• Published 6th May 2019
  • 300 Views, 25 Comments

Cafe Harmony - River Shy



A woman in Equestria, a small town, a mare-friend. They go to the famous Cafe Harmony where magic compels you to share your song.

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The walk home

"Katie just wait there a moment and I’ll walk you home, I just need to have a word with doctor Kindly before we leave.” Strawberry stepped away from the girl who stood mute holding a oversized pony coat around her shoulders.

“You’re taking her to her home, I don’t know if that is a good idea.” Doctor Kindly said in a critical tone of voice. “I would like to keep her here for at least a couple of days.” He added looking around the mare and giving the human girl a tiny wave. Katie just nodded her head and turned to look at a magazine which lay on a side table.

“Who’s the harmony pony here Doctor Kindly?” Strawberry asked with a bit of aggression, his tone irked her, especially in the light of the conversation they were just pulled away from.

“Now Strawberry don’t get all bent out of shape, I defer to your expertise and talent just try to get her back here at least once a week is all I ask. And if anything changes or seems out of place, and I mean anything bring her here.” Kindly rested a hoof on the mares back, a conciliatory gesture.

“I’ll do what I can,” Strawberry Dusk began walking back towards the exit and turned suddenly, “Oh, and about what we were talking about earlier, I’ll think about it but no promises ok?”

“That’s all I can ask for, goodnight Strawberry, goodnight Katie,” his voice changed to a higher pitch when talking to the girl, “you take care of yourself, and Miss Dusk too, I here that mare can get into all sorts of trouble.” He winked at the girl, Strawberry rolled her eyes. Katie didn’t respond, just turned when Strawberry passed her and followed the mare out the door.

The sun was beginning to set, the air was still and somewhat chilly, all the town’s ponies were tucked away for the evening leaving the roads and paths relatively empty. Strawberry saw the girl shiver under the ill fitting coat, she made a conscious effort to walk closer to her in the hopes of providing the human some heat.

“Strawberry?” Katie asked once they were clear of the clinic.

“Yes.”

“What’s a harmony pony? You said you’re a harmony pony, what does that mean?”

What a tough question, how do I possibly answer? Strawberry thought to herself. She let out a big breath of air and looked up at the sky, Luna’s stars were beginning to shine. “How about we make a deal, I’ll try to tell you what a Harmony pony is, and you try to tell me a little about what happened at the cafe.”

Katie silently cursed at herself, why did I say anything, the last thing she wanted to do was talk about what happened. “I don’t know if I remember that much.” The girl lied.

“That’s ok, you can just tell me what you remember, it does’t have to be much. Does that work for you?” Strawberry turned her head and looked down at the human. Katie was staring at the ground carefully stepping around things like her hooves were made of some delicate material. A thought struck the mare suddenly, the girls weird hooves did look soft and delicate, if she did step on something it probably would hurt.

“I guess so.” she mumbled.

“Katie?” The girl looked up, “Why don’t you climb on my back and we will talk. It’s getting cold and your hooves don’t look up to the task of walking the whole way.”

Katie stopped in her tracks, “I can’t do that.”

“Why not?” Strawberry asked a bit confused, stopping as well.

“It just wouldn’t be right.” The girl stated simply.

“I carried you from the cafe to the clinic on my back, look it will be easier for both of us. You are not heavy, your hooves won’t get hurt, and you’ll be warmer. But most importantly I won’t be worrying about you if you are on my back while we walk.” Before the girl could argue the mare quickly moved her head and body in a motion that swept the human up onto her back. “There that’s much better.” Strawberry said cheerily. In the back of her mind she was vaguely aware of her own maternal instincts and there influence on what she just did. At the moment the pink mare decided not to think to deeply or worry about it.

Katie was still processing what happened, her arms hugged the mare’s neck they barely locked together at the front of her barrel. Strawberry was very warm and defying expectation she smelled very softy of vanilla not strawberries.“That wasn’t fair Strawberry.” Katie said in a voice that carried both amusement and annoyance.

“I know, yell at me tomorrow after a good nights sleep ok?” Strawberry replied happy to hear a change in the girls attitude. “So let me tell you about Harmony ponies.” Strawberry began to walk again, “ponies like myself were not always called Harmony ponies, that is only a very recent label. Way back before the Element Bearers or the Tree of Harmony, don’t worry about those I’ll tell you later,” Strawberry interjected before the girl could interrupt. “Anyway before all that ponies didn’t really understand the magic of harmony, Pegasus, Unicorn, and Earth ponies were not so nice to each other. Some towns like Hay River were hotbeds of conflict containing all three tribes, in that mess periodically a special pony would come along. This pony could be from either tribe and their talent would be mediation, they would be able to bring about consensus with their special talent an ability to intuit and understand other ponies. Hay River is not the only town to have one, a lot of towns have party ponies, work ponies, baking ponies, and harmony ponies. They are rare but not that rare.”

