Groaning wearily I rolled over onto my stomach and wormed my arms under a pillow, my hands felt odd and my fingers oddly numb as I did so but I dismissed it. I was still in the pleasant in between place where I was just awake enough to be aware of what I was lying on but still have submerged in dreams where anything could make sense.
Something prodded my left shoulder and I heard a non distinct voice mumble something. For some reason I thought it was an old friend of mine and I became very aware of the fact that I was naked. Hadn’t I been wearing underwear when I went to bed? I could feel something hairy lying across my legs and I was satisfied that whatever it was, it was hiding my shame. I mean, it was at least partially hiding my shame.
I had a long blue pillow with fake fur on one side. I was sure that's what it was but the hair felt too long for it. Maybe it grew? That made sense, right?
Someone jabbed at my shoulder again and I rolled my head just enough to let my mouth out into open air, I gulped down a lung full of cool air. “You peeeeervert. Gooo awayyy,” I slurred.
It was at that exact moment I remembered that I lived alone. I also remembered that friend had thrown me away like garbage almost a year ago. My eyes snapped open and I lurched up into a sitting position, I hugged that large pillow to my body trying to cover up as much as I could.
My head still felt fuzzy as I blinked uncomprehendingly around the room. Finally my gaze came to rest on a very annoyed and familiar looking dark blue Alicorn. I gaped at her dumbly for several seconds before my brain turned back on.
My worst nightmare had finally come true. My life was nothing but a clop fic and judging by her expression there might be some S&M in store for me. My eyes widened in horror, my barn door didn’t swing that way. I could already see the tags, porn, fetish, Non-Con. I briefly remembered a relatively short period of time where I’d assumed the tag non-con had stood for non-canonical and had dismissed it thinking, “Well, duh, it’s fan fiction after all.” It’s like, you know those stories that add a disclaimer to the description saying they don’t own the rights to the mlp franchise even though we’re on a fan fiction site and that should be obvious.
Then the horror when I realized what Non-Con actually meant.
Nooooo, sweet princess of the night. How could you take such a dark path? “If you spare me I promise to stay up late more often.” I was practically nocturnal already so it was a promise I could keep.
Oh no, the word count, my life could end in another thousand words. Luna opened her mouth to say something but I pressed a white hoof to her lips. The hoof explained a few things I hadn’t bothered to pay attention to earlier, I chose to ignore it like I’d done my voice. “Hush,” I said, “Don’t add anymore to the word count. My life might depend on it.”
Luna shrugged my hoof away and puffed out her cheeks which turned rosy with blush. “Sist-”
I raised my hoof back to her mouth, “Remember the word count.”
This time she shoved my hoof away then stepping back out of my reach she said, “What are you talking about, sister? Hast thou finally lost thine mind!?”
...Was she using old English correctly? I wasn’t sure. Wait. Did she just call me sister? I suddenly became aware of my mane, well, not my mane. That was definitely Celestia’s mane blowing away from the side of my head.
I cast a look around the room finally seeing it. It was a large master bedroom with white stone walls and half circle pillars in each corner, there was an open door leading to what looked like a bathroom. A large oval bath was set into the floor already filled with water and it had white and red flower petals floating on the surface. That was to my right behind Princess Luna, to my left there was a glass-panned set of double doors leading out to a balcony. I had a pretty nice view of the night sky from the bed. There was another door, a large heavy dark oak, which I assumed lead to the hall although I couldn’t see out of it. it was closed a crack and I could see flickering light coming through. Torch light? It was possible.
Luna waved a hoof in front of my face and I refocused my attention to her. I had no clue what to say. She didn’t wait for me to figure it out. “The sun should have been raised twenty minutes ago. The guards are becoming worried!”
Twilight. I needed Twilight. Like, twenty minutes ago.
“listen very carefully, Luna,” I told her, my tone serious, “I’m going to need you to raise the sun for me and then I’m going to need you to send a letter to Twilight Sparkle and ask her to come right away.”
Luna’s eyes widened, she even looked a little scared. It made me feel bad but it’s not as if the fear was unwarranted, I could only imagine how she’d fare once she found out I wasn’t actually her sister. She didn’t speak again, she merely turned and trotted over through the double doors and onto the balcony. Then lighting her horn she raised the sun.
As I watched her I wondered vaguely why she hadn’t simply done that before. Celestia must never sleep in. As soon as the sun was up Luna vanished in a flash of magical aura. I guessed she was off to send that letter. I wondered how long it would take for Twilight to get here.
