• Published 14th Jun 2020
  • 1,921 Views, 143 Comments

What you Need - Hemlock conium

Sometimes what you need isn't obvious, or easy.

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Chapter 1: One step at a time

As I opened my eyes, time sped to a racing halt, colors dulled to blinding and vibrant hues, smells faded to a prominent fragrances as my head spun in circles. At least I think they did, it was a bit hard to tell between all the stars dancing around my head. As I blinked to clear away the aberrations my body instinctively gasped for breath. Apparently I'd forgotten to breathe amongst my daze as my lungs were burning like a raging wildfire. But that pain was made second as sensations returned to my body. The ache of my body and the growling of my stomach easily overtook my lungs pains for oxygen.

I thought I had known pain when I played football and got placed as the team's De facto hitting dummy. But that was just plain bruises compared to this. This was genuine, physical pain. As I looked to see what caused my body such anguish I noticed it wasn't my body. Well it was, but not the one I had a few moments ago. This one was much smaller, covered in a pure white coat of fur, ignoring the brown muck and green underbrush sticking to it. Which was complimented by a, just as dirty, crimson mane and tail. Oh no, I know where this is going, I thought in panic. Quickly I turned my gaze to my rear; hoping not to confirm my suspicion. However I was greeted with a large feathery appendage blocking my view. Wings, well guess that confirms the pony idea, I griped. After a moment of fawning over the wings, trying to figure out how to manipulate them; I looked to my "flank". Blank.

A foal, wonderful, my drugged mind thinks its a child. A foal no less. Guess there were worse things, could not have woken up at all; my body shuddered at that thought. But, speaking of waking up, I still didn't know where, or when I had woken up. For all I knew, that crazy man who had offered up “Equestria” simply drugged me and I was still in a fever dream. Though the pain suggested these were more likely hallucinations instead.

With that my gaze shifted off my body and to the area around me, hoping the bending of reality wasn't as bad as my body's. Thankfully it seemed normal enough, albeit a bit more vivid probably due to the drugs in my system. But having said that, it was a masterpiece. Regardless if it was drugs or just genuinely happened to be that breathtaking I was taken back. The night sky was a masterfully woven tapestry of navy blues and deep purples that harmoniously blended together. The elegant stars and heavenly bodies broke up their vibrant backdrops. Then peeking out just over the olive green, oak, trees rested a impossibly large moon. Its scope must have encapsulated at least a tenth of the visible sky. Was it not for the fact that the moon’s size had to be amplified by my drugged mind, I probably would have panicked; thinking that the world was coming to an end. But that realization allowed a sense of peaceful tranquility. Which allowed me to have an odd sort of appreciation for the massive celestial body; its companionship was strangely comforting. However as I took time to take in the scenery I noticed these couldn't have been earth’s skies. No they were of different planets, scratch that, a different universe! Nothing came even remotely close to where it was supposed to be on Earth. In truth, I guess this meant that crazy man was kinda telling the truth. I was ‘in Equestria’, one created by my drug induced haze, but a form of Equestria nevertheless. That is if my pony body and surreal imagery was anything to go off of.

As my eyes traveled down from the sky and to the forest entrapping me. The moon illuminated the area in front of me; revealing a thicket of interweaving trees dotted between omnipresent underbrush of bushes, thorns, shrubs and flowers. While the scene was beautiful in its own way it was unfortunately blocking most, if not all, of my paths. On top of that I was hungry and in pain with probably a dozen creatures lurking about. The realization forced out a sigh of disapproval as I shook my head in frustration with this whole ordeal. Lost in the woods and drugged out of my mind to the point my mind thought it was actually in a fictional show. What a bad joke, and I'm its punchline!

But no point in dwelling about it, I figured. After weighing my options, I decided it was better I pushed on rather than sit and wait for some animal to finish me off. With that I tried to get up, emphasis on tried. As trying to walk on two imaginary hooves was no easy feat. On second thought, I'm not even sure it's possible at all. As I spent nearly an hour trying to stand up and walk, but my legs simply kept failing on me. Constantly faltering like I was on ice before collapsing in on themselves; sending my "flank" crashing back down into the cold, thick, mud below. Maybe it was the pain, or the hunger or the fact I was dazed from my faltering. But after my thousandth attempt I decided to try a different approach. I rose up, but onto all four ‘hooves’ this time and attempted to walk. Which was oddly natural and easy to manage. At least more so than my two hind ones. While it was annoying that I was feeding into this pony fantasy, it was better than laying around.

As my mind was finally freed up, from my walking situation, it began to wander and that's when I noticed it. The true extent of the pain and hunger; every moment was a battle that I wanted to give up, every step a war I couldn't win. By my fortieth or so step I finally fell back over via tripping over my own "forehoof", with all the grace of an ice skater missing two ice skates. I came crashing down face first; getting a nice big mouth full of dirt while I was at it too. While I was starving I was not about to eat raw bug infested dirt. So Instead I let out a soft whine and spat it out; left with a gritty feeling and taste in my mouth that didn’t seem to go away no matter what I did.

