• 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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Denial

On the podium, there was this foal, at most a bit taller than the Cutie Mark Crusaders. His coat was marine blue… his mane was black… Coincidence…

The mayor looked shocked out of her mind, yet she had made no move to relocate the unruly kid. There seemed to be a subconscious command in the ponies mind not to, as no pony at all tried to get the foal to behave.

That had to be because he was an alicorn.

“My name is Blade Darkblaze and I’m here to buck asses and eat cupcakes, and I’m not out of either of those things!”

Oh God… I just wanted to hit my forehead on my desk repeatedly. How the heck did the editors let that line slide?

The ponies, having no clue as to what that stupid shout-out was supposed to mean, glanced at each other with frowns.

Of course, Gary Stu did not take the hint and went on with his tirade, somehow getting more and more spazz-tastic and lost in a speech about his awesomeness with each passing moment. Aside from the voice being exactly the same, well…

“What are you doing, Tom?”

“Hey Sam, I’ve just invented a new game! You have to take the characters from this side of the map all the way over to the king’s palace, then into the dungeons and that’s where the dragons are and you have to steal their gold to give back to the king so you can raise an army and buy lots and lots of soldiers to defend against the undead hordes-”

A chill went down my spine. T-that was just completely nuts. To even think of that was just proof I needed to rest badly. Who could ever think that with a straight face?

Yet, despite the creeping illness slowly gaining on me as I watched the new character rant on and on about how incredible his stay was going to be, my hands refused to move. I could not force myself to close that tab and forget I ever thought that for one measly little second.

I had to watch.

My eyes took in every detail; every single little quirks and varying intonation were recorded and registered. The foal had a habit of saying “Duh” whenever a pony asked him a clarification.

“Wait, you have to punch the princess in the face?”

“DUH!”

His mouth twisted and his eyes shifted to the right when Rainbow Dash finally called him out on his lies.

“You finished your homework before, right?”

“Of course, Mom.”

“Tom, you’re grounded.”

“No fair!”

Haha, wow, that was a bit creepy…

Now the cyan mare was hovering above the colt, making him back away a few steps.

For a second, I felt a bit of hope emblaze my spirit. There’d be no way this would fly by if that colt was actually a wish fulfilling character.

“I’M NOT LYING!” he screeched, which was much too familiar of a sound for me to be comfortable. “JUST ASK MY-” He abruptly cut himself off.

“Tom, that movie’s too violent for you. Go play in your room.”

“No way! I’m old enough, Dad! Right, Sam?”

My heart accelerated.

Those coincidences were piling up…

It seemed as if I was nailed to my chair, pushed down by an invisible force, an overwhelming pressure. My legs refused to move, my arms were as still as stone.

And the episode just went on, with Fluttershy trying to come up to the foal’s defense and him slowly integrating himself in the group, though more as a bratty addition than any real friend, thank Faust for that.

Then it got to the part with the manticores.

I could not believe my eyes. For no good reasons, a group of manticores waltzed into town, roaring and screaming bloody murder.

Before the panic even set in though, nothing less than five huge chunks of rock flew through the air, right toward the monsters. Under the astonished eyes of a crowd of ponies and no doubt thousands of viewers, the boulders collided with the manticores before anyone could react.

“Buck yeah!” Blade jumped, pumping his hoof. “Boom, headshot!”

“Holy crap…” I muttered. “I never thought I’d feel sorry for manticores.”

On the screen though, it became evident that I was not the only one. Poor Fluttershy looked about ready to faint. Even her yellow coat had paled.

Ignoring the little alicorn, Dash flew over to her friend’s side, supporting her with her hooves. The glare she shot at the kid was enough to send shivers down my spine. Please, don’t hurt him!

My blood turned to ice. T-that had been entirely a reflex. I had mentally begged Rainbow Dash not to hurt T… him…

Twilight stepped forward, starting a lecture on responsibility in using powerful magic, but, call it an intuition, that one flew right over his head. Sam, you’re starting to give credit to that idea…

As I had predicted, T-…Blade gave her a flat look.

“BOOOOOORING!” he shouted, before spreading his wings and taking off.

