• Published 9th Mar 2013
  • 7,332 Views, 375 Comments

P-Theory - Balthasar999

"You ever unwittingly use a magic letter to Celestia to roll a joint? Well, if you're wondering why I'm like, a girl unicorn now, that was the short version." Will this finally teach Rob not to be such an insufferable hipster?

  • ...

Oh The Ponanity


Oh The Ponanity

I'm blue

-Eiffel 65, “I'm Blue”

+ + +

Extending its roots into the sterile soil of unconsciousness from somewhere behind me—the kitchen, that's right, there are kitchens—was a conversation: two men and a woman talking about going to get breakfast. Ah, a 'morning.' Alright. I had this figured out.

A nice coating of American breakfast grease for my stomach sounded fantastic, and I thought about inviting myself along, but the pounding in my head and my thick, depleted-uranium blanket of tiredness meant any corner diner might as well have been in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Footsteps approached the living room, and suddenly I heard a clatter accompanied by a screech of “Jesus Christ!” I winced at the noise, closing my eyes even tighter. Nothing on Earth could be surprising enough to justify that kind of volume.

“What?” I heard the woman yell from another room.

“Get in here!” the same man continued. “There's a fuckin'...!” he trailed off just as two other voices cried out in surprise.

“That's not a...?” The woman left her rhetorical question unfinished as she stopped at the doorway.

“Yep,” one of the men deadpanned.

Inside I groaned. OK, so some asshole knocked over a potted plant and left dirt everywhere, or they yodeled groceries in the corner and now mushrooms are growing out of the carpet stain, or they fell into the glass coffee table and bled out. C'est la vie. Do you all really have to give that much of a shit right now?

The same man continued, with a tone of quiet frustration. “I don't remember anybody bringing... this.” I could hear him cracking a smile of chagrin as his tone rose to an exasperated singsong. “We would have noticed if there was a horse.”


“Well it wouldn't have just wandered in off the street,” the woman said, “And it's too little to be a horse cop's. And it's blue!” She sounded disgusted. “Who would do that to it? Dye it and just take it around? That's awful! I didn't think they even did that to baby chicks on Easter anymore.”

One of the men groaned with trepidation. “Nnnnnnghah, you don't think it's dead, do you?”

“It better not be!” The other man exclaimed. “What kinda asshole leaves a fuckin'...?” He didn't feel the need to finish.

I wondered if they were playing some kind of joke on me, but didn't know how they could have determined I was awake. I didn't smell anything dead—Just stale beer and some other especially pungent “morning after” funk—and finding a dead horse in the aftermath of a party sounded too much like something out of a phoned-in Van Wilder sequel to take seriously. It was just one notch above the groaner that was the Dead Prostitute, though I did derive a spark of amusement from the confluence of equine-themed events. It's been well known since Poisson's day that truly random events tend to clump together, and there's some psychological phenomenon called the Baader-Meinhoff Effect (can't believe I remembered that), where once you encounter a random topic that stands out, you “magically” start seeing it everywhere, and I smiled inwardly as I filed the events away. This was certainly a strange example, but I didn't have the energy to contemplate it further and just zoned out again.

My preferred view at the time.

“No, look, it's still breathing.” I heard the woman say. Well that's a relief—I was ever so worried.

I heard soft footsteps as someone walked to the center of the room. The woman's voice was suddenly a lot closer. “WH... Hey, c'mere! Someone's, like, glued a horn on it, too...! That's...” she sounded dismayed.

"No...," one of the men mumbled, "I think—I think that whole thing is like a wig or something... You ever seen a horse with hair like that?"

"I guess. Still... It must be stuck on or something, I can't believe it wouldn't shake it off otherwise."

A wig and horn? A blue dye job? Yeah, that would be pretty weak, dying and dressing up some petting zoo pony and taking it around to loud parties full of drunk, rowdy people (...) as a joke, all like, “I got a unicorn! NOW what, bitches?!” Dumbass. Glad s/he and I didn't get around to hanging out last night.

