• Published 20th May 2017
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Brightly Lit - Penalt



The village of Brightly, British Columbia is a small, isolated place where everyone knows everyone, with a strong sense of community. A community that starts to include colourful little ponies.

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Chapter 2: Ch-Ch-Changes

“Uh-oh,” said Rowey, looking from herself to friends and back to herself. She wasn’t human anymore, she realized. She had been changed in the blink of an eye into a small horse. Yellow fur covered her body down to dark hooves, one of which brought forward a length of night black hair into her sight, with a wide grey streak through it.

“Um, guys?” she said, looking at the four little horses in front of her. They were all examining themselves, in the sun that was filtering through the trees. She noticed that one of the little horses had brown and green irises on its huge eyes, split down the middle between the two colours and Rowey smiled in recognition. Her sister Romy, had heterochromia with eyes just like that.

“Romy!” cried Rowey, and stepped forward to give her sister a hug. Unfortunately, Rowey hadn’t noticed that she was still wearing her shirt and pants, stretched over her new form. She took one step and then her clothing, never meant for an equine form, joined forces with her trying to use four legs instead of two, to send her sprawling. As Rowey went down, her friends automatically tried to step forward to break her fall, only to have the exact same thing happen to them. Within seconds there was a pancaked pony pile on the forest floor.

“Oof,” came Billy’s voice, from a brown furred body. “Everyone okay?” A chorus of assents came from the pile.

“Nobody try to stand up,” said Zak. “Dad works on a farm and I’ve seen baby horses try to get up after being born, it doesn’t go good for them at first.”

“I’m kinda getting squished here,” said Romy. “Get offa me, you guys are heavy.”

“We gotta get our clothes off,” said Zak. “They’ll just keep tripping us up, and we can’t get them off while we’re in a big pile. Everybody roll away from each other.” Being on top of the pile, Zak set the example and rolled off the pile and a few feet to one side. He was quickly emulated by Kya, Billy, Romy and finally Rowey. All five of the friends lay belly down on the mossy ground nearly touching each other.

“What happened?” asked Billy, voice slightly muffled, as he tugged at his T-shirt with his teeth.

“I think...” began Rowey, “I think I cast a spell. Or, at least I think I set off something in the book and it turned us into...Zak, your dad works on the farm, what are we?”

“We’re not horses,” said Zak, pondering for a moment. “We’re like ponies, except ponies don’t have eyes as big as ours and ponies don’t come in colours like ours.” He gestured around and to his own charcoal grey body, which was a normal colour, but the fiery, red outline around his brown mane and tail were definitely not standard. Romy seemed to have the wildest colour combination of them all. Her body was covered in brick red fur, with a purple, grey streaked mane. “Maybe we’re some kind of magic pony,” he said, beginning to work off his dirt stained shirt.

Kya was next to get off her top, her glossy black fur actually blended nicely with a dark red mane, but the real shocker was when the shirt pulled free, revealing that she had a pair black feathered wings, with silver tips.

“Those are super cool, Kya,” said Rowey, from where she lay. “I can’t wait to see if those work.”

“Me either,” said Kya smiling, her wings half-fluttering at her side. “But what about you? You’ve got a horn.”

“I’ve got a horn?” asked Rowey, and Kya nodded in answer. “Wow, well, once we figure out walking and stuff, maybe I’ll see what I can do with it. Can you come over here and give me hand getting my pants of my back legs?” Kya started to belly crawl her way over to Rowey, her own pants dragging. In the meantime, Zak had gotten his own shirt off, revealing that he had wings as well, like his sister. His wings matched his charcoal grey body and were silver tipped like his sister Kya’s. By unspoken agreement, it was a case of boy helping boy, and girls helping girls, when it came to removing their leg wear. After a few minutes the five were fully furry.

“Okay,” said Billy, looking at Zak, “now what?”

“Right,” said Zak, “the first thing baby horses try to do is stand up. So I figure we should try that.”

“What about your wings?” Romy asked, gathering her legs beneath her. “Why don’t you just try flying?”

“I figure flying is harder than--” Zak was cut off by the sound of heavy flaps. All of them turned to look at Kya who, flapping hard, was starting to rise up off of the ground. A foot, two feet, three. The small pegasus hovered three feet in the air, flapping her wings in a steady rhythm.

“How are you doing that?” Rowey asked, incredulously, even as the wind from the downbeats washed over them. “That’s awesome.”

