• Published 25th Jan 2013
  • 6,434 Views, 229 Comments

Someone Came With Her - chromewasp



You keep sayin' somethin' about bein' male and "human" before you showed up in Appleloosa...

  • ...
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Sawgrass

“So you're going down to Sawgrass?”

The man eyes you from under his ridiculous white cowboy hat, and for a second you wonder if he's trying to hit on you. Then you catch the cynical smirk smeared on his face like a grease stain. It's the signature mark of the Small-Town Asshole. Hoo, boy...just when you thought this bar couldn't get any worse.

Still, no use escalating matters. You nod and take a sip of your beer. Non-alcoholic, of course: you still have a bit more driving to do.

“Huh. Now, why the hell would you want to do that?” he asks, the shit-eating grin becoming a bit wider.

“Why do you care?” you shoot back.

He puts up his hands. “Hey, now. I was just curious, you see?” He's raising his voice now, and the other patrons are starting to notice.

Indifferently, you take another sip. “Listen, man, I'm just minding my own business. Can you mind yours?”

“You're after the copper, aren't you?”

“The...what?”

He chuckles. “You think you can fool me? I see a lot of your type comin' down to Sawgrass. Place is a goddam treasure trove for scraphunters.”

“Look, I don't know what you're talking about,” you sigh. “I'm a writer, okay? I'm doing a book on ghost towns.” Not entirely true, but not exactly a lie, either. In all honesty you weren't sure why you were heading to an abandoned village in rural Nevada. The idea of a side trip to that place just...appealed to you somehow. Something about the scenery and the isolation, you thought.

He lets out a bark of forced laughter. “Ha! This guy here's a real smooth talker, ya see? A smooth talker!” The other bargoers stare blankly at him, not quite drunk enough to see the humor.

Fuck you and fuck your hat, you think. Disgusted, you pay your tab and leave before things get out of hand.

You step outside, relishing the way the temperature is vaguely tolerable now that the sun is setting. The sky is like a painting, the clouds dappled with brilliant orange and red hues. The cool dark desert stretches out in every direction.

You sigh peacefully. Little scenes like these are what you've been trying to find in your trip through the Southwest.

Suddenly the bar's door swings open behind you. You look over your shoulder to see the drunk from before. There's a strange light burning in his eyes, as though he's about to cry.

“You stay the hell outta Sawgrass, you hear?” he bellows. “You ain't welcome there.”

He wipes his mouth and staggers back inside.

Ooh-kay. Shrugging, you stroll back to your car and hop inside. You've marked Sawgrass on your GPS—it's only a couple miles away, in fact--but it'd be stupid to try and make it there in the dark. So instead you drive over to a place called Juan's Mexican Fiesta Motel, which you're pretty sure is the biggest insult to Mexicans you've ever seen.

After getting your keys from a creepy guy with a mustache at the front desk, you go to your room and plop down on the bed. Fuck brushing your teeth; you needa sleep. Despite the itchy and suspiciously stained covers, you manage to drift off in record time. Go you.

As soon as you start to dream, however, things get a little more complicated.

You find yourself standing in pure darkness. A horrendously cold chill washes over you, and you shudder. It's so hard to breathe in this place: each gulp of air is like trying to drink liquid nitrogen.

But that's not your only problem. Faintly you feel the presence of someone nearby, and the apprehension makes you freeze with terror.

A patch of darkness lightens slightly, forming into a shape, and then into a moving figure. You can only see the faintest outline, but you get the impression of a tall and monstrous creature with a long, bearded face.

“Welcome to the back of your mind!” it proclaims. “Before I forget, I'm just gonna throw this out here, chum: I feel kinda sorry for you. One more day as a human, and then...well, I'll get to that later.”

“Who—what are you?” you stammer.

The creature laughs coldly before stepping closer. The beard...the horns...the cloven hooves...

“Satan...” you whisper.

