• Published 27th Mar 2015
  • 6,379 Views, 1,119 Comments

The Poisoned Barb's Tale - ManlyDerp

[Sequel Story] A mother, reborn into the mirrored world of her daughter's bygone years, desperately tries to find purpose in her second childhood. This is Barbara's diary.

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Entry 1, Part 1 (Heart)

“... Grrrr…”

In the hustle and bustle of a typical Canterlot day, a young stallion grumbled loudly to himself as he huffily stomped his hooves against the hard cobblestone road. This unicorn with the bright purple coat is uncaring of those around him as he roughly wades his way through the busy crowd of equines, trying to get to his destination. Another growl emanates from his throat, through his clenched teeth, as he continues to fume.

“Heheh,” cheekily giggled his equally bright (in more ways than one) purple scaled dragon assistant in response. The same one that kept pace beside him, and who offered apologetic smiles to the unfortunate ponies her taller friend bumped into along the way.

This dragon, who would rather like for you to use the term dragoness to describe her, is affectionately referred to by me, your narrator for the evening, as… well…

… me!


Silliness and third person antics aside, as the two of us walk together down the sunny roads of Canterlot, unintentionally basking in the beautiful weather around us, another bout of chuckles escapes my lips as I watch my friend once again growl angrily over the supposed ‘injustice’ of it all.

“You’re going to ruin your voice if you keep doing that, Dusk,” I had to remind the colt for a third time, though I do so in just as much good cheer. My smile never leaves my face, nor does the spring abandon my step. They have no reason to, for today is going to be a good day for sure. I just knew it!

“I’ll pout if I want to,” my not so little unicorn rumbles grumpily to himself as we draw closer to the Sky Carriage loading docks, ready to take ours to Ponyville just in time for the holiday known as the Summer Sun Celebration. Finally arriving on the wooden platform, the song on my lips and the laugh in my heart never wavers as I continue to stand by the grouch better known as my best friend and wait patiently for our ride to arrive.

For those of you unaware, my starburst cutie mark adorned partner here’s name is Dusk Shine; apprentice to Prince Solaris himself. He’s the smartest and most powerful unicorn you’ll ever come across, guaranteed...

... Granted this might depend on whether or not your own section of the multiverse even has unicorns in the first place... but I digress.

Dusk, though smart as a whip, and capable of crazy powerful magic, is not quite a mature young adult yet, unfortunately. Instead he’s just a teenager; one who, as per the norm with such an age group, thinks he knows better than everypony else.

… Er… Well, truthfully speaking, this is actually often correct... but not always! For instance; because this pony has lived here in his hometown of Canterlot his whole life, never leaving its borders until today, and because of his dangerous addiction to the drug known as literature, Dusk has no friends. Zero, none, nada… well except for me, his loyal assistant, of course (though he never says it), and his big sister as well. Beyond that, however, I think that the only other ponies this kid ever talks to on a regular basis are his parents, his mentor, and his breakfast donut provider.


Back on subject; it’s this loner status of Dusk’s that is now acting as the source of his anger today, as it's one of the many reasons why he's currently throwing a big old hissy fit as we speak. I suppose I shouldn’t be all high and mighty about it though, speaking honestly. I do fully understand his frustrations when it comes with dealing with that particular pony and his tricks.

Said pony is, of course, the ancient Prince Solaris of Equestria.

Backing up now for explanations sake; Solaris is Dusk’s aforementioned mentor, and as his mentor he plays the important role of educating Dusk in the art of magic. Now then, Dusk is a exceptionally good student, one who prides himself in being able to think outside the box and to get to the root of a problem quickly. He loves to not only finish the tasks given to him to the letter, but also show his mentor that he can accomplish things on his own. It’s because of these qualities of his that this young pony was indescribably excited to share with his teacher today his discovery that the legendary Nightterror might be returning tonight; tonight, on the one thousandth anniversary of the Summer Sun Celebration! Gasp! No question about it, that’s a really big deal!

