• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Bridle Gossip

Episode 9 – Bridle Gossip.

For a strange and unusual reason, I had managed to sleep without any interruptions. I felt fully awake and rose from my bed. After tidying up a bit, I walked to my front door and stood idly for a moment. That's odd… there's no noise outside whatsoever… I wonder what's up? I walked out the front door to see that Ponyville was a ghost town…

I continued walking, looking around suspiciously. The only noise was the wind, which brought an eerie feeling inside me. Every door was locked shut and so were all the windows. I continued walking until I saw some pony that looked to be digging at the ground. I looked hesitantly at the pony for a bit. It had on a hooded cover, revealing only the striped hooves.

I slowly began walking towards it.

"Hello…?" I asked.

The pony glanced over my way, revealing dark, glowing eyes. This frightened me a bit, but I continued to walk over to the pony.

"Hey…" I began. "Do you know where every other pony is?" I asked.

"This, I do not know." The pony replied. I assumed it was a female to do the sound of her voice. "I am just looking for things that grow. Know this, I am no pony. Instead, to this village, I am lonely." She removed the hood, which covered her face, to reveal that she was actually a zebra.

"Oh… I'm sorry. I had mistaken you for a pony… I've never seen a zebra around here."

"It is alright my good friend, as I am far from this land." She continued to dig at the ground.

"What is it that you're digging for?" I asked.

"I am digging for something new, something which to brew."

"Okay…" I scratched my head. "Do you need any help…?"

"No thank you, I am alright. Once these flowers are dug, they are easy to sight. I must go now, for I have much more work to do. I have much more things to find, which are needed for my brew." She began walking off to the park. I continued to look, with a mind full of questions as the zebra continued to dig for whatever she was looking for.

"You ponies are being ridiculous!" I heard Twilight say, muffled a bit.

I looked over to where the sound came from. In a window, I could see the shadow of Pinkie Pie and Twilight. It looked as if they were arguing.

"Well, I heard that Zecora eats HAY!" Pinkie Pie replied.

"Pinkie, I eat hay; YOU eat hay!"

"Yeah, but I heard it's the EVIL way she eats hay."

I walked inside to find every pony surprised of my visit.

"He's ALIVE! That must mean the evil zebra put a super evil CURSE on him!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

"What are you talking about?" I questioned. "I'm not cursed."

"That's what SHE wants you to think!" Pinkie Pie replied.

"Pinkie, stop it!" Twilight intervened and walked towards me. "Alex, is not cursed. Alex, we saw you talking to her, even while SOME ponies kept saying she was going to curse you… could you PLEASE tell us that she's NOT EVIL?"

Every pony looked towards me. I looked at them, confused. "Um… she doesn't seem evil…"

"See!" Twilight exclaimed.

"But she was talking about finding some things to brew…" I added.

Pinkie Pie screamed and hid behind Rarity. "You mean she's finding some PONIES to brew!"

"That crazy! I'm pretty sure she just means—

"Hey! Where's Applebloom?" Applejack interrupted Twilight, frightened by her little sister's disappearance.

"The door's open!" Fluttershy pointed out.

"She went outside!" Rarity cried out.

"And Zecora's still out there!" Rainbow Dash added into the fear.

"That silly lil' filly! I told her to stay put!" Applejack said.

Every pony began running out the door, hastily. Twilight started for the door too, but before she left, she spoke to Spike. "Spike, you stay here in case Apple Bloom comes back."

"Will do!" Spike replied.

"Alex, let's go." She told me as she raced out the door. I followed her, unhesitating.

We galloped through the path to the Everfree forest. We had made it just in time to see Applebloom following Zecora. All the other ponies had walked through a patch of blue flowers. Just as I was about to do the same, my instincts prevented me to.

"Applebloom?" Applejack yelled.

Applebloom gasped and looked back at us.

"You git back here right now!" Applejack shouted.

"Beware! Beware, you pony folk!" Zecora exclaimed. "Those leaves of blue are not a joke!"

