• Published 25th Jan 2013
  • 6,442 Views, 229 Comments

Someone Came With Her - chromewasp

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

  • ...

Back in the Saddle

“I suppose you can leave,” she continues, “but you be careful, alright? Don't go anywhere alone. And no heavy liftin', no runnin', no swimmin', no wrestlin', no horseplay, no muleplay, no--”

“I'll take it easy,” you assure her as you awkwardly climb off the bed. “I don't have a whole lot planned, anyway.”

You look back at Sharp Cider, suddenly feeling ashamed. "Thank you," you say. "Without you and Tumbleweed, I'm not sure I would've..."

She smiles softly. "You're welcome, Miss Sonora."

You blush at the title, but by now its sting is wearing off. If things go as you hope today, you won't have to put up with much longer anyway.

If. Almost subconsciously, you reach out with a foreleg and knock on wood before you step outside. In a world with a sadistic wizard on the loose, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable to indulge your superstitious side.

As soon as you're outside, the sun makes you feel like a clay pot in a kiln. It doesn't help that you've been gifted with a fur coat that you can't take off. Just standing out in the sun for a few seconds makes you wonder how you survived yesterday's events.

Gingerly you step off the porch and on to the hot, dusty street. You clench your teeth, expecting to experience something like a barefoot walk through Death Valley. You have the mental image of your fluffy white hooves blackening from the heat like...well, marshmallows. That joke doesn't seem particularly funny anymore.

But when your hoof touches the ground, all you feel is a vague sensation of warmth. You feel the blistering heat rising from the gravel, but it's only a minor discomfort.

Impressive. It seems your hooves are either excellent insulators or they just don't have enough nerves to tell you to get the hell off. As much as you want to have hands and feet again, you have to admit there's a few perks to having hooves.

You canter on, feeling disoriented as you watch the citizens of Appleloosa happily trot about. A breeze gusts through the town, cooling you but also reminding you of your utter lack of clothing. You freeze, suddenly feeling like you're in one of those horrible nightmares where you show up to your job au naturale.

Your fear grows as you notice you're getting a few glances that border on stares. You cringe, expecting cat-calls at any second.

“Mornin', miss!” a rotund stallion says as he trots up to you. “You enjoyin' your stay in Appleloosa?”

Alright, chastity shields up. “I guess,” you say guardedly. “Wait. How did you know--”

He chuckles. “--know you ain't a local? It's simple: you don't dress like one.”

You blink. “Look, if it's rude for me to go around without clothes, I--”

Now it's his turn to look baffled. “No, no. I'm talkin' about hats!” he says cheerfully, tipping his Stetson at you. “Name's Ten Gallon, proprietor of Appleloosa Outfitters. We've got the finest frontier apparel in the west—or the east! And we've got a convenient location, too!” He points at a rickety little shop to your left. It's wedged between two larger buildings like a popcorn kernel stuck between teeth.

“I might pay it a visit,” you say. In an alternate reality, perhaps.

He beams. “Make sure you do,” he says, trotting over to the store. “We've got a clearance sale on dusters!”

As mildly annoying as that encounter was, it takes the edge off your anxiety somewhat. If aggressive sales tactics are the worst you have to fear from the stallions of Appleloosa, that will make things monumentally easier.

You continue onward, looking for the saloon. Appleloosa is just like you remember it from the show: a quaint little frontier town almost small enough to fit on a football field. The main street is the only road of any significance, lined with stereotypical frontier shops. Squinting from the glare, you spot a rugged wooden building with a large sign showing a salt shaker.

That's the saloon, no doubt. You allow yourself a little smile as you trot to the front porch. At least this town isn't hard to navigate.

You take a deep breath and push through the weather-worn batwing doors.

The interior is dim, lit only by sunlight spilling through the doorway and the dusty windows. There's a few pool tables off to your left, and at the far side of the saloon is the bar proper. It's a varnished slab of dark wood that's clearly seen better days, and a mustachioed earth pony is wiping it off with a soiled rag.

More accurately, he's pretending to clean the bar top. His attention is focused on three other occupants of the saloon, watching them with wide eyes and tight lips.

