“Well, aren't you just a silly filly?”
I bolted upright in my chair. The voice was all the worst possible combinations of friendly and slimy and right in my freaking ear. At first I thought it could have come through my headphones, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. I spun around in my chair. Nothing. Still wary, I walked around my home. Nobody was in the hall right outside my door, nor any of the other rooms in my house. Windows and doors were closed. My parents were out of town. I was completely alone.
Paranoia satisfied, I sat down to do the most productive thing I possibly could do: watch cats do silly things. I did a double take when out of the corner of my eye I spotted the figure on my bed. A long, serpentine creature laid cozily on it, looking like something Dr. Moreau would create. It was a mishmash of different body parts of several different animals, including a lion, a goat, an eagle, and a few I still can't place. How the hell did I miss that? I sat there gaping until I dumbly asked the first thing that came to mind. “Hello, can I help you?”
The creature laughed. “Finally, some courtesy! And no my dear, you're helping me.” He (if the creature’s masculine voice was anything to go off of) unfurled himself and tapped his foot idly against my headboard. Even though his long tufted tail waved in the air, he was longer than my bed. His head reclined on thin air and he brought his face up to mine. “I’ve been looking for a little fun away from home. You looked like you’d be down for it.” he said and tapped a talon against my forehead. “Isn’t that right, you silly filly?”
At the moment of contact, an electric tingle ran down my spine and through my arms and legs, causing me to shiver. “Why did you call me that?”
“Silly filly? Why, because you are one. A silly filly.”
“I’m not—” My voice cracked, several octaves higher than I expected. Confusion made itself plain on my face.
“You are my little,” he tapped his talon on my head again, and the world grew around me. My arms and legs disappeared into my clothing. “Silly.” Another tap and the world fell off kilter, my mind too busy trying to process my suddenly oversized clothes to really notice the next tap. “Filly.”
With the third tap, my body changed. Fingers stiffened as they worked to pull up my sleeves, my efforts reduced to impotent flailing. My toes grew similarly stiff, a minor footnote to the other changes to my legs. My pants caught as the proportions changed and all the joints bent in different ways. I felt a sharp pain near my tailbone and I grunted in discomfort. My balance felt off, and nothing moved right as panic. My clothing entangled me as I flailed about to free myself. All my struggles did was cocoon myself further until I tumbled out of my desk chair.
A pair of massive paws caught me. “Careful, wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself, dear.” A finger-snap later and I was left naked as my clothes disappeared into a cloud of multicolored smoke. Staring up at his toothy grin did little to alleviate my confusion. I squirmed as an entire body’s worth of new sensations hit me like a freight train. He gave a small coo and placed a furred finger on my nose. “Shh, it's almost done now. Just a few more changes left.”
Fear crept up from the pit of my stomach.“What?” The stress would’ve made my voice crack if it wasn’t already so high. He used a feather to rub my nose, and a sneeze inevitably built up. “Ahch—” He pinched my nose tight. Uncomfortable, almost painful, pressure built up in my sinuses, like something was pushing straight out of my forehead. I’m placed back down on my bed as I hold my head in my hooves. My eyes watered from the discomfort. A second sneeze built up and again he held my nose shut. The sneeze is a coughing little squeak that sounded way too cute for the amount of discomfort it caused me. As I continued to rub my head, I felt a small bump forming under my hoof-hands. Another sneeze and my legs flinched away as the bump jabbed the soft flesh of my underhoof. His hand stayed on my nose as I sneezed again and again. I sneeze continuously for a solid minute. With each one, the bump grew longer and pointier. He removed his hand, and the pressure finally dissipated.
Moaning and sniffling, I opened my eyes. He was still there, no matter how much I wished he wasn’t. At least he turned himself around so his head was actually on my headboard. His body wrapped around my bed like a great wall. Before he was taller, would it be longer, but slimmer than me. As I laid on my bed, I could barely see over his bulk. “Smile, Filly.” I whipped my head around, only to get blinded by a camera flash. I hissed, blinking rapidly as the spots faded from my vision. “Okay, which one of these are for photos…”
The familiar clicking and tapping made me realize that the sonofagun had my phone! I still don’t know how he guessed my password. “Hey, stopped messing with my phone.”