The draconequus pouts, folding his arms childishly. “Aw, seriously now?”

You give him your best wicked grin. “I can troll too, Discord.”

He does a double-take before his long face lights up with glee. “Yes! I knew this was gonna be fun! Follow me!” he squeals before snatching you up and carrying you down a yellow brick road that appeared out of nowhere.

“Where are we going?” you ask.

“Nowhere in particular,” he says casually before you both smack into a wooden sign labeled “NOWHERE IN PARTICULAR.”

“Oof. Always gets me, it does,” he sighs as the two of you get up and dust yourselves off. A landscape is materializing around you, solidifying into a cartoonish desert with tumbleweeds bouncing across the sand. About a hundred meters ahead lies a dusty little town.

“You see,” he said, leading you on to the town's outskirts, “heading off to Nowhere in Particular can lead you to some interesting places. There's hundreds of Nowhere in Particulars across the globe. One of them is a little town called Sawgrass.”

“Where are you going with this?” you ask.

He grins. "You see, Sawgrass happens to contain a portal to Equestria. You're a brony, right? I figured you'd be interested."

It seems that this dream might be pretty fun. "Will I get a chance to start a rap battle with Diamond Tiara?"

He yawns. “One thing at a time, brony boy. At this point I'm supposed to tell you a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about 'ley lines' and 'thin spots in the dimensional membranes,' but that'd be boring.”

Suddenly he's wearing a caricature of a cowboy outfit, complete with a ten gallon hat and a duster. “So I'll sing it to you instead!” he says as a harmonica blasts out a catchy little melody. Seconds later the harmonica is joined by a fiddle, and then all hell breaks loose as Discord starts to sing.

What happens next is a blur of surreal sights and bizarre lyrics delivered in an exaggerated country drawl. The song is wild cacophony of old-timey Western music and oddly eloquent explanations of metaphysics. At one point you get caught up in a square dance with what may or may not have been a crowd of cactus-people.

Mercifully, the musical number finally comes to an end. Exhausted, you collapse to the ground.

“What did you think?” asks Discord, beaming.

“Why did you keep calling me a mare?” you ask.

“Huh?”

“You must have said it sixty times, for chrissakes. That thing about 'swing your pardner, yipee ki-yay, let's show this mare the Sawgrass way'? What the hell did that even mean, anyway? It sounded perverted.”

“You, my friend, have a dirty little mind,” chides Discord. “Care for some brain bleach?” he asks, holding up a bucket bubbling with caustic chemicals.

“Yeah, har har. Anyway, this dream is getting kind of old. My subconscious can't keep up a Discord impression for shit.”

Discord puts a claw to his chest in a parody of indignation. “Oh, you wound me! You think I'm just a figment of your imagination?”

“Well, duh,” you say. “Why would you be telling me all this crap, anyway? Aren't you supposed to be the bad guy?”

“How terribly rude!” he mock-sobs. “Although I admit you have a point.”

Suddenly he is behind you, riding on a wooden rocking horse that neighs and bucks. “Long story short, you're in for quite the experience at Sawgrass,” says Discord. “Something terrible is about to happen in that place.”

“A marathon viewing of Newborn Cuties?” you ask.

Discord rolls his eyes. “Oh, hush. Look, do you want to save Equestria or not?”

“Why would you care?”

“Would you believe me if I told you that I had reformed?” he suggests, a small halo appearing over his head.

“Not really.”

“Oh, nuts.” Discord stretches the halo out and uses it as a hula hoop, grinning devilishly. “How about this: if Equestria falls, I want it to be on my terms. Does that fit better into your narrow-minded little ideas about the Mighty Discord?”

“Sure, okay.”

“Splendid!” He snaps his fingers and suddenly the two of you grow to the size of mountains. The little desert town now looks like it's part of a model train set, and you can see a tiny radio tower jutting from a hill on the northern border.

