• Published 16th Oct 2012
  • 16,867 Views, 1,592 Comments

Day One - Miniscule Literary

A man surviving in a cartoon world. Its not as easy as one might think.

  • ...

Building Bridges

Progress, like many things, rarely occurs naturally. For things to improve, you must work, and as with many things, this is easier said than done.

David wandered aimlessly through Ponyville, ignoring the lingering stares and nervous mutterings around him. As strange as it made him feel, he felt it best to ignore it rather than try to prevent it or reason with the ponies. Such a thing would undoubtedly make things worse.

He considered his next course of action. He had a considerable amount of time to wait for Rarity to finish his new clothes. For once, he did not have any pressing engagements or circumstances that needed immediate tending. He was free to pursue his own objective, whatever it may be. He contemplated simply returning to Sugarcube Corner to rest, but the idea of spending more time indoors with nothing to do was not very enticing. He had spent enough time hiding during his stay in Equestria.

Perhaps he would try to familiarize the denizens of Ponyville with himself. Or, more specifically, some of Pinkie's friends, most of whom did not seem to have any negative opinion about him. After the picnic, he believed it to be quite the contrary. He had already spent more than enough time with Twilight (and did not wish to answer any more strange questions for the time being), Rarity was busy with his request, and Pinkie was preoccupied working for the Cakes. That left Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy.

Fluttershy was likely still quite terrified of him, Applejack was probably the most likely to dislike him, considering their previous encounters, and Rainbow Dash seemed like a difficult pony to find, let alone try to befriend. As much as he wanted to avoid potential disaster, he needed more allies in this alien world, especially with the general population wary of his presence. As he continued to debate which path to pursue first, he found himself at the southern end of Ponyville, near the road leading to Sweet Apple Acres.

"...As good a start as any. Applejack it is."

He found the trip to Sweet Apple Acres to be far more comfortable during the day. Quiet and peaceful, drifting further and further from pony civilization. Rolling green pastures surrounded him, with the farmhouse and the orchards slowly rising ahead of him. In no time at all, he was surrounded by hundreds of apple trees. In the day, and under better circumstances, he found the farmhouse to be considerably less intimidating. It stood instead as a monument to the Apple family's success, a centerpiece to the farmland on which they worked.

As he approached, he could not spot any of the Apple family nearby. Applejack and Big Mac were likely working the orchards, so this was to be expected. As David circled around the side of the farmhouse toward one of the nearby barns, he spotted a few small figures in the distance. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo standing in a circle just outside the barn, talking and laughing with one another. They appeared to be wearing clothes (odd for a pony, he had come to know), and numerous instruments lay around them. With what appeared to be plain tan hard-hats and vests, they seemed as if they were about to go on a jungle adventure. The throwing net and butterfly net laying around them worried him further.

Cutie Mark Crusader Monster Catchers. He wondered when this would come back to bite him.

Slowly and carefully David backed out toward the front of the farmhouse, his eyes locked on the assembled ponies to make sure he wasn't noticed. As he retreated safely out of sight, he breathed a sigh of relief and set off at a swift jog down the road, back toward Ponyville.

"Fluttershy it is then!"

Fluttershy's cottage was familiar territory for the man. The fields nearby had hosted his arrival, as well as his confrontation with Twilight. Rather than cross into Ponyville to get there, however, he circled around on the edge of town, finding it easier on himself and the population to avoid more uneasiness. A short time later, he found himself on the road toward the cottage, where homes were few and wandering ponies were even fewer.

Fluttershy's Cottage was a small paradise even in a magical place like Equestria. Surrounded by (and even built out of) the natural world, it was truly a sight to behold. A gentle stream flowed under the arch that connected the cottage to the road leading into the fields, while beautiful plants bloomed all around the building itself. The sounds of animals surrounded him, both those he had grown accustomed to and those he did not recognize. Occasionally he would glimpse movement leading to or from the cottage itself; presumably the animals that visited the pegasus.

He proceeded cautiously up the slope toward the front door of the cottage; he was on the lookout for any potential dangers. Fluttershy was known to befriend the likes of Manticores, so it was not outside the realm of possibility for her to have something dangerous nearby. And as easily frightened as she was, he did not want to be labeled an enemy by a protective friend of hers.

David knocked a few times on the large wooden door, wondering silently if the pegasus was even home. A few tense moments later, the door swung open, revealing a smiling Fluttershy. As she saw him, though, the smile disappeared, and she seemed to shrink back into the cottage. He frowned.

"Oh...David..." she muttered, looking away nervously. "Can I h-help you with anything?"

