• Published 31st Oct 2013
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Citizen Weevil - Magic Man



A changeling immigrant, Weevil, and his family, try their best to live their lives in the savage urban jungle of Manehattan.

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Chapter Three: Down in Six Points, Part III

Citizen Weevil

Chapter Three

Down in Six Points, Part III

Shroud hated P.E.. Apart from a good game of hockey, he utterly hated anything to do with Physical Education. It wasn’t just because he was, by all my means, a nerd, but also because he had the grave misfortune of being a changeling colt.

As a male of his species, he could never hope to grow as big and muscular like the females often did; the only reason the Changeling Kingdom conscripted countless stallions were because they made for good cannon fodder. He couldn’t get anything out of this class other than humiliation and pulled muscles.

The school auditorium/gymnasium was crammed with students from different grades behaving like a horde of zoo animals let out of their cages. The bad weather meant P.E. had been relegated indoors for the day, to the joy of lazy dough balls like Bigmouth, whose most arduous exercise included the trip from his living room to his fridge.

Shroud was sitting on the bottom of the bleachers in his small group of friends, made up of Zamira, Bigmouth and Scruffy; some of the few students who weren't running amok.

Bigmouth finished licking his hooves and the inside of his potato chip bag and let out a long, drawn-out slovenly burp. “... Oh, dudes! I’m totally stuffed.”

Zamira shot him a genuinely surprised look. “That’d be a first. You know Posy’s probably gonna make us climb the obstacle course today.”

He belched again. “So?”

“So you gotta do the flying section, cuz you’re a pegasus!” she snapped, retching and waving away his noxious gas. “And when was the last time you could lift your big butt off the floor?”

“Pfft, I got that covered...” He took something out from under his pigmy wings and showed it to them, smirking confidently. “Check it.”

All three of them stared baffled back and forth from Bigmouth to what was a crumpled-up napkin with quite possibly Equestria’s most pathetic excuse for a fake doctor’s note ever poorly scribbled in green felt-tip.

“You know, Bigmouth, I get you’re stupid, but this is just you showin’ off,” Zamira declared, Shroud only shaking his head unimpressed. “There’s no way Posy’s gonna fall for this!”

“You didn’t even spell ‘can’t’ right,” Scruffy pointed out amongst the ‘note’s’ many, many flaws. “And what the heck is ‘Achy-Breaky Pelvis’?!”

“It’s a real condition, Plotfaces!” he snapped as he folded the napkin and tucked it away. “My grandpa had it! Just you watch: old Coach Psycho’s not gonna have a choice—”

The double doors kicked open, but the sound was lost in the tidal wave of noise created by the wild animals known as children, picked up only by the small group who let out a collective ‘eep’ and hurried into a line. The rest of them did not notice the mare marching into the room, that is, until her terrifying, booming voice shook the foundations of the room.

“SHUT UP OR I WILL KILL YOU!”

Most of the students shut their traps immediately, some even flash-freezing where they stood as they recognized the voice that made them want to void their bowels and saw its owner standing over them like the golem she was.

“DO YOU UNDERSTAND! SHUT UP AND GET IN LINE OR I WILL PHYSICALLY-KILL-YOU!”

They were all lined up perfectly like a company of soldiers, none making a peep, before she was even finished yelling.

She was a pegasus mare with a titanic frame made up of an overabundance of massive muscles rippling under a plush crimson coat and black tracksuit. She also sported a jet black mane done up in a short style. With such a figure, at first glance, let’s just say some honest mistakes were made... with unpleasant results.

“Alright, you little mutants, listen up!” Coach Rosy Posy began as she marched up and down in the line of students in a brisk military fashion, keeping her smouldering eyes forward and flexing her mighty wings. “As you know, because of today’s weather and the do-good bureaucrats who’ll freak out if so much as one of you little punks gets a cold, today’s P.E. will be taking place indoors.”

Shroud almost snickered aloud. Bureaucrats were nothing to worry about. If his mother found so much as a single cut or graze on his leg, she’d come down to the school and literally rip all the teachers in half like catalogue books.

“Now since the newest equipment still hasn’t arrived from Manehattan prison, we’ll be playing a school pastime instead...” She whipped a large red rubber ball from under her wing. “DODGEBALL!”