"Y-you keep your creepy mumbo-jumbo to yerself, ya hear?" Applejack exclaimed while picking up Applebloom.

Every other pony agreed with Applejack, standing against Zecora, except Twilight.

Twilight sighed. "Oh brother."

"Beware! Beware!" Zecora warned for the last time as she disappeared into the mist of the jungle.

"Yeah, back at ya, Zecora! You and your... lame curse are the ones who better beware!" Rainbow Dash continued to fight back with words.

"And you! Why couldn't you just listen to yer big sister?" Applejack asked Applebloom.

"I...I..." Applebloom tried to say something.

"Who knows what kind of nasty curse Zecora could have just put on you?"

"Just like in my song!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed, singing her song.

"You guys, there's no such thing as curses!" Twilight exclaimed.

"Well, that's interesting to hear coming from Miss Magic Pants herself." Rainbow Dash responded.

"My magic, REAL magic, comes from within. It's a skill you're born with. Curses are artificial, fake magic. It's conjured with potions and incantations; all smoke and mirrors meant to scare. But curses have no real power; they're just an old pony tale."

"Just you wait, Twilight." Applejack replied, giving off an eerie mood. "You're gonna learn that some pony tales really are true."

Twilight stood back as she thought to herself, while all the other ponies began leaving the area.

"Twilight…" I called.

She looked back over at me.

"I don't think you should stay in those flowers…" I warned.

"Why?" She asked, coming over to me.

"Just a feeling…" I responded.

Every pony walked back towards their home, trying to shrug off the eerie mood that hung around us all. Every pony in Ponyville eventually came out, slowly recovering from Zecora's visit. The day ended in silence, leaving me with a bizarre feeling that something worse was going to happen…

The next day, I woke up normal as usual. I don't feel any different… so why does this feeling still cling around me?

I walked outside and decided I would visit Fluttershy. I haven't talked to her since the last time… when she…

I shook my head and started my way towards Fluttershy's home.

When I arrived, she was outside. She had just finished feeding the animals. She sat gloomily near a tree and stared at the ground. I walked over to her.

"Hey… Fluttershy… Is something wrong…?" I asked.

She looked up to me and blushed. She turned her head and looked away, giving a nod afterwards.

"What is it?"

Her eyes moved uneasy, and she continued blushing for a moment. She opened her mouth as if she was about to talk, but then immediately shut it.

"Fluttershy…" I was growing worried about her.

She picked up her hoof and pointed towards town.

"You want to go to town?" I asked.

She nodded. She stood up and began walking over to town. I walked by her side, looking and thinking curiously.

When we arrived in town, she used her body language to tell me that she wanted to go into Twilight's home. Still wondering intensely about what was going on, I obeyed her wish. We entered her home to see every other pony gathered there… but I was so surprised by the appearance of the other ponies that… I couldn't stop staring with my mouth agape.

Twilight's horn was limp and covered with spots of blue. Pinkie Pie's tongue was swelled significantly and covered with spots of blue as well, disabling her ability to talk well. Rainbow Dash continued to crash into shelves. Rarity, who I did not even recognize for a moment, had her mane and tail all frizzled up and soggy. Applejack, who I did not even see until I looked at the color for a bit, was reduced in size and on the back of her little sister…ironically.

"Fluttershy!" Twilight exclaimed. "She seems just fine! What about you, Alex?"

"Uh… I guess…? What's going on here? What happened to you girls?" I asked, still struck in confusion and surprise.

Pinkie Pie tried to explain, but all she did was spurt out muffled words and sprayed saliva all over the place.

"What she's trying to say is…" Rainbow Dash began talking as she continued to crash into different places. "Zecora… CURSED US!"

"Cursed?" I wondered. "I feel just fine… however, despite that Fluttershy looks okay, something is odd about her…"

"Yes, there doesn't seem to be a THING wrong with her." Rarity added through the drapes of her mane.

Fluttershy had stared, worriedly, at the ground.

