• Published 3rd Nov 2011
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First Pony View - Suomibrony

Some dreams you might never want to end… …but what happens when the dream really doesn't?

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Open Up

First Pony View
A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan fic
By Suomibrony

Chapter 3
Open Up

The world in my home and beyond had terrified me with its authenticity. I believed I was having a lucid dream, but the extreme level of detail in the dream had torn at my conviction. Fear had taken hold and had begun to destroy that belief. As I was on the verge of unparalleled panic, a pegasus had appeared. The sight of the mythical creature eased my stress, relieved joy taking its place.

My dream was, thankfully, just a dream.

‘In your face, subconscious! In your face!’ I wanted to shout, though I wasn't sure if taunting my inner psyche was a good way to show my gratitude, but I also wasn't sure I wanted to speak at all. Shock, denial, and grief had stemmed from hearing myself talk. It wasn't really my voice per se, but it came from my throat, and so I supposed by extension, it belonged to me, whether I liked it or not. At least for the moment.

In high spirits, I tasked myself with a new and ambitious mission.
Sitting by the window, I became aware of my translucent mirror image. Staring at myself blankly, I contemplated nothing for a few seconds before my thoughts kicked in: I wanted to climb over the figurative wall.
If I was willing to accept my body and sex in this dream, I had to accept my voice as well. Believing I had nothing to worry about, I put on a smug expression (or at least what I believe passed for smug on this face).

“This . . . this . . . ” Two words. That was all it took to brutally afflict me; my high morale vanished, leaving a gaping void of misery in its place.
‘Don't stop!’ my inner voice commanded.
“This . . . is . . . my . . . voice,” I forced the words out, my inner-self contorting in anguish. I strongly wanted to disbelieve I had spoken, let alone believe in what I had said. Defeated by my inability to overcome the loathing I harbored for my voice, I looked down to gloomily stare at the floor.

The few spoken lines repeated in my head. My very first words stung like venom, my somber admission weighing on me like a boulder.

I wanted to collapse to the floor, become eternally mute, and shed tears; however, I couldn't surrender, not when I had already started and had convinced myself I could accomplish this feat. I analyzed my situation and saw a glimmer of reason, one that could help me out from my distress. In an act of defiance, I forced my discovery to trudge up my throat.
“I'm this now . . . in here . . . and . . . only in here,” I mustered in a muted mumble. I could taste the torment in my tone, but the words carried a vital message: I was wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

By trying to revert to only tolerating myself, I'd be devastated every time I was reminded of what I was in this dream. The shield of delusion would futilely keep trying to reassemble itself, never regaining its integrity. I would be left to wander in my dream as a broken wreck, all because I was scared of my own voice and sex.

I faced my blurry self, my eyes reflecting pain back at me, although behind them were faint embers of determination stubbornly refusing to be extinguished. A thought slipped into words that I no longer had the will to speak but nevertheless offered valuable insight on how to handle my situation:
‘Why am I stalling? This is like a plaster I'm ripping off slowly. I must do it in one go. A short sting is better than drawn out pain.’

I'd have to rid myself of my disheartened mood or ignore it completely before I could tackle my dilemma. I tried to think of something positive; something that could drag me out of the pit of bad morale I was in and past the painful obstacle.

How would Rainbow Dash handle the situation? She wouldn't back down; she wouldn't even think. She'd charge fearlessly at the threat!
An old marching song began to play in my head. It sang of pride, courage, and victory. I'd have to do as Rainbow Dash would. Do as the march conveyed. ‘It rushes! It wins!’

My mood improved slowly but steadily, and soon, my own defeatism burned to ash like dry paper in my inner fire. I became angry at myself, angry for having the nerve to show cowardice when I had assured myself I'd prevail effortlessly!

I prepared myself, not to arduously climb over the figurative wall but to smash it to pieces! I stood up, my confidence back with a vengeance. Centimeters from my very severe-looking mirror-self, the embers having erupted to a towering blaze, I took a deep breath before I unleashed my furious rant.

My entire being shifted from fury to confusion and then, as I became silent, to shock. I trepidly backed away by a few meters, the reflection doing the same, its white shape surprisingly distinct on the clear glass.