… Thusly then, in understanding this, you can probably now imagine Dusk’s confusion and frustration when he, after having me write out in length his hypothesis to the Prince directly, received a message from Solaris which basically amounted to him laughing him off, claiming that he reads too many books, and then proceeding to tell him that he needs to get out more and make some friends!

Absolutely hilarious! Doubly so when you consider that the Nighterror is actually Solaris’ long lost brother that nopony knows about! Ha! And another fun thing, secretly Solaris and I both know that Dusk is actually one hundred percent correct in his paranoid delusions today! The Nightterror is going to return tonight! Eternal darkness, Elements of Harmony; the whole shebang! Ha!

Don’t spoil the surprise by telling it to Dusk yet though! Please! He needs to experience it all naturally if he is to receive his destiny.

… That and, though I’m embarrassed in admitting it...

… it’s actually really, really funny watching Dusk squirm! Hehe! Maybe Prince Solaris is on to something with all the games he likes to play with people and ponies’ heads…


… Oh! Where are my manners? You must be wondering who in the world I am, and especially so now after I’ve just gone ahead and revealed all those juicy little future secrets for you! Sorry about that, dears.

Allow me to introduce myself properly.

Ahem... Hello! My name is Barbara The Dragoness; property of House Shine, Squire to Prince Solaris, and Assistant to Apprentice Dusk Shine over there. I’m seven and a half years old today, and I’m a cute little purple and green baby dragoness! I like emeralds, romance novels, occasionally dressing pretty, and writing; I can speak and write in two completely different languages! I can also cook, organize, and clean a library like it’s nopony’s business! With these skills at my disposal, I have happily been assisting Dusk Shine in his studies and life for the last two years of my own short life thus far! Two whole years...

… oh, and I used to be human.

In more detail; I used to be Barbara D. Burns, a forty year old housewife and the loving mother of two beautiful children.

That’s kinda a big detail.

‘Used to be’ are sadly the key words on that particular subject though. A car accident about eight years ago ended those carefree days of mine quite prematurely, and resulted in me inhabiting the body I’m in right now. How, you may ask? Well notice how I said that the accident happened about eight years ago, yet I’m only seven? I’m afraid that is the magic of reincarnation, my friends; the ultimate destination of a departed soul. No Heavens, no Hells, not even a Purgatory; what lies beyond the veil of life is only more life, it would seem. Specifically new life, in a new form, in a new land. In my case it wasn’t just any old land either. The day I hatched into my second life was the day I found myself becoming a part of the realm we’re in right now. Equestria, the land of magical ponies; located on the planet Equus and ruled over by the sun god himself Prince Solaris… Though that title belonged to another pony back on my original homeworld of Earth.

It belonged to a fictional mare known as Princess Celestia.

You might be even more confused now. Let me explain; Equestria was actually part of an old cartoon series that I used to watch alongside my daughter back when I was still an adult woman and a mother. The series, called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, took place here in this land and revolved around the lives of ten uniquely interesting characters; interesting because two of them were Dusk and I!

The Dusk and Barbara featured on that show though aren’t the same two people you’re currently listening to me explain about right now, however... We don’t even share the same chromosomes!

Dusk’s counterpart on the cartoon I will never allow him to be aware of was an equally brilliant and smart pony named Twilight Sparkle, a mare, and mine was a drake named Spike. Obviously I didn’t know I would one day be taking over his life when I watched that show with my little Ashley ages ago, but I’m glad that I still remember the cartoon at all after all this time! Things tend to fade away after almost twenty years of not thinking about it, but in at least remembering how events took place, and knowing exactly where they head, I should be fine in simply surviving through this life. I’ve done much more then that though; thus far I've been successfully able to steer Dusk right on towards the path that will take him to his happy little destiny today.

... I’ve also been able to, during my short time here, take control of this new life of mine as well, and find my own source of happiness within it, all while constantly fighting against the personal sorrows and regrets that comes from being forced to remember an entire other life. It hasn’t always been easy...

But that’s another story entirely.

“... Grrr… They’re late,” Dusk suddenly moans again, knocking me out of my thoughts.