The gym came alive again with the older students cheering in jubilation, while the silent majority's faces collectively contorted with grimace. A certain pair, one a bronze-headed griffin and the other a milky white earth filly, both of them wearing the dumbest, slack-jawed expressions Shroud had ever seen, were in an uncontrollable fit of giggles.

“Huhuhuh, dude, Slaughterball!” The filly laughed stupidly, hoof bumping her best friend and flinging her lime and pink stripped mane from her face.

“Excellent!” They cheered, standing up on their hind legs and playing an air riff.

“Wikus and Metalhead, shut the hay up!” Posy yelled. Both of them shut their traps and got back in line, albeit still struggling to restrain their laughter.

The musclebound mare brushed her mane back, calming down and resuming her march down the line. “Now before any of you little maggots dares asking, I’ve already assigned your groups. Any questions?”

“Eh-hem! Coach?”

She stopped and sighed exasperatedly upon hearing that obnoxious voice from below. Her head cranked down to stare unimpressed at the little turquoise tub of goo standing smugly at her hooves.

“Alright, Bigmouth, what’s today’s excuse?” she asked him dryly. The hefty colt took out his ‘note’ and hoofed it to her, retaining his confident smirking and posture. She skimmed through it, seemingly able to make out the chicken scratch, before glaring at him intently. “... ‘Achy-Breaky Pelvis?’. Really?”

“It’s a medical condition,” he retorted. “Ask a doctor!”

“My office, Butterball,” she ordered stonily, pointing at the double doors. “Now.”

Bigmouth huffed and sulked off with the musclebound mare giving him an ‘encouraging’ nudge as she followed him out. His classmates hardly bothered to mask their laughter, Shroud and Zamira especially. That fat little lump always managed to get away with murder, and seeing him get what was coming to him was immensely satisfying.

“Told ya it wouldn’t work, fatso,” she whispered when was still within earshot.

“Bark chewer!”

“What did you say?!”

“Enough!” Posy spread her wings to keep them apart. “Crete! Get your classmates started before I get back while I take care of this! You know what to do.”

An oversized minotaur calf blew a whistle hanging from a lanyard around his neck before she was even out the door and began ordering the other students around. Crete was Posy’s unofficial 'assistant' and judging by his exceptionally large size, even for a calf, it wasn’t difficult to see why.

As class got underway, Zamira glared daggers at the door, huffing and chewing her inner lip upset. She heard what that fat brat said and saw the satisfied smirk on his face as he and Posy left, and she made a promise to kick his teeth in the first chance she got.

She felt Shroud’s hoof around her shoulder and the fire in her belly simmered down.

“Yeah yeah, I’m fine,” she muttered, even if it was obvious she wasn’t, as they got into their groups. “C’mon. Let’s get this over with...”

Dodgeball. If Coach Posy was their executioner, that game was her blood dripping axe. There was no point in Equestrian Dodgeball’s existence, as far as Shroud was concerned, other than pure, unchecked sadism. It was the only thing in school two knuckleheads like Wikus and Metalhead were good at and they enjoyed every minute of it, more so than any normal creature should.

The only thing he could hope to do was keep his head down and brazen through it, and not only protect his soft, supple carapace, but more importantly, his precious and irreplaceable brain.

It didn’t bode well when he found out what team he was in: his third-grade class against the fourth.

“Oh, dude, this is weak,” said Scruffy.

The third-graders’ team was puny compared to the fourth-graders, whose line-up included a disproportionate number of griffins and minotaurs (some of whom had been held back) and, worst of all, Wikus and Metalhead. The griffin ran his talon over his throat in a slitting motion, grinning psychotically at the lambs to be slaughtered.

Zamira threw her hooves in the air incredulously. “Aw, come on, Crete! This is bull—”

The minotaur just blew the whistle and the match had begun.

Before the half the third-graders who registered what happened got to halfway to the line of balls, they were all already in their opponents hooves, hands, claws, or whatever. The hopelessly outclassed third-graders froze in their horseshoes, it all happened so quickly. They didn’t even stand the slimmest chance.

“Beautiful,” one changeling filly said simply, grinning toothily like a Cheshire Cat and raising all three balls she’d acquired with her magic.

