• Published 16th Oct 2019
  • 4,190 Views, 389 Comments

Trust Once Lost - Anon3mous1

When I agreed to be sent to Equestria I didn't read the fine print. I'm the wrong age, the wrong gender, and lost in the wilderness.

  • ...

The Hoof that Feeds You

I could hear a commotion the moment I came onto the ward. I dropped my bag against the wall and walked straight towards it. There was an elderly man in a patient gown brandishing a fork and yelling obscenities while a nurse attempted to talk him down. A couple more nurses were watching in case they needed to intervene and I approached one of them.

"Has the duress call gone out?" I asked.

"Yep," she responded. "Security is on their way."

"What's his name?" I asked


We both winced as Mr. Winters lunged forward and nearly lost his balance when the nurse stepped out of his reach. The last thing we wanted was for him to fall and break his hip.

"Mr. Winters!" I called out in a friendly tone. "What's going on mate?"

I kept my body language open and carefree, as I walked towards him. He was confused and thought everyone was against him, so I had to change his mind by acting completely different to how he was expecting. He likely had dementia so if I could just distract him for long enough he would forget that he was angry. Hopefully. Otherwise, he was going to end up being tackled by five people and injected with sedatives.

"Are ya feeling a bit hungry, mate?" I asked with a smile, walking closer but staying aware of his reach.

"No!" He yelled.

"Well then, what's the fork for?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm leaving!" He yelled, waving the fork.

"Were you planning on making off with the silverware then?" I continued, still smiling broadly.

He mumbled something unintelligible.

"Look mate I don't know what's happened before, I just heard yelling and I've come to help you," I explained, more seriously. "Why don't you tell me what's going on and I'll help you out, hmm?"

"These people are trying to kill me!" He said urgently.

"Mmm, that sounds serious," I responded, grabbing his wrist where he was holding the fork. "Let's go somewhere we can talk. Hey, can I borrow this?"

I eased the fork out of his hand and put it in my pocket. Mr. Winters sized me up for a moment before deciding either that he could trust me, or that I was big enough that he had no chance of overpowering me, and he allowed me to lead him back to his room.

I looked over at one of the other nurses and gave a questioning look. She tried to hold up fingers to indicate what room the patient was in, but was confused when she realized that she had hooves.

The patient knocked me to the floor and with my foreleg in a cast I was having trouble getting up again. He ran towards the pink pegasus nurse and jumped on top of her, forcing her to the ground. She was calling out for me to help her, but she was so far away, and I was so small and slow. I yelled at him, tried to get his attention, but my voice, which had been deep and commanding, was now weak and scratchy.

"You leave her alone!" I squeaked. "Get back here and face me!"

It was all my fault! I should have just waited for security.

"Please stop!" I sobbed. "You're hurting her!"

There was a flash of blue and Luna appeared, but the moment I saw her I realized I was dreaming. The dreamscape promptly collapsed, leaving me laying in a soft bed, the familiar sounds of a hospital ward softly but insistently intruding on my consciousness.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god none of that was real. I brought up one of my hooves and inspected it in the dim light. Well, almost none of it. I was still a pony.

There was a glass of water on the table at my bedside. I stared at it intently, willing it to levitate into the air, but nothing happened. Sighing, I moved to pick it up. Ah, right. No hands.

I'd managed well enough up to that point by either picking things up in my mouth or by grasping them between my forehooves. With my right foreleg in a cast that wasn't going to work.

I'd seen ponies pick things up with one hoof, probably using some kind of magic. Even a foal could do that, right? I pressed my hoof to the glass and only succeeded in nudging it along the table.

I briefly considered trying to grab it in my teeth and rest it on the flat of my hoof, but my coordination with this body wasn't the best so I'd probably just end up spilling water all over myself.

I threw my head back into the pillow in frustration, glaring up at the ceiling. I was so pathetic and helpless. Eventually, my thirst won out over my embarrassment and I pressed the nurse call button.

About five minutes later a white Earth Pony mare pulled back the curtain. She had a practiced smile on her face, but everything else about her body language indicated she was stressed and in a hurry.

"Hi, my name is Nurse Redheart," She said in the slightly sing-song voice used for talking to young children. "Did you need some help?"

"Sorry to bother you, but I'm having trouble holding the glass," I explained. "Could you hold it for me?"

Redheart poorly suppressed an eye roll and her smile faltered almost imperceptibly as she moved to pick up the glass.

"Thank you," I squeaked, too embarrassed to make eye contact.

