• Published 12th Aug 2015
  • 8,279 Views, 1,159 Comments

A Change In Fashion - Kevinltk



A changeling finds love in the world of fashion modeling.

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Chapter 1: Small Town Troubles

The ponies of Equestria have built cities and towns of all shapes and sizes across the magical land, yet very few could match what lay on the eastern coast. What had started out as ports to the griffon empire and other realms, cities such as Baltimare, Fillydelphia, and Manehattan grew over time into the sprawling metropolises they were today. They dominated the region as hubs of trade and culture, and ponies from all over congregated to the huge cities.

However, not everypony was suited for that kind of life. There were some who wished to avoid the hustle and bustle of the big cities, and they ended up settling in one of the few smaller towns in the region instead.

One of those small towns was named Ambleton.

Nestled between Fillydelphia and Manehattan, Ambleton did not get too many visitors. Even then, most visitors did not stay for long, not when it was just a short trip to the bigger cities. Other than the main road through town where travelers sometimes passed through, there was not much activity. Nonetheless, the quaint town was home to a small population of ponies and was a great place for those who wanted a quiet environment and not a lot of attention.

Born and raised in Ambleton, Oak Tree was an earth pony living in the small town. He was a healthy stallion and happily married, but other than his wife and a few friends around town, he was not really well-known. He was just an average pony with nothing really noteworthy about him.

His job at the lumber mill was nothing fantastic and made up the bulk of his routine. Every day pretty much consisted of getting up early, going to work, and then heading home to spend the rest of the day with his loving wife. It was a simple life, but he was content.

Of course, the only constant in life is change, so every now and then, it does something to break up the routine, and today was one such instance when Oak Tree arrived at his house early.

“Syrup, I’m home!” Oak Tree called out to his wife as he entered through the front door.

“I’m in our room, Oak!” a mare’s voice responded from upstairs.

An eager grin appeared on Oak’s face, and he rushed up the stairs. He paused to check himself over in a mirror hanging in the hallway, making sure his dark-red coat, blue mane, and his cutie mark of an axe cutting wood were all in place. Satisfied that his appearance was in order, he continued on to the open room at the end of the hall and saw his target inside.

Lying on the bed was a chestnut-colored earth pony mare with a dark-brown mane. Her cutie mark was a pitcher of a brown liquid, no doubt the same sweet substance that she was named after. She was resting on her stomach, flipping through the pages of a book.

Oak raised an eyebrow when he caught a glimpse of the book’s title, The Lusty Dragon Assistant. Mentally shrugging, he pretended to have not seen that.

“You’re home early,” Syrup stated, glancing up at Oak.

“There was a bit of a mixup with the equipment, so I got the rest of the day off,” Oak explained.

Syrup nodded and turned her attention back to the book. “That’s nice, dear. I’m guessing you’re going out again soon, so have fun. I’m just going to stay here and read a bit more, if you don’t mind.”

Oak frowned. He did not rush back to the house just to have Syrup dismiss him so quickly. He wanted—no, needed her love. Fortunately, he knew exactly what to do. Without saying a word, he crawled onto the bed.

“Oak, what are you—Oh, oh my…” Syrup let out a hum of content when Oak started gently rubbing his muzzle into her neck. “This is a surprise. Did something happen today?”

“Nope, I just thought this would be better than leaving you alone to read some old book.”

“And I must say, you’re making quite a convincing case.” She giggled and leaned into the nuzzle. “This is nice. We haven’t done this for quite some time.”

“Well, today is going to be different.”

Oak and Syrup continued to nuzzle, taking turns in using their muzzles to explore each others necks and faces. While it was nice to feel the warm touch of another pony showing affection to him, Oak yearned for more.

Oak brought a hoof around Syrup’s neck and dragged her closer.

Syrup’s eyes widened for just a second before closing them when Oak kissed her deeply on the lips. She let out another satisfied hum and quickly returned the gesture.

