• Published 1st Feb 2012
  • 16,298 Views, 851 Comments

Monster - BlackWing

A human with a rather unique ability is hunted, till he find himself in a land different to his own.

  • ...

Potions, Rhymes, and Apples Bucked.

Potions, Rhymes, and Apples Bucked

Having Nightshade dropped on her doorstep, Zecora immediately went about taking care of him. She sealed his wounds, gave him an antidote, and he was resting quite comfortably. After she assured the three fillies that their friend would survive, she sent them home.

"Okay, just to make sure we have our story straight, we were heading to Zecora's, and we....got a little side tracked is all." Said Scootaloo with a commanding tone.

"Why can't we jus' tell em about Nightshade?" Applebloom asked. "He's not mean or scary and he saved us, and he might need some help. You saw how hungry he was."

"We can't do that!" Squeaked Sweetie Belle. "If we told anypony, they'd try looking for him, or catching him! He obviously doesn't want to cause a commotion. That and I don't want to get in trouble with Rarity for going into the forest and getting in danger." She said, still crying a bit, but feeling much better now that she knew her new friend would be alright.

"We should just head home. We'll go back tomorrow and make sure he's okay. Oh, and Applebloom, bring lots of apples. He's gonna be hungry when he wakes up." The pegasus added.

"Uuuuhhhg, my head." Nightshade moaned. "Huh, where am I?

"Welcome to my humble abode, you look like you need some rest from the road." The zebra said.

"That would be the understatement of the century. I'm guessing that Scootaloo and her friends brought me here?" He asked, knowing that it was probably the case.

"Indeed." She rhymed. "With their friend in danger, they showed great strength and speed."

"Umm, if you don't mind me asking, why do you rhyme everything you say?" He said as politely as he could, knowing that in this world, or any for that matter, there are three people you do not mess with. The one making your food, the one making your meds, and someone on their own territory. Right now Zecora was all three.

"The urge to rhyme must not be ignored, if so, I find I am easily bored." She said with a chuckle.

"Ahh." Nightshade said with understanding. "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." Letting out a chuckle of his own.

Zecora couldn't tell if that was a crack at her rhyming, or whether the strange creature before her was being sincere, but she quickly dismissed the thought as she brought him some stew.

"Ahh good, fresh vegetables. Potato and leek, broccoli, cauliflower, and red beans. You must be incredibly talented, knowing what nutrients I'm lacking without knowledge of my species' dietary requirements." Nightshade was throwing compliments left and right, trying to make up for the rhyme in case it had offended her.

"As are you, to know at a taste what is in my stew." They both let out a small laugh. "I guess that would be fair to say, since you sort through deadly plants each day. Knowing what is good to eat, in this forest is no small feat."

By the time she had finished, her rhyme, Nightshade had already finished two bowls of her soup and was moving on to a third. When he stopped. "I cannot thank you enough for this, but unfortunately I have no way to return your kindness."

Zecora looked a bit puzzled at why he had stopped eating when he was obviously hungry. He looked at her and gave an explanation.

"Where I'm from kindness is not so easily found. If you are helped by one, you should do all you can to return the favor immediately. Many times others are aided, it is only because those doing the helping want something in return, and are trying to force the unlucky victims of circumstance into a debt of gratitude. There are very few who assist others because it is the right thing to do, and not because they desire something in return. I am one of them, but I lived in a world where kindness is a trade, a transaction, so I tend to play by those rules, aiding those who have helped me so as not to find myself in their debt." At his explanation, her face turned to a frown, and then a clever grin.

"For what I've done, I won't charge you, so long as you tell me your story true."

And so Nightshade told his story, from the beginning. How he was different, the things he could do that others could not. How it alienated him. All the way up to the point of lying on the floor in her house, as well as the motivations behind them. He didn't know why, but he felt he could trust Zecora with everything. He knew from Applebloom's stories that she too knew what it was like to be different, and shunned. After he was finished telling his story, Zecora didn't even try to rhyme.


"Please, call me Nightshade, Davis is my past, one that I have buried. This is a new world, a new start, a new name." He sighed.

"Nightshade, I know what it's like to be feared. Every time I went to Ponyville, they would all hide in their houses, locking their doors and windows. I can understand why you would be apprehensive about going into town, so, I will keep you a secret from all but those you have already met."

