• Published 18th Nov 2016
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The Truth Behind My Little Pony - Opium4TmassS



The places we will take you. The sights we will show you.

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Chapter 3

The moment, “That was Simon,” slipped from Laura’s mouth Josh knew that there was only one thing left to do. Josh ran. At first he looked back to see if Laura was keeping up yet, the more he thought of that cold stare and smile the less he checked for her. His legs burned and the taste of blood slowly tickled his tongue as he gasped for air, moving forward while he never looked back.

The air grew cooler as he ran and a low lying mist covered the cobblestone streets of the small town. The sun dimmed slightly as Josh darted past Sugar Cube Corner, his mind set on escape. It wasn’t until he was near the bridge that Josh finally looked back to see that he was alone. He glanced toward the left and right; the small Germanic homes sat before him in silence. Slowly, Josh backed his way toward the bridge his exhausted legs continued to carry him back toward the bridge and then across it. Laura would have to wait.

Guilt slowly crept into his heart as he made his way across the bridge and down the dirt road toward the intersection. He may have only known Laura for a few hours but, she’d been with him on this adventure. Heck, she’d even been with Mel to some degree too. He sighed as he reasoned with himself and reminded his heart that if she hadn’t followed him then she was gone and to look for her was simply to fall into the clutches of Simon or whoever it was that was controlling things there.

The mist grew thicker the closer he got to the intersection. It wasn’t long until he could no longer see what lay before him. The sound of gravel crunching under his shoes kept him on the even though his eyes strained for any landmark other than the sounds under his feet until it changed to the hollow sound of wood and beneath him the sounds of running water echoed in his ears.

Josh blinked repeatedly. Each time he closed his eyes the mist cleared a bit more revealing the last thing in the world he wanted to see. Ponyville. “How in the hell did,” Josh caught himself and looked behind him to the dirt road that led back into the forest. “I must have made a wrong turn or two,” he muttered and began down the dirt road again.

He walked faster; his legs ached fiercely as he lengthened his stride. Josh muttered to himself as the mist soon enveloped him blocking his view. His heart pounded as his walk became a run. The sounds of dirt and gravel being kicked into the air behind him echoed through the stillness of the misty until his foot once again fell upon something wooden accompanied by the sounds of running water. The town revealed itself once more as he blinked the mist away from his gaze.

Josh tried to reach the intersection three more times. Each time the mist wrapped itself about him and somehow no matter how far off the beaten path he’d traveled he always wound up back at Ponyville. With no place else left to go, Josh headed for the large gingerbread house he’d been promised a room at.

Like before the smells of fresh baked goods tickled his palette. He could hear the blue lady humming a little tune from the kitchen in back as he quietly climbed the stairs, tired and dejected. When he opened the door to the room his eyes widened. There, sitting on a small chair was Laura humming a similar tune to the one downstairs. It wasn’t until the door clicked shut that Laura acknowledged his presence.

“Oh you’re back,” said Laura as she turned to face him with a small smile plastered on her face, “You’re a mess.”

“Where were you,” asked Josh as he leaned against the door, “I thought you were right behind me.”

“Well,” began Laura, “I was for a moment but then I thought better of it.”

“Of what? Escaping,” asked Josh utterly flabbergasted by her response, “You did see what I saw right?”

Laura sighed quietly as she slowly pushed the chair out and walked over to Josh, “I didn’t see anything and neither did you. We hid behind some boxes when that tremor hit remember?”

“But you were crying. I saw the tears!”

“I was happy,” replied Laura as she rubbed Josh’s shoulder, “Honestly, it was nice to see him even if he was being threatened by two weird farmers.”

“But, he’d kidnapped them. It was obvious! And the trees… we have to get out of here!”

“Josh, you’ve wound yourself up tighter than a watch. Now, what did you actually see? You saw the two dirty farmer types point a gun and shoot at the building right? Then felt a rumble and got scared.”

