• Published 21st Jan 2016
  • 702 Views, 31 Comments

Herg's House for Homeless Horses - Graglithan The Greater

The North American Continent's been turned into tiny colorful ponies of magic, and some poor kids need new homes now. Until I find them one, they're stuck with me.

  • ...

The New Arrivals

The following day, Sarah wouldn’t stop pacing about in the living room. I’d tried to stop her on several occasions, but every time, she’d just go back to wearing a rut into the floor. Rather than continue a fruitless endeavor of preventing more damage to repair, I went to fix her main art room’s lighting. The mess that had been installed in there finally shorted out a fuse, and I really wanted to smack the electrician who made it this way.

Thank God for Dad’s breathing technique, or I’d have probably ripped all of these extra wires out already; drywall be damned.

It was when I was just about to finish up with fixing up the main culprit of the mess, which happened to be the one of the ceiling lights, I could hear someone pull up into the driveway. Glancing out of the window, I could see a few large vans pulling up. “Looks like those government guys might be here already.” As I started for the front door, I shouted up the stairs to Sarah. “Hey, we’ve got company out front. I’m gonna go see who it is.”

“Alright! Be down in a minute!” True to her word, just as I was getting to the front door I could hear Sarah falling down the stairs again. “....ow....” Only a day since they were here, and I already think I should speed up my plans on building that ramp.

Heading out to the parked vans, I was greeted by a unicorn that was just getting out of the vehicle. “You the brother we were informed of?”

Oh look at that, I’m popular. Too bad I don’t care. “Depends. You are?”

“Agent Daniels. Call me Danny.” I shook the grey unicorn’s hoof and he pointed to the vans. “We’re just bringing in the supplies to make this place ready for the kids.”

Grunting a bit, I looked over at the house and frowned. “If by supplies, you mean workforce. The idiots who build this place didn’t have a clue what they were doing.”

“So I’ve heard.” Agent Daniels looked over a small clipboard as he pulled it from the van with his magic. “According to the half-pint, anyways.”

I raised an eyebrow for a moment and glanced back at the house, remembering the rather short meeting with the two from yesterday. “When did she-?” Agent Daniels tapped his horn for a moment. “Ah. I see.” So some magic was going on last time when she was crawling through our cabinets.... Pretty sure that’s an invasion of privacy. “Well anyways, let’s get this moved into the house. The heat isn’t all that nice.”

Daniels nodded and looked over at the van, waving a hoof for a moment before a group of other ponies started to climb out and move some large boxes from their vans and into the house. “This shouldn’t take them more than a few hours. In the meantime, I’d like to talk to you and your sister for a moment.”

“Excuse me for a moment, I just need to slip through... here...” Sarah tried to squeeze past some of the boxes as they were heading in and got stuck for a moment, which Daniels seemed to find a bit funny. With a small heave and a pop as she came free, Sarah dusted herself off and shook out her mane as if nothing had happened. “Sorry for the wait. Now, who do I have the honor of meeting?”

“Agent Daniels.” A quick handshake passed between the two and Daniels looked at the house for a moment. “If it’s alright with you, I’d like to also get a few pieces of business out of the way while the boxes are unloaded and beds assembled.”

Giving him a nod, the two of us moved off of the porch and sat in the front lawn. Not exactly the most luxurious of places, but it kept us out of the flow of boxes. Sarah looked a bit confused, but at the same time, expectant. “So what is this about?”

Daniels waved a hoof and gave her a disarming smile. “I just thought you’d like some advice for what you’re about to undertake, and to know some details about the ones being sent to live here. More so the ones that are due to arrive in a few days.” He looked over at his van and a few manilla folders started to fly over to us. “As a Matron, it is important to make sure the children in your care are well taken care of, but at the same time, you don’t become too attached to them. It is important that they are able to leave here and become part of loving families, but still retain the needed social skills for normal life.”

Sarah’s ears flicked back slightly and a rueful smirk crossed her lips. “I... kinda figured. Can’t go and be happy with another family if your heart’s still somewhere else. One of the downsides, I guess.”

His smile dropped a bit and turned more melancholy. “Now, as for the arriving children, we’ll start off with some of the more common cases, at least compared to what we have to work with.” As the first folder landed at our hooves and flipped open, I felt a spike of worry. The picture on the papers showed a Mulberry filly, with a strawberry mane, and lilac eyes. “Brianna Maye. Age seven. Earth Pony. Parents died in a car crash day of the transformations and no relatives could be found. The crash also left her with multiple scars on the back of her neck, and a severe phobia of automobiles. The scars also have caused her a lack of flexibility as they are rather large, and numerous.”

