Chapter 17: A Stallion’s Life
Tom turns to me in confusion, “Wait, what?”
I just close my eyes and soon the room gets quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Tess finally speaks through the silence, “Is it something I said?”
I open my eyes, “Tess... sit down.”
Tess, who had been brushing her teeth, moves to the kitchen sink and spits out the toothpaste, then joins us at the table and yawns, “What’s up? You guys looks really grim.”
Tom’s brain finally catches up, “Wait, are you serious? Rachel, why didn’t you tell me you knew Lauren Faust?”
I shake my head, "Don’t look at me, I never really dealt with my parent’s friends. I never even really knew what they did. But apparently Tess on the other hand...“
Tess laughs, “What are you guys talking about, I don’t know Lauren.”
I drum my fingers on the table, “Remember when you were about five years old or so, you played with the ponies that Mom and Dad bought you because you kept asking for them?”
She shrugs, “Yeah, so? Every girl my age played with those things, well most of us did anyway.” She smirks at me, well aware that I was into GI Joes instead.
I ignore her side comment, “I remember you made up all these fancy stories and stuff, and you put on ‘story plays’ for our parents. Umm, do you by chance remember doing that to any of our parent's friends?”
Tess looks up at the ceiling, “I guess? That was a long time ago. I do remember this one woman, she was really polite... Laura?”
I rub my eyes, “Tess, that was Lauren Faust.”
She gives me a blank, unbelieving look, “No, that wouldn’t make any sense.”
Tom slides the show bible over to her, “Read this page.”
I watch Tess’s expression change from amusement, to confusion, to worry. She reaches the bottom of the page and just freezes. I state the obvious, “Tess, you’re the girl Lauren is talking about. You’re the one that gave her the idea for the cartoon.”
I have never seen Tess look so bewildered, “That’s impossible, the entire story of the show is based off my imagination?”
I rub my forehead, “That has some very interesting implications.”
Tom agrees, “Yes it does. It means we can essentially stop looking at the show for answers, we have to look past it. We can essentially pretend the show was never made. What appears to be happening to the four of us is that we are turning into the ponies that Tess thought up when she was five.”
Tess just gives him a blank look and I put my head on the desk and sigh, “Well, as true as that probably is, it makes even less sense than us becoming ponies from a cartoon.”
Tom nods silently and Tess stares up at the ceiling again, “I wish I could remember more about the ponies I played with when I was a kid. I do remember I painted some of them... and the main pony was this purple unicorn... but damn, I can’t remember any specifics.”
“Do you still own them?” Tom asks.
Tess nods slowly, “I would never sell them, they were quite special to me. But when I started college I took all my little girl things, boxed them up, and put them in storage.”
Tom sighs, “Great, so they are back in Vancouver?”
She shakes her head, “Nah, I went to university in Seattle, and I ended up living in Washington State for several years. I put all my extra stuff in storage down here.”
“Oh? In Seattle?”
Tess yawns, “Not quite, it’s in Portland, a few hours south of here.”
Tom smiles, “That’s not far, and we have a car.”
I nod, “We’ll go check it out tomorrow, if we can find your original ponies they might knock some memories loose and help explain all of this.”
Tess shrugs her shoulders, “Yeah, I guess. Though to be honest I’m not too sure that’s gonna help us. I don’t think I came up with a ‘pony to human’ transformation spell when I was five years old.”
I stare blankly ahead, “Assuming we can even change back. You do realize this discovery sort of changes things, right?”
Tom raises an eyebrow, “How does hearing that Lauren got story ideas from Tess change the fact that we can change back?”
I rub my forehead, “Isn’t it a little strange that Tess thought up a world where a purple unicorn, with her white unicorn sibling, did all these things with her friends? And then Tess becomes that unicorn, and her sibling and friends all change to match too? It’s not random! I thought this was all just some crazy thing, but there are far too many coincidences here. Tess is becoming the exact same pony that she thought up, it’s like...”
Tess rolls her eyes, “What, like a prophecy? Come on Rachel, I have a unicorn horn but I’m not a prophet.”
