• Published 26th Oct 2012
  • 7,430 Views, 1,057 Comments

Becoming Fluttershy - Hope

A philosophical and comedic story of becoming one with my inner pony.

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chapter 12. Cracks rewrite

I awake to the familiar badoop sound of a cell phone alert, shaking me awake.

The dim light of early morning has become a comforting sight as I stretch in the morning, filling the tent with my wings for a moment as I splay them wide. I finally take the time to look for my phone, which I have been unable to use for a while now.

With a few gentle pokes, I manage to get the screen to display.

Three Facebook alerts? Maybe that plan of Julien’s wasn't all bad. I very carefully press the minuscule buttons, getting past the password and navigating to the Facebook app.

Two friend requests and a post on my wall greet me. I immediately accept the two requests, one from someone named Reid, and then someone named Markus. Markus had a profile picture of a very realistic Rainbow Dash with two humans next to her. No need to guess who that was, even without seeing the wall post that came up next.

“Hey there, your friendly neighborhood Rainbow Dash here. Well, sorta Rainbow Dash. You get the idea. Can't wait for you to get here! Good luck on your journey.”

I wonder if I would get to meet up with her? I realize I had assumed Rainbow was female, but Markus is a fairly masculine name. Sure enough the profile says male. So I wonder if I would get to meet up with him. I feel suddenly dizzy, blinking a few times to clear my vision. There is a message on the screen, that I swear I didn't write.

"Hi Dashie. I really hope you are okay. I'm doing just fine. My human is taking good care of me, we are driving to New York. Do you know where we are supposed to meet in New York? Has anyone seen Angel Bunny? He's probably back home. Take care of your human. They seem to need a lot of help."

I gape at the screen, looking around a little bit before whispering to myself.

"Fluttershy?" I whisper.

I feel my hoof twitch of it's own volition, then my jaw clench. Carefully, I lay down on the floor and close my eyes. Immediately I am standing, as my human self, in front of Fluttershy. She has to crane her neck to look up at me.

"Oh! Hello!"

I just keep staring at her, baffled by suddenly knowing that Fluttershy herself is in front of me, not just her hooves at the end of my arms.

"Are you okay? I can't tell what you are thinking when we are dreaming like this," she says meekly.

I nod, flexing my fingers and sitting down to be on her level.

"Yeah, I'm... I'm fine, are you okay?"

Fluttershy returns my nod, and smiles.

"Yes. I'm doing okay."

It's like having my alarm go off next to my ear, I wake up abruptly, looking around and panting. I'm in Fluttershy's body again, sitting in front of my phone, Julien in the sleeping bag to my right. The tent is rippling in the slight wind. I slow my breathing and lean forward to see that the message Fluttershy wrote is still there. How long was I unconscious? Did more happen than I remember? I press send on the message on my phone, and turn to poke Julien's shoulder.

“Whoza wat now?” He mutters, crawling to his hooves and looking around with askew eyes.

“Wake up. We need to get going.” I say firmly. “You're plenty well rested.”

That wasn't very nice. That thought just kind of bubbles up to the front of my mind.

“Sorry, I’ll get stuff packed up, let me know when you are ready to go.” I say, a bit more gently.

Packing up isn't as hard as it had been before, we didn't take out nearly as much stuff, and I am gradually learning how to manipulate things with my hooves. I am now capable of “grabbing” some things by setting my hoof on them and tensing the frog up as though pinching something. The sole of my hoof has a lot more feeling and use than I had given it credit for.

After getting everything but the tent packed up, I poke my head back into the tent. Julien had fallen back asleep, and I let him rest. Every once in awhile a car whizzes by. I check my phone’s GPS to see where we ended up, and it points out a small field to the south of town.

I can’t explain it, but I have a feeling that pulls me to the south. I feel like I am avoiding Nebraska, and admittedly my early childhood is not something I would like to relive. But since when am I so strongly affected by my past? It all goes back to fear.