“I...just...thought about...my wings...and...pushed down,” Kya said, between wing beats. She was maintaining her height, and it seemed as if the more she flapped, the easier it was becoming for her. As she had risen into the hair she had tucked her legs up under her body, but then she extended them downward and stopped flapping. Kya dropped an inch or so to the ground and her knees buckled as they took up her weight. Kya almost collapsed back down, but then she gritted her teeth and straightened until she stood in front of the group, wings still extended outward.

“Just do what you are,” Kya said. “Billy, you and Romy should just be able to stand. Zak, I bet you can do what I did.”

“What about me?” asked Rowey.

“I don’t know,” Kya said. “Maybe you should just try standing.” Kya’s legs quivered occasionally, but she was definitely standing on her own power. In the meantime, the others were trying her suggestion. Billy and Romy had both levered themselves upright and now stood fully upright on their four legs, without any of the leg quivers that still plagued Kya. Zak had done something different, and had pushed his body upwards by bracing his wings against the ground and shoving upwards. He and his sister leaned against each other in mutual support, as their legs slowly steadied and they began to support their weight more and more surely as the moments went by.

Rowey however, was having no such success. Everytime she tried getting up, her legs would collapse under her. After her fourth attempt, she just lay on the ground, and her friends looked at her with concern.

“Rowey, did you want some help?” asked her sister, taking a shaky step forward.

“No, I need to figure this out,” Rowey said. “If I can just brace myself with something this once, I should be able to get the hang of it like you are.” Rowey thought for a minute, and as she did her friends began to take a few careful steps.

“Okay, guys,” Rowey said, gathering herself. “I’m going to try something kinda weird. Let’s see if this does the job.” Screwing up her face in concentration, she began to attempt to rise once more. But this time her horn began to glow orange, and as it did an orange band appeared under her and began to lift upwards. Supported by both her legs and the glowing, translucent band, Rowey finally stood up straight. As she locked her legs into place the glow about her horn faded and as it did the orange band beneath her disappeared.

“Cooooool,” said the group as one, to which Rowey just smiled. Over the course of the next several minutes the new ponies gained in skill and confidence in their movements and a pattern developed. Rowey, the unicorn, had the most trouble learning to move. Zak and Kya, the pegasi, had the next amount of trouble walking, but were already able to lift themselves off the ground with their wings. Billy and Romy were charging around the clearing at a fast clip, fully confident in their ability to move over ground.

“Feeling good, sis?” asked Rowey, smiling at her sister’s obvious joy at running around like a purple-maned maniac.

“I think tho,” said Romy, or at least, said the horse she had become. “I feel good, strong, and fast. Like I could run to the lake and back.”

“We’re ponies! Ponies!” shouted Billy, his voice full of glee. He spun in place on his front hooves and delivered a kick to a nearby spruce with a hearty, “HiYaa!” As the others watched with disbelief, the four inch wide tree slowly toppled over from the blow. Billy trotted back over with a wide smile below his yellow mane. “That’s why we don’t look like regular ponies,” he said. “We’re super powered ponies. Me an’ Romy are strong and tough. Zak, how’s flying going?”

“Haven’t tried mu--,” began Zak, only to be interrupted as his sister extended her own silver-tipped black wings and leaped into the air. At the height of her leap, Kya gave a huge downbeat with her wings and shot straight up. Directly into a thick cedar branch that was nearly twenty feet overhead. Stunned, her wings folded up and she began to crumple to the ground. Only to be caught partway down as her brother did his own aerial leap and caught Kya, gently bringing her back down to the ground.

“Pegasus,” she said, looking up at him as he lowered her to the ground. “We’re pegasuses.”

“I think it’s pegasi, sis,” Zak said, a lopsided smile on his face as he looked down with concern. “You okay?”

“Ya,” she replied, and her voice became filled with wonder. “I really can fly.”

“We can fly,” said her brother, smiling. “What about you Rowey? You’ve got a horn, so that makes you a unicorn. Unicorns are supposed to be magical and stuff. Kinda makes sense, seeing as you did the spell that did this and did that thing where you lifted yourself off the ground.”

“I don’t really know,” said Rowey, touching her head and feeling the small horn that was perched between and above her eyes. “I mean, the thing with the book was pretty much an accident and I’m not really sure how I--”

“Catch!” yelled Billy as he kicked a large stick at Rowey. Billy still wasn’t used to using his new strength, so instead of the gentle toss through the air he intended, the stick was instead launched like an arrow toward Rowey, Zak and Kya. Rowey didn’t think, she reacted, and a glowing, translucent, orange wall appeared between the trio and the stick. Which broke into pieces as it struck the summoned wall of force.