Josh slowly started to sink to the floor. The pains of the stress and running had taken their toll on him. A slight tremor ran through his hands, something Laura saw. She clasped them gently and rubbed them before escorting him over to the bed, “Just sit here. Have a cookie. I’ll get you some water and let’s get this cleared up. I know you want to get out of here. I want to make sure everything is alright too and that we do what we’re supposed to do.”

“Which is what?”

“Have a cookie. I’ll get you some water and figure this out okay?”

Josh eyed the small cookies suspiciously. “Did she give them to you,” he asked.

“No,” said Laura rolling her eyes, “They were with our stuff along with the Doritos. If you don’t trust them open the other bag. I’ll get you some water.”

Josh sighed and rubbed his temples as Laura left to get a glass of water. He opened top of the small bag of cookies and ate a couple even though he wasn’t hungry. When she returned she handed him the water which he inspected in the light before greedily gulping it down. After a couple minutes Josh glanced over at Laura, “I’m sorry if I suspected…”

“Oh don’t worry about it,” said Laura quietly as she sat next to him, “I admit I’ve given you some stuff to worry about. Even so…”

“What?”

Laura balled up a fist a punched him in the shoulder. Josh winced and gripped it as he yelped in surprise. “You took off without me. I bet you didn’t even look back.”

“I’m sorry,” replied Josh, “I just didn’t want…”

“Oh I know,” said Laura taking the glass from him and heading to the bathroom to refill it, “You panicked.”

“Yeah.”

“Well next time don’t panic. Stand up for yourself,” said Laura handing the water to Josh again.

“I do,” replied Josh and drank the water, “Maybe that gray girl has some idea as to what exactly is going on here.”

Laura sighed and shut the door, “Don’t worry about her and for the record reaching for a shotgun to point at shadows and a ‘malfunctioning’ TV isn’t standing up for yourself. It’s childish.”

Josh’s eyes locked on Laura as he froze. So much had happened that he tried to remember whether or not he’d told her about any of that. The more he thought the more fresh beads of sweat formed on his brow and the more his legs felt numb. Slowly, Josh tried to stand and ask what she meant, only to have his legs buckle from under him and send him to the floor.

“It was in the glass this time,” said Laura quietly.

“Why,” asked Josh as his vision began to fade.

“He’s been watching you Josh,” said Laura quietly as she knelt by him, “He thinks you’re very important. It’s what he told me during that storm. At first I couldn’t see but, now I can. Maybe you will be able to too. If you’re lucky that is.”

The world faded to black and as it did Josh stared up at Laura’s face. He watched as her smile slowly broadened, obviously pleased with what she’d done. Her blue eyes glimmered with fanatical joy as she watched him. “Funny,” muttered Josh, “I always thought they were brown.”

****

Josh’s head pounded like a bass drum as he slowly roused by a pungent smell that turned his stomach. He groaned as he opened his eyes, the dim light felt as bright as the sun at midday. He to stretch his arm but found he couldn’t nor could he stand. His heart pounded in time with the pounding in his head. Panic forced his eyes open as he panted rapidly as the world came into focus.

From what he could tell he was in a dimly lit kitchen. His gaze drifted about over the various baking trays, bread carts and the occasional utensil that sat on the floor as if dumped in a struggle. He blinked, his eyes growing accustomed to the light and as he did he noticed a pair of men’s legs poking out from the side of the kitchen’s prep island.

“Hey,” whispered Josh to the legs, “Hey are you okay?”

A low groan emanated from behind the counter as the legs slowly moved. Josh called out again asking if whoever it was was okay. In a low masculine voice that Josh recognized as belonging to Carl responded, “She got her.”

“Got who,” asked Josh, “Why are we in the kitchen?”

“Poor Perdy,” said Carl as the legs slowly shuffled behind the island, “She never had a chance. Thought she could hide but…”

“I’m tied up. Can you get a knife or something?”

Carl sighed, “Should be one on the floor there off to the side. Not that it matters.”

Josh wiggled onto his side and slowly began to roll along the floor until he saw it. He then rolled to the knife and took it in hand as best he could and began to cut through the cord that tied him. “You didn’t answer my question. Who is Perdy and why are we in the kitchen?”

