myself, “What? Me? You’re the one who knows how the lock works.”

Tess gestures at the door, “Dude, it’s just an old fashion lock, just slide the mechanism open. You’re the one doing all the magics, open it.”

“I’m the one doing all the magics? Who set the living room on fire missy?”

Tess rolls her eyes, ”I’ve only done magic on things I could directly see. This lock is inside the door, you’re better at that than I am right now.”

Tom groans, “Yes, please, just take all the time in the world. It’s not like we're super exposed here or anything...”

I push my sister to the side, look down at the lock and close my eyes. Just gotta think about the inside of the door... find the sliding bolt... and...

click

I open my eyes and push the door open. Oh, that was easier than I thought. “Alright, let’s go. Tom, where do they keep scripts and show notes?”

Tess steps into the store and then looks back at the door frame, “There’s a wire coming off this door...”

I walk past her, “So? If there was an alarm, it didn’t go off.”

Tess frowns, “What if it is a silent alarm? We really should have cut the power before we opened the door...”

I raise my eyebrows, “Silent alarm? Come on Tess, those are only in movies.”

Tom shrugs and walks into the store, “These items are worth thousands of dollars, a silent alarm wouldn’t surprise me. Well, too late to worry about it now, let’s just hurry this up. Check the back first, I think all the original scripts were kept in a case there.”

We make our way to the back of the store and then the walkie talkie in my pocket squawks: “Did you guys make it inside yet? Over.”

I roll my eyes, of course Harry is going to play the ‘over’ game since we are using radios. “Yeah, we’re all inside. Keep an eye out, Tess is worried we might have tripped some sort of silent alarm. Over.”

Tess winces as I say her name, “Really brother, you’re using the most insecure, open form of communication known to man, and you’re talking about illegal activities. Don’t use my real name!”

I stick my tongue at her, “I know, I’m not using real names. That’s why I didn’t say Twilight, I said Tess!”

She shakes her head, “Very funny. But I’m serious, don’t give the police any leads.”

“Fine.” I pick the radio back up, “Umm, Pinkie, use pony names on the radio please. Over.”

“Ooo, that sounds like fun! Can I be Pinkie!? Over.”

I facepalm, “Yes, I already said... urgh, Pinkie just keep an eye out please. Over.”

Tess speaks behind me, “That’s a lot of notebooks...”

I turn towards her and see an entire wall behind a glass case. Inside the case were dozens if not hundreds of notebooks and binders, each of them with had a label below them explaining what they were from. The prices were listed too, they were not cheap. Tom nods slowly, “The damned thing is not alphabetized. Everyone just pick a row and start looking.”

A minute or two passes and we continue to skim the aisles looking for anything pony related. I’m just passing over the original script for Samurai Jack when an excited voice comes through the radio. “Cherries and Berries! I see the Cherries and Berries!! Over!!”

I ignore it completely, and Tess glances my way. “What was that?”

I shake my head, still looking at the books behind the case, “Nothing at all, Pinkie just spotted some fruit.”  

A few seconds later Tom speaks up, “Who’s Lauren Faust?” I look towards him and see him pointing at a thick three ring binder.

I jog over to it and take a better look at the binder. It is full on tags and stickers, and tight under it is the official label ’MLP:FiM ORIGINAL SHOW BIBLE, by Lauren Faust’. My eyes go wide and I pat Tom on the back. “You found it Tom, now we just have to grab it and leave.”

Tess comes over and surveys the case. “Yikes, this is plexiglass, looks like the only way to open it is by unlocking the side but...” She walks over to check the lock, “Shit, it’s a Medeco security lock.”

 Tom raises his eyebrows, “That’s bad?”

She bites her lip and looks the case over, “It’s what they use on ATMs. You can’t really force these open.”

I sigh, “Looks like we do this the old fashioned way, brute force.” I raise a leg to kick the glass but a brief flash of blue colored light across the room makes me stop. There it is again, this time followed by red. I spin around to look at the front of the store, and I see two cop cars in the middle of the street, their red and blue lights flashing.

My radio turns on, “Shining Armor! They stopped! They’re getting out of their cars now, you all need to get out of there!! Over!”

