• Published 25th Oct 2018
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A 14th Century Supplement in Celestia's Court - Antiquarian



A short compendium of supplementary data, bonus chapters, spinoff chapters, and spoof chapters for A 14th Century Friar in Celestia's Court.

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Get Well Soon

A Tale of Antiquarian, Aura, and the Angry Mob

Central Equestrian Orthopedic Specialists, Recovery Suite 110, Firefly Memorial Hospital

Antiquarian drummed his hoof on the siderail of the gurney, glaring at the far wall as though bland paint job was somehow responsible for his woes. The ire in his bloodshot green eyes was so intense that, had the wall been a living creature, it would almost certainly have been intimidated. As it was, it returned his malignant gaze with the blatant disregard for the disapproval of elders characteristic of inanimate objects and teenagers.

“Sir, you’re glaring at the wall again,” pointed out Aura de Patience.

The stallion did not bother to deign such a preposterous remark with even a glance at his secretary, who was idly flipping through a fashion magazine. “I most certainly am not glaring at the wall, Miss Aura. I am merely intent upon studying its ever facet and must squint in order to do so from this distance.”

Aura merely raised an eyebrow.

“Okay, fine, I’m glaring at the wall. Are you happy?”

“Usually,” she replied, putting aside the magazine. “I have a lot to be happy about, after all. As do you, though you seem more intent upon finding the negative in the situation.” She didn’t say ‘as per usual,’ but he heard it all the same.

“I just think that this is a particularly tasteless and soul-sucking color to paint the wall of a recovery room, especially for patients coming out of surgery,” groused the stallion. “Is that so wrong?”

Aura gave a barely perceptible sigh and tapped the IV running into his leg. “I was under the impression that painkillers were supposed to make you more amicable, not less.”

Antiquarian smirked. “What can I say? I like to buck expectations.”

The mare rolled her eyes, then gave him a sympathetic look. “You’re still in pain, aren’t you.” It wasn’t a question.

She’s known me too long. “Yeah, I am,” he admitted, knowing that denial would get him nowhere.

“And?” she prompted.

“… and… the pain isn’t what’s eating me.” He pulled aside the covers to look at the bandaged leg; the one the doctor had spent the afternoon on. “Intellectually, I’m happy. I know that this pain is temporary, and that I’ll be back on all fours soon enough.”

“What about beyond intellectually?” she prompted when he didn’t elaborate.

Antiquarian sighed. “I hate being laid up. It gives me too much time to think.”

Aura raised her eyebrows “You. Complaining about having too much time to think? Usually you complain about the opposite!”

The stallion chuckled. “Ironic, isn’t it? But you see, dear Aura, the time I crave is not the time I have right now. I need time to think about matters which actually bear contemplation. Art and reason and beauty and Truth.” He gestured to the IV. “But, when I’m confined like this, all I can ever seem to think about is that which scares me. Loss. Failure.” He paused. “The consequences of letting down ponies who need me.” After a moment, he looked up, blinking away moisture in his eyes under the compassionate gaze of his faithful friend. “Silly, I know, but being sick makes me feel like a young colt afraid of the dark; cowering in the nighttime when all things which distract from my fears are stripped away.” Clearing his throat, he wiped his eyes. “Like I said. Too much time.”

Aura leaned forward, putting a comforting hoof on his. “Antiq, you can’t carry around—”

What would no doubt have been a tender moment was interrupted by a knock at the door. Antiquarian smirked, as he often did whenever Miss Patience scowled. “Comedic timing is a double-edged sword, is it not?” he asked jovially.

She ignored him. “Who is it?”

The nurse’s voice answered. “Sorry to disturb you, but the professor has a visitor. He says it’s about work.”

Aura’s frown deepened. “With all respect to this stallion, Professor Antiquarian’s schedule has been cleared for months now and—”

“Aura,” interrupted Antiquarian. “Aura, please. I’m crawling the walls here. A little distraction is just what I need.”

For a moment, he thought the mare would refuse, but she simply sighed and nodded. “As you say, sir.” The doorknob lit up blue with her magic. “All right, he may come in.”

“You’re a gem,” he whispered to her. “I hope you don’t need any papers signed,” he called out to the visitor, “because I’m on enough painkillers to knock out SWEET TAPDANCING CELESTIA!

Standing there, framed in the doorway, was the dark-coated representative of the Angry Mob – the burly earth pony known simply as ‘Tar.’

I’m trapped! Trapped like a rat in a cage! I always knew I would die on a gurney because of fanfiction! Somehow I just knew!

Antiquarian’s heartrate jumped as he squirmed into the corner of the gurney, vainly putting what little distance he could between himself and the inevitable. My only regret is that I’ll never get the chance to have Jacques throw down with the Sirens in an epic musical—

“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!” barked Aura. Antiquarian’s eyes flicked from the intruder to his secretary, and, in a flash, his fear was transferred. The mare practically had smoke coming out of her ears, and a cold fire burned in her blue eyes. She stood, and Tar took a visible step back from the diminutive mare. “You ponies have a lot of nerve coming here when he’s just had surgery! You’d better have a darned good explanation for harassing him at a time like this, or else I’m going to tattoo his schedule on your face so this never happens again!

