• Published 10th Jun 2013
  • 3,963 Views, 285 Comments

When The Mare Comes Around - nanashi_jones



I woke up in a shallow grave off Highway 5. When I dug myself out, I was Applejack. And trouble followed with me.

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Ain't No Grave

Day 7

At first I thought I couldn’t breathe because I had the covers over my face and the cat had passed out on top of me. Then, I realized I couldn’t breathe because the covers were actually dirt and the dirt was burying me alive.

Panicked, I started slapping at the soil around me and to my complete surprise, it moved. Effortlessly. As if I were shoving pudding.

I didn’t care. I pushed dirt aside as fast as I could and cried out when I gasped fresh air. Hauling myself up and out, I sucked in deeply, glad beyond belief that every gulp came with air rather than dirt. Dirty, heavy dirt.

My breathing was ragged, torn. I could feel tears in my eyes and down my cheeks and I knew I was crying. My mind reeling, I tried to remember what happened. I halted mid-thought when a strange, orange appendage appeared in my field of vision to wipe my eye.

“What th-” I said and my first coherent thought bloomed: That’s not my voice.

That first coherent thought had the power of galvanizing the rest of my brain into order. Memory started asserting itself.

I’d been in a wreck.

I’d been driving home from this ridiculous last-minute thing that was dropped into my lap by my boss’s boss. I’d been listening to some music, trying to make the most of the night. Just something on my Android. Then... Headlights, behind me. Veering around. I’d slowed down. Their brights were on and distracting. I’d tried to let them pass and go be nuts further ahead, but they’d-

“Oh God,” I whispered.

They’d sideswiped me. Then rammed me.

I remembered glass shattering and pain and... Just... A jumble.

I swallowed, trying to gather my bearings. I was still a little in the dirt.

At this realization, I shook violently and freed the rest of me, which was as orange as the upper part. When the rest came free, I realized what was going on and that I had hooves. I had hooves. I didn’t have hooves, I was a person!

Wasn’t I?

Oh God, I died and now I was a.... Horse? An orange horse?

I blinked at my body and realized something else.

A tiny, orange horse? What the hell?

Wait. No. Something’s familiar, something... Blond tail, orange fur. I blinked dirt from my eyes, my semi-freaking-out brain and then I saw the three apples on my side and it clicks.

Holy freaking cow, I wasn’t a horse. I was one of those ponies from that show. That thing Max showed me. Holy freaking butts. How does that even work?!

I spat, getting the dirt from my mouth and looked over at the soil I’d pushed out of.

It was a shallow grave.

I blinked at it and immediately started scrambling away. My body responded awkwardly, if efficiently. I mean, I wanted to get away however possible, so I wasn’t making a go of getting up on my hind legs and running. Scrabbling about was perfectly fine with me at this point.

In mid-scrabble, I realized I could smell something. Something familiar. What... My purse. Shit, I could smell the chapstick in my purse. Was it- There. Next to the grave.

Ugh, the grave. Ew, ew, ew.

I grabbed my black, tough, take-no-shit and apparently take-no-grave purse and hauled. It had a fair bit of dirt in it, but not as much as was on me. For all I was orange and blond, I had a healthy amount of brown right then.

Keep moving Rae, I told myself. Just keep moving away from the freaky grave you were just. Freaking. Buried. In.

FUCK!!

I made it to a creek and plopped down, sticking my face into the water. It was refreshing, clearing. My freaking-out brain throttled down and when I pulled my face up I could make out my reflection.

Big, big green eyes. Blond mane had some messy bangs or whatever. Freckles across... My muzzle. I have a muzzle. Okay. And freckles. Somehow. I also had orange fur and I looked kinda... Thick. Sturdy. Was I muscular?

Oh. Hey. I recognized me. I was the... Cowgirl pony. Apple... Something.

Oh God, I think I threw up an apple...

Calm down brain and work for me dammit!

Wait. Applejack. Right. Didn’t Max say she was the boring one?

“Can’t be that boring if you’re comin’ out of a grave like a zombie,” I said and winced.

That still wasn’t my voice. It had this twangy drawl to it, which really clashed with the fact that I’d lived in Upstate New York my whole life. I sounded like my cousin from Kentucky.

Shaking it off, I got as much of myself washed off in the creek as I could. I then pulled my purse over. It occurred to me I was being really calm about this. Must be all that Zombie Survival stuff I talked about with Max and Brian.

Checking through my purse, I found my ID was gone, but that was it. My phone had been back in the car, wherever that was, but I still had my chapstick, cash, and credit card in the credit card pouch. This was my Do Most Things purse. I kept my ID really easy to get at and it was gone.

And they left everything else and I was in a shallow grave...

