• Published 17th Aug 2020
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Home is Where the Hearth Is - TheCrimsonDM



Having come back to the rock farm, things were going well until Trixie's past begins to haunt her in her nightmares. With her days feeling more empty than full and regret poisoning her heart, can things ever go back to the way they were before?

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Chapter Six: And Abandoned

Home is where the hearth is

Chapter Six: And Abandoned

Written by TheCrimsonDM

I ran. I ran for as long and as hard as I could. I ran until I was out of the town, until my muscles burned with the effort, until I was out of breath. It wasn’t until I found myself at the edge of a sudden cliff that I stopped. The moment I stopped running my exhaustion caught up with me and I collapsed. Everything hurt, my eyes from crying, my lungs from breathing, my body from running. I looked around but I had no idea where I had gotten too.

Behind me were some dense woods, in front of me a sheer cliff that landed into a dry river bed some hundred feet down. I really, really didn’t want to fall off this cliff. Yet some darker part of me, some scratching in the back of my brain was saying otherwise.

I could almost hear my nightmares whispering to me that one little hop, skip, or jump off this ledge would solve all of my problems. I wouldn’t have to be hurt anymore, I wouldn’t have to hurt others, I could just… go to sleep, forever.

I spent a long time lying there, staring off the cliff edge. The longer I stared the more this option seemed so easy, so perfect. I could just, tumble forward and never worry about anything again. My heart could finally take a break. That hollow void in my soul would be gone, along with me.

If I did that though, Limestone would probably yell at me for being stupid. Marble would probably cry. Pinkie… would never get the chance to take me out, not that I could believe she really wanted too. If I considered those things it didn’t seem so odd to me that maybe I should stay around a little longer.

I laid my head down. I was too tired to move anymore. Since I had no idea where the tartarus I was or how to get back, I figured I might need some shut eye. My body was already so heavy, all the time. Lying down and closing my eyes just came with such ease. For the first time in a long time I didn’t dream of those horrible nightmares, instead I was treated to something far worse.

***

Ever since the disaster zone that I left Ponyville in, I hadn’t been able to get a good job. Hadn’t even began to really heal yet. The memories of the horrors I had left behind were still fresh in my mind, even if I couldn’t recall everything, what I did remember had me horrified.

Still it seemed that this was the catalyst that got me to finally do the one thing I’d meant to do for so long now. I was going to see him. To talk to him. To maybe ask him for a job. It took every ounce of courage I had in me but I walked up to the office door and read the name plate on it.

“Jack Pot.” It was a simple name plate but one that had so much more weight to me considering who he was.

I raised my hoof and knocked on the door. A warm and welcoming voice replied from behind it. “Door’s open, come on in.”

With that invitation I knew it was too late to turn back now. For better or for worse I was in this for good now. I pushed the door open and saw him there, staring out of a nearby window. His blue fur, his striped white and silver mane. It matched mine to a tee. Even his eyes had the same color as mine. I couldn’t breathe, for a long moment I stood there staring at him. I had seen his photo a couple times, but it wasn’t until I’d done the research, until I broke into places I wasn’t allowed, that I finally figured out who he was, and realized that I wanted his attention.

If it wasn’t for him, I probably never would have become a stage magician in the first place.

He glanced at me and his eyes widened. “Tri- um, time to come in and take a seat, don’t you think?”

I nodded and walked inside. I took the seat facing his desk. He watched me with unsteady eyes. I couldn’t quite read what was in them. For a moment I felt like my lungs were swollen, like I couldn’t speak. Finally at length I got my courage up to say, “Hello, Jack Pot. My name is Trixie Lulamoon.”

He nodded. “Trixie Lulamoon, it’s a pleasure to meet you. How can I help you?”

I pulled a file out of my saddlebags. “Honestly, I’m not even sure. I just… maybe I just wanted to see you, talk to you. Ask for some advice.” I laid the file out on the desk and he glanced at it. It was clearly my adoption papers, showing who my parents were. My mom was dead, but my dad, my dad’s name was there clear as day, Jack Pot.

He narrowed his eyes at the paper and furrowed his brow. He slid the paper back to me. “I sincerely doubt you’re supposed to have access to this.”

“Yeah, well I wasn’t supposed to do a lot of things, this seemed the lesser of many evils.”