He ignored my pitiful attempts to make his head explode with my mind. “Ya ya, I’m not going to change your ringtone or anything.” He went quiet as he fiddled with my phone. “Just install an app for my own use. Oh, what color palette should you have...” He thrust the screen into my face.
It was a smartphone friendly image editor, and on the screen was a picture of me as I laid on the bed in all my monochromatic glory. The image on the screen mirrored my own movements as I tapped the tip of my pure white horn. A sensation akin to chewing tinfoil ran down my spine. I blink, and body was surrounded by a dotted outline on the screen and in real life. A color wheel on the phone’s screen told me what the next step was.
“I’m not good with color coordination, so I’ll try some random colors.” With a flourish he closed his eyes and danced his fingers across the screen. I looked down and my new fur shifts colors to match the picture of me onscreen. The rapidly changing colors made me queasy and I’m forced to close my eyes. A few moments later I hear the tapping stop. He hummed thoughtfully. “Light green fur with a yellow mane and tomato red highlights. Reminds me a bit of a carrot dog with a bunch of toppings.”
With all my resolve, I forced my eyes open. True to his word, the fur around my hooves were a light shade of green. I cringed as a few locks of hair fall over my eyes. Mustard yellow with a few ketchup red streaks. My hair was long enough to reach my muzzle. I’m not sure what hurt more, the fact I had a muzzle or such unnaturally colored hair. I blew the hair out of my face. My voice cracked as I ask a simple question. “What are you turning me into?”
“Why, I’m making you a silly,” he tapped my forehead again, “little, alicorn filly.” Another wave of tingling washed over my body as it drooped. It was as if every muscle in my new body was relaxing more than ever before. Not that is saying much since I’ve had them for less than an hour. I saw him lean down and buried my head in my blankets. I did not want to see what he did next. Instead I felt it.
He picked me up with massive hands and turns me around on the bed. I tensed as he used his two clawed hands to feel up and down my sides. If he was trying to be gentle, he did a poor job of it as he poked and prodded my sides. I did my best to stay silent out of fear. His claws picked at my sides like he was trying to find the end of a roll of tape, and soon enough he found something and lifted it off my sides. A panicked squeak escaped my lips as he pulled on the flesh. It doesn't hurt, but it feels so weird. Within moments the flesh he pulled off became tiny bony nubs attached to my back like another set of legs.
He ran his fingers down these new appendages, massaging them in a soothing way. I could feel a fine fuzz growing in over the stumpy little things as I squirm out of ticklishness. I am almost tempted to ask what he’s doing, but I decide against it. I’d know soon enough. Resigned, I let him do his thing as he continued to tug on my new limbs. They grew longer as joints form. He switched to rubbing one at a time, starting with my right. My left limb snapped into place along my side automatically. It spasmed randomly as I braved a glance, my flexible neck making it easy to see my back. I stared at the appendage dumbfounded. Even though I knew immediately what it was, it took a few moments to put a word to it: wing.
The shock of realization ran through me as pulled my right wing out of his grip and press it back along my side. I felt its tip rubbing along my back legs, much further back than my left wing. My mind raced. I'm lopsided. I am a pastel colored, lopsided, unicorn-pegasus hybrid of a freak. This guy couldn't be satisfied with me being a single mythological creature, so he made me two-in-one. Do I eat hay or millet? Does any other animal have four limbs, a tail, and wings?
I gave him a quick glance.
Does he want someone to be as freaky as him?
I tried to get to my feet, all four of them. The springiness of my bed conspired against me, and I can barely get my balance before I feel his hand on my back. “Now now,” he said in an admonishing tone, “I'm not finished yet. I want you to be my silly, little, pretty, filly before I let you go.”
He placed his bird-like hand on my back and used his other to try and sweep my front legs out from under me. “No,” I protested. We did this little dance, him knocking out a leg out from under me while I lifted it back up. Having four legs made it very difficult to be tripped. Still, as time went on he pressed harder and harder as I sank lower and lower.I also got a close up look at his leonine hand and its claws.
“Come on now, Silly Filly, I’m not done yet.“ The talons on my back tightened. Thankfully my legs already trembled from the effort of standing up, so the fear trembling hopefully went unnoticed. In the end, it’s fatigue that got my front legs to buckle under me, followed shortly by my rear. “That’s a good little filly.”
