• Published 29th Oct 2012
  • 3,597 Views, 83 Comments

Finding Faith - CoolBreeze

Haunted by the past, John finds his place in life, helping an orange pegasus mare...

  • ...

Welcome to Ponyville

My Little Pony: Finding Faith
Chapter 2 “Ponyville

My eyes take a moment to adjust in the sunlight filtering down through the many branches of the tree above me. As the bright splotches fade, I take note of the mess of purple draping over my shoulder as Scootaloo sleeps, her chest rising and falling in a constant rhythm. I raise my left hoof and examine it, the strangest sensation of something being wrong, nibbling at the back of my mind.

Scootaloo shifts, pushing herself up and rubbing her eyes with her hooves. As her disorientation clears, she turns her gaze to me and blushes furiously.

“S-Sorry! I-I can't believe I fell asleep on you!” she stammers, her voice still gruff from just having woken up and not clearing her throat at all.

I shake my head and a chuckle that begins in my chest causes my shoulders to bounce, “Don't worry about it Scootaloo, it was wet and miserable and I guess we were both tired.” I say in an effort to dismiss the awkwardness she's experiencing.

She still seems incapable of shaking it off but nods all the same. Running a hoof through the grass at her side she begins to gaze off into the distance, her eyes blinking slowly as the grogginess of sleep wears off. I follow her gaze and notice, for the first time, some structures made from what appears to be thatched hay as well as a combination of brick and stone several kilometres away.

I get up and slowly make my way over to the edge of the lake. The surface is still, now that the rain has stopped. My gaze lowers and I see myself for the first time, gazing back is a set of large but soft, green eyes surrounded by the sea of white fur-like hair that comprises my coat. Black and gray locks of hair form a mane that dangles to the left of my horn, my left ear barely pokes out from the mess. I turn my head from side to side, getting a look at myself from all angles before Scootaloo steps up beside me, gazing into the reflection herself.

Scootaloo looks over at my reflection and I begin to pull faces, scrunching my muzzle up, poking my tongue out and even dragging my cheek down to expose the pink muscle that makes up my eye socket. She begins to giggle before it works its way up into an outright laugh. I turn and push her over playfully, her legs flail in the air as she struggles for breath between fits of laughter.

Looking down at her with a grin growing wide on my face, I prod her in the side and motion towards what I assume is a town. “So, do you mind showing me around today Scootaloo?” I ask.

She puts her hoof to her chin in thought for a moment before slowly working up an answer, “I guess I could take you around town. It won't hurt anypony and it'd be nice to hang out with somepony for a change instead of trying to find something to do myself.”

I offer her a hoof to help her up off the ground and she sets a brisk pace, setting out for the town which resembles a village at the moment, but who am I to question a resident of the place? As we trot over the field, I look around, observing the surrounding area and notice a large collection of clouds further out, at the edges of the town with a rainbow peaking over the top.

“Hey, uh, Scootaloo. What's with those clouds over there and the rainbow?” I ask, gesturing over at them with my hoof as she stops to see what I'm indicating.

Her eyes widen and I swear that I can see a kind of sparkle in them as she turns from the clouds and back to me. “That's Rainbow Dash's house!” she says in awe. None too impressed by just the name, I prod for more information.

“So... what does 'Rainbow Dash' do?” I expand the topic for her in an attempt to learn something about the world I know little about.

She shakes her head, I assume to clear the awestruck expression from her face as she puts a more serious one in its place. “She's only the fastest pegasus in all of Equestria! And the coolest of the Wonderbolts!” her wings begin to beat from the obvious excitement I'm putting her in at the mere thought of this Rainbow Dash.

“Oh okay, I never thought someone could make a house out of clouds seeing as they aren't solid. At least, I think they aren't solid.” I say thoughtfully, observing the opaqueness of the clouds that form the 'house' of this Rainbow dash. In all honesty, the clouds look like they could pass off as white walls, if it weren't for the logic in my mind screaming at me that clouds were not solid and were in fact tiny particles of water, in the most basic sense of course.

Scootaloo knocks me playfully with a hoof, “Come on don't be silly! The pegasus city, Cloudsdale is made out of clouds too-” she stops as my expression slowly turns into one of awe. “You're serious?”

I nod slowly, trying to process the information. An entire city made of clouds, up in the sky, with ponies in it. I don't know whether to press for more information that might blow my mind, or to leave it be for the time being.

Deciding that my sanity is more important than knowing, I gesture for Scootaloo to lead the way once more. She quickly turns and we begin making our way towards the town. The rest of the walk is relatively uneventful, neither of us say much more to one another and I manage to keep my questions to myself until we reach the edge of the town.

“Now entering Ponyville, have a nice day.” Scootaloo says suddenly, in what I interpret as an attempt at humour. I quickly give a quiet chuckle and file the nugget of information away. So the town is Ponyville, aptly named I guess.

We come out between some buildings and onto a carefully maintained path. Some ponies are going about their business and barely sparing us a glance, which is fine by me. Scootaloo directs me down the 'street' as I come to realise that's what it is, and out into a larger area with cobblestone making up most of the surface area of the ground. I can hear the hustle and bustle of town life in the area around as I realise there are dozens of ponies, probably even more, talking amongst small groups of themselves, standing at stalls, sitting on benches, eating, drinking and so many other activities that I can barely comprehend it all.

