• Published 11th Mar 2013
  • 8,063 Views, 1,135 Comments

How my Little Brother Became an Alicorn - WiseFireCracker



I used to love that premise. I thought it made for a fun debate of nature vs nurture and all that. I just never expected it to happen. Now Tom's gone and I don't know what to do!

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Disappearance

“You’re crazy, Sam.” She giggled. “You know that, right?”

“Well, maybe.” I took her hands, bringing her closer to me. “Is it crazy that I want to kiss you?”

She giggled again, with a light rose coloring her cheeks. Slowly, she freed herself from my grip, sending a pang of disappointment in my chest.

“Yes, but I like that kind of crazy.” She leaned closer, cupping my head into her hands.

My eyelids started to drop, my attention entirely on her pink, soft lips.

I felt some heat rise in my chest, as my heart started to go wild. At this distance, my senses were starting to get overwhelmed by new details about her. Her hair brushed off against my shoulder, soft and carrying a sweet flagrance of flowers.

“Sam…” she whispered.

“What?” I replied, breathless.

“SAM, WAKE UP!”

My eyes shot open. I was sprawled across my bed.

“M-Mom?”

There, she was, in all her morning glory, hair disheveled and wearing her night jacket.

Okay, I was really pissed off. She wasn’t that adamant against me bringing a girl home, right? Even in my dreams, I couldn’t date, because of poor naïve Tom who’d be traumatized?

The little squirt better not have finished the cereals again.

“Get out of bed, now, Samuel!” my mother hissed at me, with incredible urgency.

I blinked. I hadn’t noticed, but she looked off. This was a Saturday morning, right? I hadn’t forgotten any events like hosting a football game viewing or something… Why did she seem so frantic?

“W-what’s wrong?” I asked, getting out of bed.

“Did Tom tell you about going off somewhere this morning?”

I thought back to our last conversation and, while it had contained lots of exchanged ideas, recalled no such thing.

Well, except…

“I hate you! I wish I didn’t have to see you ever again!” he had said. At the time, it had slid off my back…

Darn it! Now my guts were twisting around with guilt. Super.

“N-no… why?”

“Because we can’t find him anywhere!” she screeched.

My stomach churned.

“W-what?” I asked, staring at her with wide eyes.

“He’s not in his bedroom. We looked everywhere. You know how he is in the morning. Even worse than you!”

I was going to let that slide, because, for God’s sake, was this actually happening?

“Have you called Johny’s parents?”

“Of course I did! They didn’t see or hear anything about him, neither did Jonathan.” She put her head in her hands, muttering curses under her breath. Not just any curses either. The kind I would have never expected to hear from her, the kind that would give me a verbal smack down if I ever used around Tom.

This was bad.

“He's… I bet he’s just playing outside in the park…” I placed a hand on Mom’s shoulder, doing my best to sound comforting.

Is it possible to sound like something you need yourself?

“Y-your father’s already out looking…” Her eyes dropped halfway, reflecting no light. Her face was pale… she seemed about to pass out. “T-this can’t be real…”

Breathe, Sam. Breathe, pull yourself together. Mom needs you right now. I took one more deep breath.

“Look, go sit down in the living room.” I gently started guiding her out of my room. “Let me put on a shirt and then we’ll call the police. Okay?”

She nodded quickly, looking down and rubbing her eyes. I trailed her off, just to make sure she was doing good on my suggestion. After a turn to the left, she entered the living room, just as I had asked her to.

Pacified, I took another deep breath, trying to calm down my maddened heart and pushing to the back of my mind all the crazy theories that were already springing out of nowhere. Then, I opened the drawer and picked the first shirt I saw.

He’s just playing around. Maybe even pulling a prank on us, I told myself.

He had done it before. Well, not that way, but when he got pissed, Tom would pull pranks on me. This ...this was probably it... right?

I quickly rubbed my eyes, chasing off any moistures that might be there. I… I wasn’t worried. This wasn’t real.

Just playing outside…

Now decently clothed, I walked out of my room, fast paced, and went straight toward my mother. She was sitting on the couch, staring at pictures. Oh Mom…

She did not react when I plumped down right next to her. She kept staring.

“When did you realize he wasn’t in his room?”

She stayed silent.

I frowned, uneasy. It was hard not to glance down at the picture. I knew I ought not to. It would be too painful…

“Mom…” My tone grew more insistent.

Still nothing.

I sighed. She was making this even harder. Steel yourself, Sam. I stared very intently at her, still, pained face, and opened my mouth to speak up, when…

“I realized he was not in bed an hour ago.” It was quiet, almost a whisper, yet I heard it clear as day.