It was literally like shooting fish in a barrel. The fourth-graders didn’t even have to try, but they still struck each of them down without mercy as they scattered around their half of the court like headless chickens.

Zamira was the first to get floored by one ball coming at her at full speed and smacking her in the muzzle. One unlucky colt got hit left, then right in the face, making him spin a little before he landed hard on his belly. The only one to try and put up a fight was Mimic, but she was mowed down in the end by a barrage of three balls at once.

“Heheheh, hey, Metalhead, watch this!”

Wikus slammed his ball hard against the floor, sending it bouncing high in the air. It plummeted whistling down to earth, homing in on Scruffy, who did not nothing but running around on the spot, screaming, until the ball beaned him on the head and fell down without even an ‘oomph’.

“Dude, huhuhuh, you totally busted that kid’s skull!”

“Score one for mathematics!”

The last third-grader standing was Shroud, who hadn’t moved from his spot the moment the whistle was blown, instead watching the carnage in stunned silence from an unsafe distance. A creeping horror dawned over his stoic features: he was next.

Buck this noise, he was bailing. He spun on his heels and sprinted for the doors, running exceptionally fast for a little colt.

“Hey, Crete, that roach kid’s making a break for it!”

The minotaur, who had been standing on the side-lines as referee, grabbed the nearest ball and hurled through the air at the changeling. Shroud kept running as fast as he could, even forcing his little wings to lift him off the ground, but that wasn’t enough to outpace a rubber ball coming at you with the velocity of a fired cannonball.

The ball pelted him against the back of his head. He skidded violently across the polish floor and came to a squeaky halt. He lifted his head at the pair of huge crimson hooves in front of his face.

Coach Posy bounced the ball from one wing to another, glaring down at him with smouldering eyes.

“No flaking!” she growled, holding the ball high over his little head.


Back in Harmony Square, the leaders of the protesters on both sides were now making their speeches. Most of their hoof soldiers had blown their pipes screaming and trying to claw at each other and were on rest while somepony else blew the hot air.

On the ENF stage, a unicorn stallion in a heavy black trenchcoat over a three-piece suit and sporting an oily combed over mane, stood at the podium and giving his speech. His name was Soap Box, chairpony of the Manehattan branch of the ENF.

“The Six Points used to be a traditional working-class area, and a face of the hard-working culture that has made Equestria what it is, but now it has become a no-go area for law-abiding indigenous Equestrian citizens!” He bellowed into the several microphones so his fiery voice could be heard across the waves of already incensed ponies. “A line has been grossly crossed from immigration into blatant colonization in which ponykind is being ethnically cleansed from their homes, and it is all a direct result of Canterlot’s Open Door policy.” He levitated a document and showed it to his loyal listeners, “Criminal statistics from the police state that over 30% of all crimes are being committed by non-ponies and foreigners!” A bottle flew over his head, which clipped him on the ear. “Ow! H-hey, you! You, I saw you!”

Over by the opposition rally, their speaker was an ageing earth pony hippie by the name of Tie Dye, leader of the local EASF (Equestrians Against Speciesism and Fascism) branch. He wore a matching tie-dye shirt that was too big for him and a pair of purple-lensed glasses, which he adjusted as he read from his speech papers.

“So, like, the Six Points is a multicultural area that’s proud of its diversity, okay? But these jackbooted thugs think they can march down here all the way from Canterlot and occupy this neighbourhood so they can spread their trash and divide its community—”

“Dude, talk about the Poison Joke,” whispered one of his fellow hippies who was standing by him.

Tie Dye covered the microphone with his hoof and hissed over his shoulder, “Shh! Quiet, man, I’m getting to that!”

The Manehattan police were the ones caught dead in the middle of it. None of them wanted to be there in that pony and dog barrier, especially in a wretched hive like Six Points. It was rumoured back at the station that lowest on the pecking order were sent down here—hence the large number of diamond dog rookies. Lucky for them, they were clad in protective riot gear that kept out the cold and lobbed bottles.

“Ma’am, ma’am! Step back!” One officer barked at Sweetie Belle who was waving her picket sign in his face. The college filly was clearly doped-up on more Poison Joke than she could handle. He held up a spray can to his face. “This is the mace that they use on Ursas, ma’am! And I will use it!”