But I wasn't ashamed to admit it would've been cool to see, I mean, as long as it was there already, right? And assuming this whole horse thing wasn't some desperate “made you look” prank they were trying to pull to wake up anyone still sleeping in here.

I considered opening my eyes but still felt too messed up to participate in reality. My skin felt like it was made of TV static—All across my body was a sensation of soft, subtle prickliness, most evident as a sensation of “bed head” in the places I was pressed against the couch. You know you're hungover when even your clothes feel too “loud.” I was lying on my right side, and my arms and legs were hanging off the couch, though they felt stiff and contorted, like I'd been somehow sleeping on them funny, and my neck felt bent up to the side in an arc that shouldn't have been possible. But it didn't hurt, which was more than I could say for the head on the end of it.

“Ohhhhh my god, it's so cute, though!” the woman said, momentarily shifting to a deeper, relieved- sounding voice.

Well, good find then. Knock yourselves out.

Two more sets of footsteps traced a path into the living room. “What do we do with it?” one of the men said.

“Take it to an animal shelter? I dunno,” the other one offered. “Do you think it'll fit in your car?”

“Uhhh... Probably? It's not any bigger than I am. If we could get it to lie down in the back seat and not shit everywhere, maybe.”

This was getting very strange. Normally “omg ur so gullible” pranks don't proceed to the logistics stage, especially if they haven't even been acknowledged by the mark. I began to lend this little party pony of theirs a bit more credence, and, melding with the dream from which I'd just awoken, the germ of a very uncomfortable, frightening, impossible thought formed in the back of my mind to accompany it, but I suppressed it before it could be verbalized. I inhaled sharply through my nose and shifted on the couch. Even through the attention-monopolizing headache and numbness of fatigue, it felt—and sounded—wrong. And I'm pretty sure my lungs don't....touch my elbows.

“Whoooaa...!” one of the men called out in mild surprise the instant I stirred. My stomach started to levitate like it was in a demonstration on superconducting magnets, but it already felt like it was far too high and there was far too much of it, and I started to swallow repeatedly to keep from gagging. I tried to stretch out my legs and lie straight on the couch, but my hips and inner thighs protested with the dull twang of inflexibility after they made it only halfway out and touched the far arm rest. I told myself they were stiff from sleeping on the couch all night but I knew it wasn't true. The more “inclusive” explanation, however, was simply not up for discussion.

Nevertheless, the fatigue began to lift as my body became flooded with adrenaline. Whereas before I was as awake and energetic as a fossil at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, now it took conscious effort to keep my eyes closed. I tried to turn my head down to bury my face in the pillow, but something was wrong with my nose, and, along with an object drilled into the front of my skull, it pressed into the pillow at a spot inches ahead of my face and refused to proceed further. And I didn't know what was pressing into my hair, but it definitely was not my ears. I squeezed my eyes shut as tight as I could and shook momentarily as my skin began to crawl.

Noooooope. Not gonna acknowledge this with words.

I cautiously moved my arms, and they traced mincing little arcs through the air as if my forearms were restrained with rubber bands. Three pairs of feet stepped back. I was certain everything below my wrist normally did not feel that long and heavy, and that most days my shoulders were a good two feet closer to my head. I tried to open and close my fists but nothing happened save my middle finger waggling up and down as if I were beckoning a misbehaving student to see me after class. I inhaled sharply and held my breath.

“I think it's waking up!” the woman said.

I wouldn't know! Sorry!

My stomach advanced from “electromagnet” to “trapeze act” and was intent on demonstrating its acrobatic prowess and disdain for a net.

In the deeper recesses of my mind, a part of me was no longer content to let the obvious reality remain unacknowledged.

Ponyyyy...! Ponyyyyy...! You're a pony, dude!

Crazy. That's...Naw.

