• Published 4th Jul 2013
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Snowflake the Snowpony - Spangle

I spent hours pouring my soul into carefully crafting my snowpony. She turned out better than I could have ever hoped.

  • ...

Ch2 - Miracles And Magic

She was standing only a few feet from where I had stopped, staring up at me with beautiful, cobalt blue eyes that seemed to radiate like the Moon on a crisp winter's night. A shiver went down my spine, and my heart seized up in my chest. I could feel the adrenaline from the pure shock of it all surging through my body, but I was frozen like a statue. I was about to burst from joy, but I didn't dare move, afraid that any action might make her disappear right before my very eyes just as magically as she had appeared. Only the word "impossible" managed to barely escape my lips as a whisper, causing her to giggle slightly at my disbelief.

It was a miracle. What else would you call it? Snowflake, the same earth pony made of snow I had finished creating not an hour earlier, was alive. She gave a brief shake of her body similar to what you'd expect from a dog, and every imperfection created by my unskilled hands simply fell away from her form like a layer of loose snow, revealing an incredibly intricate design of a snowflake on her flank. Unsurprisingly, her coat was as white and glistening as the snow that was still softly drifting downwards around us; however, I was completely captivated by her mane and tail. Both seemed almost ethereal as they flowed from her elegant figure in a dense veil of falling snow that gradually faded into the nothingness of the night's air. I guess you could say I really liked her mane. Hah, bad reference joke! Right before she spoke again and snapped me out of my entrancement, she gave an obviously-pleased grin of just as stunningly-white teeth through her newly-formed mouth.

“Well.. aren't you going to say something?” she asked again, giving another short laugh as she simply stood there smiling at me. I'm not sure if you'll understand what I mean by this, but her voice rang with a pure and innocent tone, and resounded with a child’s wonderment and enthusiasm. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

Still at a loss for words, I said the one word I could think to say: “How!?

It was more another exclamation of my disbelief than a proper response, but I think it was appropriate given the situation. I mean, honestly, what would you have said? Probably something similar, right? In hindsight, I kind of wish I was a bit wittier and had said, "Are you the ghost of Christmas pony?" or something like that, but I was too surprised to be smart.

“It’s not really that hard, silly,” she replied with a playfulness clearly present in her voice. “You made me!”

Yep, simple as that, agreed? No. There was no way that's all there was to it. My brain hurt. We've already established that I’m a logical thinker. I like things to make sense, and this made none. Then again, what fun is there in making sense? Heh, more reference humor. But in all seriousness, I had to at least try to get a somewhat reasonable understanding of what exactly was going on.

“But that doesn't explain anything!” I blurted with a little too much volume.

I’m also a very loud and easily excitable person, especially when I have good reason to be. I cringed a bit and quickly placed a hand over my mouth as I realized people were probably trying to sleep, and honestly, I didn't want any company. I had no idea what would've happened if someone had just wandered out and seen Snowflake, and I didn't want to put it to a test. She, on the other hand, simply gave another adorable laugh at my outburst. Geeze, was she cute.

“Would it make you feel any better if I said it was the magic of Christmas?” she asked with laughter in her words.

“...Not really, no,” I said flatly, shaking my head slightly at her nonsense.

“How about the power of true love?” she asked, batting her eyes at me as she drew out the last word.

What?" I responded a little incredulously.

I have admit, that one had thrown me off. I've never been one to feel any particular sort of physical attraction towards anything outside my own species, especially inanimate ponies made of snow. My mind simply short-circuited itself at the comment as my face contorted itself in confusion. Snowflake simply gave yet another giggle upon seeing my apparently amusing reaction to her little joke before explaining herself and saving my brain from a complete nuclear meltdown.

“Well you did just spend the past few hours freezing cold and wet to make sure that I wouldn't be half a snowpony. What else would you call that?” she asked.

She did make a good point. She had become a labor of love, though, like I mentioned before, it was certainly more similar to the love a parent would feel towards their child. Once I began to give her a form, she became more than just a pony; she became my pony. There wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that I was going to abandon her half-finished, never to become whole. It just wouldn't have felt right. Snowflake was my first snowpony and—you know what? I hadn't even thought to ask her if that was really her name until that very moment.

“Snowflake...?” I asked somewhat hesitantly.

"Yes?" she said in a drawn-out response, giving a slight tilt of her head while she continued to smile at me. It was obvious she was thoroughly enjoying the entire encounter.

“So that is your name,” I said with a satisfied shake of my fist, briefly looking off to the side in thought.

“Of course it’s my name! You gave it to me, after all,” she pointed out, drawing my eyes back to her. “Don’t you remember?” she asked with a slight and playfully-disapproving shake of her head. Her mane trailed snowflakes as it swayed with the motion. She lifted her chin high as she planted a hoof forward. “I’m Snowflake: The Prettiest of the Snowponies!” she said striking her proud pose. She certainly lived up to the title, I gave her that. I was still astounded that she lived at all!

