• Published 8th Dec 2014
  • 239 Views, 6 Comments

Bellflower - Kokuoh

The story of a pony searching for a cure for the illness that took her mother's life.

  • ...

Chaper 1: Poppy

Dr. Joyous Heart was being escorted down the aisles of the Canterlot police station. As he followed the guard through the dark and depressing halls of this place, it reminded him of the time he worked in a similar building: The Canterlot Institute of Mental Health. You see, Joyous comes from a long line of practitioners of medicine, so ever since he was a young colt, he’s heard the stories of the greatness his family have achieve in the medical field. Especially from his grandfather, Tough Love.

When he graduated medical school, his grandfather was the one that suggested working in CIoMH. With the influence and connections of his family he could have easily gotten a job anywhere he wanted, but Tough Love was a strong believer that adversity builds the best doctors, and that no pony will find that just sitting behind a desk. He would never openly admit it, but he always resented his grandfather for that. Working with the mentally sick and violent ponies was the worst experience on his life. Not because of the threat of violence, but because everyday you see their suffering and there's very little you can do to help them. We use all kinds of traditional therapy and magical-related therapy, but there's still so much we don't know of the equine mind

Today he’s a teacher in one of the most prestigious medical schools in Canterlot. He choose the path of teaching not for the prestige, but because mentoring young ponies is more fulfilling than working with violent ponies that had none.


He was finally led to a prison cell where a pale green unicorn sat on her haunches next to the back wall. That yellow mane and purple flower cutie mark means it was undoubtedly Poppy, the mare he was looking for. The imprisoned pony glanced up to see a blue-eyed tan unicorn with a dark brown mane which he wore short, and was surprise when she recognize her visitor to be her teacher; he was the last pony she expected to see.

For several minutes nopony said anything. Poppy continue to stare at the ground, unable to meet his gaze and see the disappointment that would undoubtedly be in his eyes. While Joyous just stood there, unsure of how he should feel about the situation. He knows that he should be angry with his student for the actions that led her to be behind these bars, something that doesn’t even have a name in Equestrian medicine.

Finally, Joyous broke the silence "I settled things with the school committee and talked with the police. No charges will be filed and you will be let go in a couple of days. Take this time to think on what you did...and on what you have lost”

"Thank you for that. I know I don't deserve your kindness”

“I didn’t do it for you. I did it to avoid the scandal this would bring to the school”, said Joyous with a stern look on his face. “But if you really want to thank me, you can start by telling me what in the name of Celestia possessed to do such a horrible act.”

Poppy remained silent. Pondering whether or not if she should tell her teacher the truth.

Joyous walked closer to the bars “Poppy, please help me understand.”

She finally look his teacher in the eyes and saw only kindness in them. That look that showed neither judgment nor hatred was the reason he was her favorite teacher. Maybe he really might understand, unlike the others...

“Before I say anything, I want you to know that I didn’t kill that pony. He passed away from natural causes before I began any research on him.”

Joyous showed disgust at the use of the word “research”, but said nothing about it. "I know you didn’t harmed any pony. The only reason why I haven’t left you in this cell is because you were caught before you did something that you couldn't take back ”.

“The reason why I tried to steal that body from the morgue was... because he died of the same thing as my mother”

Joyous remained silent at this new information. On his way here he thought of a million reasons of why his student did what she did, but he never expected an answer like that.

“I believe the text books called it Side Sickness”, she said.

Side Sickness. At hearing that name, Joyous remembered that rare and deadly disease. What made it such a terrifying illness was not its high mortality rate, but the fact that the standard medical tests are unable to detect it. By the time they start feeling symptoms they'll die within hours while feeling intense pain in the side of their bodies.

“There is no cure for Side Sickness”. Was the only thing he said.

At hearing this, Poppy’s face was filled with rage. “You sound just like the ponies back home!” She said with an anger that Joyous has never seen in her before. “When my mother got sick I begged them for help, but they did nothing! they said there was nothing that could be done but pray to Celestia to save her”. Tears were forming in Poppy’s eye as she continued speaking. “They didn’t even helped me take her to a hospital”

Joyous said nothing, he just waited a few minutes for her student to regain her composure. “I don’t want to sound insensitive, but I don’t see how all this has to do with what you did”

“Because I refuse to believe that what my mother had has no cure!”