You're totally a pony, dude! You know where your head's been at and now you're reaping the Wages of Pony!

I exhaled the breath I'd been holding as a silent groan. I couldn't form my higher-order thoughts into anything but wordless disbelief.

Ponyponyponyponyponyponyponyponypony...! Here we goooooo! Ta-da! Poof! Ponified! You got Pone'd! You ate a Pony Island hot dog! I know who the boss is 'cuz you're Pony Danza! You, in the Conservatory, with the Being A Pony! Gimme a P!

All I could do was continue making silent, indignant scoffs and glacially shake my head like a disappointed dad. This. Is. Impossible. Saliva began to pool around my gums as my lips froze in a panicked sneer.

Gimme an O!

Nope, not real. Don't look outside and see it look like it's real, 'cuz it's not.

Gimme an N!

...Doooo not want to deal with this right now. Reeeealllly want to go back to sleep.

Gimme a Y! Ahhhh ha ha ha ha ha! Go! Go! Go! Giddyup!

Alright. Alright. Alrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalri – I forced myself to open my eyes and saw three people staring at back me, standing about five feet away. I recognized them from the party—Shannon, Ben, and Douglass in retrospect—but actually trying to remember their names was not even on the radar in that moment. There was a blue translucent blur in the bottom left of my visual field, and a glimpse of what looked like knees, covered in a dense coat of hair. I felt violently embarrassed as the trio's eyes darted across my entire length and I fought the always-accompanying reflex to smile sheepishly, managing what I hoped looked like innocent intestinal discomfort. I focused on anything in the room except their eyes, feeling heat continuing to build up in my cheeks. Please don't let it be visible through the hair...

Not at all my preferred view whatsoever.

Yep... This is... This is the real deal. It's impossible... but it's happening... but it's impossible... but there I am, right there, that's me. So clearly I'm wrong about everything in life if this kind of thing can just go down at all...and I kinda don't feel so good... And I think I might be totally fucked...

This was a worse feeling of being fucked than every collection notice I'd ever gotten put together... Worse than that time in high school I covered up falling asleep at the wheel and driving into a ditch... Worse than every missed deadline, missed flight, missed train or bus, every incorrectly filled out form or forgotten assignment or pop quiz, every smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, every siren in the rearview mirror, every sudden angry knock on the door.

Because those kinds of things happen. This. Can't. Happen. But here I am. I can see it plain as the (oh god) muzzle on my face and feel it in every contorted bone, and on every inch of hair-covered skin. I am now a p-... A p-....

Keep it together... Everything's always worked out fine so far when it counted, right? When had I not been able to weasel or lie my way out of a major jam or get some kind of exception made, leaving with nothing but some lost time and a funny anecdote? How many papers had I aced with nothing but an all-nighter of confident bullshit? How many things had I just plain-ol' gotten away with? That's right, that's right, I was pure Teflon! Everything was always OK! Who cares if we all know that can't really be true? Who cares if that comforting, breezy arrogance has no real justification? There was always a first exception to be made, and dammit, why shouldn't it be me?

And this time there was precedent on my side: I'd thought “species” was permanent, but I'd just been proven dramatically wrong in that assumption and had to discard it: I could no more be stuck as a pony than I'd thought all my life I was stuck as a human. If there was a path into this mess, there was a path out of it, and that journey had to begin with a single hoofstep. What was it going to be?

The one saving grace was that they didn't know who I actually was, that it was me in here. Whenever this transformation took place, at least these three hadn't witnessed it. For all they knew, Rob had gotten up and gone home, and so I resolved to stay silent and let my real self remain at a safe remove from...this entire business. That bought me a little time and room to breathe.

I inhaled sharply again and steeled myself to look over my shoulder at what lay on the couch. I craned my neck up to an unnatural height and angle, straining my resolve as it effortlessly exceeded the range of human motion to leave me feeling comfortably—sickeningly—upright, and it took a massive burst of willpower to break my reluctance to turn my head to the side and face what I knew I'd see.

