• Published 19th Mar 2014
  • 14,069 Views, 415 Comments

Trust in the Night - JumpingShinyFrogs



A young woman finds herself in an unexpected situation that her studies in veterinary science cannot prepare her for—awakening in a strange world in the body of a creature named Nightmare Moon.

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Prologue*

"There. Just give him one of these every day with his food and he should be good to go in a week. Be sure to bring him back for a follow-up once he's done with them. If he gets worse or if something else comes up, don't be afraid to bring him back here."

I probably sounded very bored. I hate situation practice. Everything is just rehearsed. I'm not sure how it's meant to prove what I know. Especially since we never get anything as simple as 'My dog is sneezing and puking, what do I do?' in the clinic. Pointless.

"Thank you very much," said my colleague, smiling at me. I smiled back. That's another thing I hate. False pleasantries. Why bother? I don't see many of these people on a regular basis, so what does it matter if I'm friendly or not? As much as I love this job and college course, I must admit that it has its fair share of negatives.

"Good job, Niamh," said the head vet.

"Thanks," I replied, forcing a smile.

"You're free now to do whatever you like for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we'll work on your diagnosis skills. Niamh, I'd like for you to be able to recognise at least three symptoms for every disease on this list," said the head vet, handing me a sheet of paper.

I scanned the list. Basic enough. Common cold, enfluenza, tumours, ulcers, liver issues, kidney issues. Nothing I couldn't handle.

"I'll have them memorised by tomorrow," I said, with enthusiasm that I really didn't feel.

I packed up my kit bag and headed out. In the crowded street, people wandered around despite the rain. Some were idly chatting, some were carrying bags, mothers were containing children. There was a group of teenagers trying to prove how cool they were by spray-painting a wall. It was quite possibly the saddest excuse for graffiti I have ever seen in my life. No artistic designs or anything. No creativity. Just a couple of swear words printed on the wall in the type of font you'd use when filling out a bank form.

"Stupid kids," I muttered under my breath as I walked past. I think one of the teenagers might have heard me, but if he did, he didn't do anything about it. We were near a police station, after all. Even these school dropouts weren't stupid enough to try anything here.

Unfortunately, I slipped in a puddle and landed flat on my back. In the puddle. Of course. Why would I land anywhere else? Some of the horrible puddle water splashed into my mouth. I spat it out while the group had a good laugh at my expense. I picked myself up and glared at them. They just laughed harder. Of course they did. Everyone needs a good laughing stock every now and then. Who better to use than me? I did my best to wring out my sleeve before giving up and continuing in my way.

When I reached my apartment, I sat down heavily on the couch. I was cold and wet. I stood up again and got changed. The sun was going down, dyeing the sky a shining array of purples and pinks. I reached for a book, opened it where I had folded the page, and began to read. I would look at my study list later.

I think I fell asleep at some point, because the next thing I knew, the book was on my face and the moon was out.

In typical nap fashion, my unscheduled sleep made me even more tired than I was before. I brushed a strand of brown hair out of my face as I stood up. I paused to look at the full moon. It was brilliant tonight, shining bright, with all lovely grey patterns on it clearly visible.

As I stared at the moon, I was wracked by a sudden bout of powerful vertigo. I nearly fell over, and had to grab the arm of the couch to steady myself. I felt nauseous, and I could have sworn I heard someone whisper my name.

As quickly as it had come, the vertigo vanished. I looked around to see if I could determine the location of the one who had called my name. But it made no sense. I was the only one here, right?

"Wow, Niamh," I said out loud to myself, "you're being a bit of a silly girl, aren't you? There's no one around."

Somehow comforted by my own voice, I quickly readied myself for bed.


That night, I dreamt that I was in an odd place. There was no ground to speak of, only a blue mist and a lot of little star-like points of light.

I couldn't see any signs of life around. When I looked down, I found I couldn't see myself either.

Suddenly, I heard something. I turned to where I thought it had come from, but there was no one there.

.....r.a

There it was again. "Who are you?" I called out. Or at least, I tried to call out. But, for some reason, no sound came from my mouth.

....o..n.
...d...n...

It was faint, and I couldn't understand it, but it was definitely there! What was it? It sounded like a load of voices whispering at the same time.

