• Published 20th Dec 2015
  • 6,560 Views, 304 Comments

John Honeycrisp Apple - Robo Bro

The human farmer, John Apple, has been injured. With no family to inherit, he is set to lose his farm. Unable to cope, he seeks to end it all. Much to his confusion, he wakes up as a pony and surrounded by talking ponies who are calling him "father".

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Chapter 2

John Apple groaned lightly as he slowly regained consciousness. He heard the sound of a bird singing nearby, and opening his eyes revealed a rather rustic looking hospital room. He felt a little woozy and had trouble concentrating. How did he get there?

Slowly, the wheels in his head turned. He remembered the injury that Mack had given him. He remembered writing a will so that his farm would be well taken care of. He remembered pumping himself so full of painkillers that he could barely walk straight, and saying goodbye to his horses. Most of all, he remembered walking into the woods with his old pistol. What he didn’t remember was anything after that.

He sighed melancholically. He failed. Too much pain killers had probably caused him to pass out. Somebody had likely found him snoozing against a tree somewhere and dragged him to the nearest hospital.

Staring blankly into space, he noticed a bright, red protrusion coming out of his face. He raised a hand to brush it away only to find that not only could he feel with said protrusion, but he didn’t have a hand anymore either. In its place was an equally bright red hoof. He casually looked down at the rest of his body to find that he looked, for the most part, like a big, red horse.

John Apple chuckled to himself. They must have had him on some mighty strong stuff if he was imagining himself as a horse. Considering that he was closer to his horses than he had been to any humans for years, he didn’t find himself all that upset at such a transformation. As he tried to roll over into a more comfortable position, a familiar twinge of pain flared up in his back. Not strong enough stuff, apparently.

Boredom was swift to overtake the man. He had never been too good at staying still, and being injured hadn’t changed that none. Gritting through the pain, he sat up in his bed. He knew he probably shouldn’t be moving. If the injured back wasn’t enough, then the fact that he was so high he was imagining he was a horse should probably have kept him in bed. The doc would likely chew him out something fierce later, but he didn’t much care. He had tried to kill himself, he doubted anything he did now short of retrying could compare to that.

He gave himself a sturdy shove off the bed and onto his feet. He didn’t need the sudden flare of pain in his back to know that something was wrong, his balance was completely shot like that. His two feet refused to hold him upright and he swiftly fell to the floor with a mighty thud.

He hurt. Almost everywhere, he hurt. It just didn’t make sense. If he was being pumped full of enough meds to have him seeing himself as a horse, then there’s no way a fall like that should have hurt him like it did. His back, sure, but not the rest of him.

Shakily, he placed his hands or hooves or whatever to the floor and pushed himself up off the ground. At first he had planned on pushing himself back to his feet again, but something about having his arms beneath him felt right. He felt stable on all four limbs, and the pain in his back was at a much more manageable level.

Though he didn’t much like the idea of crawling around on all fours like some sort of baby, he admitted to himself it was probably better than falling on his face again. Swallowing his pride, he took an experimental step forward, and another, then another and so on until he was walking in a little circle. He was a little unsteady, and the clomping of his hooves on the tiled floor was a mite bit distracting, but he could move.

With that dealt with, the old farmer made his way over to the window. He had expected to see the small town nearest his farm, or maybe even the busy streets of a major city if he had needed to be taken to a proper hospital, but what he saw completely threw him for a loop.

What lay outside his window was a very rural looking town, even more so than the one he had anticipated. It looked straight out of a fairy tale with its thatched roofs, dirt roads and buildings decorated all fancy like based around some kind of theme. Heck, he even thought he saw a life sized ginger bread house in the distance. But no matter how odd the buildings were, they couldn’t compare to the apparent inhabitants.

Horses were everywhere. Winged horses were flying about, unicorns trotting by casually with stuff floating through the air next to them, and even regular horses too. Well, regular in the sense that they didn’t have horns or wings anyhow. They all looked distorted. Their heads were too big, so were their eyes, their snouts were too short and their bodies much thinner than real horses, not to mention that he'd never seen horses nearly so colourful in all his life.

John Apple was so flabbergasted by what he saw that he didn’t even notice when the door opened and a trio of mares walked inside.

“Ah’m tellin’ ya, Granny, it’s Dad. He looks exactly like ah remember.” A young woman’s voice filled the room.

“Ah’ll believe it when ah see it, Applejack. My Honeycrisp has been gone comin’ on a dozen years now, and yer memory is probably a little faulty on account of ya bein’ so young when he disappeared an’ all.” A stereotypical, crotchety old woman’s voice responded to the younger one.