I roll my eyes at this, returning to the present. “I think the guardmares have better things to do then to cart your flank around, Dusk,” I chastise him in my admittedly high-pitched and girly voice. It’s not really a befitting one for a woman such as my old self to have, but I’ve since grown used to it just as I have with the rest of this childish body of mine. When it’s all you have to work with you tend to be more accepting of such things. “Be nicer!” I add for good measure.

The pony continues to sulk. [i"]Good grief," I contemplate as I absentmindedly adjust my frilly purse over a shoulder. The scrolls and tome within it shift as I do, though I pay them no mind. "Dusk can be such a big foal sometimes."

He reminds me a bit of my and my husband's son in that regard. Nathaniel was always so clever and smart, but would often get grumpy like this when things didn’t go his way. Our daughter Ashley, on the other han-


At the surprise voice’s command, I hurriedly draw myself up straight in a snap and hold myself firm in the face of it. I remain as still as a statue as I listen carefully to the familiar sound of hooves clipping and clopping noisily against the ground; as the source drew closer to us.

“Soldier!” the voice cries out to me, pacing back and forth where I could not see. “Am I to believe that your prime Charge is about to leave Canterlot today?”

“Ma’am yes ma’am!” I bark immediately, raising a claw to my forehead and saluting the pony who I can't see but knew was watching.

“And are you following him out as well on this grand expedition?”

“Ma’am yes ma’am!” I repeat, holding myself up firmer.

And I have your word that you will watch over him and do your all to protect him from harm, soldier?!"

"Ma’am yes ma’am!” I declare one final time with passion, puffing my tiny bare chest out. The mare from behind me then circles to my front, bends down low in order to glare me in the eyes…

… and then Gleaming Shield proceeds to gently noogie the top of my head with a white coated hoof.

“Good girl,” Dusk’s older sister compliments me kindly, smiling brightly. I relax soon after as well, and allow a smile of my own to grace my lips as I passively straighten out my noogied spines. Meet Gleaming Shield. Captain of the Royal Guard, Dusk’s BSBFF (Big Sister Best Friend Forever, for those of you who don’t know. Even I forget at times), and one of the two and a half friends I’ve made here in this world thus far.

The half belongs to Prince Solaris but that, like my struggles, is again another story entirely.

“Hey Dusty,” the shield cutie mark baring unicorn mare calls out her little brother’s nickname affectionately. “Why the long face, pony?”

Putting his angst on hold, Dusk finally turns around and acknowledges his sister’s existence. He did so with a sigh and a small flip of his purple and pink striped mane. “Oh. Hey, BSBFF,” he mournfully replies.

“I really wish you’d call me something else,” Gleaming was quick to state with a good-natured laugh. Whipping her own twin blue mane side to side with a shake of her head, the mare shoots her brother a cheeky smirk. “The BS part was cute and all when you were a little colt, Dusty, but now… Not so much!”

I soon snicker slightly under my breath as well, joining her, but Dusk still refuses to add in to our merriment. In seeing this, Gleaming’s expression grows concerned. She takes a step away from me and approaches the young stallion with a sympathetic look.

“Bit for your thoughts, little bro?”

Though he glances at his sister momentarily, the younger unicorn simply turns away and resumes staring at the ground.

“Oh nothing nothing,” he attempts to joke, a fake “ha” being uttered as well under his breath. “We’re all just about to freeze to death due to an extremely extended night cycle but that’s no reason to be concerned! Nope, not at fluffing all apparently!”

Gleaming blinks at this.

She then looks back to me.

“Prince Solaris didn’t listen to him about Nightterror Nebula possibly returning tonight,” I translates Dusk’s rant for her with a shrug.

The mare’s lips form into an O shape as she mulls this over, only to then turn back to her brother. “Dusk,” she attempts to sooth. “I may not know a whole lot about ancient history or prophecy stuff like you’re fond of, but I do know that the Nightterror is just an old ponies’ tale; one designed by parents to lower the amount of Nightterror Night candy their foals eat…” Pausing, the mare then turns to me. “... I didn’t just ruin the mystique of that for you, did I?”

“My foalhood is now in shambles,” I reply with a straight face.

