• Published 29th Apr 2012
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A Ghost Story - Elemist



A human's insubstantial adventures in Equestria.

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Chapter 5 - Picture Perfect

I had no clue where Lyra was headed. I was pretty sure that she lived near the center of town in a moderately sized house with Bon-Bon. So why were we wandering down a side road on the outskirts of town. Perhaps Lyra was just out for a mid-day walk around town?

Shrugging, I hear the playful call of numerous colts and fillies as we passed the old fashioned school house. I smirk as I watch the young ponies run around their modest sized playground and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw how the little Pegasi would swing as high as they could on the swing sets before jumping off and gliding to the ground.

As we pass I hear the soft repetitive beeping sound that I had come to associate with the Cutie Mark Crusaders and I hear three excited gasps from the school yard. Looking over my shoulder as we pass I see Scoots, Applebloom and Sweetie Bell gathered around the fence. Scoots is holding the small black object that is emitting beeping sound as Sweetie holds up a camera and snaps a picture of the empty road behind us.

I still can’t believe that the trio hasn’t given up on their newest endeavor to obtain their Cutie Marks. That was a hilarious fiasco when it first started.

*^*^*

After I took the Twilight Taser to the chest, I had wandered outside feeling a little groggy from the pain and tingles flowing through me. I floated aimlessly for a few seconds before I was stopped suddenly as I ran into something. Rebounding I landed on the ground.

Ahh, hello ground, long time no see. How are the wife and kids? Good? Ahh, good.

By this point the tingling had subsided to a small prickly sensation in the back of my mind. Willing myself up I looked at the offending wall that had the audacity to smack me around. In frustration I swat at the wall and of course my hand slides through the surface.

However, the feeling of pinpricks in my arm is soon joined by an annoying buzz in the back of my head. I pull my arm back and the buzzing subsides to a light prickle.

Raising an eyebrow in confusion I concentrate on the prickly sensation. I float there for almost a whole minute forcing myself to focus on the tiny sensation and slowly I feel a numbing sensation in my extremities. I stop concentrating in surprise and the sensation recedes.

Looking around, I see what appears to be a trashcan and a wooden box that looks to be filled with paper and metal cans. I float over towards the box and begin to concentrate again and the sensation slowly encompasses my fingertips. Making sure to maintain my focus I reach towards the pile of paper and place my fingers on top of the stack. I feel a slight pressure but as I push a little bit harder the numb sensation vanishes and my hand plunges through the stack.

Frowning, I repeat the procedure but apply lighter pressure when I reach forward. I slowly wrap my finger and thumb around the top piece of parchment and ever so slowly lift upwards. Lo and behold the paper flutters into the air for a few seconds before it tumbles to the ground.

I stand there, feeling like I had just spent the last 24 hours running up a mountainside, swimming down the river on the other side and going 20 rounds with a grizzly bear. As my fatigue starts to fade I grin in triumph and start experimenting with my new phenomenal cosmic powers that allow me to lift a fraction of an ounce.

I spent the next six days or so wandering around town, practicing lifting extremely small objects and moving paper around. Normally I would have gotten bored with doing the same thing over and over again, especially since I couldn’t sleep but I was as giddy as a school girl and just couldn’t stop. By then end of my self-imposed training session I was able to lift about 5 ounces off the ground at once and the fatigue I felt afterwards was down to the feeling of participating in a 10k run.

At the beginning of my seventh day wandering the town I found myself over at the quaint one room schoolhouse and I hear an old fashioned school bell ringing. I watch as little fillies and colts filter their way into the school. Hmm, perhaps I can learn a bit about equestrian history if I listened in.

I float into the back of the classroom as all of them begin taking their seats. I settle in right behind my favorite trio of troublemakers who are of course sitting in the back row.

“Aye still don’ believe you two. No matter how many times ya say that there was some strange thing that blocked Rarity’s and Twilights magic I won’t believe it with ou’ some proof.” Applebloom whispered to Scoots and Sweetie Bell.