Tom shakes his head, “It’s not a prophecy. You didn’t predict any of this. If you did, the story, and the cartoon, would have been about humans becoming ponies. That’s not the case, the cartoon is just about ponies who were born ponies.”
I mull thoughts over in my head, “We’re missing something, something big. No five year old could have come up with that entire story. Things flow too well, the story arc in the show is too structured to just be some five year old’s ramblings.”
Tess nods slowly, “And the show would probably have more tea parties and playdates if a five year old came up with it on her own.”
Tom yawns, “So we need another part of the puzzle, something big.”
I add, “Tess, you must have gotten the story from somewhere. Someone or something must have told you exactly what was going to happen to us. The problem was your five old self didn’t understand. It couldn’t comprehend the info so you just used all of those details in your imaginary playtime, just for the fun of it.”
Tess sighs, “That just pushes the mystery to somewhere else. What could have given my five year old self all the facts about ponies?”
I yawn and rub my face, “Can we talk about this tomorrow? It’s seriously like 2am.”
Tess nods in agreement, “Yeah, let me sleep on this. We can figure this out later, things should be calm tomorrow.”
I can’t help but laugh, “Really Tess, have you seen what’s been going on? We’ve started a fire, ruined an apartment complex, fled the country, robbed a store, ran from the police, discredited the show writers, and made international news as ‘terrorists in Seattle’. That all happened in what, the past twelve hours? Somehow I doubt ‘things should be calm tomorrow’.”
Tess allows herself to chuckle, “Well, I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?” She looks over at Tom, “So, enough confusing talk. Where are the bedrooms?”
Tom bites his lip, “Well we only have three bedrooms here and there are four of us. I already gave Harry the guest room, so that leaves us with my old bedroom and the master bedroom. Two of us are going to have to share a room.”
Tess nods, “That works. Guys get their own room, girls can share.”
I can feel my new manhood between my legs, “Umm... so...”
Tess looks at me, “What, you think the guys should share?”
I stammer, “Well, no, I’m just wondering when you say ‘guys’ you mean...”
She stares at me with a blank face, “I mean the guys. What the heck do you think I mean?”
I try to recover, “Oh, well, you know how we keep referring to Harry as Pinkie, and sometimes even say ‘she’, I was just confused for a moment, that’s all.”
Tess shakes her head, “I’m talking about actual guys, you know, the ones that are biologically male? Sheesh.”
I laugh nervously, “Ha, yeah, totally...”
Tom senses my unease, “If you don’t want to split the bed Rachel, it’s not a problem. I can share a bed with Harry, you two are the guests, you should each get your own room.”
My eyes go wide as I remember how enthusiastic Harry was about his upcoming gender change. That would be really awkward if Tom shares a room with him tonight. “No! I mean, no, um, Harry snores when he sleeps? Yeah, I’d let him have his own room right now. Besides, it’s your house, you should get your own room Tom. Tess and I can share, we’re siblings after all.”
Tess turns and heads for the bathroom, “Right, I’m going to take a shower. See you tomorrow Tom.”
We all say good night and Tom points me towards the master bedroom. I grab my bag and make my way in there, closing the door to change into my nightgown. As I change clothes I see my new ‘friend’ is still there between my legs, but thankfully it’s not excited at the moment. I put on the nightgown and check in the mirror to make sure everything is covered. Phew, good thing I took my loose nightgown, it perfectly hides my unwanted ‘bulge’.
I get on one side of the bed and close my eyes. Man, this was a busy day. To think at the start of it all I was worried about eye color, and now I’m a guy with hooves who can cast magic and apparently has a prophet for a sister. I don’t even wanna know where things will go from here. I yawn once more and soon succumb to sleep.
I awake to hear Tess mumble in her sleep about how I’m hogging the sheets. I lazily open my eyes and realize I’m looking at a vertical wall of blanket. I blink and look around, confused at how the blanket is being held upwards like that. I feel a twitch down below and the blanket moves along with it. Confused, I lift up my end of the blanket and look underneath it.
Oh... you've got to be kidding me! My new manhood has slipped out from my nightgown, and it has clearly gotten larger overnight. I was erect too, is this morning wood? I’ve heard of that before, but I don’t think most guys have to worry about it lifting the entire blanket into the air, this is ridiculous.