“Screw you, pig—” Hsssss! She fell to the ground, covering her face and screaming in agony. “AAAIIIEEEEE! MY EYES! MY PRECIOUS GREEN EYYYES! AAAIIIEEEEE!”

“What did I just say?” The cop looked to his diamond dog subordinate. “You heard me, McGruff. What did I just say?”

“You said you’d use it, Sarge.”

“I said I’d use it.” He noticed the dog discreetly dropping a small club at Sweetie Belle’s hooves and gave him a nod of approval. “Nicely done, McGruff.”

Weevil, meanwhile, was now seriously getting sick and tired of all these obnoxious idiots and their protesting for one afternoon. Gilda was right: these ponies really had nothing better to do, especially jobs. Running the store on a day-by-day basis was stressful enough, but at this rate, combined with finding a damn rat in his slush machine, he was going to be completely bald by the end of the day.

Sweet, sweet beer and a cigarette in hoof were the only things keeping his sanity check as he stood on his store’s porch again on his short break with his friends, all of them doing their best to drown out the protesters’ noise and talk about something else to get their minds off it.

A still tipsy Scarab, in between lifting his bottle to take a whisk now and them, asked whether anyone had seen the new Daring Do movie yet. No one did, the most popular reason being how it was by the same director who brought such cinematic excrement as the Ponies of the Caribbean series.

“I’m gonna go and see it this Friday!” Cue Ball told them with a contrary enthusiasm. “They say it’s got that Bomb Chèlle in it playing Daring Do.”

The very name Bomb Chèlle gave Weevil goose bumps. Now that was a young mare who had it. There wasn’t a horny teenager in Equestria who didn’t have a pinup or magazine with the Manehattan-native actress on the cover in their bedroom.

Cue Ball went on to say, “You know, I bet mares like her don’t even have to try to get coltfriends. They all probably line up for her like I do at the pawn shop every Saturday...” He trailed off, rubbing his chrome dome despondently, “Not like she’d be interested in some barber with a thinning mane. No... she’d turn and run, just like my wife did...” He heaved a sigh and took another drink.

Following the awkward pause, Gilda commented, “Your depressing love life aside, save your couch money, Cue, the critics have already torn that piece of crap to shreds.” She stuck her tongue out disdainfully. She didn’t see what was so hot about that Bomb Chèlle chick anyhow. Of course, she was a pretty face with well-toned flanks, but she’d seen way hotter. “It’s a bomb, alright.”

“Nopony cares if it’s a lousy movie, Gilda,” Weevil said as he put out his cigarette by stomping it against the floorboards. "They're too busy staring at Daring Doo's flank."

“Yeah, all I wanna see is Bomb Chèlle in a safari outfit…” Scarab hungrily licked pale tongue over his lips, salivating as his imagination conjured up the image of Bomb Chèlle in the hot, humid jungle, clad in a tight safari outfit clinging to her sweating and glistening fur coat...

He practically leaped up from his chair, carelessly dropping his half-empty bottle with a smash, shouting with newfound vigour, “I can’t wait anymore, we gotta see that movie!”

“I wanna go too!” Cue Ball practically squealed like a school filly as both he and Zigzag got up, the idea now sounding like a plan.

Weevil was the first to put a stop to it. “Okay, first of all, I’m not going anywhere because I’ve got a store to run. Second, you’re not going anywhere, because of that.” He pointed out towards the impregnable wall of police and protestors, and his friends let out a collective groan. In their excitement, they’d forgotten all about the nuisance. There was no way any of them were going to get through that safely.

“Damn it, if the cops don’t break out the tear gas soon, I’m going to go home, get my spear and... and...” He looked over the occupied street and saw the path to his home was completely block now. “Aw! Aww! I can’t even get to my home now! This sucks!”

“Hey you!”

The feminine voice stood out from the chorus of the protesters, and, it was unquestionably directed at their group. They looked up where it had come from and witnessed a bunch of bat ponies - five in total and all mares - landing right at the steps of the porch.

The mare at the lead, dark grey in coat and a bluish-grey in mane and white hot fury etched on her face, singled out and pointed at Weevil, snarling ferociously, “Yeah, you! You sonuvabitch!”

It didn’t take a genius to put it all together.

