• Published 31st Oct 2012
  • 1,283 Views, 26 Comments

The Inn of the World - The Writer's Group

Luna listens to ponies stories in the tavern she runs.

  • ...

"Eagle Eyes" by Owlor

“But Owly, there are more thing in heaven and earth than exist in your philosophy,” a pony said and the blonde pegasus the remark was directed to just snorted with displeasure.

“Yes, but that is not an excuse for sloppy thinking,” he remarked as he abandoned his book and inched towards the bar.

“I take it you're not a believer in the supernatural?” I asked him.

“Bah, I'll believe pretty much anything... AFTER I've seen it or had the chance to study it, not a second earlier.”

“Is that so?” I said, making a mental note to send mr. Crane, the Headless Horse to his room sometime after midnight.

“Yes, but I must admit, there ARE a lot of strange things in the world,” the pegasus admitted.

“For example?”

“Well, for example, did you know that Starswirl the Bearded had a daughter?"

“No, I didnt,” I lied as the echo of her story plays in my mind before he could even tell it.

Eagle Eyes
by Owlor

I am proud of my dad. He's the most famous wizard in all of Unicornia, he's created over 200 spells including the amniomorphic spell. He told me once that he wanted to create a spell just for me. I said he didn't have to because I knew it would mean that he would be too busy to take care of me and I would be alone. When he is working on one of his spells, he goes into this room I'm not supposed to enter and he just sits there for hours. I don't like it when he does that.

The best sound in the world is the jingle of the bells he has sewn into his cloak when he finally finds time to come out to play with me. I don't get to play with the other fillies much, my dad doesn't want me to go outside because he is afraid that I will just stumble around like... well, like I was blind.

* * *

My favourite day of the year is my name day. It is the one time of the year where my daddy never forgets about me and tolerates me being by his side even if I sometimes mess up and gets in his way. As usual, he decorated our dwelling with a number of chimes and bells and the soft tones gave the room a pleasant atmosphere. I noticed he tied a few extra bells to his cape, maybe he's afraid I wouldn't hear him over all the other chimes? Silly dad.

“Knell,” he said to me. “I'm sorry I've been so busy lately, but I have worked really hard on a present for you.”

“Is it a pony?” I said hopefully. “you know I've always wanted one.” He laughed at me and I felt a bit embarrassed by my eagerness.

“B-but you know I need a thrall!” I protested. “I'm turning into a big girl and I don't want to be alone here any more. I wanna see... I wanna visit places.”

“If this works.” He assured me. ”You won't need a seeing-eye pony to help you.” An electric jolt ran trough my body as I finally understood what he was talking about.

“You mean... you can give me my sight back?”

“Yes,” he said. “I'm sure of it.” Then he leaned over to me and I could feel his horn touching mine.

At first, I thought it had been a dud, because I felt nothing, not even a tingle. Then I suddenly became aware that I had my eyes closed. With some apprehension I opened them, and the world greeted me like a parents returning after a long business trip.

I... don't think I could describe it. Words that's been laying useless in the back of my head suddenly sprung to life. I saw my dad for the first time in... I don't even remember. Every feature that I had previously only known only trough touch suddenly had colour and features.

His tough, bristly beard that tickled me whenever I tried to hug him: grey.

His kind eyes: brown.

His pale coat: green.

His cape with the tiny bells: purple.

The bells that I adore looked even more beautiful than they sounded, with smooth shiny copper in several shades of dark yellow and green, and the chimes shone like... like things that shine as they turned in the candlelight. I ran around the house just wanting to soak everything in and my father let me while wearing a patient smile until I was about to enter into his workroom.

“Please, Knell,” he pleaded as he extended a hoof to stop me. “You may go wherever you please now, inside this house and without, but you may not enter this room, understood?” I nodded, paralysed by a stern gaze I've never seen before.

* * *

I took full advantage of my new found freedom and I made frequent trips around Unicornia. I saw the tall minarets with their funny-shaped roofs, like whipped cream on a sundae. I saw the elegant fabrics of the noble ponies as they passed me by. I saw the tattered sackcloth of the poor ponies. I saw markets and shops, I saw windows and doors. I saw colours I never even knew existed. In an alley, I found a young filly crying to herself.

“What's the matter?” I asked her.

“T-the other foals tells me I'm ugly,” she said between sobs. “AM I ugly?”

I looked at her, I saw her mottled coat, her crooked yellow teeth, her warts and her blodshot eyes who seemed to constantly point in different directions. Every feature was interesting and I leaned close just to study her further, but I had to pull back when she started to sound uncomfortable.

“No,” I said with complete honestly “In fact, I think you are very beautiful.”

“R-really?” I saw those skewed eyes shine up like little suns.

“Rreally, do you want to be friends?”

“yes please, my name is Dementia Do”

We met every day afterwards to play. I was fascinated by the imaginative scenarios she could cook up involving things I had never seen myself, and she responded to my questions with great patience:

“What does the ocean look like?”

"Like a big blue floor with waves on it."

“ What colour is a lily?”


