I slowly opened my eyes to see the ceiling of some kind of room. As I tried to sit up, a bolt of searing pain shot through my head, causing me to reflexively grip my skull in a futile attempt to alleviate the agony. Something felt like a line of bandages circled around my head, and I realized that I was lying in a soft, queen-sized bed with bandages covering my shirtless chest. The work seemed to be professionally done, given how neat and comfortable it felt. I couldn’t even feel the pain from before as I remembered what had happened.
Trying to find my shirt and jacket, I looked around, spotting a fireplace and a few pieces of furniture you might typically associate with a bedroom like a bookshelf, a closet, and a desk. After a few seconds of inspection, I could assume that I was in some sort of cottage given the simplicity of it. What caught my curiosity was when I spotted some birdhouses. I even saw a mouse hole in the corner by the bed. Who owned this cottage? Was he or she some kind of a crazy tree-hugger or hippy?
I removed myself from the covers and I tried to stand up, only to stumble a bit from the pain in my chest. Looking around, I saw my bloodstained black shirt and my dark blue jacket with a small hole in it. They were both covered in dirt as they lay on top of a chest in front of the bed which I wasn’t able to see before. Gingerly shrugging them on, I decided to go down the stairs that I saw. As I began walking down slowly, I could hear a conversation that sounded somewhat heated.
“—No. I’m telling you not to keep that thing here,” a tomboyish, and somewhat agitated female voice could be heard even from my position.
“But… he’s hurt, and I can’t let the poor thing wander around mindlessly, especially in the Everfree Forest,” a more feminine and soft voice replied timidly.
“That’s the thing!” shouted the tomboyish voice once more, “I understand if you take home some cats, or dogs, or maybe even some marsupials and lemurs from there, but that thing is… different. No one knows what it is. Even Twilight didn’t have the slightest clue.”
I stopped my descent and mulled over her words. Who is she calling ‘That Thing’? Is it me they’re talking about?” I decided to eavesdrop some more to get some information.
“Rainbow Dash is right. We can’t keep that creature here. Who knows what that creature can or might do to Ponyville?” a third female voice jumped in. After a few moment of silence, it continued, “I’ve sent a letter to Princess Celestia with a brief description of this creature that hasn’t been mentioned in any books I have read. I can’t allow the possibility of a threat to Ponyville or Equestria.”
“Whoa, hold on a minute there, sugarcube,” said a voice with a thick Southern accent. There are four girls down there?! Ponyville? Equestria? Princess? What are these people talking about?! I thought to myself as I kept listening. “Don’t you think yer acting a mite bit hasty? Ah mean come on! Don’t ya see how bad it was when she found it?”
“I’m going to have to agree with Applejack. I think the six of us can handle it like any other problem we usually run into,” said a voice that sounded like one of those stereotypical, rich, upper-class nobles in her late forties that I had seen on TV.
“Hey, where’s Pinkie?” the tomboyish voice asked.
“HEY!” a sudden loud shout rang out from behind me. I quickly turned to look behind me, and the sight my eyes baffled me as I caught sight of was almost enough to shut my brain down. It was a little pink horse with curly hair like on those cheap toys. It had a wide grin plastered on its mouth, and its blue eyes stared at me.
“What the fuck!” I shouted, baffled by the sight in front of me. I tried to backing off a bit to keep the distance to the creature.
Knowing that my ability to eavesdrop had all but been eliminated, I dashed downstairs just to see a living room filled with five more little horses like the one who had suddenly appeared behind me. Even worse, I noticed two of them had wings.
“A pegasus?” I asked myself stunned, almost unable to believe that a creature straight out of Greek mythology was standing before me.
Just when I thought nothing could be crazier, I saw a horn protruding out of another two horses. “And unicorns?!” I squeezed my head with my hands, skull throbbing as I tried desperately to deny what I had just seen.
“I must have gone crazy!” I yelled to myself.
“Um, Are you alright?” the horse with a Stetson hat asked me, sounding almost concerned.
“You… Talking… Horses…?”
“Excuse me, sir,” said the horse with the lady-like voice, looking affronted. Defensively, she continued “We are all ponies of good reputation, so please refrain from referring to us as—”
“Horse Rarity. He said horse. Not what you’re thinking right now,” said the floating, flapping horse.