Oak closed his eyes as well, relishing in the wave of emotion washing over him. He could practically taste the love emanating from the mare. It was like a hunger being sated, and every passing second made him feel more invigorated. It certainly has been a while since he felt this good, and he wished this moment would last for a long time.

“Hey, Syrup, I got off work, and by the princess’s pudgy pimple, what the hay is happening here?!

Oak’s eyes shot wide open when he heard his voice, something that should not have been possible since his mouth was currently occupied with Syrup’s. Both he and Syrup released their lip lock and turned to see an exact duplicate of Oak Tree standing in the doorway. He was staring at them with a dropped jaw that showcased the elasticity of the pony anatomy, a baffling feature that had confounded scientists for centuries.

“Oak? But you… But you’re…” Syrup looked back and forth between the Oak holding her and the Oak still gawking at them.

Syrup let out a loud shriek and pushed Oak number one and herself off opposite ends of the bed.

“Why are there two of you?!” Syrup shouted, putting the bed between her and the Oak clones.

“He’s a fake!” the two Oaks cried out, pointing an accusatory hoof at each other. They glared at each other. “What? You’re the fake!”

Both Oaks butted their foreheads together. Letting out snorts of hot air, they engaged in an intense staring contest as each one started to provide a compelling argument on how they were the real deal.

“I’m the real Oak!”

“No, I am!”

“No, me!”

“No, me!”

“No, me!”

“No—”

Quiet!”

The two stallions jumped into the air with a frightened squeak before quickly turning to face the scowling Syrup.

“Both of you, get over here, now!”

The Oak twins immediately lined up in front of the angry mare as she sat down on the bed.

“You two are behaving like foals. There’s an easier way to find the fake without giving me a headache,” Syrup chastised. “I’ll just ask a few questions that the real Oak should know, and whoever can answer them is obviously my husband, alright?”

“Right!”

“R-right.”

Syrup took a deep breath and calmly smiled. “This one should be easy. What is my favorite flower?”

One Oak just stood there, while the other opened his mouth, only to close it right away.

The smile on Syrup’s face shrunk. “Okay, what’s my favorite play?”

Again, neither Oak could come up with an answer.

By now, Syrup’s smile had been replaced with a frown. “Favorite food?”

One Oak rubbed the back of his neck, while the other tried, but failed, to whistle.

“When’s my birthday?”

The room started to get a bit warmer, and beads of sweat started dripping down the heads of both Oaks.

“When’s our anniversary?”

Both Oaks remained silent, suddenly finding an interest in everything in the room except the mare shooting them a glare that promised holes the size of ponies would soon be needed.

Syrup let out a loud groan and buried a hoof into her face. Quietly, she grumbled, “I swear, the things I sometimes have to put up with…” She let out a huge sigh and looked back up at the Oaks with a deadpan face. “What did we have for dinner four days ago?”

Oak number two quickly raised a hoof into the air and waved it around like an overenthusiastic student answering a question. “Oh! Oh! I know this one! We had my favorite, vegetable lasagna!”

Syrup rolled her eyes. “Well, at least we found the real Oak,” she said as she trotted up to the Oak who responded and wrapped her hooves around the stallion’s neck.

“Um, Syrup,” Oak replied in a strained voice. “I’m glad that we’re together again, but you’re kind of hugging me a bit too tight. It’s getting hard to breathe.”

“I know, dear. I’m just letting you know we’re going to spend a nice, long time having the talk.”

The fake Oak started inching away from the couple. He was not sure he wanted to know what was the talk.

When the whimpering real Oak was starting to get little blue in the face, the clone was sure he did not want to know what the talk was.

“But first things first,” Syrup said as she released her husband, who had to take a few gasps of air, and turned their attention to the fake. “Who are you, and what do you want?”

The fake Oak’s eyes darted around as he looked for an escape, but the only way out was either trying to get past the two earth ponies guarding the doorway or jumping out of a second story window. The only viable option was to talk his way out of it.