Tess shifts in the bed next to me, she’s not awake but there’s no telling how long that will last. Oh god, if she opens her eyes right now, crap. I reach a hand under the blankets and desperately try to force my member downwards, but it just refuses. Well, this sucks.
I slowly edge off the bed, careful not to wake Tess. I manage to get out from under the blankets only to realize that I literally can’t fit this thing under my nightgown in it’s current state. I need to go take a cold shower, but how am I supposed to get to the bathroom exposed like this? In desperation I glance around and grab my pillow. With no other options I put the pillow on the far side of my manhood, then pull the pillow to my chest, holding it tight. I breathe a sigh of relief, this feels really strange, but at least everything is hidden.
I grab my clothes with my other hand and head for the door when suddenly Tess mumbles, “Rachel... what are you doing?”
I look at the bed to see her rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, “Oh, morning Tess. I’m uh, going to the shower.”
She smacks her lips, “While hugging a pillow?”
I stammer, “I am um... cold?”
She closes her eyes, “Right, whatever. Make some coffee will ya?”
I nod quickly, “Mmhmm, sure thing.” Without waiting for a response I leave the bedroom, still clutching a pillow over my genitals. The bathroom is open, thankfully. Still though, I don’t know how much longer I can keep this change a secret, things are going to get weird around here.
The cold shower did the trick, thankfully. However, due to last night’s growth I can’t fit in my panties anymore. Even when I am ‘unexcited’ I just don’t fit in this underwear. That’s annoying, gonna have to find something else to wear pretty soon. As for now, I elect to just wear my pants without underwear. Hardly ideal, but it sort of works for the time being. On a related note, I also decide not to wear my bra. I just don’t see the point, I was always a fairly flat girl, but right now I literally can’t even see my boobs. Oh well, not like I need them in my current state. Now, about that coffee...
I make my way to the kitchen and from the doorway I can see Tom is sitting alone at the table. Coffee is already made and he is holding a cup of it with both hands while staring straight ahead. He looks like a shock victim, and it dawns on me that he probably just found out he’s female. Well, I’m not the only one with problems it seems.
I slowly enter the room, “Hey... Tom.”
Tom nods, “Hey.”
I pour myself a cup from the coffee pot and slide into the chair next to him. Or, her rather. Well, might as well confirm right now and deal with the elephant in the room. I take a deep breath, “So... how was your night?”
Tom answers far too quickly, “The night was fine.”
“And the morning?” I wince.
Tom says nothing for a moment, “I have hooves now...” I nod slowly, and the seconds tick by as Tom says another word, “and...”
Tom looks at me, I see helplessness in her eyes. I put my arm around her, “Hey, you’re not alone there buddy, I know your pain. I had the same thing happen to me. Or rather, the reverse of it.”
Tom cracks a smile, “Heh, I imagine that would be awkward as well.”
I nod, “Oh yeah, it’s a bit, well, odd. I’m managing so far though.” She leans her head into my shoulder and I rub her back, “I’m sorry all this is happening to you Tom.”
She looks up, “It’s not even remotely your fault Rachel, don’t apologize. In fact, I should be thanking you. If you didn’t call me yesterday and invite me over I would be going through this alone. I can’t even imagine what that would be like, I would almost certainly have lost my mind.”
I hug her back, “Don’t worry about it, I’m glad you’re here. You lost something, I grew something, together we are exactly where we started!”
Tom chuckles and leans into me again as I run my fingers through her hair. It’s really nice to finally be close to her, shame it took all this madness for it to happen.
Hoofsteps on tile make us look up to see Tess walk into the kitchen. Tom and I pull apart from our hug and try to act natural. Tess just laughs, “No need to hide anything, you two can hug. But hey, Tom, don’t let me catch you with a hand up my sister’s shirt, mmkay? I’ve seen plenty of guys try to take advantage of a vulnerable girl.”
Tom bites his tongue and I rub my neck, “Yeah... about that. Tess, we sorta woke up with--”
A kick to my shin stops me and Tom finishes my sentence, “--Hooves! I woke up with hooves, it’s just really strange, you know?”