"Fluttershy?" Twilight asked. "Are you okay?" Fluttershy closed her eyes and looked away. "Is there something wrong with you?" Fluttershy opened her eyes to look over at Twilight and closed them again, straining her eyes and giving a nod. "Would you care to tell us?" Twilight said, sounding irritated. Fluttershy looked over at Twilight again and refused by looking away. "So... you're not gonna to tell us?" Fluttershy gave a confident nod. "Yes you're not, or yes you will?" Fluttershy shook her head.

Applejack ran over to Fluttershy on the table, stopping on top of a book. "Good gravy, girl! What's wrong with you?" Applejack demanded, surprising Fluttershy.

Fluttershy held her head down and looked over to me, blushing. After hesitating for a moment, she looked away from every pony and finally spoke.

"I don't want to talk about it." A voice responded that I did not recognize. It was very deep and it came from Fluttershy… my eyes grew wide and I remained silent.

Spike snorted, and then burst out laughing. "This is hilarious! Look at all of you! We got: Hair-ity, Rainbow Crash, Spitty Pie, Apple-tini, Flutterguy, and... uh..." Spike looked over at Twilight, trying to think of a name for her. " I got nothin'... Twilight Sparkle. I mean seriously, I can't even work with that."

Twilight laughed sarcastically. "This is no joke, Spike. Now start looking for more books so I can find a cure!"

Spike groaned while Rainbow Dash continued to pull herself out of a ladder she had crashed in to. Once she broke free, she spoke to Twilight while flying unbalanced.

"I think we'll find a cure to this curse at Zecora's place!"

"It's not a curse!" Twilight exclaimed, making Rainbow Dash crash again.

"I agree with Dash! We'll go to Zecora's and force her to remove this hex!" Applejack agreed.

"It's not a hex either!" Twilight argued.

Soon, every pony began arguing, endlessly. After a moment of trying to resist, I finally gave in and intervened. "ENOUGH!" I shouted. The whole room immediately grew quiet. "I believe Twilight is right; I don't think she cursed us. If she had, wouldn't I have something wrong with too?"

"I don't care what you and Twilight say;" Rainbow Dash responded. "It's time to pony up and confront Zecora. Come on, girls; are you with me?"

"Ah am-pft!" Pinkie Pie spat.

"And I as well." Rarity added.

"Uh, I don't know. Seems awfully dangerous." Fluttershy gave her opinion, leaving Spike to only giggle again.

"How about you, Applejack?" Rainbow Dash asked. She looked over to where Applejack was supposed to be, but she wasn't there. "Applejack?"

"Pf-she's gone-pft!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

Rarity screamed. "Aah! Or somepony stepped on her!" She checked her hooves, causing every other pony to check as well.

"... or sat on her?" Twilight added. Every pony checked there too.

"Rarity's hair!" Rainbow Dash offered.

Pinkie Pie began searching through Rarity's hair. "Oh! OH! Pinkie, what are you doing?" Rarity exclaimed. " Ah, really. Aah! You ever hear of personal space?"

"Nopthe." Pinkie Pie replied, shaking her head.

"Applebloom is gone too!" Twilight cried out.

"I bet they went after Zecora!" Rainbow Dash responded.

"Well we better go find them." Twilight began walking out. "Come on ponies, let's go."

Pinkie Pie had her hoof on a strand of Rarity's hair, causing her to be unable to move.

"Oh dear." Rarity announced. "This is so unseemly. Auuuaah!" Rarity broke free.

Rainbow Dash was flying upside down on the floor. "Hey, a little help here?"

"Oopsie! Sorry." Fluttershy said, helping Rainbow Dash along with Pinkie Pie, which only caused her to crash again.

"Uh... Spike? Are you coming?" Fluttershy asked.

"Nope! Uh... gotta stay here and look for a cure." Spike gasped. "Twilight Flopple!"

I rolled my eyes and sprinted by Fluttershy on the way to the Everfree forest.

We arrived, already galloping into the forest with no hesitation.

"C'mon. We've got to get to Zecora's. Hurry!" Twilight announced.