Tess turns to me, “You get the book, I’ll hold off the cops.” She runs off and then I face the glass case. I give it a kick as if it’s a soccer ball, but it’s a weak kick and the glass doesn’t even budge. That’s odd, I normally have a pretty strong kick. I try it again, but I can’t get any force like this. What the hell is wrong with my leg?

Tess arrives at the the front of the store and uses her horn to bring all the window shutters down, then flicks the deadbolt on the front door and shuts off the lights. She looks back at us, “That should buy us a little time, do you have the book yet?”

I tap my head, Think, think think... how can I kick this... I realize something and groan, not wanting to admit this will work better, but knowing it will. I get down on all fours and move so the case is behind me. Tom looks at me, “Rachel, what the hell are you doing?”

“Thinking like a pony.” I buck my legs back and kick the glass emulating AJ bucking a tree. The noise is deafening and the case gets a crack, but it doesn’t break.

Tess yells from across the store, “Christ, could you be any louder, I think Texas just heard you.”

Her voice is followed a second later by the police banging on the door, “Open up, we know you’re in there!”

I kick the glass again, another small crack forms but it’s not enough. It’s these damn shoes! They don’t fit right and they’re softening the impact of my kick. I start to untie them and Tom looks down at me, “Rachel, what are you doing? You can’t be serious, kicking glass barefeet is going to break your foot.”

“Uh, yeah... about that...” My shoes are off and I stare down my feet, or, hooves rather. They’re dark blue with tufts of white fur covering the tops of them. They look positively alien to me, but hey, at least I still have my hands.

Tom whimpers, “Are those...”

I bite my tongue, “We’ll worry about it later Tom.” I get back in position and test out my new pony anatomy by bucking the display case as hard as I can.

CRACK

My hooves sail right through and the sound of the plastic splitting in half echoes across the store. I pull my hooves out, quickly thank them for their efforts, and then stand up to see Tom grab the binder and call out to Tess, “We got it, let’s move!”

The radio yells out again, “They’re bringing out one of those police battering rams! There’s even a news truck here, they’re filming all of this! You guys seriously have to get out of there. Over!”

Tess comes up to me and grabs the radio out of my hand, “Pinkie, are they all at the front? Is it safe for us to leave through the back door?”

The three of us wait for a reply, but nothing comes. After waiting a good 15 seconds, I laugh to myself as I realize Pinkie is waiting for us to finish the sentence. I grab the radio from Tess to end it, “Over.”

Pinkie immediately responds,  “Twilight I think they are all at the front, there’s only four cops and one is talking to the news lady while the other three are bringing up the door ram. You don’t have much time, over!”

We scramble around inside, looking for any sort of exit at the back. We do find one, but it’s this thick steel door with a sign that says ‘NOT AN EXIT’ and a huge padlock is holding it shut. I get down on all fours, noticing my underwear feels tight again. Ignoring it, I buck at the door but the steel just absorbs the blow. Tess stares down at me, “Rachel... you have hooves.”

I stand back up and Tom pats Tess on the shoulder, “Yep, it happens. His look nice though, look at the contrast of the white on blue, not bad.”

Tess stares at Tom, who clears his throat, “So... any ideas how to get through this door? I don’t think Rachel’s kicks will work this time.”

Tess stares at the lock, then uses her horn to try and pull it off. The chain clinks loudly but the lock doesn’t even budge. I join her in using my magic to pull on the lock, as we try to simple rip the lock clean off it’s hinges.  We strain at it for a few seconds but then both let go, that plan is clearly going nowhere fast.

We hear the battering ram get placed against the front door, and Tom gets a little nervous upon seeing us fail. “Can’t you unlock it like the front door?”

I shake my head, “Not this kind of lock Tom.”

The front door shakes and the door frame cracks as the ram hits it. Tom grabs the radio, “Pinkie, this is... Rarity. Can you try and hold off the police for just a minute or so? Over.”

 I think out loud, “Okay, so I can’t kick the door open, and we can’t unlock it or use telekinesis. We might be screwed, those are all the spells we know.”

Tess rubs her forehead, “That’s not... entirely true.”

I realize her thought process and hold up my hands, “No Tess, that’s a terrible idea.”