“That gray looking teenager who ran around here. That was Perdy. She was always spying on town hall always trying to hide from the rest of them. But they got her. Can’t hide forever.”

“And,” asked Josh as the cord snapped free.

“We’re here because Perdy is the first course,” replied Carl, “That’s her you smell in the oven.”

Josh fell silent and felt himself turn pale as the cord on his legs snapped. “Cannibalism, a never ending looping forest, a deranged partner…”

“Not deranged, not cannibalism,” sighed Carl.

“Then what?”

“They live in the shadows and dark places. Been there since who knows when. They can travel through electronic devices, if they’ve fed on us they can take our form and if they inhabit us well… then they absorb us.”

“What,” asked Josh as he slowly crawled along the prep island.

“They can get into us take over our form. Even know us well enough and then when the time is right, they assume their …”

“Carl,” asked Josh as he turned the corner of the island. He gasped audibly as he saw the skinny man. He sat propped against the island his arms missing and the nubs burnt shut. “Jesus,” exclaimed Josh.

“You’re all alone. That woman is with them now. But if you head to the town hall … maybe deep within there’s a way out of here… ”

Carl’s voice trailed off as the low clack of something hard striking the tile floor reverberated throughout the kitchen. Josh held his breath and shrank back as the next clack hit the ground. He clung to the shadows and waited as slowly from the front doors a creature emerged like he’d never seen before.

It was blue and heavy with hooves for feet. Its short pointed tail hung limply as it walked. His gaze drifted further up, past the cleaver it had in its three fingered hand to its face. It wasn’t quite human or equine but stretched in such a way that the eyes bulged from their sockets. Slowly, it made its way to Carl and gazed down at him maliciously.

“Sweetie,” said Carl meekly.

“My husband is on his way,” replied the creature as it raised the cleaver, “His dinner will be wonderful.”

Carl shrieked as the cleaver came down cracking his skull. As it did, Josh took off like a shot out of the kitchen and out into the dark streets of Ponyville. From outside he could hear the creature rage within but decided not to stick around and ran for the place that he’d been told to go all along, town hall.

***

The purple starless night sky was a shroud that blanketed town as Josh approached town hall. Its orange lights glowed faintly like cat’s eyes in the dark. Josh shivered involuntarily as he slowly walked toward the front doors. He passed the stately trees, his eyes darted into their branches as he half expected them to grab him.

As he passed the trees the town hall’s doors creaked open and Josh paused in his stride. From deep within the building he could see Laura’s approach. Josh balled his hands up into fists as he watched her come forward, ready to defend himself to the best of his ability. He growled her name under his breath as she reached the doorway.

“Well now,” began Laura in a cheery tone, “If I would have known you were expected I’d have baked a cake or something!”

“You drugged me you miserable…”

“Total misunderstanding,” said Laura raising her hands innocently, “Mea culpa and all that. Simon wants to see you.”

“What?”

“Oh come on in silly! Really, it’ll be just fine! You’ll see,” said Laura as she ushered him in to the large building.

The dim light of the town hall cast shadows along the tall walls that seemed to move on their own as they climbed the staircase up to the second floor. Josh’s eyes darted about as they approached the large office at the end of the hall. He paused and watched as Laura walked ahead of him and opened the door to it, “Well go on in,” she said politely, “I’m sure the two of you have loads to discuss.”

Josh eyed her as he walked passed into a large obsidian tiled room with large Grecian columns that stretched for forever into the darkness above. Josh continued in as he saw the figure of the man he’d seen earlier that day, this time his back to him. “Simon,” he asked.

The man pointed in the direction of the large marble desk next to him and said, “On that desk is a letter and a hard drive. The drive has the show on it. The letter explains… other matters. You will take them back to the office with you.”

“Like hell I will. I’ve heard how they travel, what they eat! I’m not touching that thing.”

Simon turned and cast a sidelong glance at Josh and snorted. Slowly he walked over to the desk and beckoned for Laura to come to him. Once she arrived at the desk he handed her the drive and the letter, “If you don’t someone else will. However,” he added with a knowing glance, “They are becoming impatient and I can only hold them off for so long. After which … well… things get difficult for you.”