Scootaloo doesn't stop however and ploughs on to the center of the area and turns to me as I try to catch up on the lost ground between us. “This is the marketplace where ponies come to buy and sell goods or just hang out with one another.” She informs me, ignoring the awed expression I'm sporting as she gestures around.

“Most of Ponyville is divided up into 'districts' this one is the market district, over through there is the shopping district,” she motions with a hoof as she explains, “and further that way is the upper end of town where the Mayor's office is, see that tall building? That's the office. And over there you can see the top of Sugarcube Corner.” I follow her hoof as she indicates landmarks and I try to make a mental map of the town which looks more and more like a small city.

“And over there, just down past the shopping district is the bulk of the residential area, and that tree over there? That's Books and Branches, a library that Twilight Sparkle runs with her assistant, Spike.” she points at the top of a tree which I can see some windows in amongst the branches of. I whistle then turn a full circle, taking it all in as best I can.

We begin making our way to the plaza, some ponies stop to wave and say hello, I wave back but we don't stop for long. As we pass more buildings, I spend a moment to observe them a little more in detail. It looks like the roofs are definitely made out of closely bundled hay layered across the entire span. The walls are mostly some white washed material, it's kind of porous like unpainted plaster, but I really have no idea what it actually was. As I come to this conclusion, I realise we're now in the plaza and in the centre is a large building that looks like it should be in a dessert parlour. Wait! That's Sugarcube Corner, one of the landmarks that Scootaloo showed me from the marketplace. So awesome!

Something about the adventure of exploring unknown territory just makes my heart fill with indescribable joy. I physically bounce right up beside Scootaloo who gives me a brief look of concern before casting her gaze around the plaza.

I spot a minty green pony slouching back in a chair out the front of a building, likely a restaurant, with a cream coated pony opposite her, giving the minty one a dark glare. With half a mind to go over and introduce myself, I stop that thought when Scootaloo gasps sharply before ducking behind me.

“What?” I ask, a little surprised by the sudden change in mood. Scootaloo tries to minimise her profile behind mine and I turn to look in the direction she's hiding from.

I see two young girls, or I should be correct here and use the term 'mares', one cream coated with red mane and tail, a bow at the back of her mane. Another with a white coat and a light lavender mane and tail that are brushed into some sort of style which I assume is the current fashion. The two are roughly the same height as Scootaloo, who comes up to my chin when we stand up at our full heights, and both of them, I realise, have cutie marks. The deep cream one has an apple slice in a glass cutie mark and the white one bears an easel with a blank canvas propped on it.

“Is it those two?” I ask, pointing a hoof over at the pair while they make their way towards a shop with a sign indicating that its some arts and crafts store.

Scootaloo nods but doesn't supply an answer as to why she's avoiding them, they don't seem like bad peop-errr, ponies, at a glance. Of course I could be entirely wrong since the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover, right?

That's when I notice Scootaloo is slinking away to the other side of the plaza. I trot up to her and give her a quizzical look before she just shakes her head and we trot through Ponyville, ending up in one of the parks scattered throughout the districts. Scootaloo stops at a water fountain and peers into it, her features are hard and I gather she's not a happy chappy.

“What's the matter?” I ask her. Falling onto my haunches beside her as she dangles a hoof into the rippling water of the fountain. My gaze travels up to the peak where the water spurts out and falls back down into the basin.

We seem to sit there for a while, I don't press any harder for answers, a gut feeling telling me that if she is going to tell me why she acted the way she did back there, she will do it when she's ready, and more importantly, if she's comfortable with talking about it of course.

I turn away from the fountain and gaze back at the town and skies above, watching as a pegasus bucks some clouds on the far edge of the town. The clouds vaporise under the hooves of the pegasus and they move on to some other clouds to repeat the process.

Everything I've seen so far gives me this sense of... security that I don't think I've ever felt before now. Everything just works and it works well, harmoniously in fact. The resident ponies are polite and welcoming, and if I could say so myself, were rather cute. A small, dark corner of my mind tried to nag at me, telling me that I don't belong here and that it won't last, something will go wrong at some point, but I dismiss it. What does that voice know anyway? Seems like it just sits at the back of my mind and moans whenever it feels like!

Much to my surprise, Scootaloo turns to me, “Ugh... they were my old friends from when we were fillies.” she starts, her voice downcast and her eyes unfocused. I honestly hadn't expected her to open up like that, but I nod and go along with it.

“We grew up and when they got their cutie marks and I didn't... we drifted apart.” she added. There was a little more to the situation than that, I feel, but I don't ask or comment on that thought. I just nod along, accepting what I have so far as an explanation.

We sit in silence for a while more, I'm mulling over the day so far and trying to think of a way to cheer Scootaloo up a bit, and I assume she's just running over the past in her head. I get up on and turn to her, “If you want some advice? Try not to dwell too much on the past or it gets in the way of the future. I'm going to go and explore more of Ponyville now that I have some bearings on where to go, so take some time for yourself and think about stuff.”

Scootaloo looks up at me, startled by the interrupted silence. So I give her a reassuring smile, I like her and I want to help her feel better but she needs to be able to carry her own doubts and misgivings on her own, that's what makes a person, and I assume a pony, stronger after all and she needs to be able to carry it herself without someone there all the time.

She nods, accepting the announcement and picks herself up off the ground before walking slowly through the park. Part of me wants to chase after her, but I subdue it and focus on my own needs for the very moment, the here and now. I should become acquainted with the town and its residents, see what I can learn or do to become familiar with the way things work here and perhaps maybe to jog my memory shirk that haze.