Perched on the bar stools with body language as friendly as gargoyles, two stallions spit fiery accusations and insults at each other. The third patron, a white-furred unicorn, massages his forehead as he sips from a chipped tumbler.

He looks distinctly familiar. Is he Fairweather? Not wanting to mistake him for someone else, you shyly walk up to the bar and take a seat a comfortable distance away.

“That's a goldarned lie!" the nearest pony cries. He's a slim red pegasus with a chili pepper cutie mark, his watery blue eyes wild with rage under the bangs of his messy black mane.

"You know what I think?" the earth pony sitting next to him hisses. "I think you're protesting too much."

"Fairweather!" the pegasus cries, looking over at the third patron. "Help me out, here! You saw what happened! Tell 'em he's wrong!"

"You're both wrong," Fairweather sighs as he takes another slug. “We all slipped up.”

"Can I interest you in a drink, ma'am?" the bartender nervously offers. You barely suppress a jolt of surprise: you almost forgot he was there.

"Thanks,” you say, “but I don't have any money on han--er, hoof."

He sets a salt shaker and a glass of water down in front of you, smiling sheepishly. "It's your lucky day--we're offerin' free drinks to first time customers."

You hesitate for a moment before realizing this might work to your advantage. You have no idea how you're going to bring yourself to walk up to Fairweather and tell him about what happened to you, so a little liquid courage might be handy.

"Thanks," you say to the bartender, smiling in what you supremely hope is not a coquettish way. His cheeks go red for a moment before he nods and darts away like a skittish minnow.

You're starting to think the free drink policy doesn't apply to stallions. Sighing, you gracelessly grasp the shaker between your hooves and sprinkle some salt into your glass.

"There's no use dwelling over it," says Fairweather. "We're not even sure what we saw."

If you had a built-in Curiosity Alarm, everyone in the bar would be deaf.

"What did you see?" a smooth feminine voice asks. It takes you a moment to realize that you were the one who said it.

Fairweather does a double-take before he flashes you a grin. "Good to see you're still kicking around.” His smile falls when he sees your drink. “But I'm not sure you're ready for that much salt..."

Confusion reigns for a second. Suddenly you realize that you were so distracted that you practically emptied your salt shaker into your drink.

Like most mortal beings, you've done more than a few stupid things in your lifetime. What you do next is a worthy addition to your Golden Book of What the Fuck Was I Thinking.

"I can handle myself," you say, and then you gulp your drink down in one fell swig.

The experience is much like trying to snort salt like cocaine.






The God of Salt punishes your arrogance by sending you into the worst coughing fit you've been through in your life. Your throat feels like the Dead Sea, and soon you're not entirely sure it exists anymore.

Once you've finished hacking like a five-year-old trying to make fun of a smoker, you look into Fairweather's worried eyes and begin to tell him the truth.

You feel very light and free now, and you're baffled as to why you were so reluctant to tell anyone about your problem earlier. Some boring part of your brain is saying something about “you're drunk, you dumb shit” and demanding you “stop before you do something even more stupid,” but to hell with that. The world is a simple place now, and you're going to solve all your problems in the blink of an eye.

“You see, my parents never loved me as much as they loved my pet turtle," you explain.

Fairweather cocks his head to the side, confused.

"Railroad tracks. Wolf tracks. Yakity sax, don't talk back," you elaborate, feeling faintly frustrated as to why Fairweather doesn't seem to understand.

"Miss, are you all right?"

"You don't love Reggie!" you shout, jabbing an accusing hoof at him. "Reggie was an albino, nyeegh!” Then it hits you: you've gotten so far into your witty summary of your life story that you haven't told him about what happened.

"I'm a human!" you screech. "I mean, I was. A stupid evil wizard turned me into this. He took his radio tower and then he ruined everything. None of this would've happened...if you could've just kept your stupid evil wizards off our nation's streets!"

That was a zinger, right there. But he still doesn't get it. "How do I get turned back, bus station man? C'mon, how do I get turned back?”

Fairweather just stares at you.

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