“Um-humm,” Katie mumbled from the mares back, the cadence of Strawberry’s walk, her fur and body heat was making the girl a bit sleepy.

“Of course ponies like myself don’t deal with big harmonies like the Element Bearers, or the Princess of Friendship. I deal mostly with tiny little harmonies, ponies come to me for advice, guidance, or to help them feel better emotionally. Personally I have always felt the little harmonies are the most important, can't have the big stuff without the little things right?” Strawberry asked to see if the girl understood. She was far more complex than most ponies realized. The mare would know, she experienced it first hoof at the cafe.

“So you’re like a shrink?”

“Shrink? No I don’t get smaller.” Strawberry replied with confusion.

Katie giggled, Strawberry felt the little body shake on her back, it was the first time she heard the human laugh her voice was high and light. “What’s so funny?” Strawberry asked in amusement.

“Nothing, Nothing. A shrink is a slang term from my world for a person who deals with psychological problems in people. They are also called therapists, councillors, psychologists.” Katie replied quickly.

Strawberry laughed, “well that’s silly, why do they call them shrinks that makes no sense,” she replied with amusement. “But I supposes yes that is kind of what I do, but harmony is more global. I don't so much deal with ponies problems as act to bring greater harmony around me,” the mare added.

Strawberry, unbeknownst to the girl on her back had taken a longer route though town, one that specifically passed by the mare’s house. This was because she wanted to give Katie the option to sleep there instead of alone. “See that house there on the right?” Strawberry asked as the building came into view.

“Yes,” Katie replied.

“That’s my house, you are welcome to stay here tonight if you want, or if you’d rather go to your house I will carry you there.” Strawberry did not like the idea of leaving this small shivering human alone, in a dark house, at the outskirts of town. But if the girl insisted she was really not going to force the matter.

“Thanks for offering Strawberry, but I can’t impose on you just let me off here and I’ll walk the rest of the way.” Katie answered.

Strawberry’s ears flattened unconsciously, but decided to let things run their course, she’d take the girl to her house. “Oh trying to get out of our deal now are we?” She added to keep the girl talking.

“What! No, I just don’t want to be a bother. Your house is here, I can find my way home,” Katie said this while trying to slide off the mare’s back, but ceasing to do so when she noticed the height and speed at which they were moving. Strawberry intentionally kept her pace up so the girl could not really get off.

“Not a bother,” the mare replied simply, “Your turn, tell me a little about what happened,” there was a marked silence.

“Katie? you still with me?” Strawberry asked playfully.

“Yeah”

“You don’t want to talk about it?” The mare questioned gently.

“I’d really rather not,” Katie answered. More silence followed, after a few minutes the girl spoke wistfully, “even your night sky and stars are different. You’d think it’d be the big things that would be missed most, family, friends, books, movies and music. Instead I find small things like constellations, brand names on products, god I even find myself thinking about and missing the smell of car exhaust.”

Strawberry looked up the sun had set, the night sky was clear and the stars were shinning brightly. She understood the sentiment but not the full meaning of the girls words, her heart went out to her.

“I owe you an apology,” the pink mare suddenly declared. “I should not have taken you to that cafe. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. I was being silly, I tried to solve the problem as if you were a pony, and you’re not, and because of that you got hurt. I haven’t had to really stretch my skills much lately and I misstepped, I’m sorry and I hope you can forgive me,” Strawberry felt the arms of the tiny human hug her neck tighter, the girls body shifted up a bit and a quite voice whispered in her ear.

“You have nothing be sorry for, but if you must apologize, I forgive you completely and utterly. You are my friend, my only friend in this place and your heart was in the right place I know that.” Katie shifted back down on the mare’s back.

“I think you have more friends here than you realize Katie,” They finally arrived at the small house on the outskirts of Hay River, it looks even worse at night thought Strawberry. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay at my place?” The mare asked again, “it wouldn’t be a problem.” she added.

“Thanks for offering Strawberry, but I am going to pass, I need to be alone for a bit.” The girl climbed off the mare’s back she stood in front of the mare looking up holding the oversized pony coat around her shoulders. “Thank you so much Strawberry, the dinner was good, and I appreciated you walking me home” she give a weak smile slowly stepped up to the mare and hugged a foreleg which Strawberry gently returned.

“Can I come visit you tomorrow morning, how about we do breakfast?” Strawberry asked.

“Sure” the girl replied walking to the door of her house. “See you,” she waved and closed the door.

The house was silent and Katie walked carefully into the living room and lit a candle. She found the pile of blankets and pillows she had turned into a makeshift bed and moved it all to the corner of the room facing the door. She sat down with her back against both walls, arms encircling bent knees and she watched the door. The girl fell asleep wondering, why when we most need to be with others do we push them away.

Author's Note:

Put your hooves in the air, where are my Harmony Ponies at? :raritywink:

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