Well, I was entirely blue, alright—The medium blue of painter's masking tape or some foreign bloom in a museum greenhouse. I looked to be more or less the same size I'd been last night, folded down at the hips and up at the shoulders. Between the two sets of limbs I could see a softly-defined ribcage and abdomen rising and falling with my now very deliberate breath. Along my neck I could see a light blue mess of hair pressed up against the back of the couch, and just the edge of a similarly light blue and teal-white striped tail draped over the far arm rest, the remainder obscured by my frighteningly large ass, which was-

It suddenly dawned on me that I wasn't wearing any clothes. In a way it was a relief, since it would have been a total giveaway of my identity, and no doubt have been very uncomfortable if not outright choke me. Furthermore, there was a kind of glib appropriateness about it: As long as I was going to be a pony, I might as well take it seriously and remain au naturel. I did, however, wonder where all my stuff had gone—Especially my iPhone and that pair of Oxfords, of which I was particularly fond (and I hope I didn't spill that glass of water). My wallet and apartment keys were in those jeans, too, and while that should have been the least of my worries at this point, possibly losing them stung simply by virtue of being an actually comprehensible problem.

I was also a blank-flank, apparently, which while disappointing in its own small way (Aren't I an adult?) at least meant there wasn't one more thing for people to be curious about. I half-consciously wondered if earning a cutie mark might not be a condition for changing back.

Speaking of change...

Ahhhhh yes, the matter at very-obviously-a-hoof: Why, pray tell, was I a fucking pony in the first place?! I realized for the ten or so seconds I'd been examining myselllllllthe pony on the couch, my own curiosity had calmed me down significantly, but now that my attention had returned to the outside world I was once more fully cognizant of my situation and went about as rigid as if Spetsnaz were zapping my nipples with a car battery. My teeth clenched together uncomfortably and I found myself grimacing and squinting in a way I imagined made me look like I was in a wind tunnel. For the first time I had to acknowledge my pony ears as they folded down and pressed into my hair, while two unfamiliar patches of muscle tightened on the top of my skull, as if my cheeks had been relocated then attempted a smile. The sensation made me shiver and momentarily cock my head.

“...Is it alright?” the man on the left (Ben?) asked. As soon as he spoke I realized no one had said anything for almost a minute.

“It's scared! Of course it's scared,” the woman in the center turned to him, then back to me. “Aren't you?” she cooed. Lady, I do not even... I didn't think my mood at the time could be described by any series of words so much as furiously scrawled punctuation marks—Shapes my ears seemed to mirror as they reflexively pricked towards her. I looked back at her and was now able to meet her eyes without too much discomfort. It was Shannon, one of the people who lived here. I recognized her green plastic frames and brown flip hairdo. I loosened a little bit and stretched my narrow shoulders and accompanying elbows, puffing a quick breath out of my mouth off to the side, then turned my head back toward her. A tuft of light blue hair fell into my vision. Hopefully I seemed calm and safe.

She approached me slowly with a slight crouch, making soothing babytalk noises the way humans always do when they want to approach a skittish animal. I'd done it myself often enough but never expected to be on the receiving end. I squinted again and drew my lips into a frown. No wonder they always ran away—This was mad embarrassing.

It was also frustratingly slow. In her effort to avoid spooking me she was creeping forward at a pace that made me temped to give up the charade and tell her to just hurry the fuck up. On one level I knew her seeming slowness was just the adrenaline overclocking my brain, and in spite of myself I almost mimed looking at a watch, but was able to intercept the gesture just before it left on its way to my...leg. What I didn't realize before it was too late, however, was that I'd conspicuously rolled my eyes, which made Shannon stop and blink for a second before resuming her tectonic motion.

