• Published 14th May 2012
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A Change of Heart - ChaoticHarmony



A story about a Changeling

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Awakening

Chapter 4: Awakening

The rays of the warming sun struck their faces from between the tree branches hovering above them. The warm pony curled up against his side snored lightly, sounding like the wings of a humming bird fluttering. Needle’s heart swelled to know that he rescued her from his "family". She stirred against him as he lifted his head from its perch on top of hers. As he stood up, Cherish lifted her head groggily, unused to waking up outside, and looked around her with sleepy eyes.

The feeling in his heart disturbed Needle Wings. He had never felt anything like it, an emotion like that. He had been feeling it since he had rescued her from his land. He had also been feeling less starved and stronger lately, around the time he woke up with Cherish sponging his head. Confused by these feelings and thoughts, he cast them aside, and focused on his situation at hand. He had a pony that had a family, and now that family knew she was alive, and out in the world somewhere, with a changeling. With a monster, Needle thought bitterly.

000

When she realized that she wasn’t at home in her bed, and that it wasn’t a dream, Cherish began to get panicky. She was trembling uncontrollably, and making small whimpering sounds. The Changeling before her was looking around for danger. To think, that a changeling would be concerned for a pony, that a changeling would care what happened to her.

Even though he saved her, she still shook with the fear that he would turn on her. He looked so starved of his food, which she knew to be emotions. What am I thinking, if he wanted to eat my emotions, he could have done it in his world, instead of coming here to do it, she thought, shaking her head.

Cutting off her whimpering, she stood up, brushing leaves from her body with her tail. She walked over to the Changeling, who was looking the other direction. Her soft approach alerted him, and he whirled around to face the source of the noise. After noticing that it was her, he seemed to relax, and a light touched on his eyes. He approached her, and as he did, she began to shake with irrational fear again, hapless to stop the shivers that racked her body. He put a hoof on her shoulder, the hide feeling like a smooth shell of an insect. She recoiled away from the touch.

“Relax Cherish, I won’t hurt you.”

The way he said it, the sound of hurt in his voice, tore at her heart. The anguish that cut him cut her just the same. She moved closer to him, and laid a hoof on his shoulder. He shuddered at her warm touch. She looked into his eyes, and saw what she thought was a feeling of warmth coming from their depths, from his soul.

“All right, Needle Wings, let’s sit down over here and talk.” Cherish said, leading him over to the shade, to where they had slept. Sitting down on his haunches, Needle sat a distance away from her, clearly fearful of what was going to come. She sat down and patted the ground next to her, but Needle shook his head, apparently terrified at the prospect of sitting closer to her, within her reach.

Sighing with impatience, Cherish moved closer to him. He started shaking his head violently and backed up quickly, trying to maintain the distance between them. She huffed out a resigned sigh, and stopped advancing on Needle Wings, and backed up, trying to lead him back out from behind the tree he had stepped behind. Needle stepped out cautiously, noticing that Cherish had sat down and was waiting for him to do the same.

When Needle sat down a good distance away from her, she launched into her questions that had built up when he was unconscious.

“What are you exactly? What are you doing trying to help me? Why did you run away from my sister? Why do you not want to sit next to me? Why are you afraid? Do you want to go home? “

When she paused for a breath, he took the opportunity to interject. “Listen Cherish!” he said quickly, “Give me one question at a time would you?” Taken aback by his sudden force, Cherish kept silent for a few seconds while he breathed in slowly. He looked at her face, and she saw pain cross his eyes. “Sorry Cherish, I just felt so overwhelmed there. Please ask me what you want.” He sighed in that strange voice of his, the sigh sounding like gravel being dropped on pavement.

She sat back on her haunches, and tried to think of a good question to ask. “First of all, why did you save me in your world Needle Wings?”

He looked surprised at the question. “Well, why do you think? I didn’t want to be like them, feeding off of innocent creatures such as you. Eating the emotions of pony’s just seemed wrong to me, an abomination. His head fell in sadness, “Just like me, an abomination.”

