Pet couldn’t remember the last time she had ever been so happy. She was with Mommy again, and she was happy.
They were together again, just like they should have always been. Mommy’s horn was glowing, and Pet could feel the wonderfully warm tingling of Mommy’s magic. It always made her feel better. It let her forget all the hurt.
They were playing together and helping themselves to boxes of chocolates, like the kind Chivalry had given her after he first found her. She mentioned this to her mommy and she laughed. Pet loved it when Mommy laughed like that. It was the kind of happy sound she had heard at the dinner table with Chivalry’s family.
But dinner now felt like it had been a dream, this was real and Pet couldn’t have been happier. Well, except if maybe Laurel and Waffle Cone were with her and Mommy.
“Oh come now Pet. Surely you don’t need them. After all...” She leaned in and playfully nuzzled her daughter. “You have me. Since when did you ever need more than that?”
Pet didn’t have an answer to that. It made her think when Mommy had said something similar and gotten angry at her. As she did so, the bright colors of the pastel clouds melted away to reveal her old room in the hive. Mommy was still with her, but her magic wasn’t. It was the second day Mommy had been home after long trip.
“Oh, I remember this day, my Pet,” Mommy said as she walked to the small carpet in one corner that served as Pet’s bed. Besides the royal bed that Mommy only used when she wanted a late night “snack”, the room was completely bare save the carpet.
With a knowing smile, Mommy used her magic to toss the threadbare thing away revealing Pet’s labors of several weeks. The perhaps four square feet area was completely covered in drawings. Scratches and doodles etched into the stone floor using what must have been the broken tips of several stalagmites. They were a child’s drawings. There were several ponies and changelings, all with large smiles, and what must have been her and Pet. The largest drawing however, featured in the center, was what appeared to be Pet being embraced by another pony as they watched a large white ball in what must have been clouds.
It took Chrysalis a moment to realize this must have been what Pet imagined the sun looked like. The drawing was actually a fairly close approximation, considering the fact that Pet had never seen the sun. The changeling queen’s eyes flickered over the equine shape next to her pet in the drawing.
“Who is this?”
And why is this picture in the center? Why are you watching the sun set? She did not however voice these thoughts out loud. If she bombarded the simple minded earth pony with questions she would simply cower before her.
“Oh she’s like me, Mommy! Special, like you’ve always said I was.” Pet said excitedly. She was overjoyed, she had thought Mommy would be angry, or maybe try and stop her from drawing. “Do you like it? We’re watching the sunrise, I heard one of the guards outside say that’s what ponies that like each other do sometimes.”
“Pet… why isn’t this me?” Chrysalis was unsure as to why she cared. Pet was nothing but a food source. Wasn’t she? Surely she, the queen of the changelings, wasn’t jealous of a lonely filly’s drawing! Pet had never seen another pony, let alone met one. But she could see the way Pet looked at her drawings, the small shine in her eyes. She loved drawing, and Chrysalis resolved that her love was her’s alone.
Pet was still talking about her drawings when Chrysalis stamped on the first one, dragging her hoof across it.
Mommy took her time, destroying Pet’s hope. Growing more and more furious as she did so.
“Mommy! Mommy please! Don’t!”
She didn’t stop until there was but one picture remaining. It was of Pet and a distinctly changeling-esque figure holding hooves. After a moments hesitation, and heedless of Pet’s cries, she destroyed that one as well. She then turned to Pet, a veritable fire in her eyes.
Pet backed away slowly; she had been “punished” by Mommy before.
“Can we go back to eating chocolates now?”
“Oh? Now you wish for my company? Perhaps you would prefer your friend Chivalry? Or your ‘new mother’!”
A loud banging could be heard against the door along with a heavily distorted voice.
“I saw one, lads!” Whatever monster was outside the door threw itself against it again, the sturdy reinforced door giving slightly.
In a flash of green fire, Mommy was replaced by some cruel parody of Minty Green. Her horn long and pitted like Chrysalis’s, and her eyes alight with fire.
“Come here my Pet!” She smiled, revealing rows of jagged teeth.
Pet was cornered; she hadn’t even realized she was in a corner. The door was the only way out.. She scrambled for it, slipping between the legs of the crazed Minty. Then the door practically fell down as whatever was outside it gave it a solid kick.
In stormed a golden-clad monster, spikes studded its changeling blood smeared armor, fire flying from its mouth. It and the Minty monster pounced on Pet, who screamed as she was about to die. Just before the monsters hit, a dark blue hoof tore through the wall and yanked her from the room, still screaming. Before she could see whose hoof it was, Pet became fully conscious to Laurel’s terrified face, mere inches from her own.
“Waffle! Get Mom and Dad now!”
“It’s okay Pet, everything is going to be fine. It was just a dream, nothing but a dream.”
Laurel held her close, and Pet cried into her soft chest. She didn’t want to tell her what she had seen.
“It was only a dream.”
Pet hoped she was right, but it had felt so real. She looked into Laurel’s eyes, so full of concern, and took several deep breaths.
“Nothing but a bad dream, okay?”
The door opened, the dark form of Chivalry in the hallway.
“I-I saw Mommy.” Pet managed to stammer out. Saying it out loud didn’t help. It was like now that it was out in the open, everyone would feel bad and not just her. She didn’t want them to feel bad.
“You saw your mother?” A soft voice asked from the now lit hallway. Framed within it was Minty and Chivalry, with Waffle Cone close behind.
Pet stifled a gasp by seeking refuge in Laurel’s embrace. She didn't want them to see, she didn't want them to know how scared she was. Her sleep addled brain still swam with the images of that… that thing that looked like Minty from her dream.
“Please don’t…. stay away.” She mumbled into Laurel’s fur.
“Pet, please let us help you.” Chivalry came forward and placed a comforting hoof on Pet’s shoulder. “You need to talk to us, tell us what’s wrong.”
“You… I-I can’t.” She tried to hide her face, trying to hide her tears. She could really have used some of Mommy’s magic right about then.
“Then until you can, we’re here.” He hugged her, and she struggled. After a few moments she found herself surrounded by almost the entire family in one giant hug, resistance was futile. All of them giving small words of comfort, and for perhaps the first time since leaving the hive the painful sensation in her stomach lessened.