"Thanks Zecora. Do you think i could spend the night here while I recover? I did lose a lot of blood and I need to wait for that to to replenish itself. That's something I just can't get from sapping plants."

"Of course." She replied. "And I think come tomorrow, should they not see you, three fillies would be in sorrow." Picking up her rhyming where she left off.

The CMC had avoided getting into trouble with their side tracked explanation, and nopony was the wiser that they had actually been in mortal peril. Heading out the next day to check on their friend, using the excuse of visiting their wise Zebra friend for advice on how to get their cutie marks, they arrived to find them him in the best of spirits.

"Hey! Lookey what ah got!" said Applebloom, holding out a fresh, juicy apple. It was snatched away the moment he saw it.

"Man Applebloom, these apples really are the best. You said you lived on an orchard?" Nightshade said while eating, taking his time with this one.

"Yeppers, ahm a little too young to go applebucking, but I still help out any way I can." She saw his confused look. "Applebucking is when we buck the trees to make the apples fall off." She was met with an understanding nod. "Maybe you can come by sometime and get some for yerself."

"I don't think that would be a good idea. I AM trying to keep a low profile. If someone....somepony saw me, they would probably act like a there was a manticore walking into town. Last thing I want to do is cause a commotion. I mean, I'm considered a monster by my own species, and humans are a lot more gruesome than you lot, so you can imaging what the town would think of me." Nightshade was met with frightened stares from all but Zecora, who already knew what he was. "Something I said?"

Sweetie Belle looked like she was going to cry again, and Applebloom was shaking. Scootaloo was the one to talk.

"What do you mean by, 'humans'? Humans are just an old pony tale. You only read about them in REALLY old books, not that I read much, Rainbow Dash says reading's for eggheads."

"Well, my parents were humans. My sister was a human, everyone who can talk where I'm from IS a human. So I guess that makes me a human, at least in the traditional sense. Since I don't act like a human, and I can do things humans can't, I don't really consider myself to be a human though, and neither does the rest of my world. That's the reason I was being chased in the first place, because I'm different." he explained.

Now the orange pegasus had joined her companions in their shock. Right here, was a living human. Parents told their children to behave, because if they didn't, humans would eat them in the middle of the night. In Equestria, humans were the equivalent of the boogey man, a monster in the truest sense.

"But you ain't mean, or evil. Ya saved Scoots from tha timber wolves, and all three of us from the manticores. ya almost DIED trying ta save us! How can you be a monster?" Applebloom inquired.

"Well, maybe you should tell me these old pony tales, so I can set the record straight." Nightshade advised.

They talked for several hours, telling him all the stories that they had heard. Most of them were surprisingly accurate. How humans kept other animals in captivity, making them fat just so they could eat them, and how humans would eat dogs and cats, to which Nightshade explained that in certain foreign countries they did do that, but from where he was from it was considered to be disgusting.

"Don't worry, fish are the extent of my carnivorous behaviors. Most humans don't hunt or farm, so if the meat isn't prepared for them, they have no idea how to do it themselves, and resort to vegetarian diets. Besides that, there are a large number of humans who eat no meat at all, simply by choice. Other than fish, I haven't eaten meat in....6 years, and I don't even miss it." He explained.

Realizing now that humans weren't some monster with jagged teeth and glowing eyes that would snatch them out of their beds at night, the CMC had more questions about human behavior, which Nightshade answered regretfully. He told them that their pony tales were right when they said that humans were monsters of hatred and greed, and for the most part WERE evil. He also talked about how many countries had people starving, and the other, more wealthy countries wouldn't do anything about it.

He told them about how they waged war over trivial things, and he also told them about the good of humanity. Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, and several other key figures throughout history that did a great deal of good. Then when he explained that almost all of them had been killed by humans too stuck in their ways to see a change for the better, even Zecora had a scowl.

"Finally, on to my story. Zecora already knows it, but you should know it too. I'll leave out some of the more, violent details. At a young age, I learned that I could see the life energy of all things, but because I was different, the other kids made fun of me, and I had no friends."

"What about your family?" Applebloom asked, being a very family oriented child.

" My mom, dad, sister, and niece. they went on a trip a couple years ago, to visit some of their friends. I didn't go because I didn't really care for family gatherings. They usually resulted in me feeling awkward around all sorts of people I didn't knw, and had no intention of getting to know me. They were adults, and I was just a teenager, we had nothing in common. There was an accident when they were on their way there, and they died." He stopped short, not wanting to talk about it any more, his eyes starting to water.