He met my eyes, but I didn’t see any warmth in them. There was just this coldness, the same kind of coldness I felt when anypony figured out I was connected to that incident in Ponyville. “So what do you want? Money? Fame?”

I shook my head as I took the paper back and slid it into my saddlebag. “I just wanted to meet you. You’re my dad.”

He growled. “Just because I might have sired you does not mean I am your dad. Don’t you have real parents to go say hi to?”

I lowered my head. “They’re gone…”

“Well that sucks, but I’m not your dad. I’m just the sucker who gave your mom my genetic material in a night of passion. I’m sure there are many of you out there. Nixie, Pixie, go ask one of them if they have a dad you can talk to.”

I stared at him. “I have sisters?”

He growled. “No, their dead. Just like your folks. Just like I should be to you. If you’re here for money or for a hoofout, you should just leave. I don’t have much to offer you.”

I felt myself shaking. Of all the bad responses I thought I could get, this was the worst one. He hated me. He actually hated me. I was his child, and he hated me. From the moment he saw me, he knew who I was but his hatred of me was so strong that I couldn’t withstand it. How could anyone hate their child so much?

My words trembled out of my mouth. “I don’t want your money, maybe a job, but not anything-“

He put his hooves on his desk and rose up. “I would never offer something like you a job. You’ve destroyed your reputation. To a magician reputation is everything, and I’m sorry, kid, you’v e gone and ruined yours. You should try and find a more quiet life to live, maybe go work on a farm or something where you can hide.”

I jumped out of my seat. “I did that already! I’m supposed to be a magician. That’s what I was born to do. That’s who I am. Why should I have to hide?”

He glared daggers into my eyes. It was a look that I could never forget. One that I would see again every time I looked into a mirror for too long. “Because you’re a disaster. Getting out of everypony’s mane is the best you could hope to do in your state. Now if you’re done letting me berate you, leave, I have actually important business to attend to.”

I couldn’t stand it. It hurt so much. It was like he had cut my heart out with a jagged rusty knife. I turned and fled. Everything I was, everything I wanted to be, was based on him. Yet once I found him, it ruined everything.

***

I woke up with my eyes still wet from the dream. My heart still throbbed in pain. I was still on that mountain side. I sniffled but I didn’t weep. I’d cried enough for that stallion already, if he didn’t want me I could just, just… lay here forever. “Can’t I just throw myself off the cliff yet?”

Rainbow Dash’s voice cracked from next me. “Not unless you want me to catch you.”

I looked over at her. “Oh, it’s you.”

“Yeah it’s me.”

I looked back over the cliff. “I don’t deserve to be here.”

She was sitting nearby me and looking over the same cliff. “How come when I hear you say that, I don’t think you’re just talking about the town?”

“Because I’m not.”

She shook her head. “You know, Pinkie and Applejack would be devastated if you weren’t here. Applejack’s already lost her family, and Pinkie, Pinkie seems really attached to you.”

“Why would she care about something like me?”

Rainbow Dash leaned back. “I don’t know. I just know that after you ran out of Rarity’s, Pinkie was having a panic attack because she couldn’t find you. I don’t think I’d ever seen her so worked up. For her sake I promised to find you, but told her she had to go home before she wound up hurting herself.”

I stood up. “Is she okay?”

Rainbow Dash glanced at me and smiled. “Oh, so you do care? And here I was beginning to think you were heartless.”

“Answer me, is she okay?”

Rainbow Dash waived a hoof dismissively. “She’s fine. Worked up and stressed out but fine. She knows I always keep my promises, so if I swore I’d find you, I would find you.”

I looked back over the cliff. “I have no idea where I am.”

Rainbow Dash stood up and flexed her wings. “You ran pretty far, no wonder you passed out here. Must have been exhausted.”

“If you could point me back towards town I’ll go back to Pinkie.”

Rainbow Dash grinned. “Nah, not gonna do that.”

I glared at her. “Why? The longer I’m gone the more Pinkie will be upset.”

Rainbow Dash leaned down and spread her wings. “That’s why I’m taking you to her myself. Now get on, I don’t exactly want anypony seeing me give someone a ride. They all think I’m too cool for that you know.”

I stared at Rainbow Dash’s back. So long as she was promising a faster way back to Pinkie Pie, I would take it. I also didn’t like the thoughts that were creeping into my head each time I looked over the edge of the cliff. I clambered up and in just a flash we were off.