Was she even awake yet? Somehow Twilight seemed like an early riser but she also seemed like the type to stay up all night reading and maybe she had only just gotten to bed a little while ago?
But then I remembered the letter would go through Spike, even if he was still asleep I bet violently burping a jet of flames would wake him and then he could wake Twilight. So fifteen/twenty minutes tops.
The only question left was would she fly or would she teleport? She’d teleported to Canterlot before hadn’t she? I was pretty sure I remembered that. I was also pretty sure she’d come out the other end a little singed. But I wasn’t actually sure where she’d teleported in that episode. Maybe she’d teleported from Canterlot?
It’d been a while since I watched through the show. I groaned. I just needed to wait for Twilight to get here and then we could figure out what was going on. I tried to shut off my brain, to distract myself looking around the room. There was a really cushy looking rug in front of the fireplace at the far wall, and just to my right next to the bed was a low lying book shelf up against the wall.
I rolled over off of the bed and stood on four hooves for the first time. It felt weird, this body had felt almost human while I’d been lying in bed but as I took my first steps and felt the unfamiliar muscles in my flanks and hind legs moving it sent a shiver down my spine.
Craning my neck back I examined Celestia’s cutie mark. It was just my luck. I get sent to Equestria but it’s as one of the ponies I wanted to meet most. I was definitely getting sent back too. There’s no way they were gonna let me stay here and keep living as Celestia and I wouldn’t want to anyways. Not because I think it’d be unpleasant to be Celestia. I just couldn’t do that to her. She might not have been real in my dimension but my loyalty to her most certainly was.
I ran a fore hoof through my borrowed mane. It didn’t look like hair but somehow it felt like it. I decided not to question it too much.
A shiver went down my spine as a thought crossed my mind. What if Twilight didn’t know what to do? What if I was stuck here? I’m kind of horrible, despite what I said earlier about loyalty to Celestia I actually felt some hope rise in my chest. Coming to Equestria was kind of a dream come true for me.
I might not have wanted to come here as the princess but the idea of coming here only to get sent right back was sort of heart breaking. Maybe if I was lucky I could somehow get separated from Celestia and turned into a pony. If I was lucky that is. The name of my Ponysona just happened to be Lucky Star. Maybe that was a sign. Although, it probably wasn’t and I was screwed.
A sudden knock pulled me from my reveries. I turned to look at the door. Since I didn’t have much confidence in my ability to walk on four hooves yet I decided to call out instead of answer it. “Yes? Come in.”
The door pushed opened to reveal a white unicorn guard stallion. Also, I’d been right about the torches in the hall. He stepped forward into the room and saluted. “I heard you weren’t feeling very well this morning, Princess. I wondered if there might be anything I could do for you.”
I considered this for a moment and then my stomach gave a small growl. “Bring me bananas.”
After five or six bananas I made my way to the throne room. It wasn’t as difficult to find as I thought it would be. For some reason I’d always imagined Canterlot castle as being really big with winding corridors and secret passageways. I also assumed it would be really easy to get lost in which is why I’d almost decided to just stay and wait for Twilight in the bedroom.
But my worries about being in a clop fic hadn’t completely subsided and I wanted to be in a public space when she arrived. Unless of course the fetish was exhibitionism. Which I doubted. I’m not sure why I doubted it, all I could really come up with was the fact that ponies walk around naked. It just doesn’t seem like a fetish they’d have. But if I was in a clop fic it wouldn’t exactly be written by a pony would it?
Anyways, it turned out all I had to do was walk down some stairs and cross a hallway then boom I was there.
The throne looked pretty nice, exactly the way it appeared in the show. I couldn’t resist so I sat down in it for a few minutes. But my nerves were still going and before long I was up and pacing back and force. Where the heck was Twilight? Where was Luna? Had she sent the letter? I couldn’t imagine why she wouldn’t.
I caught one of the guards giving me a funny look but the moment I turned towards him he straightened and looked forward again. I sighed and went back to pacing. Occasionally I’d look over at the grand castle entrance half expecting Twilight to burst through but she wasn’t making an appearance. I rubbed my chin with a hoof and plopped down onto the floor. The more time passed the more I started thinking that trying to find Luna was the best choice.