After heaving out another glob of dirt I glanced back to where I'd come from only to see the severity of my situation. I was only a couple of yards from where I started. Quickly, I became far too aware of the fact that: I not only looked like a child but felt like a child again; both weak and helpless. It was an aggravating realization. Worse yet my situation started to fill my body with panic as dread and isolation set in. All emotions I despised with an unrivaled hatred, which only served to leave me feeling more upset and powerless to stop them. Within moments I was reduced to little more than a sniffling mess; wallowing in the filth of the forest and self pity.

Pathetic was the only word that ran through my head; inevitably adding to the positive feedback loop of negative emotions. Normally I could suppress these emotional pains yet in the heat of the moment I was powerless. Though I was unsure if it was the exhaustion or the drugs, both, or simply my own weakness, though it may very well have been all three. But regardless of the reason I couldn't fight them. Every pitiful attempt to control or quell them only made my cheeks burn more with self loathing. As tears began to fill up my eyes, my vision was lost to a watery blur; which I couldn’t even clear as the muck across my arm only made it worse. My head simply slumped over in defeat as my tears dripped onto the ground below. I laid there for what felt like an eternity; too upset to even think clearly. I had no chance of making it out, echoed through my head like a church choir.

It wasn't until the sky began to glow with the renewing and welcoming light of the coming day that I could will myself to lift my head to the heavens above once more. The sun picking itself back up was oddly poetic in my head. The sun’s warmth filled my body with a new found resolve. Enough that I managed to, at least temporarily, ignore my pains. I COULD get back up. I just had to try again and probably again and focus on solely that. If I didn't sharpen my mind to my sole objective, I'd likely just fall back down in pain and I don't think I could fight that again. To falter meant to die; I wasn't ready to die yet, so with what energy I had, I focused solely on my survival. Just because I looked and felt like a child, albeit a pony one, didn't mean I had to act like it, I reminded myself. It would be one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but I had to do it. So I took a inhale of air and stood up. Even though my rise was slow and shaky, I'd like to think my ascension was like a Herculean effort.

Right hoof, now left, then back, and now back right, I commanded my limbs. To my surprise despite my exhaustion it worked! It was slow, sure, but it worked! it really worked! I was practically swept up with excitement at my progress. Well until a small camouflage twig tripped me up; reminding me of my place. I let out a controlled exhale of air, and closed my eyes to focus. I can't falter, I reminded myself, I am going to do this! I slowly focused my mind slowly on forcing my ‘hooves’ back under me, and one by one they stood tall once more.
This time I got it, just take it slow, one step at a time and think through every step. With that, I willed my exhausted and malnourished body to my move and try again. Every attempt was better than the last, every falter was shorter than the last, and every step further than the one before. Progress! I practically jumped in joy only stopping myself on account that I’d probably just eat it again.

As I forced my way through the thicket of unruly plant life I could hear the faint, but distinct shrill of people. Actual people! The realization caused me to quickened my pace towards it. Inadvertently my quicker pace caused a dozen thorns to hook their way into my flesh and tear at it. I winced out in pain, as reality tried to worm its way back into my mind. But the pull of success was too close for me to give up yet. So I took every cut and new gash in stride; biting my lip till it bled if only to stop my self from crying out in pain. But my resilience proved fruitful as I made out a clearing ahead I knew I'd look like some crazed, filthy, bloody, lunatic, naked and galloping on all fours, but it was better than dying in the God forsaken woods from starvation or worse.

As I broke into the clearing and onto a road I stopped in my tracks. What I saw threw me in a loop. It was one of the most horrifying sights I'd ever seen. The terror struck at the very core of my mind; making my body freeze in terror as I stared at the town’s square. Ponies?! It was all just my loopy and starving mind playing tricks on me, it had to. I would have cursed in frustration if not for the fact my brain simply stalled out trying to process the horrifying situation that I found myself in. Could they actually be real? Please this can't just be a hallucination, not now! However my thoughts would be cut short as a loud and shrill voice panicked behind me.

“Watch out kid,” The voice cried desperately. But before I could even try and turn my head I was down for the count. This is it, it's over. I should have been more careful, I scowled. I was dying in some bizarre fever dream as some creature attacked me from behind. But my anger was quickly cast away as my pain was removed; replaced by the comfort of a soothing numbness. The world soon followed; becoming engulfed by the infinite nothingness. Unconscious began to pull my weak and weary mind into its embrace. My last thoughts were that of the memory that led to this all. Where it all went wrong.

Author's Note:

Id like to thank Anon3mous1 Greenhorne, AlexW Boopy Doopy and Melodiac for helping me edit this train wreck of a post. In any case expect this to be a biweekly upload interchanging with my other fic Veil of Shadows meaning next chapter should be up by June twenty seventh 2020 at latest.
Finally, thank you all for reading.

and seriously if you haven't read
Anon3mous1's Trust once Lost
Minalkra's Oh to be old again and especially
AlexW's Mind over Matter do it.

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