• Published 26th Dec 2018
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The Human Pet - RushyFiction

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Chapter 16

Dressed in your fine silky cape over the tuxedo shirt and black trousers, you relax on a park bench, one leg over the other. Beside you on the right are a splayed-out set of cards that Lavender had given you from her old toy box, which you now use to play a game of poker against your friend, Lord Bunnystorm the Third. It's a bit of a lonely time for you, since the rest of Horsetown is celebrating their equivalent of Valentine's Day. Red paper hearts hang everywhere, soft violin music emanates from every other establishment and all the transparent little ponies look unusually awkward. All are busy-busy-busy trying to look their best for their special someones and Sweetheart is no exception, having ushered you and your rabbity pal out of the cottage to be on your own for the first time so she could clean the house.

As you play, your ears catch a bit of childish guffawing coming from up the road and you see to your delight that your three favourite fillies are strolling down the road, deep in conversation and without a care in the world. You haven't seen them since that awful incident with the snobbish pony family and you're eager to make up for whatever happened to get them upset.

You whistle loudly to get their attention and the three fillies turn simultaneously in your direction. They freeze, staring at you - or rather, around you - with wary eyes, as if making sure you're alone before stepping further. There's a slight tugging on your back as Bunnystorm III runs up your back and onto your shoulder to bite your ear, thirsty for your attention towards the poker game. Without turning around, you flick the self-absorbed little thing on the nose, making him lose balance and tumble down onto the cards... thus ruining the game anyway.

Seeing Sweetheart's pet with you, the trio's fears are dispersed and all three gallop to you, squealing in happiness. Snowy jumps up to your lap, almost resembling the stereotypical villain's white cat for a moment, and rests her back and head on your belly, looking up at you with a sweet, innocent smile. You give the little fluff ball a tight hug, leaving her tiny hoovsies to hang over your comparatively huge arms. Meanwhile, Scooter hops up onto the bench with a boost from her wings and smushes her face into the soft flesh of your neck underneath the short beard you'd grown during your stay, nuzzling you vigorously. As for the little apple filly, she gathers up the deck cards that had spilled everywhere so you wouldn't lose them, stuffs them in your pocket and then lies down onto the bench with your thigh for a pillow. Instinctively, your hand starts brushing through her strawberry red mane, tickling the ears from time to time.

On the other side of the bench, Bunnystorm III glares at the sight and makes exaggerated choking noises.


Both sides wanting to make up for lost time, you let the fillies lead you back towards the center of the town to the flamboyant candy shop, cleverly designed to resemble a gingerbread house. You'd seen it often during your walks around with Sweetheart, but having no money and not wanting to waste hers, you'd ignored the mouthwatering, warm baked goods in the windows and the smells... the smells! Smells like Belgium! Smells like better than Belgium!

This being Valentine's Day, the shop is decked out in red - the curtains are red, heart-shaped ornaments hang everywhere and even some extra round tables have been brought out with candles on each and every one, just to snag a few more customers from the restaurants. You recognise the huge, scary red stallion from the apple farm sitting behind one of the tables, engaged in an intimate conversation with a dark purple mare you've never seen before. To counterpoint the lovely atmosphere of that scene is another table, with two bored-looking mares either without partners or just not enjoying their time. One is a minty green unicorn with a spiky mane, whose golden eyes widen and immediately turn away as she sees you looking at her. The sound of her conversation with the other mare(a yellowish white regular mare with pink and dark blue curls) becomes significantly more energetic and hushed.

Out of politeness, you stop peeking at the customers around you and follow Snowy to one of the tables. Meanwhile, Scooter and Applebee Jr trot up to the counter, where the bubblegum pink, eternally enthusiastic force of nature you'd dubbed Cutie Pie is manning the cash register. You sense that the conversation shifts towards you, mostly because the pink mare immediately looks straight at your table and then does a pirouette. Without missing a beat, she grabs a dozen or so random muffins, pie slices and biscuits, juggles all of them and drops them all pitch-perfectly into a brown paper bag. You jaw-drop. Did that pony swallow a whole circus or something?
You look at Snowy to see if she saw that, but the fussy little filly is busy using her magic to toy with a rubik's cube.

