• Published 17th Dec 2011
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Twist in the Tail: Community Service - Midnightshadow



Spinoff to "A Twist in the Tail" - here we follow Edge as she is sentenced for her crimes...

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Straw Ponies

A Twist in the Tail
Community Service
Part 3

Straw Ponies

An MLP:FiM Fanfiction by Midnight Shadow set in the Conversion Bureau Alternate Universe, originally by Blaze

note: A shorter chapter this time. I've already said I don't know where this is going, not really. Not sure if serious or funny. Hmm.


Edge stood outside the classroom, nervously pacing to and fro. Five of these such performances, and she still hadn’t gotten used to it. It was their little faces, every time. Upturned, innocent, able to see right into her soul. Then would come the questions.

“Do you eat ponies?”
“Do you eat each other?”
“How many ponies have you eaten today?”
“I heard you newfoals are dumb.”
“I heard you newfoals, like, explode in sunlight and you drink blood.”

Edge had face-hoofed at the last one in the last town they’d been in. She was relatively convinced it was Bedlam or Gilda who were actively spreading those sorts of rumours. She stiffened as she heard the now-familiar intro.

“And now, my little ponies, we have a special guest! Here’s Edge, she’s a newfoal and she’s here to tell us all about herself! Isn’t that wonderful? Let’s all give Edge a Happy Hoofington Hello, shall we?”

Hello Edge, welcome to Hoofington!

Edge was sure they’d been practicing. Then again, Equestria, ponies...

“Good afternoon class, my name is Edge and I’m a newfoal. Who knows what that means?”

A few hooves went in the air. Edge tried to pick the one that looked least likely to call her a monster, ask about drinking blood or comment on spontaneous equine combustion. “You!”

“My daddy says newfoals used to be hyoo-mans and they come fwom Uuurf which is like, all on fire and stuff and they fight a lot there and it’s really terrible but when the hyoo-mans take this potion they change into ponies just like us.”

Edge thought about that, “Yes, that’s... pretty correct. We don’t really fight all that much, it’s really pretty cool being a human, but... there’s a lot of us, still, and things aren’t quite as nice as they are in Equestria.”

“Why did you want to be a pony if it was nice being a human?”

“I, er,” Edge bit her tongue, “I didn’t exactly want to become a pony. I was... kind of naughty. I stole the potion, and that changed me from a man, into a pony. I got a kind of detention for it, but I don’t mind all that much because it means I get to talk to all of you!” She grinned, hopefully.

A hoof went up, “My daddy says a man is a stallion, but you’re a mare, so are you calling daddy wrong?”

Edge mentally facehoofed. Again. They were getting smarter. “Okay, this is going to sound strange, but... there’s a potion that can turn a... a stallion into a mare. Remember when I said I did a bad thing? Well, I didn’t really mean it to turn out like this, but...”

“Is it better being a boy or a girl?” the same foal asked.

Edge blinked. She’d expected eew or wow or something, but this? “I... don’t know. I liked being a human, I kinda... like being a pony. I’ve never been a stallion so I don’t know which I prefer more.” She stopped, gazing off into the distance. She realized she really didn’t know. This was getting weird. Time for a diversion. “Who knows what a human looks like?”

A chorus of hooves and shouts of “Me! Me! I do!” filled the room.

Edge smiled and she turned to the teacher, Elegance Feather, “Would you mind if they draw what they think a human looks like?”

The teacher nodded, and Edge thought for a moment, “Humans look a bit like dragons, but without a tail. We do have fangs, because we eat meat... well I don’t, any more, but I used to. We have only two legs, the other two legs are arms like some dragons have, with fingers. Fingers are like the paws on a bunny or a... or the claws on a dragon.” Edge walked around the classroom as the foals drew, some with magic and some with pencils in their mouths. Most were way off, one or two where almost right. She stopped by one which showed a monster of a human eating ponies and stomping on houses, setting fire to things with fire breath.

“Umm, that’s really not how humans are you know.”

“This is from my favourite comic, Captain Steelfeather and the Ultimate Guards! Steelfeather’s my hero! He’s a mild-mannered royal unicorn guard by day, but a superpony by night! Charged with guarding the Elements of Harmony, he can call on their power to change from an ordinary wimpy unicorn into a super-duper alicorn with wings and a horn like Princess Celestia and Princess Luna.”

“And, he, uh, battles humans, does he?”

“Only the bad ones! He rescues all the good ones.”

Edge rolled her eyes. “Unicorns are wimpy, huh?”