I buried my face in my bedding to hide the tears forming in my eyes. I was nothing more than a plaything to him. I focused on trying to avoid thinking about the tugging on my left wing and the growing pinfeathers. Between my sheets and the creature himself, I didn’t have much to distract myself with. As nice as the actual sensation was, the fact that it came from my wing was wildly disorienting. I wanted nothing more than to wake up from this dream. I spent the next few minutes trying to count the threads of my blankets.
Satisfied with my left wing’s length, he flipped me on my back. “How do they look?” I covered my eyes with my legs. “Don't be like that,” he said, voice full of concern. “Just little bit more, my Silly Filly.” I shook my head. Seeing that I wouldn't move my legs, he sighed and put a finger to my forehead. “Silly Filly, aren't you curious to see what is going on?” A wave of energy ran from his finger and through my body for emphasis. He grabbed my wings and gently pulled them out again. Weren’t they long enough already? They almost reached past my butt beforehand, and he was pulling them much farther than that!
Still what he said resonated within me. Watching myself change held a morbid fascination with me. I couldn't help it. I needed to see what he was doing. I snuck a peek between my hooves. I gasped at how long my wings are. Splayed out, they go over the sides of my bed. He hovered over me, inspecting his handy work. He even did that ‘framing the shot’ thing with his hands. “Do you like it? You strike me as the kind who’d like long wings.”
I stared at him. The creature that came into my room, and twisted me. Pulled me into this shape like taffy. Who could probably do much much worse and I never could hope to resist him. Who I just noticed looked very predatory and agile to my tiny and clumsy.
I broke down. “Please please please leave me alone!” I rolled over to stand up, but I caught a wing under my hoof. The sharp pain sent me tumbling.While the pain was nothing special, I’ve stubbed my toe harder, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “I don't want to die or whatever. Just leave me alone!” I covered my eyes as I devolved into a sobbing mess.
“Shush.” A giant finger pressed against my lips. “Stop crying.” I forced myself to take deep, hitching breaths. I did not want to anger the being that could turn me into something from Giger’s nightmare’s nightmares. Despite my best efforts, tears streamed down my face. Turns out that “Stay calm, or else” is a horrible way to calm down. It took almost no time for his patience to run out. After only a few moments of me trying and failing to calm down he flipped me onto my back. I squealed in terror until he tapped me on my forehead again. “You are Silly Filly, and you will stop crying for me.”
Another wave of tingling energy washed over me. Within moments, I had stopped crying, though I still sniffled. The fear and panic was still there, but the edge was dulled. I still want to cry, and my every instinct told me to run for the hills, past them, and never look back, but I still looked him in the face.
A box of tissues floated over from my desk through some unknown force. He dabbed at the tear streaks on my face. I didn't want him touching me anymore and squirmed as I grew more antsy by the second. He put a stop to that by placing a finger on my forehead. “Stay still.” There wasn’t any of the now familiar tingling but the ‘or else’ was clear. I held myself as still as possible, that is to say ‘not very’. I tried though, and that seemed to be enough, as he went back to cleaning my face. My mind raced as I examined his every movement. I’m sure he watched me. Kind of difficult to clean something you aren’t looking at. “There, you look much better.” He tossed the tissue off to the side with the sound of a breaking glass.
I sat up “What was that?” He had tossed away from my bedroom window.
“Oh, just the sort of thing that happens around me.” He waved a hand dismissively. “Don't worry, I got it in the waste bin.” He folded my wings in and picked me up onto my legs. He reclined onto the bed and watched me. He cocked an eyebrow. “What’s up?”
My face screwed up in frustration. I stomped and hopped and shouted, bouncing on my bed as I tried not to look cute. “‘What’s up’? Is that it? You just come in here and- and do this,” I motioned to my body with a hoof but nearly toppled over. “What the fu—”
A finger popped into existence a few inches in front of me and tapped me on the forehead. “Silly Filly, who does not swear.”
“—dge is going on?” I blinked. “What the crud?”
He tsked. “Young fillies shouldn’t swear.”
“I’ll swear all I want. And I’m not a filly.” There was a very childlike whine in there.