The other two fillies rush back to your table with the bag and two milkshakes on each of their backs. You've never been one for milkshakes, but you politely take yours anyway and sip. It tastes like melted banana ice cream, with just the right amount of sweetness. The bag appears to be solely for you, as Scooter drops it from her mouth directly onto your lap. It's an eclectic variety of treats, showcasing what the shop has to offer. As you look up, you see Cutie Pie beaming at you with a million dollar smile, so eager to see your reaction to the food that she pulls a small telescope out of her mane, which somehow extends all across the shop until about five centimeters away from your mouth.

You blink and immediately plunge your hand into the bag, feel around and come back out with a chocolate chip cookie. You bite into the cookie.

That's no cookie... that's God.

It's recently baked, still warm... and so soft it's almost like eating a brownie. It's a cliche, but the cookie does basically melt in your mouth within moments as you chew it. Cutie Pie stifles her happy giggles behind her hoof and the telescope snaps back into its small size within a second and disappears.

After satisfying a drooling bunny with a blueberry muffin bigger than him, you rest your right elbow on the table and your chin on your palm, and let the fillies' conversation turn into background noise as your mind drifts away. As usual, the subject of your inner dialogue is your future in Ponyland.

Maybe instead of getting a job at somebody else's place, I should sell stuff. Yeah, that could actually bring in legit bucks. Artworks by the alien from another dimension! Could get Sweetheart to manage the financials and all. Shit, if things work close enough to my world, I could be a millionaire. Ain't no Picasso gonna compare with E. T.

You grin, daydreaming of a mansion where you swim in cash Scrooge McDuck style as maid ponies cater to your every whim until something irritates your eyes. You frown and look around. Apparently, you're not the only one. The fillies all look confused, as does Cutie Pie at the counter, rubbing her chin. What was it? What just happened?

The lights flicker again, very slightly, but just barely noticeable enough that the room becomes a few degrees darker for a moment.

What the fuck? I thought these lights were magic. Magic doesn't flicker…

The doors behind Cutie Pie's counter(that presumably lead to the kitchens) burst open and two stallions are thrown out with force, collapsing on the floor between the tables in a heap. The two are near-identical twins with striped shirts and manes, and boater hats on their heads. The only feature distinguishing one from the other is that one has a red moustache on his snout.

Two more ponies walk out of the kitchen - an orange stallion with an extremely long chin and a blue, slightly chubby mare with a very fluffy pinkish red mane. Judging from their attire and tattoos, you'd guess they were the owners, possibly even Cutie Pie's parents. In any case, both are fuming, and the orange one is holding on his hoof what looks like the lovechild of a blender and a toaster, with knives, forks and spoons sticking out in random direction. Also blinking LED lights. The thing is blowing out plumes of smoke, and as the stallion holds it up, one of the forks falls out and clatters to the floor. With a throw that would make a baseball player jealous, he tosses the device at one of the stallions' head, shattering the fragile object into pieces.

Yikes. Glad I'm not them.

Humbled, the two stallions awkwardly pick up the remains of their machine and sit behind the same table as Minty Fresh and Curly, who look so red and mortified that you could fry an egg on their faces. That explains where their dates were... man, Valentine's Day is a diiiiick. Mr. Applebutt snorts loudly, as if to simply make his displeasure towards the genius twins clear. You sip your banana milkshake and try to focus instead on the cute game of armwrestling now going on between Scooter and Applebee Jr. The two clench their jaws like heroes out of an action movie. The hooves snap together, and the two stare each other down with dark grins on their faces, each confident in their victory.