"I was just wondering the same," he said with a smile, hoping to lift the pegasus' spirits. "I'm trying to make up for scaring Ponyville by helping out some of its residents," he explained, though he wasn't exactly being truthful. "Do you have anything I could help you with? Animals that need tending, house that needs cleaning?"

Fluttershy looked a bit taken aback by this. She glanced from him to the floor repeatedly.

"I assure you, I won't bite."

Fluttershy gave him a weak smile at this, straightening up with some effort, and actually looked him in the eyes. "I could use some help moving a few things in the back," she explained, suddenly dropping low to the ground. "You know...if you want to..." Her ears drooped to the sides of her head.

"Sounds easy enough. I'm in," David replied with a grin, clapping his hands together, trying to maintain a positive attitude to try and encourage the same from the yellow pegasus. "Lead the way, if you please."

Fluttershy stepped to the side to allow him entrance, and the two swiftly made their way deeper into the building. Fluttershy tried to point out various aspects of the cottage with varying success, apologizing profusely for practically everything she did. Adorable though her behavior was, he felt bad for her.

"If you could just move these bags of chicken feed to the back yard, I'd be ever so grateful," Fluttershy said in her usual quiet tone, standing next to the massive bags that were almost as big as her. "You know...if you wan-"

"Sure. No problem," he interrupted with a smile, trying to alter the pegasus' behavior as gently as he could. "I'm here to help, friend."

Actually moving the bags took quite a bit of effort, even in a world such as Equestria. With some struggling and numerous near misses, the bags were moved to the pen that held the pegasus' chickens. He figured if he had such trouble moving them, how would a timid pony like Fluttershy move them? He was glad he came along when he did. Then again, she had hidden strength. He always admired that about her.

"Anything else I can help you with?" David asked as he returned to the cottage itself. Fluttershy was waiting just inside.

"No, I don't think so," she said with a little more volume than before. He was making progress! "Thank you for the help."

"I've said it once, I'll say it again: No problem, my friend," he replied with a smile, extending a hand to the yellow pony. She looked at him with considerable confusion. He withdrew his hand with an equal amount of confusion. He was sure ponies had handshakes (somehow) in the show...

"Sorry, human custom," he explained nervously. "I'll be leaving, then. Have a good day."

Fluttershy returned the farewell as he walked himself out, passing by numerous creatures as he made his way to the front door. Squirrels, mice, rabbits, ferrets, all apparently living inside the pegasus' house. She was quite the giving pony, to the point of it being perhaps a little too much. But then again, he had seen her when she was not. He would rather not have that return while he was in Equestria.

By now, the sun had begun to descend from the sky. His clothes should be done, with any luck. His venture back into Ponyville was met with the expected unease and discomfort from the residents, but he paid it little mind. He had fresh clothes to retrieve.

Knocking on the door to the boutique, he waited patiently for several minutes before the door was opened. Rarity seemed rather worn out, but ethusiastic all the same. She greeted him with a weak smile, and allowed him to enter.

"It took a lot of work, but I think I've got something you can not only use, but be proud of!" she exclaimed, trotting to the back of the shop for a moment as she retrieved her creation. A shirt, not unlike the one he wore, and a pair of plain fabric pants floated toward him, stopping a few feet ahead.

The pants were not jeans, but that was expected. They were a solid blue in color, while the shirt was a slightly darker blue with intricate cyan patterns splashed down the length of the shirt from the shoulder. It was quite impressive, to say the least. He reached out to take them as Rarity's magic faded, the unicorn herself looking at him with an uneasy grin.

"You've really outdone yourself, Rarity. These are fantastic," David said with genuine enthusiasm, smiling as he held the shirt up to his chest to see if would fit. Indeed, it would.

"Aren't you going to try them on?" the unicorn asked with a great deal of anticipation. David immediately frowned, looking up from his new garments.

"No...no, I don't think that's necessary," he explained nervously, hoping she would not press the issue. These ponies did not seem to understand the discomfort of undressing in public. "Thanks again. Are you sure you don't want some sort of payment?"

"As I said, dear, they are a gift!" Rarity explained with a grin. "The most challenging work I've had in quite a while, I can assure you of that."

After discussing the clothes for a few more minutes, David said his goodbyes and exited the boutique, making his way to Sugarcube Corner as the light gradually faded from the world around him. Before it went dark, he managed to inspect the clothes more closely. The pants were lacking a certain male-oriented feature in the front, but had a number of useful pockets placed in the right areas. He was glad he did not have normal bodily functions, however, to say the least. Though there was the issue of a lack of undergarments...Did ponies even know of such things?

A strange and alien world indeed.