• Published 12th May 2022
  • 825 Views, 34 Comments

A Snowy Day - The Ancestor

Lyra decides to investigate the Everfree for any presense of humans. It goes about as well as you'd expect.

  • ...

Old Dog

A pair of crusty eyes opened, looking blearily at the roof of the bunk bed, as their owner slowly stirred from sleep. They tried to gulp down the saliva that accumilated in their mouth, only to wince when their throat reacted with a surge of dry pain. A tired sigh escaped the lips of the awoken, as they thought to themself.

"Why do I even try."

Oleg became aware of a weight on his chest, when somepony nuzzled deeper into it. He looked down to see a green-coated unicorn snuggled closely against his chest, wrapping her hooves around his torso, his hands mirroring her action.

"Right, that's why." He thought, unable to resist a smile. Lyra's mane was tangled in various places, knots of light-green hair making the man wince just a tad. Still, the overall sight is was so endearing, it inevitably lightened his sour mood.

His eyes darted to a corner of the room, where he saw DD looking at him, his head laying on the floor. "Yeah, that's the second reason why."

He carefully disengaged his left hand from the unicorn's side, the mare stirring a little in her sleep at the loss of contact. He checked the time on his wristwatch, his eyes going wide. "11:30?! Christ on a bike, I've slept in!"

He pried his other hand from the mare, waiting out another bout of stirring from the mare, before carefully sliding from underneath her, laying her in a warm imprint that he left on the matress.

He raised the covers just high enough to slip out of bed, quickly covering the mare with a blanket, before the chill air of the cabin roused her from her slumber.

He shiverd as goosbumps danced across his body when the chillyness of the cabin envelopes him, the coveted warmth seeping away with every passing moment. "And that's with me wearing clothes. Can't fathom what the poor thing's going through." His lips curled into a small but sincere smile as he picked up a yellow note, scribbling an excuse for his absense. "She's probably fine. That's a very warm hoodie she's wearing, after all."

He grabbed a large axe, resting it on his shoulder, all the while strapping a hatchet onto his tool belt. He moved in the general direction of the exit, stopping when he heard a small whine coming from the timberwolf as he passed him.

"What?" He whispered to nobody in particular in the room. "Did someone call me?" A small bark came from the wolf, who was now sitting, looking intently at the man. Oleg staggered away from the beast, his eyes wide as dinnerplates. "D-did you just speak to me?!" He exclaimed, clasping his hands over his mouth, turning to look at the, thankfully, undisturbed pony on his bed.

DD repeates the bark, Oleg lowering himself to the wolf's level. "What do you mean 'of course'? You never spoke to Lyra, why'd you speak to me now?"

The timberwolf emitted a series of quiet barks, waggling his tail happily. "Because I saved you..." The man shook his head, a more present question nagging at him. "What do you mean, 'She wouldn't understand?'" Oleg asked, tilting his head.

DD emmited a low whine, pawing at the wooden floor. "The sap that I tasted... You're saying that's the reason?" Oleg asked, recieving a nod and a bark in reply.

The man shook his head, heading to the bathroom, DD in tow. "I'll deal with that later, right now I need to find more firewood." He replied, beford splashing water into his face and brushing his teeth.

DD's reply came in the form of a bark, one that grabs the man's as he's heading towards the exit, stopping for a moment to put on his boots. "You want to help, DD?" He asked, recieving a series of barks in reply.

"Sniffing out fallen trees..." The man pondered on the idea, putting on his winter hat and coat. "That is useful..." He rubbed his chin, eyeing the timberwolf up. "Alright, I'll tske you with me." DD began to waddle his tail happily, stopping momentarily when the man raises a finger.

"On one condition." He said in a serious tone, the timberwolf tilting his head.

"You get me killed out there, and I'll haunt your entire bloodline until the end of time."

DD barked in reply, waggling his tail enthusiastically.