Your gaze drifts down at the stuffed bunny, who has a mischievous look on his face and motions towards the two fillies with his eyes. You wink. Suddenly, the bunny releases a loud burp, catching both Scooter and Applebee off guard and letting you lightly easily squeeze their hooves against the table, still holding onto one another. "Bam! Anon's the winner!" you declare, cross your arms and turn your back on the two in a flamboyant display of ego. A slight chill goes over you as you can just straight-up feel their eyes furiously twitching behind you, plotting revenge. I may have made a critical error. Snowy giggles at the sight, not even looking at her cube anymore, though it manages to complete itself regardless, at which point all sides drain of color, leaving the cube monochrome. It drops into Snowy's saddlebag. You peek over to get a better look at the thing, but something soft and wispy passes over your arm, disrupting your thoughts. To your surprise, you are faced with Minty Fresh's backside sauntering away from your table to the toilets. You roll your eyes and brush off your arm. Sure, lady, never mind the monkey sitting here... just throw that tail wherever you feel like, who cares if I have to start picking hairs off of my clothes... Looking back at her table, you see poor Curly rubbing her hoof into her forehead as the two stallions try their damndest to impress her with cookiecutter magic tricks.

You pick up Bunnystorm off the table and place the overfed rabbit into your breast pocket. "And this, my voluminous pal, is why we don't do Valentine's Day."

FLASH

An impossibly bright lime green light fills the little cafe in a second, blinding everyone. You collapse onto the floor, rubbing your eyes until some semblance of blurry vision returns. "What the fuck was that?" You shout angrily. Shapes dance around in your hurting eyes. You stand up and finally, you can see the interior of the store again. Just about everyone is shocked - the wonder twins are hugging one another, the huge red stallion rushes past you to the three fillies and the three owners of the store stare right out of the windows, shell-shocked.

"What? What is it-?" you turn around and your brain stops functioning for a moment.
It's gone. The entire town outside has disappeared without a trace as if it never existed, and the candy store stands on a grassy hill, all alone. Well, not quite alone. A vast number of gray-green eggs seem to be abandoned all over the place without any sort of order. Some are in piles, some are alone, some are upright, others lie on their side in the dirt. If it wasn't for the fact that the landscape was still the same, you'd have thought the building itself had teleported. But then, that'd be silly, wouldn't it...?


A riot breaks out in the store and before you can say "hey, wait...", half of the customers trample you down rather painfully, all running for the exit. As they dash through the opening however, a transparent green-tinged field of light blocks their way and every single pony bounces back in. Minty Fresh pokes at the unyielding magical wall, bemused. A force field? You rush to the closest window and sure enough, a magical bubble has encased the entire candy store.

Realising that they're sealed in, most of the ponies, to put it bluntly, lose their shit and start screaming and running all around the shop, making a mess of things. Jesus fucking Christ, these ponies... You climb onto the counter and shout "SHUT UP!" so loudly that your voice breaks. Though you couldn't possibly shout louder than the ponies, your alien language at least catches their attention and they all go quiet.

One of the two nitwit twins points at you and yelps something, throwing a glass bottle in your direction with magic. "Whoa-whoa, hey!" you duck behind the counter. "Hey-hey, that shit's got nothing to do with me!" you declare desperately. Fortunately for you, it seems like the owners have a "no murder" policy, as they step in front of you, front hooves flinging up in the air like proper Earth horses. You peek out from underneath the counter, only for your vision to suddenly be obscured by something black and velvety. You pull a black bowler hat off of your head and blink as you see a suave-looking Cutie Pie in full Sherlock Holmes regalia smiling at you - the deer stalker, the pipe, everything. How? What even the-?

Despite her absurd appearance, Cutie Pie holds the trust of the group as they all sit down following her instructions - the apple farmer and his purple companion hover over the fillies, the rest are in pairs. Cutie waves you over to her and pulls a sheet out of her mane with small, but recognisable images of every pony currently sitting in the store in a neat list, with question marks next to each and every one.