Despite her earlier annoyance at being asked to help with something I should obviously have been able to do myself, she was very gentle, carefully sitting me up with a fetlock around my shoulders before bringing the glass to my mouth and tilting it just enough that I could sip from it without pouring it into my mouth.

She must have thought I was looking for attention by pretending to be helpless. Little did she know I actually was completely helpless, otherwise I'd rather saw my own arm off than ask for help. Unfortunately, I didn't have an arm or a saw, and even if I did I wouldn't have been able to hold the saw due to the aforementioned helplessness.

"Alright, while I'm here I'm going to check on your leg," She instructed. "Lift your right foreleg."

I did as instructed, raising up my cast.

"Do you feel any pain, numbness or pins and needles in your hoof?" She asked. "Can you feel me touching your frog?"

"Sensation is normal," I replied. "I can feel you touching just fine."

I tactfully avoided pointing out that she should have asked me to look away during the sensation test so that I couldn't see when she was touching my hoof.

“Alright,” she said. “Now I want you to hold my hoof as hard as you can.”

She pressed her hoof against my much smaller hoof and then pulled it away.

“Alright, let’s try this again,” she said. “When I pull my hoof away from yours I want you to hold onto it as hard as you can.”

She placed her hoof against mine and pulled it away. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to use the hoof magic that allowed ponies to pick things up with their otherwise flat hooves.

“I can’t do it,” I admitted. “I don’t know how.”

She couldn’t suppress a sigh. She took my other forehoof and pressed it against hers.

“Alright, same deal,” she explained. “hold on as hard as you can.”

She pulled her hoof away with no effort.

“I told you I don’t know how,” I tried to explain.

“Look, please don’t joke about this, it’s very serious,” She frowned. “If you lose grip in your injured leg it could mean that your thaumic pathways are damaged. If they are, you’ll need more emergency surgery right away or you might never be able to use that hoof again, understand?”

“I’m telling the truth, alright?” I was starting to get exasperated too by this point, “I don’t know how to grip things with my hooves, I can’t remember anything since -”

I trailed off when I realized that I couldn't actually remember how long it had been since I was in the forest. I could remember I got hurt, and then the Crusaders found me and we went back to Ponyville. Something about a hospital where they wanted me to work as a nurse for some reason, even though I was a pony. Probably dreamt that part though.

Well if this world was at all sane that part couldn't have been real could it?

Since I had stopped talking Redheart had been looking at me with pity, but not surprise. Which meant - no, it wasn't a logical deduction, it was more of a feeling.

"We've had this conversation before," I sighed. "Haven't we?"

She smiled. I had guessed right.

"Yes," she replied, a slight undertone of excitement in her voice, "We didn't get far though since you were having trouble remembering things. Can you tell me your name and date of birth?"

I had my human memories of course, but that wasn't what she was asking. In this new world, in this new body, I didn't really have either. Well in my dream they called me 'Green', which I guess is a fine pony name, or at least half of one.

"My name is Green and, uh," I looked for an ID band only to find Redheart was covering it with her hoof.

"Ah," she said playfully, "No cheating."

I sighed again. "I can't remember, everything before I was in the forest is just blank."

The nurse's excitement deflated somewhat.

"Can you tell me where we are right now?" she asked.

"In Ponyville," I responded immediately. "In a hospital."

"Which hospital?" she prompted.

"I can't remember, but it says Ponyville General on your hat so that would be my first guess," I snarked.

She blushed slightly and glanced around the room.

"To save you the trouble, there aren't any clocks on the wall, you are wearing a fob watch but I can't read it from this distance unless you stand very still," I cut in before she could ask the next question. "I don't know what time it is specifically but it looks like it's early morning. I don't know the date or year, but from how clean and white my cast looks it can't have been more than a few days since I got here."

Redheart blinked. "Ooookay then," she said, rolling her eyes.

The sense of giddy excitement I had was sucked away like a riptide.

Idiot! You're acting like an arrogant prick, trying to 'score points' by proving how smart you are. She's been nothing but kind and you're treating her like she's an idiot!

I felt tears welling in my eyes. Ugh, stupid oversize child tear ducts.

She's going to hate me now, and I'll never fit in and I'll be all alone and - and -

"Green!" I heard a voice calling my name, but it was far away.

They were all going to hate me!

Somepony was touching my withers, but my skin felt cold and numb. I noticed my breaths were coming in short gasps.

"Pl-ease d-on't h-ate me!" I gasped out.

"Green," her voice was commanding, but not aggressive, I felt as she gave my withers a sharp squeeze, "Hey, Green, stay with me, breathe. You're going to get through this."