However, Rarity continued to trip on her loose strands of hair while Rainbow Dash continued to crash. Rarity had caught up to us, but Rainbow stayed behind. We didn't have time to lose, so we continued on.

We arrived at Zecora's hut.

"Oh. I look horrible!" Rarity exclaimed, having twigs and leaves in her hair.

Pinkie Pie lifted up her hair to see the hut. "Plis place plooks horrible!"

"Oh my." Rarity responded. "That place really DOES look horrible." We walked towards the window to see many tribal things inside. "Nice decorations, if you like creepy!"

Zecora walked in, making us duck below the window. We poked our heads back on the window to hear Zecora chant in a different language.

"Sthe sthtole my sthong! Shthe shtole mm mm!" Pinkie Pie angrily announced.

"She stole your song?" Rarity asked.

"Oh Pinkie." Twilight responded. "Doesn't sound anything like your song."

"Ah. Hmm..." Pinkie Pie ran over to Fluttershy and begged her. "Pbth!"

"Come on Pinkie Pie… Fluttershy is self conscious about her… voice… leave her alone." I told Pinkie Pie.

Pinkie Pie began to whimper. Fluttershy placed a hoof on me to let me know that it was alright. She sighed and began singing in her new voice.

"She's an evil enchantress

And she does evil dances

And if you look deep in her eyes

She will put you in trances

Then what would she do?

She'll mix up an evil brew

Then she'll gobble you up

In a big tasty stew

Soooo... watch out. " Fluttershy sang, all while Pinkie Pie was dancing out her moves.

"You saw those terrible things." Rarity told Twilight. "NOW you believe us Twilight?"

"Scary looking masks, confusing incantations, and a great big bubbling cauldron?" Twilight sighed. "Everything IS pointing to Zecora being... bad. Or... What if Zecora is just making soup?"

We looked back in the window to see Zecora take a taste of what was inside the cauldron. "Mmm! The perfect temperature for ponies, I presume. Now, where is that little Apple Bloom?" Zecora asked herself.

"Or... What if she's making Apple Bloom soup?" Twilight exclaimed, finally losing her cool. Every pony screamed. Suddenly, something flew straight into Zecora's hut, alarming her. She spoke in native language while Rainbow Dash continued to crash everywhere in the hut. Everything was happening so fast, I didn't know what to do, I could only just watch at the chaotic destruction occurring.

Twilight and the others barged inside the hut, demanding answers. "What have you done with Apple Bloom?"

However, Zecora ignored them and paid more attention to Rainbow Dash. "No! No!" She shouted, continuing her native language.

I saw a lasso grow out of Rainbow Dash. That must have been Applejack! She threw the lasso at Zecora's ear and threw herself at her, wrestling with her ear. Zecora reacted in confusion.

"Ponies!" Zecora exclaimed. What is this you..." Rainbow Dash screamed, knocking over the cauldron. "No! You know not what you've do! You've gone and spilled my precious brew!"

As Zecora knelt over the spilled fluids, Twilight continued to talk at her. "We're onto you Zecora. I didn't want to believe that you cursed us, but the evidence is overwhelming!"

"You made me look ridiculous!" Rarity added.

"You made me SOUND ridiculous!" Fluttershy emphasized.

With incoherent speech, Pinkie Pie joined in. "You made me speak ridiculous!"

"You ruined my horn!" Twilight finished.

"How DARE you! You destroy my home, destroy my work. Then rudely accuse me of being a jerk?" Zecora responded, defensively.

After realizing what the REAL problem was, I began rushing inside the hut.

"You put this curse on us, now you're gonna uncurse us." Rainbow Dash demanded.

"It is unwise to venture down this road. Your actions will make my anger explode!"

"Where IS Applebloom?" Twilight demanded and began shoving her head at Zecora's.

"Girls!" I shouted after entering the hut. "This isn't Zecora's fault! It's the flo—

"Zecora!" A familiar voice exclaimed. "I think I found all the things ya asked for." It was Applebloom, she had walked in and noticed the situation. "What in Ponyville is goin' on here? "

Applejack gasped. "Applebloom! You're okay!"