“Hmm," she contemplates, rubbing her chin. "I see… Would a sapphire possibly undo the damage?”

I shrug again.

“We can only hope.”


Igniting her horn in a pink glow, and sticking her tongue out in concentration, Gleaming rummages around for a moment in her off-duty saddlebags before finding a single sapphire and depositing it into my outstretched claws. “Consider this my donation for the ‘relief’ effort then, Barb.”

“Your patriotism is most appreciated, soldier,” I snark right back before digging into the gemstone with gusto. Don’t judge me. I’m a growing baby dragoness here, remember? Over my jaw’s noisy crunches, I continue to listen in on the sibling’s conversation.

“Is Prince Solaris the reason why you’re heading to Ponyville then, Dusk?” the loving sister asks casually.

Sigh… Yeah, Gleam,” reluctantly admits the unhappy brother. “He frustratingly gave Barb and I the day off from his lessons, so he could focus on the festivities... and now he also wants us to personally check in on the preparations down there as well! He... h-he also wants me to… to…”

I swiftly swallow my snack.

“Make some friends!” I chirp happily with a big, fang (and probably gem dust) filled grin plastered to my face.

Gleaming couldn’t help but snort at this.

“Oh the horror!

A second wave of snickers then consumes the two of us, and again the sole stallion of our group refuses to cooperate. Instead he shoots us both a dirty look.

“This is serious you two!” he shouts, making me feel a little guilty for my behavior. He is acting a bit like a child throwing a tantrum right now, in typical Canterlot snob fashion, but I still feel that it's appropriate to stop laughing... at least for now. In sensing her brother’s frustration herself, the elder unicorn with us slowly stops her own giggles. Gleaming remains smiling, but she decides to no longer provoke the poor stubborn colt.

“Relax, Dusty,” she says, stepping forward and rubbing her hoof gently across the back of Dusk's head. “A little R&R will do you some real good. Trust a soldier like me; it’s not healthy to constantly be on duty! You gotta take a step back every now and then; take time off, recharge, be reminded about what’s really important in the end, maybe date a hot pink hunk of an alicorn stallion on the side, eat properly…”

“Gleam, I know all that already bu- wait what was that last one?”

“Eat properly?”

“No the one befo-”

“Be reminded what’s really important in the end?”


“There’s more to life than just books, little bro,” Gleaming speaks softly. “So much more. You just have to open up your eyes and see.”

As if being summoned by her speech; a golden chariot, being towed by two large and powerful pegasus mares, suddenly pulls up behind us on the large wooden loading dock. Seeing as how the two siblings are still in the midst of their conversation, I'm the only one to notice. Excusing myself from their personal family talk, I make my way over to the two armored guardmares. I greet them both and then proceed to take my seat within the chariot, so as to reserve it from other would-be privileged Canterlot travelers. I look over the cart’s edge back towards the two as they start to wrap up their talk.

“... Just give it a try for me. Please?” the Royal Guard Captain makes one last plea, placing a hoof upon Dusk’s withers. “If not for me, then try to go along for Barb’s sake. Poor kid’s probably never been outside the capital before in her entire life, let alone seen a Summer Sun Celebration!”

Dusk didn’t say anything in reply, instead opting to turn and spare me a glance. I say nothing as well, instead allowing my warm smile to do the talking for me.

“... But!” the younger unicorn snaps right back to his sister, obviously having considered me long enough to determine that my own feelings are irrelevant in the face of a possible catastrophe. Harsh, but I keep smiling on regardless. I knew Gleaming’s bid wouldn’t yield any results, this is Dusk we’re talking about here, but it's the thought that counts. “We can’t just ignor-”

“Your health?” Gleaming interrupts with a raised eyebrow.


“Your wellbeing?”


“Your stability…?"

“W-what?!” Dusk gasps, taken aback. “I-I’m stable! It’s just... I, it, the Prince, Nightterror Nebula, I… I-I… Grrr… GRRRR!!”