“Oh crap,” Weevil muttered, face wincing and shoulders slumping. His friends’ reactions were that different as they slowly shuffled as far from him as they could.

Scarab’s head recoiled into his jacket like wanted to disappear. “Oh ho, boy...”

The bat pony flew right up into Weevil’s personal space, pulling up short and hovering vertically in the air in front of him, both to make herself look bigger and to look him in the eye with fire and brimstone burning in hers.

She grabbed him by the collar of his apron and roared in his face, “HOW DARE YOU PUT YOUR HOOVES ON MY SON!”

He cringed as his face was showered by her spittle. Instead of trying to provoke her, leaned back and raised his hooves defensively, though what possible defence he could have hoped to put was beyond even him.

"Lady, lady! Calm down!”

“What’s the matter?” she challenged. “Too scared to hit a grown-up!?”

“Lady, what are you talking about?!" he protested. "I didn’t touch your kid!”

“Oh yeah, then who did?!” She spat, poking him hard in his flabby chest.

“His wife,” said Cue Ball straight-faced before taking another slurp of beer, and who promptly received a swift punch in the face from a set of griffin claws balled into a fist.

The overweight changeling cringed and nervously grinned at the bat colt’s furious mother, whose flaring nostrils were chugging out steam in his face.

“O-Okay, look…” Fear-induced bullets of sweat ran down his face as he did his best to explain in a breaking voice. “Funny story, you'll laugh. You see, heh heh... my wife caught your punk kid stealing our beer—”

“What?!”

His knees buckled out of sheer fear and his thoughts turned to running inside for his wife like a foal. He wouldn’t have got halfway to the door before the bats jumped him and beat the living tar out of him.

“So she put him over her knee and started spanking him—” He literally slapped his forehead, amazed at his own stupidity. ‘W-What am I doing?! This isn’t helping me!’

The bat mare’s face turned redder than a ripe tomato. She now seriously looked like she was prepared to snap Weevil’s horn off and shove it up where the sun doesn’t shine.

“We’ll see how she likes it when I kick your ass!” she yelled, grabbing him roughly again and raising her hoof threateningly. Nopony touched her foals, especially not an overgrown cockroach of a pony!

“Get your filthy hooves off my husband!”

All heads snapped around to see a livid Echo standing in the door frame, violet eyes ablaze and one hoof up against the now cracked glass of the door.

Changeling mares, strong and domineering were, unsurprisingly, intensely territorial creatures. Unless you had the excuse of being extremely ignorant, you did not threaten them and theirs, and that included their turf, property and, most of all, their family.

And Echo did not like the sight of the bat pony standing thuggishly over her cowering husband. Not at all.

In a crack of green fire, the changeling matriarch vanished and reappeared right in between Weevil and the mare. She bared every inch of her dagger-sharp fangs and outspread her insect wings as her frame cast a shadow over the bat half her size.

The small group of bat ponies instinctively took a few steps back in face of this new larger and stronger opponent, but their leader’s bravado faltered for only a moment, before she got into Echo’s face in a vain attempt to intimidate her.

“You’re the one who hit my son?”

“What of it?”

One of the bats’ equally outraged friends spoke up for the first time, “You’ve got some nerve!”

“You owe my cousin and her son an apology!” another yelled.

Echo’s scowl didn’t as much as twitch. “No.” She bluntly told them, a low, primal growl rattling her vocal cords. “Your son can apologize to me!”

The mother refused to back down, however obviously outclassed she was. "You..." She grinded her fangs so hard they looked like they were going to crack. “Just who the buck do you think you are?!”

“I’m the mare whose business your little brat was stealing from!”

“How dare you! My son would never steal!”

“Buck off!” Echo shouted in her face and gave her a forceful shove. Whether there were five of them or more, she was no way near the type of mare who stood down and let her family and property be menaced by dirty, degenerated bats. “I’ve put up with you and your colony stealing from my store for years! And now you have the gall to come here and threaten my husband?! Well, I've had it!"”

“And my cousin would like his money for that radio back!” Scarab chipped in from his safe distance on the porch.

“He what?!”

Weevil, who was hiding safely behind Echo’s ample flank, glared at his cousin and furiously ran his hoof over his neck in a slicing motion, which translated as 'shut the buck up, you bucking idiot!'