Even ponies can be driven by fear, whether the show is entirely accurate or not, this is a fact. Every living creature seems driven by fear and hope, but that's where my guesses and hypothesis run dry. I don’t know how to use that knowledge in the current situation.

So I am afraid of my past. Why should I run from it? Why delay us by several hours just to cut through a different state? Would Julien even be okay with it? That last one is easy to answer. I know he would be okay with it, he asked what I thought when the subject first came up. Well, if he wanted my opinion, then it was to cut through Kansas.

“I will just have to go on my hunch, isn't that right, Angel?” I look down to my right, almost expecting to see something.

A cold shiver runs down my spine as I stare at the dirt. I stand and turn away from the spot, eyes wide. What a way to start a day. I turn on the car but don’t start the engine, flipping on the radio.

I stare across the desert and hills that surround us, my mind lost deep in thought.

“Can you lie next to her, and give her your heart, your heart? as well as your body.” The radio croons to me as I feel the sunrise bathe me in heat and life.

“And can you lie next to her, and confess your love, your love? As well as your folly.” The song picks up a bit of energy as a blue sedan blows past me, the dust it kicks up forming a corona around the sun that is almost fully emerged from behind the mountains.

“And can you kneel before this king and say ‘I’m clean’, ‘I’m clean’?”

The music stops abruptly as Julien emerges from the tent.

“Depressing music for seven in the morning.” He remarks, his horn glowing as the channel changes to some modern pop.

“Heh... What do you... I mean...” I can't even stammer out an explanation or excuse to him as the radio channel surfs through to some heavy metal but the volume turns itself down to a background noise.

“Isn't that right, Angel?” He says somberly.

I visibly wilt under his gaze.

“I don’t know why I said that, I just... It just came out. I’m still me!” I end this shouting at him, wide eyed.

I know that I am trying to convince myself as much as him, but there is a new step in this equation now.

“I’m not angry. I know how you feel. First thing I wanted to do when I got up just a bit ago was run laps around our campsite. I hate running.” He says, laughing as he shakes his head.

His electric blue mane scatters messily across his eyes before he brushes them clear and looks out across the surrounding desert with me. I don’t want this silence to end, I know what is coming and oddly enough it is not a symbol of hope as it should be. I am afraid of the words I see working towards the surface.

“We need to put an end to this.” He says quietly, and I wince.

I stare down at the dirt for a while before the silence is broken by a truck rolling past.

“Let’s go south.” I propose.

“Good as any direction, I suppose. I won’t ask why, but I have a feeling you've got a reason.” He says, much more guardsman like than I would expect.

We pack the tent and get into the car, an awkward silence falling as he pushes down on the gas with his shield, and I turn us onto the road.

We make it into Denver around 9 AM, swinging through a drive through for pancakes and juice, our new comfort food.

Julien dispenses the syrup and we eat with a backdrop of Metallica playing just loud enough to discourage talking but not loud enough to actually stop us.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you. Rainbow dash, whose name is Markus, friended that account you set up. So did another person but I can’t tell if they are a pony or not. Markus seems nice enough,” I tell him.

I show him the message I received. I tell him how it's jarring to imagine Rainbow Dash identifying as a guy, and we share some laughs over the potential names a transgender Rainbow Dash might pick. Hopefully we can get this all sorted out before it matters. That's what I am supposed to hope for, right? We pull back onto the road, heading east now.

“And can you kneel before the king and say ‘I’m clean’, ‘I’m clean’?” the radio croons as we are carried down the road in the midday sun.

Several hours later we are passing through the edge of Goodland, watching farmland speed by on both sides.

“To think, almost all our food comes from the middle of the U.S.” I ponder, resting most of my weight on the steering wheel as we roll down the straight road.

“The bread basket.” Julien nods, the engine revving slightly as he inadvertently pushes down on the gas pedal.

I look down at the gas pedal, taking my eyes off the road just long enough for an upcoming curve to escape my attention.