“Oh…” Clearing her throat, she apologized. “I am sorry, but that name isn’t really a popular term amongst us as it refers to one who has a degrading job. Please, call us ponies. That way we won’t mishear you again.”
Ponies? Am I in a little girl’s dream or something? What’s going on?!
“Um sir,” called the yellow pegasus trying to get my attention. I looked her over. Somehow, she seems familiar. “I suggest you to back to bed and rest. Your wounds are still healing.”
“Fluttershy! Remember what I just said earlier?” said the cyan pegasus.
“I know,” said the yellow pegasus meekly, “But I just can’t let him go in that state.”
“You can and you should! Who knows what could happen if he is still here?”
“Rainbow!” yelled the other unicorn. Wait… she is not unicorn. She has wings and horn. What is she? “Please sir… please remain here until the princess arrive.” There was a brief pause as she cautiously eyed me before she continued, “Um… You are a sir, right? I mean, judging by your posture, facial features, and your voice, I would assume you’re a male. But if you aren’t, then it will be awkward… hehe.” She giggled awkwardly.
I couldn’t take it anymore. Just seeing pastel-coloured ponies in one room wasn’t enough to wreck my mind. Hearing a full conversation between them was too much for my already-throbbing-in-pain brain.
I ran to the nearest door, almost knocking down everything in my way. My wish was granted since it was the door to outside. I ran and I ran, keeping my pumping legs in the track on the ground below me. I was fervently hoping to run into someone to explain to me what the hell was going on. Even if it was someone to tell me I was in some sick prank show on TV, or even just someone informing me that I was crazy would have been enough as long as it was another human.
Instead, I saw a small village with old medieval architecture and ponies… lots of ponies. They were either strolling around the street, or sitting down on the benches or even standing behind the stalls and shouting their goods as though the signs above their heads weren’t enough to tell others what goods they were selling.
I screeched to stop as I arrived into what seemed to be the town center. Everything surrounding me was so strange. I had never seen anything like this before. The talking ponies, the civilization, the environment. Hell, I didn’t even see any indication of technology. Where are the cars? Where are the streets lamps? Where the fuck am I?
I feel the stares of all the ponies gawking at me like I’m a failed attempt in human evolution being shown in a freak show.
Out of nowhere, a sudden bright light flashed before me. After it had died down, I opened my eyes and removed my hand that had covered my eyes on instinct. Standing right in front of me, I saw a tall white horse with long spear-like horn jutting out of its forehead. It possessed pair of wings that were so large seemed so out of proportion with its body as it flared them out, its rainbow mane and tail flowing gracefully. With the crown and some kind of regalia, I guessed that this was the princess those ponies talked about.
Like an overheated CPU, the pain in my head became unbearable again as I lost consciousness and needed to be rebooted once more like a sissy.
“Do you know what he is… or rather who he is, Princess?” I remembered this voice belonged to the other unicorn, the one that didn’t sound posh as it rang into my ears the moment I regained consciousness.
“I’m sorry Twilight, but my knowledge of this creature is as little as yours,” said the motherly voice, disappointment lingering in its tone. “The spell I’ve cast should restore his physical health and restore his strength, so we can ask him a few questions regarding his sudden appearance here in Ponyville.”
I opened my eyes to see that I was back in a bed, but right now I was surrounded by the six pastel-coloured ponies and one huge horse in front of me.
“First of all, I welcome you to Ponyville, one of the towns in Equestria. I am Princess Celestia, one of the rulers of Equestria and the keeper of the sun you bask in.” The horse introduces herself with a royal tone that it would catch and hold the attention of her audience, but it was not enough to make you feel nervous. After a moment, she said, “And now, explain to us as to who are you?”
“My name is…” I started but I couldn’t finish. Since so many people have simplified the more deep philosophical question of “Who are you?” to “What’s your name?” the first thing I can think of is to say my name, but I couldn’t…. I didn’t even know what it was. “I don’t remember my name,” I said.
I don’t know why but I can remember everything, from my recent past to what she had just said. I just couldn’t remember what I was called.
“What do you mean you can remember?” asked the cyan pegasus.
“No. I still remember everything except my name,” I said.
“Hmm, I think it’s a selective memory loss. I never heard of any case that somepony forgets his or her name before,” mused the lavender pegacorn.
“Very well.” The big white horse seemed to accept that explanation. “Then tell us everything you know.”