Actually, I could probably just go over to one of the guards and ask them to find Luna for me. I was about to do that when a burst of green flame ignited overhead and a roll of parchment fell to the floor. I held it steady with one hoof and unrolled it with the other.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I’m on my way.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
I immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me. Whatever the heck was going on it would be solved soon enough with Twilight on the job. Trotting back over to the throne I sat down. I couldn’t help but notice a rope with a golden tassel hanging down from the ceiling next to me. Was that used to call a servant in? Some chamomile tea sounded pretty good right about then. Maybe I could get some tea ready for when Twilight came. Ooh, and some cakes too. I was still pretty full from the bananas but maybe Twilight would be hungry when she showed up.
Actually, since it was morning maybe she’d prefer something more substantial? Maybe hash browns? I had a feeling that sausage gravy and biscuits wouldn’t be welcome. Maybe the biscuits. Tea and biscuits might be pretty nice and it had the added bonus of sounding super British and therefore fancy.
Although, I was pretty sure biscuit was just British for cookie so it’d probably be just as good to stick with the cakes. Hmmm.
I didn’t have much more time to think about it because a mustached stallion walked in. I recognized him too although he looked kind of different in the shows art style. Wasn’t Kibitz a comic only character?
He marched over to the throne and stared at me over his spectacles. “Well,” he began, his tone was surprisingly stern, “You look healthy enough.”
I supposed I did. I pulled the best Celestia smile I could manage, “Good morning, Kibitz, and how are you do-”
He cut me off with a cough, then pulling a roll of parchment from his waistcoat he unfurled it. “You have a meeting that should have started,” he consulted a pocket watch, “twenty-nine minutes ago.”
“I see.” My Celestia smile had already wilted away. I didn’t want to be the one responsible for ruining the meeting and accidentally starting a war. I had to get out of this.
There was a buffalo sitting across from me. I was pretty sure these guys lived in Equestria so there wasn’t any chance of a war, and even if there was, I was also pretty sure we could beat them. Obviously I was still going to try and avoid the whole war thing if possible. The last thing I wanted to do was get blood on Celestia’s hooves.
Also, I didn’t want to sound like a broken record or anything. But seriously, where the heck was Twilight? I had a bad feeling that she might already be here and she was sitting somewhere waiting for the meeting to end. I knew I should get through this as quickly as possible so I could go check but I obviously couldn’t be obvious about the fact that I was rushing.
By the way, it turns out that hooves, at least the front ones, are a lot like hands. Kinda like meaty mittens. I used one to pick my tea cup off the table and took a long slow sip. See? Taking it slow and easy. “So, what exactly do you want?”
The buffalo snorted, “More land for the herd. To graze and run.”
“And just to be sure, you and your herd definitely aren’t living on a reservation?”
He stared at me silently for several moments, I was starting to get worried that reservations might actually be a thing here in Equestria and my question had offended him, but then he said, “What’s that?”
Oh thank goodness, “Nothing. How much land does your herd currently have?”
Kibitz pulled a map from a saddle bag and laid it flat on the table in front of me. Curly hand writing on the top of the map proclaimed it to be The Appleloosan Colonies. There were about three dotted lines curving over the map to show wagon trails and a single straight line in bold red to show the train tracks.
There were plenty of illustrations too to show notable landmarks. My eyes went straight to a series of rock formations called Rising Hooves. The illustration didn’t actually make them look like hooves though, they kinda looked like… Maybe they looked more like hooves in person. In pony? Oh well.
Appleloosa itself was represented with five little houses surrounded by little apple trees and off to the right of that was a sectioned off piece of land with an arching chain of words over it, Buffalo grazing lands, from there a dotted line circled around Appleloosa before reconnecting. That had it’s own inscription, Buffalo stampeding trail.
“How much land did you have before Appleloosa was founded?”
He snorted again, “All of it.”
So was this a reservation or not? Did they just not have a word for it yet or did it just look like a reservation? I had a feeling this could get really complicated. I studied the map for several more moments.
I placed a hoof on the map, “How about we extend your herds lands off in this direct-”
Kibitz coughed, “That’s where they’re digging the new lake.”
I lowered my hoof, “Oh.”
The silence was so awkward, couldn’t they feel it? I could feel a bead of sweat forming on my brow. I also realized I wasn’t wearing a crown. Shouldn’t I be wearing a crown? No one had mentioned it though. No, I scolded myself, stay on subject.