“Take them,” said Laura dryly as she held the items out to Josh.

“Not on your life,” shouted Josh as he shoved her away.

Laura stared at with her new blue eye boring into his. She blinked and they became brown and a look of confusion washed over her face. “Josh,” She said and glanced down at what she had in her hands; then turned to about and froze when she saw her former boss, “Simon… what…,” she began.

Without a word Simon snapped his fingers. The lights in the office slowly began to flash. Josh watched as the flashing got quicker and quicker until it flashed like a strobe at a club. Laura gasped in pain and doubled over and dropped the items to the floor as she moaned.

“Laura,” called Josh as he went to her side, “Close your eyes don’t look at…”

Laura screamed and stood straight up. Low and guttural she howled at the light and without much warning bent backward at a ninety degree angle with a loud snap. Her arms dangled limply to the ground.

Josh recoiled as her torso began to bulge and pulsate. “What the … what the fuck is this,” he screamed as he fell to the floor in horror.

Laura’s body popped and split and slowly fell to the floor as a small pink pony, like the one he’d seen in the show crawled out of her chest and up to Josh. Slowly it made its way to his torso and stared at him in the face. “Hi I’m Pinkie Pie,” it said with a wide smile, “Wanna play?”

Josh shoved the pony off of him as dragged himself across the floor to the door. He tugged on it but it refused to open. “No no no,” he repeated rapidly until a loud snap stopped the strobe effect and the pony stopped its advance on him.

“Pinkie he’s not very playful,” said Simon his deep voice echoing through the office, “But there is a little girl in Missouri that is.”

“Aww,” whined Pinkie Pie, “But I’m hungry now.”

“I promise,” said Simon, “She’ll be able to take care of that need as well as a few others in time.”

“It better be good!”

Simon grabbed a pair of scissors from one of the desk drawers and jammed it into the wall. The wall cracked slightly as Pinkie approached it. “It will be delectable.”

Without a word the pony slowly shifted into an oozy shadow and slid up the wall to the crack and then out of sight. Simon sighed as he watched the lights flicker once and then no more. “Well, that’s one away.”

“You monster,” muttered Josh.

“I’m many things. Namely a negotiator and in this world I’m basically a god. The trees do my bidding, I can make it rain chocolate milk and I can send anyone anywhere I want. I can take everything away or I can give anybody anything. But most importantly, I do it all for me. When I want. How I want.”

Josh continued to jiggle the door handle, “You’re insane.”

“No,” said Simon as he leaned back against the wall, “Ultimately maybe a little tumultuous but, not insane.” The office rumbled as Simon finished speaking. Slowly he reached he dug his fingers into the rock as a toothy grin spread across his face, “I do believe it’s time for you to go Josh. Don’t forget your items now.” Without another Simon pulled the wall open, as he did he tore it like crate paper, the lower half of his body tearing with it. He then reached up and pulled the black area from his chest up revealing a large gaping hole in the wall.

Josh threw himself at the door several more times before he slowly crept to the hole in the wall. The unending blackness quietly called out to him. He peered into the darkness and then looked down. At first he could see nothing, but he could hear something. It squished, slurped and clattered whatever it was. Yet, Josh kept looking unable to pry his eyes away from where the sound came from. Then he saw them.

Locked away millennia they climbed and gnashed and bubbled their way up to the surface. In the darkness were thousands if not millions of creatures that couldn’t be described except in the scream of terror that escaped Josh’s mouth as he pulled away from the hole. He turned and ran for the door one last time and tripped over the hard drive that lay in his path.

As he fell forward Josh instinctively shut his eyes, yet when he landed it was on something warm and soft. Slowly Josh opened his eyes to see something he’d seen back at the conference room hours earlier. She was warm, purple and fuzzy. When the world went black again somewhere deep in the recesses of his mind he uttered her name.

When I awoke in the woods near Sewell I knew I had a long trip to make to get home.