“A-an hour ago?” I stammered, the reality of this hitting me like a train. My head started spinning. “Y-you didn’t wake me up earlier…”

“I…We… it… it was too unreal…” she said quickly, slightly apologetic.

It made me feel strangely empty, as if a void had popped up in my chest. Slowly though, it seemed to be replaced by a nauseous feeling.

I kept on a neutral voice.

“It…he’ll be fine, Mom.” I patted her back, but she did not seem very responsive. “I’m sure Dad will come back with him and we’ll just share a good laugh over that silly fright.”

Mom did not say anything. She pinched her lips together, her eyes never leaving the picture.

Without listening to reason, I glanced to where she was looking. Instantly, my heart squeezed with pain.

Family picture. She had to pick up a family picture.

Even after I looked away, the guilt did not die down. The image had been seared into my brain. I knew that one by heart anyway. This was just a painful reminder.

Christmas photos. Me, Tom and Mom, all sitting down with presents on our knees, with the little squirt openly excited and barely stopping long enough for a picture. Dad had had a field day just making us wait and pretending the first few pics were not good enough.

Darn it…

“I… I’m calling the police.” I stood up, without waiting for her to react. I had a feeling she wouldn’t be doing any of that soon.

It didn’t take long, picking up the phone and call the police station. Figures. If there was an emergency, then they would have to be quick, asking who was talking an’ all that… still… It went well… I guess…

“I… this is about…” I almost choked on the next few words. “…a missing kid…”

“Sir, can you give us a detailed description of the child?”

“S-sure, it’s my brother.” I paced, growing restless. “ His name’s Tom Miller. He’ll turn nine in a month, he’s a bit small, maybe four feet three inches, white skin, black hair, brown eyes, weights something like sixty-five pounds… he’s got a beauty mark on his right shoulder… he…”

I turned to my mother.

“What was he wearing the last time you saw him?”

No answer. She seemed transfixed.

My face started to turn white.

With a shake of my head, I chased off my treacherous thoughts, refusing to be distracted.

“Last time I saw… I think he was wearing a blue t-shirt of Superman with a pair of black jeans.”

My mind was more focused on his crunched up, red face. We had been yelling a bit. I was almost surprised Mom hadn’t start blaming me. Don’t jinx it, Sam.

“My mother was the one to realize his… d-d…”

The voice at the end of the line promptly offered me some rehearsed lines about taking my time and powering through the trial. They needed to know.

“…That. She said an hour ago…” My voice hitched up in my throat. Fuck, I couldn’t do this much longer. “We can’t find him anywhere and he’s not at his friend’s house. They haven’t seen him in days…”

I swept up a tear. Why was I crying? This was not real. I was just doing this to reassure Mom. Wait till we find you, Tom. You’re going to need ice for your butt after you’re done with the spanking of a lifetime we’re giving you.

“My father left for other places we think he might be. H-he’s checking the park…”

My knees started shaking. I gripped the doorknob for some support. It didn’t do much. Anytime time now, my legs would give out under me and I’d pass out…

Not real, this is NOT real.

“Yes… we’ll be waiting for your call. Please, be quick.” Not that they need to be. Tom’s fine. Hiding somewhere to freak us out… My hands were shaking when I ended the call.

Mom was still staring blankly at that photo. In the background, our clock was ticking, producing the only noise in the otherwise silent room.

The scene was eerie.

“They’ll come to... to get some pictures.” A slight nod of acknowledgment. Thank crap for that. “It should take five to ten minutes…”

For a second, I found myself unable to think of what to do next. A part of me wanted to stay and help her, but another was pushing me to rush out of the house and start looking for Tom.

“I… You should change before they arrive,” I whispered, almost with shame, before running out of the living room.
I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t greet police officers telling me they’d find my missing brother. It would be real.

The little squirt’s not missing! It’s only been an hour, he could have just decided to talk a walk outside and buy candy at the convenience store!

So I started looking for him around town.

--

“Sorry, Tom, I’m busy…”

“But you’re always busy! You never take time to play with me anymore!”

--

I could hear a pin drop.

A heavy silence reigned over the dinner table. The atmosphere was dark.

Tom was nowhere to be found.

I picked halfheartedly at my spaghetti, not feeling very hungry. Even if the smell was enticing, I could not wrap my mind around food at the moment.

Neither could Mom and Dad. My hard work would probably end up in the garbage can, left untouched. I wasn’t going to blame them. Both of them looked horrible, in their own ways.

Well, they were always different, even in their physical appearance. Mom had dark hair, brown eyes and a petite stature, while Dad was a tall blonde guy with the clearest blue eyes. Aunt Diana always thought it was funny how that extended to me and Tom too. I was the blonde guy and Tom was the dark-haired midget. Apparently, Mom had recessive blonde genes. Hurray for Biology classes!