A statisfying crunching sound accompanied the duo as they trudged through the knee-deep snow, all the while fighting against a harrowing wind that chilled the two to the bone.

DD's wooden nose was moving constantly, desperately trying to sniff out any suitable wood. Oleg chose to stick by his companion's side, keeping one hand on a small hatchet on his belt, his other busy towing a small sled behind him.

"Hey." Oleg said, the timberwolf barking in reply to notify the man that he had heard him. "Usually I'm against going so far away from the cabin, especially in a blizzard. You can lead us back home, right?" He asked with a tinge of worry in his voice.

He recieved an indignant bark and an irrateted flick of a tail in reply. "I don't doubt you, DD." The man said defensively. "Better save than sorry, though." He added, looking around to try and find and remember any noticable landmarks.

He failed to spot any, as a loud bark grabbed his attention. He turned to see DD digging furiously in the snow, and grabbed a shovel from the sled.

"Here?" He asked, approaching the timberwolf, who gave a confident woof in return. "Aight', let's see what we have here." He said, starting to dig.

A few minutes passed in combined labour, and in the end, a trunk of a tree is unearthed, 5cm in diameter. The man stood down on one knee to inspect the find, a puzzled expression on his face.

"Birch tree..." He looked around, trying to find any other of its kind, but finds none. "Hey, DD, do birch trees usually grow here?" A negative woof was his answer, which made Oleg frown.

"That means it came with me... But it's a long way to the cabin. Just how much made the trip with me?" Oleg mused, before standing and grabbing his axe. "Whatever, I'll deal with it later." He muttered, before swinging his axe at the trunk.

Half an hour later he found himself packing the pieces of wood into the sled, breathing heavily through his mouth. "Aight, let's look for some more." He said, preparing to move forward bt stopped when he heard a low growl coming from his companion. Color drained from his face as the meaning behind the sound reached his ears, dropping to the ground as fast as he could.

A heavy, snow-covered blur flew right above him, barely missing his head, ramming straight into DD, who yelped from the impact, falling to the ground. His back hit the ground hard, the wind knocked out of him. Before he coul drecuperate though, a second form jumped onto him, sharp teeth clasping around his left hand which he was using to cover his face.

Sharp pain erupted in his hand as a timberwolf began to shake his head wildly, ripping the winter coat on his left hand. Oleg screamed in both pain and fear, reaching for the hatchet fixed to his belt. Hatchet now in hand, he began swinging wildly at the beast on top of him, each swing producing a hard cracking sound as it connected with the wooden body of the wolf.

Soon the thrashing lessened, allowing Oleg to force it off of him, the wolf falling to the ground. Despite that, Oleg didn't relent, striking the fallen animal again and again, until all that remained was a broken pile of wooden splinters. He jerked to his legs, turning towards DD, ready to continue his assault if it meant saving his friend. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw DD's muzzle clasping on the neck of the attacking timberwolf. A second and a crisp crunch later, the timberwolf in DD's hold crumbled into a pile of wooden chunks, falling to the ground.

"We... we need to go back..." Oleg said breathing heavily, his heart running a mile a minute. He secured the hatchet on his belt, grabbing the sled with his right hand, his left hand feeling weak.

By the time he got to his cabin, the entire left sleeves of his winter coat was red, and he was beginning to feel a little woozy, from either bloodloss or shock. He opened the door with his right shoulder, barging into the cabin, slamming the door once DD was through.

A stream of obsceneties that would make Celestia blush poured out from his mouth as he threw his boots off, dropping the winter coat to the floor.

"Oleg? You're back!" Lyra's cheery voice rang out from the cabin's living room. "Is something wrong? I can't tell what you're saying, but you sound distressed!" Lyra's voice was tinged with worry, and for once, Oleg was happy she didn't understand him.

"Lyra, get the medkit from under the bed!" Oleg all but yelled, passing the worried mare, heading straight for the fridge.