Tess pours some coffee and yawns, uninterested, “Yeah I’ve had those for quite a while. They’re actually not that bad once you get used to them, fairly practical appendages to be honest.”
I glance at Tom and gesture with my eyes to ‘down below’, then gesture at Tess. Tom shakes his head rigorously, he doesn’t want Tess to know. Well, I suppose I can get that, a guy that loses his manhood might feel weak, embarrassed, etc. I suppose it makes sense that guys would never tell anyone about--
“THAT WAS THE BEST NIGHT EVER!” Harry exclaims as he struts into the kitchen, his grin as wild as his hair. “I mean, oh my god, it was so amazing, I think I only slept for like half an hour!”
I facepalm then turn to Tom and mutter the word ‘sorry’.
Tess stirs sugar in her coffee, “Calm down Harry, what happened?”
Harry goes to Tess and puts his hands on both of her shoulders, then bounces up and down in place, “I’m one of you now!”
Tess removes his hands from her. “Meaning?”
Harry stops jumping mid jump and appears to fall to the ground a little slower than physics normally dictates. “What? They didn’t tell you?” Harry points at Tom and I and we both avert our eyes to stare at the floor.
Tess stares at us, “What the hooves--”
Harry cuts her off, “Genders! We all changed to the gender of our respective ponies.” I look up to find Harry behind me, she points at me, “This one is a man!” She then points at Tom, “And this one no longer is!” Harry goes back to her original position next to Tess, then points at herself, “And neither am I anymore!”
Tom grumbles as she sips her coffee, “Thanks for that Harry.”
Tess raises her eyebrows, “Really? You all changed genders overnight? I guess I should have seen that coming, but it’s still crazy to hear. An entire chromosome being changed, wow, that really shows the potency of these changes doesn’t it?”
Harry nods, “It was pretty awesome, I watched the whole thing happen. Then once it finished I wanted to see what it was like, so I decided to take my hand down there and--”
“THAT’S ENOUGH!” I hold up my hand to stop her from giving us any more details.
Harry shakes her head, “That’s what I thought too! But it turns out one hand wasn’t enough. So--”
“He means shut up Harry!!” Tom exclaims. I lean back in surprise, I don’t think I had ever heard Tom yell like that before. I suppose it was justified though, I’m guessing she doesn’t like hearing about the things her new genitalia is made for.
Tess sips her coffee, her face a mixture of disgust and amusement, “Thanks for being enthusiastic Harry, but Tom is right, keep that stuff to yourself.”
Harry glances over at us, “So Tom did you do anything with yours?”
Tom holds up his hand, “First off, no dude, that’s gross. And secondly, even if I did anything, which I didn’t, I would never share the details over breakfast.”
Harry rolls his eyes, “Yeah, sure. How about you Rachel? How’s the rod?”
Before I can answer Tess looks over at me, “Wait, I never really let that sink in. Do you really have a.... eww. That’s so wrong Rachel. A girl with one of those. Urgh.”
Tess shivers and I sigh, “Well, I’m technically not a girl anymore so it’s not that disgusting now is it?”
Tess starts to pour a bowl of cereal, “Yeah, I guess. But I can’t imagine it’s very comfortable to suddenly have one of those after 25 years of being flat down there. Doesn’t it like, get in the way? How can you even put your pants on?”
I roll my eyes, “Half the global population has one, I can manage.”
Tess chuckles to herself, “Yeah, but they wear male clothes designed for it. You’re still dressing like a lady.”
I shift uncomfortably in my seat, “I’ll admit, I can’t fit in my underwear anymore, I really need a pair of...”
Harry’s eyes light up, “Hey, I was thinking the exact opposite this morning! My guy clothes are getting kind of loose, wanna switch clothes?”
I hear Tom at my side, “That’s a really good idea actually.”
I’m not sure I’m comfortable with giving Harry my underwear. I glance sideways at Tom, “Uh, maybe you wanna change clothes with me Tom? I think you’re more my size? Change your boxers for my panties?”
Tom waves her hand, “Thanks for the offer Rachel, but I’m already wearing lady garments down below.”
Tess lowers her cereal spoon, which was halfway to her mouth. “You’re wearing women’s underwear? Uh...Tom?”
