• Published 23rd Oct 2013
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Diary of a Store Clerk - GnollReader



Living in Equestria under a false name and racial identity is one thing. Finding out you're not the only one of your kind stranded here is another... especially when that someone and the element bearers are looking for you.

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Chapter 1: Starting three years in

Where should I start?

Should I start with how I got here? There isn't really that much to say about it, I'm afraid. One moment I was home, the next I was here... No experiments gone wrong, no near death or actual death experience... there wasn't even a bright light or some kind of explosion or injury. I was there, and that was that.

Of course, there was a lot of confusion involved over my new whereabouts... who wouldn't be confused? But that's not really important now, is it? Not that it will take you very long to figure out where you are when you see a colored pegasus fly through the air. At least not if you have internet. So in order to speed things up a bit I'll skip that part.

Now, I knew of Princess Celestia, Discord, the Changelings, and of course, of the Elements of Harmony and their adventures... and honestly, I wanted none of that. I like simple things, calm things that leave you in good health and sane mind.

I had no intention of becoming the study object of Twilight Sparkle, nor did I wish to be tackled by Rainbow Dash the moment I entered Ponyville and I certainly didn't want to meet a god. But above all else, I didn't wish to be enrolled in some crazy adventure that would most likely get me killed or in the bed of a pony... or worse. But I knew, the moment the ponies realized I was an alien from another world, meeting the princesses and elements would be inevitable.

Either by chance or by luck, I entered Equestria nowhere even near Canterlot or Ponyville, so evading the fabled Elements of Harmony wasn't that much of a problem. I just had to make sure not to run around shouting out what I was. Instead, I found myself in a small village called Shoretrot.

The locals, how could they not, were at first skeptical of my appearance and it wasn't long until the first one asked me what I was.

I told them I was a bearotaur, half bear half minotaur, and that I needed the clothes to keep me warm since I couldn't grow a real coat... and that my name was Woodchuck. It was a wild shot on my behalf, I'll admit, but it worked. It turned out the locals had never seen a minotaur, and cross breeding though slightly frowned upon was not that unusual.

Three years later I still lived in Shoretrot, blissfully unaware of the adventures of the mane six... the only way to even get a newspaper from Canterlot was to take a two-hour train to the next village and buy it there.

During those three years my life was uneventful, no adventures, no wild romances... just a normal bearotaur going about his normal life in a small, normal village. I helped out where I could, did any part-time jobs I could find, found a place to stay... and after the second year I had even opened up my own little store. I had succeeded at setting up an absolutely normal, peaceful life.

Except for the hibernation thing. That... that part was a surprise.

As it turns out, being a human in Equestria makes you hibernate during winter... who would have guessed?

The first winter was troublesome, mainly because I surprised my neighbors by sleep walking over to their place and pillaging their food supplies like a brainless zombie. They were understanding... and we laughed about it later.

All in all though, hibernation isn't that bad. You get sleepy, you make yourself comfy at home and grow some extra hairs... and you make sure there's enough easy-to-access food hidden throughout your place so that when you do occasionally wake up into a half-brained state you'll be able to dig up something edible.

Strange thing though, you get the most incredible drive to hide food in weird places once winter draws near.

Anyway, after my first hibernation I was able to prepare and the ones after that became a normal routine to everyone... I'm still not fond of using 'everypony'. They knew I was sleeping and they left me to it... at least... after the second year.

In the second year some foals thought it would be a fun adventure to see what a sleeping bearotaur looks like. They had heard that I grew some serious facial hair during that time... which turned out to be a bad idea because they woke me up and I... there's not really any other way to say this, went on a rampage.

Luckily I was still half asleep, so the rampage was mainly me chucking my frying pans and cooking pots at ponies on the street while shouting about yellow cabbages... I do get strange dreams during winter.

No one was hurt, the foals were scolded... and it became an unspoken rule to keep a good distance from my place while I slept.

But back to the matter at hand. Remember the part about me opening a small store? It was a small house, colorful like all of the other ones. The lower part was the store and the upper part is my flat. The store itself wasn't anything special, it was my little impression of a super market and the ponies of Shoretrot liked how it had all sorts of useful stuff at its disposal. It became a social meeting place for the locals.

The mares came with their foals to talk with one another and exchange the latest gossip as they got their groceries, the foals came with their mothers to get sweets... and the stallions came to buy tools, escape their wives, make lewd jokes and hang out at 'Woody's Place' to drink cider, which in all honesty isn't that much of a real cider. It's more like apple juice that has just started to ferment.

All in all, I had made myself a new existence and life was good... For a while at least, because after three years of peace and beautiful ignorance, the unthinkable happened.

---

I had just opened the store like I always did. And like always, I had unpacked the boxes containing the wares I ordered and set them up on the little shelves. Seeing as no one was around this early in the morning, I decided to make use of the time and take out the trash that had accumulated.

So, with the trash can in my hands and wearing my apron, I went to the back of the store, opened the back door... and almost had a heart attack.

Standing outside and staring at me with a dumbfounded expression was none other than Twilight Sparkle herself, Element of Magic and student of Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria. And if that in itself wasn't already enough to send my mind reeling, next to her stood... I actually blinked my eyes to be sure but there was no doubt.

It was a girl. A human girl dressed up in the most ridiculous poncho and assorted blankets I had ever seen for that matter. By the guess of her looks, she was maybe fifteen or a little older... she barely reached my chest. And she too was staring at me with an expression that simply screamed 'what the fuck'.

The three of us continued to stare at one another, completely bewildered and shocked... then the girl started to stammer something, and I did what I always did when faced with the inevitable disaster... Pretend that it's perfectly normal and act accordingly.

I put on my best casual face, gave the two a short nod. "Ladies..." emptied the trash can into the large bin standing outside and closed the door behind me as I stepped back inside again. I locked the door for good measure, went to the front, turned the open signed to closed, locked that door too and with a happy tune on my lips went up into my room. If my calm life was about to come to an end, I might as well get some sleep before all Hell came down upon me.

And even as I closed the blinds of my windows and buried myself under my blankets... I could hear both of them scream outside. "What the buck?!"

I still hate that phrase... and it wouldn't be the last time I'd get to hear it.