“Well yeah! Everypony knows that earth ponies are the strongest, and can like... eat rocks and stuff. Pegasususes are like pewpewpew really fast and stuff, so unicorns need the other two to keep ‘em safe and stuff. Besides, my daddy says unicorn guards have their ba-”

“Cookie Cutter! That’s quite enough of that!”

“It’s okay, Miss Feather.” Edge rolled her eyes, “Bedlam, Gilda, if you two can wheel out the cardboard cutout and Simone if you can stand next to it, I can...”

Edge looked back from where Simone was, grudgingly, getting into position and groaned. Gilda was trying not to giggle and Bedlam was outright guffawing. the large painted picture of a human - It was in fact Edge pre-potion - had been vandalized. Her portait, such as it was, had horns, razor sharp teeth, the classic lined scar, a moustache, a beard, an arrow through the head and a large spikey devil’s tail to top it all off.

She face-hoofed so hard it almost knocked her teeth out.

***

“Let me get this straight,” Edge huffed.

“Shoot.”

“You vandalized my picture because..?”

“Nopony, ugh... nobody knew it was you.”

“Why?”

“Lighten up scrub, it was funny. You know, haha and all that?”

Edge rolled her eyes, “Well okay, I guess it was kinda funny. Certainly had the kids laughing.”

“Pfft, screw them.” simone blew a lock of her hair out of her eyes, “I just want this to be over.”

Edge looked down at the ground, the ground she was currently plowing. “I don’t.”

“Edge? What the fuck are you on? This is dull! This is Dullzville, Dull county, Dullestria. Boring with a capital snooze!”

“You know what I did before... this?”

“No, and I don’t care.”

“I screwed the tops on toothpaste, because the company was too poor to refurbish their robot and cheap labour was cheaper than hiring the extortionate prices that manual robot and AI techs costed, least that’s what they thought. You want dull, you try screwing little plastic tops on toothpaste tubes for eight hours a day.”

“Bah.” Simone looked away, mostly in a direction only she could see.

“Hey watch it! You’ll tip us!” Edge stumbled, yanking Simone back to reality as the plough jumped on a buried rock.

“So? Who gives a shit.”

“Me! I can’t use these... these bloody wings, but they still hurt like buggery when I sprain them!”

“Wah wah wah, my wings hurt, my hooves hurt. At least you can use your wings. I’ve got this damn inhibitor-ring on my horn and I have to do everything like an earther, including pulling this stupid plough for stupid settlers in this stupid ‘extramentional land’ bullshit.”

“Exponential.”

Whatever! And worst of all I’ve got to do it hitched to you, the whiniest, horniest, bitchiest little mare who’s just begging for somepony to plough her own furrow.”

“I... don’t!”

“You do! Even I can tell you’re gagging for it! Half the fucking stallions around here are at half mast if you so much as flick an eyelid, and...”

“What?”

“And none of them want me.”

Edge stopped short, causing Simone to stumble, “I... don’t know what to say. I... think you’re pretty.”

“Fuck you.”

“I do!”

“Fuck off you filly fooler.”

Edge trembled, her bottom lip quivered. She suddenly flexed, twisted, turned, pulled, bucked and threw the harness off. With one final look at Simone, she bolted.

Simone watched her go. “Oh well done, idiot.” the unicorn hissed at herself, “Stupid kid was just trying to be nice.” Simone snorted, “Idiot kid, with her perfect hair and glossy wings. What the fuck, really. Prettiest damn filly and she just... wastes it with moping around. Stupid kid. Stupid stallions. Stupid Equestria. Stupid everything.”

***

Edge was running. She found she did that a lot when the world didn’t make sense. To be honest, it hadn’t made a lot of sense for a while. Was she a filly-fooler? That’d mean... she was a filly, but she wasn’t!

I mean I am... kinda... but... but... I’m not! I... should I like stallions? I don’t understand!

Edge, tears blurring her vision, managed to do the one thing which almost anywhere else could never have occured. She ran over the edge of a cliff.

The Exponential Lands were a new thing in the otherwise ancient land of Equestria, they were space-time itself weaving reality out of the stuff of another universe, which itself was steadily being devoured by the voracious barrier between them, and excreted into Equestria, formed according to the whims of some great magic that none understood and few even thought could be. One such barrier, a gateway, had formed near a puddle. Originally microscopic in size, the weft of Equestria decided this shall be ocean. And so a great ocean was formed, impossibly deep, impossibly wide, gargantuan features from the merest speck of moisture, foaming out of nothingness. Cliffs grew, carved out of nothing, leading down into depths unmapped by spell or hoof. The waters were blue, almost impossibly so should they be in any other world but this most perfect of oysters, and teemed with life borne from naught but whim and fancy.