I cringed a bit at the thought of a neck injury like that. Without my hands, my mouth and neck have been nearly vital for getting anything done. “That’s.... That’s horrible. For something that bad to happen to a seven year old...” That magic hoof holding thing wasn’t working well for me even when it did work, and I couldn’t imagine something like that onto a little girl. A glance at Sarah and I could tell she felt the same.

Daniels’s smile vanished entirely as he kept going. “As we were unable to contact family, her former teachers were able to let us know just how withdrawn she has become since the accident.” He sighed and closed the file, moving it to rest next to Sarah. “Brianna was completely different from how they remembered. She’s shut herself into her own little world, and won’t talk to anyone. If you can get her to talk to you, try to convince her to seeing a psychiatrist. We would normally mandate this, but she has been through enough as it is, and personally I think a different approach might be needed for her.”

Sarah shook her head and looked at the file for a moment. “That was a common case? That was horrific!”

Daniels sighed and looked to the files he had in front of him. “Unfortunately, yes. The mainstream news might not be showing these stories at large, but they did happen, and usually were shown on smaller local news networks. There were numerous people who were driving the day we all changed, and not everyone had the calm or control to pull over safely. As some people say, ‘eighteen wheelers don’t stop on a dime’. An extreme few of them failed to get out alive without injury, and half of those few died due to their shifting anatomy not being compatible with the safety meant to protect them as they collided at over 70 mph. That being said, Brianna is lucky that she was found her as soon as she was. We have been trying to keep cases like this in groups while they recover, so that the affected have someone nearby to communicate similar feelings with. If you receive any letters from a Rebecca Talmin, that would be her former roommate.” Agent Daniels opened the next folder for the two of us and laid it at our hooves.

I looked down at the files and took note of the picture. “That’s probably the youngest pony I’ve seen yet.”

Sarah was leaning in closer to the paper to read the details, despite having her mane fall a bit into her face. Giving a quick puff to push it away, she squinted a bit. “Franklin Cooper...four years old.... Thestral? Those are the pegasus with bat wings right?”

Daniels nodded as he sighed. “That’s right. Like with Brianna’s case, his parents died in a car crash, nor could we find any living relatives. But unlike her seatbelt, his carseat still did what it was meant to do and kept him from harm. He hasn’t shown any immediate signs of trauma, but if any do start to show, let us know immediately, and we will help with finding and scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist for him.” He set the file next to the first and pulled another one out. “The rest of these are less physically traumatic than Brianna and Franklin’s cases, but some have more mental harm in certain areas. I would go over them with you now, but they aren’t due to arrive til later, so I advise you to read them all within the week. All except one, that is.” Handing over the file for the two of us to look over, Agent Daniels rubbed his head with a sigh. “This one, is why we are going to install a pool.”

Two days after the delivery, and having some actual help repairing the majority of the more imposing problems, the house was ready to have the first of our new arrivals show up. The lower floor’s main gallery was altered into a trio of bedrooms, each designed for a different type of pony. Well... okay, one just had blackout blinds on the windows so if Franklin really was nocturnal he could sleep during the day, but that’s still a little bit of customization! Regardless, I tried to keep a positive face and looked over at Sarah as we sat on the porch, but I could tell she knew I was worried. “Ready to make a good first impression?”

Sarah let out a huff and smirked a bit. “Ready as I’ll ever be. This is gonna be.... A lot of things, and stressful is definitely one of them.” The silence was punctuated by the occasional bird call. Our eyes and ears trained to both ends of the road, waiting and watching. Until Sarah spoke up again. “Do you think I’ll do a good job?”

I glanced over at her and smiled reassuringly. “Hey now, you’ll do just fine.” Giving her a pat on the back, a more genuine smile crept across my face. “I could do that impression you mentioned if it helps any.”

She snorted a bit and raised an eyebrow at me. “Seriously? You don’t have to do that for me, you know that right?.”

A chuckle escaped me as I pushed my chest out and posed. “Eeyup.”

The sight of her shaking in place as she fought back the giggles amused me greatly, even when she punched my ar- foreleg in retaliation. “Oh my god, Stop that I was joking!”

My smug smirk only intensified. “Nope.”

“You are such an a-.” Before she could finish her insult, the sound of crunching dirt caught our ears, and made them swivel to the left. Glancing at a rising cloud of dust rapidly approaching, Sarah’s ears lost some of their perkiness.