For Applebloom, who loved her family more than anything, Sweetie Belle, who was constantly trying to get her sister's affection, and Scootaloo, who had lost both her parents at a young age, just thinking about losing their families was heartbreaking.

"Over time I learned to use this life energy in different ways. I could heal, I could recover stamina, and all sorts of other things, but it was always a trade. If one was healed, someone else had to take the injury. Someone who I thought was my friend found out, and well...." he paused. "He tried to take my power for himself. He would use it to make the wealthy like himself flourish, while inflicting pain on the poor. I didn't want that, and I wouldn't agree to help him. He couldn't have what I had, so he tried to kill me, and I ended up having to give my injuries to him so I could stay alive. I'm sure that he died from it, all because he wanted something that nobody should have. That's why I'm a monster. I shouldn't exist, I can only cause pain to those around me." He said with a sob, and began to cry. "I trained this power because I wanted to help people, maybe I could have saved my family, I don't know, but now that I have it, it's brought me nothing but misery.

"But you saved me from the timberwolves!" Scootaloo protested!

"And all of us from the manticores!" Applebloom chimed in.

"You got hurt because of me, and you didn't get mad!" Squeaked the third crusader, shuddering at the memory.

"What happened to you was not your fault, my tall friend. You did what was right, in the end." Zecora, who had been silent the whole time, finally spoke up.

The crusader trio wrapped their front legs around him, giving him a huge hug, while Zecora stayed back.

"You powers cannot heal wounds on the heart, but by helping these three, you have had a good start."

Applebloom decided to bring her human friend to the edge of the forest. It had already been about 6 months since he had arrived, although he couldn't tell for sure, and he had still never left it. Sneaking past Fluttershy's cottage, while the crusaders walked out in the open, felt kind of silly, but he couldn't be to careful. It had gotten dark, and the crusaders had headed home, Applebloom bringing Nightshade to the edge of her orchard.

"Ya know, you can have some more apples if ya want, just come by and grab some every now and then. I'd hate to see ya starve." The yellow earth pony said.

"Thanks Applebloom, but I think I'll come back after it's fully night time, I'd hate to get spotted." Nightshade reasoned.

"Okay, suit yerself." With that, she ran home, and thought up a quick lie to what she had been doing at Zecora's instead of helping on the farm. The 'trying to get my cutie mark in herbology' line worked pretty well, and she headed off to bed, promising to make up for the missed work double the next day.

After the moon had risen high, Nightshade snuck back to the orchard. He was used to moving quietly, and was sure that nopony would catch him, but he was still on edge. Something told him that even though Applebloom had told him to take some apples, that something wasn't right. He wasn't a thief, he had been told to take as many as he wanted, so why did he feel like he was doing something wrong. Figuring he'd never know, he climbed up the closest tree to the edge of the property, picked an apple, and took a big juicy bite.

"Varmints stealin MAH APPLES!" Applejack awoke in the middle of the night. Apparently, having worked the farm for so long, the pony with a Texas accent had developed and innate connection to each and every tree, and could tell when the various rodents were stealing from them in an instant. Putting her signature hat on her head, and grabbing a flashlight and some rope, she stormed out of the house and towards the edge of the farm.

*Thud* Nightshade felt a thump on the tree he was sitting in.

*THUD* The apples fell out of the tree, and he almost went with them.

*BOOM* A third, even more powerful kick knocked him out of the tree, causing him to land flat on his face.

Quickly regaining his composure, he stood up to see a steaming mad mare with a stetson turn around and lift her hind legs into the air.

She bucked him, right in the apples. At least, they could have been mistaken for apples at how red and swollen they were. Doubling over in pain, and letting out a high pitched, "eep" he fell to the ground, grasping at his damaged property.

AJ wasn't nearly so mad anymore, and started thinking clearly again.

"What in the hay?" She said, spying the cloaked figure in front of her. She didn't know what it was. Laying on the ground, the cloak looked like it could have been a pony, but also wasn't quite right. She brought her hoof to the creatures hood, intending to unmask this devious apple thief, when she fell over in pain herself, and started grasping at her stomach.