“No you won’t, and yes you are.” He pulled out a bag of potato chips from under my bed. He noisily ate a handful one by one. “Want one? I betcha you can’t eat just one.” A lone chip floated through the air with a wave of a finger. It was perfectly round and thicker than normal. There was a slight pattern printed into it. The bag looked like the one I had in the kitchen, but I don't know how he got it under there without me noticing. I poked it, half expecting it to explode into confetti, but it just sat on my blanket.
I kept glaring at him as I bent down. A tentative lick told me it’s a normal, slightly salty chip. With the usual satisfying crunch, I ate it. The saltiness seemed at least twice as tasty and addictive as before. I hummed in pleasure as I chewed. I stared back at the bag of chips and lick my lips. It is true, you can’t have just one and I wanted nothing more than to bury my face in that bag and eat the entire thing. Yet, the way that he smirked at me didn't sit right.
“Oh, would you like more?” he asked. I shook my head, trying to show some self control. My stomach betrayed me with a loud growl. “Are you sure?” He scooted over and patted the spot next to him. He floated several more chips out of the bag. It seems my self control went the way of my fingers. Even though my gut told me that this was some ploy, my gut also told me it was empty. My misgivings would have to wait until after I got my fill. I walked over to him as my wings dragged behind me like a dress train. The soft bed made my steps uneasy, but I do make it without falling. I sit and one of the starchy treasures floated a few inches from my face. I leaned in to eat it but he pulled it away at the last moment. “Ah ah, I have an idea. How about we play a little game, for your humanity?” He pulled out a stack of chips and placed them down next to me. “This will be your pool, lose them all and —” He’s interrupted by loud crunching. “—you’ve already eaten your pool.”
I grinned at him as crumbs fell from my muzzle. “More please? I like the sour cream and onion ones.”
He paused, rubbed his temples, and placed some more chips in front of me. The most wonderful scent of artificial flavors wafted off them. “I’m not going to give you any more if you eat these. As I was saying, we could play Poker.” Again, he is stopped by loud crunching. “Really?”
I spent a few moments licking the wondrous oniony goodness off my hooves, completely oblivious to the world. He cleared his throat and I realized what I was doing. Licking my hoof. Which is my foot now. I put it down slowly and tried to avoid thinking about it. It’s been licked clean now anyway. “Do you have any more?”
He gave me a blank look. “Were you paying attention at all?” I shook my head. He sighed, visibly deflating. “Okay, yeah, I got no more for you."
I huffed. “Please? I’ll do anything for just one more chip.”
His grin should’ve tipped me off, but I was concentrating on getting more starchy goodness. He tapped his chin, deep in thought. “Anything? Okay, I have something easy. Say your name.”
I cocked my head. “My name?”
He playfully tapped me on my forehead again. “Say your name, Silly Filly.”
“And you’ll give me chips?” He nodded. Easy enough. “My name’s Silly Filly.” My eyes bulge in surprise. “Wait, no, it’s Silly Filly!” My mouth isn't cooperating. I can think my name clearly, but I can’t say it. “Wait, that is not my name.”
Another crunch. “Silly fillies shouldn't lie about their name."
I screwed up my eyes in concentration. I tried to sound out my name best as I could. “It’s Milllly.” I hung my head. Not even close.
“Do you really not know your name?” He tipped the bag over and poured a few more chips into his hand and then crumpled the bag up.
I wiped my hair out of my face and started to whine. “Please, I don't know what you want. Just give me some chips.”
“Oh, that’s so sad. My Silly Filly doesn't even know her own name. Maybe I should just call you that.” He took a potato chip, and put it in his mouth!
“Yes, I can be your Silly Filly if you want, just give me a potato chip!” I shook my head. “Wait no! I’m not your ‘Silly Filly’, I’m Millie!” I frowned and tried to look as defiant as possible.
To my horror, he took the chip out of his mouth and shoved it into in mine. “Oh I know you are, Silly Filly.” he patted my head as I gagged. “I just like ‘SIlly Filly’ more.” Since I was busy choking on the soggy and wholly unsatisfying chip in my mouth, he finished off the last handful of chips. With a sudden snap of his fingers, he sat up. “Oh, where are my manners? “He brushed potato chip crumbs onto the floor. “I don't think I’ve told you my name.”
“Beesting! I can taste your lunch.” It was fish. Past due fish. And motor oil.
