• Published 23rd Mar 2020
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Do Ponies on Earth have Magic Dreams? - Tiki Bat

The story of an optimistic young night pony, the special pony that enters his life, and how the two of them follow their dreams to make the world a better place!

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Chapter 8: Out and About

With quiet steps, Stanley carefully made his way inside, not sure if either of his parents would be up this early in the morning. Making sure not to let the door slam, he gently closed it behind him, dropping his bag off on the nearby shelf. The night had been quiet and almost lonely for him, but the walk he had gone on had at least let him clear his head a little more so he could make sure that the move really was something he wanted to commit to. It definitely wasn’t a small decision to make, but the fact that he at least knew someone out in the area gave him a better feeling about it. If it all didn’t wind up working out then he at least had a few other options he could look at, and those thoughts helped reaffirm his final decision.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Stanley trotted out into the living room and almost immediately spotted his mother, who much to his surprise, was currently enjoying some tv show from the large chair she was sitting in, the report catching his attention for a moment.

“... unfortunately very little progress has been made to connect with the partials in Avalon and expand the rehumanization program there. In other news, yet another string of unusual thefts across the US have been reported. The identity of the perpetrators and their motives are still unknown at this time. Whether or not these events are linked to other similar cases has yet to be seen, but the relevant authorities have assured us that they will be conducting a full investigation into them...”

“There’s still partials out there? I would have thought they’d have rehumanized by now.”

The pegasus snapped back in surprise slightly, turning toward Stanley and greeting her son with a small scowl, “You could announce your presence a little better you know, right?”

Stanley nodded, “I definitely could. Sorry for the scare, I didn’t know if either of you would be up by now or not.”

Her face softened as she flipped off the TV, “It’s okay, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you were out and about. To answer your question, yes. There was a lot of pressure for them to, but there’s still pockets of holdouts that refuse to go back.”

“Why wouldn’t they? ETS is gone, there’s no going forward for them.”

“There’s little groups here and there that are clinging onto the hope that the Equestrians might let them go all the way through with the transformation,” she let out a sad sounding sigh, “And I honestly wish them the best in that.”

She paused for a moment, flipping the TV off and smiling at her son, “So how’s life been treating you lately?”

“You know, it’s been pretty good. Once everything settled down I had time to look at everything and figure out where I wanted to go. I felt like I was given a fresh start, and thought about chasing the vision, but I guess you could say that I wasn’t really in any kind of rush,” he trotted into the living room and took a seat on one of the comfortable couches, “What about you?”

She shrugged, “It’s been a mixed bag, not having hands sucks, but… I guess it’s better than the alternative I had before.”

“The alternative?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I never really shared this with anyone except for your father, but my arthritis has been really bad for the last few years, and this is the first time I can say I haven’t had to deal with it. Maybe it was greedy, but I almost didn’t want to go back, and I secretly prayed that I wouldn’t have to choose.” She gestured down to the mark of a canvas with a paintbrush and pencil crossed over it on her flank, “This thing showed up one day and I got my wish.”

Stanley nodded, “I never knew you were dealing with that.”

She shrugged again, “I never wanted anyone to have to worry about it. I think your father kind of hoped for this too, and he’ll never say it, but I think he was hoping he’d transform as well. I’d be lying if I said that him having to go back was more than a little devastating, but he was uncomfortable and I’d rather we both feel comfortable than one or the other having to suffer.”

“I’m sorry you two have to deal with that, I wish I could say something better than that, I really do.”

“It’s okay, that’s not your burden to bear. It might be tough for us sometimes, and we might get weird looks whenever we go out, but we love each other more than anything and nothing will ever change that, even if I wish we could just flip a switch and have your father transform as well.”

“That’s why you can’t blame the partials that were on the news then… right? Because you think Dad might have wanted to go down that route too?”

She shook her head, “Not entirely, while I’m sure he’d love to go down that route, he chose to go back. I can’t blame the ones that want to continue though.”

Stanley nodded, “I understand. So dad’s back at work I’m guessing?”

“Yeah, he only had a short day today though, he should be home around noon. Did you need anything from him?”

The night pony shook his head, “Oh it’s nothing urgent, I just needed to ask a couple favors of him.”

“Well you shouldn’t need to wait long,” The mare stood up and stretched out her wings for a moment, “They’ve been cutting back hours a bit lately, tourism still hasn’t fully recovered but it’s starting to pick up speed again.”

“So what are you going to do today mom?”

“Well I don’t usually plan every little thing out, but I like to go for an early morning flight on most days. I don’t exactly have work anymore so I’ve also gotten into gardening again, it was a little tricky at first but if the earth ponies can do it then so can I. Now, I know you just got back from a walk, but do you want to tag along for any of that?”