Applebloom smiled. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Twilight jumped in front of Applebloom. "Because Zecora is an evil enchantress who cursed us and was gonna cook you up into soup!"

Right before I could try to explain the whole situation, Zecora and Applebloom began laughing.

"Oh Twilight. Did those silly fillies finally get in yer head? You know there's no such thing as a curse." Applebloom said.

"Apple Bloom, sweetie. You can't just stand there and tell me this isn't a curse." Twilight replied, presenting the others' misfortunes.

"AS I WAS TRYING TO SAY…" I forcibly intervened. "Zecora is not the cause of your problems. In fact, she was trying to help… however, every pony was being too stubborn about one zebra looking like an evil 'enchantress', that they didn't watch where they were going and didn't take the warning." I announced, having every ponies' eyes on me.

"He's right." Zecora responded. "If you will remember back, the words I spoke were quite exact."

Every pony began remembering the time Zecora gave them the warning.

"About that blue plant… It's called Poison Joke." Applebloom explained.

"That plant is much like poison OAK. But its results are like a joke." Zecora added.

"What in the hay does that mean?" Applejack asked, still lingering on top of Zecora's head.

"It means this plant does not breed wrath. Instead this plant just wants a laugh." Zecora replied.

Applejack stood silent for a moment, trying to translate what Zecora had just said. "... Will somepony please talk normal?"

"I think what she's saying is that when we ran in to save Apple Bloom, we ran into the poison joke. All our problems are just little jokes that played on us." Twilight responded.

"LITTLE JOKES? Very funny…" Applejack replied sarcastically.

"Ok, fine. But what about the cauldron?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"And the chanting?" Fluttershy added.

"And the creepy decor?" Rarity joined.

"Treasures of the native land where I am from." Zecora looked over to the couple of masks that lay against the wall. "This one speaks 'hello', and this 'welcome'."

"Not welcoming at ALL, if you ask me." Rarity replied.

"The words I chanted were from olden times. Something you call a nursery rhyme." Zecora explained.

"But the cauldron... The Apple Bloom soup?" Twilight questioned.

"Lookie here Twilight. That pot of water wasn't for me, it was for all these herbal ingredients." Applebloom pointed to a nearby book that contained ancient recipes for cures. "The cure for poison joke is a simple all-natural remedy. You just gotta take a bubble bath!"

Twilight read over the book and continued to wonder. "But I tried to find a cure in all my books and couldn't find anything." She said as her horn continued to wobble. "What book has this natural remedy?"

Zecora walked over to the book and closed it, showing the cover. "Here is the book you see. Sad that you lack it in your library."

Twilight looked disappointed. "Actually, I do have this book, but I didn't look inside because the title was so... Weird." Zecora opened the book again, showing Twilight a page, which Twilight read out loud. "Supernaturals: Natural remedies and cure-alls that are simply super. I...I... I'm so sorry Zecora. I had the answer the whole time, if only I had bothered to look inside..."

Zecora chuckled. "Maybe next time you will take a second look, and not judge the cover of the book."

"Isn't that the truth…" I muttered.

"Hahaha." Applebloom laughed.

"Zecora? Would you be kind enough to mix up another batch of the herbal bath?" Twilight asked.

"Mix it up I certainly will. Yet I am missing an herb from Ponyville." Zecora accepted.

"But whenever Zecora comes to town, all the shops are MYSTERIOUSLY closed." Applebloom questioned.

"Oh, well... I think we can help you with that."

Twilight had led all of us back into town. I figured she knew that every pony would begin running in fear again, but she must have had a plan for that…

When we were in town, we noticed it was filled with ponies. However, It wasn't long until they noticed Twilight and the others still with the Poison Joke symptoms.

"Look Rose! How awful!" One screamed.

"The wicked enchantress has cursed them all!" Another exclaimed.

"The horror, the horror!" A pony overdramatically announced.

