• Published 13th Feb 2013
  • 1,262 Views, 36 Comments

Sing Like You Can't Be Heard - Desideratium



Sometimes, hardship might throw some light on what's really important.

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Stargazing

“So, what did the doctor say?”

Bon Bon has the note ready, pinned in place by the same chocolate-shaped magnet upon your arrival. Having read it with a glance, you grip the piece of paper between your teeth and tear it down, then turn to impale it on the receipt spike. Under a few slips of paper bearing customers’ orders, Bon Bon’s previous message still rests, and her new one takes its place on top.

You sense, rather than hear, the traffic coming from the other room; Bon Bon’s establishment is clearly experiencing some heavy business, and the mare herself will be swamped with orders. No rest for the wicked, you think, smiling to yourself.

Your eyes find the clock on the wall above the back door. It’s only minutes before closing time. When Bon Bon will usher out all the bloated dessert-eaters and be free to talk to. In anticipation, you slide a chair out from under the table in the break room and sit, relishing the sensation of something solid supporting your weight after walking about a mile and a half to the doctor’s office. You had walked—as opposed to flying—because your wings are still stiff from your recent dabbling in space travel. A mistake, perhaps, given that your hooves now feel as sore as your wings. You place your head on your crossed forelegs, closing your eyes.

The energy around you shifts.

You can’t think of a viable way to explain the sensation, but it signals that a dozen or so customers are being herded out the door. It may be the vibrations caused by all the sudden movement, but to you, it’s much deeper than that. A sixth sense, maybe. Your heart thrums, pounding a little faster than before.

Mustering up enough power to complete the endeavor, you raise your head an inch or two, opening bleary eyes to survey your surroundings.

And you nearly jump out of your skin.

Bon Bon is now sitting across from you, smiling expectantly. Her ever-present pad of paper is in front of you, a single word taking up most of the top page:

“So?”

You frown, looking down at your faintly-trembling hoof. Possibly the most difficult thing about having been struck deaf is the fast that anyone can sneak up on you almost effortlessly. Your heart is adapting to the new situation, and no longer jumps quite as violently as it had before, but you have no desire to speed up the process. You cough into the raised hoof to excuse the gesture. When you finally respond, you don’t quite look Bon Bon in the eye.

“Nothing appeared to be wrong. He said that I should be hearing just fine. Physically . . .” You lower your head back down onto your forelegs. “everything is just fine.”

You tilt your head to the side so you can still see Bon Bon, but allow one eye to lazily drift shut. Across the table, the candy maker is scrawling out a message for you, her mouth twisting the pen with dexterity that you could never match. You wait for her thoughts to conclude, your still-open eye drifting in and out of focus as the seconds pass.

After what you perceive to be an eternity, Bon Bon turns the paper for you to see:

“Then what do you think happened? Before you woke up with your face in your breakfast.”

“Heck if I know. Maybe it’s not the ears. Maybe it’s a mental problem I’ve got. Sounds just not registering or something.”

“Is that possible?” The dot at the bottom of the question mark is placed so fiercely, that it punctures a neat hole in the page. Bon Bon looks interestingly venomous—her teeth are clenched behind pursed lips for some reason. You’re far too tired to question why.

“I don’t know. Maybe.” Even without hearing them, you can tell that your words are slurred. Sleep would be nice. Yes, sleep would be most agreeable. Your single open eye locks on to the mare in front of you, retaining enough focus to make out her features. Bon Bon sits stoically, statuelike. Her jaw is visibly set. “You okay?” you inquire blearily.

Bon Bon starts, looking around confusedly as though just snapping out of a daze. Her eyes find your partially-hidden face, and she smiles at the comical stretching of your features that you had unintentionally brought about. Instead of responding on paper, she simply nods twice.

“Your face says yes, but . . .” You leave the sentence hanging.

Bon Bon shrugs. Her somewhat-forced smile is plastered to her face, but her eyes still hold a sad undertone.

“Mmm,” you mumble. You shift your head to push your eyes into your forelegs, relishing the pressure against your gelatinous orbs. You feel Bon Bon’s eyes on the back of your head, but do nothing to acknowledge that you still know she’s there. Once satisfied that she’s not going to interrupt any more, you allow your consciousness to start to slip from you. Thoughts become jumbled as your rational mind ceases to control your mental facilities, heralding the way to the nonsensical land of dreams. Colors have more vibrancy, movements seem to be blurred. You’re not sure if the action carries over to the physical world, but your mind tells your mouth to smile.