“Holy shit...” I said in my twangy new voice.

Someone wrecked my car. Someone pulled me out of my wrecked car. Someone buried me away from my wrecked car. Someone left me for dead.

And now I looked like Applejack.

Holy shit.
~
I found my car not too far away from where I’d stopped to wash the grime off. It was plowed into a tree. This confused me because while I was freaking out like there was no tomorrow, I didn’t remember a tree. I remember spinning and taking the hard end of a car, but no tree.

In fact, on closer inspection, it didn’t look like the car hit the tree too hard.

Wait. Remember, Rachel, some jerk killed you and buried you. They probably pushed your car down the embankment.

I could see the highway from where I was and while I wanted to poke around in the car for... Something, I didn’t want to get on that highway. Whoever had buried me might still be up there.

“Great,” I grumbled, starting to shake.

I went around my efficient little maroon Ford Focus, which was now less focused and more crunched, and saw the damage. First off, both passenger side doors were facing the wrong way: inward. The tail lights on that side were shattered too. As I came around, I found that even though the front wasn’t that wrecked from the tree, the driver side of the front was just... Mangled. Tire folding into the mess, hood bent and crumpled like paper, bits of engine and little parts visible.

I got a brief flash of a bumper just... Eating the front of my car and it was gone. I shook a bit more and noticed the driver side door was open.

I tried to rear up on two legs and was partially successful. I kind of wavered as I leaned against the door. It’s like my brain couldn’t decide what to freak out about more: my body, the situation, my body and the situation. So, just... Pushing past the weird feeling that I shouldn’t be standing on my back two legs like I used to, I scanned the car.

The windshield was one big spider’s web of cracks. The dashboard was bent and cracked. The pedals looked like someone had rammed them from the other side, which, I guess, was accurate. The display lights were faded and the radio was hissing very slight static. The eerie noise and damage made the whole thing very Silent Hill. It made me a whole lot less interested in looking through my wrecked car, but I needed to look.

The crap that had amassed on the floorboard- paper, old CDs, grocery bags, an old water bottle- were all over the back seat and a bit on the passenger seat too. I could see where my soda had exploded around in the crash and as I was having the bizarrely normal thought of This is gonna cost me a fortune to fix... I saw my phone.

Somehow, in all the excitement, it had fallen into the passenger side door, which was way more in the car than it should be.

I fell onto the driver’s seat and climbed across. Even though the windshield had only spiderwebbed and not really shattered, there were little bits of glass I was mindful of as I moved from the driver to the passenger side. Reaching my arm down, I tried to pick it up and didn’t.

Oh yeah. No fingers.

I stared at my phone, shrugged and leaned down, picking it up with my teeth. Carefully.

Picking my way back across the car, I hopped down and felt... Steady on four legs. At this point, my brain stopped freaking out and was just like- Okay, I’m a pony. Whatever.

Guess I hit my stress limit.

I dropped my phone on the ground next to my purse and looked back in my car. I couldn’t think of anything else I needed. It was all just garbage anyway. Just a car full of crap. I looked back at my phone.

It was fine.

The car was trashed, my purse was carrying dirt and I had been freaking buried alive! But my Android? Fine. Not even a crack. I think the headphone jack was scratched, but that was it.

“Well, you just got a customer for life outta me,” I said.

Because talking to myself was a good idea after all this.

I stared at the phone. Talking.

I should... Call someone. Who?

Mom? Dad?

No, that was... Ugh, that was a bad idea. I didn’t sound like myself at all. How was I going to make them...

No. They’re out. I can’t. Not now.

Who then? Who, who, who- Max. Max was into this stuff. Saying he’s a proud brony or something.

Call Max. He might believe you.

I poked my Android awake, and it did so.

For the first time in my life, I was glad I splurged and got one of those big models because I was such a fumble fingers and needed the screen space. So even with my big, awkward orange hoof, it wasn’t hard to get in. Mostly this was because I wasn’t a phone password type. I mean, it’s just my phone. If someone hacked it or stole it, they’d just see I text everyone, look up stuff on IMDB and listen to lots of pop music. The scandal!

I found Max’s number and hit the big friendly “Call” button.

It rang a few times.

“Hey Rae, you hiding from work?”

“Uh, no, not exactly.”

I heard him shift around. “Uh... Rae. Why do you sound like Abbie?”

“Max...” And I felt the tears come to my eyes and whatever numb... Thing that let me get out of the grave, wash myself in the river, search my car, look at everything, and deal broke.

I cried. I heaved sobs and gulped snot and cried like I was four and life was ending.

“Whoa! Whoa! Rae! Rachel, are you alright?”

“Max...” I choked out. “I think- I think I died!”