“What color do you like? Or what flavour cake would you like for your welcoming party? Or what music did you like? Or how old are you, so I’ll know how many candles I need to put on the cake. Wait, that’s for a birthday party, silly, not a welcoming party. But tell me when you were born! I hope it’s not tomorrow; preparing a party in one night isn’t as fun as enjoying it, you know. There was one time I had to prepare a party for somepony, and I needed to hurry because I just had one night, but I forgot he had diabetes, so I forgot to make a sugarless cake, and then—” The pink pony suddenly barraged me with questions I couldn’t think to try and answer.
Stuffing her hoof into the pink one’s mouth to shut her up, the orange pony with the Stetson hat asked, “Starting of what you are, maybe?”
“Okay,” I started, “First of, I’m a hu— what the fuck!”
Suddenly, a paper clip and a feather was wrapped by a purplish aura and levitated, stopping me from explaining myself further.
“What is that?!” I pointed to the things with a trembling hand.
“Oh, this?” the lavender pegacorn asked, looking at the clipboard. I nodded a little. “This is a clipboard, sir, since I need to write everything you sa—“
“No, dammit. I mean how it is floating by itself?!” I asked angrily, seeing the pitying look she was giving me. She probably thought I didn’t know what a clipboard was.
“Oh you mean levitation? It’s quite simple, sir. By channelling our magic through our horn, we unicorns can manipulate our surroundings as long as that thing is within our reach and our sight. Though the heavier the object, the more power we need to lift it since we need to fight the force of gravity…”
As the purple pegacorn rambled on, I heard the rainbow-maned pegasus murmured “Neeerrrrddd,” followed by giggles of the other ponies. When I looked up to the princess, I found her just looking at me stoically, apparently deciding to do nothing to intervene in the conversation.
“…and that is how we levitate with our horn.”
“Magic?” I muttered.
“Yes sir… Can you show us your magic?”
The purple nerd nodded, followed by the others. The princess stayed the same.
“I can’t,” I said.
“But, I thought it was only your name that got loss from the amnesia?”
“That’s how we are, alright!” I unconsciously snarled at them, making them retract their head, their ears flattening against their skulls. “We humans can’t do magic.” I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. “Don’t you think you forgot something before you go about asking someone questions?”
Confused for a few moments before realizing what she had omitted, the purple one said, “Oh my, I’m sorry. I got caught up trying to learn something from another species that I forgot something as simple as manner— “A loud cough from the orange pony interrupted her as she began to ramble again. “Yes, so starting from your left, let me introduce you to Applejack, a farmer.”
She was the one with Stetson hat and orange coat, not in possession of a pair of wings or a horn. I could see her green eyes looking back at me from her freckled face as she said “Howdy, pardner! Name’s Applejack, one of the proud members of the Apple Family and the owner of Sweet Apple Acres. Nice to meet you!”
“And then here is Rarity, a fashion designer.”
The white unicorn played with her purplish curly hair, looking at him with narrowed eyes, “Hello, I’m Rarity. I own the Carousel Boutique, and I am a lady, so kindly refrain from referring to me as a horse ever again, thank you very much. Thankfully, we were indoors at the time, so no damage was done.”
“Geez, Rarity, are you still on that?”
“Next is-” the purple unicorn increased her tone to keep the conversation on track “-me, Twilight Sparkle. You can call me Twilight if you want. I was a unicorn like Rarity, but with the Princess’ intervention, I was turned into an alicorn, a princess—”
“And a nerd,” the cyan pegasus cut her off.
“Would you stop it with the nerd?!” the nerdy alicorn growled.
“I am also the librarian of Ponyville, which is where we are right now,” she said after taking a deep breath. “You already know Princess Celestia, the ruler of Equestria and the most powerful alicorn in this world.
“Next we have the clown, Rainbow Dash.”
“Hey!” the cyan pegasus with rainbow mane objected. “Let me introduce myself. The name’s Rainbow Dash. I am the fastest pegasus that has ever lived and the only one who can pull of Sonic Rainboom. I’m also the weather captain of Ponyville and the next captain of Wonderbolt,” she said, somersaulting in the air.
“Are you done?” Twilight asked dryly. Getting a nod, she continued. “Next we have Pinkie Pie.” She pointed a hoof to the pony who had originally assaulted him.