Before you drift off completely, you register the table shifting—Bon Bon getting up to leave. You let her go unimpeded; weariness prevents you from even trying to give her a farewell. Sleep. Yes, sleep would be most desirable.


An empty field.

Rolling undulations of grass pulsate in a light breeze, waving in a mesmerizing, many-headed host. Above your head, cottony white clouds dart across the sky as though driven by gale force winds, every now and then passing above the fully-risen moon. Milky light spills out from under the clouds, pooling in splotchy patches on the carpet of grass.

Individual strands of grass brush against your legs, faintly tickling your skin. Your hairs stand on end as a particularly cold breath of air moves across your back. A faint, nature-y scent finds its way into your nose. The sensations are very much real.

This is a dream, you tell yourself. You’re not sure how you know, but you somehow are certain that this isn’t reality.

Given this realization, an excited rush pulses through your veins. You had never been able to muster up a lucid dream—the prospect had always been intimidating for you to try. But now that you’ve inadvertently stumbled into one, you’re itching to explore the possibilities.

You look down at your hooves. They seem realistic enough to be real life, but something is a little bit off. Something almost imperceptible, just incorrect enough to allow you to peg this down as a dream. You try to lift a leg. Unexpectedly, it doesn’t budge—the entire limb seems to be frozen in place, firmly planted on the ground with no intention of removing itself from that spot. Frowning now, you try to move each of your others, each to no avail. You’re trapped in place.

But this doesn’t make any sense, you reason fruitlessly with yourself. This is my dream, and I’m allowed to do whatever I want with it.

The laws of the universe are not on your side, and refuse to listen to your reasoning. Whatever is holding this dream together clearly doesn’t want you moving about.

The wind ruffles about your ears, whistling softly.

You look skyward again. Above, the clouds had parted, revealing a deep blue sky. But with no stars. The only source of illumination is the moon, the pearly white orb hanging above your head. The same giant canvas, but without the periodic points of light. You twist around, bending as far back as you can despite your immobile legs. Nothing. A whole lot of nothing stares back at you.

Light catches your eye, but not emanating from the sky. A miniscule blaze shines from across the plain, resting just on the horizon line. Silhouetted by the shine, a figure stands motionless. The pony is taller than most and has wings—two wide appendages extending out from both sides of its body. It’s too dark for you to make out any features, but something about this pony radiates authority, and you have to fight back the urge to fall to the ground in a bow.

Your tongue, which had been glued to the roof of your mouth until this point, unrolls. You open your mouth hesitantly, then call out.

“Who are you?”

Your voice rings out, echoing once, twice, endlessly until it fades to obscurity.

Not altogether unsurprisingly, the pony doesn’t respond to your inquiry. It continues to stare wordlessly at nothing, its mane undulating gently in the wind. It turns its head slightly, and you can see that the figure has a long unicorn’s horn to go along with its wings.

You take a deep breath, and then try again.

“Who are you?”

This time, the pony’s head slowly turns back to you. After staring for a moment, it raises its chin, looking straight up and supposedly indicating for you to do the same. You comply, turning your own gaze skyward.

Stars, seven of them now, had appeared in the sky, arranged in a pattern that is entirely familiar to you.

On your flank, your cutie mark shines bright white against the surrounding blue. Seven points of light that match exactly to the corresponding stars in the sky, connected by thin white lines to form the vague shape of an eagle.

Aquila. The eagle. The constellation that had materialized on your body when you had discovered your prowess for flight.

You look back down, allowing your eyes to find the mysterious pony. Seven afterimages are burned into your vision. The pony simply nods once, then turns to leave. As it descends below the horizon, you shout after it:

“Wait!”

It doesn’t stop, or even acknowledge your exclamation. It disappears slowly, fluidly, leaving you alone once more. Your throat constricts, halting all the words you wanted to scream after the pony. At the same time, though, your muscles loosen and you fall forward. Your legs are no longer glued to the ground. You taste grass on your tongue.

Out of the silence, a voice sounds. Soft and feminine, but also hard and commanding. A voice of uttermost authority.