“Holy crap, are you guys okay?” asked Billy. “I’m sorry, I only meant to lob it toward you.” Rowey was about to reply, when Romy grabbed her from behind.

“That was awethome,” said the younger sister. “You’re like a pony Jedi.”

“Is that even a thing?” asked Rowey, laughing a bit. “I mean, really. A pony Jedi?”

“Betcha are,” piped up Zak. “Me and Kya can fly, Billy is super strong. Probably Romy too. You just made a force field and you picked yourself up with magic. See if you can pick up that book using your magic like a Jedi picking up a lightsaber.” Rowey snorted but decided to humour Zak. Closing her eyes, she imagined a hand picking up the book and holding it in front of her. She could feel a tingling on her forehead, and a moment later heard gasps from her friends around her. Rowey opened her eyes to see the strange book they had unearthed hovering in front of her, surrounded by an orange glow.

“Wow,” she breathed. “I did it. I really did it.” Then she squinted a bit and stared at the book in front of her face. “Hey guys,” she said, opening the book wider as it hovered before her. “I can read it. Whatever made us into ponies is letting me read the book.” The others clustered even closer, curiosity aflame.

“What does it say?” asked Billy, almost pushing his nose into the book himself.

Rowey nudged Billy aside and began to read, “Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land...”



In the magical land of Equestria...


Another quiet day in the archives, Frozen Quill thought to himself, as he began dusting the line of glass cubes. The sign at the entrance to the passageway he was in said “Student-Made Artifacts - Do Not Touch,” and the cases in the hall were filled with strange and weirdly functional artifacts. Each item had been made by a student of “Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns” over the years. Celestia insisted that every student make, or attempt to make, at least one magical item during their time with her, and for the most part those items either worked as advertised or failed to work at all.

But a select few worked in strange ways. Items that turned books into random pieces of fruit, ones that made orange juice taste blue or did even odder things. Princess Celestia was a big believer in being prepared, and her long life had shown her sometimes you needed the insane to solve the impossible. So, instead of these strange items being destroyed as failures, they were instead cataloged, stored and watched to make sure they didn’t cause problems until such time as a use was found for them.

The corridor Frozen Quill was in was a storage and display area for some of the more inert items. Every couple of days a pony was assigned to have a look at the items, make sure nothing had changed, and dust off the cases they were kept in. It was dull, boring work, but it was quiet and peaceful, which suited Frozen Quill just fine. Let other ponies risk their lives against Chrysalis or Sombra or Discord, and he was more than happy to remain with his books, his scrolls and the artifacts under his watch. He sighed, looking around. Everything was calm and in its own peaceful place.

In the days to come, Frozen Quill would reflect on that thought and it’s incompleteness. He would wonder if by thinking it, he perhaps had angered the God of Perverse Mischance, and the Mighty Murphy, who is His Prophet. It would be the only reason he could think of for what happened next. As he began dusting the third glass case in the corridor, one of the items within it, a overly large hoof mirror, lying beside an odd green statuette, began to glow. The glow brightened and with a sudden flare of light, coalesced into a fiercely shining ball of light about the size of a bit hovering about an inch above the surface of the mirror.

Frozen Quill stood there for a long moment, frozen in shock that one of the peaceful items under his watch had so betrayed the calm and quiet of his morning. Recovering himself, he checked the plaque on the stand beneath the case.

Hoof Portal Mirror and Statuette

Probably not Harmful

Report any changes to Princess Celestia

IMMEDIATELY

Frozen Quill shook himself and shouted for a pair of guards. When they arrived he told them, “Guard this corridor and make sure nopony enters or leaves, I’ve got to go see the Princess right now because something very strange is happening. Do you understand my order?”

The guards snapped off a parade ground salute and said, “Yes, Archivist. Guard the corridor, nopony in or out.”

“Do your duty, stallions,” said Frozen Quill, nodding. “I’ll be back with the Princess as fast as I can.” Whirling, he galloped away to alert his monarch that once again, something weird was going on in Canterlot.

Author's Note:

Welcome to my new project, Brightly Lit, a tale of a group of young friends who find themselves changed into colourful ponies and how they, their friends, and their families deal with these sudden changes. This commissioned story of fun adventure and exploration, is brought to you by my patron, and as such will be updated at least once per month for as long as my patron remains committed to the project.



This chapter is brought to you through the assistance of my current patrons:

Damaged
and
Canary in the Coal Mine

Please support me on atreon Supporting me helps me concentrate on writing and keeps me in coffee and keyboards and if I can make my first goal I can start commission art for my stories to give back to my fellow creators who have done so much to inspire me.

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