"Of course... we're the only ones left. Whatever happened out there... had to come from here. Or because of someone here." you think out loud. And now it was up to you and Cutie to figure out who it was.

Bloop bloop bloop.

"I want a bubble pipe too."

Cutie Pie instead pulls out a magnifying glass from her mane and waves around the store with a hoof. You search the store, and I'll question the ponies!

You give a thumbs up.


As Cutie gets the ponies to reorganise the tables for a proper interrogation, you head off to the kitchens to snoop around. To your surprise, it's a complete contrast to the symmetrical, beautifully set up dining area. Pots and pans are lying about everywhere, flour is spilled all over the workstation, and there's a toothless alligator sitting in the sink.

"Huh." For the sake of kids everywhere, I hope that this is those twins' doing…

You take a deep breath and splash some water onto your face. As the water drips down from your chin, you stare at your reflection. "Okay, Anon, no biggie, the entire fucking town just disappeared. ... You can do this. Things'll work out. Just figure out what's going on, things'll work out. You can do this. You can... do this." You nod to yourself, and start sweeping through the whole room with as much patience as you can muster, but find nothing that jumps out as being "magical"... except maybe the cupcakes. Sweet-ass baking. "Hey, Mini-Me..." you say, picking the little bunny out of your pocket and lowering him to the ground. "You think you can sniff through the place with your magic nose, see if you can find anything?"

The bunny nodded. "Right on. I'll check the living quarters."

Before you go, however, you pick up a long, thin kitchen blade that you slide through your belt, leaving it concealed behind your heavy cape. In the dining room, you come across a bizarre sight: Cutie sitting behind the interrogation table, talking very excitedly... to nobody. After a few moments, she jumps up and sits on the other side of the table to babble on just as happily. At the same time, the farmer stallion is busy in the corner, instructing the three fillies about something, the inventor twins are trying to put their insane blentoaster back together, and Minty Fresh and Curly non-chalantly walk past you and into the kitchen.

Clenching your jaw, you turn around and pull them back by their tails. The two look back at you, then at each other. Minty lets out a high-pitched whinny and her magic starts to glow around your arms, clearly trying to force you to release them. Instead, you pull them back into the dining room and stand in front of the kitchen doors, trying to shoo the two back to their seats. "Back. Off. You - suspects. Me - detective. Comprende?"

The two ponies look at you as if you've grown a new head.

You groan and rub your face. "I hate being me." You feel Minty pawing at your feet and you squat down to her level. To your surprise, she starts petting your head with a patronisingly friendly expression as Curly blatantly tries to sneak back into the kitchen. You try to stand up, but Minty hugs onto you with a death grip and you roll onto the floor.

Cutie Pie squees from somewhere and jumps onto the two of you. "Oh, come on!" you whine. "Is this really the time?"

Your heart sinks as you hear joyful whooping from the three fillies before they join the pony pile. At this point, it's a big mass and of hooves and snouts, and you're able to crawl out from underneath it and dash to the kitchen, where you find Curly looking through shelves of ingredients and writing things down. "GOTCHA!"

The pony shrieks, taken off guard, and drops onto the floor with a guilty expression, quickly ripping the paper up. Pretty pissed off now, you grab her by the nape of her neck and drag her out of the kitchen to the dining room, where the ponies are slowly untangling. Without much gentleness, you toss Curly amongst them and then sharply motion at the other ponies to move closer. "Alright, that's it, everybody to the floor. EVERY-FUCKING-BODY TO THE FUCKING FLOOR!"

After about five minutes of red faced shouting and you baring your canine teeth, you've managed to move all 12 ponies together, all of them now staring up at you as if you were a kindergarten teacher. You grab Cutie Pie's sheet off of the table and roll your eyes, seeing her own picture at number one. You add a little check next to her face and give the sheet back to her.