“Maybe if we use the wagon trail here as a border we can extend your lands down as far as the trail goes through the Appleloosan region, then the other side can be pony land, naturally we’d want to make sure that both parties could still cross the border for travel or for trade. Is that alright with you?”
The buffalo was already nodding.
“Good then.” I turned to Kibitz, he was jotting down a few notes on a parchment. Somehow I’d been hoping for him to either show approval or disapproval depending on how I’d done. But seeing how he thought I was Princess Celestia, even if I’d made a crap decision, maybe he’d assume I had some kind of plan he wasn’t seeing? Which meant I couldn’t rely on him to let me know if I’d screwed up.
Or maybe it really had been a sound choice and I was over thinking it? Well, whatever the case was, hopefully the real Celestia could fix it later.
There had been four other meetings. Four. It was the middle of the afternoon by the time I was able to get away and seek refuge in Celestia’s private study. I laid my head down on the desk and wrapped my hooves around to block on the sunlight streaming in through the nearby windows. Where was Twilight? Hadn’t her letter said she was on her way? I was starting to wonder why I hadn’t just told Luna what was going on. Why had I decided to wait on Twilight?
It was too late to speak with Luna. I’d already asked a guard about her and apparently she’d gone to bed right after sending my letter to Twilight. So if that meeting of ours this morning had worried her, it must not have worried her very much.
A plum colored mare in a maid’s uniform nudged the study door open with a trolley and pushed it inside. “Good evening, Princess, I’ve got your lunch here.”
My mouth watered as I watched her move a round silver dish onto the desk in front of me and whisk away the lid. They were tiny dandelion sandwiches. I picked one up and popped it into my mouth. The dandelion kinda popped when I bit into it, almost like eating a mushroom but it was fuzzy with all those little petals.
It tasted just like I expected it to but it was satisfying exactly the same way meat would have been. I nodded my approval, “It’s delicious, thank you.”
She smiled bowing low to the ground before turning with the trolley and leaving the room. I sighed and turned back to my food. I popped two more into my mouth and chewed. After several minutes a small knock came at the door.
I was sure it was Kibitz again and I considered ignoring it. But I knew I couldn’t do that. I sighed again, “Yes?”
A white unicorn guard stuck his head through the door, “Twilight Sparkle is here to see you, Princess.”
Oh, thank goodness. If I hadn’t been so tired I might have leapt for joy.
Twilight didn’t have any wings. I expected her to have wings. Why didn’t she have wings!? The shock must have shown on my face because she flinched. I forced my expression to calm, for some reason Twilight had already seemed nervous the moment she’d come through the door. I didn’t understand.
She’d sat down on her haunches some distance from the desk and had almost instantly begun to fidget. It couldn’t be helped, I’d have to see what the issue was before I tackled my own problem, besides, I still wasn’t sure how I was supposed to tell her. Somehow the whole Twilight not being an Alicorn thing had thrown a wrench into my plans, although, I wasn’t a hundred percent certain why I felt that way.
“Um, Twilight? Is there something wrong?”
Her eyes bulged, “Of course there’s something wrong. I’m tardy!”
Holy shit. Was I in that episode? Did I prevent something when Luna sent that letter for me? Or was there a Want it Need it fiasco going on in Ponyville right now? “You didn’t cast any… unusual spells today, did you? I mean, outside of basic levitation.”
She seemed confused and luckily it wasn’t in an, ‘Oh no, I’ve been caught somehow,’ sort of way. She shook her head. “No, I was on a train for most of the day.”
Most of the day? How long did the train take to get here from Ponyville? For some reason I always imagined it just took a couple of hours. I hadn’t even imagined her taking the train though.
I sighed, “Anyways, you aren’t tardy. There was never a rule that your friendship reports had to come in once a week.” I smiled here, I couldn’t help it. “You always let your over thinking get the best of you, Twilight. You should know Celestia would never get angry at you over something like this.”
She stared at me. I stared back.
“Also, I have something really, really important to tell you so please listen… With an open mind.”
She didn’t say anything. I wasn’t sure if it was so awkward because she was staring so intently or if it was because I suddenly felt like a crazy person. I decided to just spill it out all at once, if she was confused I could clarify. “I’m not Princess Celestia, I’m a human and I’m trapped in her body. I need your help.”
Twilight stared back.
Then as dramatically as I could. “I’m also a man”
Twilight stared back.
“A gay man,” I added even more dramatically.
Twilight stared back.