With one last loud roar being produced at the cost of what I can only imagine were the remains of his vocal cords at this point…

“... Fine…”

… Dusk finally and thankfully relents. Phew. That’s a relief. As fun as it is to watch him turn into a little bratty kid at times, as it greatly reminds me of Nathaniel when he does; it’s not proper or healthy for him to stay in that mode. His mane catches on fire when he fumes for too long.


… No, seriously. That is a thing that can and has happened before in the past.

Needless to say, it is a terrifying sight to behold.

Gleaming Shield couldn’t help but smile larger though for this sudden change of heart. “You’ll thank us later, Dusty,” she confides honestly, stepping forward to nuzzle the side of the colt’s face. “Promise.”

With cheeks turning bright red due to the sisterly contact (giving me brief painful flashbacks of Ashley and Nathaniel), Dusk’s eyes quickly scans around, confirms that nopony else is watching, and then reluctantly returns the embrace before taking a step back and breaking it off with a cough. Man/stallion pride at its finest, ladies and gentlemen; powerful enough to make a loner forget that he is one for the sake of keeping up appearances. Cute.

“W-we’ll see,” Dusk stammers out, trying to sound mature and confident and failing spectacularly. “We’ll see.”

As Dusk turns away, Gleaming glances in my direction. Upon confirming that I was watching, she rolls her eyes for me. We tone down our giggles as my Charge takes his place beside me on the Chariot. “Safe travels, you two,” the kind older sister asks of us one final time…

... before sharply turning her head to the guards attached to our vehicle and putting on her scary ‘business’ face.

“That goes double for you two rookies!” she spat out to them, stomping her hoof down with a sickening crack. “I don’t want to hear about any slacking off now, you hear me?!”

“Ma’am yes ma’am!” the two large pegasus guardmares roar back in confirmation, similarly to how I had earlier. Unlike with me, however, it was quite obvious that the both of them are being completely serious in their declarations. That’s reassuring, actually. As comfortable as I’ve gotten to the freaky anti-gravity magic that pegasi possess, thanks to my and Dusk's constant use of sky taxis to get around Canterlot, there’s still an old part of me that will speak up at times and ask WHY IN THE BLUE HELL IS THERE NO BACK TO THIS GODFORSAKEN PIECE OF SHI-

Eh, you get the idea. Despite the impossibility of such a thing, sky chariots are completely safe…

… but reassurance is always nice.

As I felt an itching on my scales, which signifies that our winged guardians are now hard at work with smothering our ride in a thick layer of their race’s magic, Dusk and I give Gleaming one last meaningful look. The slender and beautiful, though unquestionably strong unicorn remains standing where she is, watching quietly, as we begin to pull away into the sky. The two of us raise a hoof and claw respectively in a small wave of goodbye to her, to which the seasoned soldier raises a hoof herself and returns it with one of her own.

Soon we're too high up to see each other anymore.

We've truly left Canterlot.

In realizing this, Dusk immediately hangs himself over the edge of the chariot and resumes his sulking. Oy this colt… Oh well. I decide to leave him for now and to instead take stock of my personal inventory. Nothing better to do, I suppose. Ponyville, despite being close to the edge of the mountain Canterlot is stationed on, is still about a half hour journey via air. Yes, seriously. It’s really that far away. Via train it can take anywhere from hours to days to make the trip! Days are obviously rare though. It really depends on the availability of tracks; a few lines can become completely unusable depending on which creatures are currently using the tunnels as homes.

… At least, that’s what I read in a book once. Gleam was right; I’ve never been outside Canterlot before in this life.

It was because of this that I fought over my gut fear of looking over the edge of the chariot to do just that at this time.

The entirety of Equestria lay before me, as far as the eyes could see. The Gala Mountains, The Unicorn Range, The Badlands and Marshes and even Ghastly Gorge; my wide, draconic irises took in the sight of it all, causing me to silently stand there in awe. Only the Unicorn Range could really be seen from the city of Canterlot's edge, along with the Everfree Forest. From up here in the sky though, above even the mountain’s peak, nothing was obscured or hidden. Nothing was left forgotten; squinting hard allowed me to see locations such as the famous Cloudsdale, that tiny little hamlet of Rainbow Falls I had read about once, and, completely and utterly inconspicuous in the grand scheme of things... Ponyville.