“I wandered into the wrong house?”

“Doesn’t explain why you look like Oak and tried to seduce me.”

“This is all a dream?”

“If it was, he wouldn’t be here.”

“Hey!”

“Uh… I’m Oak’s evil twin?”

The sound of hooves meeting faces told the imposter that he probably ran out of chances.

“Hold on a minute,” the real Oak suddenly said. “Somepony who can look like somepony else and tries to pretend to be a loved one? That sounds awfully like those things that invaded Canterlot a while ago. I think they were called—”

The fake Oak decided there was no longer any need to stick around. Before the couple could react, he quickly jumped through the window with a loud crash as he shattered the glass.

As the fake Oak fell through the air, a green ring of fire rose from his hooves and up his body. Gaps appeared in the legs as red fur was replaced by glossy, black carapace, and an equally-black horn revealed itself on its head. On its back, a pair of insect-like wings sprouted from a blue shell and immediately began beating rapidly.

The creature gritted its fangs as it landed on the ground with a heavy thump, but thanks to its wings, it was able to slow down enough to avoid injury.

Taking a quick look around with its featureless, blue eyes, the creature noticed that a few nearby ponies were gawking at it.

“It’s a changeling, and it just tried to feed on us! Don’t let it get away!” Oak shouted from the window.

That yell shook the nearby ponies out of their daze. Some backed away in fear, but the rest started approaching the changeling slowly with stern looks on their faces.

Not wanting to find out what happens next, the changeling poised itself to fly away, but it discarded the idea upon the sight of even more ponies arriving on the scene.

If there were just earth ponies, then the changeling could easily escape, but pegasi and unicorns were also rushing in. Even a few pegasi would easily be able to outmaneuver the changeling in the air, and if they did not get it, then the unicorns’ magic surely would.

Luckily, the changeling was quick on its hooves and concocted a plan.

With a mighty yell of terror, the changeling picked out an open spot in the crowd and ran as fast as it could for its life. While it did not have a good idea of where it was running to, it figured that if it kept moving in one direction, it would reach the outskirts of town, and from there, it would make its way to the nearby forest and hide until it was safe.

A smirk appeared on the changeling’s face as it silently congratulated itself on its master plan. It chanced a glance behind it to check on its pursuers, and the smirk was quickly wiped from its face.

At least ten ponies were on its tail, and judging by the pitchforks and torches they were waving, they probably were not there to talk. That is, unless it was Syrup’s version of the talk.

Pushing aside the question of where the ponies got the standard tools of angry mobbing so fast, the changeling let out another frightened scream as it pumped its running hooves even faster.

In its frantic dash for freedom, it did not take long before the changeling lost any sense of direction except away from the angry mob. Only by constantly ducking through alleys, dumping obstacles behind it, and probably having a lot of luck, did the changeling manage to keep its distance from its pursuers.

But it could not keep this up forever. The chase lasted for what seemed like hours, and all the running was taking its toll as the changeling could feel its stamina waning.

Panting heavily, the changeling emerged out of its umpteenth alley. It glanced to the side, and it gasped at what it saw.

The outskirts were only a block away, and not only that, but the forest was also in sight, just beyond the town’s border.

The changeling’s aching hooves were so relieved that all that aimless wandering turned out for the better. The changeling was so happy, it could not help but stop to make a delighted squee.

A pitchfork stabbing into the ground a few inches away cut the celebration short and made the changeling blanch. It was quickly reminded that it was supposed to be running for its life.

“Why is it always pitchforks?!” the changeling screamed in a slightly distorted, but unmistakably feminine voice. “Why can’t it be something nice like pillows or plushies?!”

With a second wind pumping through her body, partly derived from seeing her goal and partly derived from fear of sharp, pointy objects, the changeling sprinted for the forest sanctuary.