Tom looks around, “What? Oh come on, I have lady parts, pretty sure it’s okay for me to wear the associated clothing.”
Tess goes back to her cereal, “True enough. How did you get a pair?”
Harry giggles, “Maybe Tom used to do a little cross dressing on the weekends?”
Tom shrugs, “I had a pair in my closet, they belonged to my old girlfriend. Never thought I would be wearing them, or that they would be this comfortable, but hey, they work.”
I felt a pang of jealously hearing that Tom has an ex, and there were close enough that Tom has her underwear. Well whoever she was, she better not come back and take... well, I guess Tom is female now so that’s not a problem. Hmm, strange to think about how that works.
Harry brings me out of my thoughts, “So, Rachel, looks like it’s just us two in need of an underwear swap! What do you say?”
I look up at Tess, hoping my sister could somehow save me from this outcome. She just shrugs, “It does make sense, go do it I suppose.”
I sigh and stand up to follow Harry out of the room. I first go to my room and grab my clothes bag, then follow Harry down the hall to her room. I very quickly find myself staring at her tail as she moves her hips walking down the hall. It’s weird to think that she has girl parts under there.
We get to her room and I turn to close the door behind me, “Okay, so we should first--” I turn back to face my partner and my sentence stops abruptly. Pinkie is butt naked in front of me, just smiling and bouncing on her hooves.
"Ahhh!" I shield my eyes with my hands. I don’t know how she got undressed that quickly, and I don’t know why she even thought it would even be a good idea to get naked with someone else in the room.
She laughs, “Pfft, you don't have to close your eyes. Well, whatever. So, where are your panties?”
“I... I... umm.” I wanted to call her Harry, but I can’t. After seeing her like that a guys name just won’t come out of my mouth. “Pinkie... why are you naked?”
She giggles, “Calm down, you were a girl once, correct? This is nothing you haven’t seen before. ”
I grit my teeth, still shielding my eyes from the view. “Actually, yes, it is. I've never seen a naked, female, half pony, half human before. And I really have no desire to right now.”
She laughs, “Anthro Pinkie? Come on Rachel, you've seen clop haven't you? You totally have seen 'me' naked before.
I ignore her and blindly reach a hand down to open my bag and toss her a pair of clean panties. "Put those on please."
She picks a pair that already has a hole cut in them for a tail, then she slides them on. “These fit so good!” I open my eyes and see her smile and run her hands across them. "They fit like a glove!"
I shake my head, "That's great, keep them on please."
She looks up at me and tilts her head, “Well?”
“Your turn to change clothes mister.”
I hold out a hand, “Well, give me the boxers, or briefs, whatever.”
She wags a finger at me, “Not yet. You still owe me.” I raise an eyebrow and she points at my pants, “Drop ‘em.”
My eyes go wide, “Pinkie, I’m not wearing any underwear.”
She nods, “Hey, it’s only fair. You saw mine, now let me see yours.”
I hold up a hand, “Oh no, I never agreed to that.”
She rolls her eyes “Well fine, if you wanna be a girl about it, sheesh.” She turns around and holds her hands over her eyes. "Okay, I'm not looking. My bag is by the wall, the boxers shorts are inside."
I take a deep breath and unbutton my pants, then kick them off and immediately grab a pair of boxers from her bag and put them on. "Okay, you can look now."
Pinkie opens her eyes, then looks me up and down and smiles. “Don't break the seams on those. You do realize that even with boxers you won’t be able to fit that thing inside your pants when you get it excited.”
I sigh, I should probably ask her about that, she must know how guys normally get rid of these urges. Maybe she can tell me how guys control their 'excitement'? I turn towards her, “Yeah, about that. Pinkie, can you help me deal with these urges somehow?”
A slow smile creeps across her face, “I didn't know you thought about me like that Rachel...”
I blink, then make the connection and throw a pair of boxer shorts at her in frustration. I blush, “Oh, come on Pinkie that’s not what I meant!” I shake my head to clear the disturbing thoughts, then look back at her, “I meant advice, how do guys normally deal with these things? I can’t make it go away.”