The night pony paused for a moment, before giving a quick nod, “Okay, I’m game. I can’t really promise I’ll be any help in the garden, but I’ll definitely sit around and chat if you’d like.”

“I’d love that. I don’t know how much flying you’ve done around the city, but seeing it at sunrise is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”

He cocked his head to the side, “To tell you the truth I haven’t really flown during the day all that much, I’m usually inside or in the shade. I’ve done a ton of night flying though.”

“Then this should be an awesome experience,” she smiled, “Let me just get some water and we can head out, you’re not going to want to miss this, trust me.”

“Sounds like a plan!”

“So where are we going anyways?” Stanley asked as Aurora led him through her small backyard garden.

“Up,” was all she replied with, earning an annoyed sigh from Stanley.

“Well up where? I hope you know I can’t walk on clouds like you can, trust me, I’ve tried.”

“Don’t worry, we’re not going up to a cloud. It’s not even that high of a place,” she added reassuringly as she adjusted the small bag she had slung across her back.

“So where is it then?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see. Trust me, you’re going to love it,” Aurora kicked off the ground and started up into the sky, Stanley quickly joining behind her.

“I’ll have to trust you on that then.” He steadied himself in the air as they continued to fly higher than he was used to flying. With a nervous glance he called over toward her, “It’s going to sound stupid but I’m not used to flying around this high. I’ve kinda been keeping low when in the city, you know, so I don’t piss off the humans around.”

“Well we don’t have to worry about that this far out, especially this early in the morning. Just relax and let your instinct take over, It’s really nice once you just start taking everything in.”

“Right, though my instincts don’t really like being this high,” He nodded back, evening out in the sky and trying to relax a little more, “And you just do this kind of thing every morning?”

“Every single one, I haven’t skipped a day in weeks.”

He glanced down at the quiet city below, feeling a wave of calming peace wash over him, “It’s so different from up here, I guess I just never paid that much attention to it.”

“You get used to it fast, I personally think it beats flying around at any other time. It’s like I can just relax and clear my head, makes me feel like I’m the only one around.”

“Maybe I’ll take it up more, I’m sure there’s going to be so much more to see in Arizona.”

“I’m sure there will be, maybe I’ll have to join you for a few morning flights sometime too.”

The mother and son flew high above the city, the golden light from the sunrise giving everything an almost dreamy look. Aurora led the flight, banking around in the sky and veering toward a small hill that overlooked everything. Coming to a smooth landing, she waved Stanley over with a wing.

“This is the best part, I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve spent up here.”

Stanley let out a small gasp as he took it all in, “It’s just so beautiful, makes me wish I had a camera.”

“I do too sometimes. It’s better without that though. Sometimes you just need to sit out on your own somewhere and just enjoy the world around you.”

“That’s fair enough. Does it ever get boring to you though?”

She shook her head, “Never. I’ve even started to sketch out some of these views sometimes. It’s just a fun hobby and really brings back some of that creative spark I used to feel.”

“You do? That’s awesome! I don’t suppose you have anything with you right now, do you?”

The mare smiled, gesturing down to her cutie mark, “I didn’t earn this mark by just sitting around. I always like to carry a sketchbook around whenever I fly.” She began to dig around in the bag she was carrying, “It took a lot of trial and error, but once I figured out how to strap the pencil to my arm it was a lot easier to relearn the basics.”

“I bet that must have been hard at first.”

She carefully pulled out the small book, passing it to the night pony, “It was, but it also gave me a good excuse to take a few refreshers. They’re all rough sketches, mostly practice but I’ve been thinking about trying out painting again someday.”

A smile started to spread across Stanley’s face as he awkwardly flipped through the pages. There weren’t a lot of pages drawn in yet, but the stuff that was there was beautiful all the same. Pictures of nature, random ponies she must have seen while she was out and about, and even a few sketches of his father— it all told a story to him without even having any explanation, “These are amazing, I’d love to see you get back into painting, I used to love doing that with you as a kid and a lot of these would translate really well.”

“And it would give me something else to do during the day,” she added with a laugh. “To tell you the truth I’m getting pretty bored of the same old routine. There’s only so much time you can spend gardening before you’ve really done all you can do.”

“Well that sounds like a wonderful idea, Mom. I know everypony would just love to see your paintings.”

“You think so?” She asked with a furrowed brow, “I mean I know I got some of them into a few local shows back in the day, but do you think it might be doable for a pony?”

“Well I was kind of meaning that in the supportive son way, but I suppose you could. I mean haven’t you seen what other ponies have started to do? I don’t watch a lot of tv anymore, but every time I do there’s always ads about how we’re just as good as humans are, and there’s even a bunch that are all about pony artists. I think you could absolutely do it, and does it even matter who painted something if it looks nice?”

A smile spread across the older mare’s face, “Maybe that’s just what I’ve needed to hear.”