It all came together at that moment, but the realization didn't help at all. I was having another panic attack. I was so weak, so useless. This body, my body, ugh!

"I-I'm s-sorry," I managed to say. "It's just- just a panic attack. You can go help someone else, I'll be fine."

Please leave. Please let me have a chance to get my emotions back under control. I don't want anyone to see me like this. It hurts. It hurts in my chest.

"Shhhh," she whispered kindly. "Everything is going to be alright. I don't hate you. You're safe here. Nopony is going to hurt you again."

At some point, Redheart had picked up a brush and she started brushing my coat while I lay prone on the bed. And I cried. I'm not sure why, but having my coat brushed was really calming. Must be a horse thing. Or maybe another hoof magic thing since she was an earth pony. While my body was getting more relaxed now, my mind kept right on hammering me.

I wanted to just dissolve into the mattress, anything to hide my shame. Not only did I cry at the drop of a hat, but my emotional control was also completely shot. I was stuck in this broken, useless body and everything and everyone I knew was just gone! It wasn't even that they were taken from me, they were never even mine in the first place. I had no control over anything, even my own body betrayed me. It wasn't fair!

Oh great, and now I sound like a whiney foal in my own head too.

Of course, life wasn't fair. I fell back on familiar reasoning to calm myself. Fairness was just an abstract concept invented by people. Life wasn't inherently fair, it wasn't kind, nor was it malicious, it just was. The only fairness in life came from people exerting their will to make it so. The only kindness to be found was that which was in your power to grant to others, and that which others could grant to you. Life doesn’t have meaning, people give life meaning.

I tried to focus on the words Redheart had spoken to me. Everything was going to be alright. Nopony hated me. I was safe here. Nopony would hurt me again... wait again?

I felt my stomach drop. Nurse Redheart had noticed my sudden tension and hesitated for a moment.

"I, uh," I swallowed. "I didn't say anything weird while I was out of it, did I?"

Patients had told me some truly bizarre and sometimes worrying things while recovering from anesthetic.

"Why do you ask?" Redheart was poorly faking a casual tone, which all but confirmed by fears.

"You said nopony will hurt me again," I echoed. "But this was all my fault, my leg was crushed by a big rock falling on it. I don't want anypony to get the wrong idea."

Redheart's shoulders slumped and she looked defeated. I could tell from the way her foreleg twitched that she wanted to hug me, but wasn't sure if it would be appropriate.

"Green, you know you can tell us anything, right?" Redheart encouraged. "Even things that other ponies might have told you to keep secret? I promise, whatever you tell us, you won't get in trouble."

Oh god, is that what they thought about me? What on earth did I say?

"What did I say?" I asked.

"Green, I'm not sure if -" She began.

"Just tell me what I said to make you think I'm a- to make you think somepony hurt me and I'll explain what I actually meant."

Redheart put the brush down and looked me in the eye seriously.

"I know you're very smart, Green," Nurse Redheart said carefully. "You soak up information like a sponge. Two days you've been here and you've already picked up enough medical words to sound like a little nurse."

I facehoofed at that. Ow. Hooves are hard.

For a second the nurse looked horrified, her muscles tensed. I realized that she was preparing to grab me and stop me from self-harming. I sighed and would have pinched the bridge of my nose if I'd had fingers. I put my hoof back on the bed and after a moment she continued speaking.

"When I tell you what you said, you'll be able to come up with a clever little story to explain it away, but it wouldn't be the truth, would it?"

I was taken aback by that.

"You're a clever little filly, but I'm not as dumb as you seem to think," Redheart said. "You've told me you can't remember anything at all, if that were true, you wouldn't be able to tell me what happened one way or the other."

I was trapped. I was starting to feel tightness in my chest again.

Nurse Redheart had taken up the brush and continued with her ministrations. She was just about finished with my coat, or at least as much of it as she could see with me laying prone.

"It's alright, Green," she soothed, "I'm not here to interrogate you. You don't need to make up excuses. You don't have to say anything right now, but whenever you're ready to talk about it, I promise, nopony will judge you."

I lay there in silence as she finished up and walked out of the room.

“Was there anything else you needed before I go?” She asked with her hoof on the doorframe.

“No, thank you,” I said, embarrassed. “I’m sorry to cause you so much trouble.”

The nurse sighed. “You’re not causing trouble, Green. You just needed some help and that's what we're here for.”

"Wait, actually-" I called out as she turned to leave.

"Yes?" She asked.

"A straw."

She gave a slight head tilt.

"So you don't have to hold the glass for me," I explained.

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