Pinkie tosses the underwear back at me and smirks, “Such is the life of a guy. You will learn that thing has a mind of it’s own. You can’t really control it.”
I glare at her, “You can’t be serious, there has to be a way to make it go down.”
She shrugs, “Well just try to ignore it for a few minutes until it calms itself down, but it will always come back in a little while. There's really not much you can do to permanently keep it down there.”
I was afraid of that. I close my eyes and sigh sadly at the realization, “Fuck me.”
A few seconds pass as my eyes are closed and I hear Pinkie say, “Oh... okay?”
Wait, what? What is she responding to? I open my eyes and my breath gets caught in my throat. Pinkie is halfway through pulling off her underwear. I wave my hands, "Ah, no, stop! Stop it! That's not what I meant!"
Pinkie laughs and dresses herself again, “Haha, gotcha! I just wanted to see your reaction. You totally set me up for that one.”
I shake my head, ”Pinkie, you’re crazy.” Part of me is relieved it was all a ‘joke’, but part of me is still thinking about how she looked. Gah, get out of my head dirty thoughts!
She puts on the rest of her clothes, “Oh, silly Shining Armor, you totally could have had me right there if you wanted.”
I glance at her, “You said it was a joke.”
She ignores my question, “I hope you don’t hesitate with Tom, she’s the one you really want, right?”
I blush, “Hey, come on, I’m not trying to get with Tom! We’re just friends, that’s all.” I’m not sure if that’s true, but I can’t admit my actual feelings for Tom to someone like Pinkie. Who knows what she would do with that knowledge?
She grins, surprisingly seductively, “Oh really? You’re not with Tom? So you’re single then? That’s fantastic...”
I shake my head, “Don't even think about it Pinkie. I'm not going to do anything like that.”
She winks at me and moves into the hallway, "You gotta learn to live a little Shining!" I watch her tail swish back and forth and then look down at myself and shake my head. What has gotten into that mare?
I eventually finish getting dressed using the new underwear. All in all, It’s quite a bit more comfortable than before, and I make my way back to the kitchen to see Tom and Tess at the table. Surprisingly, Pinkie is nowhere to be found even though she left the room before I did.
Tess is talking quietly to Tom as I walk in, “...you shouldn’t have to worry about that, just be sure to wash--” Tess stops her sentence as she sees me walk in. “Oh... hey Rachel.”
I squint at them, “What are you two talking about?”
Tom blushes and scoots her chair away from Tess. “Nothing.”
Tess shrugs, “Girl stuff, don’t worry about it.”
I feel my heart drop, “What? Come on! I’m not allowed to take part in girl talk anymore?”
“No, you’re not.” Tess responds matter of factly,
I bite my tongue, this sucks. I... wait a second. I bite my tongue again, something feels off. “Tess, do your teeth feel different at all?”
“Teeth? Hmm? You tell me.” She faces me and bares her teeth, I lean forward and inspect them, realizing they no longer match a human’s.
I shake my head, “Yeah, you’ve got herbivore teeth Tess. Go figure.”
She shrugs, uninterested, “My hips are really changing too, and is anyone else getting patches of fur? I got these purple fur streaks all over my legs.”
I nod slowly and pull up a chair. Tom laughs at the absurdity of it all, “How are you so calm about this Tess? You’re the scientist, shouldn’t you be sitting down somewhere surrounded by mirrors and measuring everything and taking notes on every little change?”
Tess holds up her hands, “This is beyond science, it’s magic or something. Whatever it is, there’s no use trying to apply science to it. Doing so would be like trying grab a shadow with your hands, you will just drive yourself to insanity if you try.”
“Speaking of hands...” I glance down at mine, realizing I will be losing them.
Tess frowns, “Yeah, we don’t have much time on those. Check your middle fingernail, not to mention the lack of dexterity we’re getting. Their outlook doesn’t look good.”
Tom stares straight ahead, “This sucks.”
I pat him on the back, “Hey, that’s what magic is for right? We should be fine without hands, just gotta practice our telekinesis. Be glad you’re a unicorn, I can’t imagine how other types of ponies get by.”