I sat down, wanting to gently press the bridge of my nose with an index finger and thumb, but I had to settle for a hoof on my forehead instead. I presented myself a concise explanation for why my outburst had taken an odd turn: stress.

My foreleg descended to the floor, and I reviewed my journey in this dream so far. In summary, it had been one emotionally bumpy ride. I was well aware I had a low tolerance for stress, and I'd behave erratically if pushed to my limits. It was easy to deduce that my pent-up stress had broken through and negatively affected my attempt to attack my inhibition. I had spoken impetuously, so a simple slip-up in an otherwise successful endeavor shouldn't have come as a surprise.

I rubbed a hoof at my throat, hesitating a moment before giving my vocal chords a try: “I think . . . I can do this now.”
The words came out carefully, but they carried a smile of victory onto my face. I came close to my reflection and sat down, beaming at myself. I wasn't gazing at an unfamiliar creature any longer but at my alter ego. I was convinced I wouldn't encounter any hardships with myself. Finally, I could enjoy myself and my lucid dream!

Feeling curious, I brought my hoof to my ear and touched it. The pinna was tickled by the gentle press of my appendage, and I let out a small laugh. No longer averse to my voice, I started to vocalize some of my thoughts.

“This is quite fascinating. I can control my ears, and they also reflect my mood.” I turned my ears a few times experimentally, followed by them and my head descending unwillingly.
“Shy to myself?” Just like the red hue on my cheeks, my awkward grin was unintended.

My quick introspection left me clueless as to why I had become discombobulated by a simple ear motion.
“Just like my tail, huh? That's also a bit difficult to describe.” Looking at my tail, I raised it playfully. My hoof found itself under my jaw as I contemplated my tail, studying the feeling it created as I caused it to occasionally jump at my command.
“How do I describe something I've always had?”

The words replayed in my head, perplexing me. “Always had? Why did I say that?” I shrugged it off as a slip of the tongue and continued my hoof-under-jaw mulling. “Anyway, if I were to describe what it's like to have a tail to somepony who hasn't ever had one, how would—” I cut myself off, slightly irritated.
“Somepony? The hay am I—?”
My hoof practically slammed to the floor, and every hair on me stood rigid for a full second.
“Okay okay, time out, time out!” I blurted out, alarmed, then hastily pushed myself upright and left the kitchen.

I took myself to the living room, where I rested, prone on the sofa, head slumped on a pillow. I had temporarily dissuaded myself from talking, so I kept my concerned musings inside my head.

‘It all came by itself, like it was natural. Is it a habit I'm developing? Is it somehow related to my body? Am I involuntarily trying to behave like a pony? Wouldn't I already know how to behave like a pony?’

I lifted my head from the pillow, puzzled. Trying to study my last sentence, I began to see a hidden meaning in it instead of dismissing it as another lapse. With my stress shooting past my tolerance level, my head fell back on the pillow and a million thoughts erupted in me.

Forelegs over my head, I began to speculate random theories. Many of them were discarded outright as being beyond the impossible, but the ones that made a fraction of sense came out from my quivering self.

“What if the pegasus was just a desperate illusion and this is all real? What if I've gone insane and I'm really in a loony house? What if Equestria's real and I've been misplaced here by a botched spell?”
Despite how ridiculous it was, the last theory sounded plausible. I made a deduction so unbelievable, it carried to my voice.

“But that would mean I've always been—?” The words stopped in my throat, an uneasy feeling settling in my gut as I recalled what I had said in the kitchen:
‘How do I describe something I always had?’

“NOOO!!” With that shrill cry, I bounded off the sofa and backed away from it like it was dangerous. Trembling and looking over everything in a state of paranoia, I tried to shout firmly, but my fright betrayed my tone: “My theories were baseless ramblings! I'm only stressed! That explains my behavior! It has nothing to do with being a pony! Nothing!”

With my anxiety only increasing despite my frantic denouncing, I realized I was taking the wrong approach to alleviating my stress, and I sat down to recompose myself instead.

“This is only a dream. This is only a dream. This is only a dream . . . ” My soft chanting soothed me back to a tranquil state over the course of a minute.