Her horn starts to glow. “You all should probably stand back for this.”

~~~~~~

Waiting in the car sucks. Just because I’m not a unicorn means I have to sit back and watch everything? Bah, lame sauce, that’s what this plan is. Well, at least I have a front row seat to see the police smash down a door, I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know why they are still inside, I warned them like five minutes ago that I saw the red and blues, cherries and berries, flashing on the horizon. Sheesh.

The walkie talkie turns on, Tom’s voice comes through “Pinkie, this is... Rarity. Can you try and hold off the police for just a minute or so? Over.”

I look up and sigh. I’m doing my best to hide from the police, and now they want me to go towards them? Humph, well fine. Don’t let anyone say Pinkie never did anything for her friends.

I open the door and start walking towards the cops. Their captain is busy talking to the news person so I get pretty close before--

“Hey!!”  One of the cops holding the battering ram turns to yell at me. “Lady! You can’t walk here! Get back to your vehicle.”

I shake a fist, “Who you calling a lady, you lady!”

The cop tells the other officers to hold on a second, then turns to face me. “Look, woman, this is a crime scene, if you don’t leave I’ll have you arrested for interfering with--”

>>>BOOM<<<

Every window in the store explodes in a giant red flash and the cop and myself fall to the ground to avoid the flying shards. “Aaaaaahhhh!!!” I scream, noting how I really do sound like a girl, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving!! Bye!!”

I start running back to the car and I hear the cop asking if everyone is okay. The camera guy for the news team yells with excitement, “Oh man, I got that whole blast on film!!”.

I get back to the car and start the engine, deciding to head to the corner of 5th Ave and Lenora. Just as I get there I hear the walkie talkie turn on with Shining yelling, “Pinkie! We made it out! Can you get to the corner of... umm... 5th Ave and Lenora!?!”

I shake my head and roll down my window. Shining is less than five feet from me, I stick my head out the window and yell at him “Hey, you forgot to say over!”

~~~~~~

“Nice pad Tom.” I look around the kitchen and living room and give a low whistle, this place is the definition of ritzy.

Harry walks around with wide eyes, “This place is amazing. I didn’t even know they sold chandeliers for houses, I thought those were only for hotels!”

Tess glances around, “How long till your parents come here?”

Tom puts the show bible down on the table. “Thanks guys, and sorry Tess, I have no idea. They don’t come here often, but they’re going to start wondering where I am. I should probably call them and tell them I’m okay.”

I shake my head, “Don’t call, text. You’re voice sounds different Tom.”

Tom raises an eyebrow as he speaks, “Sounds normal to me.”

I shrug, not wanting to admit how I can notice because I have been dreaming over his voice for years. On the surface it sounds the same, but when I really think about it I can tell it sounds a little more feminine than it should.

Tess taps her chin for a moment, “Well, your vocal chords are probably changing, but that doesn’t explain why we--”

“OH MY GOD YOU HAVE A BAR.” Harry yells exuberantly from the other side of the kitchen.

Tom chooses his words carefully, “Yeah, help yourself to... ONE drink.” He looks at my sister and I, “You guys want anything?”

Before I can answer I hear Harry call out from across the room, “Alright, alright, who wants a drink, step right up to Pinkie’s Bar.”

I roll my eyes, “Harry, we’re not using walkie talkies anymore. You can stop using that name, just--”. I cut myself off as I see Harry behind the bar. she is polishing a glass while wearing a white shirt and black bartender’s vest. I point at her outfit, “And take that off! Just because it was behind the bar doesn’t mean you should put it on, Tom’s dad probably doesn’t want people wearing his stuff.”

Tom leans over and whispers to me, “That’s not my dad’s, I’ve never seen that before in my life.”

I facepalm. “Pinkie... just give me a glass of Scotch. Single malt, no ice.”

Tom nods, “And I’ll have a banana daiquiri.”

I poke him in the shoulder, “That’s a pretty girly drink dude.”

He just shrugs. A moment later I hear Tess call out “I’ll just have a Ginger Ale, thanks.”

I chuckle at her reluctance to drink, and a moment later I take my Scotch back to the table with the stolen show bible on it.

I’m about to open it and start looking for spells, when I see Tom turn on the TV. It’s tuned to CNN and ‘Breaking News’ is across the top of the screen. I start to chug my Scotch as I see the headline: “EXPLOSION IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE. TERRORIST ATTACK!?!”