Cherish barely noticed that she had moved to stand in front of Needle Wings. She put a hoof to his chin, and lifted up his face. “You are NOT an abomination Needle. You saved me” She embraced him tightly; “You saved me.” He tensed as she hugged him, but slowly lifted his arms to hug her back

000

As he embraced her, Needle Wings could feel small drops of water fall on his back. A quick look up at the sky told him that it wasn’t coming from the sky. He felt ashamed that he had made her cry over him. He hugged her tighter, hoping to end her crying, but she only cried harder. Unsure of what to do, he stroked her mane with his hoof, whispering over and over again that it would be ok.

He felt as if every sob of hers was tearing at his soul. Once she quieted, he held her a little back from him, about leg’s length apart. “It’s all right Cherish,” he said, brushing a tear from her cheek as she calmed down, sniffling every once in a while. She tore away from him, turning her back on him. He saw what she was trying to hide, a bright blush lighting her face. He turned away as well, feeling his face heating.

After a few moments of awkwardness, they turned back to face each other. Not knowing what to do, he stood up and walked a little distance away, near the forest edge. He could hear her walking behind him. She took in a small little breath, as though steeling herself, “What are we going to do now Needle Wings?” she asked quietly.
He turned back to her, an eyebrow rising on his face. “Cherish, I don’t live here. You do.” He turned away from her, and continued walking. “Where do you think we should go?”

“Well, I always thought that my sister would listen to me, but now that she saw you, I think that would just lead to her attacking me, just because you could have transformed into me.” She stopped plodding after him, “That is, if you can transform.”

He started sprinting behind a tree, and he heard her screaming his name and pursuing after him. As he went around behind the tree’s large trunk, green fire crossed his body, and he felt himself growing larger, his coat changing from its normal black into a dark blue, and his mane becoming marble-white. When Cherish stepped around the corner, she gasped in fright, backing away quickly.

“Sister? How did you find me?” She whispered, backing away slowly with each question, “Where is mother and father? How is everypony at home?”

Saying nothing, Needle Wings bent down and hugged Cherish, green fire once again crossing his body, changing his form back to what he really was, a changeling, and a monster. Her eyes widened in shock as she saw him change. Then, with a small sob, she buried her face into his mane. He felt sickened with himself, showing her that. Disgusted, he pushed her gently away, and lay down in the corner, tears threatening to overflow from his own eyes. “You asked if I could transform. That answer is yes.” He said, his voice laced with self-disgust. “I wish that I couldn’t though, believe me, I’d give anything to be normal, like you.”

She bent down to him, and put a hoof around his shoulder. “But I thought changelings could only change if they had the pony in front of them.”

He shook off her hoof, “Well, I’m ‘special’. I can change into another pony if I saw them at least once. Even a picture is good enough for me. Back in my world, it was seen as a ‘gift’, but I regard it as a ‘curse’ on me,” he said with a voice heavy with loathing, “The other changelings would always send me out to hunt. I was the best at it. No other was my match.” He kicked the tree next to him in anger. “My extra time in your world gave me a larger vision of the world. I could no longer look at the ponies I hunted without feeling sadness, a deep cutting kind of sadness. I grew to hate the things I did, and would have to do to sustain myself.” He walked back over to where she was standing, tears beginning to build up in his eyes. “Now you see why I let you go, because I could not stand the evil that I do.” He hung his head, and cried. He felt Cherish’s Hooves wrapping around him, and he let all his feelings drain out of him, through his tears. Past feelings of sadness, disgust, and sickness with himself all dripped onto the forest floor in time with his sobs.

After what seemed like an hour, Needle Wings quieted his tears. He backed away from Cherish, and when he looked at her eyes, it was his turn to look away blushing. He started to thank her, but then he heard a rustle in the brush behind him. Whirling around, he was face to face with a mare, looking at him with horror. Before he could react, she dashed away, no doubt to tell the others about him. Grabbing Cherish’s hooves, he jumped into the undergrowth.