“Through unforeseen circumstances I’ve been turned into a straight mare! Isn’t that weird? Don’t you have a comment for that?… Please say something.”
Twilight stared back.
I got up and walked around the desk. “Twilight, did you die?”
She was still staring at the spot I’d been sitting. I waved a hoof in front of her face. Nothing. I knocked on her forehead being careful of her horn. Her head felt weirdly hard. I flicked one of her ears. It was unmovable like stone.
Was that a thing? Did ponies suddenly turn to stone..? I mean, it was a cartoon after all. Maybe she just needed a moment?
This was giving me a weird feeling. Well, of course it was but still. I went over and looked out the window. Sure enough I could see at least three birds floating in midair. Not flapping their wings… Just frozen like some rude dude pressed the pause button. Did I break something?
I whirled around as the study door banged against the wall. Standing in the doorway was the figure of a cloaked pony. Behind them where the hall should have been was only an inky black void where lightning flashed as if to announce their presence.
The cloaked figured staggered into the room and started coughing. It was pretty bad. Not to mention the fact that it went on long enough to start getting awkward. Mr Poe, is that you?
“Yeah, smoke another one,” he said, his voice sounded like gravel. Then a pinprick of red ember bloomed where his mouth should have been. Huh, I guess he’d been speaking literally.
“Um… Excuse me.”
“Yeah?” he demanded, his voice suddenly turning sharp.
I frowned, “Hey, there’s no need to get all snippy with me. Especially after all that.”
He coughed again but it was gentler this time. Then after what must have been a chuckle he spoke again, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
I raised an eyebrow, “I don’t suppose you’re here to explain what’s going on, are you?”
His cigarette bloomed red in the darkness of his hood before he answered. “Yeah, I am.”
Was there an echo in here? I stepped closer to him, “Well?”
“You dead.” Well, that was rather blunt. You dead? What was that? A text message? I gaped at him.
“I’ll have you know, I was perfectly healthy when I went to bed yesterday. There’s no way I could just up and die just like that.”
He just shook his head, it made the smoke trailing up from his cigarette form a zig zag pattern. “You stayed up all night writing pony fanfic.”
I rolled my eyes, “Lot’s of people stay up late,” I reminded him.
“You had like twenty monster energy drinks while you were at it.”
We stared at each other.
“Is… That a bad thing?”
He started hacking again only it became real obvious really fast that he was laughing. My face burned bright red. “That doesn’t exactly explain the whole waking up as Celestia thing, does it?”
I was still pissed but to his credit he seemed to be making an effort to stop laughing. “Yeah, I was getting to that part.”
He brought a hoof up to his mouth and brought out his cigarette. Then he flicked it on the floor. The floor of Princess Celestia’s Study. I scowled. Didn’t he know she was best pony..? That made me feel weirdly arrogant. I might need to stop having a best pony until I got out of this body.
“Heh, no need to get your tale in a knot. It’ll vanish when I do.”
He reached into his cloak and pulled out a yellow pack with a pink butterfly emblazoned on it. “You want one?”
I shook my head, “I can’t, this isn’t my body.”
He let a wistful hmm, “It’s your body now.”
I glared at him, “What’s that suppose to mean? What about Celestia?”
“You’re Celestia now.”
I face hoofed, “What about the old Celestia?”
“There is no old Celestia,” he gestured around the room, “Everything that is or was is only here to give your soul a place to occupy.”
“Am… I in the afterlife?” That actually kinda made sense.
He took a long draw off his cigarette, the coal burning so bright that I could almost begin to make out the outline of his face in the darkness of his hood. “That’s the problem with you humans, you got an entirely new dimension made for you from scratch just to make you happy! And what do you do? You complain, you cry, ‘woe is me, that’s unethical.’ Bullshit.”
“Are you saying I wanted to be Celestia?”
He shook his head, “I ain’t sayin’ shit to someone who’s just gonna complain about it,” he let loose another peal of coughing, “Just don’t try and tell anypony you aren’t Celestia anymore,” he turned to the door as if to leave, but then seemed to think of something. “Oh, and learn some god damn magic, you’re an embarrassment.” The door slammed behind him and Twilight yelped in surprise.
“H-how’d you get over there!?”
I stared at her, “Uh, I teleported..?”
“B-but I didn’t see an aura.”
“You… blinked?” . . . . You know what? She actually believed that.