“I have the ga—” The mother blustered, her whole body bristling with indignation. She turned to her companions for support, but none of them looked ready for a fight anymore; most of them now looked deathly afraid of getting their jugulars ripped out. “I’m—I’m gonna have you arrested for foal abuse, you cow!”

“Go ahead and try it, sweetie,” A hollow laugh emanated from the mare’s throat. “If the cops won’t come for me, they sure as Tartarus won’t come for you.”

“I’ll—”

“You’ll nothing! I’m gonna make this clear to you...” Echo slowly advanced on her, forcing her and the other bats to back off further, with Gilda and Zigzag bringing up the rear. Her face got progressively closer to hers until their muzzles nearly touched, daring her to hit her. “You and your ilk are banned from setting hoof near my store! If I ever see you here, threatening my family again, I’ll bite those ugly rat ears off myself!”

The bat, scared and desperate, suddenly swung her hoof up at Echo’s face. She caught it with her own effortlessly, unflinching. Before anyone knew it, the bat mare was on the ground, her hoof covering the blood gushing from her muzzle. The others gasped. Echo, in a short deft movement, had lifted the mother up and head-butted her square in the muzzle.

She then lowered her voice to a tone that chilled the bat ponies’ very bones, “Now get the buck off my property!”

The bats didn’t need a second invite and took flight and fled without a word of protest, the mother, who was still nursing her muzzle, being last to leave as she shot Echo one last pathetic glare before fluttering off like the punk she was.

Echo snorted and returned to her porch, ignoring her friends’ stunned faces and gesturing Weevil to follow her.

As they silently walked back inside, they headed straight for the backdoor. Echo gave the few customers in the store an informative look that they would be back in a few minutes. The moment they were in the back at the hoof of the stairs, Echo took Weevil into her forelegs and hugged him. Her grip was so tight it wasn’t possible for him to hug her back.

“Did they hurt you, baby?” she cooed, gently tracing circles in his little mane with her hoof. She now spoke to him in a caring, motherly tone, the kind she would save for Shroud if he ever came home crying.

“No, Echo…” he mumbled into her heaving chest. He decided to just let her coddle him; she was likely more upset by this than he was. “E-Echo, c'mon, stop it. She barely touched me.”

She tenderly kissed him on the bald patch of his head. “It’s okay, darling. I’m here now...” she shushed as she sat them both awkwardly on the bottom step of the stairs, where she continued to caress his head and smooch him on his muzzle. “My poor little hubby—Mwah! Mwah!—nochangeling touches my stallion—Mwah!”

Weevil’s cheeks blushed lime green; his body melted in his wife’s strong legs like a slab of butter on a frying pan. It was like he was being hugged by a huge, muscular teddy bear.

He was so glad Echo came out when she did. If she hadn’t, the bat ponies would have most certainly beaten the hay out of him. In that regard, it was for their own good they hadn’t the chance to batter him; Echo would have left them in hospital with kicked-open skulls otherwise.

He was so lucky to have such a mare as his wife.

“You love me like that, don’t you?” she asked him after a minute in a silky smooth voice.

“Like what?” he asked playfully.

She giggled and hooked him around the neck with her foreleg, tensing her muscles against his throat. “You know what I mean: showing off my big muscles like that,” she spoke so softly in his ear, it sent a shiver run up and down his body. “It’s what turns you on, isn’t it?”

“You bet it does, Nuzzle Bug...” Weevil wormed around on his belly so their loving eyes could meet. In a matter of seconds, their legs were wrapped around the other like a pair of horny octopi as their salivating lips locked in a passionate kiss.

The couple rocked to and fro against the loudly squeaking staircase, too enthralled in their passion and love for another to give a damn. It was just like back in the barracks.

A faint knock came the door, followed by somechangeling’s voice.

“Uh... are you guys coming out? My mother wants her magazines or she says she’s gonna break my legs.”

“I told you in a minute!” Echo yelled with her mouth full of tongue.


By the time Shroud and Zamira walked home, the protests were finally finishing and the crowds dispersing, letting the residents of Six Points to return to some degree of normality, even if it was around sunset. They were getting so fed up with all these protests constantly disrupting their lives that many were appealing to the city hall to see if something could be done to put a stop to it.