He sighed and snapped his fingers again. An open water bottle poofed into existence in front of me. I grabbed it and drank eagerly. “As I was saying, I have yet to tell you my name!” He paused as if he was waiting for my response. I was too busy trying to wash the taste out of my mouth. He let out a little grumble before the bottle disappeared from my grasp. I was forced to pay attention to him as he donned a top hat and tuxedo from a puff of smoke. “My name is Discord.” Another bang and a small cloud of confetti rained from my ceiling. “Pretty great, eh?”
I stared blankly. “I guess? Means nothing to me.” Instantly I mentally kicked myself for that response.
The cane and hat disappear in another puff of smoke. “That’s it? No ‘Our savior has come’? No ‘Oh cool, I am talking to a dimension hopping being of unbelievable power’?” He leaned over me, putting his face to mine as all concept of ‘personal space’ flew out the window.
I shrank down again as the fear I was felt redoubled. “I—Uh—No. I never heard the name before. Please don't eat me.”
Discord backed off a little, eyebrow cocked. “I don’t eat ponies.I just banish them to a eldritch landscape for a few moments, wipe their memories while leaving the feeling of terror, and return them before anypony notices.”
He pulled out a notepad from behind his back. “Oh biscuits, I seem to have the wrong address. Dang.” He peeled a Polaroid picture of a man I’ve never seen off the page and showed it to me. “You wouldn’t happen to know this guy?” I shook my head. “Well then, I guess you will have to do.”
“Spread a little chaos, obviously. I had it all planned out and everything.” Discord looked at my wall clock. “Oh, we’re just about ready to start the show. The audience should be ready now.”
My stomach dropped. “Audience?”
“Why of course, Silly Filly, I’ve got quite the show planned.” He closed the pocket watch.
Discord hung a lanyard around my neck. Before I could look at the card on it, he picked me up yet again. He walked over to my bedroom door and opened it. The din of a packed ballroom assaulted my ears as he rolled me through the door like a bowling ball. Everything was a blur of color as I tumbled uncontrollably. I was rolling long enough to realize that I really should have stopped rolling by then. That is when I hit something and stopped rolling.I was too dizzy to do anything, but mercifully it was dark. I covered my ears to block out the noise as the world spins around me.
After some time, I recovered enough to look around. I found myself under a table, a tablecloth blocking my view of the surrounding area. This suited me fine as it it also hid me from everyone else. Being under the table emphasized how small I am; My horn barely brushed the underside of the table standing up.
I needed to see where I am, and so I needed to look out from under the table. However I had no idea which of the two sides to pick. After a quick round of ‘Eeny Meeny Miny Mo’, it was a mere matter of working up the nerve. “Okay, I can do this,” I whispered, “I might be a filly. I might be a Silly Filly. But I am a brave Silly Filly. I can do this.” It worked for the Little Engine That Could, and it oddly worked with me. With nothing else to do but look, I poked my head out.
On the other side of the tablecloth was a packed audience. A woman was doing a soundcheck on a sound system. The room was full of people of all ages and genders. Most had bags with colorful cartoon horses on them. A few even had stuffed versions of them.I sat, mouth agape as a single thought dawned on me. I am at a fan convention, and I was one of the characters from their show.
A little girl locked eyes with me. As we sat there, her face turned from surprise to shock to excitement. While the chatter in the room drowned out exactly what she said, I could see her trying to get her mother’s attention. Paralyzed with fear, the thought of hiding never crossed my mind.
The chatting in the room died out as the first few rows spotted me. With each passing moment, more and more people turned their attention forward. Stage fright consumed me as an entire room’s worth of eyes settled on me. Even the sound technician working on mike stand eventually caught on and turned to see what was going on. She was just as surprised to seem as everyone else in the room. Dozens of camera phones clicked as I stared back at the room. I was quickly brought back to reality when a few of the audience members stood up and approached the stage.
I let out a scared squeak. I swear I heard a few ‘Daws’ as I ducked back under cover and bolted out the other side of the table and knocked over a few chairs. The uproar was instantaneous; several chairs got knocked over as everyone clambered at once. I didn’t know where I was going as I ran out a side door and into the hallway. Unfortunately for me, the hallway was also busy. Dozens more fans milled about, eating their overpriced convention center food and making their way to the next panel. More and more eyes turned towards me as I dashed by. Their cries of disbelief mingled with the growing din of the posse chasing me.