Having recovered somewhat, but still in pain, the cloaked creature which was now clearly NOT a pony ran as fast as it could, still clutching his groin, hopped the fence and went into the forest. The orange cow-pony could only watch as it disappeared into the night. Why was she hurting? That creature hadn't touched her, but she was lying in pain. What was that thing?

Once well into the forest, and out of earshot of any who might be listening, Nightshade let out a series of unflattering phrases that would make even the most hardened sailor cringe. He had only given the mare half the injury, partly because he was in too much pain to focus properly, and partly because he wouldn't wish that kind of pain on any living creature, even if it HAD just inflicted the very same pain on him. After determining that he was, in fact, not sterile after being bucked in the groin with enough force to snap a tree in half, he passed his injuries onto a tree, and watched as its leaves wilted, it's roots rotted, and all it's bark fell off. The tree fell over with a crash, dead. Trees didn't have as much life force as animals, and the poor thing couldn't handle the strain.

"Sorry pal, don't worry, you'll be put to good use." He said to the fallen tree, climbing another, and going to sleep, hoping that in his unconsciousness, he could forget all about the mind-numbing pain he had just felt.

"Aww hayseed!" Applejack cussed. (Yeah, that's considered a curse word for ponies) "Ah guess I lost it, whatever it was. Nothing to do now but go back to bed, I got a long day of applebuckin tomorrow. I don't think it'll be coming back though, after the bucking ah gave it." She thought as she walked slowly back to the farmhouse, still groaning from the dull pain.

"Good riddance!"

Oh ouch! That's gotta hurt! I thought this chapter was going to take longer because of the Zecora rhyme issue, but the words just seemed to fit in the given situations. I took a little creative license and explained why she spoke in rhyme, mostly so that I could make it so she didn't HAVE to. Kind of clever if I say so myself. Nightshade is starting to open up to the ponies, and he told EVERYTHING to Zecora, mostly because they are somewhat similar, in that they are both misunderstood. It was a little hard having him explain the evils of humanity to three children, but they ARE his only friends, and he gave them a dulled down version with almost no description, like when parents try explaining sex to their kids. "Well, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, blah blah blah stork." So it wouldn't be to hard on them. It was also a very sad moment, where he basically lost all semblance of posture and just cried his heart out. Applebloom specifically, because family is so important to her, knowing that he had lost his was the worst thing imaginable.

By the way, I made it a mom, dad, sister and niece because that's what my immediate family consists of, and I wanted to make it a little more personal. Davis/Nightshade's way of dealing with the family is the same as mine. I feel awkward around my other family members, mostly because even though I'm 20 (21 this coming march) they still treat me like I'm some kind of kid, which mostly involves ignoring me, or asking me the same question 12 times. I often avoid going to family gatherings if at all possible because of that. As much as they annoy me, if I were to lose my family, I'd be devastated, so making his family similar to my own let me feel what the character is feeling, and plan the reactions accordingly. The reaction being, 'break down and become an emotional wreck' On a lighter note, I decided to give a Team Fortress 2 reference. "Varmint stealin MAH APPLES!" being an obvious layover to "Spy sappin mah sentry!" Mostly because I like the AJ/Engineer crossovers. I decided to put the referance explaination here in the footnotes inThey just fit well. Also, while this chapter didn't take nearly as long as I originally thought, (my estimate was a week minimum) It did take longer than the others, because I was only able to get one out today (if you don't count the one I published 10 mins after midnight) as compared to my usual 3. I'm not complaining though. I think if I write more than one a day, I'll only publish the one, and make you wait for at least the next day before publishing another. That way the story doesn't advance too fast, and I can make all your mouths water in anticipation.

Next chapter a very nasty visitor comes around, and we FINALLY meet the mane 6. Hopefully....maybe? It's what I'm aiming for, but if you've read ANY of these previous little footnote, blurb, blog things then you know how terrible I am at keeping promises when it comes to plot line. At least it's not midnight now, so I'm not exhausted writing this. Hmm, it's only 10 pm, maybe I'll...NO I'm waiting till tomorrow before I write the next chapter. And you might not see it till the day after that. I am really starting to love this Fic. I just wish somepony ELSE would write a fic I enjoy. Ever since I read My Little Dashie and Living the Dream, (even though it's a ponified HiE), I've been having a hard time finding a Fic I like, and if I do find one, it's not updated nearly enough for my liking (I'm looking at you Devil Hunter Among Ponies).