To his credit, Tar did not run from the ferocious secretary. He simply swallowed and pulled a string of balloons into frame. “I come bearing gifts,” he announced, managing to keep the quiver mostly out of his voice. “From the Angry Mob.”

Aura and Antiquarian shared a blink. The latter cleared his throat and asked, “You… wanna run that by me again?”

“The Angry Mob is aware of your surgery, and, of course, you were kind enough to warn us that updates would be delayed. As a token of our appreciation for your diligence in keeping us informed and in the hopes that you will recover speedily, we felt it appropriate to wish you well.”

Antiquarian and Aura exchanged a long glance. For once, she looks as mystified as I do, reflected the aging stallion. Today is certainly a day for the unexpected. “Well, um, that’s rather civilized of you. Please, do come in.” He quirked a smile. “And do step lightly around Miss Aura. Her father was a soldier and a very efficient one at that. I am quite certain that she picked up more than a few of his tricks.”

Tar glanced at Aura as though gauging whether or not Antiquarian was kidding. Her gaze suggested that he was not. “I won’t stay long,” announced the stallion wisely. “I just came to deliver a few gifts.”

“Not booby-trapped, I trust,” said Antiquarian dryly. Beware of mobs bearing gifts, after all.

“Not this time, no,” replied Tar honestly.

“Hm,” grunted Antiquarian, making a note to cast extra security spells on his mail from now on.

“First are the balloons, of course,” began Tar, pulling the decorations in question into view. Now that they were closer, Antiquarian could see that many were red and orange and had fires and pitchforks drawn onto the sides. Some were even in the shape of pitchforks and torches. “And then the card.” A large pink heart read, Get Well Soon… Or Else! “And, finally, the crutch.” He pulled out a rear-leg crutch, decorated with pictures of angry mobs chasing ponies running down the surface. “My daughters decorated it. They’re such talented little fillies.”

Antiquarian had to hold a hoof over his muzzle to hide his expression. “Your… daughters?”

“Yes, my wife, Feather, and I have too little angels,” beamed Tar.

His wife Feather. Boy, I was way off thinking that the ‘Feather’ in the equation would be Tar’s brother. Tar and Feather… talk about an arsonist’s match made in heaven. “They sound charming. What are their names?”

“Pitchfork and Torch.”

“Of course they are.” Could have been worse. Could have been ‘Drawn and Quartered.’ “Well, thanks for stopping by, Tar. This has been rather… decent of all of you. Give my regards to the Angry Mob.”

Tar smiled and dipped his head politely. “I’ll be sure to, sir. You get well soon.” He dipped his head to Aura. “Ma’am.”

“Tar.”

With that, he departed. Antiquarian watched after him for a moment, then picked up the card, reading through the inscription and noting the disturbing number of signatures. The blasted thing has several pages. How long did it take them to get all these?

“That was… rather unexpected,” remarked Aura.

Antiquarian read a passage of the letter aloud. “Please get well soon, as our violent rampages through the city just aren’t the same without you. After all, what is an Angry Mob without its choicest victim.” With a smirk, he straightened the tie he wasn’t wearing. “Did you hear that, Miss Aura? I am their choicest victim.”

“Let’s hope they don’t say that to all the writers,” she deadpanned.

“Aura! You wound me!” he exclaimed in mock horror. “I’m so proud!”

“Yes, sir, you’ve been a terrible influence.” Her face turned more somber, a sympathetic light in her eyes. “Still feeling like you’re letting ponies down?”

Putting aside the card, he picked up the crutch. “Oddly enough, not so much anymore.” With a dry chuckle, he added, “I suppose that goes to show you the mysterious workings of Providence. Sometimes, even our enemies can be exactly what we need to lift our spirits.”

Aura smiled as she reclaimed her chair. “As you say, sir.”

He continued to look at the crutch, taking careful note of the craftsmanship to—

“Antiq?”

“Yes?” he said, looking up to see the kind eyes of his friend.

“Being finite isn’t the same as being a failure. And you’re not the sort to just let ponies down. You know that, don’t you?”

Antiquarian held her gaze for a moment, then nodded, smiling. “I do know that, Aura. I just forget things.” He reached out a hoof to meet hers. “Lucky I’ve got a good friend like you to remind me.”

Aura patted his hoof, then retrieved her magazine. “Any time.”

Author's Note:

Yeah, so, this happened. To clarify a few things:

1) Yes, I really did have knee surgery, and yes, I wrote this on painkillers. That should explain (and hopefully forgive) a lot. The surgery went well and recovery should be pretty straightforward, but it's never fun and my muse has been fickle while laid up.
2) This was written in part because I'm having a hard time finishing the next chapter of 14th C Friar while in recovery. (The other main reason for the delay was finishing Memoirs of My War for the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I.
3) This wasn't supposed to get as real as it did, but I really do hate hospitals, illness, and surgery for the reasons outlined. So I wrote it out. Here's a life lesson for you: when you have something that's killing you (in the sense of a personal suffering/trail), work through it by creating something. Life to counter death. I write. Others journal. Others play music. Others chop firewood (hey, productivity is creative and cathartic, especially chopping firewood). Bottom line - don't stew. Do something. Turn it into something else, even something as silly as this.

And this is silly. I just hope it amused you and (hopefully) inspired some patience amongst the mob.

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