I walked around the desk and sat back down. This was too much to process all at once. I couldn’t just take that guy’s word, could I? For all I knew he could be some sinister villain and I an unknowing accomplice. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that if he had been a villain he would have spent more time trying to convince me. Maybe be less rude and more charismatic?
Also, I couldn’t imagine anything in Equestria powerful enough to stop time. If he could do that why not just take on Celestia and skip the convoluted plan?
Twilight visibly relaxed and scooted closer to the desk. “That’s a relief. I realized I hadn’t sent my weekly letter on the train and I actually managed to convince myself that I was about to get sent back magic kindergarten.”
I chuckled, “Well, I’m glad we could get that misunderstanding out of the way.”
My expression turned neutral as I went back to considering my options. I obviously couldn’t tell Twilight what was going on or the same thing would happen again, wouldn’t it? But maybe that’s exactly what I wanted, if it was that easy to call his ass over here than maybe I should and drill him for more information.
It turned out that time had frozen the moment I’d tried to refer to Celestia in the third person. I’m kinda glad it did. All that stuff that came tumbling out of my mouth, it was embarrassing.
Just like before Twilight seemed to go rigid and I tried to look over at the door, but, I couldn’t. My entire body had locked into place and the only things I could move were my eyes. I couldn’t even draw breath. Then after a few frenzied moments.
I sighed and it was pure relief to feel the air going in and out of my lungs again. What I needed was more time to think this over. “Would you care for some tea?”
Twilight nodded her approval and servants were called. It turned out that Twilight hadn’t eaten yet today so we also arranged for something to be brought up from the kitchen. I couldn’t help smiling as I watched her eating, she really was cute, but of course she was. But I supposed she was cute even among other ponies.
I didn’t think I could go the amnesia route but then again there was partial amnesia wasn’t there? But if the real Celestia had gotten partial amnesia I’m pretty sure she would have told someone by this point. It wasn’t as if I could just let things go though. I needed to tell them something to explain why I couldn’t do magic and… Just as importantly, why I was suddenly an incompetent politician. Princess Celestia lead her ponies into a thousand year long golden age. Even if I chose to believe this world was made from scratch there was still a legacy I was going to have to live up to. Surely they’d notice something was wrong eventually. I might have ad-libbed my way through today without completely screwing everything up, but for all I knew there were already rumors going around.
When Twilight finished eating she wiped her mouth with a napkin and look up at me expectantly. “So if that wasn’t the reason Princess Luna summoned me here, what was?”
My gaze shifted uneasily around the room. “Something rather difficult to explain happened when I woke up this morning.” I waited half expecting time to freeze again, it didn’t. So I could say at least that much. “But, I really think we should wait for Luna before I say anything more about it.”
I supposed that was the most I could do to buy more time for myself. Somehow I got the feeling that Luna might buy a story about a mental break down causing partial amnesia after the little show I put on for her. If I had her backing me up it might be more believable.
I took a sip of tea. It was chamomile with blueberries, very relaxing. I needed that.
She looked away and scuffled nervously for a moment. “This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with your magic, would it?”
“Um.. What makes you think that?”
She cocked her head to one side looking thoughtful, “It’s just, I’ve never seen you drink your tea like an earth pony before… and, well, you practically raised me so...”
My jaw dropped.
“Also, a lot of ponies on the train were talking about the sun coming up late today.”
My jaw had already dropped so I kind of just left it there. I really shouldn’t have been surprised about the second one though, the sun comes up twenty minutes late and ponies are bound to notice something’s off.
“Are ponies… upset about that?”
Her expression straightened, “Not for the most part, mostly they just seemed confused. But there was one stallion here in Canterlot who was late for work… He seemed to think I could pass on a complaint to you.”
“What was the complaint?”
She blushed, “I’d rather not say.”
Well, that was wonderful. I had a perfectly valid excuse too, I couldn’t tell ponies about it, but it existed. I’d seen Celestia’s bedroom too. No alarm clock in sight. But who am I kidding? Had there been an alarm clock I would have just been in there dazed, confused, and alone. Maybe it was better in the long run that Luna had woken me up.
Her eyes widened, “So it really is your magic? It’s not completely gone, is it?”
I thought about that for a moment. I could feel something, it was almost like my horn could pick up threads of magical energy in the room. If I moved my head it almost felt like my horn was catching on spiders webs. Not to mention the fact that my horn seemed to be faintly buzzing with energy.
I shook my head, “It’s not gone, I just can’t seem to remember how to use it.”