With my negative emotions subdued, I gave myself a brief, collected evaluation of the scenario I was in: “This can only be a dream. It's the only sensible explanation for this impossible experience. No matter how real this seems to be, it can't ever be real.”
I paused to let my self-confidence grant me a smile, “With that said, I'm ready to face anything this dream throws at me!”

As if to spite me, a very natural feeling introduced itself at the worst moment. I looked over my shoulder at myself and spoke in agitated disbelief.
“I'm in a dream! I can't—” Realizing it was futile to reason with something that had no sense of hearing, I ceased my protest.

Either I force myself out from my dream, or I proceed with my new problem and deal with the humiliating consequences later. Neither seemed to be good choices, but I had recently made my decision to "face anything," and I couldn't eat my words. I groaned and stomped a hoof again in frustration before heading to the hallway.

Standing back from the bathroom door, I manipulated the handle effortlessly with my magic. As I opened my eyes and the door, the fluorescence spilled into my view from the confines of the once traumatic room. I had a direct visual of the fixture that I had thought would be simple to use, but a quick look told me it would be far from easy.

If I backed my hindlegs onto the ceil blue seat and kept my forelegs on the floor, I'd be oriented horizontally and only drench the upturned lid. Not only would it be difficult to clamber onto the seat, but its surface area was also inadequate to properly support me.

I thought of placing myself over the bowl by resting my forelegs on the tank, but I discarded the concept almost immediately as I realized my configuration would result only in a wet floor, hooves, and tail. I refined the idea slightly: standing over the seat, hindlegs secure on the floor, I'd tightly embrace the tank with my forelegs to hold my back vertically.

Declaring it the best solution, I approached the fixture and magically raised the lid. It was only then I realized it could be an obstruction, and the seat may be too wide for me to retain my hindlegs on the floor.

Alas, my endurance was running low, and I couldn't distribute any additional mental resources to re-evaluate the plan. Squirming desperately and with no tangible progress made, I hastily improvised and initiated Plan B. In quick succession, I removed the plastic shower drain grate, raised my tail, sat over the hole, and unlocked the flood gates.

The stream escaped into the water seal below, taking my tension along with it. A vocalization of relief strolled through my content smile. Certainly, it was strange to do it directly into the shower drain as a unicorn filly, and I was momentarily concerned that I had soiled my bed in the waking world, but my primary feeling was bliss.

With the purl underneath me fading to a few drips and then silence, sanitation became my next concern. Allowing the disposed liquid to linger in the chamber would definitely stink up the place. My experience on plumbing was less than minimal, but I had the understanding that if a large quantity of water was poured into the drain, the unpleasant substance would be flushed down to the sewer.

The obvious answer was in the shower, or rather, it was at the end of a flexible and flanged hose. Using my magic, I pulled the hand-held showerhead down and inspected it. Confusion abounded when I became aware that I'd need a bucket to fill, then empty its contents into the drain. I surmised the shower itself would be inadequate for the task.

“Where do I keep the bucket...? Oh, right!” Joy replaced confusion as I ventured to the two cupboard doors beneath the kitchen sink. Swinging open the left cupboard with my ethereal touch, I found the blue plastic bucket that was my prize.

I wrapped my forelegs around the blue bucket and pulled it out from its lair, my mind delaying for a second before informing me that it would be physically impossible for me to carry it in my arms. I rolled my eyes at my own forgetfulness and retracted one foreleg. I raised the handle with my hoof and bit my teeth on the metallic arch. If only I was more talented, I could've carried the bucket telekinetically, though my deduction gave me an idea for a test I'd do later.

The taste of steel was displeasing, but in a moment, I had carried the bucket to the shower. With ease, I levitated the showerhead into the bucket, my proud smile in full swing. In no more than ten seconds, I had the vessel filled to the brim with water and the showerhead back in its resting place. It all had gone smoothly; my telekinesis was becoming second nature to me.

I was about to empty the bucket when a funny thought announced itself: I was applying real-world rules to a dream. Why trouble myself with cleaning up my mess when anything I did or didn't do wouldn't leave lasting effects beyond the confines of my fantasy, apart from possible memories and—hopefully not—a soaked bed? In fact, I could've ventured out my home door and explored the realistic dreamworld to my heart's content without any regard for other people. After all, every being besides myself was nothing more than a figment of my imagination! Could they even behave like real people? A compilation of several amusing incidents of AI-controlled characters goofing up in video games played in my imagination. Would this dream feature similar incidents?