Tess looks around for the three ring binder, “Speaking of magic, we should get back to looking at that show bible. We might find a few new spells to use. I can’t imagine any of them will fix this, but it might give us some quality of life improvements.”
I scratch my head, “I thought the plan was to go to Portland and get your old pony stuff.”
She nods, “Well yeah, but that can wait. Let’s just stay here for a bit and look through this. We can talk some more too.”
I hear hoofsteps and turn to see Pinkie finally show up in the kitchen. She appears to be eating an entire box of chocolate for breakfast, which on second thought doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. She takes one look at the three of us sitting in the kitchen and she rolls her eyes, “Oh come on, more talking? Really? Can we please move onto the next part?”
I give her a blank stare, “What next part?”
She groans, ”Look at how long we’ve been here, and we haven’t gotten past breakfast! Come on, we have stuff to do out there, move it along already!”
The three of us exchange looks. I can tell Tess is about to ask her to clarify what she means, but I hold up my hand to stop her. I know that it’s best not to question the logic of the pink one. “Pinkie has a point... I guess. Let’s just pack up the rest of breakfast and eat in the car. Portland is a few hours away, right?”
“Yeah, about three hours without traffic.” Tom stands up and grabs her car keys, “Let’s get going, hopefully we can get back here before we go full pony.”
The car ride passes by quickly, and we make a stop right outside Portland to grab an early lunch. Not wanting to walk inside any restaurants looking like this, we get in the drive through at McDonalds. I start to contemplate which burger I want, and if I can even still eat a burger with my new teeth. Before I can decide, Tom rolls down the window and orders for all four of us, “We’d like... eight Ceasar salads please.”
Pinkie kicks the back of Tom’s chair, “I don’t wanna salad!”
Tess glances back, “Pinkie, your teeth have changed, and probably so has most of your digestive system. You can’t eat meat.”
The speaker confirms the order with Tom. “Eight Caesar salads, will that be all ma’am?”
Pinkie kicks Tom’s chair again, who sighs then turns back to the speaker, “Also, can we have, umm... four large fries and... uh.. some ice cream?”
“Yay! Ice cream!” Pinkie claps her hands excitedly.
I elbow her in the side, “Pinkie, you’re 25 years old, can you at least try to act mature?”
Her ears droop a little, “Come on Rachel, I’m trying to play the role of Pinkie...”
Tom drives the car up the window and pays while I try to reason with the pink hair, “Look, you’re becoming far more like Pinkie than you realize. You don’t have to accelerate it any more than it already is. Try and retain some resemblance of Harry? Okay?”
She rolls her eyes, “Fine... I still want that ice cream though.”
The food starts to get handed back and I wolf down my fries and start on my two salads. Normally, I’m not a big lettuce guy, but these actually are pretty tasty. I’m liking these new teeth too, the salad is just so juicy as I chomp through the leaves. I reach for more only to realize that both of my salad bowls are empty already. I look back towards the front, “Uh, do we have any more?”
Tess looks back, “You’re done already? Jeez, well here I guess you can have Pinkie’s salads since apparently she’s not a herbivore...”
I greedily take the two extra salads and start devouring them. “Thanks, I guess you could say I was as hungry as a--”
Tess facepalms, “Don’t say it.”
I grin, but say nothing, and a few minutes later we arrive at the storage facility.
“You don’t by chance still have the key, do you?” Tom asks as we make our way down to her area. Thankfully there were no humans around, the storage area was just a series of barely lit corridors.
Tess shakes her head, “My unit doesn’t use a key, it’s just a number lock. The combination to open it is my birthday.”
We arrive there and I enter the code for her, “Gotta love May 1st...”
The lock clicks open and Tom speaks up, “Wait a second. Your birthday is on May 1st Tess?”
Pinkie joins the conversation, “Yeppers, all three of us have the same birthday! Rachel, Tess, and Harry! Birthday buddies for life!”
Tom nods slowly, “Make that four, I’m also 25 and was born on May 1st. Man, the four of us share the exact same birthday? That’s an odd coincidence.”
I exchange worried looks with Tess, we both knew in our current situation there is no such thing as a coincidence. I open the door to her area and am greeted with dozens of dusty boxes. “Tess, you wouldn’t by chance know which box your pony stuff is in, would you?”