She suddenly jumped up, both fore-hooves planted firmly on the desk. Her face split into a wide grin, “That’s great!”
I deadpanned, “You’re really choked up about this.”
She blushed again her grin turning awkward before she returned to her seat on the floor. It didn’t take her long to recover. She straightened back up and her smiling face returned full force, “Don’t worry, Princess. I have contingency plans for everything.”
She pulled a check list from the void. So was this only weird when Pinkie Pie did it or…?
“So,” Twilight began, “Do you feel your difficulty with magic stems from a problem with thaumic manipulation or is it simple spell casting?”
“I suppose it’s both.”
She grabbed a quill and ink pot from the desk in her magic and began scribbling.
“Twilight, can I see that list for a second?” She passed it over to me and I smoothed it out on the desk top being careful of the wet ink. My eyes honed in on the title. Princess Celestia goes senile. Okay, that was mean.
“You really planned for me going senile?”
“Well, you are over a thousand years old.”
I’m not though. I really wished I could say that. Instead, I looked back down at the list. “The first check point is scream and panic.”
She took the list back, “I can do that one later if it would make you feel more comfortable.”
Then after a moment of thought she said, “Wait, how did you teleport earlier?”
I thought about that for a moment, “I was trying to lift my tea cup.”
“This is more serious than I thought,” she went back to scribbling. After several moments of that she got to her hooves. She beamed at me, “Time for some practice.”
“Now concentrate on that book and use the force, Princess.”
I coughed, “Excuse me?”
She blushed, “Sorry, I’ve been reading through one of Spike’s comic books.”
“What’s it called?”
“Celestial Wars, it took me some time to get into it but it’s actually pretty good. Almost like real literature.” She smiled brightly enough that I decided to ignore that last comment. “Is there anything with a title similar to Star Trek?”
She seemed to be considering that for a moment, she rubbed her chin with a hoof and then her eyes suddenly brightened. “You mean Star Trot? Spike has a few issues of that but I think he prefers Celestial Wars.. heh, they got a pretty strange parody of you in there though. I mean, that mane style is so weird.”
I decided to think about the implications of this stuff later and turned my attention back to the book. It was a large heavy thing, the pages were uneven along the side and they were brown and speckled with mold. Despite that I bet it still had that wonderful musty old book smell. As for the contents I doubt it was as interesting as Celestial Wars had sounded. I would have paid actual money to read a decent fan fic like that.
This book had Tax Code in large blocky text on the cover. I held my breath and concentrated my will just like Twilight had described earlier. Nothing seemed to happen. I felt my face going red. Then letting go of my breath I stepped back, sucked in another lung full of air and tried it again. This time I felt my horn flicker to life.
Have you ever grabbed a pipe while water was going through it or done the same with a hose? That sort of vibration, the feel of the water running, that’s a lot like what my horn felt like with magic going through it. I cast it out like a net and watched as the book before me was wrapped in my golden telekinetic aura.
I raised my chin with the desire of the movement. The book shot into the air and smashed through the plaster of the ceiling. Twilight and I stared up in astonishment for several seconds before a white faced guard leaned over the hole.
Crushed plaster showered the room like snow giving Twilight an aged appearance as it settled in her mane and on her muzzle. She sneezed and shook herself off. I stepped back as a cloud of plaster dust formed around her then casting my gaze back to the hole I called out, “Are you okay?”
A single hoof shot out as he saluted, “Yes, Princess, but are you two okay?”
I glanced at Twilight and then back to the guard, “Yes, we’re fine. Could you perhaps send some cleaners for the room though?” He saluted again and vanished.
“Okay,” said Twilight, “Maybe we should try again somewhere a little less delicate.”
“Where would you suggest?”
She thought about it for a moment, “The gardens, but there’s something I have to do first.”
I looked down at myself, remembered I was a pony, then looked back at myself. I was covered. The parts of my mane I could see blowing from the side of my face seemed completely normal as if the dust couldn’t cling there. But Celestia’s cutie mark was so blurred through the powder it barely looked yellow anymore. I nodded, “Same.”
Twilight and I parted in the hall and I made my way back up to Celestia’s quarters and entered the bathroom. It was my first time seeing the whole room and I was surprised to see a second door leading into a place with a toilet. It wasn’t a regular toilet though, it was just like one of those traditional Japanese style ones, almost like a urinal set into the floor instead of the wall. I’d only ever seen pictures of toilets like that and… Well anyways, I ducked back out into the bathroom and trotted back over the large oval tub set into the floor.
