• Published 26th Oct 2019
  • 1,935 Views, 91 Comments

Winds of Change - theOwtcast

Only months after being accepted in the Crystal Empire, Thorax puts his life on the line to help his friends and save Equestria.

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Knowing Happiness

As I sat at the small table, watching little Flurry Heart pour imaginary tea into tiny toy teacups and serve them to her company of plushies, I was entranced once again by the carefree joy she radiated. Nothing surprising in it, I knew; in all her short life she had known only the best of the best that this world could offer! She had a home to live in, she had food on her table, and toys to play with, and a seemingly endless supply of diapers, and always somepony ready to change them whenever it became necessary… but most importantly, she had family and friends who adored her and wanted only the best for her, people who would never stop showering her with love.

So much love! Only months ago, even a thought of just a tiniest fraction of such love would make me lose my mind in starved desire; my mouth would water in anticipation of the sweet sustenance, and all my restraints would barely hold my tongue behind my fangs and keep it from hissing uncontrollably, preparing to take what it wanted regardless of how unwilling anyone was to give it. In those days, I might have been jealous of anyone who’d had what I couldn’t. My kin wouldn’t have let that stop them; they’d always been notorious for doing just that! But I knew better; I’d always known better than to assume I could take whatever I wanted and never ask myself what damage that would do to the others, even when I’d forced myself to ignore my conscience and act contrary to what it demanded for the sake of being left alone by those who hadn’t cared and, after all, simply surviving. I’d always suffered because of that, so much that I’d taken a great risk and embarked on a journey to find a better way, one of sharing rather than taking. My quest had been long and difficult, and it had nearly claimed my life; but it had led me here, where I’d finally found peace, friendship, and love.

Cooing and giggling, Flurry levitated another cup and offered it to me. I took it in my hooves and pretended to take a sip. Only half-pretended, actually; though there was no tea in the cup, it was filled with an aura of love that she’d shared with me, intentionally or not. Though I wasn’t hungry at the moment, I accepted that love gratefully. I always would!

I may have once been jealous of ponies like Flurry, ponies who had so much love around them when I’d had none, but that was no longer the case. I had no reason to be jealous anymore; I had plenty of love readily available now, more than I would ever need! And I wasn’t just taking it anymore, even though few ponies around me still had second thoughts about sharing it with me; I was giving love too whenever a chance presented itself, and it felt just as good as receiving love, if not even better!

Indeed, sharing love was a blessing like I’d never known in my old life! It left no room for jealousy and greed; all that remained in my heart was the desire to return the kindness that had been shown to me, to show kindness to anypony who needed it whether or not I might get any in return, and to know I’d helped someone when they needed help and made their day better!

It warmed my heart that Flurry would never suffer the woes that had troubled me in my younger days. She would never be forced to obey bloodthirsty tyrants or to follow rules against her conscience; she would have a chance to select and follow her own path. She would never be bullied or beaten or ostracized for showing love and compassion; she would be praised and admired for doing so! She was so lucky to live in a world where there was a place for everypony and a friend around every corner! If anything were to happen to challenge that, I would defend her to my last breath, and not just because I thought I owed it to her parents for having given me the chance to experience the same blessings! I did owe them a great deal - my life, in fact - but I knew and understood all too well what the alternative was like, and for as long as I lived, I wouldn’t wish it on anypony!

A melodious voice snapped me out of my reverie.

“Oh, Thorax, there you are!” Princess Cadance entered the room, carrying a colorful book in her magical grip. “Sorry to break up your tea party, but it’s Flurry’s bedtime now. You can hang out tomorrow again!”

“Of course, Princess!” I bowed lightly, getting up from the table. “Sweet dreams, Flurry! I’ll see you in the morning!” I waved to her, getting a pout in return.

“Now Flurry, that’s no way to treat a friend!” Cadance frowned at her daughter. “Say goodnight to Thorax!”

She smiled and waved back at me. I grinned back again, then left her with her mother.

“Good girl! Now, bedtime story! How would you like to hear about-”

Having walked down the hallway and turned the corner to the staircase that would take me a floor below, I couldn’t hear what tonight’s story would be about, but it didn’t matter. I probably wouldn’t have known that story anyway, and it would have been rude to eavesdrop. It might be a good thing to try and find some stories to read to Flurry myself the next time my turn came to watch her, I decided. I’d have to ask Sunburst for recommendations. Being such a bookworm, he was bound to know a few! While I was at it, I could inquire about more books I could read for my own education and entertainment; the ones he’d recommended me so far had been simply amazing, and I was getting close to finishing the last batch!

I returned to my room. The evening sun shone through the window onto the few possessions I had: a bed, a cupboard, a couple of cushions to sit on, a table with a half-finished painting on it, a few finished paintings on the wall, the aforementioned stack of books, and a flowerpot with a buttercup sprout whose brothers grew on a hill on the outskirts of the Crystal Empire, in another flowerpot next to the statue of my first friend, Spike the Brave and Glorious, and in an orchard in Vanhoover I’d brought them from on my journey. I took a pitcher and watered the flower, then sat at the table to continue working on the painting I’d started the day before. I could see it wasn’t going to be groundbreakingly impressive in terms of quality of execution, but some improvement was noticeable compared to the first few I’d attempted, so maybe there was some hope for me yet.

Thorax, the first painter among changelings. I chuckled at the idea.

Soon it was too dark to keep painting, so I just sat next to the window, enjoying the view of the night sky. It was something I could never do before my acceptance as a citizen of the Crystal Empire! Back in the hive, I’d rarely had a reason or excuse to be near one of the exits from which I could see the outside world regardless of time of day, and later, after I’d escaped, it had been too dangerous to get lost in the moment when I’d had to pay attention for any signs of search parties trying to hunt me down or hungry beasts eager to turn me into dinner. But those days were over now, and I could at last enjoy the soothing scenery in the comfort and safety of my new home.

Realizing I was getting tired, I went to bed. Tomorrow would be a new day, another day with so many new things I could do, and I intended to be fresh and rested for it!