• Published 22nd Sep 2013
  • 5,994 Views, 226 Comments

The Man in Black - Eagle

Johnny Cash introduces Equestria to Country.

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When the Man Comes Around

We all hope to go to Heaven.
-Johnny Cash

You ever thought of what might happen when you were on your deathbed? Ever thought of what you’ve done in your life, where you‘ve been, or where you’ll be going? Will there be anything to think about at all?

At 2:00 AM, on an average September afternoon, one man passes on. A man who’s lived a lifetime of achievements and wonders that few in the world have the chance to do. One who’s lived a life of sin and service.

John R. ‘Johnny’ Cash, a musician whose work has influenced the world, dies of complications with his diabetes in a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. What went through his mind in those final seconds? That’s anyone’s guess.

If John was anything other than a musician, he was a man of God. Despite all of the things he’d done, he never got angry or turned his back on his lord. He always accepted God into him and whatever his plan was. Well, a new plan has just been put in motion.

A man is sleeping soundly under an apple tree, snoring loudly. He’s not as old as he should be, but not as young as he could be. The clothes on his back are all solid black; shirt, shoes, pants, jacket, and all. His only accessory: a single acoustic guitar.

“Mmmph, hm?”

The man awakens, sitting up from his slouched napping position against the tree trunk.

“Hm, what’s this here?” he asks himself. “I don’t exactly remember stoppin’ for a nap here. Wait, wasn’t I in the hospital, or was that just a dream? No, it couldn’t have been. It felt too real.”

He suddenly realizes just how good he feels; energetic, spry, young.

“By God, I’m younger! Around thirty years, by the looks of it!” He exclaimed. “But how is that? A man doesn’t get younger, he gets…older. Wait, oh…I remember now.”

It came back to him; sitting and suffering in that bed. Knowing his time was near and closing his eyes. Last thing he remembered was the bright light, along with a voice that told him something, though he wasn’t too sure what.

“I died, or…am dead. That would explain a good deal,” he said, looking around. “Though, this isn’t exactly what I thought Heaven would be like.”

He stood up, amazed by the newfound energy in his legs.

“June, you up here?” he called out over the orchard of trees. “What about you, Jack? Anyone at all?”

He stopped and slumped back down alone against the tree, a sad look on his face.

“I’m alone. Maybe I’m not in Heaven, maybe this is hell. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit,” he said, looking around again. “Na, hell’d be much worse. Purgatory, maybe? I dunno.”

His confusion and depression ended quickly when he spotted a case on the ground. Leaning over, he opened it up and took out an acoustic Dreadnought guitar; perfect condition and well-tuned. A wide smile broke on his face as he held it.

“Well, I know God is still watchin’ me, he had the good grace to send my guitar with me!” he chuckled. “And I was told I wouldn’t have material possessions in the afterlife! Well, I can thank him for making an exception for me.”

He got back up and grabbed an apple from the tree and began to eat on it.

“Still, I wish I knew where I was. Or, at least what I’m here for,” he said to himself. “Well, for now at least, I’d rather let whatever’s out there come to me. And until then, I’ve got all the time in the world.”

He returned, once again, to his slouched position in on the tree; this time, with the guitar in his lap.

“And, I’ve got what I need to pass that time,” he said. “Let’s see now, what first? Ah, here’s one I haven’t done in a while. How did the chords go? Was it the A or…ah yes, the G goes here. One…two…and three.”

“I’m tellin’ ya’ll, I can handle the harvest on my own, this time,” Applejack said in a vain attempt to shoo away her friends.

“You remember the last time Big Mac got sick and you tried to do all the work yourself?” Rainbow asked.

“Yea, yea. Still, he should be gettin’ better soon. ‘Sides, there ain’t much left, just this little area over here,” she replied.

“Well, we’re still gonna help you, it’ll get done faster.”

“I stil-”

“Hang on, girls,” Twilight stopped them, “you hear something?”

The group fell silent and, sure enough, they caught onto a strange sound they hadn’t heard before.

“It’s faint, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before. It sounds…twangy…musical,” Twilight tried to find the right words to it. “Fluttershy, do you know any animals that make that sound? Birds, maybe?”

“No, I’ve never heard of it before, either,” she replied.

“Well, let’s figure out where it’s coming from, then we’ll know what it is,” Pinkie suggested, before she began to run around the orchard is search of the noise.

The rest of the group did the same, fanning out to try and find where the sound was originating from. Little by little, they found the general direction of it. As they came closer, they also noticed a very deep voice that went along with it.

“Ya’ll here that? Sounds like singin’,” Applejack stated. “Who’d be singin’ in my orchard?”

“Well, we’ll find out soon enough,” Rainbow said. “It sounds like we’re coming closer, I can kinda make out some words.”

“Here the trumpets, here the pipers,

One hundred million angels singing,

Multitudes are marching to the big kettledrum,”

“Weird song,” she said. “Over this way I think.”

They continued closer, the words becoming even clearer.

“And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree,

The virgins are all trimming their wicks,

The whirlwind is in the thorn tree,

It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks,”

Finally, they rounded a cluster of trees and spotted the singer. The groups stood there, stunned and trying to figure out just what it was. The singer also spotted the ponies and, though thoroughly surprised, decided to finish off the song first.

“In measured hundred weight and penny pound,

When the man comes around.”

The group trotted up slowly to him. The singer sat there with a happy smile on his face. He hadn’t really expected something like this; but, being in wherever he was, he was expecting the unexpected.

“That was…great!” Applejack said, being the first to speak.

“Yea, we’ve never heard any music like that before!” Pinkie said excitedly. “Oh, and we’ve never seen…whatever you are around here, either!”

“Yea, what are your?” Twilight asked. “Who are you?”

“Hello,” the man replied. “I’m Johnny Cash.”

Author's Note:

Please don't think this is going to be Cash constantly talking about religion throughout the whole story. Mostly, this is just his singing. I just picked this song because it fit well for the first chapter and his entry.