So far, my dream was an exact match of the authentic world except for the pegasus I had seen. The winged equid was my first clear evidence of this being a fictional world. If it hadn't been for that, I would've sworn I had awoken not into a dream but to a new day. I further theorized that my unexplained transformation was utterly impossible. Therefore, my radically changed body then became the second and most remarkable sign of being in an unreal setting. How it took so long to figure that out puzzled me. I was certain there was more to it than me overlooking the obvious, but I had to urgently return to the task at hoof when a revoltingly acerbic stench invaded my nostrils.

I was quick to use my telekinesis to tilt the bucket, the low-pitched sloshing confirming I was accurately displacing the water into the drain. The displeasing odor diminished to a tolerable level, and I replaced the drain cover. The bucket was then reassigned to become a subject for a most harmless test.

The blue vessel was wrapped in my invisible touch. It lifted off the floor silently and began to hover gracefully through the room and out the door. With no vision or touch, my awareness of the bathroom, hallway, and anything within their confines was immensely mystifying. In essence, my magic was a sixth sense.

The plastic container made its way towards the kitchen, but at the doorway, it came to an abrupt halt. My grasp vanished, and I heard the telltale clatter of the bucket crashing to the floor. I was surprised initially, but curiosity brought me to the fallen item. Inspecting the scene, my hoof came under my chin, and my brows furrowed in thought. Then, a smirk crossed my face.

I was the detective, and before me was the victim.
“Looks like he wanted to kick himself for leaving the bathroom, but instead . . . ”
I paused to place a pair of nonexistent sunglasses on myself.
“ . . . he kicked the bucket. Yeeeeaaaahh!”

Although it was cheesy, my voice couldn't possibly be more off, and I didn't shout very loudly, the imitation made me chuckle.
Quickly returning to pondering my recent telekinetic test, I analyzed my skill: I could manipulate lightweight items only within a limited range, and I had to keep my eyes closed for my invisible hand to function.

The restrictions of my innate skill disappointed me, but I had no choice but to accept them. So many things about my magic were to be left untested, I believed. An invisible timer hovered before me, counting from and to an undisclosed digit. There could be seconds to hours remaining. My longest dream had lasted for two weeks, though not as a single sequence. Rather, I had experienced short segments that were separated by days, all in the span of single night's sleep.

Zero, nine, five, eight, my microwave stated with its green liquid crystal display as I proceeded to return the bucket to its home under the sink. My current dream was advancing in real time, with each minute consisting of sixty seconds.

Done with checking Time's slow but unimpeded progress, I shot a look through the window, the expanse beyond luring me with its vibrant colors and unlimited freedom. Normally, I wouldn't even consider going outside simply because it existed, but now, it would be an injustice to keep myself indoors. My mental inquiry on what compelled me to adventure outside brought me no better reply than the brief inspection of my equine body.

Almost instinctively, I started towards the exit; however, when I passed the bathroom doorway, I came to a stop. Still playing by my own rules, I had to turn off the lights in the white-tiled room, but another thought also told me to venture forth into the room once more. My steps resounded off the white tiles, and my gaze was locked on the mirror. Affixed to the wall above the sink, it had told me an unpleasant tale in the past, but now, it was calling to me.

With a pounce, my forelegs landed on the sink, and I craned my neck. Unlike my first encounter with myself, I wasn't rejecting my image, and unlike in the kitchen, I had a perfectly clear image of myself. Too clear, because my mind skidded to a halt, leaving me gawking at my own visage. Slowly, some thoughts gathered, forming a speck of sense. Detached from myself, I leaned closer and drawled at how adorable the being in the mirror was. Abruptly, my forehooves slipped, and the air in my lungs evacuated in a blink of an eye as my torso hit the sink counter.

Fortunately, the stability failure did not result in a disaster, my forelegs having found new support from the bottom of the sink. The only damage was a startled heart and a passing feeling of heat from the adrenaline, then an embarrassed grin as I realized I had let out an atypical squeal.