‘No wonder my parents say freedom of speech is overrated,’ Echo once said at breakfast on the morning before a protest between pony vegans and EMC (Equestrians for Meat Consumption).

“Well, that was a bust,” Zamira pronounced flatly as the two trotted side-by-side up Laughter Street.

Their trip to the arcade was pretty dull. 8-bit’s Arcade was a popular hotspot for the kids of Six Points, who didn’t have much else to do except for hanging out on the littered and graffiti-tagged streets and parks. Today, the arcade was completely overcrowded, making even playing the air hockey tables a ten minute wait in line, especially with Bigmouth putting all his coins down so he could get more turns.

“But I gotta hoof it to ya, Shroud, for a cockroach, you play a mean game,” she admitted, giving him a playful jab in the ribs.

Shroud blushed slightly and his head sunk between his shoulders like a turtle retracting into his shell. Hey, coming from Zamira, that was still a good compliment.

“Heh heh, and you totally made lard butt cry. On the inside, anyway.”

They reached the abandoned Harmony Square, where they saw the ground had been pounded with an army of hoofprints and dozens of buntings and whole picket signs were simply left abandoned.

“Jeezum crow, we musta missed one hay of a party!” Zamira went to pick up a sign and turn it over and read, “‘Soap Box is a Fas-ist’? What’s a fas-ist?” Shroud only shrugged. “Sounds like a sports horseshoe or something.”

A heavy crash suddenly came from Loyalty Street, catching the attention of both children. Shroud cringed and covered his face when they saw a certain changeling stallion being roughly thrown out of Shroud’s family’s store by a familiar mare.

“Aw, c’mon, Echo, just a few more minutes!”

“I said ‘OUT’, Scarab!” Echo yelled, giving Scarab a swift kick in the rump onto the wet ground. “You’ve sucked down enough of my beer, now get lost!”

“You could at least let me finish.”

She carelessly threw a brown bottle after him. “Here! Now screw off!”

As they watched Scarab scuttle off with his small consolation prize tucked in his jacket, Zamira gave her most embarrassed friend a confused look.

“Dude, isn't that your mom?”

He looked like he was going to say ‘no’ when the mare saw him and immediately beckoned him over.

“Oh, Shroudy dear, there you are!” Echo yelled cheerily and loudly, waving at him as if he seriously couldn’t hear her. “It’s time to come inside, sweetie! Mama needs her little helper for dindin!”

Shroud dropped his head to hide his greening muzzle and, like an obedient dog, followed his mother into the store, making sure to give his bewildered friend one meek wave goodbye. Zamira just watched him go without a word of her own, not all sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for him.


That night, Echo made the family’s favourites that night: a whopping buffet of chicken and pork ramen, sushi, soup, dumplings and steaming egg-fried rice. Back home, she could hardly feed herself and Weevil, but with the large market in Six Points and its many diverse ingredients, she now cooked up what would be considered buffets for their relatively small but growing family.

In between feeding herself and her own love to her beloved egg that sat between her crossed legs, Echo took the time to read through the letter her son brought home from school and she was positively ecstatic.

“This is fantastic, Shroud!” she beamed with an ear-to-ear grin and she reached over to pet him on the head before dumping another heap of rice on his plate. Shroud gulped at seeing his third helping of the night but faked a smile back at her. “I can get that little farmer colt’s outfit out the trunk for you. You’ll look just adorable, won’t he, Weevil?”

“... the important thing is you tried, son...”

“Weevil, you’re not even listening!”

The stallion was actually busying himself with sucking up a seemingly unending line of noodles from his pork ramen while he read a letter of his own from underneath the table with steely eyes. His wife’s terseness brought him back to Equestria and he blinked at them stupidly, acting for a moment like he had no idea where he even was.

“Sorry, dear,” he rubbed his forehead where a throbbing pulse could be seen and slid the letter back under the table. “Sure, Shroud’ll look wonderful. I’ve still got my dad’s straw hat that might, uh... fit.” He petered off lamely, making his disinterest in the subject apparent.

“Great. So…” Echo levitated her chopsticks and plucked up an exceptionally big and puffy dumpling. “What does Samsa want?” she asked innocently before taking a bit.

