• Published 12th Sep 2014
  • 7,802 Views, 491 Comments

One Last Trick - Cloud Hop



I'm in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of orifices I didn't know I had. Why am I there? Why is Rainbow Dash sitting in the corner? Why is she crying?

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Reality

Author's Note:

My head feels like somepony shattered it into tiny pieces and put them back together in the wrong order. Pain drags me out of the darkness and sets me in a familiar soft bed. As I slowly regain cognitive function, I notice I no longer have a tube in my windpipe. My throat is also drier than an Appeloosan summer day. The room smells clean and sterile, but not unpleasantly so. Hushed voices argue with each other to my right. The heart monitor beeps at me from my left, and very faintly, the hustle and bustle of the hospital can be heard much farther away.

With no small amount of effort, I crack open my eyes. The room from yesterday is gone, and I find myself in a smaller room with a window on the right side instead of the left. It's dark outside, and another potted plant bravely guards the window. There's a counter to my right, lit with a soft light that fills the room with a pleasant, dim glow. Farther down, near the foot of my bed, Rainbow Dash is talking to a unicorn with a stethoscope around his neck.

Rainbow Dash notices me first. She inhales sharply, then nods her head in my direction. The doctor looks towards me with a raised eyebrow. "I did not expect you to recover so soon, my friend."

The doctor trots over to the side of the bed, and starts looking at various readings from the fancy machines I'm plugged into. "Hmmm, everything seems to be stable."

I try to wet my lips, but I can't seem to summon any saliva. I open my mouth to request a drink, only to find a small paper cup already levitating near my lips.

"I take it you're thirsty, hmmm? Here you go, drink up."

I never knew water could taste so good. Mana from heaven dribbles down my parched throat, bringing my vocal chords back to life. After downing the entire cup in one go, I immediately request another. The doctor patiently refills the cup for me, and then again, until I nod my head. "Thanks."

"It's the least I can do. Are you feeling well? We've been trying to wean you off the morphine, but you've still got a cocktail of painkillers in you. I hope they're working."

I try to shift around, only to wince. "It's fine if I don't move."

The doctor nods. "Good, good. Hmmm, well, your vitals are mostly fine, and you've taken the blood transfusion well." He paused, pursing his lips before continuing. "You lost a lot of blood. You'll need to drink lots of fluids and increase your salt intake to recover blood volume, but your blood pressure has mostly recovered. That, however, is not why we're here."

The unicorn looks over at Rainbow Dash, who suddenly decides that floor tiles are fascinating. "Miss Dash, I believe you wanted to personally inform him? Pegasi usually take this better when it comes from a friend."

"But I don't know her," I blurt out, and Rainbow Dash looks up. Her eyes are full of surprise, and pain, and grief. "I'm... sorry?" I add.

"It's not your fault," says the doctor, "your heart stopped on the way to the hospital. The medics spent ten minutes bringing you back to life. You'll have trouble remembering the past three days for a while. I'm sorry to say that the 24 hours before the accident will likely never come back."

Trotting up next to me, Rainbow Dash hangs her forelegs over the bedside barrier again. "Do... do you remember my name?" she asks, hesitant and uncertain. For some reason, this strikes me as uncharacteristic of her, even though we've supposedly never met. Then again, I have no idea how I know her name, either.

"...Rainbow Dash?" I venture.

Instantly, her eyes are filled with relief, but it quickly turns to guilt. "Oh thank Celestia, you do remember. Maybe... maybe you'll remember most of it, eventually." She looks away. "I'm... sorry. I... I don't know what I was thinking, I just—"

"Rainbow Dash," interrupted the doctor, "he doesn't know what you're talking about."

Flinching, Rainbow Dash nodded. "Right, um, maybe I should start from the beginning? I'm sure you have lots of questions."

I do have lots of questions, but as my heart begins to pound against my chest, one in particular stands out from the rest. One that I want answered more than anything else in the world, yet never want to discover. A question I wish I could run away from, but couldn't. I had to know.

"W-why can't I feel my wings?" I ask, my voice barely above a whisper.

Rainbow Dash swallows a lump in her throat, looking over to the unicorn. He nods, his face completely unreadable. She turns back to me, gazing into my eyes. She takes a hoof and places it on my shoulder, before her mouth opens. Then it closes again. Then it opens once more.

"Your wings were amputated."