The name “Honeycrisp” tickled something in the back of his mind. It was a nickname his parents gave him because he used to drown his apple crisp in honey. His farm had always had some apple orchards, and his parents loved puns, so they always called him Honeycrisp. He hadn’t heard that name in probably a dozen years, not since his mother died.

Carefully, as to not agitate his back, he turned to face the ones who seemed to know his old nickname. After what he had seen through the window, he could hardly say he was surprised to see a trio of horses standing there. They were spread across the age spectrum with a wrinkled up, old nag, an adorable little filly and a healthy looking, young adult mare. The oldest had a green coat with a greyed out mane, the young adult was orange with a blonde mane and the little filly was yellow with a cherry red mane and a cute pink bow on top.

“Honeycrisp?” The eldest one asked in awe and confusion.

“Uhh....hi there.” He answered, more than a little uncertain as to what was going on.

“Is it really him?” The little filly’s voice was filled with hope.

“I...uh...Jus’ a moment, there. Ah need a good look at ‘im first fore ah kin be sure.”

The apparent granny of the group hobbled on forward, eyeing him skeptically. She reached for his face with one of her hooves and grabbed onto him, though he had no idea how that was even possible. As he considered just how much his mind must be failing him, she examined his cheek.

“There’s the mark from when ya were foolin’ round with the farm tools as a foal...” She moved from his cheek to his shoulder. "An’ there’s yer scars from when ya fell outta yer tree house. Ya were in the hospital for a week fer that one.”

The old mare moved from old injury to old injury, giving detailed explanations on how he earned each one, and she was right every time. Nobody else knew all those stories, just like nobody alive called him Honeycrisp anymore. When she finished, she went back to standing in front of him and stared up into his eyes with wonder. A few tears flowed down her face.

“It’s really you, ain’t it, Honeycrisp?” She whispered.

“Ma?” He responded, a few tears of his own at the prospect of his mother somehow being alive. The two leaned towards each other as if to embrace. Instead, with speed that defied her aging form, she slapped him.

“That’s fer runnin’ off fer a dozen years,” John’s eyes widened, more in surprise than pain, and before he could respond she wrapped him in that hug he had been anticipating, “and this is fer comin’ back.”

Rather than voicing his objections to being struck, he allowed himself to silently melt into his mother’s embrace. It had been far too long since he had experienced such physical affection from anything other than his horses and he wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass, even if his mother was actually a horse herself right now.

John had no doubts about it, he had gone insane. The meds must have fried his brain entirely and he was probably locked away somewhere in a strait jacket, bouncing off the padded walls. It didn’t matter, though. He’d take this happy insanity over reality any day.

The loving embrace grew larger as two others joined in. He opened his eyes and looked at the two younger mares that had just latched onto him. The youngest gripped him tightly with a look of pure bliss on her face. The other one, however, noticed the look of confusion on his face.

“Ya don’t know who we are, do ya, Pa?” She asked as the four split up, a bit of pain in her voice.

He shook his head, feeling tremendous regret that he didn’t know. Who could they possibly be? They were far too young to be anyone he was related to, dead or alive. Hadn’t they called his mother “granny”, though? Did that mean...? No, they couldn’t be.

“Don’t take it too hard, the two of ya have grown a lot since he last saw ya. Anypony would have a hard time recognizin’ ya.” The elder mare attempted to soothe her, then addressed John himself. “This here is Applejack, an' the little one is Apple Bloom.

Those names settled it. He had to be dreaming or hallucinating or something. Those names were too similar to his horses to be a coincidence. He had already seen Jackie, Mack, and Blossom as something akin to his children, and now his broken mind had latched onto that and just made it a little more literal.

He felt a pressure on one of his forelegs. He looked down to see Apple Bloom placing one of her tiny hooves onto his massive leg and staring up at him with the most adorable, puppy dog eyes.

“Ya do remember me, right?” Her voice was so hopeful, so filled with longing and was tinged with a heart wrenching level of fear. His heart broke for he truly couldn’t remember anything about her, but there was no way he could tell her that.

“Of course ah do, Apple Bloom. Yer granny’s right, ya just grew so much that ah didn’t recognize ya.” He told her his reassuring lie.

Now he knew lying was wrong, his parents had grilled that into him sure enough, but the way she wrapped her hooves around his leg in another hug because she couldn’t reach any higher just warmed his lonely heart to levels he hadn’t experienced in years. Wincing through the pain of his injured back, he leaned down to hug her back.

Even if she wasn’t real, he’d act the part of the father for her as long as she wanted. It looked to be something she needed, and it was definitely something he had always wanted. It was just one lie that made both of them happy, it could hardly be that bad.