It wasn’t long before a small bus had pulled up in front of the driveway, the main door screeched, and a familiar brown stallion walked out. “Alright everyone, time to get off the bus.”

Wordlessly, the first off of the bus was a small umbral thestral with a silver mane hanging over one of his eyes. He seemed a bit nervous at first, and kept glancing at the roof of the studio as he stumbled every now and again. His motor skills are a little clumsy... but that might be from the change.

When the little guy finally noticed Sarah and I, he flinched a bit before walking over with his head hung low. “H-Hello...”

Laying down on her belly to be eye level with the little colt, Sarah smiled and nodded. “Hello to you too. My name’s Sarah. Could you tell me yours?”

The silver mane on his head bobbed as he scuffed his hoof on the ground and gave her a brief glance. “Franklin.”

The warm smile she gave him in return made him blush a bit, but Sarah either didn’t notice it or chose to ignore the blush. “Well it’s a pleasure to meet you Franklin. Could you go and wait by the stairs for me while I greet the others?”

“Yes ma’am.” The little colt moved with a silence that was rather impressive, and was sitting on the steps patiently.

The next off the bus had finally gotten off, not from lack of want, but from needed assistance. Her mobility was something that made itself apparent from the moment anyone laid eyes on her. Her neck was stiff as a board as she walked over, where there was a slight bob from everyone else. Her legs trembled ever so slightly as she hurried off of the bus, but that didn’t stop the mulberry filly from reaching us. It was then that I noticed her back had a large number of scars traveling down her spine. Most of them were hidden by her fur at a distance, but my sympathy for Brianna doubled instantly regardless.

“Hello there. May I ask your name?”

Looking up at Sarah from under her strawberry mane, the little filly’s lilac eyes flicked about every now and again towards the bus; warring between fear and sorrow. “My... My name is Brianna...”

Giving the same smile she gave Franklin, Sarah nodded to her. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, even if I wish it could have been from better circumstances. Could you go over to the stairs and wait with Franklin?”

Brianna whimpered slightly as she glanced to the stairs. “Do... do I have to sit?”

A twinge hit Sarah’s smile, just enough for me to almost not notice it. “No, you can stand if that makes you comfortable.”

Brianna’s face smiled a slight bit at that, but still held the sadness from earlier. “Thank you.” As she walked past, gave her a reassuring smile and nod.

Back to the bus, the last of our arrivals was being let off of the handicap elevator. Her white body resting comfortably in a wheelchair as the driver helped her down. A hydrophilic blanket was draped over her waist, and glistened in the light. “Thank you for the help.”

Smiling, the driver helped move her closer. “Think nothing of it dear. Now, have a good day.”

“Bye!” She waved a finned hoof and at the sight of it, I instantly felt reminded of the feeling I had when we first learned of this. One of the rooms towards the back of the house now was a fairly decent sized pool, complete with a filtration system to help keep it clean. For everywhere else however, this particular sea filly would need some assistance.

Sarah raised an eyebrow and smirked at her. “Well. At least one of my newest guests is chipper. May I ask a name?”

Looking back over at us, the seapony nodded and accidentally got her sea green fin/mane over her rich purple eyes. “I’m Tiffany! It’s nice to meet you!”

“It’s nice to meet you too. Let’s move you into the house so I can get the introductions out of the way.” Sarah quickly went behind the wheelchair and started gently pushing Tiffany over to the house.

As we all moved to the front of the house, the admittedly adorable seapony kept looking over at me curiously. “Who are you?”

“You’ll find out in just a moment.” I gave her a wink and soon, all of us were standing at the steps to the front porch. Sarah and I walked up the steps and looked over the three of them.

“Okay now,” Sarah smiled at the three kids and waved a hoof towards the building. “For the foreseeable future, welcome to your temporary home. I’ve already introduced myself, so I feel that I need to let someone else do the same.”

Getting the hint, I rolled my eyes and chuckled. “My name is Tyler, and before you ask, I’m her brother.” That got a giggle out of Tiffany. “Me and Sarah here are going to do our best to help get you all to nice new homes. But for the time being, all we ask is that you don’t cause any trouble, listen to us, and follow the rules.”

Sarah nodded and stepped off the porch. “We can go over house rules later. For now, let’s just get you all inside so you can get a look at your rooms.” With a helping hoof, Sarah got Brianna up the steps slowly. Franklin wanted to help get Tiffany’s wheelchair up, so I let him pull from the front while I got the wheels over.

If I’d known they were sending a wheelchair, I’d have gotten that ramp project done to the porch too.