“Linda…” Dad’s voice rumbled, a great deal more subdued than usual. “They are going to extend the searches region-wide.”

At that, she muffled a sob. That noise reached inside me and twisted my insides.

I put down my messy fork and stood up. If I heard more, I might start bawling my eyes out. That stupid little squirt! Where was he?!

“Sammy,” Dad rose his voice, if only to be heard. “I’m going to drive around town again.”

I understood what he was saying. I nodded.

“James…” Mom closed her eyes, mouth twisting into an ugly grimace. “Please… you have to bring him home.”

I dropped the plate. My hands just gave out. This is real. This is real. This is real!

Tom was missing. We called everywhere! Nobody had sighted him all day! No teacher, no friend, no neighbor. The last person to see him was Dad and that was when he hushed him to bed!

The police had searched the whole house from the roof to the basement and we gladly let them, heck, Mom had practically begged them to just so they could find him napping in a closet somewhere! They found nothing. Not even traces of breaking in!

Had he run away? That couldn’t be it, right?

I opened the faucet, forcing the water to come steaming hot, at full capacity. Droplets even splashed across my face, making me flinch a few times. That didn’t matter much, my cheeks were already wet with tears.

It can’t be be-because… no…

I rinsed my plate like a robot, not paying attention to any detail here. I was stuck replaying our last fight in my mind. It always ended with the same words.

“I hate you! I wish I didn’t have to see you ever again!”

And every time it stung more and more…

Was he still angry? Was he in pain? Was he sad, afraid, terrified, begging for his big brother to come save him?

I gripped the corner of the sink with enough strength to make my palms hurt. Breathing was hard, with an overwhelming sense of guilt crushing my chest. T-this was my fault.

I was supposed to protect him. It was my responsibility!

My body started to burn. I… I wanted to kill the son of a bitch that took Tom! God help me if I was left alone with whoever was responsible for that. I already knew what I’d do to them.

Sobs were what brought me back from my dark thoughts.

Turning around, I was treated to the sight of my mother, resting her head against her arms on the table. With a low whine, she whispered his name once more. I could tell though, that her cheeks were dry. She was already out of tears.

Dad was already gone or else he would have been by her side already. He probably ran outside not to show his pain. He once told me that’s what a man does. I wasn’t strong enough to do that.

It tore at my heart to see her like this. S-she might not have been the happiest person in the world, but she had never broken down before. Just one more slap in the face, telling me this was all too real.

“C-come on, Mom,” I said, trying to get her to stand up. And then what? What can I possibly say to make her feel better? “You… I think you should rest.”

She shrugged off my hands, as if I was a stranger. It hurt, but I could not leave her alone. Not like this. For the sake of love, if I ever left her in that state and she…

NO! That can’t happen! She’d never-!

“Just go to bed, Mom,” I pleaded, voice cracking with my own pain. “I’ll give you your sleep medicine. I swear on everything you want that we’ll wake you up if- as soon as they find Tom.”

Her eyes met mine. They were so red it was almost comical, if, you know, my little brother wasn’t missing. I was fairly sure mine would soon gain that shade too. Give or take an hour or two.

After a small staring contest, Mom finally stood up, mechanically reaching for her plates.

“No, let me take care of that,” I assured her as I gently pried her hands off it. “Just go get some sleep, okay, Mom?”

“T-tell me wh-”

“I swear.” I added, more forcefully.

We exchanged no more word beyond that. Quietly, she made her way to her bedroom while I went to retrieve one specific bottle of pills in the bathroom. She said nothing when I handed it to her, nor did she answer my “Good night, Mom”.

Once I had turned off the light and left the room, my feet became heavy. I never dreamt of the day I would need to comfort my mother this way. It simply had never happened before. Now I just felt drained.

It got worse when I turned around the corner. On the other side of the hall was Tom’s room. The lights had been left on.

For a moment, my mind screamed against going anywhere near his room. I don’t think I can handle that. My legs carried me there regardless.

Warily, I pushed the door open, trying my best to stay calm. It wasn’t easy.

His room was messier than usual, due to the policemen’s presence, no doubt. I had followed them in, if only not to give the little squirt reason to scream they had touched his stuff.

It did not prepare me for this.

His room… was empty. There was a void where he should be. The whole thing felt out of place not knowing if he’d ever occupy it again.

Whatever possessed me, I could not tell, but I walked deeper into Tom’s bedroom. I just let my gaze wander – or was I simply lacking the strength not to? –to his shelf, toward his closet and onto his bed sheet.

I stroke off the pillow, which was covered by a Shining Armor pillow case. Dad refused to buy any other. He said they were too girly.