Edge had little time to appreciate this, as she plummeted, wings flapping madly like some dervish caught and held fast though seeking with all its being to escape. Her life rushed before her eyes, back from when she was but a mere foal that wore the skin of some other beast - mankind - and when she wore another sex altogether, that of a most curious type called ‘a male’. Brief it may have been, but she did realize one thing; it kind of sucked.

Death, or the apparent near onset of such a condition, the cessation of life, brings a clarity few experience. This, itself, is also rather regrettable. Edge passed through the various phases of dealing with it and out the other side into that calm oasis called waiting for the inevitable. It was then, to her mighty surprise, that she was rescued.

“Spread your wings you dumb foal!”

“Yeah! Out! Wide as you can!”

“What?” squawked Edge as she tumbled end over end towards the deep blue expanse that was alternately below and then above her field of vision.

“Get your damned wings out!” the mare repeated, hoofing the newfoal in the ribs.

“I got her! Horseapples, no I don’t...” the male, definitely a male, as his tumbling and twisting exposed his rather generous assets to Edge and confirmed it, tried to slide under her body and arrest the fall. It was quite probably this unintentioned and otherwise unwelcome contact which saved her life. When you’re a mare in heat, unwanted as that state of bodily readiness may be, contact with the reproductive organs, no matter how fleeting, slight and unintentioned it may have been, has a certain effect. Edge’s wings, rather unceremoniously and entirely embarrassingly, flipped out in the autonomic response known far and wide as the wingboner. She kicked her legs in surprise as the two pegasi clamped on with their teeth and dragged her skywards. They didn’t stop until she was several hundred feet higher than she had started, and embedded head-first in a cloud-bank.

Edge lay there, freezing, soaking wet, horribly embarrassed and more than slightly on display for several moments collecting her thoughts together. Slowly, her breathing returned to normal and she could pull her wings in.

“Can you guys pull me out?” she called

“Sure thing, miss.” came the reply, and a set of teeth clamped onto her tail. Curiously, for she was in truth rather surprised about it, being yanked out of a cotton-candy cloud by the tail wasn’t altogether painful. It was more like being pulled by an arm than by the hair, not that she’d had long hair as a human. With an almost-audible pop she found herself spun once again through the air to land butt-downwards in the soft, fluffy white cloudstuff. For cloudstuff, it was rather lumpy. This was because the male of the pair was beneath her, grinning upwards. Her wings once again shot out, catching the female in the muzzle.

“Soarin’, get off of her.”

“Sorry Spits.”

“And don’t call me Spits. It’s Spitfire or Ma’am.”

“Sure thing Spits.”

Spitfire rolled her eyes before addressing Edge, “So, convict, what’s up with you? Were you trying to get yourself in trouble or is this all just a big misunderstanding?”

Edge looked down at her hoof, the offending bracelet marking her as a prisoner of the state glinting in the afternoon sun. “I, er, didn’t see the cliff.”

“Don’t they teach you newfoals to fly? At all?”

“I... didn’t get a chance.”

“uh huh. Soarin’, I thought I said to get yourself up! Get! Don’t mind him, he’s a little slow when it comes to physical space, but a pretty darn good flyer. I’m Spitfire, that lump is Soarin. Who’re you?”

“I’m Edge.” said Edge, sticking out a hoof awkwardly as the male pegasus wriggled and dug himself out of the cloud.

“And what did you do?”

“I... kind of insulted the princesses?”

Spitfire whistled, “Really? How? I mean Soarin’ here stole the princess’ pie, and we thought he’d end up with a one way ticket to the moon.”

“I... said some things I’d rather not repeat...”

Both of the pegasi whistled, rolling their eyes. “Fair enough,” Spitfire answered, “but you really can’t fly? That’s not right. How come you were falling off the cliff then?”

“I kinda got lost...”

“Newfoals.” tutted Soarin’, shaking the last of the cloud off his flank.

“Think you can manage a trip to the ground? Or are you gonna stay up here? Cos, we’ve kinda got places to go...”

“I’m sorry!” squawked Edge, and she trotted to the edge of the cloudbank. She shook. Sure was a long way down. “I-I-I’ll j-j-just...”

“Oh brother. A pegasus who can’t use her wings. Shoot. Come on, missy, tag along with me, I’ll help. We’ve got a sky-village just along from here. It isn’t big and it isn’t much, but it’s a home away from home. How about we tackle getting back down a bit later on, huh?”

Edge shook, gaze still fixated on the ground, so very far away. A hoof touched her gently on the cheek..

“Hey, snowflake, it’s okay, really. Come on, Spitfire’ll take care of you. I gotcha. One hoof after the other, okay?”

“O-okay.”

Spitfire smiled, “Good.”