Blind panic drove me to dip, duck, dive, and dodge past grabbing hands until I burst through a set of double doors into a large room. Of course, I’d ended up in the main floor of the convention. As far as the eyes could see, vendors had set up booths dedicated to selling merchandise from the show I had seemingly stepped out of. Sunlight from skylight formed an improbable spotlight centered on me. I cursed my luck. Of course I’d jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The throng of people was thicker in here. This both helped and hindered me as it made it harder for the people chasing me to spot and follow me, but it also made it harder for me to move through the forest of legs. I brushed against more than a few people as I pushed through, and an ocean of eyes looked down in surprise at me.
I heard a few comments like “Did someone dress up their dog?” and “Are dogs allowed in here?”. I wanted to correct them but I could hear the near stampede of con goers rushing into the hall. They were one farm store away from a torch and pitchfork mob, and some of them had flashlights. I shoved my way through the crowd even faster, stepping on more than a few toes along the way. “I see her, she’s going down that aisle!” I turned back and spotted a short man pointing at me. I have to give him credit for spotting me through the thicket of thighs. Several people around me looked down, surprise and excitement on their faces as they registered what I was.
A woman bent down to grab me but I narrowly jumped out of the way. Still, she managed to grab the tip of one of my long wings and with a sharp tug I am sent sprawling onto the floor. My eyes teared up as I brought the wing forward to kiss my boo-boo. That hurt. It was like getting a clump of hair torn out, but more intense. The woman had grabbed a large feather from my wing. She at least looked like she felt guilty. “Oh poor thing, I’m so sorry.”
By this time a circle of people had cornered me against a vendor's table. The woman, despite her best intentions, triggered some sort of instinct as she loomed over me. In a common theme for today, I panicked and ran under the table. I pushed past boxes of toys and clothes as the group chasing me arrived at the table. Their many footsteps and pounding on the table deepened my panic, especially when they got on their hands and knees to look under the table.
I burst out the other side and past the cashier's feet. As he tried to figure out where I had gone, I jumped onto a table. Cutting the corner of the aisle, I leapt into the intersection, about fifteen feet away from where my hunters are. They had lost track of me, but I was in the open again. I braced myself and ran across to another vendor. I dove under the tablecloth… and promptly face plant into a very heavy plastic container.
It hurt. A lot. My nose, or rather muzzle, was certainly bruised if not broken. My horn was stuck in the plastic up to my forehead, and throbbing like nothing else. I couldn’t even pull it out; it was at an awkward angle that made it feel like it was going to snap off if I wasn’t careful. In short, I was hurt, scared and having a really bad day.
“Here she is.” I barely registered as my hunters caught up to me. I was too busy crying and trying to pull out. Then someone grabbed me by the back legs and yanked. It got me out, but it startled me like nothing else. “Here she is! It’s a real pony!” I’m held overhead like Simba on Pride Rock. Countless eyes looked at me, following my every movement. I squirmed, legs kicking as I tried to get out of of his grip. “Hey, it’s an alicorn! How is this happening?” someone shouted.
I yelped again as I’m flipped onto my back. My vision swam. I was still dizzy from my hard impact. My horn and wing were still sore, throbbing rhythmically. I saw the little girl that had spotted me in the other room push her way through to the front of the crowd.
I seized up, trying to move nothing as I tried to curl up into a ball. People turned me this way and that, putting me under more scrutiny than a painting at an auction. Their grips were vises. Whenever I tried to wiggle free, another set of hands came down to stop me from twisting out of their hands. After a while I could do nothing but whimper as I was assaulted by curious hands.They petted me roughly, pulling on every part of me.
“Hey, look at how long her wings are.”
“What strange colors!”
“How did you get here from Equestria?”
When they started to pluck feathers I cried. “Let me go…”
Then a little voice cut through the crowd. “Stop it. You’re hurting her!” I peeked out from behind my hooves to see the little girl from earlier pounding her fist on the leg of the con-goer that was manhandling me. Thank you little miss I-don’t-know-your-name, save me!
