A trip to the spa is something I’ve never done before back on earth. The bakery I worked at paid me enough to survive and have the occasional little trip to the theater, but that was it. Going to the spa was something I could never have done. Leah always liked it though. And every single time she went she somehow appeared even more sexy than before. Her cheeks looked even more defined, and her hair was so soft.
All of that put together meant that whenever she visited me after a spa treatment, she didn’t leave my apartment for at least a full day. The neighbors complained to my landlord about the loud noises every time. But I never cared.
Though I doubt that I’ll have as lovely a night tonight as I would have back on Earth. I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy my time at the spa, but there’s no chance of such a, well, ‘happy ending’ shall we say.
Now that brings another question. How can I get the happy ending I want of getting back home? Celestia should be able to help me. If anypony can she can. And by G-d she better if she doesn’t want negative consequences.
“Have you ever been to a spa before, Micah?”
I look down at Skittles who is with the rest of the group near the door leading outside.
“Nope. Back at h-home they cost t-too much for me to ever en-enjoy them,” I say as Redheart and I walk towards them.
Rarity looks at me with wide eyes and an open mouth. “What?! Never gone to a spa? Micah darling, you have been missing out!”
“I won’t have t-to strip when we get th-there for the massage will I? I’m not about t-to let even more ponies see m-me in the buff,” I say as I look at Skittles and Redheart.
“What’re you looking at me for? That was an accident!” Skittles says adamantly. “I’d never do it on purpose.”
I think I notice Redheart holding back a chuckle for a moment. “Yeah, sure, whatever makes you feel better Rainbow,” she says.
I really hope that Redheart and Skittles don’t act like this at the spa. I’m not in the mood for that kind of crap.
Twilight breaks the silence by saying, “Well everypony, let’s go. Time for the spa!”
With everypony smiling, we leave the boutique. Rarity goes faster than anypony else as she seems giddy at the prospect of going to the spa again. Redheart and Skittles meanwhile stay close by me while giving an occasional scathing glare at a few ponies that give me a bad look.
“Some ponies don’t know how to mind their own business,” Skittles says as she moves close enough to me that we touch.
“Ponyville has a bad habit of not liking anything new. But they should change eventually,” Redheart says.
“I h-hope you’re right,” I say as I look about the many ponies looking at our group.
“I wouldn’t worry so much. Besides, we’ll be at the spa in a bit. Aloe and Lotus shouldn’t mind you at all Micah. They’re strictly business.” Twilight says with a grin as we turn a corner in the road.
Rarity smiles widely the moment we do that, nearly letting out a squeal.
“Yes! We’re here! Come Micah, time for your first spa treatment!” Rarity says with glee as her horn begins to shine.
“Rarity why is your h-horn shini-WHOA!”
Before I have the chance to even finish a second Rarity grabs me with her magic and brings me with swift speed into the entrance of the spa. I can hear the other ponies voicing their disagreement with her tactic outside but she doesn’t listen to any of them.
“Hello! My friends and I are here for our appointment. Oh, and can we squeeze in one extra? We have an unexpected guest,” Rarity says to the two ponies who I presume own this place.
The ponies are both rather fashionable looking mares. One of them is pink with a blue mane, the other having the opposite color scheme. Their manes appear so perfect that I wouldn’t be surprised if they each spent an hour a day on their manes.
“No problem Rarity. So other than the girls, who else are you bringing?” the mare with the pink coat asks. “Could it be a stallion for a change? I haven’t had my hooves on a stallion for quite some ti-oh!”
Rarity puts me down gently as this new mare looks over me. As I lean against the wall to steady myself once my feet touches the ground, the mare surprisingly smiles.
“You must be the new arrival we’ve heard so much about. You’re my first non-pony customer, but I assure you that your experience here will be nothing short of divine,” she says as she looks me over. “Have you ever been to a spa before?”
“No. This would be m-my first time,” I say to her as everypony else walks in.
“So this is your first. Well then we’ll make sure your first is something for you to remember,” this mare says with a wide smile before looking back at the rest of the group. “And of course your time here will be just as wonderful.”
“Thank you. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back here,” Fluttershy says as she trots towards Rarity.
“I don’t come here often but when I do I love it,” Applejack says with a grin. “But don’t tell anypony I said that.”
The other mare, this one with the blue coat and pink mane, motions our group out of the main room.
“Did Rarity tell you of what she set up for all of you?” the mare asks with a smile.
We all nod in the negative while Rarity smiles.
“I promise that all of you will love it. First is the sauna. It makes you feel amazing, I swear it,” Rarity says, her hoof over her heart.
“Do you g-got a towel or something for m-me to wear? I’m not going to go in there n-nude,” I say as my eyes scan for any towel I could use.
The blue mare says, “Of course we do. We wouldn’t want any of our customers to be uncomfortable.”
Well that’s a plus. Now I don’t need to worry about the others seeing me in the nude. Skittles and Redheart are more than enough, that’s for sure.