"I-I what? O-oleg, are you b-bleeding?" Lyra said in a wavery voice, too shocked by the sight of a bloodied human to move.

"Yes, aren't you a perceptive pony?" He said in an annoyed tone, searching for a rectangular green bottle. "Go get the medkit, I'll need it in a minute!" He yelled, feeling a tad guilty at having to do so.

"O-okay." Lyra replied weakly as she raced to the bunk bed, her ears pinned to her head.

"There you are!" Oleg said triumphantly, holding a bottle of J├Ągermeister. He slammed the frodge shut, walking towards and dropping on the wooden bench, laying his hand on the wooden table. He opened the bottle and took a good swig, wincing a tad as the liquor slid down his throat. "Ugh. Just as sweet as I remember." He said, putting the soon to be empty bottle on the table, a warm feeling spreading from his chest to the rest of his body.

By the time Lyra returned, the pain in his left arm turned into an ignorable ache, and a lazy thought of doing just that and going to bed slowly crept into his mind.

"No." He mumbled to himself, shaking his head. "That's a surefire way to becoming an amputee, and I like my left hand."

"Here!" The hoodie-clad Lyra returned, a medkit floating beside her in a golden glow. The unicorn mare set the medkit on the table, opening it. "What do you need?" Lyra asked, looking worriedly at the human.

"Hydrogen Per-Pero-" He took a deep breath, sqeezing his eyes shut for a moment. "Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide." He said, opening his eyes, mentally counting what he needed. "A needle, some thread, a-and a q-t-tip. That sh-shhould be all." He said, slurring just a tad.

"Oh my Faust!" Lyra exclaimed, the appliances she was holding clattering to the table as her magic gave out. "What happened to your arm?!" She all but yelled, staring wide eyed at his wounded appendage.

"DD and I ran into some tr-trouble." He said, unscrewing the bottle of disinfectant. "It looks worse than it act-actu-actually is, really." He gave her a weak smile, trying to calm her nerves.

Before Lyra could reply, he poured a generous amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the wound of his hand, white crust forming on the open wounds as the solution hissed, coming into contact with them.

"F-fucking hell." He hissed through clenched teeth. He grabbed the q-tip, hastily cleaning out the white crust from the wounds. "Aight, easy part's done." He said with a sigh, looking at the needle. "L-Lyra, g-get a th-th-thread into the n-n-needle."

"You-you're going to suture it?" She said, turning a shade greener at the thought, but complying nonetheless.

"You've got a bet-better idea?" Oleg spat, taking the needle and breathing deeply. "Alright, I need you to h-ho-hold the wound open."

"What?!" Lyra exclaimed, growing pale. "Why?!"

"I need to s-s-see where I'm s-s-sticking the needle." He said, mentally preparing himself for the task ahead. "You've got m-m-magic, right? Sh-sh-should be easy."

"I-I can't!" Lyra said, clenching her eyes shut.

"L-Lyra." Oleg said, cupping her cheek with his right hand, slowly caressing it until she looked at him. "Please." He spoke into her eyes.

"F-fine." She said in a wavery voice, a golden aura enveloping her horn.

Oleg unbuckled his belt, buting down on it. He held the needle at a 90 degree angle to his wound, driving it into his flesh. He groaned into his leather belt, pain surging through the wound despite the numbing alcohol.

Needle's end surfaced on the other side of the wound, the man driving it into the second half of the wound, clenching his teeth harder on the leather.

He pushed the needle upwards, and a moment later a it surfaced once more, the man tugging at it to dislodge it from his flesh.

"Y-you can s-stop now." The man shakily said, spitting out the belt. "I j-just n-need to tie it now." He said, wincing as he tugged at the thread so it had some tension, closing the wound and tying the string into a knot.

"I-is it done?" Lyra asked, carefully avoiding looking at the wound.

"I'd say t-t-three more st-st-stitches will do it." He said, folding his belt once again. "Get th-the needle re-ready." He said, biting down on the belt.