At hearing this, a lot of things started making sense to him. Ever since she met Poppy in class, she always had an endless thirst for knowledge. She questioned everything, and spent most of her free time in the library or trying to get answers from her teachers on various topics. It was rare to see this kind of interest in medicine in a pony that didn't have a cutie mark related to the field.

“My dear Poppy, I can understand choosing the medical profession in order to help others. But the way you did things...looking for answers on the deceased, that is not the right way. A doctor should strive to find answers on the living, not on the dying or on the ones that have left this world.”

The anger slowly began leaving Poppy, but now she only reflected a deep sadness in her face. It was that kind of close minded thinking that let to her mother dying a horrible death. "You're wrong, teacher. I’m grateful for everything you have taught me, but after studying with you for 3 years, the only thing I’m sure of is that there magic isn't the answer for everything”

Joyous seemed disappointed with her answer, but he refused to give up on his student. “Take some time to think about this. If your mother was still here I’m sure she wouldn’t want you using such horrible acts to get what you want.”

“My mother taught me a lot of things. In life, she taught me the beauty of nature and the way I can use it to help others” she took a deep breath before continuing. “And in death, she helped me begin to understand the illness that took her life”.

Joyous’s jaw dropped and slowly took a few steps back. “You...you have done this kind of thing before? And to your mother of all ponies”.

“I'm sure she would have given me permission if I had asked her.” She said while giving a small grin, trying to lighten the mood.

"You think this is funny!?" said Joyous while slamming his hooves on the bars. "What you just told me you did is called Necromancy, and its one of the most dangerous and evil acts you can do in Equestria."

“Evil? I think you're exaggerating, teacher. There were no magic rituals or sacrifices involved in what I did. "And frankly"- She got off her haunches and slowly walked toward her teacher- "What I do with the things my mother left behind is no ones business but my own.”

He remained silent at this, just staring at her student. That comprehensive look in his eyes was gone now, and was replaced with an emotionless stare. “That might be so, but our Sun princess has taught us that the equine body is a sacred thing. By defiling it you're taking away everything that made them who they were, and denied them the right to be buried the way Celestia intended to. Now they might never find rest in the afterlife because of what you did. At least, that is what every Celestian in the world will probably believe if you ever get caught.”

The imprisoned mare was caught by surprise by his teacher’s sudden religious talk. Personally, she has never been a believer in that notion that the Alicorns created the universe. They wield great power to move the sun and moon and have been blessed with long lifespans, but when it comes to things like mortality and illnesses of others, they seem to be just as helpless as the rest of us. “Aren’t you the slightest bit curious, teacher? What’s it like inside? A lot of the things written in textbooks is wrong!”

"Information like that is not for us to know. You know very well that we can detect the ailments in the equine body by sensing the inbalance in their magic."

"But why is wrong to know such things? I'm sure you could tell me in great detail how much magical energy every part of the body emanates, but can you tell me how the heart actually looks like?"

He said nothing.

"How about how many bones are in the equine body?"

Information like that is irrelevant.

"Is it, teacher? Ive been thinking, if diseases like what my mother had are unaffected by magic, wouldn't it be best to just remove that part from the body?

"Butchering live ponies!? Thats madness! I was willing to listen with an open mind to your ideas, but experimenting on live ponies is something that nopony in Equestria will ever let you try.

"But what if..."

But before Poppy could continue, Joyous covered his ears and closed his eyes. “Enough! I don’t want to hear it!” he took a few seconds to regain his composure. “I see now that I'm wasting my time here. You leave me no choice but to expel you. You’re no longer welcomed in our school, and you’re no longer my student”. Nothing good will come of this. If you continuing with these barbaric acts of yours you'll end up back here again, or worse. Is that what you want? To spend the rest of your days in a windowless building, surrounded by clinically insane ponies?

“I'm sorry teacher, but if there's anything my mother taught me, is how little I actually know about about the body. How are we suppose to treat anything inside the body when we don't even know how it looks like?"

He gave a disapproving nod and began walking away without giving her a chance to say anything else, but before he was completely out of her sight Poppy manage to say one last thing:


Joyous stopped and gave one last glance behind him.

"Thats how many bones are in the equine body...I think. I might need to double check that number."

“You should go home, Poppy. Go back and tend to your flowers”, was the last thing he ever said to her.

Author's Note:

So there you have it, the first fan fiction I've ever written. I'm open to suggestions and criticism.

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