The water was warm when I sank into it and I breathed a sigh. That felt good. Almost as good as that release of magic, I mean, wow. I’d barely felt like I’d been making an effort there. The actual effort of outputting magic had been tricky for a moment but... No wonder I didn’t care for Alicorn OC’s, they were just too powerful. Not that I was one to talk right now but whatever.
It didn’t take long for the water to turn a translucent milky white as I started scrubbing myself. Then after I finished that I waded to the side of the tub and sat leaning against it. I sighed. As grand as it was getting to meet Twilight Sparkle in the flesh it was nice to get away for some quick alone time.
I gave myself a moment to envision how this could have been for me. I saw myself running around Ponyville as my OC Lucky Star, finding a part time job, finding a place to camp out for the night or maybe even a place to stay. I could have had a lot of fun building a new life for myself here in Equestria, instead, I’d been thrown into someone else’s life and told to deal with it.
Then I thought of my old life, all the things I’d never get back. My first edition copy of Murky Number Seven. That hard cover copy of Changeling Courtship rituals I’d had printed. All those manga. My few friends. I definitely wasn’t going to make it to Haley’s wedding and she’d invited me to that before he’d even proposed to her. Oh goodness, her wedding was only a month away… I decided to think about other things, that one was too heavy.
My collection of Disney movies on VHS. I’d spent way too much on Ebay getting all those tapes and for what? I was never gonna see them again let alone watch those movies. My play station 3, I was never gonna play fallout 3 again!
Unless video games turned out to be a thing in this version of Equestria. Gamer Luna was thing, right? Somehow that didn’t seem to match the Luna I’d met and if Star Wars and Star trek were comic books here… I doubted television was a thing.
Watching television was like.. eighty percent of my free time. So much for world made just to make me happy. I rolled my eyes and instantly felt bad about it. I couldn’t believe I was in Equestria and I was whining about television. I’d just met Twilight freaking Sparkle. I should be over the moon.
But it wasn’t so easy to stop thinking about. I mean, for effs sake, I’d finally started getting an anime blue ray collection together! I was finally making up for being a pirate all those years and buying up my favorites whenever I could. Gone. It would be like they never existed.
My thoughts wandered back to books, I was going to start reading the baby sitters club. I’d bought so many on eBay. Whole stacks for like ten or twenty dollars.
Well, there would be other books I guess. I froze. Something much more important than books or a vintage 1980s Ronald McDonald frisbee had just hit me. (In my defense, I thought that’d been a plate when I’d bought it.)
My body. My dead, dead body. How long would it be until someone found me? It’s summer time. I felt really bad for my landlord. There wasn’t exactly anything I could do about that though… I let myself sink down into the water until only my head showed.
My land lord had only bought the place five or six months ago and I’d gotten the impression that he was new to the whole ordeal. He’d always been so nice, when I was meeting him for the first time I’d wanted to know how I was supposed to pay the rent.
Before then I’d always just walked across the street and knocked on my old land lady’s door. But the new land lord didn’t live in town so I was concerned about it.
He told me all I’d have to do was send him a text message and he’d run over for it and he’d made extra clear that there wasn’t a hurry. That’s part of what made me think he was new to this. I could imagine plenty of people taking that kindness too far but regardless, I had to imagine how that would bode for me. How long was he going to wait before he got fed up enough to just walk into my house and investigate?
I sighed again, it was definitely going to be a closed casket funeral. Not to mention the fact that it was a pretty shitty way to start your career as a land lord. I was only twenty-seven, no spring chicken but still not much more than a kid to an older man like that. I could only imagine how traumatic that was going to be for him.
In front of me on the far wall was a mosaic of rolling green hills, I picked a point on it to stare and tried to empty my mind. Then for several moments I let in slow even breaths. Calm soothing breaths. This was a happy place with dirty plaster bathwater. There was nothing to feel bad over in this place.
There was also my extensive troll doll collection. Goodbye collectors shelf, hello goodwill.
I slapped a hoof to my forehead and stood up, the water pouring off of my body as I climbed out of the bath and marched over and pulled a towel from a rack by the door. Gripping either end of the towel in both fore-hooves I gritted my teeth and flossed it across my back. I could still feel the grit of the plaster in my fur but this would do just fine for now.
I had to go back down to the throne room and meet back up with Twilight.