"All of you..." you motion a circle surrounding them all. "Stay. Here." You point down to the floor. "I..." you point to yourself. "Will have a look around." you motion a smaller circle with your index and middle fingers moving back and forth. "Cutie..." you pat her deerstalker-covered head. "is gonna ask questions." you tap the sheet in her hooves. "See? It ain't rocket science. Just good old fashioned A to B to C. If old-ass Pythagoras could figure it out, so can you."

You draw in a deep breath. "Alrighty then."


Nothing.

You'd searched everywhere - every bookcase, every book, every corner, every drawer, every damn toiletbowl. Frustrated and worried sick about your pony friends, you take a short break to splash some water on your face and clear your head.

Your breath hitches as the reality that you may soon have to fight for your life actually hits you. The ponies that you could trust - namely Lavender, Sweetheart and even Applebutt - were all missing. But you were not. Was that significant?

Does... whoever did this want me? Want to imprison me? I am an alien…

If that is the case, and some monster from outside had simply taken over the world and locked you here, then there's no hope that you can see. Even in your own world, you're not exactly a boxer and against tough hooves, you couldn't possibly hold out for long. But who even cares about hooves? These crazy creatures had magic that could zap you from here to pony Heaven!

What could I possibly do that could hold up against…

Against…

You rush out of the bathroom and back into the shopkeepers' living room, open the nearest window outside and extend your arm as far as you can go. Immediately, the green field becomes active, but to you, it's not a barrier at all, merely a mist that your arm passes through with nothing, but a tingle. It does, however, force back your pony-made shirt sleeve. I can leave! I can go!

Knock-knock-knock!

Your heart sinks as a pony hoof taps against the door to get your attention. The moment you reveal that you can leave the store, the ponies would no doubt be convinced that you are responsible for what's happened here. Guess I'll have to take that as it comes…

You open the door, revealing the room's actual owner, the slightly chubby blue mare whose swirly red mane makes her look like a cupcake. She looks up at you with meekness and points downstairs, vaguely towards the group, before rubbing her stomach in an indication of hunger. It then hits you that the group are actually asking for your permission to eat.

"Uh... yeah, yeah, that's not a bad idea." You nod with a gentle smile to try and defuse the tension and follow the mare back to the ground floor. As you're walking however, you hear the sound of glass breaking and rush past her to see one of the nitwit twins fly through the air and crash into one of the tables, breaking it under him. The aggressor is the apple farmer, whose usual serene, leafgreen eyes are now glowing with a stern fury. His nostrils flare and his hoof raps at the floor as if he's a bull about to tear the pathetic, lanky stallion to pieces.

"Hey!" you shout and the farmer's angry face immediately snaps up to look at you. His sudden switch in attention catches you off guard and you gulp. "P-please... let's just settle down and..." your words are interrupted by the stallion's deep voice neighing loudly, his frown deepening. Scooter, Snowy and Applebee all run to your aid and stand between you and the fearsome red pony, all three whinnying loud, furious protests. Scooter's fragile, tiny wings even flare up in an instinctively protective manner, even if all they cover is your left knee.

The stallion merely raises an eyebrow, and gives you a suspicious glance. It's not until his purple mare friend with the daffodil tattoo joins the little fillies and neighs sternly at him that the farmpony settles down and with a single snort, sends the other twin sitting near him running off to help his brother up. You release a breath and nod thankfully at Daffodil, who matches it and ushers the fillies to their seats.

Cupcake and Other Cake trot out of the kitchen, a tray of food on the stallion's back. It's not much - just a few bowls of salad - but it's decent. At least you don't have to eat sweets exclusively. Your bunny pal jumps off the tray and onto your shoulder, tapping against it with his leg and pointing at the kitchen fiercely. "You found something? What is it?"

As the others take their bowls, you push open the kitchen doors. Bunnystorm directs you towards the oven, where you see a bowl of unfinished brown dough having been left. You scowl and peek through the oven door just to be safe, but there's nothing there. "... we are not making gingerbread." The bunny bites your ear and cannonballs from your shoulder into your breast pocket, pouting.