Tess shakes her head, “Sensationalist much?”

Pinkie, or Harry (I’m not really sure who s/he is anymore) sits down at the table. “Turn it up! I wonder if they got me on camera!”

Tom tosses the remote to Pinkie and starts to chug his daiquiri. A second later he pauses to add, “If my parents see me on the news here, I am so utterly screwed.” He goes back to drinking and a few seconds later the glass is empty and he sits down next to me.

I look up at Tom and smile, “Chugging a drink? That’s not very lady like.”

Tom raises an eyebrow, “Thanks... Or sorry?”

I laugh softly and reach down to scratch myself between my legs. The TV volume gets turned on and the reporter starts talking about how they have no suspects since the blast destroyed any evidence they hoped to collect. The reporter says some other things but I’m not listening to them, I’m replaying back the sensation I felt when I just scratched myself between my legs. I slowly reach another hand down and feel myself through my pants, confirming that something is very, very wrong. I stand up, ”Excuse me... bathroom.”

Pinkie follows me with her eyes as I stand up and walk away. But I just go straight for the bathroom and once inside I turn on the lights and drop my pants. I already know what I’m going to find, but I still whimper as I see them. I stuff hanging between my legs that no girl should ever have. It's clearly equine in appearance too. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, all I'm thinking is how I'm NOT supposed to have them. It doesn't matter what species it is, I don't want it! I look at the whole package again, this is utterly absurd. I reach a hand down and slowly push it all to the side to see if I still have my female slit. But nope, it’s gone, looks like I’m 100% male. I nervously laugh to myself thinking, “This sucks, I never even got to use my birthday present.”

Well, not like that matters I guess. I sort of have my own version of that with me at all times. I shake my head, full well knowing there's nothing I can do about this right now. I look around, deciding to just take a shower since I'm already in here. I step under the water and clean myself, well, most of myself. I don't let my hands go anywhere near my new equipment, I really don't want to be handling that stuff right now. I shiver at the thought and then shut off the water. I step out to dry myself, once again being very careful to avoid touching that part of my body. Drying myself reminds me that I have hooves, but in light of recent events those don’t seem like that crazy of an addition to my body.

I finish drying off and put my clothes back on, only to realize my underwear is FAR to small for me. A regular human male would have a hard time wearing these panties, and seeing as how ponies are much larger in... urgh, this just sucks. I'm going to have to ask Tom for some loose boxers or something tomorrow, that's going to be awkward.

I finish getting dressed and open the door, only to be surprised as I find myself face to face with Harry, who is leaning against the opposite wall.  Was she waiting for me this whole time? I grin nervously. “Oh hey... Pinkie.”

She says nothing, but with her eyes gestures at my crotch, then up at my eyes and raises her eyebrows inquisitively.

I try and play dumb, “What?”

She raises her eyebrows higher, “Well?”

I realize that I’ve obviously been referring to her as a ‘she’ in my mind. I know I’m not going to be the only one with a surprise in my pants tonight, so I suppose she deserves to know ahead of a time what’s going to happen to her. I sigh, and slowly nod. “Yeah. It uh... yeah.”

To my complete surprise, she grins , “Oh, this could be fun.”

My mouth opens, “Fun?! Harry, you’re insane.”

She rolls her eyes, “Tess is working to find a spell to change us all back right? So this is all temporary. This is awesome, it’s going to be eye opening to see what its like for the other side.”

I shake my head, “No, its not, its disgusting.”

She raises her eyebrow, “Oh? So you’ve tried it out already?”

“What?”

She grins, “You know, tried it out.”

I take a step back, “What? No, Jesus dude! Come on Pinkie, have some decency.”

She shakes her head “Don’t wait too long to try that Rachel, you might not have hands for long to--”

I close my eyes, “Please don’t finish that sentence Pinkie.”

She shrugs, then grabs her pants and pulls them outwards a little bit while looking down at herself. “Hmm, I think I'm getting smaller already, shouldn’t be long now. Well, nice talking to you Rachel, I’m going to go to my bedroom and watch this all happen. Once in a lifetime opportunity!”