“Yes, of course I remember... I just wanted to make sure,” I explained, “but I'd still like to know how you’re actually alive. I'm pretty sure I didn't do that.” She was definitely having her fun making me state the obvious; although, I’ll admit I've been guilty of the same every now and again. Like father like daughter, I suppose... if that even applies to a situation like the one I faced.

“Let’s just say a couple of princesses thought you could use a little magic in your life tonight,” she said in a tender tone as she gazed up to the sky, the snow still falling softly from it's starless expanse.

The Princesses? Yeah, you read right. I admit, I was skeptical as well, but then again, I was talking to a magical snowpony. I didn't really have much room to argue for logic at that point. Regardless, it felt very odd to think of Luna and Celestia as anything more than fictional characters, but apparently their magic was at work right in front of my eyes. Seeing is believing, as they say. All the evidence indicated that they were real and that they had somehow brought my snowpony to life, but I couldn’t stop myself from trying to ask her those very questions.

“Then they’re—”

“Uh huh,” she said with a nod.

“And they—”

“Yep!” she exclaimed with a small, cheery hop. The snow gave a satisfying crunch when she landed.

Snowflake having apparently read my mind and her origin essentially clarified, I moved on to the next obvious question on the list of stupid things people ask when something truly wonderful—or horrible—happens to them.

It was the typical expression: “Why me?”

I told you it was stupid. Seriously, why would I want to question it? It was the best possible thing I could have ever wished for—in fact, I did wish for it if you recall—and there I was just asking for the universe to come in and ruin it! It reminds me of those situations when people say, “At least it can’t get any worse,” and then it does. Thankfully, the universe did not seize the golden opportunity I had so graciously given it to crush my dreams once again, and instead Snowflake just took a cleansing breath and closed her eyes for a moment before answering my generic, very predictable question. When she did, she gazed deep into my eyes and spoke into my very soul.

“Beneath all your laughter and smiles is a lot of pain... pain that you really don’t want anyone to see because you don’t want them to worry.”

I gave a short laugh and shook my head at the ridiculous accusation. It was ridiculous, and I told her exactly why it was ridiculous. Did I mention that it was ridiculous?

“Have you seen my life?” I asked with my usual enthusiasm. “Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good! I've got friends and family that care about me, a good job in the Air Force, and more opportunities than I know what to do with. I love my life!” I said as I threw my hands in the air, breathing a little heavy from becoming a little too excited in my explanation. Snowflake remained calm and kept looking at me with caring, knowing eyes.

“Then why did you just spend the last few hours outside, alone in the cold?” she asked softly yet confidently.

“Uh... b-because I like to be artistic...?” I suggested with slow and heavily enunciated words as I gave exaggerated shrug and nervous smile.

She gave me a look, and I'm pretty sure you know the kind I mean. My arms dropped to my side as I lowered my head in defeat and let out a sigh. I could tell she didn't buy it and neither did I. Those pains in my heart I felt when I was sculpting her from the snow had been too powerful, too real to be just a passing whim. Something was wrong in my life, and it was time for me to face reality. Ironic considering I was talking to the pony version of Frosty the Snowman.

“So it wasn’t because you were trying to escape from your pain?” she pushed, taking a step towards me. “Trying to forget about the disappointment and emptiness you feel almost every day?”

I didn't say anything. I couldn’t say anything. I just kept looking down at my boots. She was right. How she was right, I didn't know. To her, I was an open book. She even seemed to know things about me that I didn't know about myself. Magic, am I right? She didn't have to explain sh—anything. She closed the rest of the distance and placed a hoof tenderly on my chest.

“So, what then?" I asked as I slowly lifted my head. "Is that why you’re here? To help poor little ol’ me get over myself?” I accused a bit sharply, causing her to lower her hoof and give me a bit of space. I admit, I felt a little bad about it, but I had to say my peace. “Please. I’m sure there’s plenty of other people who could use that help a lot more. In fact, I would prefer you go help those people,” I said somewhat resentfully. Before you say it, yes, I was being stubborn and defensive and pushing away the most incredible thing to ever come into my life. Blame my stupid self-pride. Snowflake closed her eyes for a moment before she spoke again.

“No,” she answered with a shake of her head. “That’s the reason I’m here.”

Now I was confused again, and I could see that she could see I was confused. She lowered her head with another sigh before continuing on, again looking me straight in the eyes with that same warm and understanding gaze of hers when she began speaking again.

“You’re always so focused on others that you never think to take care of yourself. You hide your true feelings because you don’t want to feel like a burden anyone else. That’s not healthy!” she blatantly pointed out.

All I could do was rub my neck and avert my gaze as I internally admitted defeat; she had scored a direct hit, good effect on target. I always tried so hard to make everyone else’s lives easier, doing my best to keep their minds at ease, always telling them I was alright when I wasn’t, always keeping all my hurt and pain hidden from those who cared about me most or avoiding them when I couldn't. I loved to help others, but never wanted to bother anyone with helping me. I gave and gave and gave but never let anyone give back. I didn't want them to give back. I had joined the Air Force to make the world a better place. That was my mission, not to be a burden for someone else to carry, or... that’s the way I thought about it, anyway.