Upon spotting it way off in the distance, I sat back down and sighed deeply. I was left humbled by the whole experience, and feeling even smaller than I already was. I really am just a tiny fish in an enormous ocean, aren’t I? I’m so unique and different from everypony else; not only because I’m a dragoness, but because of the memories of my past life as well...

… But, at the end of the day, I’m just another microscopic spec just like the rest of them; just a little girl, shipwrecked in the middle of the never-ending sea known as existent…

‘... That could make a good chapter,’ I mentally told myself after a time, referring to the secret journal of my experiences that I keep close to my person.

… Oh! Speaking of which; I was about to take an inventory inspection, wasn’t I? I got distracted by sightseeing and must have forgotten all about it… Oh well. ‘Let’s see what I have here…’

A moment later, upon opening my purse, I receive my answer.

A clawful of blank pieces of paper, quills and pencils, one sealed inkwell, and a couple enchanted royal sending seals were always constant presences in my bag, thus they didn’t surprise me now. It always helps to come prepared, you never know when the need will arise to send an emergency message to the Prince, after all! Their inclusion didn’t surprise me in the slightest... and the new items didn’t either.

The obvious new addition to my purse was, of course, my journal. The, fittingly titled, Poisoned Barb. This notebook contains a collection of my innermost thoughts and feelings (hidden behind the English language for safety) detailing my past memories and trials for both future or presently reincarnated individuals to educate themselves with. I started writing it the other night and I hope that, in the future, it will serve as a guiding light for other affected creatures to follow… as unlikely as that admittedly is.

Can’t blame me for trying though, right?

Besides the all important book, two rolled up scrolls lied in my bag as well now. One contained the message Prince Solaris sent to Dusk earlier today, and the other had been sent to us a moment later. They were both here for separate reasons; the first one because I was keeping it on hand/claw in the case I needed it to encourage Dusk to actually follow through on the Prince’s orders. Beyond that it held no other purpose… The second one, however, definitely needed to be in our possession no matter what.

It was certainly one of the rarest of gems, a checklist Dusk hadn’t written up himself beforehand!

It was the Summer Sun Celebration Official Overseer's Checklist. Provided by the Prince himself, it held a list of ponies and locations that his Majesty wanted us to visit and check in with today. It was presented to Dusk as just a chore list that needed to be accomplished; one that insured that the celebration was being taken care of properly… But I knew better.

I knew much better.

I knew that this scroll, seemingly benign as it was, possessed the names or locations of every one of Dusk’s future friends; as impossible as that sounds.

You see, unbeknownst to most of his subjects, Prince Solaris is special.

… Well more special than he already is, that is; then just being a pure alicorn, a Prince, an immortal, a literal god incarnate… you get the idea. He’s special because he possess a unique gift that has served him relatively well in the past...

The power of clairvoyance.

Prince Solaris... is a Seer. He can see into the future.

Scary, I know.

It’s not perfect though, not in the slightest. It happens randomly and infrequently, as he’s explained to me before, and it can even happen while he’s asleep! He doesn’t see everything, but despite these hurdles Solaris has been mostly successful in predicting Dusk’s immediate future. Not completely successful, but successful enough thanks to the additional little help he’s received from… me, a fellow ‘Seer’, in steering him in the right direction. Having watched the first two seasons of the cartoon series marks me as one, apparently, though I’m just following the script and nothing more here! It’s how Solaris rationalizes my ‘power’ though, and keeps him from digging too deep into my secret, so I’m not complaining.

It is because of this ‘power’ of mine that I know that this scroll will lead Dusk into meeting his friends today. Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack; soon all the main characters of My Little Pony will meet and soon the adventures can begin in earnest.

In the meantime though, I’m left to wonder how different each of these ponies are going to be once we actually meet them.