Can’t exactly argue with that, Dad. I smiled for a second, but quickly it turned into a sigh.

When I had first been caught red-handed looking at a My Little Pony episode by Tom, of all people, I had seriously expected endless teasing. To be fair, that was mostly what had happened, until I picked up the little prick and forced him to watch the whole thing with me.

I thought that was a nice ironic punishment for being so darn annoying. I hadn’t anticipated him to like the show. Hypocritical much?

So, yeah, I was a closet brony to everyone but my family and one friend, and I had brought my little brother into it. Surprisingly, he was more intense about it than me, even if he shunned every episode without Rainbow Dash, Applejack or Pinkie Pie, his best ponies. The formers for “bucking butts” – you have no idea how mortified I was when I heard him say that with Mom in hearing range – and the latter for being funny.

Now I wished I had just given him one of my traditional noogies and sent him off instead. These days, he wanted us to do stuff together and it was always about ponies. Problem was, while I like ponies, I was not that big of a fan of playing that with my little brother and his endless godmoding.

My hand brushed off against a rougher surface on the pillow. Curious, I stripped the thing off its pillowcase, only to find a sheet of paper, colored a bit clumsily.

Yeah, I knew that one.

Blade DarkBlaze, his alicorn original character.

“I’m telling you, Sam, he’s the most awesome pony since Rainbow Dash!”

“Yes, he is, Tom,” I whispered, picking up the drawing.

It was completely overpowered. A young prodigy amongst alicorns that wore an ancient red cape of discordian magic. Marine blue coat and black mane, crimson red eyes, personal apprentice to Princess Celestia in all things of divinity.

Yeah, I could bear with it at first, but it got old fast. It was one of the reasons I was so reluctant to do stuff with him these days.

It was what sparked our fight yesterday.

Suddenly, it was as if that drawing was burning my hand.

I fled the room, barely taking the time to turn off the light like I had intended to. The sheet of paper slowly glided to the floor, slipping under his bed.

--

The house was devoid of noise now, except for the occasional click from my laptop’s mouse.

I was surfing on the web, trying to get my head off this disaster. It was hardly working. Tom and I have similar interests, mostly because he kept coming up to me whenever he was bored. He always expected me to introduce him to some new show, which was unfortunately what I could do with practiced ease.

At the moment, I was reading up on some commentaries on the newest My Little Pony episode, which I had completely forgotten till now. As it turned out, apparently, it was not that big of a loss. Opinions were generally negative about it.

“New character out of nowhere…” I muttered, skimming among the comments. “Completely destroyed the dynamics of the main character… badly designed on top of everything… Damn, they messed up good or what?”

That was about the time my eyes caught up with a peculiar line.

“An alicorn out of nowhere? At least Cadence had a great introduction.”

This tugged at the back of my mind. A bad presentiment came over me.

“He was just like a really stupid OC…” I gave a weak laugh at that comment. Wow, that hit way too close to home. “Oh, for freak’s sake, listen to me. I must be about to pass out from fatigue. It’s almost as if I had thought…”

I stopped.

T-t-this was just ridiculous. I couldn’t… I couldn’t actually think…

Hand shaking, I moved the browser toward the first streaming link I could find. Waiting for it to download probably turned into the longest two minutes of my life.

The appeasing feeling that accompanied an opening of My Little Pony did not come this time. I was trembling, prey to a stupid idea that would not leave me alone!

The screen turned from a black square to a greatly animated Ponyville. The scene depicted Twilight meander the streets with a saddle bag full of books.

“Twilight!” Spike suddenly ran to her. The little thing seemed out of breath. “Y-you have to see this! You won’t believe it!”

“What’s going on?” Twilight asked, concerned about her assistant’s behavior.

“Can’t explain! Just follow me!” With that, the Spike ran off, to her obvious shock.

Seconds later, they ran into a crowd of ponies, gathered around the town hall. In the middle of the ponies, I spotted Derpy, for a split second, which I thought was pretty awesome.

Then I heard it.

“Eeyup, ponies! You are not dreaming!”

That voice…

Neither Twilight or I could see the one possessing it. The camera was stuck on Twilight and the bookworm certainly did not have the muscle strength to power through an actual wall of ponies like that one.

“Huh, Twilight…?” Spike gave her a flat look. “Your wings.”

At the remark, she looked incredibly sheepish and blushed. “Oh, right, sorry. I’m not quite used to having two extra limbs yet.” She flapped them, accidentally nailing the poor dragon in the face for good measure.

“Just take off, would you?” he grunted.

She did not need to be told twice. With a majestic start, she flew off a dozen feet in the air, getting a direct view of the podium and who was standing behind it.

Twilight’s jaw dropped.

So did mine.

“This can’t be real…”