“Erica!” Julien shouts. Since he can't change the course of the car, he does the only thing he can do, and depresses the brake.

As he makes the wheels squeal, I look up and yank the wheel to try and put it back in line with the curve of the road, but the sudden deceleration slips me forward and off the seat itself, so I am hanging off the steering wheel, pulling it sharp to the left.

The screech of tires finally fades as we come to rest diagonally in the middle of the road.

Neither of us see the truck from behind desperately trying to stop, but just before impact I let go of the steering wheel, falling to the floor of the drivers side of the cabin.

Airbags are not friendly when you weigh less than a hundred pounds and have hollow bones. The glancing blow dealt by the other car spins us around so we are facing the opposite way we had started out in, the airbag deploying over my head with a sound like a gunshot.

I am flung against the drivers side door and everything goes dark.

The darkness around me swims nauseatingly, a kaleidoscopic spray of colors that can all be described as "black".

For a moment the darkness parts and cracks of shimmering light appear around me. It is beautiful. Have you ever seen the art they make by breaking glass and then putting all the shards back together? It really is nothing like that at all, but its the only thing I can think of as the shimmering light swallows me whole.

"Oh god, we killed Fluttershy." I hear someone shouting.

First off, I just look like her. Secondly, I'm not dead unless I was catastrophically wrong about ghosts existing, in which case I really hope I get to keep this form as a ghost, that'd be wild. Lastly I would love it if people weren't shouting when my head is trying to crawl out of my eyeball and make it in the big city. The offending eye opens and I blink a few times. Well I'm not dead. Dead people don't get tingly hooves when they pass out on them at the wrong angle.

"I'm not dead!" I holler, at barely a loud enough whimper for my own ears to hear.

"She's not dead." Shining Armor's voice says from somewhere nearby.

"How do you know? Your a guard, not a medic!" The unidentified voice continues its unnecessarily loud ranting.

"I am not Shining Armor. I just look like him," The now-confirmed-as-Julien voice quips. "And her name is Erica." I feel a light touch on my forehead. "Can you hear me?" He asks calmly.

"We got in a car crash." I say, trying to focus past the pounding in my head.

"Yeah, but it looks like we are okay. Car is even still running, just the back is smashed up a bit." I hear the engine cut out and Julien getting out of the car, trotting around to me.

"Come on, lets get you out of there."

I really don't feel like moving, but as I turn my head to see a tear streaked teenage girl and what looks to be her boyfriend, I realize that I can't let them see me all messed up, That'd ruin their day. Well, more than it already is ruined.

I get out and sit down on the side of the road as they move the cars out of the way of traffic, even if traffic happens a whole of once every ten minutes. I wish I could help them move the cars but they keep telling me to stay put.

Once the cars are moved, I am handed an aspirin and a bottle of water, I consume both quickly and lean back against the wheel of my car.

"We are so sorry, we didn't see you stopped and... and..." I hold up a hoof to stop the girl's flow of words.

"I took my eyes off the road. That's why all this happened." I say, looking down at the ground.

"I'll give you my insurance information, so you can get your car fixed." I continue, trying to remember if I have the little insurance cards in the glove-box.

"No need." The boy finally speaks.

"Huh?" I reply, confused. "Why not?"

He simply points to his truck, which looks as good as the day it rolled out of the factory. It's steel bumper only bearing a smudge of silver paint.

"My dad's an auto-body mechanic. I'll have him take a look at your car," he says. "Make sure it's safe to drive. Least I can do."

I slowly notice the guy is wearing a jacket, even though it is pretty darned warm out, and he keeps pulling it shut, I don't know why I take a particular notice of this, but his nervous twitches finally move the jacket just enough for me to understand why.

I start laughing, giggling, snorting.

Julien looks at me like I've gone mad, the girl just looks confused, but the kid, his face goes crimson.

On his black shirt, is an image of me with the italicized scrip beneath it. "yay"

(song: Here )

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