After a period of time which couldn't have been more than fifteen seconds but felt like it should have had an intermission for us all to get up and go to the bathroom, Shannon came within petting range and reached out to touch my stomach. My eyes followed her hand with what I worried might have been an explicitly human expression of anxiety, and I tried to make my face go slack as soon as she met my eyes again and started to scratch my belly, all the while cooing various stock phrases my dignity forbids me to transcribe.

Nevertheless I tried to make some cute—sometimes disturbingly realistic—horsey noises back, because that is simply what one does when having their tummy scratched by a fawning stranger. Those years as a baby weren't for nothing! Ha ha ha! Oh, we're having so much fucking fun!

She leaned to the side a little and looked at my...tail? In the familiar rhetorical chirp of humans talking to animals as if they were always the last ones to know something, she continued. “Oh, you're a girl horse, aren't you?”





My eyes went wide enough to likely void their warranty, and I made what must have been an unmistakeably human scowl. Reflexively I scoped out what I assumed was the right spot, and sure enough I didn't see any hint of the meat thermometer, but then I wasn't exactly sure what pony porksword was supposed to look like, and I wasn't about to raise my leg for a more thorough inspection. I didn't sense any familiar ornamentation, but maybe it was all stowed away like a Derringer in a gambler's—No, that's too small—AMRAAMs in the belly of an F-22, or one of those old wall-mounted ironing boards.

What the shit, dude!? You actually wanted an eyeful of big ol' horse cock? I dun' wanna see that!

I briefly considered the notion that having a body inspired by (...that inspired?) a show rated for such young audiences meant I might simply be like the proverbial Ken doll, but given the fact that I was very obviously covered in real horsehair and already filled with even more age-inappropriate real blood and entrails, that didn't seem likely—And I reflected that at least suddenly having an innie instead of an outie was still far better than deliberately not being trusted to be...a real creature, with any organs for participating in one of Nature's most august and popular institutions: Femaleness was at least legit. Suddenly remembering I would still be a female mammal, however, I instantly spun my gaze up towards the ceiling, grateful that if...whatever ponies had a set of were there at all, they were inconspicuous. That would've been just too weird.

You wanted to look at a dick but not tits?! Well it's a good thing you trained for this by apparently being gay! Yeah, I know it's not the same thing—Don't be, waaaaaaait for it—such a fag, dude! Aaaaaaaahahaha!

Shannon withdrew her hand at my tense, jerky behavior, and I stared back at her with an expression more appropriate for an unamused Winston Churchill than a magical unicorn, as if it were her touch that had somehow given me a sudden-onset case of Girl.

I had also come down with a case of Pony, however, the symptoms of which were severe enough I didn't need to rely on someone else's diagnosis or even a visit to WebMD. I derived a bit of comfort from the idea that being a female pony was clearly not the same thing as being a female human, as much as waking up as something there are about four billion of would be a much less fraught state of affairs than waking up as something which, as far as I knew, was unique in all the world. At least this way I wouldn't have to worry about my clothes still fitting right or constantly being told to 'smile' by strangers, and looking down at my quartet of legs I failed to suppress a desperately self-conscious snerk at the idea that at least I still wouldn't get any grief for not shaving them.

“What's so funny!? Errrr...!” Shannon was suddenly taken aback by her own reflexive question.

“Heh, that did sound like a laugh.” Ben said from behind her.

I snapped my head to look at her, thinking the jig might be up. Red alert klaxons were going off in my brain, and tiny imaginary sailors were closing bulkheads and clutching their rosaries or pinups. Shannon and I met each others' eyes, but I turned away after a second, and looked towards her two friends still standing a safe distance off behind the coffee table. A lock of that light blue hair fell over one eye, and without thinking I tried to blow it back into place, but the air puffed ineffectually out of my mouth at the end of a distinctly equine muzzle, inches ahead of where the hair was actually resting. Even in this body, did I still need a haircut?

I looked incredibly guilty, knowing that I was telegraphing my thoughts but unable to construct a new model for how to arrange my face on such short notice. I was so used to sending deliberate signals with my expressions that even feeling them stretched and displaced to float in front of me, they were able to commandeer my features to serve their agenda.