A painful hour and seven more stitches later, Oleg closed the medkit, stuffing it under the bunk bed. He took another sip of the drink, before sprawling out on the bed.

"Well," He started, taking a deep breath as he examined his handiwork. "I'm no doctor, so..." He blinked a couple of times, trying to clear his vision. "It'll be a small miracle if they're not inflamed by tomorrow." He sighed, massaging his temple with his right hand. "Things would've been a hell of a lot easier if that timberwolf went for the jugular."

"Oleg!" Lyra exclaimed, grabbing his attention. "Don't say it like that, we'll pull through this, just you wait and see!" She said in a hopeful tone, earning a chuckle from the man.

"Pull through? What for? To end up as a glorified zoo exhibit?" He said, his voice slightly heated.

"What are you talkng about?" Lyra asked, genuenly clueless. The man rolled his eyes at her tone.

"Don't play coy with me, I know how this kind of shit goes." He said, taking another swig. "The second your friends get their grabby hooves on me, I'll be left at the mercy of your rulers."

"But the Princess' are nice! They're the most considerate ponies in all the land! Surely, they'll help you find your place in Equestria!" She said, trying to put the man at ease.

"Oh, koneshno, koneshno!" He laughed, throwing his healthy hand up. "I've no doubts about that!" His mirth disappeared in a blink of an eye. "I'm sure they've got a spare operating table just for me." He spat, staring into the ceiling of his bunk bed. "It's either vivisection, or zoo for me. I have nothing else for me here, no friends, no family, nothing yo look forward to, no perspectives."

"The Princess' would never do something like that!" Lyra exclaimed, laying a hoof on his shoulder. "And... you have me." She said with a small smile, looking into his unfocused eyes.

"Ain't that a relief." He snorted, slapping his forehead. "I've lost everything but a single house and some personal belongings, but at least I have..." He paused, drumming his fingers in the bedframe. "A single friend!" He said, his eyes watering. "A friend I've known for all of four days, so more an aquaintance, really."

"We... we're not friends?" Lyra asked, taken aback, her ears pinned to her head. "Is that why you don't want to trust me?" He said, a pitiful expression on her face.

"I... I don't know." He said, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "I don't fucking know, alright?!" He exploaded, suddenly sitting straight. "The whole world's gone mad, and I don't know what to do, and I'm scared-" He stopped himself, wiping away the wetness around his eyes. "Ever since I graduated, I set one goal for myself," He started, taking a shaky breath. "to die in a place that wasn't my hometown... To live a life that would end in a better place, somewhere far away, surrounded by friends and family..." His breath hitched, a dry cough escaping his lips. "2/3... That has to count for something, right?"

"I think I'll call it a day." He said, awkwardly climbing onto the second story of his bunk bed. He winced as he flopped onto the matress, grazing his left hand. He heard a shuffling from beneath him, and just as he started drifting off to sleep...

"What's going to happen when you take me to Ponyville?" Lyra said in an even voice, trying to hide the storm of emotions that was inside. "You- you'll do that, right?" She said with a tinge of fear.

"I'll get you as close to the town as possible, thenrun for the trees." He said, staring blankly at the wooden ceiling. "And paint my walls grey if local police comes." He thought.

"Thanks." Came a choked reply, followed by even breathing.

He laid as still as possible, making little to no sound, listening closely to the sounds of the cabin. Twenty minutes later, a quiet sobbing sound reached Oleg's ears, tugging at his heartstrings.

"Fucking-a, great job dipshit. The only friend you have here, the best thing you had in your life for the past two years and you made her cry. You really are a waste of air." He bit down on his right hand to keep himself calm. "Does it matter? It's better for everyone this way. She'll make it home, and won't have to care about me. I'll be just a story."A metallic taste filled his mouth as warm liquid streamed down his throat. "You owe her that much, at least."

"And that's good. For everyone envolved."