“Have you tried painting yet?”

“Not yet, those sketches are pretty much everything I’ve done so far.”

“Well you should really give it a try, because I know you’re going to be great at it.”

She smiled again and reached for the sketchbook, “Why don’t you go stand over there and I’ll try sketching you out?” pointing to a spot near the edge of the hill.

“I’d love to,” the night pony responded as he slowly trotted into place, smiling back at his mother as she began to work away on the drawing.

Aurora pulled a few weeds from the garden and moved on to her tomato plants, carefully checking that they were all fine. The sun’s light had made Stanley cringe back every so often, but an old pair of his dad’s sunglasses had at least mitigated the problem a little.

“Sorry if this is a bore, you don’t need to stay out here if you don’t want to.”

Stanley shook his head, “It’s fine, maybe not my preferred activity, but it’s fun to just talk.”

“You sure? I won’t be offended if you decide to go in and take a nap or something. I can wake you up when your dad gets here.”

“Nah it’s fine,” He shook his head, “I’m not even that tired yet.”

“Well you let out a few yawns earlier, so you could have fooled me.”

He shrugged, “Well maybe I’m a little sleepy, but I’m not tired yet.”

“There’s a difference?” She asked with a chuckle.

“Sorta? There’s this nice little gray area where I’m still functional even if I don’t look the part. Trust me though, I’ve stayed up way later before, which was probably not the best idea.”

The mare rinsed her hooves off in a small trough of water that she had set aside earlier, “Just don’t wear yourself out okay?”

“I won’t mom, trust me.”

“I know, I know, but I’m your mother. It’s my job to look out for you, even if you’re more than capable of doing that yourself.”

“And I’ll always appreciate that.”

The sound of a car locking echoed from the front yard, cutting through their conversation.

“Perfect timing, that should be your father,” Aurora answered back as she finished wiping off her hooves before walking back into the house, Stanley keeping close by her.

“Aurora, I’m home.” came the voice of Valentino, as he walked in and closed the door behind him, stepping into the living room.

“Ah Val, Welcome home! Stanley and I were actually just talking about you.”

“Hey Dad… have a fun day at work?” Stanley asked from a distance.

Valentino set down his keys and untied his tie, kicking off his shoes as he walked towards the kitchen. “It was kinda boring, needed to get a last minute event set up before I left though, Steven’s going to cover the rest of it from here on out. What about you?”

“Not much, I just went on a fly with mom earlier, then just sat out in the garden for a while.”

“Well that sounds like a productive day if I’ve ever heard one. Got anything else big planned for today?”

“Funny you ask that, I actually had a few things I needed to ask you. I need to run back home and grab some stuff, and then I can get the directions to the village that you needed.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Well… I’ll need help packing up a few things from home that I don’t want to lose, I don’t know where I’m going to put it or what I’ll do with it, but there’s a few sentimental items I’d hate to just abandon. I’m also going to need your help getting my phone set up to work with prepaid minutes, we can stop by Best Buy or something on the way back, we should be able to get everything done there.”

“That’s doable, and you know, you could leave your stuff here in your old room if you like. What are you going to do with the rest of your stuff?”

The night pony shrugged, pausing for a moment, “To tell you the truth, I was just going to leave it. There’s a bunch of clothes I wanted to bag up and drop off at Goodwill, maybe a couple blankets too, but the rest is either too hard for me to use, or just not worth taking out of there. I was just going to leave it for the landlord to sell off or trash, as inconveniencing as that is.”

“Well I can help out with that, I’m guessing we should probably jump on that sooner rather than later, just so we can get some of it done before some of those places close for the night.”

“The stores out here are still closing early?”

“Some of them are,” his dad nodded. ”It’s different across town, but this far out there’s still a lot of them that are struggling to fill the hours.”

“Well maybe it’s best we get that out of the way then. I’m not dead tired now, but I will be in like an hour, and I probably won’t be up until like eight.”

The human shrugged, “Well you’ve got an hour to get some running around done then, how much do you need to pack up?”

“Not much, just my phone, tablet, some blankets... maybe my backpack?”

“Okay, and do you have all the clothes and blankets you wanted to donate organized?”

“It’s all in the closet and dresser, I haven’t touched that stuff in months so it shouldn’t be too hard to just throw it into a bag. Not like we need to sort it much.”

“Okay, well let me go get changed, have a quick bite to eat, and then we can head over to your place. We might need to drop the donations off in the morning if that’s alright with you, I just don’t know if we’ll have time to do everything today.”

The night pony nodded, “If it’s fine with you then it’s fine with me. I’d like to at least get my phone situation sorted out, that’s probably an important thing to have next to everything else, just in case there’s an emergency and I need to get ahold of you.”

“Sounds like a plan then.”

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