Just as Twilight, Celestia, and Shining Armor turned into Dusk, Solaris, and Gleaming Shield in this strange alternate dimension, it would stand to reason that a similar change has happened for all these other mares as well. As stallions… I wonder what they’re like? What are their names now, and what do they look like? All I’ve been able to do these past seven years is speculate. It hasn’t kept me up at night or anything; just idle curiosity. It wasn’t like I was a fan of the show or anything. In all honesty, ‘My Little Pony Time’ was really nothing more than ‘Mother-Daughter Bonding Time’ for me and Ash; I enjoyed spending time with my daughter more than I did actually watching the show. And Ashley used to love the show when she was a little child herself; she would watch it religiously every day until she eventually grew out of it. I was simply along for the ride…

… I still remember each character vividly though, thankfully.

Let’s see. First there was Twilight Sparkle; Ash’s favorite pony and now my Charge, Dusk Shine. I’ve already gone at length about him so moving on. Next there’s Rarity; a fashionista unicorn who liked to make dresses. Ashley and I used to share this little joke about her; one that, even as she grew out of the show completely, we would often still laugh about it from time to time.

The joke went like this. Jason, my wonderful husband, wa-... is a tailor in the same way Rarity is a seamstress. He grew up in his family’s textile shop so it was sort of an inevitable career path for him. Both him and that cartoon unicorn mare made their livings off of commissioned work; Jason would do anything from patching an old wedding dress, to designing a movie’s entire costume closet… to fixing up the neighbor’s daughter’s teddy bear, free of charge. That was just the sort of generous man I fell in love with, even with his quirks.

I think I fell in love with him especially for his quirks.

Sometimes serious business, other times a literal drama queen, and he could admittedly be a tad self absorbed on the rare day; but he always bounced back whenever he realized he was close to being distant with his family. Always.

Rarity was much the same way, from what I can recall, to the point where I remember little seven year old Ashley’s question concerning her more than I do her actual character. Said question… snort, w, w-was...

“Mommy? Why is Daddy a pretty unicorn?”

And on that day a long running joke was born.

"What are you talking about, Ashley? That’s how your father always looks! Don’t tell me you’ve never noticed his beautiful white coat before? Oh oh! Look, baby girl; your father is being fabulous again!’’

S-snort! Good times. Heh-...

Sigh… Great. Now I made myself feel sad…

Ahem. Er… Let’s… Let’s just get back to the ponies, shall we?

Where was I… oh! Right. Rarity. Well after Rarity there was… Pinkie Pie! Yes I remember her. Silly pink pony, hard to forget. I liked her singing voice… and that’s all I can really remember anymore.

Then there’s Applejack and Rainbow Dash. I remember liking Applejack; hard not to like a hard working gal who has her head on straight… if I’m even remembering that right. It’s been so long… Don’t think I’ll ever forget Rainbow Dash though. Her scratchy voice has forever been drilled into my brain thanks to one of the many talking toys we bought for little Ash all those years ago. I can’t recall the damn words for the life of me, but it’s still a sound that will stay with me until I die… and beyond!

Outside of the voice though, I remember her being tomboyish and sporty. I actually thought for awhile that she was Ash’s favorite instead of Twilight, due to her personality, but the forty Twilight figurines and toys against Rainbow’s ten told me otherwise. How that kid ever saved up enough of her allowance to afford so many of those things I’ll never know…

… One, two, three, four, five… That just leaves one final pony then; Fluttershy. Though I claimed before that I wasn’t really a fan of the show, and though I’ll repeat that message here, I can still state without shame that Fluttershy was my ‘favorite’ pony. Take that with a grain of salt if you were a fan of the show; I liked her solely because she’s… well… cute. Really cute… that’s it. It has nothing to do with her character or struggles or even her growth; I just thought she was cute. Not much else to really say beyond that, except maybe point out how easily it is for everyone to see a little bit of that poor shy girl in themselves… but I’m going off topic.

Said topic, for reference, was ‘I wonder what they're like as stallions’.

"Well," I thought, feeling the cool wind blow against my face as I silently watch the completely unaware Dusk Shine fume in his corner.

"... I guess we’re about to find out."

The Poisoned Barb’s Tale
A Story by ManlyDerp
First sequel to The Poisoned Barb which is, one final time, recommended prior reading.
I do not own MLP, nor the gender-bent versions of the characters created by the fandom.

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