The tingling feeling from when Discord changed me returned. The girl and the con-goer were having a shouting match. I don't think I could have been any more scared at this point. To top it off, a headache was forming as the tingling built up in my head. There was little I could do but hold my head as it felt like my skull was about to split.
“See she doesn't even like you!” The little girl shouted, and pulled on the attendee’s arm. I’m sent tumbling out of their grasp. The girl’s face immediately reflected her error as she tried to catch me, but is too slow. I landed on the ground face first. There’s an audible gasp from the crowd. Despite the buildup starting only a few moments earlier, the pressure in my head was dominating most of my attention. I barely registered the fall. Instead I moaned as the pressure built up at the base of my horn.
An argument erupted at this point, accusations flying of who caused what. I, for my part, was dealing with a severe migraine. My moans turned into a loud shout. Like a switch, something popped and the pain drained away. My horn was a vent as it blew out that painful energy like a steam whistle. My entire body tensed up as if I’d been tasered. A bright purple light radiated from my forehead. It blinded me with its brightness.
People were growing alarmed by what is going on with my head. The sound of lightning exploded above my head. A woman cried out. Her cry was that of pain and surprise that shifted in octave, becoming higher and more lyrical. I tensed up as my body shook on the floor helplessly. I could only squint, barely able to make out my surroundings as bolts of lightning sparked out from my head. There was a beam connecting between me and another.
She was engulfed in a purple glow, obscuring most of what was going on. However I felt her squirming through our shared connection. In a few moments she shrank considerably. Her head was so much bigger in comparison to her body. Arms and legs were short and stumpy. As soon as it started, the beam broke off and she dropped to the ground. However, “woman” isn't exactly the word to describe her. Not anymore. I barely registered her pastel body laying on the ground. My horn still glowed, and then another beam erupted from my head.
“She’s surging!” The voice was soon drowned out by yelps of surprise as people tried to force their way through the crowd. The beam fired out in a wide cone as it engulfed a good chunk of the crowd. Several tendrils shot out like chain lightning, catching more and more people in ones and twos. I felt each one connecting to me via the beam. Each new body acted as a sink for the energy that had built up in me. It felt good, the draining. The headache that had beaten in my skull dulled with every moment. I was dimly aware I was screaming with them.
The second beam ended after what seems like minutes. It left me breathless on the ground. Around me was a wall of pastel fur, though some humans were still standing in the sea of newly minted horses. My head still hurt though, my horn in particular. The ache was the ache of overexertion. I needed to get rid of more energy though. The pressure built up again as I hyperventilated. It is out of control. By this point I could hear the panic building in the room. The handful of people left from the original crowd were doing their best impressions of ‘deer in the headlights’. One guy tried to turn in run, but promptly tripped on one of the plush ponies surrounding him. Both parties cry out in surprise as he stumbled.
My eyes screwed shut. I felt the next surge come along. A keening cry built up in my throat as I tried to think of a way to minimize the damage. Focusing on my horn only made it build up faster, and pressing on it with a hoof only caused more pain. Soon I was reduced to chanting “Please stop” as I cradled my head.
Just as I could feel the dam breaking again, I was picked up. A gentle hand rubbed my back as I unleashed. Someone cooed “Shhh… It’s okay.” I relaxed a little. Already this release was less intense. If the previous surges were like a river being channeled through a garden hose, this one felt more akin to water pouring out of a jug into a tub. My consciousness expanded beyond the group of people that surrounded me and into the entire hall.
No one presence was as intense as the ones I felt before, but the sheer number was still overwhelming. It was odd, I could tell where nearly everyone in the building was. Each one drank in some of the flow. A small murmur grew louder as more and more people felt what is going on. Some of them changed similarly to what the crowd surrounding me had, but not as extreme. They just got the ears, the bright hair, or tails.
The hand rubbing my back continued to work between my shoulder blades. “That’s a good Silly Filly, just let it all out.” They didn't need to tell me twice, and my cries calmed down.
I whimpered every time a stray pulse burst. I melted into their touch.Soon the quiet that had washed over the room was broken as everyone seemed to get their collective act together. I was vaguely aware of a few sirens approaching the building from outside. The only thing that brought me out of my stupor was the realization that I was being lifted and more importantly, I wasn’t being petted anymore. I kicked a little as I am placed on the ground next to a small pony. Bleary eyed, I clung onto them. They were around my size, and they pulled me into them. It turned out that ponies are very soft and comfy. They make for the perfect hugging partners. Horn aching, I drifted off to sleep.