“We’re telling you the truth; there was definitely something creepy going on that day. Just ask Pinkie Pie, she said that her Pinkie Sense went off because somepony was nearby but it was obviously whatever that thing was.” Argued Scoots.

“Ya’ll are expectin’ me ta just accept that there was some creature nopony could see just wanderin’ round Ponyville?”

“Well, let’s just go see Pinkie after school and see what she has to say about it then.” Sweetie Bell quietly offered.

“What are you Blank Flanks up to now? Getting ready to cause some more property damage trying to get your Cutie Marks?”

“Shut up Diamond Tiara, we weren’t walking to you.” Scootaloo snaps at Diamond Tiara who is sitting in the seat right in front of her.

“Not like I wanted a bunch of Blank Flanks talking to me anyways. YOU are not important enough to talk to the likes of me. It’s not like you three are going to do anything important with your lives and you are never going to get your Cutie Marks. You want to know why? Because there is absolutely NOTHING special about you three.”

“Why you I ought to come up there and…”

“GIRLS. Quiet down it’s time for today’s lessons to start.” Miss Cheerilee puts a stop to the argument then and there but it was too late, my ire had been raised.

I floated down the aisle, to just in front of Diamond Tiara. The smug look of satisfaction on her face just made me want to punch something. Good thing that was no longer an option or I might have actually done it. “You know Diamond Tiara, I really don’t like bullies.” I basically growled down at her.

She turns around to face Scoots again and whispers, “Did you Blank Flanks say something.”

While she’s turned I look down at her desk and I see an opened ink well on top of the flat ridge. With a grin that would have made the Cheshire cat shudder, I concentrate on my fingertip and slowly reach towards the inkwell. I make contact and ever so slowly the ink well starts sliding towards the slope of her desktop.

My chuckle fills the air (causing every filly in the room to shudder) as the inkwell tips over into Diamond Tiara’s lap. She lets out a shriek, “NOOOOO, my beautiful coat, it’s going to stain!” and she rushes into what I believe to be the bathroom.

Cheerilee looks really confused as she makes her way to the bathroom to make sure Diamond Tiara is alright.

Sweetie Bell turns to Applebloom, “Did you see THAT! Her ink well just tipped over all on its own.”

“I didn’t see anythin’ like tha’. She probably just bumped her desk when she was a whispern’ ta Scoots.”

“You just wait; once we talk to Pinkie about this we will prove it to you!”

The rest of the school day goes by pretty uneventfully, except for the fact Diamond Tiara refused to come out of the bathroom until everypony had left for the day.

I follow behind the Crusaders, highly curious as to what the conversation with Pinkie was going to turn out like. We make our way to the back door of Sugar Cube Corner and I hear the clatter of pans hitting the floor as we make our way into the kitchen.

“Twitchy Twitch! *GASP* my new creepy friend must be around somewhere.” I hear Pinkie exclaim as we make our way up to her.

“Hay Pinkie, we were hoping you could tell Applebloom about what happened last week at Twilights?” Sweetie Bell asked politely.

“Oh hay you three. You want to know what happened last week? Are we talking about what happened with my newest friend at Twilights? We’ll there we were, sitting in the Library, talking about all the spooooky things that had been happening all morning, and then Rarity and you two come in to tell us how Rarity’s magic had went all bonkers and you two saw this really creepy figure standing in the boutique. Then Twilight got all excited and wanted to do some research in case Rarity had accidently summoned a creature or something.” At this point I snorted in amusement causing the fillies to look around and Pinkie’s ears to flop around. “And when Twilight went to grab a book there was this re-he-eally big flash of light and there was this spooky figure standing in front of us for a few seconds. Oh, I think I should call him my spooky friend instead of my creepy friend, cause I think he’s just a little scary not a meanie pants at all.”