“As I explained earlier, there's a portal of sorts in Sawgrass; a gateway to Equestria. This,” he says, tapping the radio tower with a squeal of bending metal, “is where that portal is. You need to get there by noon tomorrow.”

“Why?” you ask, marveling at how oddly specific this dream is getting.

“Someone is going to cross the portal at just that time,” says Discord, leaning in slightly to glower at you. “A sorcerer. Very powerful, very evil. He has some rather nasty plans for Equestria.”

“Of course he does,” you say dryly.

“Don't be like that! You think what I did was bad? I'm Princess Cadance compared to him,” he says, morphing into her but retaining the same head. It's a shudder-inducing sight.

“Oh, Shining Armor,” he squeals in a mocking falsetto. “Whatever will we do? If only a certain human had just listened to Discord about--”

“Okay, I get it!” you snap. “Look, I'll humor you a bit more, but only if you never do that goddam voice again. Promise?”

“Pinkie Promise!” chirps Discord. He morphs back into his “usual” self, if such a word could be applied to him.

“Yeah, whatever,” you sigh. “So what am I supposed to do about this, anyway?”

“I want you to stop the sorcerer. What else?”

He catches your raised eyebrow. “No, you don't need to kill him or anything like that. Just disrupt the ritual he'll use to cross over. It should be easy, provided you and the others can withstand his inevitable magical rampage.”

You blink. “Others? Magical rampage? What?”

“See, that brings up another important point. You'll be coordinating with some other helpers I found: it'll give you the best chance of success. As for the other point, there's a--”

Suddenly a shrill beeping sound fills the air--the alarm clock, no doubt. The world around you begins to slip away.

Discord suddenly looks panicked.

“You'll do this, right? For me—I mean, for Equestria?” begs Discord.

“Even if I believed you, I usually don't remember my dreams,” you say matter-of-factly. “Smell you later, homes.”

“Wait!” he wails. “There's one more thing! This has to be done just right! There's a very high chance that he'll cast a--”

Your eyelids jolt open. Jeez, that dream was fucked up. Something about Discord and dancing cacti? Whatever, you decide as you walk to the bathroom. The last clutches of the dream slip away as you take a shower, and soon you're not even sure if you dreamed at all.

But something lingers in your mind. Something about Sawgrass...

After you get dressed and packed up, you realize your hands are shaking. Butterflies flit about in your stomach. You feel like you're back in third grade, looking out fearfully at the audience just before the school play starts.

What the hell is bothering you so much? It's just a quick side trip, and you don't have any big plans for the day. Why the anxiety?

The unease persists even after you check out with the Freaky Mustache Man at the front desk. You get in your car and grab a quick granola bar from your pack for breakfast. No time for anything more filling: you just want to get this visit out of the way.

As you drive down the lonely county road, you find yourself repeatedly checking the clock on your dashboard. 11:36...11:37...

To hell with this, you think. Abruptly you pull over and give yourself a mental bitch-slap. This is your vacation. You don't even need to go to Sawgrass, let alone follow a schedule.

You play with the idea of just turning back and continuing on to Arizona, but by now the anxiety is lifting. No, you don't need to go to Sawgrass. But you still kinda want to. You'd just drop by for a moment, take some pictures, and act as though this little psychotic episode never happened. Right.

You continue down the road, make the final turn, and a quarter mile ahead lies Sawgrass. You slowly cruise down the main street, taking in the atmosphere.

Just like you expected, it's a depressing little place. Most of the buildings have been bulldozed, and the few that still stand are hollow, boarded-up shells. The sidewalks are broken ruins with ragged shrubs poking out of the cracks. “VISIT MAGNIFICENT MEGAN'S PONY RANCH,” a decrepit sign shrieks. “NO. 1 PLACE IN SAWGRASS.”

You pull up to an abandoned lot and climb out of your car, camera in hand. The heat is sweltering out here, but you can handle it.

You can mostly handle the heat.

Never mind, it's pretty close to intolerable.

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