It did not take long before the changeling reached the forest, and as soon as she put a couple of trees between her and the ponies, the changeling flew up into the tree canopy and landed on a big branch secluded from the ground by a dense foliage.

She held her breath as the sound of hooves stomping on the ground grew louder. Other than a small peephole in the leaves she could use to monitor down below, the changeling was hidden from view. As long as she stayed quiet, she should be fine.

A few seconds later, the group of ponies ran straight past her spot.

Remaining in her hiding spot, the changeling stayed frozen in place, even when the thundering of hooves faded away into nothing. She already made it this far, and it would not hurt to stay on guard for a little bit longer.

The changeling was so focused on scanning the ground below that she did not notice a butterfly fluttering around until it perched on her nose.

The changeling scrunched up her nose, eyeing the little bug. With a quick snort, she blew the butterfly away and resumed her watch.

The butterfly returned a few seconds later, hovering in front of the changeling’s vision.

The changeling tried to swat the butterfly away with a hoof, but the annoying insect was unharmed when it passed through one of the holes in her hoof.

The changeling’s eye twitched.

With a quiet growl, she frantically waved her hoof at the butterfly, but the tiny bug continued to somehow evade all attempts at shooing it away.

Having enough of the impudent insect, the changeling stood up on the branch and with a cry of anger, she used both of her forehooves to try and swat the butterfly away.

It only took a few seconds of swinging wildly before the changeling lost her balance. Yelping loudly, she flailed around her hooves as she teetered off the edge. Out of sheer luck, a nearby branch threaded its way through one of the holes in her forehooves. She was left hanging by one leg, but at least she managed to prevent her fall.

The changeling let out a loud sigh of relief, only for her eyes to pop wide open with fear and immediately clamp a hoof over her mouth. During her epic struggle, she had forgotten to stay quiet.

She returned to a tense silence as her eyes darted around, and her ears perked up, scanning the area for any signs of life that wanted to investigate the noise she had been making. She was so nervous, she did not dare to move from her precariously hanging position and even feared that her hammering heart was thumping too loudly.

However, nothing came, and as time passed, the changeling began to calm down. The air was filled with the soft buzzing of the changeling’s wings as she started to untangle her hoof from the branch.

However, she immediately stopped when she heard voices approaching.

The same group of ponies slowly walked into view, talking with each other. Picking up bits and pieces of the conversation, the changeling heard that they were done searching and wanted to return to town.

A leaf fell from the branch the changeling was hanging from, and her eyes bulged when she noticed that it was falling towards the group of ponies. She tried to grab the descending debris with her free hoof, but it was unable to due to its restricted movement.

The changeling’s mouth was open in a silent scream of terror as the leaf slowly drifted lower and lower. That one leaf would draw the ponies’ attention, and she would be hauled back to town for what was probably not going to be a party.

Each passing second was excruciatingly long as the changeling saw its doom approach until finally it happened.

The leaf landed right on top of a pony’s head.

The pony did not even glance up and casually brushed off the offending object, continuing on with its fellow ponies until they disappeared from view.

Even after seeing the ponies move on, the changeling remained dangling and vigilant. While she wondered if the day’s events were making her exhausted mind a little paranoid, she watched for any returning ponies, as well as any ninja ponies trying to sneak up on her.

The changeling did not know how long she kept her watch, but the leg attached to the branch was becoming sore and tired. Only after what seemed like forever, the changeling finally was convinced it was safe and let out an enormous groan of relief. She freed her hoof from the branch and flew onto another nearby sturdy branch.

No longer fearing for her life, the changeling started to feel the effects of everything that happened to her today.

She had infiltrated a couple’s home, got a decent dose of love, been chased through town by an angry mob of ponies, spent who knows how long hanging from a branch, and survived an emotional roller coaster of panic and terror. All that was left was for her to wearily slump down onto the branch she was on.

“Just another day in the life of Glamour the changeling,” the changeling murmured before drifting off to sleep.