Tess sighs, “I wish, they could be anywhere.” She pauses to scratch her back, then suddenly stops and looks at me. “Um, Rachel, can you look at my back under my shirt?”
Confused, I move to her and peek under the back of her shirt. My eyes go wide, “So, yeah, you’re sort of starting to grow wings Tess. Congratulations by the way, looks like you’re a princess.”
Pinkie groans, “Oh come on, Tess has wings? That’s so lame.”
Tom nods, “Yeah, I can imagine, Tess gets a horn and wings and you don’t have either. I guess life just isn’t fair Pinkie.”
Pinkie looks at Tom, “What, no I don’t care about that. I’m just mad alicorn Twilight is canon. Seriously now.”
I facepalm, acutely aware that my facial structure appears to be different than it was this morning. I’m growing a pony snout aren’t I? I grit my teeth and turn back to the others, “Look, Twilight has wings, great, let’s get back to work here. This is important guys, we need to find any and all pony stuff in these boxes if we want to get some answers.”
Tess nods, “My brother’s right, we don’t have much time. Start searching.” Her horn glows and a half dozen boxes from the back are slowly lifted over our heads and set outside the door, giving Pinkie and Tom access to them. Meanwhile Tess and I enter the room and start going through the boxes in the front.
Every so often one of us would find something. A crayon drawing of a pony in the FiM style, a G3 pony painted to look like one of the ones from G4, there is even a watercolor painting of Canterlot. Tess smiles as she sees that one, “First grade art class, I got an A on it. I never realized it looks like Canterlot from the show...”
About an hour later and we are finished. Arrayed out in front of Tess are close to fifty varied objects that all appear to be related to Friendship is Magic. There are makeshift figures of the mane six, as well as pictures of all of their cutie marks (drawn in a notebook Tess said she used in second grade). We decide to sort all the pony stuff by the year it was made, and in doing so we are able to spot the oldest pony thing Tess made, as well as the newest.
The oldest item is a crayon drawing of a pair of yellow eyes with red, unevenly sized pupils that Tess made when she was three years old. Pinkie insists it’s a picture of Discord’s eyes, but the rest of us are a bit dubious. On the other end of the spectrum, the last pony reference Tess ever made is a stunningly accurate colored pencil drawing of her cutie mark. The red and purple drawing of the star was found on the back of her 5th grade math notebook, meaning Tess was 10 years old when it was made. There are no other pony sketches or toys made after that date.
I stretch, we had been at this for quite some time and my hips are really starting to protest standing upright. Now that I look at myself I realize I have patches of fur spreading down my arms too, damn, I should have worn a long sleeve shirt. “That’s everything Tess, are you remembering things now?”
She moves some stuff around and stares at certain things, “I don’t remember any of the old, old stuff. Like these sketches I made when I was three, these are totally alien to me. I suppose that’s normal though, at that age the brain hasn’t yet developed the Papez circuit of the hippocampus which allows us to form long term memories...”
I get impatient with her, “Forget the psychology lessons Tess, come on, we’re at a dead end here. We need some other clues, some trail to follow, something.”
She picks up the colored pencil sketch of her cutie mark, the last pony reference she ever made. “I do remember making this, I was bored in study hall because I already did my homework like two days prior. I just sort of zoned out and let my hand wander, and then I looked down and saw this star. I remember thinking it was really cool at the time... but that’s all it meant to me. Just some cool star I made as a doodle. It had no meaning, I didn’t even recognize it was the same as Twilight’s when that cartoon came out half a decade later.”
Tess’s eyes get watery and she takes a sad sigh, “I’m sorry guys... I got nothing. None of these items really mean anything to me. I remember making some of them, but I don’t remember why. It’s not triggering any flashback, there are no memories coming back... just nothing.”
Pinkie’s ears drop, “So what do we do now? How do we change back, or how do we learn what caused all of this?”
I frown and answer for Tess, who is on the verge of tears. “Pinkie, we’re out of clues and we only have a few hours before Tess and I start walking on all fours. This was our last shot at finding some answers, and it’s a dead end. We’re stuck, we just don’t know what to do anymore.”