The Tale of Charcoal Claws

by Zoodude255


Head hurts.
Oh god.
Please yes.
I’m in Equestria.
Everything is too bright to be earth normally. It looks like a cartoon.
Ow, need to shut my eyes again. It’s too bright.
Who knew pony’s eyes were so sensitive?
Wait. Pony’s eyes can’t be this sensitive…
I’m almost seeing…heat.
Oh god. I need a mirror.
There’s the lake. It’ll do.
I look in.
That’s not a pony.
That’s a dragon.
Fluttershy was busy tending to her normal duties when she heard the roar. It wasn’t too scary; it sounded more like something in pain or horror than in anger. But it was nerve-wracking to such a timid creature as Fluttershy. Gasping, she dropped the basket of nuts and berries she’d been distributing to her friends. Hiding behind a tree, she walked slowly forward to the next one, until she could see the cause of the roar.
It was a dragon.
Fluttershy was terrified of dragons. They were so unlike any other kind of animal she was used to dealing with.
This one seemed young, but she knew little about dragons, save for Spike. But this one looked like an adolescent; but unlike many teenage dragons, this one looked more like a shrunken adult, but extremely thin. It was long, black and sleek, with golden spikes cresting its head in a circle, with a long mane of green flowing down to the nape of its neck. The eyes were also gold; its canines, long, white and gleaming.
But besides what the dragon looked like, there were other stranger decorations around him. On his claws, he wore two leather gloves, with enough room for his fingers and claws to poke through. There were chains fasted to his legs, but these seemed to have broken in some furious struggle. It was covered in scars, and while some seemed self-inflicted in its furious fight with the air, the 3 scratches around its eyes were older; not years, but at least a few months. And finally, there was the color around his neck, studded with blue gems.
Fluttershy watched as the dragon continued to tear up the ground in a fury, unsure of what to do; she knew as Ponyville’s resident animal expert, she needed to do something. But she was still very afraid.
Suddenly, I stop my fit of rage at becoming a dragon instead of a pony.
Sniff sniff.
Pony flesh.
“I smell you”
Fluttershy’s heart nearly stopped.
“Come out, pony.” The dragon said. Its voice wasn’t like many other dragon voices. It was deep, yes, but it sounded kinder. It was this kindness that made fluttershy step out into the light, and walk extremely slowly toward the lake shore.
“Hello” said the dragon, gently and evenly.
“H-hello” whimpered Fluttershy.
“Do not be afraid” the dragon said coaxingly. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
It reached a claw out, as though for a hoofshake. Fluttershy, seeing the great curved claws, squeaked and backed away. The dragon looked at his claws and silently cursed.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I was forgetting about those.
I’m a dragon. Fluttershy is afraid of dragons.
I should know this.
Ok, she’s coming back. Maybe this time she’ll say something.
“Um.” Started fluttershy, “What’s your name?”
Good Point.
What is my name?
I looked at my claws.
I looked at the ground.
I looked at my claws again.
I looked at my reflection in the lake.
I looked toward the sky.
Suddenly, it came to me.
“My name,” the dragon said slowly, “Is Charcoal Claws.” He once again held out his hand, but managed to retract his claws, until they were little more than golden nubs on his hand. This time Fluttershy took it, and he gently pumped it up and down.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Claws.” She said. “Normally, I’m a-afraid of dragons…”she continued shyly.
Charcoal chuckled. “I’m not exactly a normal dragon.” He sighed. “I’m a bit lost as well. Do you know if there is an inn nearby?” He stretched. “Not that they would like having a dragon; bad for business, you see.” Grinning, he dropped to all fours. Even standing, he was a full head taller than Fluttershy. He was about the size of two ponies length, and standing on two feet, as he usually was, he was about 2 ponies high.
“Oh well, there is no inn, but um…I’d- I’d be willing to take you to my house…provided, of course, you don’t eat any of the critters there as well.” Fluttershy replied quietly, and a little nervous.
Charcoal blew smoke rings. “That’d suit me just fine, miss fluttershy. Lead on.”
Fluttershy. Huh. Not the first pony I thought I’d meet. I was a dragon, after all. Like she said, she was terrified of dragons.
The two new friends walked back to Fluttershy’s cottage. Charcoal walked on all fours with a loping stride. Fluttershy was quiet, as she usually was, but Charcoal knew it wasn’t out of fear. She was thinking about something.
“Um, Charcoal.” She started to speak, “Can I ask you something?”
“Course you can.” He smiled. “what?”
“What…what do you want for dinner?”
Oh. That would be a problem.
I’m a dragon. Ponies don’t eat meat.
“Fish.” he grinned after a pause. “I think that’ll work.”
“Oh. Um, I don’t usually eat fish, but I give it to those creatures of mine that do eat meat. I’m sure we can get some.” Fluttershy said. “But yes, it is better than the…alternative.”
Charcoal chuckled again. “Indeed.” He gently scooped up Fluttershy in his claws and placed her on his back. “Now, we need to get there before dark. I’m not pony,” he continued, “but Everfree, even the edges, is no place for a weary traveler.”
With that, he launched himself into the air, carrying the screaming fluttershy with him.
“Uh, excuse me, Mr. Claws!” she yelled over the howling wind, “I don’t mean to be rude, but…I have my own wings!”
Once again, Charcoal chuckled. “I know. But you seemed like you needed a boost.” With that, he flipped over and fluttershy fell of his back, opening her wings as she did so.
“Oh, really?” she said. “Uh-th-thank you.” She blushed. Charcoal inclined his head, opening his wings fully, now that Fluttershy was no longer on the joints. With that, the two new friends flew toward her cottage, and Charcoal wondering what the coming days would bring, and Fluttershy wondering where on earth she was going to get some fish last minute.