“Pinkie, how do you know it was a guy?” questioned Scoots. I must admit I was a little curious myself.

“Silly Filly, he just felt like he was a guy.”

“I guess that makes sense…Do you believe us now Applebloom?”

“Aye don’ know. I suppose if ya had some hard proof aye would be more willin’ ta believe all of this.”

“Well why didn’t you says so in the first place you Silly Filly.” Pinkie says as she disappears into the next room as the trio looks at each other in confusion.

Pinkie comes back about a minute later with a large pile of stuff on her back and throws it onto one of the tables. I see what appears to be a set of cards, an old fashioned camera, a small black device of some kind, a large purple turban and… an Ouija Board?

The girls look to each other and then back to Pinkie “CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS; PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS YAY!” Man, I’m glad I don’t have ear drums any more or they would have just popped.

Pinkie plops the turban on her head and picks up the black device, “First things first, we got to see if he’s here or not.” I look at the device and I notice there a button at the bottom with some sort of wires sticking out of the top and a long line of small lights running down the length of it. As I’m studying it, something in my head clicks. Holy cow, its an EM meter. Pinkie you sly dog, er, pony you. She really went all out for this.

“This little dohikie I had Twilight put together for me. She said it would detect either the presence of magic or electricity in the area. So as long as none of us are using magic or are playing with thunder clouds it should be able to detect our friend.” She presses the button and there’s a small beeping sound as a red, orange and green light flash on. “Oh boy, I think he’s here girls, let’s set up the Ouija Board I got from Zecora and see if he can talk with us.”

Oh god, this could be freakin’ hilarious. They all gather around the table setting up the board. Pinkie sits back in a chair, her hooves held over her head as the trio places their hooves on the small piece of glass on the board. Pinkie begins speaking in a ‘mystic’ voice, “Ohhhh, spirit from beyond we call on yooooouuuuu…We wish to ask you some questions…..Most importantly, do you like cupcakes?” She asks in all seriousness.

Laughing, I reach towards the glass and concentrate. It’s kind of difficult, but once I exert some pressure I think the girls let the glass move where I wanted it too. There are four excited gasps as I let the glass rest on the ‘yes’ at the bottom of the board.

“Oh goodie, I just knew you would. Alright girls did you want to ask him anything?”

The girls look around and then Scoot speaks up, “Were you the one who spilled the ink all over Diamond Tiara today?”

I grin as I pull the glass back a bit and then push it back onto the yes. At this point I’m feeling mighty fatigued but the grins that erupt on all of their faces makes it all worth it.

“Do you believe us NOW Applebloom”

“Well, this was mighty convincin’, but…” She turns towards the camera sitting on the table, “Aye was hopin’ for something we could show other ponies.”

Pinkie, seeing Applebloom eyeing the camera, grabs it and yells, “Say ‘cupcakes’ girls.”

The girls immediately smoosh themselves together and as a gut reaction I duck down behind them, giving Scoots and Sweetie Bell rabbit ears. There’s a flash of light and a mechanical sound as a white piece of square film is ejected from the base of the camera. Pinkie grabs it in her mouth and flaps it up and down a few times before laying it on the table. “Aww, I’m sorry girls I guess he’s a little camera shy.”

In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing that the film didn’t show me there. It probably wasn’t a good idea to give either Pinkie Pie or the Crusaders hard evidence that I was around town.

As I’m mussing this, I hear a gasp from the girls and I look down at the photo on the table. I see behind the girls what appears to be a white mist forming in the rough shape of me. With my arms over the two fillies heads it looks kinda creepy, almost as if I’m grabbing for their heads.

Scoots and Sweetie Bell look terrified, but Applebloom is shaking with excitement, “Now this is wha’ aye was talkin’ about.”

Pinkie bounces out of the room excitedly, “I have to show this to Twilight!”

I look back down at the picture and only two words that come to mind are, “Ahh Snap!”