Fucking useless...


A blissful moment of silence descends over the tired group as they eat. You sit down next to Cutie Pie, who for once isn't leaping around, but is in deep thought, her hoof rubbing her chin and tail flicking here and there randomly. "Hey there. Whatcha got?"

Cutie slides her sheet with all the doodles of everypony's faces towards you, and you notice that circles have been drawn over four of them: the filly Snowy, Minty Fresh and the twins. It hits you a moment later. "Unicorns... the only ones who can do magic." You eye the sulking pair of stallions as they huddle over their food.

She taps at your magnifying glass. "Oh! Yeah, I, uh... how do I say it..." you rip a piece of paper from your notebook and quickly draw the building, the shield holding you in and you, half-way through.

The pink pony's eyes expand as she realises you can leave. Suddenly, she hops up on a table, getting everyone's attention and pulls out an entire smorgasbord of musical instruments. The crowd is so enthralled that nobody notices her wink at you, or you nodding and quietly slipping away to the kitchens, and through there, the back door.

You try to step through the green energy field, but all of your clothes pull you back sharply. Evidently, the ponymade material is vulnerable to their magic as well. Grumbling, you remove your cloak and carefully hide your knife under it, before removing your trousers, your shirt and... "No, Anon, let's not pick the old, comfy underpants today. Let's go with the ones you gotta tear off. Fucking hell..." You leave the clothes in a neat pile next to the door. Your bunny pal's head pops out of a pocket, with a confused look. "Sorry, Mini-Me. Solo quest. You wanna handle that shit for me while I'm gone?" You nod towards the ponies still watching Cutie Pie's madcap dance.

Bunnystorm looks at them, turns back to you and his ear flattens against his head in an approximation of a military salute. "Attaboy. And no gingerbread dough!" You admonish him. The bunny just rolls his eyes at you and runs off.

You stand in front of the door in your birthday suit. Okay, this is stupid. This is dumb! There HAS to be a better way to do this! "Fuck!" You pass through the barrier unmolested and take a deep breath of fresh air. Surprisingly, however, the air is quite foul, likely from all the smelly huge eggs lying about all over the place. Deciding to move out of sight of the windows, you follow the road up to the apple farm to see if that's still standing. Your bare feet awkwardly hobble over the prickly pebbles and the wind goes right through your bones, forcing to hide your hands under your armpits for additional warmth. You start humming Camptown Races to distract yourself from the cold.

Eventually, you make your way to where the gate was judging from the shift in the road, and get a good look around. All pony-made structures are gone - the fences, the gate, the barn et cetera, but the orchard's still there. Like every other place you'd seen, the place was swarming with eggs, some of them even in the trees. It gave you the impression that they'd been dropped here without much care. Well, of course they were, they got teleported here.

You make your way to the orchard and crawl into a bush to get away from the worst of the weather, which, now that the ponies were absent, seemed to be going haywire. Inside the bush with you is one of those eggs, which gives you a great opportunity to make an examination. They are a pickle green color, with dark, etched swirls surrounding the egg. Honestly, if they weren't huge, and a bit slimy, you'd mistake them for easter eggs. "Where there's eggs, there ought be moms. Where's your mommy, kid?" you say out loud to the egg. The egg lies there silently. Out of curiosity, you sniff your slick fingers, and recoil. "Ohhhh, that's some... alien egg. Christ." Fitting with the pickled-look, the egg stinks of something distinctly vinegary.

Without warning, the smell seems to affect your head a little, as you become disoriented and lie on the ground to get your bearings straight. Instead of helping however, your vision starts tumbling all over the place and a sharp pain hits your forehead. You'd yelp out loud if you could, but you are paralysed. A small part of your brain that still works recognises the symptoms and cheers in spite of how horrible you feel.

Luna!

Author's Note:

Whodunnit?
Whodunnwhat?
Whodunnwhy?

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