..f..l...i...
.y..u.
...d..s..i..

The lights burned out. The blue mist dissipated. The entire starry landscape turned pitch black.

And then I was falling. I couldn't see any indication of it, but somehow I knew I was falling. At least I'll get to wake up now, I thought. Weirdest dream ever.


Whatever I was sleeping on was not the comfortable bed I remembered sleeping on. Nor was it the soft carpet of my bedroom floor. It was more akin to stone. I didn't quite want to wake up yet, despite the discomfort, so I thought about what I could possibly be lying on.

I'd already established that it wasn't my bed or bedroom floor. So what could it be? Had I sleepwalked into the sitting room and not bothered going back to the bedroom? The floor in there was hardwood. But this wasn't wood. It was hard, cold and jagged. I cracked open an eyelid.

"What the—" I said upon seeing my surroundings. I wasn't anywhere I recognised. Large, ornate tapestries depicting odd, horse-like creatures with wings and horns decorated the walls. Pillars, some crumbling and knocked over, were strategically placed all along the room I was in. Large windows, many broken or without glass at all, gave me a view of trees and the night sky. A huge podium with five arms, each with a circular platform at the end, was the centerpiece of the room. To one side of my face, some kind of starry purple cloud was floating around.

I stood up. Or at least, I tried to. I gracelessly fell flat on my back. To my fascinated horror, two weights unfurled from either side of my back as I fell. When they hit the ground, I felt it. And it felt weird. Whatever these were, they were not something I was used to having. I rolled over onto my stomach and stayed there for a moment. The twin weights didn't move, but I could feel them. They were a part of me. I could feel whatever they were rubbing off the ground.

I reached back to see if I could figure out what the weights were, and stopped. My arm did not feel right. Somehow, it seemed bendier and longer. I suddenly became aware of the sensation of metal rubbing on my feet, hands, head, and chest.

Something was seriously wrong. I tried to stand up again, but as soon as I stood up fully, I felt in danger of falling again. I lowered myself onto all fours.

I felt my ears swivel as an odd clopping kind of a sound echoed through the room. It probably came from my hooves hitting the ground.

Wait, what?

I looked down. My heart almost stopped.

In place of my hands, was a pair of ebony black, hoof-like things, covered by a pair of pale blue metal boots. I started to hyperventilate. I jerked my head up, and felt something attached to my head bang off of a piece of rubble. It was an odd feeling.

My vision blurred at the edges as I stood up, on all fours. I tripped over my, ugh, hooves, as I attempted to reach a puddle that could maybe act as a mirror. The starry purple cloud followed me, billowing in the wind I created by moving. I felt the two weights drag on the ground. It felt similar to scraping your knee on a road. That is to say, painful.

I stumbled over to the puddle and looked at it. My, normal, semi-attractive face was gone. In its place was an equine muzzle with two pointed ears, covered in smooth black fur. A single, spiral horn jutted from my reflection's forehead, through a hole in a pale blue metal helmet. My normally greyish-blue eyes had been replaced by the turquoise eyes of a cat. The starry purple cloud I had been seeing was, in fact, attached to my reflection's neck, coming through the helmet to flow around its new face.

Changing my angle, I looked at my reflection's back, and saw that the twin weights were a pair of broad wings, covered in glossy black feathers. A metal plate emblazoned with a turquoise crescent moon decorated its chest. The rest of my reflection's horse-like body was covered in the same black fur, with a matching purple cloud for a tail. On my reflection's flank was a purple splotch of colour, adorned with the same turquoise crescent moon shape.

I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping that the horrible reflection would be gone when I opened them. It wasn't. I lifted an arm. The horse in the puddle followed me. I cocked my head. The reflection mimicked me perfectly. I smiled. My reflection copied me, revealing a set of gleaming white fangs.

I twisted my neck, which was far more flexible than it should have been. Broad wings. Starry cloud tail. Black fur. Crescent moon tattoo thing. Horse. It was all there.

I was this horse now. This horse was now me. I did the only reasonable thing I could think of.

I threw back my head and screamed.

Author's Note:

This is an idea that I've been stirring around for a while. I don't know where I got it.

As per my style, there shall be delays aplenty. But this story is planned out a bit better than most, so maybe not as bad as the delays in other stories.

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