“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie. I worked at Sugarcube Corner, I like to party, and I’m so excited to talk to you about everything! Let’s see… last week, when I walked by past the lake house, I saw—”
“Pinkie!” the ponies called in unison.
“I thought we already agreed to never discuss that matter again.” said Rarity in rather annoyed tone, “Especially in front of Princess Celestia herself.”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, I forgot,” Pinkie Pie apologized and grinned sheepishly.
“And last but certainly not the least is Fluttershy!” cheered Twilight. “She’s the one who found you, treated you, and let you sleep in her bed.”
“Um, Twilight… it’s not a big deal.”
“Come on Fluttershy. At least as his saviour, you need to introduce yourself.”
“Um… okay,” whispered Fluttershy. “My name is Fluttershy and… I can’t do this.”
“What?” I leaned over to hear her clearer, but the pain from before rose again. Wincing, I put my right hand to the wound I had in my chest, hoping it would somehow decrease the pain.
“Oh my,” the meek yellow pegasus muttered, “You shouldn’t strain yourself.”
“It should’ve been healed by the spell Princess Celestia used,” Twilight said.
“Tell me,” the princess finally spoke up, “where did you get that wound?”
“I get this from my world. When I was dying.” I started to think that this world was some kind of hell or heaven, or some purgatory for the souls in denial and somehow I got here by some mistake. Or maybe I’m not crazy, and this is a real place in a real universe and… somehow she could help me.
“Say,” I said, “you’re the most powerful being in this world right?” When she didn’t react, I continued, “I just want to ask: can you send me home to Earth?”
Silence filled the air after I made my request to be sent home. I don’t know how, but if there was someone who can, she must be it. She must be the one who knew how.
“I’m sorry… but I can’t,” replied the princess, an undercurrent of sadness in her voice.
“Why not?” I asked her. “She said you’re the most powerful here; can’t you just use your magic so I won’t be wasting my time in this freaky world filled by talking horses?!”
I felt my control over my temper fraying every second I kept talking with these ponies. Call me xenophobic, I don’t care. I just felt like I couldn’t live in this sort of weird and strange world. I want to go back, to the place I hate but had been comfortable with.
“Because the spell required to send a creature across different dimensions needs that being to possess the essence of the Elements of Harmony. If we cast it on you, instead of sending you back home, I’m afraid you will be turned into a stone, lost in the oblivion, or worse,” the princess explained, seemingly unperturbed by my outburst.
“But, Princess, I thought those things would only happen if we used it on somepony too corrupted or disharmonized? Or could it be?” Twilight tapered off, lost in thought.
“Yes, I’m afraid so, Twilight. I can sense his very being is in disharmony,” the princess answered.
“Wait wait wait, hold on a minute. Are you are telling me that I’m stuck here?” I asked in disbelief.
All the ponies averted their eyes from mine, either looking to the floor or to the pony beside her, no one saying anything for a few seconds.
“Oh no, no no no, you can’t do this to me. I need to go back, continue my normal life, not here, not in this world.” My home… was not perfect. But I had made so many memories there with my parents and my childhood friends. For better or worse, my home was there… not here.
“Wait!” the princess suddenly spoke up, her head swivelling slightly. “Yes, I can feel it. It is faint, but it’s there! There is one way to do it, to send you back home. But I need your cooperation because it will not be me, but you who will decide the success of this attempt.”
“What do you mean? Spit it out!”
“Somehow, I doubt your kind is as bad as you might appear to be to some ponies.” I kept looking, not knowing what to say to that. The princess moved closer to my right side, slipping between Pinkie and Fluttershy. Her hoof reached to my chest and continued “Something, or someone, made you like this, made you lose your harmony. Forced you to conceal it and locked it away inside you.”
After I swatted her hoof from my chest, she pointed her hoof to Fluttershy and said, “I know what we should do, or rather, what should Fluttershy do.”
“H-huh? M-me? But what can I capable of to do that, I’m not even an expert in magic,” Fluttershy quietly questioned her princess.
“Remember when I said he is disharmonized?” Fluttershy weakly nodded. “We need him to change or return to his own true self until the only that is out of place is where he belongs. Fluttershy, I, Princess Celestia of Equestria, hereby request that you aid in reforming this human, as you did with Discord.”
“What!” the six other ponies shouted.