All the ponies began screaming and running in to their homes. Regardless, Twilight walked up to the flower shop and knocked on the door. When the door was answered, there was a small opening and Twilight spoke. "Daisy, we need to talk."

After explaining how misjudging the ponies have been against Zecora, Twilight managed to help Zecora attain the ingredients for the bubble bath. With the help of Twilight, she spread the word at the Spa, which the ponies, who ran the place, agreed to allow Zecora to make the bubble bath there. I sat outside the opened door, while Zecora had just finished the touch ups to the bath.

"Now after all the troubles you have seen, you may finally become nice and clean!" Zecora exclaimed.

I could hear every one of the girls jump in the tub, excited. While they were beginning to relax as their symptoms began to disappeared, Twilight readied her letter to Princess Celestia. "Dear Princess Celestia," Twilight spoke as they continued to bathe. "My friends and I all learned an important lesson this week: Never judge a book by its cover. Someone may look unusual, or funny, or scary. But you have to look past that and learn who they are inside. Real friends don't care what your "cover" is; It's the "contents" of a pony that count. And a good friend, like a good book, is something that will last forever. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle."

Attaining that same warmth feeling in my heart, I looked up at the ceiling and thought how special it was to hear that… especially how much it meant to me…

"Miss Zecora." I heard a pony say inside. "I would love to get the recipe for this bath. It's simply luxurious!"

"Applejack! Hey. Where's Applejack?" I heard Applebloom exclaim.

I could hear the girls gasp and scream in fright as they desperately searched for Applejack.

"I'm right here lil' sis. I ain't tiny no more!" Applejack announced.

"Ooh. I have never felt so lovely in all my life!" Rarity exclaimed.

"Oh my gosh!" Pinkie Pie cried out. "I've never realized how horrible it is not to be able to talk. I mean I LOVE talking so much and when I couldn't talk 'cause my tongue was all 'ehhhh'. It was the WORST! Don't you agree, Fluttershy?"

There was a pause for a moment. "Yes…" I heard Fluttershy's soft and sweet voice again.

Every pony laughed inside, while I could only remain calm on the outside of the room, laying my head on the wall.

After they had finished their bath, they walked out of the spa, renewed and refreshed.

"That was the BEST BATH EVER!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

Zecora looked over at us and spoke. "Thank you ponies for understanding, yes indeed. You may come and visit me, in your time and need."

Every pony said goodbye to her, and she left towards her home. The night was day, and the day was night; it was late. Every pony returned back to their home, except Fluttershy. I began walking with her to her home.

"That was some adventure, wasn't it?" Fluttershy asked as we walked under the moon.

"Yeah…" I responded. "Every time, there is a new lesson awaiting us…"

"You're right…" Fluttershy replied. There was a moment of silence as we continued walking. "Remember when my voice was all…you know…"

"Yeah… what about it…?"

"To be honest… I was so embarrassed of letting everypony hear how it sounded… especially you… I was scared that I might have been made fun of…"

"Why would you ever think that…?"

"I don't know… reasons I guess… well Spike did laugh a bit but…" She smiled. "It was just for fun, he didn't mean any harm."

"Well… that's Spike." I paused for a moment. "Hey, Fluttershy…" I looked over at her. She returned her look. "Even if your voice was… different… you were still the same Fluttershy… at least… to me…"

She blushed and looked away. "Really…?" She asked softly.

"Of course." I responded.

We arrived at her home. I walked her to her door and we both stood there, looking at each other.

"Thank you… Alex." She said.

"For what?" I asked.

Fluttershy giggled a little. "For being you…"

I looked at her, tilting my head while I was a little confused. I understood what she meant but… for being me…?

She hugged me and opened the door to her home. She turned around and faced me. "Have a good night, Alex."

"You too… Fluttershy." I responded.

She gave one more smile and closed the door gently. I stood there for a moment, thinking. I turned around and started for the way home.

When I arrived at my house, I immediately started for the bed and threw myself on there. I thought about what Fluttershy told me… I could still hear her exact words as I began dozing off to sleep.

"For being you…"

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