“How high is a mountain?”

"Uhm.... really really high."

* * *

The other foals did not like us very much. They said Dementia was ugly and I was strange. The other colts and fillies stared at us as we walked down the street, looking like rows of identical dolls sitting in a shop window. If they got too annoying, I'd gaze back at them; there was something about my eyes that made them shudder and leave.

We quickly abandoned the city and went for longer and longer walks across the countryside. The first time I saw the nature around Unicornia I nearly cried. I couldn't understand why everypony locked themselves up in cities when there where so many beautiful things outside of them. Fields and rocks, trees and flowers, each with their own unique texture and colour. This was the perfect canvas for our imaginations.

We where explorers one day, reaching into far-off countires like our brave princess Platinum, searching for a new land to call our own. The next day we where soldiers, fighting the pegasi in an airship consisting of an unusually gnarled tree with several trunks spread out like the limbs of an octopus. Other days we where on a quest to find a mysterious jewel, or just travelling the world looking for adventure.

* * *

One day, Dementia just disappeared. I looked all over Unicornia for her, but found no sign of her anywhere. When I asked my daddy about it, he told me his parents had sent her off to an asylum.

“Was she crazy?” I asked with my eyes wide.

“Some would call it that,” my dad replied while trying to avoid my gaze. “But truth is, there are ponies in this world with the ability to see further than anypony else, and that unsettles ponies.”

I couldn't sleep that night and instead I went out looking at the stars. Daddy said that contrary what most ponies believed, the stars weren’t just jewels resting on some kind of firmament, but enormous bodies, millions of miles away. If I could see that far, how much further could some ponies see?

* * *

I was alone again, and I grew restless. I had visited every possible place that my little legs could take me, but without my friend to guide me trough things unseen, it all looked the same. The door to my dads workroom grew more and more inviting. It was the one place I had never seen before, and I was curious. In my dreams I walked into his workroom and was greeted by nothing but dead pools of light, frightfully similar to what would be etched across my vision back when my eyes where still failing me and I looked straight at the sun.

Moreover, something seemed to be... visually whispering to me. In the corner of my eyes I would sometimes see figments that didn't disappear until I looked straight at that door. When I asked my father about it, he said that it was nothing, that I was just getting used to my vision but I couldn’t help but notice a worried frown spreading across his face.

* * *

One day when my dad was away, curiosity got the better of me. I figured just looking from the door wouldn't do me any harm. With intense concentration, I managed to silence the alarm spell, but inside, I saw nothing but darkness.

My hooves began moving, seemingly on their own, and I got deeper into his chamber. From what little I could see in the dim light, it looked about like I would have suspected: Strange pieces of glassware besides rune-engraved slates and maps of the star system. Then I heard a noise. A slow, pained groan, coming from what I thought was nothing but shadows.

“Who a... are you?,” a voice told me. There was a being somewhere in the dark, talking trough a delirious haze.

“I'm Knell,” said in spite of myself. “Daughter of Starswirl.”

“You... you have my eyes,” it demanded. “P...please give them back.”

“No!” I told it. I don't want to be blind again.”

“Pl-lease....” As my eyes adjusted and the shadows became more solid, I started to see the outline of who I was talking to; a creature I had never seen before. His face was covered in feathers and he had no mouth, only a beak. I held back a scream when I realized that there was only empty eye sockets where his eyes were supposed to be.

As he move, I heard the rattling of chains, as well as a nasty, organic sound, something dark dripped down from above him. He had wings, and they had hooks attached to the most fleshy part. The hooks tore deep wounds trough his skin.

“My dad did this?” I asked in disbelief.

“Please...” the creature continued rambling. “I just want my eyes back. I don't have much time left, just one last look.”

“C-can I get them back later?”

“Yes,” he promised, but there was no features that could convey his emotions.

I couldn't stand the sight of his pathetic eyeless face. I leaned over and touched his forehead, not knowing if it would actually help. Then everything became completely dark again when even the shadows disappeared.

“Thank you” he croaked as I stood paralysed by my blindness. “You are a beautiful and kind little pony, do you know that? I would be proud to let you have my vision, but you need to promise me one thing.”

“What is that?”

I heard another of his wounds being torn open as he shifted close to me and at this point, his voice was nothing but a whisper.

“Leave this place, and never come back.”

Then he died. I could tell by the sad little groan he let out. It was the one time I was thankful for my blindness. Suddenly I saw two pools of light, like the ones I had seen figments of in my dreams. They grew larger until they engulfed my entire field of vision. As I opened my eyes, I could see the unnamed creature's dead body sprawled in front of me, clear as day.

Leave. Now. I could hear his voice echo in my head.

* * *

I am proud of my dad. He managed feats that nopony have ever succeeded in doing before or since, but I cannot forgive him for what he had to do to perform them. There was no sun or moon up the day I left, but it did not bother me.

As I later found out, the creature I borrowed my eyes from is a griffon, and I was only ever able to use a fraction of his vision before. But with my unnamed friends soul still lingering in his eyes, I am able to see further than anypony.