And then someone gently kicked me. “Psst, Filly.”
My eyes flew open. I was almost about to fall asleep too. “What is it?” I turned to look, and got a face-full of a reptilian foot. “Gah, do you bathe?”
“Oh, you’re awake.” Discord stood on thin air about a foot above the pony pile. “Thought you were going to fall asleep on me.”
I pulled myself out of the other pony’s grip. They were deceptively strong. “I did.”
"Aw, tuckered out already?”
“I was.” My partner was stiff and wooden. Their leg-arms hadn’t flopped down, still outstretched. “Okay, what did you do?” I glanced around. I was still in the convention center. I immediately spotted a poster in mid-fall,suspended in midair.
He spoke at the same time I did. “I froze time.”
“You froze time.”
“Ha, jinx.” It had been nearly a decade since I had played that game, and he played by different rules than I had played.
"Of course you can freeze ti—ow!”
Discord blew smoke off his pinching fingers. “You didn’t even try, did you?”
“Who the heck still plays jinx?”
“Those between the ages of zero to ten, and anypony above the age of a millennium.” He paused. “The young at heart, too.”
“I thought I just owed you a Coke.”
He pulled out a composition book. On the front read “The Official Rulez for Jinks” .It was covered in some pretty rad doodles. Discord sat on a table as he flipped through the pages. “I dunno, I play by local rules, and around here I get to pinch you.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re wasting time.”
He tossed the notebook over his shoulder. “No, we’re not. Though,” he leaned in as if he were revealing some big secret, “I wanted to check up on you, but I didn’t have enough time. So technically we’re making time for later use. Clever, eh?”
I was not, and still am not, a physicist. I just accepted that at face value. “Honestly it goes over my head.”
He tousled my hair. “Looks like a lot of things go over your head now.” My death glare still couldn’t make his head explode. “I kid though. Anypony that can cause this,” he motioned to the room around me, “much chaos on their own gets my respect. Honestly I didn’t plan for you to do this. I just wanted to see people freak out over a pony.”
As wary of this guy as I was, I still wanted to smack him. “So, you’ll turn me back?”
His chuckle answered that question before his words did. “I’d sooner destroy a stained glass window then such a fun prospect as you.” He sniffed the air. “I can still smell the chaos wafting off of you.”
I knew my death glare only made me cuter, but I still wanted to make this next point looking as mad as possible. I did not pout. Not one bit. “So you just want to mess with people?”
“Just you. And this con. Would you believe this is me showing restraint?”
“See, now you’re catching on. I mean, I can't really cut loose at home so here I am. I even have an itinerary of all the fun things I want to do here. Eat at Pink’s Hot-Dogs, sled down a Mayan Pyramid, go up Niagara Falls in a barrel,” he grew new fingers as he counted several dozen off, “tap-dance across the DMZ, and start a fight over whether Manhattan or New England clam chowder is best. For the record it’s obviously ‘Cullen Skink’. I wanted to go to Comic Con, but even I was not powerful enough to get tickets.” He shook out his hand and it returned to normal. For a certain value of ‘normal’. “It’s why I chose this convention instead.”
Great, I could’ve gotten a Comic Con ticket out of this. Somehow that fact hurt as much as losing my species. “You have more planned, don’t you?”
He grabbed a now ponified vendor’s soda and sipped deeply. “Eh, planning is not exactly my style. I like going with my gut. But you, you are somepony I’ll go out of my way to check on.” He put his drink down. The poster had started falling to the ground again. “Looks like I should get going. I feel like visiting the UN. But first... ” He leaned down, finger outstretched. I backpedaled only a few steps before I tripped. I was paralyzed as his finger loomed closer. I shut my eyes and waited for another wave of energy. Instead, he poked my muzzle, and it scrunched up. “Boop. Stay interesting, Silly Filly.”
With another snap of his fingers, he was gone and time started up again. The poster fell to the ground, the sirens returned in force, and a few newly minted ponies were stirred. And in the middle of this all, I sat in silence as I tried to wrap my mind around the last half hour.