After a brisk walk we reach another door, though the blue mare stops me from going any further.
“The towel you asked for is right around the corner. Ones of that size usually are used by minotaurs but it should suit you easily enough,” she says with a smile.
“You do know you don’t have to wear anything, right?” Twilight inquires. “I know where you’re from it’s normal, but it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to here.”
“I g-get that Twilight, but still, letting Skittles and R-Redheart here see me in the b-buff was enough. Go on in, I’ll be th-there in a bit.”
With a nod from Twilight, they all walk into the sauna. Skittles does so last as she gives me a quick smile before entering.
As the blue mare leads me to another small room where I find a towel, she speaks up as I shut the door behind me.
“It’s nice to see that you’ve got some friends already.”
“Yeah. They’re some g-good mares. Redheart, Twilight, Skittles, P-Pinkie Pie, all of them are,” I say with a smile whilst I disrobe.
“But I have a feeling some others might have given you the stink eye, right?”
“That’s one way to p-put it, yeah. I don’t retaliate but I d-did get ticked off at some being s-so scared of me. I mean, I haven’t done anything t-to any of them.”
That’s just another reason that I want to get back home.
“Some ponies just don’t have any manners. Don’t let it get to you if you can.”
A short chuckle escapes my lips. “That’s easier said than d-done. But I’ll t-ry.”
I quickly slip on the towel, finding that it fits me surprisingly well. Stepping out, the mare quickly leads me back to the sauna. As she opens the door I’m instantly hit with steam and a far greater level of heat than I expected, along with a strange yet pleasant smell I can’t place.
“Come on Micah! Don’t let all the heat escape!” Rarity shouts somewhere behind the steam.
The mare and I quickly step in and the door is latched shut behind us. Walking through the steam I quickly find the other mares. All of them have a towel over their manes. I have to say, even after dating Leah for so long I still got no idea why girls do that.
“Hi Micah. Come on, we got a seat here for you,” Twilight says as she pats a spot near her with her hoof.
I quickly take a seat next to her and relax against the wall as Fluttershy speaks up.
“So, um, how are you liking Ponyville so far?” she asks.
“Well it’s interesting, I’ll s-say that. Were you t-told of how my walk to the b-boutique went?” I ask.
She nods her head in the negative. “No. What happened?”
“Everypony was being a scaredy filly. You remember how Zecora was treated when she visited here?” Skittles interjects.
Fluttershy nods, her ears flat against her head. “I remember.”
“He was treated like he’s even weirder than she is. I don’t get why. I mean, so he’s got two legs. Big deal!” Skittles declares.
“And hands, fingers, a different face, only having fur on his head, and an entirely different biology than a pony,” Twilight says quickly.
“What?” Skittles looks at Twilight with narrowed eyes. “You’re not saying what those ponies did was fine are you?”
I can actually hear the slap from the impact when Twilight facehoofs.
“No, Rainbow Dash. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that everypony is scared of things they don’t understand,” she says as her eyes turn to me. “Micah here is a good guy, but come on. He’s very different, and you know how ponies, especially in Ponyville, act when something different comes around.”
How bad can it get? It was certainly annoying how some ponies treated me and I did get legitimately ticked. But it wasn’t more than what I dealt with in high school.
“I’m kinda curious ‘bout that Micah. What do you think you humans would do if us ponyfolk came strolling ‘round your world?” Applejack asks.
“Oh. Well, that’d d-depend on where you’re at,” I say as the steam fills even more of the room.
“Are some places dangerous to ponies?” Pinkie Pie inquires.
“Not really dangerous for p-ponies, per se. It’s like Twilight s-said, some folk just don’t react well t-to strange things. No matter where you w-would be at though you’d definitely be s-spoken to by the government and media.”
Oh man what it would be to see them being interviewed by Fox News. I’d pay money to see that happen.
“Media? You mean cameras? Now that sounds good to me! Perfect time to show them my moves!” Skittles says as she flexes her admittedly impressive muscles.
My lips curl into a smile at Skittles’ little display of her prowess. She’s an odd one but I like her. But the idea of her being on earth and talking to the media? Oh that would definitely not go well. It’d be funny, but wouldn’t go well.
“Heh, do that if you w-wish Skittles. But know that considering h-how we treat our own, not all h-humans would be glad to see y-you.”
That draws the eye of everypony here, even the spa pony working creating all of the steam.
“How you treat your own? What do you mean by that?” Twilight asks.
“Back on earth, while we often t-try our best to be non-judgemental, f-folk often treat others poorly for any n-number of things. Their skin color, nation of origin, th-their sexuality, religion. I’ve experienced foul words b-because of religion.”
“Like what?” Rarity inquires as she scoots closer.
“Well my faith is a r-relatively small one out of the total p-population. We’re less than a h-half of a percent,” I state as I adjust my seating.
Twilight’s eyebrows raise at that little tidbit.