After regaining my composure and posture, I resumed visual contact with myself, now with an objective eye.

I was the perfect blend of reality and cartoon, avoiding the dreaded uncanny valley entirely. The emerald green eyes charmed me, and I smiled like a spanner. I had learned my lesson, though, so I made sure my legs were locked and secure while I waited for my trance to wear off.

Several minutes passed, but I regretted none of the spent time. My idling, however wasteful, gave me an opportunity to inspect my coat. It was smooth and white with a seeming hint of light blue, though I couldn't be sure due to the off-white lighting. Despite my attempt to be unaffected by my temporary but beautiful figure, a desire at the back of my head wanted a hand to gently caress my delicate coat. My imagination tried to run wild, but a light shake of my head tamed that impulse, and I shifted my attention to the dual-colored bangs.

My messy bronze mane featured two, almost bilaterally symmetrical pink stripes extending from the forelock and along my mane to my withers. Actually, to call my mane messy was an understatement. It looked like I had stood under the downdraft of a helicopter for several minutes and never bothered to comb my mane afterwards.
That description was a hyperbole, though.

While some may have scoffed at my slightly scruffy outlook, I found it to be an interesting contrast to the rest of my appearance. I could've done without the pink highlights, but I didn't have any dye to conceal them with. I was, to my surprise, more bothered by pink, white, and bronze being a bad combination of colors. If I had been a stallion, I would've done my utmost to hide the pink streaks. Now, they were a minor inconvenience at worst.

“Just a color.” I was casual about it, though I began to muse what color could be more suitable in its place, doing my best to project them onto my reflection.
“Red stripes? Blue stripes? Green stripes?”
I paused, a certain scene replaying in my mind.
“Oh no, not green,” I pretended to be horrified.

As I envisioned more colors, I had a sudden déjà vu.
“Something about dying my mane?” I tilted my head in rumination but drew only blanks. “Or my coat, or my tail?” I glanced down at both my back and tail, expecting an answer from them but got none.
“Have I ever . . . ” I gave my reflection a strange look, “ . . . dyed my mane?”

I knew I had never dyed my hair; however, an image of myself with a black mane appeared in my mind's eye for a split second. I concentrated and saw it again. It didn't feel imaginary but like a true memory. A memory of myself with a groomed black mane and highlights so bright they could've been self-luminous.
It was so contradictory with what I knew of myself that I reacted with incredulity.
“What the hay?”

With a delay, I snapped out of my introspection when I registered the unusual expression I had muttered. “Oh great! Sounds like I do have a verbal quirk!”
The possibility that I had developed an uncontrollable idiosyncrasy wasn't amusing me at all.
“Is it my upbringing, something I learned when I was a foal?” I theorized, again doing a double-take as the last line didn't even make sense.
“For Celestia's sake, this is ridiculous!” Immediately, I flinched at my own words. With an exasperated cry, my ears pinned flat against my head, and I began to yell at myself.

Suddenly, several images flashed before my eyes. They were from my past, but not the past as I knew it: in every image, I was a pony. My fury vanished, replaced by disbelief, shock, and growing distress.

The harder I tried to repel the false memories, the longer they persisted, until I was sure they were starting to replace my real ones. Apprehensively, I retreated from the mirror, giving it one last glance before abandoning the room, shutting the door and lights for good.

Wishing I could wall up the bathroom and erase the last few minutes from my memory, I backed away into my bedroom, my tail desiring to hide itself between my legs.

“Tha-that was bad, really bad! It wasn't funny! I don't want that to happen ever again!” I spoke in quivering terror as I tried to wrap my disarranged mind around what I had experienced.

“I-I didn't . . . I wasn't . . . I'm not . . . I've never . . . why did . . . why can't . . . I just . . . I . . . ”
Incomplete sentences left me as the powerful stress took its toll on me. I couldn't restrain myself any longer and I slumped to the floor, tears beginning to drip from my eyes.

I had become overstressed and terrified, despite my earlier declaration that I could handle anything this dream threw at me. Not only had it forced me to adapt a weird speech habit and lie about my origin, but it had also apparently overwritten some of my memories with forgeries. It all came so suddenly I was unable to set up my defenses. I knew what I was, and I bitterly cursed at my dream for subjugating me to act out its heinous pranks.