The ponies stared at his silhouette shrinking in the distance. A few words were whispered, but too quietly to be picked up. One mare though had no such reservations.

“What in tarnation was that all about!?”

“I don’t know, Applejack,” Twilight replied, locking gaze with her friend still in the crowd. “Princess Celestia never told me about… another alicorn…” Her brows furrowed together.

“No way that brat is related to the princess!” Rainbow Dash almost snarled, stopped only by her close proximity with her more timid friend.

“That’s not what I said. I’m just wondering where he came from.”

“Doesn’t matter to me, so long as he goes back there pronto!” the pegasus argued, patting Fluttershy’s back.

The shy mare’s eyes flickered open. “Oh, Rainbow Dash, I just had a terrible nightmare. Those poor manticores were-”

“Huh, yeah, that happened, Shy,” Dash cut her off, opting for a prompt dose of honesty.

It got her knocked off her feet. In a flurry of yellow and pink, Fluttershy took off toward the injured beasts. Her ears plopped down as soon as she caught sight of the extent of their injuries.

The camera went for a close-up of her face at that exact moment. It was as if someone took a rusty knife and stabbed my chest with it.

“I… I’m going to need a bit more bandages…” She squeaked sadly, before steeling herself. That look… it was the same she had whenever she made up her mind about a bit danger.

The screen briefly turned black and I tuned out the announcements being made about the Hub. I was glad for the commercial, right there. It gave me time to digest.

This is just the nerves talking. If anything, I’ve fallen asleep on my chair and dreaming about Tom’s location.

That was a sobering thought. For a moment, every shred of worry and fear crashed down on me.

I was being ridiculous. How could I be speculating on him being stuck in a cartoon while he could very well be lying on a cold floor, praying that he’d be found out soon?

Oh God…

The temperature drastically dropped. It was as if a coffin of ice was encased around my heart, so painful I just wished for it to end, for any end at all.

It remained with me throughout the episode. I barely listened, every time the alicorn foal spoke, every time I thought I heard Tom’s voice, was pure torture.

I… I never felt such hatred. I hated the show for daring to impersonate my missing brother. How could they do that?! They were taking one of my favorite things and spinning it on its head until it was tearing me apart!

When finally the credits started playing, I felt such a relief I was almost guilty. I just couldn’t help but be glad for that reprieve. Was I wrong in my wish not to be so painfully reminded of the little brother that counted on me when I was so powerless to help him!?

“I can’t believe that just happened…”

The episode was actually as bad as most people had depicted. Blade just paraded around Ponyville doing whatever he wanted, because he could. It even ended up with him outwitting the girls with a sort of cliché trick. That was going to cause grief to many.

The idea of introducing a really powerful but ultimately irresponsible character wasn’t bad, per say, except the writing was sub-par. Not to mention that he got away with it and was hinted to come back in a later episode.

As if a curse had been lifted, the stillness that afflicted me had gone with the last few notes.

Even then, it took me a moment to calm down my heart and dull the pain in my chest.

“T-to bed I go…” I muttered, out of habit.

A habit I had gained to put five year-old Tom to bed when I was forced to babysit him.

I stripped down to my underwear, tossing aside the clothes I had picked in such a hurry this morning. Halfheartedly, I pushed them toward a corner of my room, where I wouldn’t trip on them in the morning…

With a sigh, I turned off the light and slipped into bed.

My eyes remained wide open. H-how could I close them? I’d see Tom’s face and I would… I would…

“Where are you?” I whispered, praying to every star under the sky that I’d get the answer.

The police, and us, were at a complete loss. No sign of breaking in, which we would have heard. T-they had said he might have tried to… to run away…

To a kinder world?

…Insane as that was, I could not shake off a terrible sense of foreboding. The resemblances were plain uncanny, even when they were just silly. Anyone could suddenly start referencing the same show Tom always referenced when he was beating people at their own games.

Anyone can allude to being angry with their family and start getting defensive when questioned about it, even if that was such a Tom thing to do.

The doubts grew. Just by being left alone with my thoughts without distraction, I kept noticing more things about that new character.

Could... could he really…?