“That small? Why would other humans even bother you? That’d be so small there just… There wouldn’t be a point,” Twilight asks.
“That’s a question that d-deserves an answer, but I can’t g-give it to you.”
“Why’s that?” Redheart interjects.
Okay, how did my rabbi put it…
Leaning forward, I say, “Here’s an example. In my w-world, my people, Jews, are h-hated if we stay to our own, or if w-we try and assimilate. If we stay t-to our own we are told that we m-must think we are superior, and if we t-try to assimilate, we are accused of p-poisoning the dominant culture.”
No sooner do those words leave my lips than does everypony speak up, and do so so loudly that I can hardly hear them.
“How could anypony think like that?”
“That doesn’t make any sense!”
“You’re right, it d-doesn’t make any sense,” I say to my companions. “It never does. My people have b-been targeted ever since the t-time of our forebears Abraham and Sarah.”
“Just your folk? Aren’t others treated badly sometimes too?” Applejack asks.
“Yes, they c-certainly are. I’m just using my p-people as an example. Just like I’m d-different to you as I’m h-human, I’m different compared to other humans because of s-some aspects of my faith,” I tell them.
“Like what? Does yours have something that singles you out somehow?” Redheart asks with a single eyebrow raised.
That’s putting it mildly. If she knew about what a bris is I bet she’d be surprised as hell.
“That’s not f-far off from the point actually. We have s-some customs that definitely make us stand apart. D-diet is one thing I always h-have to explain at dinner parties.”
“Why’s that? Is it because you don’t eat chocolate?” Pinkie Pie asks.
“Heh, no Pinkie Pie that’s n-not it. Chocolate isn’t forbidden in my re-religion. But certain things are.”
The blue mare joins our conversation after she creates more steam for us.
“What sort of things are forbidden? And why would you forbid anything to begin with?”
“I’d explain why s-some things are forbidden but for a f-full explanation that would take a long explanation of rabbinic scholarship.”
Ugh, rabbinics. That was not something I liked learning at my time at the synagogue.
“Ugh, please don’t do that,” Skittles groans. “Just do the short version.”
“Well let’s say it’s p-pretty much divine mandate for that. Anyway, another thing that is mentioned is e-equine meat.”
A gasp is heard from the spa pony as her eyes go from normal to the size of saucers in less than a second. She scoots back from us all the way to the door as she keeps her eyes locked on me.
“Equine meat? Is that a delicacy where you’re from?” she says with a shiver.
“Ew! No way, he didn’t eat anything yucky like that when we were with him,” Pinkie Pie says quickly. “He mostly ate a lot of baked goodies.”
“Anyway,” I say, before Pinkie Pie can continue, “I d-don’t eat equine meat. I mentioned that b-because that’s something that’s strictly f-forbidden amongst my people. I’d n-never eat it even if I had the chance.”
The mare tentatively moves back towards the group, though she keeps her eyes on me.
“Sorry about that. It’s just that even the thought of somepony actually eating meat is just, blech, nasty,” she states with flattened ears. “I’m sorry about over-reacting though.”
Hopefully I can find some kind of substitute for meat while I’m here. If I eat meat in public while I’m here that might very well send the ponies here into a panic. But, at least without meat I won’t have to worry about accidentally having dairy and meat in the same meal. That definitely won’t be kosher.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I have a scroll here for Micah.”
Damn, there must be a lot of steam in here to stop me from even seeing the door open.
The other mare, the one with the pink coat and blue mane steps towards me with a scroll.
“Spike ran to the spa holding this. He didn’t tell me anything except that it’s for you,” she says as I take it from her.
“It’s for Micah? Did Spike say who it’s from?” Twilight asks.
The pink mare nods in the negative as I unroll the scroll. As soon as I do we get the answer to Twilight’s question.
“It says it’s from L-Luna, of all ponies.”
Everypony instantly crowds around me upon hearing those words, including the two spa ponies.
“From the princess? What does it say?” Redheart asks as she gets a bit too close for my taste, her hoof trying to grab for the scroll.
I get to my feet to back away from the rather too eager ponies. “Give me a second and we’ll f-find out,” I state as I look back at the scroll.
“Greetings Micah. I hope this l-letter finds you in good health. You must h-have many questions about your c-current circumstances. I apologize for not speaking t-to you since our encounter in your d-dream. Recent events and very v-vital affairs have kept both myself and my sister b-busy.”
So busy she couldn’t spend a few minutes at night to talk to me again? Seriously?
“However, we do h-have time for you to come see us n-now. Therefore, I, Princess Luna and my sister P-Princess Celestia invite you to c-come to Canterlot palace. We will answer any q-questions you have as best we can.”
“Oh my! Micah that’s wonderful!”
“Oh boy you get to go on a trip! Can I come too?”
The other ponies all say something similar. Some talking about how lovely Canterlot is, others about what I can expect from the princess. But, I don’t think about any of that. There’s only one thing I have in my mind now.
“When can I leave?”