She skips down the hall humming the tune ‘I feel like a woman’. I just stand there shaking my head for a minute. Tess then walks by on her way to use the bathroom. “Hey Rachel, there you are. It’s getting late so we decided to put off reading the show bible until tomorrow. We’re all heading to bed.”

“Sounds good Tess.” I nod slowly as I see her walk into the bathroom and shut the door. Tess is lucky, she wouldn’t find any surprises down below. But Tom will. I knock on the bathroom door, “Tess, where is Tom?”

She replies through the door, “I think she is still in the kitchen.” I wince at the pronoun, though I know we’ve been using them like that for a while now.

“Right, thanks Tess.” I yawn, she was right, it really is getting late. I walk to the kitchen and spot Tom reading the binder. Should I tell him about what’s going to happen to his body overnight? How can you really prepare someone for that?

Tom looks up from the show bible, “Oh hey Rachel, what’s up?”

I take a deep breath, but at the last second stop myself from saying anything. It’s just too awkward to have this conversation with Tom right now. ‘Oh hey Tom, guess what? I'm a guy now! But don’t worry, we can still date because you’re going to be a pretty little girl in about an hour!’  Yeah, that conversation isn’t going to happen. It will be best if Tom just sees the change for herself when she wakes up tomorrow.

Eager to change the subject, I look down at the binder he’s reading, “Well well, looks like Tom is eager to learn some new spells after all.”

Tom just shakes his head slowly as he goes back to reading, “I’m not looking for spells, I’m just reading the intro, trying to find out how she came up with all these stories you know? I mean, if she says where she got the stories from, that right there will be the goldmine.”

I fill a glass of water and take a seat across from him, slowly drinking it as the minutes pass by and Tom flips through more pages. I finally speak up, “There’s nothing like that Tom. People already asked that question to Faust in conventions, she said all the stories are from her own past. They are stories she came up with when she played with ponies as a kid.”

“Eh... that’s not quite what I’m reading here Rachel.” Here, listen to this, “When I was first approached by Hasbro to make the show, I loved the opportunity to be able to make a show for girls, but I was a little worried because I had no experience with My Little Pony when I was a little girl.

I lean forward, “No, that can’t be right. In tons of interviews she said she had ponies as a kid. Firefly was her favorite pony, she had --”

Tom cuts me off by reading some more, “I told the Hasbro staff, and anyone that asked at the time, that I knew everything about the ponies and I always loved them. The truth is my parents never bought them for me when I was a kid. Really, the only exposure I ever had with ponies was when the daughter of one of my friends would put on shows for us. She was a sweet kid, she really loved those ponies, and she had such a brilliant imagination too.”

I start to feel funny so I slowly set my glass down and say nothing. I don’t like where this is going. Tom looks at me and smiles. “Rachel, I think that girl might be the answer here.”

Tom reads more from the book, “Over those years I had gone to many parties that her parents hosted. A few times I would break off from the rest of the adults and just play with this girl at her table. She was more than happy to show me her pony collection. She painted many of them to ‘look like they should’ as she put it, and then the girl would just spend an hour telling me all their traits, dozens of adventures they all went on, and countless characters details. She even did voices for them and told me what most of them are supposed to sound like. She built such a vivid world that it really stuck with me. So, some ten years later when I’m in the Hasbro office, I start reciting some of the stories that girl came up with. I felt a little bad for the plagiarism, but the Hasbro execs loved it all. They told me to make episodes exactly like what I just described to them. I didn’t really want to just copy everything the girl said, but I sort of had to since I already put myself here. I was put in charge of hiring all the voice actors and picking their voices, designing all the characters’ looks, and writing the backbone for the whole show story. They told me other writers would fill in the details, but they wanted me to list out the overarching plotline. So here I am, and I can’t change any of the storyline now. For better or worse, it looks like I’m bringing life to the world this little girl told me about long ago.”

Tom is grinning ear to ear. “Find this girl and boom, our problems are solved.”

I facepalm with both hands, full well knowing what’s next. “Tom, does it say the name of the girl, or the name of her parents?”

He nods, “Yeah, it’s right here. Doesn’t have the kids name, but it says the parents had twin girls born in 1995, and the parent’s names are David and Mary. So now we just have to find that daughter.”

A second later Tess walks by while brushing her teeth, “Hey Rachel, I heard some names. Who’s talking about our parents?”