The other guy, I think it was Douglass, suddenly pointed to me. “Whoa, lookit its eyes! Can they be that color? They really went all out! Where do you even get contacts for a horse? ...Now I really wanna know who brought it here.”

Great, what improbable color were my eyes now? I'd gotten the full Extreme Pony Makeover, I see. Those reality shows weren't kidding about a 'whole new you.' At least no one would actually try to put makeup on me, right? I winced with disgust at the image of my blue hair-covered face matted and clumpy with human flesh-toned “foundation.” This time it fucking better have been tested on animals...!

After being examined for a stretch that felt longer than the time since the discovery of fire, I was able to let my face go slack, and then swallowed as I looked at Shannon. She leaned in slightly and narrowed her eyes as they met mine. Clearly she realized I was not your everyday couch unicorn.

She swallowed as well, and hesitated for a moment before finally speaking. “...C...Can you understand me...!?” She blushed, aware of how ridiculous she'd look if she were wrong.

I did not know what to do. I met her eyes, then looked away, then back to her eyes, my mind churning too fast for me to grab hold of any kind of decision. My mouth felt drier than the most sun-scorched mountains on the moon, and unconsciously I licked my lips. My prodigious endowment of guts filled with butterflies as I was once more forced to confront what I was. I couldn't decide between letting them think I was probably just a non-miraculous petting zoo resident simply done-up funny, or unequivocally “coming out” as a sapient being and suddenly being a, shall we say, “person of interest.” On a visceral level I simply recoiled from the knowledge that if I spoke, everyone would act like it was this huuuuuge fucking deaaaal, with the “oh my god”s and the “holy shit”s, and I'd have to sit around awkwardly waiting for them to calm down. As selfish as it was, from my insider's perspective, me being capable of language was some pretty old news.

A fountain of boldness suddenly shot up from the pit of my stomach—I would almost certainly need to talk to someone at some point, and these people weren't likely to let me out of their sight whether they thought what I needed was a hideout or a barnyard. I might as well get it over with, and if I were going to be dealing with these people for the foreseeable future, I might as well make sure we were all playing with the same rulebook. And suddenly it occurred to me I wasn't actually sure myself if I could talk. For all I knew I could be built to only speak Pon-ese. That wouldn't do at all, and I needed to find out immediately—If I were going to be mute it would only be on my own terms.


I cleared my throat and Shannon started back, eyes wide.

Eeeeeeeyup,” some unseen girl tried to drawl, making a clear but dopey and nervous whine. Well that confirms that, then—In for a penny, in for a pound, I s'pose...

I was relieved that I could still speak human words, but even more relieved that all I faced was stunned silence. Apparently a serious, conspiratorial mood had already descended, and no one felt comfortable breaking that tension just yet. This was going to a slow-burn freakout, as the reality of the impossible creature on their couch gradually sunk in.

Douglass was the first to speak up. “That's it. I'm out.” He threw his hands up and started walking towards the front door.

Author's Note:

Rule 63 because HELL NAW am I thinking about anything male this much.

I originally wrote this straight through, all like "And then what? Why? OK, why that then?" and added chapter breaks afterwards. I hope I picked the right spots.

In this interpretation, Ponies are pretty much "uplifted" Real Ponies. Except for the face and joints a tiny bit. Just go with it.
The character design in the show is superb, but since this is text you can't see it, and I'm of the school of thought that says a high-concept show is just a portrayal or artist's interpretation of a story, not a window on it as it's happening.
As someone who draws for a living it was impossible for me not to re-interpret the design in terms of the real world. I tried to think about what the trees and clouds in the show look like compared to real trees and clouds and work backward from there.

Plus to me it feels kinda weaksauce to anthropomorphize them and not just go full throttle with the idea that everypony really Is A Hoers.

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