He paused, the chopsticks in his own magical hold dithering. Tucking the letter she was referring to under the table, he started picking out some sushi and answered, “He... he’s gonna be in Manehattan next month and, well... he wants to visit.”

An awkward silence fell on the table, broken only by the sound of Shroud forcing down his own ramen from his adult-sized bowel, the discomfort on his face completely unnoticed by his parents.

“Don’t worry, I’ll write him back and tell him ‘no’.”

Echo looked genuinely taken aback by such a statement. “What? Weevil, you can’t do that. It’s rude.”

“Fine, I’ll write him that you’ve got wing fungi.”

“Weevil!”

“Okay!” he groaned exasperatedly. “I’ll just tell him I've got Achy-Breaky Pelvis!”

“No! You’ll—” She had to take a double take when her mind registered that last part. “Achy-what? Never mind.” She shook her head dismissively and got back to the point. “You’ll do no such thing! For goodness sake, Weevil, he’s your brother!”

The sushi broke apart in his chopstick’s grasp. Weevil grumbled into his barrel chest, “It doesn’t mean we’re still on speaking terms.”

“Regardless, you will invite him.” She loured him down when he opened his mouth to protest. “And that-is-that.”

Browbeaten once again, Weevil lowered his head and silently resumed his meal, using his magic to clean up the mess he made on the side.

“Shroud, what’s the matter?” Echo broke away from feeding more love to her egg and asked her son concerned when she noticed his eating slowing down. She pushed the plate of dumplings towards him. “Do you want some more? Here.”

The colt bit his lip and pressed his hoof against his already ballooning belly. If he ate any more rice or another dumpling, his entire body was going to rupture. In making her grand meals, Echo had overlooked the fact she was now feeding her little colt more than a grown stallion. But a behaved little Mama’s hatchling like Shroud daren’t tell that to his mother, fearing he would hurt her feelings.

“Maybe he’s had enough.”

Prodding Weevil on his tank of a belly, she remarked, “If that's the case, you had enough years ago.”

“Wow, that wasn’t totally uncalled for,” he muttered angrily. “Thanks, Echo.”

“Oh, you know I’m kidding,” she giggled and then looked down at Shroud with affection, holding him under the chin. “Now sweetie, you need to eat more like a big colt, otherwise you’ll never get big and strong like your Mama. Like your father, too, before he got all doughy.”

“‘Just kidding’, yeah, sure!”

“And don’t forget to drink your love juice,” the matriarch reminded her son, pointing at the bubbling, dimly glowing glasses of pink juice that hadn’t been touched all dinner. “That goes for you too, Weevil.”

The father and son exchanged grimaces, but braced themselves and drank from their cups anyway. They always hated love juice; everychangeling did. It was delivered to their apartment in the mail by ponies in grey uniforms. According to the pamphlets Shroud read, they were supposed to provide them with the “government standard weekly dosage to sustain the changeling body”.

Weevil wrinkled his muzzle and shuddered, “Too bad it tastes like rat urine.”

“Oh, don’t be like, it’s not that bad,” Echo rolled her eyes and brought her own cup to the lips. The mare gagged and retched the moment in touched her tongue. “Ugh! Oh Kami... I think you’re wrong, Weevil.”

“You're serious?”

“Yeah,” she set her cup down. “Rat piss would taste better. Want me to put the kettle on?”

“Sure.”

Rising to her hooves, Echo hoofed over the egg to her husband, and trotted off to get the tea, leaving little Shroud to brazen it out... until a mound of rice lifted off his plate and over the table to his father’s. Weevil gave his son a wink. Shroud winked back.

Author's Note:

(A/N) Sorry for the long delay, my friends, but I am glad to present you with chapter three of Citizen Weevil, the part of what you could call the first arc, or rather, ‘the pilot’ arc. Now, let’s be clear that this isn’t merely a series of separate stories here, but rather it chronicles of Weevil and his families’ lives here in Manehattan, with a lot of the events nit together, such as the upcoming International Day.

I guess what I’m trying to do here is something laid back, just showing lives, or to quote Nostalgia Critic, “It was a life!”

Anyway, I hope this chapter and I also hope you love the titlecard, courtesy of the one and only Jowybean.