NO! That’s a bad JOKE! I’m hallucinating! That’s it. I just had a really, really horrible day and I mistook a young boy’s voice for Tom’s. THAT’S ALL!

Silence.

I was staring at the ceiling, a pale light filtering through my window’s blind. It… added to the eeriness of my room. This wasn’t what I usually felt like, but with this big of a failure hanging over my head, with such worries burdening me, a moment of silence stretched over nothing but my shortcomings.

Wherever Tom was, it was my fault.

--

It was quiet, much too quiet for a midsummer night in the Everfree Forest. Gone were the bug of slime crickets and the chirping of firebirds. Only nothingness and void surrounded Zecora’s hut.

The herbalist’s brows were furrowed, all thoughts of sleeping already fleeing her mind. From a terrible nightmare she had woken up, vivid images of a time now lost had danced before her eyes to torment her. But her inner demons were nothing but ghosts. Harm her, they could not. Of that she was confident.

A single lamp offering its light, the hut was dark and her neighbors, as familiar as they had gotten with the years, would have been afraid by the shadows that danced with each flickering of the flame.

Zecora stood close to her window, though a stronger caution than usual stopped her from peeking beyond a meager opening.

“Not a sound in the Everfree; pray tell me, what is this folly?” she whispered, eying the shades of the trees and the unmoving bushes.

For a long time she tried to detect and identify a possible cause for that unnatural silence. All life seemed to have disappeared from the woods.

When finally she had convinced herself no clue could be found at such a tardive time, the zebra closed the door completely and spared no effort in putting the lock in place.

“How has my fear gotten so strong?” she muttered, blowing the candle. “Clearly, to sleep I long.”

Irritable, with the nagging feeling of something big going on, Zecora let herself be taken away by sleep again, though this time, her rest was light and alert.

Yet, it seemed to prove pointless. Minutes after the zebra had started to peacefully snore, a small bout of sniffing broke out from under her window, followed by a mute growl.

No living soul witnessed the dark blur that disappeared through the woods seconds later.

--

Searing screeches pierced right through my dreams, filled with unicorns and dragons, and earned a grunt from me.

“Hurrrrrr…” My hand smashed down on my alarm clock, through practiced ease. “W-what time is it? It’s Sunday, right?”

Ah, to be buried under a warm blanket early in the morning, that was probably the one feeling I loved the most. Unfortunately, I never really got to enjoy it. There was a conspiracy against nice mornings. I could swear.

I didn’t. I just shot a tired glance at the numbers displayed. It was a bit late to tell the truth…

Curious, I got out of bed, stretching my arms wide and letting out a powerful yawn.

Mind foggy with sleep, I got out of my room, rubbing my eyes, but unable to shake off that desire to go back to my bed and lie there. I stumbled into the dining room, where both Mom and Dad were sitting, faces grave.

“G’morning,” I mumbled, only now taking their horrible looks. “Wow, not looking good there. Where’s To-”

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

They turned to glare, but even that lacked any bite to it.

With a weak “sorry”, I ran out of the kitchen. The bathroom was the first place with a lock I could find. I couldn’t remember locking it, but at some point, I had found myself staring at the ghostly pale guy in the mirror. Good job, you idiot. You just reopened everyone’s wound. All at once. Like a boss, Sam. Like a boss.

I had managed to forget, for even a few minutes, that my little brother was missing. The ‘asshole of the year’ award was coming for me at the speed of light.

“Are you proud of yourself?” I asked the Sam in the mirror.

He gave me a pitiful look in return.

T-they had to find him! I had a million things I wanted to teach Tom, so many things I could have done better that needed rectifying. We couldn’t lose him! He wasn’t even ten!

Defeated, I let go and just sat down, eyes to the floor, trying to outwait the pain and distress.

I was often playing suckers’ games like that.

--

I waited, a cheesy song playing in my ear. On a better day, I’d say that was quite catchy and mock myself endlessly for liking it. At the moment, I wished it would cease to exist. As long as it continued, I could not speak to the one I needed to. I’d get to the bottom of this.

When, finally, the song cut off, I was greeted by a feminine and professional voice.

“Hello, my name is Caroline, department of customer’s service, how may I help you?”