“You’ve done well, but you haven’t finished, my friend.”

It booms from all around you, with no discernible source. Then silence. Hesitantly, you ask for clarification. “What?”

There is no immediate answer. The owner of the voice seems to be deliberating, as if wondering what to say. The echo from its previous statement still rings faintly in your ears and you shake your head to clear it.

Minutes pass slowly. You don’t dare to try saying anything. Your hooves aren’t stuck to the ground anymore, but they might as well have been—you haven’t moved a muscle since the last statement, for fear that it might interrupt this event.

Finally, the same voice rings out again.

“I admire your adaptability, but I wish to see if you can take this further. Take life by the reigns.”

“I don’t understand,” you reply, shouting, because it feels like the right thing to do.

“You will.” The response comes immediately this time.

“What?”

“Shut up.”

You do a double take, blinking rapidly in confusion. “Uh . . .”

“No. Shut up. Go now.”

The sudden change of syntax is so unexpected and comical that you feel like laughing. But before you can act on that whim, the world starts to fade, wiping away like paint under water. The vibrant colors that you had so enjoyed disappear, replaced by impenetrable tenebrosity. Desperately, you look skyward once more.

Inky blackness moves rampant across the sky. The last thing you see before the darkness takes over the world is Aquila, the seven-starred constellation.


Your face pops off the table, your eyes wide and all tiredness erased.

Touching your face, you can tell that your forelegs left two parallel imprints across your facial features. You take a moment to clear your vision—the fuzz that clouds your sight takes a while to clear. But when the world regains its clarity, the first thing you see is the back side of Bon Bon. The mare is facing away from you, bent over the sink and presumably doing dishes, judging by the tiny soap bubbles that cloud around her.

“How long was I out?” you inquire. Despite having just been woken from a very deep sleep, you think that your voice came out sounding level and clear.

Bon Bon turns. She’s wearing her powder blue and pink apron, emblazoned with a triplet of chocolates that match her cutie mark. She looks around, holding up a hoof to say,” Just a sec’.” She spots what she’s looking for—the notepad—and pulls her pen out of the apron’s front pocket. You stand and walk over to where she stands, leaning over her shoulder to see what she’s writing:

“About 10 min, actually.”

You lean back, smiling. “Really?”

Bon Bon nods.

“Deep sleep then. It felt like a lot longer.”

Hesitantly, she nods again; her head bobs like it’s on a spring.

You fall silent. The voice in your dream had wanted you to go further, and you refuse to accept that it was just a dream. There was clearly something more to it than that.

“Bon Bon?”

The mare cocks her head to the side slightly. It’s cute, the bemused expression on her face combined with the little tilt.

“Are you busy?”

Almost instantly, she shakes her head.

“Okay . . .” You rub your face, and then use the same hoof to tousle your mane. “I want you to talk to me. No . . .” you interject, when she reaches for the notepad, no doubt to protest that you wouldn’t be able to hear her. “Just . . . talk to me.”

Bon Bon, looking thoroughly confused now, reluctantly complies. Her mouth shapes out a single word—it’s easy enough to interpret. The word is “Why?”

“Because I need a better way of talking to you. This’ll probably take a few days, and I’ll need a lot of help, but I want to learn how to lip read. I’m sick of having you write out everything if you want to say something to me.”

Bon Bon slowly breaks into a grin. She spits the pen out of her mouth. Her mouth moves once more, and you are able to catch the meaning again:

“Okay.”

Comments ( 8 )

At least we don't have to wait for the pony we are talking too to finish writing on a piece of paper.But what could that dream mean?:rainbowhuh:

I have always believed that ninety-nine out of every hundred dreams turn out to mean absolutely nothing.

But oh, that hundredth....

I'm confused:rainbowhuh:, What does Luna want from me?(Is she somehow related to my deafness?)

2468170 I will keep reading...but I really do refuse to acknowledge that..that utter decimation of reality...

Seriously, magical rainbow ponies or not. That mo-fo ain't no Luna.

2470245

Fair enough, mate. I won't ask for anything more than that. :twilightsmile:

OMG!!! SOOOO GOOOD I'm really enjoying it!!! :heart::twilightsmile:

ah man, it was getting cool, please write more...please!

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