I dried the tears from my eyes and began to pull myself together. It took a long while, but eventually, I saw the matter in a reasonable light. “It's okay. I was stressed, overreacted foolishly, and had a minor breakdown. Regardless of how good or bad this dream is, I will eventually wake up, and then all will be back to normal.”
I sighed wearily, then looked at my striped tail. “Back to normal . . .”
It took me a few seconds to notice I had said it lamentably.

“Aargh!” My forehooves pressed to my temples, and I screamed indignantly: “WHAT THE HA—!?” I shut myself up abruptly and closed my eyes, my mood cooling almost instantly; I knew better than to repeat my mistake.

I gingerly brought my forehooves together, and I began to speak in a tone so calm that it made smooth glass seem like a vortex: “No. Let's have it your way. If you want me to have the speech mannerisms of a pony, that's okay. If you want me to say I've always been a pony, then I'll comply. If you want me to have memories of myself as a pony, then I won't try to deny them.”

I placed my hooves on the floor, listening acutely to the serenity of my home. I was done fighting; it was better to humbly accept a surrender than struggle for a hollow victory. I rested all my faith on the fact that I was only sojourning in a fantasy world.

During my meditation and preparation for the departure from my home, I recalled one thing I shouldn't leave without: keys.
If I wanted to return to my home, I'd need my home key. My keys were almost always in my everyday track jacket, but I had removed them since it had to be washed.

In a few seconds, I had located the keyring lying on the bureau in my bedroom. There were only three keys on the ring, one of which was my home key. It was most fortuitous that a yellow string was tied to the keyring as well. A remnant from something long forgotten, it'd serve a purpose again.

My magic easily opened the knot. With a quick inspection, I measured the total length of the string to be about forty centimeters. More than enough. I pulled the string through the keyring, then suspended them both in the air and drew them close to me. The ends met above my withers, intertwining several times and then forming a knot. I released the string, and my purely practical necklace was complete. I looked down and tugged at the string to confirm it was taut and secure, a proud smile soon spreading onto my lips.

Carrying my backup plan with me, I resumed my mission; however, I came to a stop just by the door. I glanced over my shoulder, like I was silently saying 'see you soon' to my home. A sudden and short memory of myself pulling a chair at the kitchen table appeared before me. It would've been meaningless if it weren't for the fact that it was yet another fake recollection. My eyes shifted down as a feeling of concern and melancholy passed through me; I knew the conditions of my surrender. I sincerely hoped I'd retain my identity for the entire duration of the dream.
A sigh passed through my nostrils, and I faced the door before me.

Never before had my home door seemed so different. My reduced size made it look imposing, and I stared at it in reverence, not thinking of it as a mere wooden portal but a barrier that separated me from potential harm.
If only my home door could open with the similar air-rushing, hair-raising, metal-grinding majesty that a Vault-Tec door did.

I closed my eyes for a second; the door handle rattled and the latch opened, the resulting sound reverberating in the corridor. The dark brown door silently drifted open, and the invisible colors of the sun meandered through my home to paint over the darkness.

With a single breath, multiple scents flowed into my nostrils, stronger than I could ever imagine. Cooking rice and meats, fresh paint, a wet dog, perfumes, soaps, coffee, tea, fish, pea soup, and more. I was almost overwhelmed by the countless aromas: my home was sterile in comparison. I quickly deduced that ponies possessed an acute sense of smell.

Waiting for my wooziness to fade, I stared at what was before me. I recalled that the white-painted concrete walls of the corridor featured five more doors in addition to mine, though I saw only two, both on my left. As a form of simplistic art, a single bistre stripe decorated the walls, and an orange button flickered alone like a candle between the two doors.
Past the corner to the right was my next objective: the elevator.

However, the unpredictable world made me recall my earlier fear, and my desire to adventure diminished slightly. I wasn't about to retreat, but I sincerely wished I truly was in a fantasy. If I wasn't, a short and terrifying life in a research lab would be my inevitable fate.

“I guess this is it,” I said, my tone full of awe, before I trepidly took my first steps beyond my home.