If I was being honest, it was draining the life out of me, sucking all the joy and happiness from my soul until there was nothing left. Deep down, I felt empty and exhausted. The happiness everyone else saw was nothing but a lie. Well, maybe not a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth at the very least, like only showing your good side when taking a picture.

“So, what now?” I asked flatly, my voice low and defeated.

“Now...” she continued, “I bring some magic back into your life,” she said with barely contained excitement in her words.

The term “magic” had caused me to snap me out of my sulking to see her giving me a sly smile and wink. My eyes were now bright with curiosity as my mouth hung slightly open, trying to think of what to say or ask next, but nothing came to mind. I just stared at her for a moment as she turned around and began to trot lightly towards the treeline, the wet snow crunching under her hooves with each step. She stopped just short of entering the forest and looked back at me over her shoulder.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” she asked. “Are you coming or not?”

I gave a slight shake of my head to rid myself of my stunned surprise. "Y-Yeah, absolutely..." I answered and casually ran to her side, still trying to understand what was happening.

The two of us crossed into the treeline without another word, gradually leaving the artificial light provided by the exterior apartment lamps. Luckily, the snow tends to amplify any ambient light, and having the white of the ground in such stark contrast to the dark colors of the trees made finding our path not too difficult. As we went deeper into the forest, only the sounds of our steps and the noises of the forest kept the silence at bay. I could hear the wind blowing through the trees, the snow falling from their branches, and the trees creaking, cracking, and occasionally collapsing under the unfamiliar weight of the snow and ice.

It wasn't unfamiliar to me. I had grown quite fond of similar surroundings during the many winters of my childhood wandering through the woods, although there was more underbrush than I was used to that made it a bit difficult to traverse. As I recalled those times from my youth, I felt that familiar spirit of peace and calm begin to take up residence within my soul. The nostalgia was nearly overwhelming. It was undeniably nice to walk through the snowy wilderness and down memory lane, but nothing all too special. It wasn’t magical.

I turned to look at Snowflake who had simply been looking forward the entire time. She seemed to be focusing on something, although I couldn’t tell what it was. We had been making our way through the forest for a short while, but didn't really seem to be headed in any specific direction, just wandering aimlessly. Then... it happened.

With a shake of her mane, a flurry of snow suddenly flew upwards around us in a small whirlwind, gusting and twisting violently enough to the point where I had no choice but to shield my face from its assault. When it vanished only a few seconds later, it seemed as though nothing had changed. As far as I could tell, we were still in the forest, but what I failed to observe was the abrupt and unnatural change in the weather: the snow was no longer drifting softly from the sky and not even a single cloud obscured the suddenly star-filled night, making it noticeably easier to see. Snowflake simply resumed walking without a single outward reaction to the curious event. I, on the other hand, had stopped altogether, completely dumbfounded as I tried to figure out what in God’s frosted winter night just happened.

“What was that?” I asked loud enough for my words to carry to her ears, knowing full well she had something to do with it.

She didn't say anything, but I could’ve sworn I saw the slightest hint of a smirk on the side of her muzzle with a small snort of white from her breath through her nose, but she kept moving otherwise unfazed towards a break in the treeline that I had apparently failed to notice a few moments earlier. After running to catch up with her, the underbrush pleasantly less prevalent, I leaned over until my head was level with hers, looked intently at her face, and asked a slightly different question in the hopes of getting any sort of answer with a second attempt. This time, I would let her know I was onto... whatever it was she was doing.

“What did you do?” I asked, stressing each word for added emphasis.

Still nothing, though I swear I saw the telltale signs of yet another grin suppressed beneath her lips. Her silence was absolutely maddening, but I didn't have to wait much longer for an answer. As we emerged from the trees just a moment later, she extended her hoof forward.

“Welcome,” she paused for dramatic effect, “to the land of Equestria!” she announced with the skill of a seasoned performer.

I shifted my gaze towards the direction she was pointing. Surely she was pulling my leg, but when I finally saw the landscape, my eyes shot open as wide as humanly possible. We were at the top of a small, snow-covered hill with the forest to our backs. Off in the distance, I could see the very familiar scene of Canterlot sitting on its mountainside perch with what I assumed to be the flickering lights of Ponyville off a bit to the right of the mountain’s base. The night sky was strikingly clear, causing my eyes to drift upwards and take in the countless stars and Luna’s impressively large moon directly overhead. I bent my head back further to continue my stargazing and wound up losing my balance, falling flat on my butt. I didn't mind; I just continued gawking at the incredibly unbelievable sight before me. Snowflake simply shut her eyes and place a hoof over her lips as she gave a soft, mirthful laugh at my bewilderment.

Only three words managed to escape my mouth:

“Best. Christmas. Ever.”

Author's Note:

The final version of chapter 2 is complete! Huzzah!

No more changes from this point forward, thank God. The only things I'll be correcting are mistakes of spelling and grammar that have escaped the editing process. I do believe that it reads better than it did before, and I'm happy enough with it. I hope you can enjoy it, too!

Let the feels begin! For the record, the emotions are real. I was going through a rough time and was forced to confront them, eventually learning a great deal about myself and how I needed to change the way I thought about things in the process.